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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News saw the Wallabies come back from the dead, the All Blacks pull their own comeback off, an exciting round of the NRC and a wrap up of rugby across the country


Wallabies rise from the dead

Wallabies pulled off their own mission impossible to secure the win

Wallabies pulled off their own mission impossible to secure the win

The Wallabies must’ve watched the Rumble in the Jungle on the flight over to Argentina as they did their best impression of Muhammad Ali throughout this match. The side employed the rugby equivalent of rope-a-dope to wear the Pumas down to win 45-34.

At least that’s the only reasoning I can come to after watching this crazy match in a match that embodied the phrase “a game of two halves”.

The Wallabies came out like they were still on Australian time, conceding 2 tries in the first 5 minutes to trail 14-0 before most of the country had woken up. Despite an inspired effort from Michael Hooper off a very slick lineout move, the Pumas made the Wallabies look like an under 18 side against men, blowing them out to lead 31-3 at halftime.

This obviously did not sit well with coach Michael Cheika, who shredded the Wallabies worse than a piece of Banksy artwork (Credit fellow news writer Andrew for the one-liner), before dragging the whole front row off as Raelene Castle began to type up the Linkedin ad for his replacement, if she hadn’t already had it saved as a draft already.

The Wallabies all of a sudden decided to play rugby in the second half, dominating the second half, scoring 5 unanswered tries to run away with the match 45-34. This was probably the best half that the Wallabies had put up this year, holding onto the ball and opening the Argentinian side up, and it came at the perfect time for Cheika and his men to ensure they did not finish last for the first time in Rugby Championship history.

It was an immense effort off the bench from Tolu Latu today, probably the best game I’ve seen him play in gold despite receiving a yellow card and it only lasting 35 minutes. Pocock again was incredible in attack and defence, but then again it’s becoming as natural as the sky is blue that he has great games for the Wallabies.

This was probably one of the weirder matches that I’ve ever seen played as I don’t think there has ever been such a reverse in form and momentum between two halves by both sides. It’s hard to assess that performance as you can’t ignore that fact we gave up 31 points in the first half. But hopefully, the Wallabies can build confidence off that excellent second half and get back on track.

All Blacks break Boks

Wallabies vs All Blacks 2018 Bledisloe 1 ANZ
In the other Rugby Championship match, the All Blacks pulled off their own version of Mission Impossible with the men in black scoring in the last minute to defeat South Africa 32-30 at Loftus Versfeld.

The match was a real arm wrestle in the first half, with the sides locked at 6-6 going into the break trading penalty kicks. But it was South Africa that exploded out of the gates in the second half, scoring twice in the 10 minutes after half time to extend their lead out to 23-6.

The All Blacks fired straight back, with halfback Aaron Smith bursting away like he had just seen a disabled toilet at an airport to bring the margin back to 10 points. However, South Africa looked like they would back up their shock win a month ago, pushing their lead out to 17 points.

But this is the All Blacks we’re talking out here, and they fired back immediately through Rieko Ioane before stealing victory in the last 5 minutes with two tries to Scott Barrett and Ardie Savea.

Kieran Reid after the match was full of praise for the South Africans stating “We just snuck across the line there. They are a side that is very capable when they turn up…They’re a side that always has a great forward pack, But they’ve also got some smart men”

Coach Steve Hansen said the All Blacks ability to maintain their intensity to the end was crucial in the side’s stunning comeback.

“I’m proud of the character they showed,” Hansen told reporters. “A couple of weeks ago we didn’t manage the game very well and I think Kieran (Read) and his leadership group can take a lot of satisfaction over how they managed tonight’s game.

“It could have easily been one we let go and allowed them to win, but they dug in deep and refused to give up. Sometimes if you keep knocking on the door someone will open it and you can come in.”

These two sides have had two cracking clashes, with the ledger even in terms of wins and points scored after these encounters. This leads very nicely to the World Cup next year in which both sides have been drawn together in which should be the match of the group stages.

NRC throws up cracking encounters

ForceRays7 - Copy

The sixth round of the NRC was filled with thrilling encounters as the competition starts to prepare itself for finals time.

The first clash saw the top of the table clash with the Vikings heading over to the South Pacific to take on the red-hot Fijian Drua. Despite an inspired comeback, the Drua were too strong in the end, holding off the fast-finishing Vikings 40-35 to continue their dominance at home. Check out Andrew’s match report on this thrilling clash for a detailed breakdown of the twists and turns that this match threw up.

The next contest was, unfortunately, the most lopsided match of the round, with finals bound Queensland Country taking on the struggling Sydney Rays. Despite holding tough for the first half, the Rays were blown out by the impressive Country outfit, recording a 64-24 win. Make sure you check out our resident Queenslander Sucker for Red’s report for an in depth analysis of the contest.

Sunday’s rugby seemed to take inspiration from the Wallabies contest with two thrilling encounters. The first match saw the Western Force snatch victory in the dying minutes of the game against a Melbourne Rising side who put their best performance of the tournament together to nearly cause the boil over. The Force scored in the dying minutes to record a 31-28 win to maintain second place, with Melbourne rugby nut Scott detailing the close encounter.

The final match saw the red hot Brisbane City hosting a NSW Country side which have made a habit of coming close but no cigar. This match continued the trend with Brisbane City coming back from 27-14 down to steal victory 28-27 to maintain their hopes of a finals beth. Check out Nick’s recount of the match which details the incredible comeback along with the struggles of being a NRC supporter in NSW.

These results set up some cracking final round fixtures, highlighted by the Force hosting the Drua and a finals eliminator between Canberra and Brisbane City which should wet the rugby appitite as The Rugby Championship comes to an end.

Around the Grounds

More rugby this week then girls who got rejected by the Honey Badger

More rugby this week than girls who got rejected by the Honey Badger

Along with the Wallabies and the NRC, there was quite a large amount of rugby played across the country over the weekend.

Firstly, Griffith continued their dominance in the Aon Uni 7’s, securing back to back titles on the Gold Coast. In the final, they were able to overcome Sydney Uni 31-0 off the back of a double for Kirby Sefo to secure the side the gold medal for the second time in two weeks.

In the Bronze medal clash, Macquarie beat UQ to shoot up to second on the competition ladder, while UQ now sits in third, setting up a thrilling final round in Adelaide.

In a weekend of Queensland dominance, Brisbane City were clinical in the inaugrial final of the Under 19’s NRC, winning 40-7 in the all Queensland final against Queensland Country.

City dominated off the back of an excellent showing from Isaac Lucas who scored 15 points to secure the win and player of the tournament.

This result was backed up by the junior Queensland rep sides, who took out the double at the national finals at Ballymore. Queensland Red beat NSW Gen Blue I 17-5 in the Junior Gold Cup decider after a 12-5 lead at half-time and Queensland I cruised to a 41-12 win over NSW I in the U16 Junior Rugby Championship decider.

Finally,  the Australian Schoolboys sides have had mixed success in their clashes, with the Australian Schoolboys side narrowly going down to New Zealand after the Barbarians side dominated Tonga earlier in the day 64-5.

The Australian side were outplayed in a tight contest which saw the New Zealand side run out winners 24-12.

Despite the loss there were bright spots for the young Aussies, with Spencer Jean and Carter Gordon impressive in the wet conditions, although it would be brighter if the Roosters hadn’t already signed Luca Moretti as having seen him play first hand for a couple of years he will be a name that rugby fans will regret losing for years to come.

  • onlinesideline

    these are my thoughts:

    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Gold mate. Almost snorted my coffee

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Gold mate. Almost snorted my coffee

    • Hoss

      Its worth us playing like shite to read gold like that…..brilliant mate

  • jamie

    Did the Wobs at half time so go F yourself to Cheika’s game plan? It looked a bit like it, lol. The game plan was not Cheika like.

    Full credit to them for the second half, even if they shouldn’t have been in that position to begin with.

    • onlinesideline

      In skiing there is the fall line ie the quickest route to thr bottom of the hill for a snowball. In last nights game the try line for the first time bcame the fall line. Just get to the try line as fast as possible. Everything was chucked out and they just played. The boys new their livelihood was on the line too. New coach means a new team. These guys are on big bikkies. But you dont have to be Einstein to see they are burdened with the wrong approach most of the time.

      • Hoss

        Agree with all mate. My only question is when does the free falling stop ? Where is the point that all these ‘lessons’ finally lead to some growth, understanding, performance – call it what you will.

        BUT, if i hear one more Wallaby sight ‘lessons’ i am going to lose my shit.

        • Nutta

          They have to. Its all they have to claim.

    • Andy

      They started straightening up. Simple. And look at the reward

  • Archie

    Superb comeback Wallabies, really gutsy. Their supporters should be immensely proud of that second half. To me it showed it was something mental blocking them from performing well, not inability. That in itself is hugely fixable. So you green and gold fans should really enjoy the rainbow (sorry Izzy) that’s just appeared on your horizon… looks promising.

    Speaking of comebacks, absolutely stoked with the ABs! Just a deadset refusal to believe they’re ever beaten.like in Wellington they outscored the Boks in tries… this time they kicked (most of) their goals… amazing what a bit of accurate goal kicking can achieve!

    Looking forward to Japan in a few weeks

  • skip

    Cheeks half time talk must’ve sounded like this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4x05Z3MSkQ

    • onlinesideline

      I noticed that Foley had the brains and humility to stand up and respond to Cheika why he was going off. The rest seemed frozen. Stand up for crying out loud and show your coach some bloody respect. Too cool for school in my book. Not old school enough. I betya if Hansen went off like that there would be a few blokes that stood up. Just not good enough.

      • Human

        I did not see it that way OLSL. To me, Cheika demanded that Foley, et al stand up and show some ticker. Am also not sure that the entire front row deserved to be benched at halftime, though KB should have been shown the door..and I used to be something of a fan. Rightly or wrongly I cannot help but see parallels between KB’s involvement in the Link fiasco and the current malaise…it is not as simple as throwing the sink at Cheika, though he does not appear to be fixing the problems perhaps he is not being allowed to.

        • onlinesideline

          Maybe mate. Not sure. I thought Foley just voluntarily stood up and then Cheika just happned to grab the emblem on his shirt when discussing the jersey as Foley said in presser. But I think the boys should have stood up. Cheika deserves respect in my book. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies but if the coach is half dying from stress and he s genuine, some blokes should have got up and acknowledgeed what he was saying as correct.

        • Human

          Yes, I certainly agree with that.

        • Andy

          In fairness, the entire reserve front row responded. They played well in attack, defence and the scrum.

          I’ve got to say I’ve really been impressed with 7A’s. He’s a proper player that does his job and doesn’t shirk a challenge.

        • onlinesideline

          yep agree

      • John R

        It looked like all the senior players (sans Genia) were standing up in that address.

  • Nutta

    My thoughts:

    The AIB v Jarpy game demonstrated what happens when people are aligned to their position and (say) an 8 plays 8 and a 12 plays 12. Full credit to the Jarpys playing a simple and direct game, trusting in their systems with uncompromising toughness that put the best in the world under severe pressure. Coincidentally full credit to the AIB who despite having ‘one of those days’ stuck to their fundamental roles aligned to their numbers and still maintained the composure and base skills to execute when most would have folded. Calm heads won the day.

    Lessons for us in that? Pick a 10 at 10. Let an 8 be an 8. Expect a guy wearing 12 to play like a 12. But likewise expect a professional athlete to have their basic fundamentals of core skills and situational awareness nailed down.

    Aligning that to the scattered cats who played in the canary-yellow jerseys and well… where do I start?

    I said earlier this week that as a group the Wobs are either incompetent and so have to go, or they aren’t incompetent but just consistently don’t perform and so have to go. That hasn’t changed.

