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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News basically does an around the grounds.  There was bulk rugger on over the weekend, so come with now on a journey through time and space.


Wales wins while Wallabies Wilt

What?  What am I looking at? I don't see nothin'.

What? What am I looking at? I don’t see nothin’.

It’s been a long time coming.

For the previous 3,634 days Wales had not been able to match their heroics from the corresponding fixture in 2008 when Stephen Jones’ boot proved the difference as the host held on to win 21-18 in front of 75,000 fans at Millenium Stadium.

I won’t go into the specifics here, our man on the ground Dylan has done that for you already.

In a more general look at the match, not only does it lift the seeming curse on Wales but it has heaped yet more pressure on beleaguered Wallaby coach Michael Cheika.

Rugby Australia had set lofty goals at the beginning of the tour, namely, victories in all three tests (against NH teams) was to be considered a “pass” mark.  Quite how Castle and cronies will respond now is to be seen and an almost unconsidered loss to Italy could see real changes take place….at least, one would hope.

One question that still lingers over the squad is one of leadership.  Michael Hooper’s captaincy and in particular, his on-field decision making again drew ire from the armchair and non-armchair critics alike.  In a match for the purists repeated kickable penalties were turned down with the option of kicking for touch taken instead, a decision Hooper has now conceded was wrong.

With a week to recoup before taking on the Azzuri fresh off their thumping of Georgia things are in the balance for the Wallabies.

“If I had my time again, I would’ve gone for the shot”

-a guy with perfect 20/20 hindsight.

The OTHER Results

There was many a nod to the service men and women before the games.

There was many a nod to the service men and women before the games.

Wales weren’t the only home nation hosting this weekend as international matches took place all across the UK and Europe.

The big dawg of the weekend’s clashes was no doubt the Poms who rolled out the welcome matt to the Kiwis.  The friendly reception quickly wore off as they then jumped out to a 15-0 lead only to have the Darkness claw their way back into the match and hang on for 16-15 victory.
Like any match involving Un Zud, there was a healthy dose of controversy as the TMO intervened late in the match to disallow a try for the home side.

Up the road in Murrayfield Scotland absolutely ran riot against Fiji.  Recovering from 17-14 down the Scots blew their opponents off the park racking up a half century in the process.  The final score was 54-17.

Across the other ditch, Los Pumas took on the might of current world No 2 Ireland and again it was home side coming from behind to record the big W.  Ireland scored 3 tries to 1 on their way to a 28-17 win.

The worst of the best took on the best of the rest when Italy faced Georgia in Florence.  With the Lelos looking to give it a red hot go against a tier 1 nation a boil-over was definitely on the cards.  In a cruel blow for Georgia’s hopes (or vindication of Italy’s inclusion in the 6 Nations) the Blue guys won the game 28-17.

The last clash between two top nations saw France and South Africa trade blows for 85 minutes with a try to SA hooker Bongi Mbonambi sealing the game for the visitors, 29-26.

Injuries Mare Build up to Irish-NZ Test

SBW might need to dig that sling out again.

SBW might need to dig that sling out again.

In the closest thing rugby has to the Thriller in Manilla, anticipation is building in the lead up to Ireland playing host to New Zealand this weekend.

The Slog in the Bog perhaps?

Having never previously knocked off the MIB, Ireland finally cracked the code in Chicago 2 years ago and held bragging rights over their mates from d’under for a whole two weeks until the Kiwis won the next and until this weekend, last match between the two proud rugby countries.

The lead up has in many ways been good for both sides.

New Zealand was made to work hard to secure the millionth Rugby Championship even dropping a match to South Africa in the process.  They’ve warmed into the Autumn internationals by just scraping past England last week.
Similarly, Ireland swept all and sundry en route their 14th Six Nations title and brushed aside an at-times unpredictable and always dangerous Argentina.

The ABs might be going in without one of their backline weapons after Sonny Bill Williams picked up an injury late in the first half against the Poms.

“He’s got a grade one AC shoulder. He may be [out] for a week, maybe two,” All Black coach Steve Hansen said.

On the other side, Ireland will definitely be without back rower Sean O’Brien after the injury magnet has managed to this time attract himself a broken arm…..that requires surgery.  Irish coach Joe Schmidt didn’t sugar-coat anything in saying, “Sean has broken his right arm so he obviously won’t be available for the rest of the Guinness Series (Ireland’s inbound tests).

“He’s gutted. I am gutted for him. I think the team are. I actually thought he was just getting into the rhythm of the game.”

What effect the losses have on the sides in the game is yet to be seen but even without them it’s sure to be a blockbuster.

Oceania 7s

The Women beat all comers to claim the 2018 Oceania title.

The Women beat all comers to claim the 2018 Oceania title.

Swapping from the 15-a-side game to the 7-a-side variant there was still plenty of play over the weekend.

Specifically, for us here in the land of Oz, our charges donned the national kit and took on the best the Pacific region had to offer in the Oceania 7s.

With both reigning Olympic and World Championship in men’s and women’s draws hailing from the region competition was always going to be difficult.

In the men’s draw it was 2016 Rio Olympic champions Fiji again proving their credentials as the took home the gold 17-12 over New Zealand.

The Samoans held on for an upset win over the Aussies for 3rd
Tonga beat the Cook Islands for 5th
And in the battle of the “News”, it was Papua Guinea taking out 7th at the expense of Caledonia.

On the women’s side of the competition it was our local lassies getting one up over our mates from across the way with a 14-10 win in the final.

Importantly the team gives us something to brag about, not just for the tournament but by giving us a rare win over the Cuz Es.
Fiji showed their strength across the weekend by finishing 3rd ahead of PNG.
Samoa were too good for the Cook Islands in the 5th place play-off.
And in case a Tony Abbott visit wasn’t enough, New Caledonia ensured Nauru ended the competition without a single win relegating them to 8th and last place.

 

 

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Is SBW really one of New Zealand’s ‘backline weapons’ these days? He’s played about 7 matches over the last three years it feels like.

    There’s no pressure on Cheika. He’s the immortal man. Any mortal coach would have been fired back in 2016 after the England series. Never, in my life, have I seen a coach doing such a pathetic job face so little criticism, and, indeed, receive sycophantic praise from Australia’s rugby media.