    Notice the woeful missed tackles by Hannigan and Hooper in the opening minutes. Bloody ordinary basic skills for professionals in positions fundamentally about tackling.

    Notice the Pumas targeting Foley on the 3rd or 4th phase and slicing through. Again ordinary D skills but good execution of a clear plan by the Puma’s.

    Somebody cut Koribete hands off when he thinks about passing. Seriously man you are not there for distribution. That said two of his crap handlings were when he was effectively at 13 and Hodge was on the wing. What bloody numbers are they wearing again?

    Generally I thought Hodge played well. Izzy stays on R wing. Pocock, well the superlatives fail me. Beale needed to be hooked again at about 20min as he’s still a liability and a benchy now. Bring him on at 60min to run at tiring defences. For fks sake play Toomau at 12 as Foley’s goal-kicking again showed why he is picked. Latu has owned the 2 (as long as he isn’t cited) and will someone please get Coleman to focus as he is pretty handy when he’s on-game. I hope Kepu isn’t badly hurt as he again showed his value in a mob of largely headless chooks. Latu is the 2 until he gets cited.

    In-short, somehow we won. Fkd if I know how. Despite forward passes, crap lineouts, over-running lines and missing school-boy tackles, somehow the Puma’s choked and we snuck home on the back of Bernard Foley kicking 7 from 7 (or thereabouts). The problem is that this will take the heat off the larger and more fundamental issues. So strap yourself in Bhoyos. Cheks and that core team is set in stone to the next World Cup come-what-may I reckon.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That game was a nail biter but funnily enough I wasn’t really concerned and always thought the ABs would come back. I did think it was gone 4 mins to go though. Lots of heart and good to see players stand up

      • Kokonutcreme

        Funnily I missed the first 50 minutes due to DST change and incorrectly setting the alarm for PM instead of AM. I saw de Allende score his try and looking at the scoreboard guessed that we were having “one of those days”.

        I still believed after our quick try responses by Smith and Ioane but I thought we’d blown it when TJ put up that box kick from the restart after Barrett’s try. We were never going to contest in the air and SA won the ball.

        SA then blew it by not being effective in cleaning out at the next breakdown and we won the penalty, territory, the lineout and then the game.

        Three possessions 5 metres from the Boks line and three tries scored – clinical finishing at its best.

        • Nutta

          The game turned when Eben E gave away 3 penalties in 5min in the opening stages of the 2nd half. I’m not saying it was EE fault but it was indicative of a team not handling the pressure of the situation they were in. Suddenly they weren’t shutting the AIB out and the AIB said ‘Thanks for that, we will take it from here.’ And the AIB just kept on pluggin’, kept their faith and systems and got home on the back of combined belief when to be fair they really didn’t deserve to.

          But that’s what champions do.

          Fk ‘em.

        • Geoffro

          Only got the highlights but thought Kriel and DeAllende’s tries were just bad defensive lapses on the ABs part rather than real sustained pressure from Boks(hard to tell without watching the buildups).I’m surprised they ran them so close but AB class prevailed it appeared.

        • Nutta

          Nah i reckon that doesn’t do justice to the intensity of the Bok play. Look, it was simple stuff. There was no flashy, magical stuff there from the Bok. It was direct and brutal. But that’s the point. They played simple, flat, fast and aggressive footy which forced defenders to work hard and make lots of choices until they made the wrong choices. Notice the Bok Pigs put generally 2 guys max into the breakdown with such clarity of targeting, body-height and ferocity of contact that it both gave quick recycle and bugger-all chance to compete. Their Pig ball runners were moving on receipt of ball (not stationary) and the supporters were positioned to take either an inside or outside tip or get latched and tossed into the AIB defensive line. This made it difficult for the AIB to kill their momentum before the gain line. This meant their backs then had a tad more space from retiring defenders and front foot ball. Simple simple stuff.

          The issue was they didn’t sustain it. The beauty of the AiB response was that they were patient and when their chance came they didn’t miss.

        • Geoffro

          Sounds like they came with a good plan.Couldn’t sustain it and AB patience seems a familliar scenario

        • Nutta

          Dude I can’t believe I am actually being complimentary towards the Bok! They don’t have a tremendous amount of brilliance out there. But they make up for it in simplicity of role which gives players clarity of expectation. They know their jobs. It’s actually a bloody good coaching model for any team of ‘ordinary’s’ that lacks a ‘brilliant’ individual or two. Forgive me for being parochial, but it’s old fashioned country rugby 101. Ok the Bok have arguably the worlds best 2 right now but that’s it other then a live-wire 9. It sticks in my throat but credit where it’s due. Basically it was B. Barrets speed that denied the Bok winger the chip & chase try that won the AiB the game. Anyone else in world rugby right now other then BB would not have been fast enough nor brainy enough in positioning to stop that try and the Bok would have had enough of a lead to hold on.

        • Geoffro

          Good coaching then ?? Rassie take a bow.

        • Nutta

          Yeh, that’s funny given 3wks ago he was taking the same shellacking as Cheks is now. But then Rassie won a game or two…

        • Geoffro

          Whenever the Boks have a poor performance their coach cops a hiding,more so than the players it seems.He appears to be a marked improvement over their previous two mentors.

        • Who?

          He was half the problem three weeks ago – he was talking about some bloke named Rassie Erasmus (his Director of Rugby) who was thinking that maybe he wasn’t up to the job! Based purely on results.
          Difference is, he’s 9 Tests in, Cheika’s way past 50 Tests in…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I actually rate Kolesi really high. I think he gives the Boks a lot of go forward and he’s able to work with the players during the game. Faf D K had an absolute beast of a game at 9. Great kicking, good passing and a real live wire. Noticed it big time when he left the fiueld.

        • Kokonutcreme

          de Klerk delivered a man of the match performance. I mentioned after Wellington that de Klerk is actually providing a dilemma for Erasmus as he’s started every test this year and played close to 90% of every game, as the Boks base their game off de Klerk rather than Pollard, when will his backup ever get enough minutes and what will happen if de Klerk suffers a major injury?

          He’s as important to the Boks chances next year as Dan Carter was to NZ in 2011.

        • Nutta

          Yeh i would agree with that. He is very important to their sense of team – KRL was correct in saying you really notice when he’s not there (usually that’s the sign of a good no3 not a good no9!).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Your bias is coming through mate

        • Nutta

          Weren’t you ever told? The most important person on the rugby paddock is the No3. The second most important person is the reserve No3.

        • Nutta

          Carl is a good footballer. I also rate him pretty highly. Faf is an enigmatic player. When he’s on fire he’s on fire. But he’s got some penalties in him too. I look at him as a bit of a 9 version of Carlos Spencer or QC in that when they are on they are on and he is certainly in the midst of a gravy patch.

        • Parker

          I don’t think Le Roux should be overlooked either.

        • Kokonutcreme

          “They don’t have a tremendous amount of brilliance out there.” compared to whom?

          I actually think the Boks have a lot of class out wide, however until the arrival of Erasmus, they weren’t coached to actually express themselves and back their skills. The Boks are traditionally risk averse but that’s not to say they’ve never produced quality backs.

          Erasmus is looking to add to their traditional strengths so they become a more rounded team and therefore a more consistent threat to opposition teams.

          This is the difference between the Boks and the Pumas. I don’t think the Pumas have actually improved. Their game has changed in that they’re using the ball much better but that’s different to adding to their strengths at the set pieces which have gone backwards. Once Ledesma shores up that part of their game and they develop belief in themselves then they’ll be a better team, but at the moment they’ve stagnated.

        • Nutta

          I don’t mean to sound insulting to the Bok. I really don’t. I actually admire what they are doing with what they have. What I mean is they have a bunch of good, competent footballers without being overly reliant on 1 or 2 geniuses. They are not schmucks. But it’s not as though there would be 3 or 4 of them in a world side if picked right now. Probably Karl, maybe EzyE but I don’t think anyone else. But what they do have they use very well built on a simple game-plan where everyone knows there job and is held accountable to execute it.

        • I think they might have one or two more you’d at least consider for a world 23, if not a world starting XV. Both flankers and their bloody annoying 9 are way up their in my estimation. Possibly not best in the world, but you’d want a look at them in the conversation at least. You might look at both their wingers too.

          The thing they really have is that from 1-23 you don’t really doubt that they belong on a test match rugby pitch. I know there’s a bit of debate about one of their centres, and there’s a big drop-off between de Klerk and the reserve scrum-half, but it’s more of the healthy “some of the fans support a over b” than “most of the fans would pick half the team different to this” than we see in another country that plays in green and gold.

          It’s ironic really. Cheika talks about playing “the Australian way” but looking at this Boks side, I’m reminded strongly of the powerhouse Bok teams from shortly after they came back into world rugby, after the dismantling of apartheid. A big, strong pack; a fierce, fast scrum half; a precise, dangerous kicking 10; big centres; fast wings and a kicking and running full back who was a bit of a defensive liability but still a positive net contributor (nice hair too.) It’s been updated a bit for the intervening quarter of a century or so, but it’s still recognisably similar.

        • Nutta

          Dude I get a little worried when folk talk about ‘expressing’ themselves and rugby in the same breath. I wear 1, 2 or 3. My thinking is similarly aligned to 1st, 2nd and 3rd principles in life (scrum, rum, bacon). For me this is not an exercise in abstract-noun self-actualisation.

        • Kokonutcreme

          Ha ha ha, whereas my outlook reflects my playing days when I wore 11, 12, 13 and 15.

          However I’ve learned a lot about forward play and scrums in particular since my playing days and appreciate it so much more and really enjoy watching a team execute a good setpiece or dominance at setpiece.

        • Nutta

          Wearing numbers that high sort of implies a bit of free time to stare at the sky and contemplate life & stuff (Dude, you led with your chin…).

          You will find hanging around this site will fix that wistful, carefree attitude of yours and put in-place a far more desirable cynicism and sarcasm.

        • Kokonutcreme

          Cynicism and sarcasm? I’m an All Blacks supporter not a Wallaby supporter :)

          Nevertheless I am an eternal optimist and will always try to find a silver lining.

        • Nutta

          Likely from somewhere inside a Golden Shower.

        • Richard Patterson

          I think Nutta the Springboks are reaping the benefits of having Handre Pollard regularly at No. 10. He is such a classy player. Always has been.

        • Kokonutcreme

          I think Pollard is reaping the benefits of playing outside de Klerk. He’s transformed as a player since leaving for England.

        • Richard Patterson

          Indeed. An infinately better player from time in Europe. Had much the better of Aaron Smith on the weekend.

        • Nutta

          I agree he’s a good egg. I wouldn’t knock him back for a gold jersey right now. Foley is the best we have and does well with what he’s got, but Pollard strikes me as a Pig-friendly 10 and I like those.

        • Richard Patterson

          Veterans of Loftus Versfeld must have some extraordinary stories of goal-kicking feats at that famous ground. Pollard’s efforts Saturday should make a highlights reel. His 2 penalties were phenomenal. His sideline conversion of Kolbe’s try might have landed in the carpark.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep that BB is a freak!

        • Patrick

          This:

          Their Pig ball runners were moving on receipt of ball (not stationary) and the supporters were positioned to take either an inside or outside tip or get latched

          Why the f”*ç can’t we do that??? Nearly every game we have a couple great breaks turn to naught for either no support or support running a useless line such that they physically can’t get the ball, and any number of nothing plays from a tired bugger catching the ball stationary.

        • Nutta

          Bloody good question P. Fundamentally a lot of these questions are relative; all the big men are within 10kg of each other, they all lift within 10kg of each, everyone is pretty much within a stride or two of each other etc etc. Yes there are remarkable exceptions to every rule but generally it’s not as though a whole team has a clear physical or intellectual advantage over others. It comes down to the little things around will and efficiency of energy spend and that is proven how one week the AiB beat the Saffa’s, the next week we beat the Saffa’s, the next week the AiB wallop us then the week after the Saffa’s beat the AiB: it’s very thin margin stuff. For me that points to heart and will and frequently even that comes down to clarity and knowing your purpose.

          I am oft reminded of a great post-match interview Brad Thorn gave after winning something else – can’t remember if it was specifically a rugby league premiership, a state of origin serise, a mungo test, a Super 15 title or another Bill. Whatever. But what he said was along the lines of ‘Yeh, we just do our own job really well plus 1% more. If everyone knows and does there job it feels so do-able and we just made it happen.’

          There’s something in that. Clarity, purpose and simple things done mercilessly well.

        • Patrick

          That sounds about right, but that only comes from breaking things down and simplifying them so that everyone can have that clarity. Which leads us to perhaps the problem.

        • Kokonutcreme

          I thought Kriel’s try was assisted by a shepherd by Francois Louw, Whitelock couldn’t tackle le Roux who made the initial bust as Louw was in his way, and then in an act of sportsmanship a retreating Whitelock got out of the way of Louw who was about to pass the ball from the next ruck when Kriel scored.

          de Allende’s try was just a clean missed tackle by Tim Perry on Kolisi.

          I had doubts about Kolbe’s try but the pass from Pollard that put Kolbe in that position was pure poetry.

        • Greg

          I checked the score book. All the tries are there! :-)

        • Kokonutcreme

          Ha ha ha, yes they are, just as the final scoreline is :)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold!

        • Geoffro

          Definitely saw the obstruction,surprised the TMO didn’t have a look but they’re supposed to be tempering their involvement now aren’t they ?

        • I did too, but the officiating team disagree.. and ultimately they’re always right!

        • You do need to see the build up. The final moments look like that, but they put people through where they’d moved people out of the structure in the previous phases, got them tired, then ran someone big at pace on the right line. If it was second phase they’d have been covered, but there were just enough gaps, or the wrong person in the line or whatever, and boom, try time.

          it wasn’t subtle, but it was effective.

        • Geoffro

          Dontcha hate the box kick ? Set the Pumas on their way to doom in Salta as well.

    • Richard Patterson

      Interesting thoughts Nutta. The enormous 2nd half effort from the Wallabies is deserving of praise. Exactly what the catalyst was may (or may not) emerge in time. However, if it was simply an old-fashioned halftime rev-up from the Head Coach then why am I left thinking that creates more questions than answers? As we all know — big, well timed rev-up’s can be effective, but typically have a very limited shelf life.

      Your points regarding player personnel are well thought out. Bernard Foley is a 10 — but in what positions are Kurtley Beale, Matt Toomua, Reece Hodge, Israel Folau most effective for the Wallabies? That logic can also be applied to David Pocock who is truly world class. I get in this world that wingers & fullbacks are interchangeable and play as a “back 3″ but not certain that logic truly applies at 10 & 12. I see plenty of players competant at both – but not especially dominant at either. In this era of technology and analytics, at test match level they get found out. Their strengths get nullified, their weaknesses get exploited. The No. 10 in Rugby is like the Quarterback in the NFL. Everything goes through them and the fluidity of the attack is dictated by their ability to stamp their effectiveness on the contest — whatever the occasion!

      The Springboks again showed that to beat the All Blacks you play direct through them — oh, and for 80 minutes! For 60 minutes they dominated the conest, for the last 20 they were dominated. The All Blacks will back themselves to score 14 points in the last 8 minutes of a test match every week of the year. Somehow opposition sides think they can’t. Bledisloe III in Tokyo shapes as an interesting contest. The Wallabies must show continuity (oh – and stable selection). We shall see…

      • Geoffro

        Can I answer a few from my point of view Richard.Beale is badly out of form,bench him and give Toomua a run at 12 for the entire game.Hodge,while he has heart is not effective really,should be gone when Kerevi and Kuridrani return until then bench him Izzy can play 13.Foley got his head together in the second half and showed he can run a game a bit but needs to work on his woeful defensive skills.Don’t care where Pocock plays as long as he’s there but he’s trying to do too much and shouldn’t be hanging out wide,maybe he’s tired and having a blow after doing so much.I know these aren’t original ideas but after the win in Salta I don’t think there is going to be massive changes in the playing or coaching group so need to work with what we’ve got.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, I don’t think Izzy is a 13. The most important skills there are the ones where he shows the biggest weakness; distribution, reading the game to position yourself and others, it is one of the hardest defensive positions on the field and he is not a good defender. His strengths are his ability in the air and attacking in space, neither of which he’ll be able to do at centre so so I’m not sure what you gain from having him there. I think he needs to stay at 14.

        • Geoffro

          You have valid points but he filled in there for the Tahs and went fine.It’s really only a baindaid till the two K’s are back in action but I wince a bit when Hodge comes into play,as I said previously he has a lot of heart but is not a first stringer for mine in any position.

        • Greg

          Hodges defence is sound, his attache less so but we need good 10/12 performance to support that. He can kick the cover off the ball and it is rarely used.

        • Brumby Runner

          Should long term be at 15.

        • Geoffro

          Sure,but that would then leave him as the fourth best FB in the wallaby setup.Utility on the bench is his rightful spot imho.

        • Geoffro

          Mate,I look at guys like Goodhue and even Kriel and Hodgey just seems like he’s stuck in mud.His massive boot suits him more to wing or FB if at all.

        • joy

          Really! Hodge missed 4 of 7 tackles in this game.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate Didn’t think he was that good for the Tahs at 13. I also think test rugby is such a step up that it’ll hurt him.

        • Geoffro

          Probably right , I’m a bit blinded by the fact I find Hodge so ordinary.

        • I think if the 10 and 12 were actually playing well, plus the right two wingers and 15 were there, Hodge as defensive captain at 13 and an OK distributor to the back three would work.

          Look at Crotty – I know he often plays 12, and I think his best pairing is 12 with Goodhue outside him – but offensively he’s probably the least flash of the Kiwi inside backs. Defensively he’s a rock. Now, he’s better than Hodge I think, BUT I think Hodge could run that solid centre role in that sort of way for the Wobs. It does depend on those around you doing their job, so you’re not left trying to haul their arses out of the fire on every play – Hodge isn’t up to that, but I’m not sure anyone is.

        • Nutta

          Foley at 10 because he is a 10. Toos at 12 because he is a 12. He can also help cover some of Foleys defensive frailties. Hodge at 13 because that is where his skills are until K’drani gets back. DHP Sauce at 15 and Izzy at R Wing. The other wing has 3 or 4 options.

          Again I will say Beale is a wing. He doesn’t have the defensive or high-ball reliability for 15. He has really quick acceleration and is hugely elusive in broken play or with 5m of space to conjure in. But in the tighter channels of 12 he skips out and steals space, is not dependable defensively and it nullifies his gifts. Further having him next to Foley is just too much of a defensive sieve in midfield.

        • joy

          Beale made all of his tackles in this game!!!

        • Geoffro

          Good stuff,but he needs to get his entire game back on track !

        • John Miller

          Beale – tackles made: 5 / tackles missed: 2

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I think you’re righht and I’d like to see him on the opposite wing from Flau. Can’t see it happening though

        • Who?

          Arguably his best game, England 2015 @ the RWC, he was a sub who came on for the left winger…

        • Andy

          Agree KRL.

          He has all the key attributes of a devistating winger who can fill in at the back. That’s where he needs to play

        • Greg

          need some sound defence at 11 as well.

        • Andy

          If Pocock’s link play is as good as it’s been this year then I’m not fussed if he occasionally hangs out wide. He set up a good try yesterday.

        • Who?

          The issue with the way we’re setting up is that we’re seeing Pocock and Hooper sitting on the sideline, outside the wings. You don’t see Read doing that. You’ll occasionally see Coles/Taylor doing that, but you also used to see Squeaky doing that, and I reckon that’s seagulling!
          Pocock and Hooper have both been caught outside their wingers, they’re meant to be between the winger and 13/15, so they can hit a breakdown for either of them, and can be a link player setting up players on either side, as Pocock did effectively yesterday (when he wasn’t on the end of the line).

        • John Tynan

          That’s their attack “shape” – Hooper and Pocock out in the 15m channels. Don’t ask me why, I’m just an old fashioned loosey who would have been ashamed of being a “seagull”

        • Missing Link

          It has to do with retaining ball. They purposely put 2 loosies out wide, and run 2 groups of 3 forwards up the middle. The theory is that when the ball is spun wide and a back is tackled, the seagulling forward is there to retain and possibly speed up ruck ball. There is a method to the madness, and I think it’s the same reason you find Keiran Read out there for NZ, despite not aligning with rugby traditions.

        • Greg

          yes but…. the loose forward ends up running down the tram-tacks and is isolated.

        • John Tynan

          And then runs his winger out of space…

        • Missing Link

          I forgot the part where backs forget how to ruck :)

        • Geoffro

          Sure,most of the good “breakaways” I played with in my day spent most of their time in close scrapping for the ball and tackling their hearts out, not hanging out with the glory boys.

        • Richard Patterson

          Why do you think Beale is badly out of form Geoffro?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Do you really think he’s not? TBH I’m not so sure he’s out of form, I just don’t think he’s a good 10, or 12. I think his skills suit a wing or 15 much more than either 10, or 12 as he needs to move and to display his running game. I agree he has an X factor but I actually don’t think he’s a playmaker.

        • Geoffro

          Dunno mate,he seems to have lost his incisiveness crabbing across field bad handling errors and now he’s gained a reputation as a poor defender when I know he can tackle.Confidence issues and may stem from his shift to 10 and onus to run the backline and be the primary playmaker.He’s an instinctive player and so dangerous in broken play when on song but don’t think he handles responsibility too well.

        • Richard Patterson

          I think you’re right Geoffro. I also think he’s a guy that’s clocked a lot of minutes this year and starting to play like it — it’s not uncommon around this time of year. I also think he’s a confidence type of player. When the team is going well, so does he – and vice versa. As the team form has slumped he’s likely taken on a greater onus to fix it – thereby compounding the problem. I also think too the problem is complicated by the fact Beale has no-one to play off – but he is reliant on plenty playing off him.

          The disturbing worry though is good sides have worked him out. They know to push at him from the inside channels to force him lateral and shut down the inside ball he likes to throw. Beale shuffling sideways is fodder for good defensive systems. The more they force him to do it, the less effective he, and his teams attack becomes. We have seen that consistently since the Ireland tests back in June.

        • Who?

          I’ve thought he was out of form since Bledisloe 2. You’ll find in the comments to the match report there I was questioning his form, based off the drop in his skills – particularly catching – across the Bledisloe Tests. He was dropping passes he’d normally catch with his eyes closed. It was an indication that he wasn’t himself, he wasn’t confident. He’s only gotten worse since then, having spent most of the time since then out of position. There’s no question he’s out of form.

        • st saens

          Perhaps because his first movement is always to crab several steps laterally (??a player down on confidence). It seems to be a brainstem reflex for him to run laterally. The exception is when he returns the ball from depth…then he runs like a world class fifteen.
          Perhaps his best position(?)

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely Richard. I don’t believe the back 3 are as interchangeable as is so often stated here and I think one of the reasons they are failing so badly is the lack of specialisation in these positions. Luckily Folau is so bad at passing to the right so he has to play 14 as he’d be absolute shit at 11. I know the ABs often have Smith play at 15 or wing, but he’s the only one who can do that well and is the exception to prove the rule. BB plays between 10 and 15 buty I think this is because he started as a 15 and played it for years. I don’t think you’ll ever see Naholo and Ioane move to 15 because the skillsets are actually quite different.