    Wayne Smith was at it again today, talking about how Raiwalui and Larkham have to go, but saying that Cheika is obviously still having an effect on the team, as they were still fighting. Pfft.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I still agree that SBW lacks game time but I think that with the number of injuries he’s had he needs to come back through the Super season and not be rushed in

      • Geoffro

        With his lack of gametime he shouldn’t have been brought back at all.I honestly think his best is far behind him.They say looking forward to seeing more of SBW and Goodhue but Goodhue just thrives outside of Crotty so why change it.The AB’s seem obsessed with SBW and Laumape/Nonu types at IC why is that ?Even when Nonu was playing shite SR he got selected for the AB’s-luckily he’s a big game performer and didn’t disappoint. Crotty and Lienart Brown covering that position for mine.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I tend to agree. The way Nonu stepped up for the ABs has clouded judgement a bit I think. SBW is just underdone, but far to underdone to step into a test. For me it’s Crotty & Goodhue although I wouldn’t be upset with Luamape and Goodhue. I think ALB is a better bench option as he covers more slots and has done well when he comes on.

        • Tomthusiasm

          Goodhue is class, but looked a bit underdone on the weekend, I’d go with Lumape/Crotty for Ireland. Maybe Start Goodhue and ALB vs Italy. I think Hansen will persist with Jack though. I thought DMac played well at fullback and Barrett was great too, once they realised that they had to play a tactical kicking game. You could see the rose starting to wilt after the hour mark.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nah Crotty/Goodhue is it for me. I’d consider Luamape on the bench but ALB has stepped up so well I’d be as happy with him.

          I think DMac proved he’s more of a 15 than a 10. I think we should leave him there and have Barrett as 10 with Moanga the reserve

        • Geoffro

          McKenzie’s a bit special eh ? Has natural talent oozing out.

        • Tomthusiasm

          Yeah, if Goodhue’s fit and firing he should be first choice. Lumape looked really good against Japan though and could potentially cause Ireland’s 10/12 channel some issues.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Lienet-Brown being able to cover 12 and 13 is invaluable. I know the ABs have had Crotty at 13 a fair bit, and Goodhue has played a bit of 12 at super rugby level, but realistically I think you want Crotty to stick to 12 and Goodhue at 13, while Lienert-Brown being able to play both is huge.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely mate

        • Geoffro

          Glandular fever is a broad diagnosis for a number of ailments,I hope he is OK and hasn’t been brought back too early.

      • Who?

        He should be heading home for whatever preseason he can get. He peaked last season, he shouldn’t, in my view, even be in consideration for the RWC… Crotty/Laumape/Goodhue/ALB should be your four centres. The ABs are stronger without him next weekend.

    • Sevenwithasixonmyback

      It is really going to be interesting to hear Raelene Castle’s wrap-up of proceedings, given that a 3-0 result was to be simply a Pass-Mark.
      As we’ve already failed that, what might be her course of action?
      How does RA react to what is a proven and measurable failure?
      What if the NH result is 0-3?

    • Bakkies

      The RA do have the money. Last year they spent 1 million on paying out overseas contracts and 500k to Pulver despite fúcking up the game.

    • Andrew H

      “Backline weapon” is my take on him. I’ll concede he’s not been the player lately that he once was but the guys got talent up to here and I dare not write him off just yet. (by write him off I mean refer to him as just another All Black centre who will no doubt runs rings around the Aussies)

      • Geoffro

        Don’t know if I agree,he hasn’t faced many great backlines in his career,his biggest challenges have prob been an aging BOD and J.DeVilliers.I do remember when he first faced a Wallaby side and Mortlock turned him into a rag doll :)

        • Andrew H

          I’m probably swayed given my opinion of him would have initially formed watching rugby league.

        • Geoffro

          I agree.He was a better performing league secondrower than he is a rugby centre

    • Geoffro

      Cut him and he can go coach Brissy Souths, since they’ve got room on their roster for contracted rejects.

      • Singapore Sling

        He’d have to call 000 before he got out of the car park.

  • Greg

    Thanks for a great write up.

    Random thought posted very late on yesterday’s forum.

    I am sure that changing coach is not a silver bullet but I do wonder if the current coach has a contract with a no termination clause

    • Geoffro

      Contracts don’t seem to be an obstacle these days.Either he has the support of RA or they’re too cashstrapped to get rid of him , but that didn’t seem to deter Manly Sea Eagles who are supposedly in financial difficulty getting rid of their contracted coach.Cheika is obviously still on good terms with the boardroom.

      • John Tynan

        I don’t think they could afford to pay him out…

        • Geoffro

          If they can’t afford to pay him out they probably can’t afford to contract a diffferent decent coach….

        • Singapore Sling

          You don’t need a complex financial model to understand the implications of not sacking Cheika. Losing crowd numbers impacts the immediate cash flow and plummeting TV ratings weakens RA’s negotiation position in future broadcast deals. The value differential to Cheikas coaching contract would be significant.

          RA cannot afford not to sack Cheika!

        • Glen Be

          They are in the bed of their own making. Sacking Cheika and appointing a new coach is NOT going to magically fix Crowd numbers/TV ratings/cash flow/Wallaby success. There really needs to be an entire overhaul of RA, fire the entire board. Make NSW/Queensland Rugby servants of RA rather than the other way round. Create coaching pathways. Stop bloody signing people to long term contracts without bloody performance clauses. This is a mess that will take 10 years to get out of, even if they did a complete overhaul.

        • Singapore Sling

          I agree they all need to go. Unfortunately RA are not overseen by a Govenor General so a total clean out would need to be self directed, thus unlikely. Change is imperative and starting now with the coaching staff advances the cause by twelve months.

          To be honest it’s got to the point where I don’t care who they bring in to replace Cheika. I’d hand the coaches clipboard to my neighbours cat if brought an end to this circus.

        • laurence king

          It would be a damn fine start though, it would put a smile on all us Wallaby fans.

        • Geoffro

          I like it ! Why doesn’t castle get it.She has no reason to be loyal to Cheika and is only weakening her own credibility

        • laurence king

          Laurie Fisher and Glen Ella (I said Gary yesterday but was wrong about which brother) and give them selection roles as well.

      • laurence king

        They could replace those under him, give them the power of selection and have him sit there like a stuffed monkey and soak up the humiliation of being a puppet. He’d leave in a minute. Unless of course, if he has a contract that includes total control.

    • Andrew H

      You’ve got to wonder. Especially given the RA declared pass-mark has now been missed at the first test. I wonder if some pundits are secretly hoping we’ll lose to Italy and we’ll see wholesale changes for the national side?