        • Richard Patterson

          Great thoughts as always KRL. What is clear is how multi-skilled the talented young fullbacks and wingers are now. Comfortable anywhere around the park, excellent kicking (of all types) skills and well coached under the high ball. Typically all good defenders and quality finishers — but their biggest attribute is their ability to orchestrate and execute a counter-attack with their fellow “back 3″.
          I think your point with Folau is well made. Why though do I fear Australian Rugby may be approaching a challenging dilemma? I am not certain Israel Folau wants to play 14. As the highest paid player in the game the stakes feel high.

        • Andy

          It shouldn’t be his decision. He if he doesn’t want to improve his defence, decision making and kick return then he can’t be considered a modern day fullback. The pay thing is purely an RA issue. They need to reset their priorities as it’s a bad look he is the highest paid player in the world imo. Despite his talent, the last few games he has looked completely disinterested. And to me, that’s simply not good enough if you are meant to be:

          A – a leader
          B – the highest paid player
          It sets such a terrible example to the younger guys who look up to him

        • Greg

          Agreed.

          And if he feels he is in the wrong position then 1) do a great job there and 2) go looking for work. The coach will get the message. If you can’t do that then the question should be directed to yourself first off.

          Is Pocock an 8? Does he look like he gives a rats? He just gives it everything and delivers through skill, fitness, determination and making good decisions. Watch when he attacks the ball at a ruck. He doesn’t always do it… when he does it is like a snake striking.

          15x that and we are unbeatable.

        • laurence king

          Yes, and frankly, if they all did that it may not matter who the personnel are

        • Patrick

          OK but that’s a bit hopeful!! 7x Nicholas Sanchez and 8 Augustin Creevy and the Pumas would be no 1…

        • Was it not Mrs. Folau who was calling for Cheika to move her husband to the wing? Israel will wreak havoc in any position in the back 3.

        • Brumby Runner

          My recollection of her alleged intrusion was to the effect that Izzy should not be moved from the full back spot.

        • Greg

          Sign her up as backs coach?

        • Richard Patterson

          The things that get discussed under the bed sheets huh. Somehow she thinks that should be for public consumption.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, if he starts saying he’ll only play if he gets a certain position he should be fucked off. TBH I don’t think he’s been that great this year and I’d almost bench him.

        • Geoffro

          I’d say Ben Smith is the best 15 I’ve ever seen.To be able to slot him into winger to accommodate another great talent really grinds my gears :)

        • Mica

          Definitely as good as any. There has been lots of great 15s though.

    • John Tynan

      We’ve had a defensive weakness all year (2 years?) at the “join” between the forwards and the backs. I don’t know if it’s spacing or trust or moving pieces, but the Argies exploited it in the first half – between Hooper and Foley for the first try, angled runner same place (different blokes) next try.

      • Who?

        How nice was that line? Beautiful stuff – nothing complex, just a great understanding of the principles the team was looking for, given it wasn’t set play or anything like that. We used to run odd unders lines in general play… Not for years now. :-(

    • Bernie Chan

      Hodge has spent more time on either wing than at #13…is it Grey or Cheika who has decided Koroibete must defend at the #13 spot…and shoot up for the big hit leaving an easy overlap if the opposition flyhalf spots his move.
      Beale is woefully out of form /confidence, and nothing Hooper says publicly will help (as Kearns said…the Wobblies should “just shut up…”). Why is Larkham using the flyhalf as the second receiver, behind the line? Foley was regularly receiving the ball from Beale (sort of the league “second man play”…)…if Beale is there to make breaks, using him to simply shuffle the ball deeper to Foley isn’t helping. Surely Hanigan hasn’t done enough to retain the #6 jersey…?
      The loss of Sanchez really hurt los Pumas…they were aimless in the second half, poor decision making and awful tactical kicking, almost like the teams traded jerseys!
      The first half was about as bad as it gets for a Test team…at about 42 mins in, Matt Bourke was compelled to utter “that is just awful…”. Don’t think the Puma fade out and our comeback win manages to hide the apparent flaws in selection and strategy, so you may be right…time to strap in for a rough ride.

    • Some of how the Wobs won was that they started to string passes together, essentially ignored all the crap they’ve been trying under Cheika and went back to almost schoolboy rugby in terms of the plan, but executed at speed and with strength.

      Not to rain on their parade – the positives of how they played in attack shouldn’t be overlooked – but a little part of me wonders if they’d have had such an amazing come from behind if Sanchez and Creevy had remained on the pitch. It felt like Los Pumas just lost all sense of how to retain the ball and how to structure an attack and, in essence, gave the Wobs 40 minutes of free attack. Just remember, if Argentina had managed to hold the ball for long enough to stop just one of those tries, or scored one themselves, Australia would still have been in last place on the table… If they’d done both, Australia wouldn’t even have won.

      I’m sure TPTB will spare Cheika for a bit longer but blasting the troops for being 31-7 down and having them win against a side shorn of their captain and their main playmaker should not be enough to save him – the Wobs got really, really lucky and that’s no way to save your job as coach.

  • Geoffro

    So,the Wallabies played two good halves of rugby in thjis RC campaign-the first half against the AB’s in Sydney and the last half against the Puma’s,with what came inbetween fairly shite.Genia looked pretty pleased at the end that he wouldn’t have to spend the trip home with his foot stuck in mouth and I was happy that I was too hungover to just turn the rubbish off at halftime and walk away though the shaking of my head in wonder didn’t help the situation much.Does this mean the s/quo is safe?Stay tuned to see if the powers that be have the bollocks to initiate the required changes or just shrug their shoulders in a collective sigh of relief and carry on.

    • Ian

      It is a hard situation, as the required change that the Wallabies need is to get some confidence, and you can’t do that by slashing the staff. Worse still, the rubbish fan base compound the pressure on them, removing more support and destroying confidence. Not to mention, letting Steve Hansen trash talk them into going into the kiwi change rooms after Bledisloe 2 to “have a few beers”, aka, to get gloated at.

      The only problem with the Wallabies outside of confidence is the line out. That is the honest truth of the situation, as much as people want to rant and point fingers in the wrong directions. Our line out is our only problem outside of confidence, lose your line-out and you lose massive amounts of possession, and that is what we are seeing. (okay, and Koriobete’s rubbish passing)

      I truly believe that line out issue is a problem with the players we have to choose from. The reason why we are still seeing, Rob “not dead yet” Simmons,

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8c838addf7db57e0ba835ffbba5aeed07eab35ae8c7becad011610a107f80b35.gif

      • laurence king

        Couldn’t disagree more. Have a read of Mark Ella’s comments in Saturday’s Australian and Gary Ella’s comments on the Fox Sport podcast. Some of the shoveled sideways and backwards passing in the second half of yesterdays game was described by Bourkey as ‘stupid’. There are many more problems with this side than the lineout and streeting the blame to the fans for their lack of confidence is risible in the extreme.

        • Greg

          I wrestled with this comment as well.

          Perhaps with confidence some of the rubbish would disappear.

        • laurence king

          I agree, their performances of late have drawn criticism, and I certainly would not call Mark or Gary Ella or Matthew Bourke ‘rubbish fans’. I’m sure that they gained a measure of confidence out of yesterday’s second half performance, they’l need it because if the ABs pick their best players in a fortnight, it may feel very much like Deja Vu.

        • Ian

          Rubbish and Supporter are not mutually inclusive.

          The Ella’s are trying to be constructive, the twat hurling abuse at Lukhan, not so much.

          There is a difference, and I agree, the basic skills have been rubbish, and I believe it is hesitation bought about by lack of confidence.

        • laurence king

          Yes, and that was my point, I’ve read very little on this site that I would put in that category. But let’s not kid ourselves, the Wallabies were playing poorly before that. The lineout is a problem, but it’s far from the only problem. Selections, and and players out of position, out of form, players not considered who are far better than incumbents, players cast aside after a game, selected in the squad but not given a chance, the Pooper that is a big structural blunder, Beale and Foley playing too far back, no tactical nouse. The pundits on this site for whom I have a high regard for in their rugby smarts could outline it far better than I. If only the line-were the only problem there would be little criticism. I think one of the Ellas or maybe Fischer described or agreed that it was a mess.

        • Ian

          I guess time will tell.

        • disqus_NMX

          Time has well and truly already told.

      • Hitcho

        Yeah nah!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        The only problem is the line out? How about missing simple front on one on one tackles? How about an incomprehensible defensive system? Or an equally incomprehensible attacking system in which our left wing plays both wings, our outside centre plays on the other wing and our right wing plays at outside centre? Or atrocious out of hand kicking abilities? Or lateral running from our 10s and 12? How about an attack that goes laterally rather than forward? How about the fact that our 12 keeps dropping simple balls when under no pressure? Or the fact that our players never offload in the tackle and the ball is so often throw straight to a forward who hits it up into three guys? Or the fact that there is no leadership on field?

        Honestly, aside from a decent scrum, what is going right?

      • Brisneyland Local

        The line out is bad. Defence is worse in my opinion. Missing over 20 tackles in less than 40 mins of rugby is abysmal! There is not enough lipstick to beautify that pig!

      • Geoffro

        Aimless kicking,dropping the pill cold,failing to dominate at the breakdown and a number of areas where the wallabies have failed to execute (stupid looping passes straight to the oppositions wing on your tryline ???) also lead to losses of massive amounts of posession.I agree confidence has a lot to do with it but if it was all the lineout I’d say rush Simmons back straightaway as much as I’m a non fan of his.Some people saying that the coaches are trying to overcomplicate things and the players just dont have the skillset and there may be a lot of truth in that .Cheika didn’t seem to be getting too technical at half time and just told them to have a go.They threw caution to the wind and started to put it together.Don’t know if there is a lesson in that but they played some fair footy without trying any fancy moves.

  • Geoffro

    He must have learned something ie; Foley still can’t tackle,Tupou isn’t ready to start yet,Hodge and Korobeite aren’t international standard,Beale is woefully out of form,Hoops came back too early from injury and that there is a god.

    • Who?

      Why do you think Tupou isn’t ready to start? Wallaby starting scrum was stronger than the replacements…

      • Geoffro

        He is a competent scrummager and held his end up,not exceedingly dominant, but was non existent elsewhere.Same previous week.Its like the lineout,I don’t agree on selecting locks on their lineout skills solely,they gotta offer more.Give him time I’m sure he’ll get there

        • Who?

          I thought the starting front row was better around the park than their replacements last week. This week, the whole team lifted after the spray, but that doesn’t mean that any of our players are being well utilised. Do you think that the best way we can use a player like Tupou, or 7A’s, or Kepu or Sio (because we’ve got four fairly mobile props) is to give them the ball in static positions? Our entire first half was abhorrent, so it’s harsh to single out players who were among the better ones on the park in that half for basically not being there in the second half, when some of those who were there in the second half shouldn’t have been in the 23.
          It’s not like his effort wasn’t there. Sure, he got marched 10 for chipping the ref, but that was a team march (“Everybody’s talking at me!”), and whilst he also gave the initial penalty, it was a line ball call and he was doing a good job at the breakdown. Then he chased a loose pass off the top of the Puma line out like he was a centre. His effort was fine.
          I’m not saying that he shouldn’t ever be dropped, I’m just saying that I didn’t see anything to indicate that he was a better or poorer option to start than the alternatives. That our front rows have been fairly decent both weeks. :-)

          Oh, and to go back to your original post… I don’t know that Cheika learned anything. I don’t know that he’s interested in learning anything. Apparently Foley significantly improved his detail work after being dropped, and has fixed everything. How’s he proven that when he’s done literally nothing?! I don’t know that Cheika currently understands anything to do with Rugby – that he’s not roaming around in a daze, shellshocked at what’s befallen him this year. Like a Honey Badger with too many ‘birds’ to choose from! :-P

        • Geoffro

          We’re a lot better off in the front row department than we were a few years ago when the scrummaging was poor (Ledesma sorted a lot of that I think) and having the luxury of replacing the entire front row and having them go on with it is great.There’s probably not much between them and they’re versatile , just think the Thor is still a bit green.My comments on Cheika were a bit tongue in cheek and more of what we the punters have learned. As you say he doesn’t seem to improve on his mistakes and appears to have run out of ideas.Unlike the honey badge nobody seems to want him ;)

  • Huw Tindall

    That was a great weekend of rugby across NRC and TRC and even the schoolboys and uni 7s stood up. Still don’t understand how the Wallabies put in a performance like that. Hard to figure out how that is possible. Will take it though. I would like to see some change though like most people. Tactics in the second half were good. More of that. Proper 6 and Latu to start. Beale a bench start to try and get his mojo back. Thr hard one though is what changes in the setup to keep the Wallabies mentally switched on and primed to play. Any ideas?

  • Bakkies

    I heard there was less than 100 in Geelong for the Chairman’s XV game that should put an end to that experiment. How much did they pay to rent that stadium out?

    • Missing Link

      Do you have any proof of the crowd numbers or just more propaganda coming out of WA?

      • Brumby Runner

        Well, I had the evidence of my own eyes. I realise that Cardinia Park is a huge stadium, but the crowd was very sparse; less than 100 on the screen. How many were sitting behind the camera?

        • Missing Link

          I have no idea as I wasn’t there, and I suspect neither was Bakkies or anyone feeding him the propaganda he regurgitates to suit his narrative. I choose to deal in facts so unless he can bring me some facts, then his claim is worth shit.

        • Perth girl

          The fact was that the Force beat the Rising ML thats all I care about!

        • Missing Link

          Fair enough, you can be happy with that. It was a good game, the lead changed several times in the last 20 minutes so could have gone either way but The Force nailed it with that last try.

        • Bakkies

          Cameron, Rob whatever just look at the game open your eyes and judge for yourself. I am not your assistant.

        • Missing Link

          I watched the game on TV, a massive stadium built for AFL and one camera angle makes it hard to estimate the crowd numbers. That’s the extent of information available to both of us, so how you can claim there were 100 people there and make it sound like you’re some sort of reliable source is beyond me.

        • Greg

          Did it look there were lots more there? Right ground for future matches?

        • Missing Link

          my blanket opinion on all NRC games is that they should avoid any big grounds simply the fact it’s supposed to be an extension of grass roots. The strategy for the rising this year seems to be to take their games to the greater depths of Victoria which I don’t have an issue with, it just happens that Geelong has a popular AFL team with an empty stadium at this time of year.

      • ForceFan

        People who attended the game reckon 150-200.

        • Missing Link

          got any sources, or just “people”?

          If you have proof, then I’ll accept it graciously

        • ForceFan

          Sorry….John & Sally

        • Perth girl

          Just sent a message to the guy who did the write up. I presume he went to the game! He didn’t mention the crowd. I heard from people who were at the game that there were about 200 and everyone had to sit in front of the camera but thats probably WA “propaganda” hey ML

        • Missing Link

          Great, if someone who was actually present at the ground and is willing to put their name to it, I’ll believe the figure of “200”

  • Greg

    Nathan,
    Thanks for the write up.

    Well, bugger me sideways… where do we go from there.

    Some turnstile defence (14-0 in 4 minutes), some straight out dropped balls (Beale) and then some excellent play.

    Some thoughts…..
    – Hannigan, for all his effort, gets smashed in every contact. We need some beef at 6.

    – Beale needs a rest. My view – he is a bench player that can make an enormous difference… off the bench or at full-back…. if he catches it.
    – I would have loved to see Toomua get good time at 10 or 12
    – Korrobete put in some good tackles and threw an outrageous offload when he needed to hold.
    – scrum is doing well. really well. Pumas as well. Perhaps a common thread?
    – The big question… WHY? Why have we produced 2 good halves in the whole championship?

    • John Tynan

      There was a comical moment very early on (about 5 mins) where Hannigan loads up a shoulder (tucked I think)…only to clean miss and go staggering past the line…

      • laurence king

        He tries all game, and is still going at the end but lacks the physicality doesn’t he.

        • John Tynan

          Absolutely. A+ for effort – no way I can fault him for that.
          If I was picked, I’d hope to be able to show the same heart, and I wouldn’t be arguing with the coach not to pick me because I’m not quite an international player yet!

        • laurence king

          Agreed, If they picked me they’d require some rule like they have in the Golden Oldies. ”Uncalled for ref, he touched me”.

      • Human

        I have seen that a few times this season and not just from Ned…buggered if I know why they do that.

        • laurence king

          Missing with serious menace

      • Brumby Runner

        Actually went flying past the tackle line.

      • Brumby Runner

        Also thought the incident where a Wallaby kick off went dead in goal, and the Argie winger was surreptitiously bringing the ball back along the sideline in order to take a quick throw-in to himself was very comical. Had it been legitimate, he would have scored another try as nobody (perhaps other than the ref) was taking any notice at all of him.

        • Geoffro

          Haha , sneaky bugger.I think Peyper had a bit of an indulgent smile on his face as well.

    • Who?

      To give some credit to Hanigan… He won the match for us. According to Burke. Because Burke said the turning point was Rodda’s charge down try. But the charge down happened because Jaco missed Ned sliding around the side of the breakdown again and entering it from their side, putting pressure on the box kick. :-
      That’s the second time in two weeks where his entry to a breakdown from the wrong side has created a great outcome for us. Maybe the refs don’t notice him because, for 79 minutes of the match, his illegal entries don’t make much difference..? So they just don’t bother watching him?

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    should be ignored, or shouldn’t be ignored?

    Mate I agree take the win and be thankful that it happened. It’d be nice to think there would be a decent analysis of the change of play and it doesn’t just be attributed to “more mongrel”, “being enthusiastic”, “the half time rev-upo” because none of those are sustainable over the long term.

    • Nutta

      It’s U15B or 3rd grade park footy stuff. It’s not the stuff of professionals. Seriously, folk have to ask that if it takes THAT to crack a team into gear then they really shouldn’t be there.

      I think it was Phil Gould who said a good spray is useful once or twice a year. Beyond that and you’ve got far more fundamental problems.

      • Missing Link

        Interesting how different people respond differently to a good old fashioned rocket up the backside. For some, it raises the adrenaline levels and allows them to produce results over and above their norm, and for others it completely disengages them.
        It would be even more interesting to anaylse the levels of adrenaline in the Wallabies at the start of the game yesterday and after half time, and compare it to the All Black pre and post Haka. I wonder how much of an effect a bit of giddy up has on the players of both teams and if doing the haka creates the same effect a bit of friendly fire from the coach.

      • laurence king

        There was better passing in the under 16s games over the weekend than what is being displayed by the Wallabies.

    • John Tynan

      I saw both halves – luckily for me, as I almost gave up at half time.
      A simpleton’s guide? More direct running – ie straight, engaging the defence before shifting it – a bit of patience (but only a bit – still about 3 or 4 speculator last passes thrown that went into touch or behind/in front/over someone) and a bit more accuracy at contact.
      Kepu and 7A’s (also Latu, actually) added some actual ball playing skill/ability to this ponderous midfield-first-touch-should-be-a-forward bullshit.
      Unfortunately it all glosses over a first half – we were SHIT! this side-to-side bullshit on the first two or three times we got the ball – all before the inevitable turnover WTF?
      The team are NOT united, whatever nonsense comes out of the sheds – listen to the ref’s mike audio.
      At one stage I clearly heard Hooper screaming “What the F$%^ are you doing Folau?” (assume Faainga), let alone the miscellaneous bitching and moaning. It took Peyper a long time to march them for gobbing off at him, I would have lost my shit earlier than that.
      The near-mythical half time rant again shows me what has been widely discussed here – that Cheik’s real ability is as a motivator.
      The core skills of coaching, strategy and selecting leave a lot to be desired.
      For what it’s worth, I don’t think punting Cheika is the answer.
      However, Grey should be gone.
      Larkham is on thin ice for mine.
      Add in a selection panel that includes a contrarian and there’s a recipe for salvage.

      • laurence king

        Gary Ella made a comment that Larkham has a great understanding of back play but doesn’t seem to be able to communicate it. Both Ella’s, Mark and Gary made mention of the ineptitude of the Wallabies backplay going back to the English series.

        • onlinesideline

          Quite frankly I reckon the Ella bros of today would do better.

        • laurence king

          There was a story of a journo asking Bradman how he would fair against the fearsome West Indian pace battery. He suggested he would probably only average in the 60s against such great fast bowlers. When the journo said, ‘but Mr Bradman, you’re average is 99.96?’. Bradman replied, “Young man, I am in my eighties”

        • onlinesideline

          yeah, I’d belive it. Natural talents.

        • laurence king

          He may have been gilding the lily a bit lol. Once saw Doug Walters up against a bowling machine in 1971 at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. The Machine was set at 105mph (169 km) and he was playing them like they were medium pacers

      • onlinesideline

        Yep and get that panel to shaft the Pooper, get a proper back row combo and fix the bloody backline once and for all and we perhaps create a balanced team. He has tried just about everythig but.

  • Gottsy

    I was at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, and watched one of the greatest comebacks in a long time as Man U overcame a 2-0 deficit to win 2-3 after three late goals in the last 30 minutes. I then went back to the hotel and watched the wallabies come back, and both games stood out not just because of the impressive nature of the come from behind victories, but because of the coaching frailties that let both teams get so far behind in the first place. Defensive structures were confusing, attacking opportunities squandered, and lots of obviously talented players looking like it was the first time they had ever played together.
    Another huge similarity was that both teams seem to be in desperate need of change in the coach’s office but that need will probably be glossed over because of the spectacular way the players came together to grab the unlikely wins.
    We won’t be able to rely on luck like that at the World Cup.

  • Keith Butler

    Don’t really know what to make of the game but the comment from one of the Fox team summed up the first half “how do you polish that turd?”. Cheika must be breathing great sighs of relief because his team saved his arse to fight another day by a second half display of basic rugby skills. Ledesma on the other hand must be spitting nails for the way his team collapsed in the second half.

    • disqus_NMX

      Even weirder was that Peyper didn’t ask for the footage to be rewound further to see what else went on before that elbow. I’m a monkey’s uncle if there wasn’t something that fired up Latu to lose his cool like that, followed by Coleman joining in.

  • Missing Link

    Would have loved to be in the rooms at half time to hear what Cheika said. I have a feeling it had something to do with it possibly being his last game as coach and he wanted to boys to play like it was their last game too.

    I didn’t get much of a chance to watch the first half, popping in and out of the lounge room and seeing Argentina’s score getting bigger and bigger and at half time I thought “oh well, Cheika’s gone, nothing to be surprised about”. Then I got some more time to watch the second which was great, as we kept coming and coming. I’m not sure what to make of it. I don’t think the Pumas went to sleep, they were starved of any opportunities and when they did have the ball, they cocked it up. Was it a case of their attack falling apart without Sanchez?

    The Wallabies pulled out everything we talked about, including the cross kick by Foley and it all went according to plan. So what did we do differently? did we chuck out Larkham’s attack strategy and just “play what’s in front”, did we chuck out Grey’s defense strategy and just defend on instinct, or did we chuck out Cheika’s game plan? or did Cheika allow the players to devise their own game plan in the 1st half and his half time spat was to reinforce the fact he’s the coach and that’s why he calls the shots. The second half was the Wallabies executing his game plan?

    Either way, I’d like to see the Wallabies play each and every game like they played the second half yesterday. Even if they lost, the intent to win, the passion shown would mean that fans wouldn’t be sitting there scratching their head. Just go all out, leave nothing on the park!