    • Brisneyland Local

      It has a termination clause but the payout is all of the remaining amount of the contract plus extra!

      • Greg

        Thanks. Out of interest…. how do you know that?

        and if you know that…. is there anything you can do about it?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Connections through business.
          Bottom line is RA cant afford the pay out. They are holding the Reds above the waterline just.
          The Rebs are costing a fortune. Executive payouts. dwindling membership. Rising costs.

        • Bernie Chan

          And that’s another subject…Reds almost insolvent yet RA lets the QRU force players out of the squad while RA and the QRU are obliged to keep paying the salary? Why doesn’t anyone in the establishment have the ticker to basically say…”we (RA) are keeping you lot (QRU) afloat…This is what you will do…or else!”.

        • Bernie Chan

          And that’s another subject…Reds almost insolvent yet RA lets the QRU force players out of the squad while RA and the QRU are obliged to keep paying the salary? Why doesn’t anyone in the establishment have the ticker to basically say…”we (RA) are keeping you lot (QRU) afloat…This is what you will do…or else!”.

  • Happyman

    But the real issue is it could be so much better and it appears that almost everyone in Australian rugby can see it.

    I will be backing Australia but honestly it comes from my heart not my head. The only good news is that Wales beat an undermanned Scotland last week by not very much.

    At this level there has to accountability for your mistakes.Latu, Foley Phillp and Hannigan, Larkham and Nathan Grey must have photos of MC.

    Latu Penalty and YC magnet and cannot hit his mark in the lineout.

    Foley Rubbish passes under pressure and a horrible long kick. Iceman in 2015 Waterman since.

    Phipps Cannot pass reliably

    Hannigan I actually think may develop but he is still not ready. He strikes me a someone who was the big dominant kid at school and is still trying to learn how to be at this level.

    Israel F cannot clean out or pass to one side.

    Hooper not the best 7 in the team.

    Simmons not an impact player he should either start of sit in the stands. He and Rodda should change spots.

    Our attack is Naive

    Our defence is just crazy.

    • John Tynan

      To be fair, Tolu hit 10/11 lineouts – unfortunately the 1 just HAD to be the one 5m out after knocking back a penalty!!

      • Happyman

        Ultimately it comes down to skill execution under pressure. It was a clear miss high they are fine margins but it does play into the wider perception.

        • Andrew H

          Lineout execution should be a non-negotiable at this level. It’s an easy skill to practice and these guys should get it right every single time.

        • Greg

          I agree that you have to hit your man.

          How much of it comes down to being a jumper short with two relatively short 7s playing?

          I think 7H and 7P both bring something to the game but it needs to change. 7P to start and 7H as an impact at 50…. either for a back or a forward.

        • Geoffro

          a couple of really good lineout exponents would probably compensate for the pooper.Unfortunately our best lineout option is deficient in most other areas and is warming the bench.The boks have a couple of great lineout jumpers in Etzebeth and Mostert (Coleman and Rodda are amateurs compared to those two) who get around the park ok too but their hooker/thrower marx is below par in that area of his game..no matter they’d best ours any day and what they gain from Marx’s general play outweighs his deficiencies.I think thats where cheika has been going with Latu and TPN but there you have it , we have that deficiency of a couple jumpers.

      • onlinesideline

        Why oh why oh why is it so important to hit the 4 or 6 in the lineout when going for the push over 5m out. Just get the ball safely to the no 2 get the forwards to sprint to the ball carrier and drive away from the line in your first shunt. The maul changes directions 3 or 4 times in the process of getting to the line anyhow. Getting the perfect start position 10 meters out from the touchline instead of 5 is really worth the risk of an overthrown or stolen lineout, by throwing to 4 or 6 instead ?? – madness – that was the match. Its call risk return. I’ll never understand it. How many times have we seen the Wallabies do this.

        • John Tynan

          Even a 2 and transfer.

        • onlinesideline

          yeah so easy

      • Who?

        But those 10/11 include when no one jumped, like 7A’s saving his bacon on the first throw, where clearly no one was talking.

        • John Tynan

          Which was a fantastic one handed, non-jumping take, palm off and off-load!

  • John Tynan

    “The Slog in the Bog”. Love it!

    • Andrew H

      Any other suggestions?

      • Tomthusiasm

        The “Pants-down Chode at Landsdowne Road”?

      • John Tynan

        None needed mate, you nailed it!

  • John Tynan

    My interpretation of Castle’s “pass mark” comments are that she was applying Cheika’s board session back to him in a public forum, give ‘em enough rope, hoist on own petard, etc….

    I can’t add anything about the game that I didn’t read in the comments session yesterday – it really is the top two inches.
    Again I found myself screaming “Kick the points, get the ball back!!”….
    The obsession with width leading to isolated runners,
    The inability of the backs to “maintain the space” – on one turnover ball, Beale used up 30 metres of half of the width of the field to run across field and lead all of the defenders over into it. On another, at the end of a nice (sarcasm) diagonal procession of ball and running, Folau passed to whoever the last man was outside him with literally 1m of the field remaining!! WTAF!?!? Where was the cut back inside, where was the straightening runner, where was the change in angle?

    Talking to a bloke yesterday who asked his U-13 son “If you get turnover ball on the 40m line with 3 minutes to go would you kick it?” “NO WAY!!!” was the answer apparently.
    The U-13 gets it, but the Wallaby 12 doesn’t? WTAF?

    The press has been a bit tough on the scrum, but I thought it was pretty even. First scrum penalty was legit – we got done. The next couple weren’t, with Sio beating his opponent, then next time absolutely winning the hit to get penalised again. When we got pinged for not scrumming straight, I’m pretty sure that was a walk around by the Welsh, but they fooled the ref and that’s all they had to do.

    Body height was absolute crap by most ball runners – Coleman, Simmons, Rodda on occasion. Hooper got monstered in contact (which admittedly doesn’t happen often) and almost held up a few times.

    • Andrew H

      Morning John, seems this performance has touched a nerve for you? I suspect you’re not alone.

      • John Tynan

        I couldn’t even bring myself to add tot he comments section yesterday on the write up…
        We’d (Oz rugby in general, not the GAGR intelligentsia) been hiding behind some injuries, and some Salta second half myth and playing the All Blacks so much that it just seems a bit more painful to have your obvious shortcomings (obvious to those outside the “inner sanctum” anyway) put on show, and the expected outcome realised.
        Felt like a 14yo being dacked by the class bully in PE. You knew it was coming, you dreaded it, and it finally happened in front of everyone…

        • Andrew H

          I’d “sad reacc” your comment if that was possible. :(

    • Tomthusiasm

      Is Caste’s pass-mark and the result on the weekend the primary school equivalent of getting the pencil stuck up your nose before the exam’s even begun?

      • John Tynan

        I’m not sure the nose is a painful or humiliating enough metaphor…

        • laurence king

          Hooper’s comment post-game, he ‘could see the carrot at the end of the tunnel’. Is that painful enough, everybody assumed at the time that it was a mixed metaphor, but apparently it was just an accurate literal reading of the present situation

        • Geoffro

          Did he really say that ? Sure he wasn’t referring to Cheika’s carrot up his backside.His post match comments seem almost as confused as his on field decisions.

        • laurence king

          Not immediately after the game, but in press conference I believe.

        • Hoss

          Yep – I chuckled at that myself mate. Hoops, turn around – the lights up the other way, you guys are heading towards the vegetables – literally.

        • Damo

          As in “what’s up Doc?”

        • Happyman

          Sounds like something the While E Coyote would say

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Do we know which tunnel he was referring to? Perhaps not a metaphor but an anal-ogy. I think his head is somewhere near the carrot, so I’m not surprised he can see it.

  • Tomthusiasm

    I’m glad the TMO intervened. England were offside the entire match and finally got (rightly) pinged for it at the most crucial time. Such a great game though. I think it’s a shot in the arm for their world cup campaign, in the English public’s eye they should’ve won that game. It’ll give them belief, and keep the pressure off Jones.

    • Keith Butler

      I’m quite happy to suck it up and take the loss. The call was marginal so I accept it and move on. Re your comment about England being offside for the entire match, I take it you’re entirely happy with The ABs lazy runners, lying around at the back of English rucks and making no attempt to move away and constantly coming into rucks from the side and not through the gate although as Happyman has observed the NZ gate is 270 degrees

      • Tomthusiasm

        I’m happy if the ref pings them, but Garcès let a lot things slide. I actually didn’t mind the free-flowing nature of the game.

        • Keith Butler

          Yep. Consistency is all we ask for. Setting aside the offside issue what really pissed me off was the bad game management shown by the SDs particularly the line out in the 2nd half and in the last 2 or 3 mins where they should have been setting up for a drop goal but blew it.

        • adastra32

          Farces ALWAYS lets a lot of things slide, esp. at ruck time. The teams know this and adjust behaviours accordingly. Ha ha – if it weren’t for the bloody TMO poking his nose in, we’d have been set!

  • ALJ

    I’ll always be amazed by the English (and UK for that matter) selective misunderstanding of the rules when things don’t go their way. “Last feet” – every rugby player knows the rule. Also interesting earlier in the game when Barrett caught a ball that was tipped from a high kick – and was in front of the contest. Immediate call – penalty for offside. No protest from the Twickenham crowd or the English commentators. But of course when Scotland do it in a quarter final against Australia, it basically ends Joubert’s career when World Rugby publically excoriates him for the “wrong call”

    • Birdy

      A little bit of irony here regarding your understanding of the rules and the incident. Overall, my view is that England probably got away with one against SA, but was hard done by in the Lawes incident. First of all for the TMO to overrule the award of a try, there has to be a ‘clear and obvious’ infringement that the ref has missed. There is no possible way it is clear and obvious. I’ve watched the replay about a dozen times, and it’s impossible to be sure. There are a number of debates about the laws.

      1. Is it the hindmost feet of any player in the ruck or the hindmost feet of your OWN player. However, even if it’s anyone, the AB player moves his foot forward in the ruck beyond the line Lawes is on at almost the exact point the SH lifts the ball. I can’t tell which happens first.

      2. If its your own player, Ford is on the floor with his head facing his own line. Where is the offside line drawn. From the middle of his torso, his head, his left ear?

      There is no way on earth it is ‘clear and obvious.’

      • The “hindmost foot” part is slightly misleading, it is the part of the player (any player) in the ruck closest to your try line. Normally, of course, that’s the back of a heel. But in the situation on Saturday it’s the bit of his head or body furthest “back” or, if you prefer” closest to his own try line.

        That bit is unambiguous.

        For me, with less than super frame-freeze ability, Lawes’ foot is on the floor in front of the player’s head (I wasn’t sure it was Ford but I wasn’t really looking at that) as Perenara has his hands on the ball. In the next frame of what my TV playback will give me, Perenara has lifted the ball. But Lawes has crossed the line before Perenara has lifted the ball so he’s offside, no try. With the playback facilities and super-slow-motion and so on available to a TMO, clear enough that he or she, he in this case, can certainly overrule.

        It’s clearer than some of those decisions about ‘did the ball touch the try line’ in a pile of bodies that they’re asked to rule on IMO.

        • Birdy

          If what you say about the furthest back of any part of a player’s anatomy is true then Lawes is offside, just. This seems a bit bizarre, though. Presumably, if this us the case the AB forward could lean forward and extend his arm out and move the offside line back a further metre. Why don’t they all do this?

        • Who?

          They do… It’s why we occasionally see people pinged for cleaning out beyond the breakdown. Every team stretches the size of the ruck – how long were the rucks the Welsh 21 was organizing for his box kicks on Saturday night?!

        • Birdy

          But that’s extending it back, not forwards.

        • There’s a whole mess of laws around what you’re allowed to do. You can’t dive over, you can’t reach out to tackle the scrum half or pull the scrum half into the ruck and so on. I’m don’t think the AB players can extend the England players offside line (in this example), it’s hindmost part of the last England player that Lawes is in front of that matters. The AB’s can extend their offside line backwards by making a “long tail” – you usually see this on the back of a ruck or maul when the 9 is going to box kick because it makes more space to prevent blockers reaching the kicker.

          So the AB can move the offside line backwards by shifting the ruck back, by counter rucking hard, although in that case with the pile of bodies on the floor it was unlikely to happen.

  • Andrew H

    A kiwi that is aware of the off-side rule? Oh wow. :-P

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Ba-Boom!

      Mind you being aware of it doesn’t mean I abide by it when I play

      • Greg

        “Kiwi” and “being aware of it doesn’t mean I abide by it when I play”

        An oxymoron?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nope, called playing to the referee

        • Brisneyland Local

          Play the whistle boys!