    • Alister Smith

      I watched it all and must admit to similar thoughts. I am not sure that we changed too much in the defence. There were a couple of times when the Argentinians still looked to be finding room on the edges but they made errors. I think the one on one tackling just improved. In attack, we looked to be a bit more straight and direct, we kept the forwards out of the 10 and 12 channels and they also seemed a little less committed to ruck ball with a little more interplay amongst the forwards than just dropping at the tackle and recycling. I am not sure whether its that the players don’t do what Cheika tells them when they play poorly or its the other way around. For me it was just that one or two passes stuck early in that second half that we might have dropped before, some players ran some better lines and were a bit more accurate in their tackling and once that happened the momentum built. But I was a bit confused by it all but at least this time happily confusted.

      • laurence king

        It’s quite instructive how things tend to go better when the forwards are moving forward, running straight on to the ball, playing more intuitively and playing just what’s in front of them. It did seem like the team played the second half without as much of the clutter fogging their brains. Now if they could bring in Banks, Cottrell, Timu for the next game and play with the same verve, that might stem the bleeding

  • So I was at my local brewery on the weekend and a bloke stood next to me wearing a Wallaby jersey. I said to him, “think we’ll get up tomorrow morning mate”? He responded with “Unfortunately I hope we don’t”. we all know the reason why and I can’t say, while it is tough to acknowledge, I am not with him. Who else just wants the rot to stop? From Castle down, all coaches, captain and the usual suspects, before it is too late… :(

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That’s really sad to hear. I sort of get it as we all want the changes that are needed to occur but for people to hope for a loss is a really sad indictement of how far this team and management have fallen.

    • Bakkies

      The Chairman should be the first to go.

      • grey in my mind. then chieka, then castle .

        • Missing Link

          Yeah Grey should go, would love to replace him with someone like Paul Gustard

        • I was disappointed to see the broncos hire peter ryan… I think he would have been sensational.

  • idiot savant

    Two psychiatrists urgently required. One to deal with the fear of losing. The other to deal with the fear of winning. Both patients only capable of playing one half without fear.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well Morning GAGR’s! Firstly I must say yet a gain I am a little disappointed we didn’t get a match review, and are having to use Monday’s news as our post-match session. Nick W is there a reason for this? Do more of us need to volunteer?
    Anyway I have brewed on this for a while so here goes:
    – Being a Wallaby fan is such bloody hard work. But to be honest, I am really not taking a lot of positives out of that match.
    – I do not view that as much of a comeback. FISM lost their best player and then took their foot of the gas, and then did a Wallabies in the second half. Yes our attack straightened up, the boys got a bit of momentum back. But it was the Argies we were up against, not the Bok’s, The AB’s or England or Ireland. Be it a top 5 team we would never have recovered.
    – The structural difficulties are clearly still evident. Even in the second half they were still there. They were just not as obvious as the Argies we struggling.
    – Beale should have been dragged in the first half at the 20 min mark. Foley too except for his place kicking.
    – Our forwards are copping a bit of flak this morning, but our first half forwards did their job as well as could have been expected for the crap that was going on around them. The bench forwards came on when we were amped up to 11 (Spinal Tap style), and looked better, but the starting first three did a reasonable job all things considered.
    – Cheika’s spray was all he had left. It was the last ditch effort of a drowning man. He had nowhere else to go. Maybe if he had those hard conversation with more than half the team weeks / months ago, we might have seen something different. But alas we will never know. Cheika will stay, and so will the lack of form players, and this is what we will take to the world cup. And we will lose badly.
    – Tolu Latu was fucking lucky not to get Redded, and should be suspended.
    – Watching the Boks vs AB game, that was a comeback!
    – Watching the NRC, that was great and enjoyable rugby.
    – I don’t know what to say anymore, because that wasn’t positive. We have just wall papered over huge structural cracks.
    Over you GAGR’s I am spent!

    • Richard Patterson

      Always good BL. That read like it was off a much shorter run up. Very line and length over the top of off stump with an older (but untampered with) ball. Sorry that last bit an unnecessary shot.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep the Pidgeon McGrath top of Off. when all else fails play the high percentage yields. Just wish the fucking Wallabies would do the same.

    • Nicholas Wasiliev

      Hi BLL, unfortunately I think it was simply that I don’t think anyone put their hand up to do the review. In fairness I can somewhat understand, given covering the Wallabies right now is mighty depressing at the moment to cover. Even doing news at the moment, it’s a struggle. At least we got the win though.
      Fortunately it shouldn’t happen again. I recall we have someone for the third Bledisloe match, and our news writer Dylan will be following the Wallabies around on the European tour in November and has put his hand up cover those games. So hopefully it won’t happen again. Soz.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Hey Nick. thanks for the response. I reckon next time if you guys are short, put a call out. I am sure if we are available, people like Hoss, ML, KRL myself or any other of the usual’s would be happy to help out. Hey I might even get my EA to write it up. She hates rugby now after listening to me all day long. But I reckon she has learnt a thing or two about the game! ;-)

  • laurence king

    Thanks Nathan, I do love watching the NRC.
    What to take from the Wallabies match? I was laughing with embarrassment at some of the ineptitude displayed in the first half by our mob and wishing we had a play-maker of the Argies standard. It was good to see an improved performance in the second half and I was happy for the players that they won and with a bit of panache and doing things that we’ve all been hoping for. But I feel the win may have consigned us to an unchanged coaching structure for the world cup.
    At one time in the second half when the backs were shoveling the ball sideways and backwards, Bourkey on the comentary said it was simply stupid play. Mark and Gary Ella’s comments over the weekend in the Australian and on a Fox podcast respectively had little to say positively about Cheika’s coaching. Mark went so far as to call Hooper’s swanning out on the sideline ‘Cheika’s stupid coaching’ that was the same as what he was doing back in back when he was coaching the Waratahs.
    Still a wins a win.

  • Alister Smith

    Great win by the Wallabies. Immense second half performance to come back from there. Not sure what was said at half time (probably wouldn’t need to be an excellent lip reader to work some of it out) but I suspect it could have gone either way. The second half efforts in the front row were impressive for me and I particularly enjoyed to interplay of passing between the tight forwards.

    Matt Burke on 10 commentary picked out the difference between this positive forward interplay in tight and the recent “tactic” of standing forwards in the backline as ball players. Coleman for instance was there at first or second receiver in a distribution role at least a couple of times in the first half. I am not sure that this was coached but it happened a bit too often. I like the concept of “Total Rugby” and of all players, regardless of position being able to perform all the skills of the game (well maybe not lineouts and scrums but the basics) but that shouldn’t mean you get a lock in the 10 channel acting as a distributor. It does mean that if there is a breakdown out wide that the 13 can perform a clean out or a 1 or a 15 have the skills to perform a strip in a turnover situation or, if the opportunity presents itself in open play (not directed open play but spontaneously) that a 2 can draw the opposition and offload ala the great try that I think Tolu Latu threw the last pass on. These are probably our best 23-25 players (with one or two possible exceptions) so I think we have to get them in the correct places and get on with the work to get them to their best in the next 9-12 months.

    I am not sure if this win will paper over the cracks or not. For me, who is not the biggest critic of the coaching staff on this site, I think they are all constantly working to improve and I think also that what we have seen in the last couple of weeks is that some of the selections we have been pushing for here weren’t right. Tupou as good as he is is not yet our best starting prop, you get more attack from Folau at fullback than wing (though DHP I would agree is the better fullback and a better fullback than he is a winger), Foley is probably still our best 10 (with some obvious flaws and with the possible exception of Cooper but he didn’t play Super Rugby and had some early injuries in Brisbane comp), Beale isn’t a 10. KRL I think it was pointed out that there is a difference between 10/12 and that, even though they interchange it does matter which one has which number on his back (at least the way we play). I personally would have liked to see Toomua given the chance at 10 at some stage during the last 3 games if we really wanted to make a chance (and to be honest, while we lost those games, apart from Beales confidence and 3 or 4 ranking places :) ) we haven’t lost that much by it and I think Foley at least was re-energised by it.

    It was an enormous win and I am extremely proud of the team I hope that this will give them the confidence so that when they play next time it will help the passes stick and the shoulders stay on in the tackles as it did in the second half. I still wonder if the coaching game plan is beyond the skill set of the players and wonder if the second half was the anomaly when the passes and tackles stuck. We might get better results with a more conservative game plan. I also wonder how much of a difference losing Nicholas Sanchez had on the Argentinians and if the result would have been different if he stayed on.

    • Nutta

      Fair point on the Dirty Sanchez. He was an instrumental loss for them.

      • Alister Smith

        The replacement (no. 22 was as far as I got) set up a try almost immediately and kicked his goals but when everything fell to bits in the second half I think Sanchez may have been able to pull them together, kick strategically and settle them down. And it would only have taken one less try and that would just about have been enough.

        • laurence king

          It seemed the Argies lost their energy in the second half, no ball, Australia giving it back to them and maybe the altitude go to them.

    • Huw Tindall

      Correct Latu made the cracking flat pass to Folau running back on the angle for his try. The way Folau can accelerate and change angle at the same time is amazing. He blasted through that gap and broke right to run around the defence before straightening up. Outstanding.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    I fear that the Wallabies’ second half effort may have been the worst thing that could have happened to the team.

    The term papering over the cracks doesn’t quite cover it at this point.

    Just very sad for the team overall. No more can be said than that.

    • onlinesideline

      Im not convinced about that. Sometimes if a team shares enough misery together and pulls through, doesnt that moment act as a memory they can draw on, that says “if we can get through that, we can get through this. We do this, this and this and this ”

      Isnt it about the so called invaluable experience of getting through these moments. I’m just putting this idea out there.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Theoretically possible, but at the end of the day the 80 minute performance was one typical of Cheika. Absolute incompetence almost unrivalled by international rugby teams, coupled with a few good tries. We were lucky that Sanchez went off injured.

        The team has no discernible plan, no discernible brains and no discernible clue.

        All we achieved was a comeback victory against what is literally a Super Rugby team that came 7th.

        • onlinesideline

          yeahhh your right

  • Hoss

    Hmmm, so many metaphors, so little time.

    Firstly, thank you Cheik for the rather large rocket inserted into nether regions of the team at halftime. They obviously needed it, a more insipid 40 minutes i have nairly witnessed before – at least the coach reminded this lot of what they represent.

    That first half was like watching a bulldog eat porridge. I understood the intent, but the implementation was a complete fucking mess.

    How do i feel the morning after – it’s like the time i slept with my grandmother. Only did it once and i insisted she put the dentures in (a man has to draw the line- its a matter of principle) – yes, i got a result, but it left me dazed and confused for days after and like the Wallabies i was unsure what i stood for. An ability to score near 40 in a half and make it look easy compared to the same team that the 40 minutes prior missed 20-odd first up tackles in 40 minutes (Joy please verify as GAGR official statistician and mathematics guru). I am not Lee Magor bashing as Spanners missed several cold and was lucky to get one where he got beaten, but the FISM just grazed the touch line or it was try time again, but his stats will be complimentary – as he didnt technically ‘miss tackles’ he made shocking reads, ran up and clutched oxygen as he was left for dead and those inside him in D got burnt.

    Surely the ‘Cant-Get-Right’ experiment at 11 has ended – has there EVER been a less skilled Rugby Player since WW Ellis said ‘fuck soccer, its for pansies, i’am gonna pick this up and have a run’ ?? Plenty of ticker, fit and strong – tick, tick, tick – dumb (rugby dumb) as dog shit, no understanding, cant pass either side – tick, tick, tick. Surely its time for Bastard to get some game time – i mean STARTING game time ???

    Gilbert – back to the pine mate – you are like a mad womans shit at present – all over the shop. Get to the pine, get some clarity in your game and relax.

    Dusty – see what happens when you go looking for work. Your like a hot 23yo Swedish backpacker looking for Seasonal Fruit Picking – you will always find work if you look.