        • Andrew H

          you added an “L” by accident buddy.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          bahahawahaha that’s gold

      • Happyman

        Usually about approx 1 metre further forward than other nations.
        The ruck is ruled by what I call it the Cantabrian gate operates at approx 270 Degrees.

        • Singapore Sling

          The premise being when everyone’s offside it’s harder to detect.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          haha hahaha yep

      • laurence king

        If a person doesn’t know the rule, how can he judiciously break it?

        • Greg

          Well that’s the thing isn’t it.

          Some teams are “good” enough that they don’t know the laws well enough right up to the point that the ref says… “next one is yellow”. Then the fog is lifted and they remember!

        • laurence king

          A Eureka moment

  • Happyman

    Mate felt very odd to be supporting the AB’s against the Soap Dodgers on the weekend I did feel a bit unclean. LOL

    He was definitely in front of the last feet so the offside call was fair. Didn’t the English crowd go bonkers when the call went against them after the game which was almost as enjoyable as the game itself.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I know between that and reading Steve Jones in the papers I’m loving it.

      • Greg

        What’s the SD argument? Are they asserting there is not a ruck and hence no offside?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nope not even that. Just that he wasn’t off side hahahahahaha

        • Andrew Luscombe

          When exactly does a ruck end? The Kiwi at the front of the ruck moved his foot forward to put the English player off side, but by the time the foot came down, the ball was moving upward by black 9 picking it up, and I would have thought that once it is moving up the ruck has ended. You could even argue that the ball was out the back of the ruck before black 9 picked it up, but you’d need to see the overhead to be sure.

        • Greg

          From my understanding the ruck ends when the ball leaves the ruck. The 9s hands are on the black player puts his foot forward but the ball is still in the ruck.

          An interesting comparison is to look at the white player who was offside compared to the defensive line. he is 0.5-1 m in front of them. Either the whole team is wrong and he s right or….

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I know that the ruck ends when the ball leaves it, but that doesn’t help much – when does the ball leave it, what is the boundary of the ruck, and is the boundary defined on the ground as far as the ball is concerned? Can the 9 pick it up 2 feet off the ground but still hold it under players bound to the ruck, and the ruck is still continuing? (not that I am saying it was 2 feet off the ground in this case).

          I couldn’t clearly make out the boundary of the back of the ruck from the video. It may have been out before the 9 picked it up. It was borderline. I’m not sure how the TMO could have been sure enough to overturn a try.

          I saw the other white players 0.5 m back, but if they want to leave some margin, or hang back slightly expecting the ball to go wide, that doesn’t make an offside call.

        • Timbo

          Watch the full footage. Lawes was onside and the ABs in the ruck moved forward towards the English players. The English defender in the ruck was rolling away from the ruck. When the defenders are no longer in the ruck, where are the last feet for them to be dressed off?
          In my opinion it was a try. If it isn’t, it creates an interesting precedent where the ruck can be used to put the defending team offside by just walking the ruck forward… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e1a03ff49a3accac3c2e940f5f3b4af928fddf5249edeccfa29df365ecaa041.png

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I think that whatever foot is the last foot, no matter which team it belongs to, is still the last foot. I agree it could be used in a sneaky manner, but players have to keep a watch for it. There is no reason a ruck can’t move to some extent. Malls and scrums do and players need to move accordingly.

          But I agree that I can’t see why the try should have been overturned.

          Here is the first frame when the black foot could be considered to have put English 20 off side. What looks like a possible shadow under the English player on the bottom of the ruck is actually I believe the front of the black player’s foot, which is mostly obstructed from view by the English 20’s front leg. The black player’s foot is not on the ground at this point, but I’m not sure if the last foot needs to be on the ground. When it comes down to this close, I’m not sure if the English 20’s centre of gravity is the thing to look at, or 20’s feet, or what exactly, but the frame prior I can’t see any way the English 20 is off side. This frame possibly.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1e681bdb723cc3b16ef46d2a7c171aff1d6e61c470da85e0036baaa96f4d523a.jpg

          So why is the ball not out of the ruck in this frame? Why is it clearly in? A view from overhead I imagine would show a clear gap between the ball and any black player in the ruck, or any sensible boundary drawn around the players in the ruck. In fact, the ball could well be out in your frame, which is quite a few frames earlier, and all the black players are moving forward so the ball is only going to be more out a few frames later.

          Don’t you need to be certain of an offence to overturn a try? Particularly when the ref was right there watching it.

        • Huw Tindall

          Ball is out once the halfback lifts it off the ground. Having your hands on it, as in this still, doesn’t count. Look at the rest of the English defensive line. Why is Lawes so far in front? I agree very touch and go decision but probably techinically correct at the time the ball is played from the back of the ruck.

        • Birdy

          It doesn’t matter where the England line is. Lawes is obviously pushing the line because he’s got his eyes on a charge-down not drifting to tackle. To repeat, I cannot see how it is ‘clear and obvious’ which is needed to overturn a try, and the more I watch it, the more I’m leaning towards he’s actually onside.

        • Birdy

          I still cant work out whether the AB players feet hits the ground moving forward before the SH lifts the ball. My assumption is that the ruck is over (unless the ref calls it out) when the SH lifts the ball.

        • The ruck ends when the ball leaves the ground in the hands of player in the notional “scrum half” position (they don’t have to have a 9 on their back, if a forward picks it up to trundle round the corner, the ruck still ends).

          Generally that’s a player at the base of the ruck and not bound to it, hence the notional scrum half position. However, just like at a scrum, the “notional number 8″ can unbind and pick and drive – there’s quite a complicated check list that generally only gets called out when they go on to score a try and I don’t remember it all off the top of my head. But, loosely, like a number 8, they must be the hindmost player in the ruck, they must unbind, pick the ball up, and run cleanly around the ruck. Just like the 8 usually does this from the channel between a flanker and lock, you usually see this when the ball is at the side of the ruck, so whoever picks it up, doesn’t have to do a big looping run before going forwards.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think that was quite telling

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I admit it can be subjective and it shouldn’t be. The interpretation they are playing is out past the last man’s foot or when the halfback pulls it out, so not just when his hands are on it. I personally think they’re allowed to stuff around too much but the referees are pretty consistent on the ruling of it so reasonably happy with it

        • Keith Butler

          Agreed KWL too much stuffing around. As soon as the ball is behind the hindmost foot/arm/leg or whatever the ruck should be called over irrespective of whether the ball is picked up or nor. Should remove any ambiguity.

        • Brumby Runner

          I would even go further – once the No 9 has his hands on the ball it’s out regardless of last foot. But I do agree, the last foot law should be clarified because too many times players are penalised for off side when the ball is lying out in the open but not yet touched by the half back.

        • Who?

          Interpretation doesn’t tend to be hands on, it tends to be ball lifted. You often see a 9 put his hands on the ball, then not pick it up for a second or two.
          ‘Last feet’ really means hindmost body part of a player who is – or was – engaged in the ruck. Even if they’re lying on the ground, they’re still generally refereed as if they’re still part of it. Even though they’re now out of the game.
          The ruling usually is that if the ball can get rain on it, then it’s out, though we also saw in the Wales game that’s often not the case. Especially with the backup scrummie with his box kicks – he’d organise a bucketload of players bound on to make a massive train on the ruck, but then he’d roll it down (with his feet) alongside those players (rather than under them) to give himself space for his kick.
          Reality is that Lawes was stupid enough to put himself in a position of doubt, and sooner or later you get bitten with that. There was a penalty against Lydiate and AWJ last night for them being offside, where the ruck formed, he retired almost far enough, then it kept blowing past where he was, and he was considered by O’Keeffe ‘never to have retired’.

        • Greg

          @BL as a former (poor) forward, I am with you. In fact the 9 has no right to be there at all.

          As a former (poor) ref… I don’t think the hands matter.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That used to be the ruling but it’s changed now and it’s not out until he actually pulls it out. I think too ambiguous myself

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          When I ref I normally give the half back one warning then start calling ball out. That generally speeds things up

        • laurence king

          I never barrack for the Poms, least favourite team on the planet (although I don’t mind Poms and I like Keith Butler) so seeing them lose based around a contentious decision makes it all the sweeter.

        • Birdy

          Thanks for your fascinating, perceptive contribution to the debate.

      • Happyman

        Just listened to the Eggchassers there argument was it was not clear and obvious so play on. To be fair they are quite balanced and said the Farrell tackle was a penalty.

        Naturally they wanted both to go the way of England.

        • Who?

          If Farrell’s tackle from last week was a penalty, why wasn’t Coleman’s big hit at the end of the first half against Wales this week a penalty..? Same technique.

    • Tomthusiasm

      Stark contrast to the week earlier when they were telling the Boks’ fans to suck it up. A chorus of English boos is definitely music to the ears!

  • phil peake

    I think the Aussie 7s girl’s Oceania tournament win over the Kiwis deserves more than 1 paragraph.

    • Andrew H

      Ideally, yes, but I could only find limited info on how the matches played out. Hopefully RA might have something on it today to fill us in.

      • phil peake

        Thanks Andrew. I watched the replay on the Oceania live stream. It was a really gutsy win, the defence was amazing.

        • Andrew H

          It came down to a final maul that was held up by the Aussies didn’t it? I couldn’t find where I’d originally seen that, hence not putting it in the write up.

        • phil peake

          Yes but whole half they defended their lead like a team possessed. especially impresses for a new team coming together. I’ll try finding the link to the stream.

        • phil peake

          https://livestream.com/accounts/19514369/oceania7s2018/videos/183348455
          you have to go to the end of the days play for the finals

        • Andrew H

          Thanks my man.

  • Happyman

    Irony Mode On
    Agreed they have had it so hard for so long.
    But then so have the English
    Irony mode off

  • Greg

    Completely agree. It has been a long time coming.

  • Missing Link

    I wish the worst of our problems were losing to NZ by a point and questioning whether a player was offside or not prior to a try being scored.

    Instead we played a penalty shootout and lost to a team we haven’t lost to in 10 years. We keep seeing the same old stuff, which isn’t working – cue insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    Cheika and co are either useless or this is world’s greatest attempt at trolling. The real question is, will there be any fans left to see Hooper and Cheika lift the world cup next year????? hahaha

    I read a comment that both NZ and Aus were sucked into playing dour NH style rugby – so what, what if we did? We should have been good enough to manufacture a win under those circumstances, as we should be able to manufacture a win playing expansive rugby. We’re supposed to be a professional rugby team!

    • Damo

      Not exactly the same old stuff ML. We had the comedic little ‘force em back’ interlude which I haven’t seen for a while. However we were shit at that as well. What was funny was the English commentator’s “put the kettle on, this could take a while” when the ‘duel’ got underway.

    • laurence king

      Cheika stated that the loss was irrevelant going forward and Hooper said that they could see The Carrot at the end of the tunnel. So ALL IS WELL.
      That Welsh side yesterday showed less endeavour than any Wales side I’ve seen in years and they still beat us.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        To be fair Cheika said that Wales breaking their losing streak was irrelevant, not Australia losing. I think he also said that this result would be irrelevant come the World Cup. Technically correct but I think it’ll have a bearing

  • Adrian

    Wrong tactics yet again:

    As I regularly say here, Cheika can only coach one way, which is:
    1. Heavy runners up the guts backed up by back rowers and inside backs with very fast clearance from ruck to ruck
    2. Flat backline, passing at the gain line, not before it….. with lots of inside switches.

    He can actually do this

    In the WC in 2015 he didn’t do this much, because he had some hugely experienced and gifted players, and a lot of luck.

    Every other success Cheika has had, either here or OS has involved the 2 point strategy mentioned above.

    In the Wales game, none of this happened, apart from the first five minutes.

    What did happen?
    A. Heavy runners but no backing up
    B. Very slow clearance from ruck to ruck
    C. Very deep backline, passing 10m before gain line
    D. A rediculous inept kicking delivered by incompetent kickers

    I know guys dropped key passes, didn’t roll away and didn’t jump and/or throw properly and captained poorly, but the tactics were all wrong.

    I haven’t said this before, but Cheika must sideline and or sack the attack coach, or be sacked.

    PS I don’t think deep backline work that well in the modern game, but if you are going to try it use someone who is good at it, such as QC… just saying!

    • Brisneyland Local

      Cant disagree Adrian. Something has to change.

    • Singapore Sling

      The nuns run deep backline moves (ala NRL) successfully but they do it off a flat playmaker and often a dummy runner at 12 who is also flat. The deeper attackers hit the pass from fullback or the far wing. The Wallabies try this but it turns into a dogs breakfast due to Foley’s timing and Beales scatter brain lines with a resulting turnover and an breakout from the undefended far wing. This is really simple stuff but requires passing accuracy with the ball in front of the man.