    At the end of the day, its a win and at half time (anyone else see Sanchez light up the team on the field as he was walking off – made Cheik spray look like an altar boy reciting a hymn) even Splinters McCardle said to The Govenor & Kearns – ‘is there anyway we can polish that turd’ – WOW – that from FOX – shhheeeeit and Kearnsy followed that theme – so yes, we bank it, we move on to the Nearlies and i shudder thinking about it.

    What did we learn from Saturday ???? Fucked if i know.

    • Missing Link

      re. your comment about Bastard. I agree, Cheika would be stupid not to use November to evaluate all options. He is assembling a World Cup squad next year, we still have to play the RC and we know how this plus the World Cup will be a battle of attrition. The last thing we want is a few injuries and Cheika to be like “hmm not sure about this Banks fella, haven’t seen enough of him in Green and Gold, lets get Drew Mitchell out of retirement”

      • Nutta

        Yeh, but he’s part of the inner sanctum!

      • onlinesideline

        misssing from sqaud were (some potentially)

        Samu
        Dempsey
        Luke Jones
        Ulysseeees
        Kerevi
        TK
        JOC
        Quade Cooper
        Maddocks
        Sean Mcmahon
        Maybe Pulu, Sefa

        Squad will look very different next year.

        • Huw Tindall

          Dropping Timu after Ireland was a bit tough. He didn’t make metres in the that firsttest but he made some serious tackles putting Ireland on the back foot. Banks showed promise but his first half Super season was average and mistake ridden. I’d like to see more before ‘banking’ on him. He wasn’t dominating NRC like I’d hoped. Hopefully he gets to play this weekend in the final round and potentially in the finals if the Vikings make it.

      • Geoffro

        Yep,cue AAC…aaargh.Who can direct Cheika what to do ??? Raelene ?.Someone in authoritay needs to tell him to give some of these guys a bit of a chance to show their wares.Our third choice hooker helped turn the game on it’s head on Sunday,really took the bit between his teeth.Others deserve the opportunity as well.

        • Huw Tindall

          Honestly if AAC is up to it physically I wouldn’t say no. One of the best defensive outside back we ever had and knew how to sniff out the try line. Also a serviceable boot. Could do a lot worse. Probably is a bit old now but hasn’t ‘retired’ from rugby like people think. Still plying his trade in Japan.

    • Nutta

      Many thanks Mr Hoss. Puts my dullardry into lighter relief that’s for sure.

    • Brisneyland Local

      A very wise old man I once knew told me something I have never forgotten. This gentleman was a WW1 and WW2 veteran. He lied about his age and fought in Gallipoli, and Pozières. Then lied about his age a second time and fought in Borneo and PNG. He was a farmer, a simple man, but a wise man who I loved and miss to this day. He taught me a lot about life over the formative years of my life that I knew him. He died at 104.
      He said:
      “Poor leaders dont get second chances in combat. They either die or get replaced when other people do! In the rest of the world they get second chances because the urgency isnt there to replace them! Nothing spells urgency like the blood of our young!”

      • Hoss

        It puts it all in perspective mate. My Great Grand Father was a 14yo of WASP / Aboriginal decent when he enlisted in WWI for King, Empire and Country (and because all the fair skinned boys weren’t returning). Couldn’t vote, drink in certain pubs or frequent certain shops but he still ‘did his duty’.

        He survived, returned and we are lucky enough to have recently donated his postcards from R&R, slouch hat and medals. Incredible times.

        Rugby will only ever be a game, passionate for sure – life and death though………….

        • Brisneyland Local

          Absolutely. Brave boys they were. And your great father is a credit to our nation.
          I guess the crux of my point is that, there is no pressure on Cheika to change or be changed. Raylene has guaranteed him his job, even as of this morning. There is no appetite for regime change, so we have what we have. Bringing in “So called” experts like Gregan (who btw has never coached a fucking day in his life, so how he is an expert has got me fucked) arent going to make a difference.
          we need to bring in some one that “Knows what right looks like!” Cheika the ass clown and the rest of his coaches do not.

        • RF

          I actually think that Cheika’s problem is that he has compromised his approach to the game in the role, the Wallabies have rarely looked like a Cheika team.

          He is a top coach and he has been a failure for the Wallabies.

        • Brisneyland Local

          For all my criticisms of Cheika, no one can doubt his pedigree. But he was a top coach! Was being the operative words. As a coach you are only as good as your your track record dictates. Cheika’s track record now, unfortunately for him, and for the Wallabies and all of the fans, is now very very flawed.

      • Richard Patterson

        Well said.

        • Brisneyland Local

          A mentor of mine til he died!

    • Geoffro

      Mate,if the badger can make a career out of his @isms@ you’re a shoo in for stardom

      • Hoss

        One downside – i have a head perfectly suited for radio and the anonymity of a blog site.

        As for body – ab’s last sited in 1986 and the area around the ‘equator’, well, its not pretty.

        • Brisneyland Local

          you are still doing better than me. I wasnt hit by the ugly stick, I am the ugly stick!

        • Geoffro

          I get the picture (each time I look in the mirror unfortunately)

    • Who?

      What I learned from Sunday is that GeeRob believes the result on the weekend was irrelevant, what’s going to happen was already finalized, and that it won’t include the departure of Cheika. GeeRob had some brutally cutting comments regarding the Walalbies on ABC’s Offsiders…
      I think what we’ve learned from Monday is that a surprising number of people on here seem to think an international coach with over 50 international games under his belt, at the end of his fourth season in charge, having picked and chosen every player and every coach during his tenure, and having a record of 3 from 9 this year, is some how not to blame for the fact that his team is significantly less than the sum of the players. Looks like it would lose to at least one of, if not several of, the teams that are used to source his players.
      I just don’t understand how people could think he’s not responsible.

      • Hoss

        What did GeeRob say mate – missed it all ?

        • Who?

          I can’t remember it exactly, but her tone… Not good. Casually dismissed the collective intelligence of the coaching staff that she campaigned to see appointed, whilst not acknowledging nothing other than Rugby is very broken. She was more cutting than Roy Masters could ever dream of being.
          But she did say that we can expect a cleanout of the staff around Cheika regardless of the outcome of the game, which at that point was still in progress (the point of recording, not of my viewing. iView!).

        • Ed

          That is a good summary Who. Geerob, AKA Cheika PR, said there would be changes once the team had returned with MC “safe!”

          Agree with you about how some posters here, on the other site and Fakebook, think Cheika is not responsible. He picked the coaching team, he is the sole selector yet it is the players or Grey or Larkham etc.
          Grey should go, just for the poor tackling technique some of his players displayed on Sunday. Surely he is trying to fix that, besides the total rugby (umm, hide players) defensive dance we do.
          Something that is lost with the rugby media as they focus on the X-factors within the Wallabies is our discipline. In our last 14 tests – back to include the Bledisloe win in Brisbane last year – we have conceded fewer penalties in ONE test, the loss last week in South Africa, while we have conceded more in eight tests and the same in the other five. That is not acceptable.

        • Hoss

          Cheers mate – just watched iview. My take – Grey gonesky. Cheika to be head coach and D. Larkham to survive just (our attack suffers because of all the movement in D – no wonder our guys are gassed in second half and can’t be found Tonattacknon TO poll – they are out back in BFI defending in other positions). Next Monday is the review.

          On a separate note I actually like Raelene Castle.

          Interesting times.

        • Who?

          I don’t mind Castle either. I think she cops a lot of grief for the situation she’s in, a situation not of her own making. I think she’s walked a reasonable path the last year, she could’ve done much worse. Doesn’t make her a great CEO, but certainly deserves an easier ride than many give her.

  • Adrian

    I’ve been raving here for years about the need for Cheika to be Cheika,..not someone else.

    His team played Cheika style in the 2nd half.

    Big runners making ground, backed up by a halfback clearing quickly to inside backs running straight with guys like Folau running angles off them.

    It happened for half a match, thanks to Cheika being Cheika, and actually coaching his way.

    Thanks to Latu and Kepu too, for making it all possible

    • Nutta

      Your observation about intent, line, angles and the replacements are all accurate. I just don’t know how much of that is actually Cheks and how much is ‘Christ we need to do something different because this is embarrassing.’

      • Adrian

        I think it is Cheika, because it is basically Waratahs 2014 style. Call it Cheika 101!

        That’s the only style he can coach.

        Anything else is something he got out of a book, or allowed Larkham to implement

        • Ols

          Uh, everything’s under control. Situation Normal.

          Slight weapons malfunction, but everything’s perfectly fine now. We are all fine here now, thank you.

        • Adrian

          Na,..we are not fine.

          Changes must be made in the “coaching team” and tactics

        • Missing Link

          Is that a direct quote from Chernobyl reactor number 4?

        • Brisneyland Local

          How are you?

          A truly great Han Solo quote!

        • Who?

          Isn’t the term SNAFU..? Situation Normal… A F U…..?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep.

        • Patrick

          that’s the most damning indictment of Cheika I’ve heard yet. WTF has he been doing for the past two years then??

    • RF

      Cheika is a good coach, in my opinion unfortunately he hasn’t assembled a good a good coaching team, or at least a coaching team with a philosophy that matches his. And this is ultimately his responsibility.

      In the 2nd half it seems clear he threw out the overly complex plans that the backs and forwards coaches have for the team and played a raw, basic game which was enough to blow Argentina out of the water when the players were extremely fired up. Unfortunately you cannot rely on an emotional response for consistency.

      Unless Cheika is going to to clear out the coaching staff, which seems politically impossible, I fear we will continue to see inconsistency over the next 12 months if he sticks around.

      • Cotton Balls

        To me it looked more like the players threw out the overly complex plan and started playing non-Cheika rugby

        • Greg

          I think Cheika actually does simple rugby. Big men trucking it up, passion and then backs.

        • Adrian

          That’s it in a nutshell Greg

        • Alister Smith

          That was the Waratah’s strategy so it would make sense. Unfortuantetly Pottgeitners dont grow on trees – not Australia trees anywan. For me, his introduction into the Waratahs showed how the attitude of one aggressive on the edge forward can make a difference. We are still missing that (Coleman approaches it when he’s at his best). For a little while on Saturday I think they all did it. Let’s hope that is the side that emerges from the game.

        • Geoffro

          Poor old JackPot,think he shot his load while playing for the tahs and hasn’t been sighted since.Could sure use some of his style of aggressive energy.His or an Amanaki Mafi type would be handy.

        • Bakkies

          Potgeiter is playing for Toulon.

        • Geoffro

          Didn’t know that.Last heard he’d returned to the Sharks, (or Bulls ???) and been waiting to see him appear somewhere in SR.

        • Adrian

          I want Mafi at Tahs when he’s done his time,…or becomes available or whatever

        • Geoffro

          Yep,he’s a bit of a weapon but might find it hard to get registered here again depending on the outcome of his case I s’pose.

        • Adrian

          I reckon Gibson and Kepu would handle him, and make sure he and Latu aren’t adversaries

        • laurence king

          I simply wouldn’t like him playing for us

        • laurence king

          I think Mafi is all about Mafi and I don’t think that is really good for any team

        • Cotton Balls

          Then what’s he been getting the Wallabies to do for the last 3 years? It hasn’t been simple. It involves too many moving parts in both attack and defense. It’s been matched with poor selections and poor player development. Do really think a half time rev up and “don’t do any of the stuff we’ve been practicing” was all that was required. Have not heard one player say that they got anything but a spray. No mention of strategy changes like “stop the cut out passes, run straight and lets put it thru the hands” or “lets just line up in defense and tackle the person in front of us”. I still think it looked like the players made an on-field decision and if you think it was Cheika rugby then you didn’t watch how the Boks, the ABs or the Argies (first half) played because what the Wallabies did (second half) looked very similar.

      • Adrian

        Agree 100% RF

      • Fatflanker

        I’d give Cheika the benefit of the doubt this time and assume he directed the team to revert to a simpler game plan. Half-time rants aside, I think Cheika’s real smack-down has to be directed at his assistants – is he regretting giving them too much latitude, I wonder?

        It was good to see the forwards support each other a bit more to drive the ball over the advantage line. As an aside, how much more drive would Coleman have carrying into the tackle if came into contact even a bit lower. A unit that big really should be making more meters in contact.

      • st saens

        To me, Cheika is a coach who gets results by screaming at people, rather than by analysis and reasoning, support and instruction. His approach can work for about a season first up and thereafter for about 40 minutes per season. Sadly (and I have been a rusted on Wallabies supporter for >50 years) his rant at Salta turned the most important 40 minutes of the season in his favour. We now have to endure him for at least another 12 months. Foxtel…cancel my subscription please.

        • RF

          I don’t think that screaming at players wins European Cups or Super Rugby titles though

        • Who?

          “Everyone’s a little afraid of Michael Cheika.”
          Johnny Sexton, 2015, referring to his time under Cheika at Leinster.

    • Ed

      Morgan Turinui said in the Rugby Ruckus podcast we don’t have the players for that style of play when we are up against an aggressive defence like the Boks or the ABs. He said it would work against a more passive defence like the Pumas in the second half.

      “As passive as they (Pumas) defended, it made us look a lot better…
      We’ve really struggled against teams that have good line speed. Argentina lost their line speed and we looked great…
      There is a case to be said that we don’t have the ball carriers to go through the middle of teams, especially high line speed, highly physical teams. We didn’t go well through the middle against the Springboks, we didn’t go well through the middle at all against the All Blacks. When the Pumas are muscling up and fresh, we don’t go well up the middle.”

      https://soundcloud.com/therugbyruckus/11-cheikas-spray-wallabies-revival-and-all-blacks-great-escape

      Morgan talks about this from around 32:00.
      Note Morgan is a friend of Cheika and has not called for his head.

      • Adrian

        All understood Ed.
        My point is that we didn’t try it against NZ and SA, and for that matter Ireland and in most games since Cheika has been boss. We did it v Wales last year once.

        If what we are trying isn’t working, we should try it irrespective of conventional wisdom.

        You know when we are trying it when we have heavy runners taking the ball on the burst ala Alaalatoa, Kepu and Latu in 2nd half.

        Tuopo wasn’t doing it when he was on.

        The strategy also involves the half back getting there very quickly

        We do have the cattle for this and should at least try it

      • Who?

        Crazy thing is Argentina looked better against us in the first half when our line speed was better… We’d rush up on the outside, they’d turn the ball back inside, we’d over run the ball on the outside and then the ball would come out beyond our wide blitzers. It’s exactly what I described in a conversation with Eloise last week as being one of the tactics for dealing with the modern rush defence…

  • Damo

    So, this more or less same coaching group has had stewardship of this team for 4 years now and 3 years since the last world cup. Again, more or less, the same player leadership group has been persistently selected throughout this period.
    Now we are just a year out from the World Cup which rightly or wrongly we value above all else in terms of rugby achievement.
    So then we sit down with a cuppa on Sunday morning, 9th test in this penultimate year of the RWC cycle and watch what unfolded. From that we then are supposed to be able to say “Ah, so that’s the game plan we are working on to take to the World Cup”. F%^**$ ing WOW!!! I’ve got nothing to add.

  • Ols

    without thinking, I read the AB vs Boks update first

  • Andrew Luscombe

    The Wallabies are focusing on learning at the moment. Much of the time they are trying different things. A lot of the time those things don’t work. When they start a half with a plan or strategy and then they get behind (maybe because the plan/strategy wasn’t right, or the opposition does something unexpected, or maybe they aren’t carrying the plan out right, or whatever) they start to look like they are wondering “what should we be doing now?”. They’ve got a number of possible plan Bs, and which one to choose depends on why plan A didn’t work, and they don’t seem to get agreement and communicate that while playing. They aren’t smoothly falling into a plan B on the field, and they are left not following plan A either because they can all see each other being uncertain about what should happen and it’s contagious. They deteriorated through the first half, and by the end of it, it seemed that no one knew much about what anyone else on the field was doing and they were all wondering what was going on.

    They came out in the second half all playing the game that they have most commonly had some success with over the past few years. They all knew what to do, and, with a bit of motivation, there was no lack of energy in carrying it out, and it worked.

    In the Canberra test last year against Argentina it was also a game of two very different halves. What they were doing in the first half wasn’t working, but they couldn’t adjust on the field. After half time, they looked good. They have quite commonly had two very different halves over the last two years. Think of both the All Blacks games this year. First half reasonable, but not good enough to beat the best in the world. As it looked more certain as the second half progressed that their approach wasn’t going to win the game, they lost coordination.

    They are a side that would be ranked about #3, except that they are experimenting a lot at the moment in preparation for the World Cup, and a fair few of those experiments are failing. Two of the things they need to learn is 1. how to switch plans on the field, and 2. how to keep players all following whatever the plan is. Cheika seems not to be putting things in place to make that happen. Another coach might do that, or might not. Cheika might do it to, perhaps when he thinks there’s been enough learning of how to play with different approaches, or maybe he won’t.

    They could well surprise many people in the next world cup, provided they sort a few things out, and restrict themselves to things they can do well in the crunch games.

    • idiot savant

      They have been’ learning’ for 4 years now. Must take a while to graduate from this course…

      • Andrew Luscombe

        The next world cup is graduation time. At the last one they focussed on what they knew they could do and they did it pretty well. You could see them fine tuning in the lead up games.

        We’ve seen them try to play conservatively a number of times since the last world cup, – England tour, Ireland tour, most Bledlsloes, and while they haven’t won those overall they are a better indication of what they are capable of – competitive with a #3 ranking.

        They have added the cross field kicking game that would have won them the England tour. They do have a good field position game as well when they need it. They’re one of five main teams to watch for the next world cup.

  • Fatflanker

    Great report, as usual, Nathan.

    Turned the tele off just before half-time in disgust, then relented – bloody glad I did. What a turn-around!

    I thought the blatant ongoing inadequacy of our defence was largely factored out of the 2nd half with a commendable determination to go through the phases and avoid isolating our runners with rushed, low-percentage passes out-wide.

    Given Cheika’s seeming determination not to routinely use Hodge for clearance kicks, I can only assume he will be benched (at best) once either of the K’s are fit again. Toomua will probably return to club-land not even sure he is in a shout for an EOYT call-up…seriously, just five minutes play at the end of the game?

    • Huw Tindall

      Toomua has to play for Leicester in the interim. Won’t be available for 3rd Bled game in Japan as that’s outside the ‘test’ window. Should be fine for Autumn internationals though. At this stage I’d be putting Hodge on Koroibete’s wing. To valuable to the team and runs a lot in wing channel anyway. Failing that we need pace and a better rugby iq than Koro. Maybe Banks or Muirhead.

      • laurence king

        I think Hodge is a few years away from being a seriously good player. At the moment he’s all enthusiasm and is not quite sure where to point it.

        • Huw Tindall

          And the poor guy has played in more positions than i’ve had hot dinners. Must stunt your development a bit.

        • Geoffro

          Thats true and he’ll probably wind up at a euro club where he’s guaranteed a permanent role.

      • Geoffro

        The only reason we have Korobeite is for his pace and we did see him run down a guy the other week to save a try.I still thihk he’s a liability but he is the only back that has the speed in this side to do that. We need some more speedsters with,as you say, a better rugby iq, so we dont have to put up with the likes of MK.Hodge is far too slow.

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah I’ve been a Koroibete doubter but after listen to The Rugby Ruckus pod today (a must listen pod if you don’t already) I understand that Koroibete is a victim of the complex defensive system and he actually puts in as much work as Poey and Hooper. Have a listen and see what you think. I’d still like to see more of Banks as well though.

        • Geoffro

          His work ethic is something he would have learnt playing league no doubt and I don’t advocate canning him entirely,just that he has a lot to learn and until then he’s a bit of a liability.Always open to fresh opinion , will listen to the cast when I have a mo’.

  • laurence king

    So Cheika is going to front up to the board, and losing his current support staff is on the cards but Cheika is known to be fiercely loyal and is amenable to Gregan and Eales being a sounding board. Sounds status quoish to me, in fact long after the quo has lost it’s status. Here is hoping, there can be some genuine change

    • Geoffro

      Eales seems so bloody wishy washy and agreeable that anybody pushing their own agenda would love him as a sounding board.

      • laurence king

        He comes across that way, but he also comes across as a good man, a seriously good man, so we see what happens.

        • laurence king

          I’m a bit pissed, does that sound like bullshit?

        • Geoffro

          No,Eales is a good egg and a bloody rugby legend but he’s just not one of my favorite pundits..He often glosses over bad play and performances looking for the silver lining which isn’t entirely constructive coming from an ex player held in such high regard.A good bit of informed criticism doesn’t hurt.

  • Sequel

    Hi all, first time long time.
    What I saw on the weekend with the Wallabies is more of the same frustrating rubbish. Through a combination of poor skills, (pass, catch, alignment, support play, decision making etc) and poor tactics the Wallabies have for some time been unable or unprepared to hold the ball for extended phases. I would love to see the stats from the RC about which teams held the ball for extended phases, say more than 7. The Wallabies rarely if ever do it. As I say it is a lot to do with skills, dropped balls etc but it is also a mental or maybe game plan issue.

    To me, once the Wallabies go past 5 or so phases and have not scored they loose composure and either push a pass, get isolated and turned over or take a dumb option – often a non attacking kick. They do not appear to have any sort of plan B. It feels like that when strike play “ABC3″ doesn’t work the Wallabies collectively think, what are we supposed to do now? And invariably we either kick the ball away or turn the ball over.

    Twice on the weekend early in the 2nd half the wallabies scored after sustained attacked and ball control once after 11 phases and the other after 9. Both times through some good control and ball movement through the hands. It is possible!

    This to me is ultimately down to coaching – the skills execution and game plan must live with the coach and in the Cheika era we are poor in both areas. I have been a fan of Cheika, I like the way he appears to man manage the players and the cultural aspects seem to be good but this can only take you so far.

  • Bay35Pablo

    “halfback Aaron Smith bursting away like he had just seen a disabled toilet at an airport”
    You just went on the NZ Immigration watch list. They won’t be asking for your phone password next time you land at Auckland airport, they’ll be asking your rectal probe preferred size …. :)

  • From NooZealand

    Speaking of A Smith try: “he had just seen a disabled toilet at an airport” Gold. Hope I am not repeating somebody else comment. Love his place

  • donktec

    Morning all,
    I have enjoyed reading comments here for a while, but not much of a poster. But after the game on the weekend decided to put a few thoughts down. Little late i know but anyway.

    Like other i hardly know what to make of the game, we were being flogged in the first half, defence was awful (surely Grey’s position is untanable?). Then they flipped the script – was it because they embrached Cheika’s plan? Or because they threw it out the window and decided to play more of what they knew before he messed with everyone’s head? Who knows. So yeah, it was a win, but it’s a phyrric victory if it results in another layer of tissue paper over the cracks.

    One observation: Spanners is still kicking in play, despite DHP and Hodge being on the field and clearly able to boot it a mile. The team got away with it as the higher altitude appears to have helped somewhat. I mention it as it suggests that the coaching staff are unable to identify a problem (lack of range of clearing/touch kicks) and unable to implement a fix/change (give ball to someone else). It is something that had been mentioned endlessly here, and symptomatic of all that is generally agreed to be wrong with the current setup.

    … and back to work.

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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