      Australia’s opposition have identified the lag time shifting the ball to the outside channels and have employed the rush defence as a counter. The only people who seem oblivious are Cheika and Larkham.

      I apologise if the above makes no sense as I’m an ex forward but I did play in the centres in my junior RL days.

      • Adrian

        No, I understand fully Singapore. I’m also a former RL centre that also played a bit of RU at #12 and #7, so I know what you mean.

        As a matter of interest, who are the nuns…?….All Blacks?

        • Singapore Sling

          Yes mate nuns = AB’s: I believe it’s a reference to their piety and conservative uniform.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          and all round good blokes

        • Singapore Sling

          Absolutely….Word is you can’t be one if you’re not one.

        • laurence king

          Good Habits

      • laurence king

        Spiro Zavos in a Roar article today says a few interesting things about the poor play by the Wallabies as well as SACK CHEIKA and SACK THE BOARD.

    • Damo

      Can I add an Item E. to your points?
      E. A serious lack of passion and aggression in A to D above.
      You would have expected a team with the proud record the wallabies have looking to finish off a year when we have lost basically 2/3 of the tests played would have come out seriously breathing fire. Not so. Not one forward seemed intent on imposing themselves and the kick chase was generally disinterested. I have to wonder if these guys really care at the moment. Something is definitely wrong.

      • Adrian

        Agree Damo.

        What happened to 2nd half passion v Argentina?….or even Bled 3 ?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          it needs a half time rant to be switched on but is unsustainable in thelong term which is what we’re seeing

        • laurence king

          And what did the rant involve, veiled threats? I mean, if it contained that, that only works for so long before grown men stop listening. I think half the side are waiting for Cheika’s golden children to be given the flick as well.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I tend to agree with that. Lot’s of “happy family” talk but I think there’s a few out there who can’t wait to see the arse end of these blokes.

        • laurence king

          Guys like Beale and Foley are simply not playing well an the other players would have to recognize that. Their continued selection at the expense of players in better form again could give other players the impression that there are different selection standards for some. That said, that is not Beale or Foley’s fault, if it is the case, then that’s on Cheika.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          True. I don’t think you can blame the players. Hell, if Hansen picked me I’d play. I’d be shit, but I’d still play

        • Hoss

          Yep – a football that needs constant inflating at halftime soon gets binned for a football that stays inflated for the match, or so you would think.

      • laurence king

        I have thought for a while that most of the players struggle to believe in Cheika, they are just playing to stay in the team. Players like Hooper, Beale, Foley, Hanigan and Simmons sort of know that without Cheika their being selected is iffy so their game has deteriorated along with Cheika’s hold on the job. There is an appearance of unity, but what would you expect when Cheika has absolute total control. Apparently Larkham has pushed for Banks but we can see how well that has worked, the poor kid may not even exist. I think that the whole team will breathe a huge sigh of relief when he’s gone.

        • Who?

          I think that’s a bit harsh on some of those guys, especially Hanigan and Simmons. Hanigan, because he’s doing what he’s been coached to do. He’s had two coaches in his career, that’s it. He’s a young bloke and has lots to learn. Simmons, it’s harsh because he’s barely there under Cheika (who dropped him to NRC not that long ago), and also because he’s been dropped and reselected by pretty well every coach who’s had the opportunity to select him. So I’m not sure that cycle wouldn’t just continue.

        • laurence king

          From what I’ve heard and seen of Hanigan and Simmons they seem like genuinely good blokes. But what did I say, that they would sort of know that their chances of being selected by another coach if C was sacked was iffy and that would contribute to deteriorating form. It was not intended to be a slur on their character, Simmons has been a great servant of the game for many years and Hanigan has got years ahead of him but I stand by what I said.

        • Who?

          I just don’t know that they’d consider it. I think Hanigan’s young and dumb enough to think he’s doing ok (although Cheika did clearly state that he should’ve rolled and not been pinned in the game-losing penalty). And Simmo, I think he’s just going to grind away and let coaches come back to him… Because that’s happened consistently. Everyone’s looked for an alternative, for years people have whined that he’s soft. But clearly what he brings is well appreciated by those on the field.
          And, honestly, in terms of dumb play, I thought Dempsey forming maul after maul after maul resulting in multiple turnovers was far dumber than anything Simmons and Hanigan did. Simmons made one mistake, and Hanigan was slow to roll once, that’s it. Dempsey made the same basic mistake multiple times.

        • laurence king

          I agree with what you’re saying, I just reckon that it would have to be in the back of their mind. Also if they are benefiting from some sort of cheika favouritism, it doesn’t happen to be their fault, that’s on Cheika.
          And in regard to Dempsey, I didn’t include him simply because he’s been out for such a long time.
          Personally, if Cheika went, I think the atmosphere within the team would improve immediately and results would improve whether there was a change in personnel or not. I think Cheika has issues with control and that sort of stuff always causes problems sooner or later.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, I don’t think it’s harsh at all. Both of them are probably great guys but they are both completely out of their depth at this level, especially Hanigan. I don’t blame them for playing and I truly believe they are out their giving it all every game, but not good enough is not good enough. Locks should be Coleman and Arnold with Rhodda as back up off the bench.

        • Who?

          It’s harsh insofar as it implies that both are panicking that their futures are tied to Cheika, where I don’t believe they are, and I don’t believe that they would believe that. Beale might believe it, given the manic nature of his play, and given his history, where he’s really tied himself to strong coaches (Deans, then Cheika). But I don’t see that Simmons would see his future any more secure under Cheika than any other coach (how many times has Cheika dropped him? Including this year, to NRC?), and I don’t see that Hanigan’s old enough to stress about that. Even Hooper, I don’t see that a bloke who’s just signed a 5 year contract and is national captain would be worried about his selection, based on the hypothetical possibility that someone else might be coach. And if that’s not playing on their minds, I don’t see how it’s affecting their play. I also don’t see inconsistent play from those three… Not saying they’re great, or great all the time, but they’re consistently at the level they’re at.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I get that and tend to agree they probably aren’t panicking. I still wouldn’t have them in the team though

        • laurence king

          I didn’t suggest Hanigan or Simmons were panicking, Beale definitely could fit into that category. But gee, the guys can read and there’s been a lot said, and the term was without Cheika they might think that their continued selection was iffy. If I was in their place I’d be thinking about it and I certainly don’t think Hanigan or Simmons are dumb. Anyway I think a lot of things are being thought in Camp Wallaby and mine is just speculation.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Lack of interest in Banks? Hmmm, sounds familiar.

  • The Jackal

    How many chips has Kurtley Beale ever regained for either the Waratahs or Wallabies. Non come to mind but he must almost average one per game. Needs a long time away from national colours

    • Andrew Luscombe

      In the following 2 minute highlight real:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFS1jAIXP0M

      0:35
      1:09 twice in one run
      1:20
      1:39
      1:56

      So at least 6 times. Probably quite a lot more than that. Several regathered by others also.

      • Singapore Sling

        Beales a shadow of the bloke in that clip. He needs to be scanned for an implanted chip. He needs a spell and then bring him back at 15.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        He hasn’t played like that for a looooooong time mate

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Yeah, but the question was about what he’d ever done. He was good last year. It’s not that long. I don’t know that dropping him will bring him back to form, but maybe he’s better playing off the bench for a while.He’s been up and down a few times in his career.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Maybe mate but either way his current form doesn’t deserve a starting role

      • Huw Tindall

        Jeese that’s a good watch. Where has that gone!?

  • onlinesideline

    The more I think about – aggghh. There really are no excuses. None at all. We had no major injuries. All hands on deck. Pocock in the team and fired up. This was really within the Cheika matrix our best team. We have had the whole 4 nations and 2 weeks of top shelf sushi as preparation. No jet lag. All combinations firing. And we couldnt even score 1 try. It really is laughable. If Foley is picked ahead of Toomua at 10 in the English match, honestly, this is beyond stuborness, its delusional.

    • laurence king

      No words? Sack Cheika!

      • onlinesideline

        Mate it will be very descretely shelved as one of the “things” RA will be looking into come resumption of activities “come the New Year”. In other words, using the summer break, mozzies, suncream, beachbabes, cricket, heatwaves as deflection 101 tactics. Come January 20th or so, spin will be “looking forward to a Super preseason and an exciting World Cup year ahead” – In other words – he’ll survive.

        • laurence king

          I share your cynicism unfortunately. Still, hope springs eternal

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yep you got it in one

    • juswal

      No tries — that’s what really snags my sack.

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        Haven’t heard that expression before, but I certainly like it!

  • Dave P

    has the pass mark been worded incorrectly? maybe Raelene meant 3-0 to the Northern Hemisphere wherein any win by the Wallabies would exceed expectations.

  • Mica

    Offside was marginal – a fifty fifty call.
    Lying in the ruck in the last 3 minutes of the match not so marginal, there were a couple of real blatant ones, but the ref just didn’t want to make the call.
    It was against the English, so I don’t really care, but the ABs got out of jail in this one in the last 10 mins.

    Interestingly, on the Lawes call, the ruck got pushed backwards after it was first formed when a Kiwi hit the ruck.
    For the Refs out there, do the defensive line need to step backwards if someone hits a ruck late and pushes it backward or blows through it so that the defence adjusts to the new hindmost player?
    I am guessing the technical answer is yes, but in reality it is probably ignored more often than not.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      If the ruck moves then the off side line moves as well. Exactly the same as if a maul is rolling forward. The line is the last person in the ruck from either side so if an opposition drives through to the front of a ruck and the ruck then moves he/she is the last player and the off side line.

      • Birdy

        Yes, but if you watch it the replay it is almost impossible to tell whether the SH lifts the ball just before or just after the moment the Kiwi forward’s foot hits the ground when he moves forward.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yep referees call mate. That’s why he’s there

    • Birdy

      ‘Offside was marginal – a fifty fifty call, so English would be pretty churlish to complain.’

      If it’s 50-50 the try should not be overruled by the TMO as it’s not ‘clear and obvious’ that the ref missed an infringement.

      • Mica

        The point I am trying to make (maybe unsuccessfully) is that, sometimes you get the call and sometimes you don’t. I don’t think it was obvious one way or another (my opinion and I am not the ref). The TMO obviously thought it was clearly offside and although I don’t think it was as certain as clear, I am also not certain he was definitely onside. In these circumstances I’ll not argue with the ref and acknowledge it’s a tough job. Hey the English will generally think the call is rubbish and I know the NZers all think he absolutely got it right. What a surprise. I’m neutral and I think it could have gone either way and you just need to accept that it was a close thing and move on.
        I think the lying in the ruck at the end was much more certain than the offside. This in my view should have been penalised and wasn’t. Still nothing new here – this is what happens when the ABs are under pressure. They become slow and clumsy and will continue to do this while they’re allowed to. I would have penalised them, but I am not the ref. I also know that my NZ brethren would complain about this and point out all the times when the English were slow from the wrong side of the ruck and feel aggrieved that they weren’t penalised also.
        As a fan I let the 50-50s go, but get a bit frustrated by the obvious penalties that are let go. I do acknowledge that reffing is a tough gig and at the end of the day I’d really just settle for consistency in the application of the laws and a real emphasis on clarity around this.

        • Birdy

          Yeah, I get your point, and a 50-50 call by the ref is no issue for me. It’s more of an issue if the TMO is uuming and ahhing over a 50-50 call when the ref has already awarded a try – that’s not their job.

  • skip

    We’ve a skipper on $1.2 million a year who can’t get a decision about whether to kick a goal right. Jesus Tapdancing Christ.

    The Italians are certain that they can win this, and to be honest, they can. That such a thing can even be uttered shows how far we have sunk and then continued to dig.

  • Bakkies

    Topo Rodriguez has unloaded some bullets not the RA. It was mentioned on the Roar that it came from Topo’s fab page

    Couldn’t copy the heading

    So Ms Robinson, according to you ‘clarifying’ enlightening article of 06/11/2018…

    Of course Australian Rugby has no-bullying and no-cheating gentlemen or gentle-women; nor even thugs or thuggettes of dubious thuggish behaviours! – And of course RA needs you to remain positive and upbeat about present and future.

    Yet, for ‘the mother’ organisation (ARU) ‘fratricide or euthanasia’ are quite acceptable (particularly to relieve its own financial pains?) So this is a good practice to ‘protect the brood’? – Perhaps I should call it ‘roos cullying practice’… Frankly, it is the same ‘bloody’ thing!

    So, that our super-smart-administrators and Directors of the Board decide to ‘hide’ the evidences of malpractice over the many years is perfectly ok? Oh yes, I do understand now, the ARU burying specialists of back in 2015 are playing ‘good’ Samaritans that were and are just protecting the arses of those loyal administrators and Directors(?)

    The ‘continuity’ (much needed in rugby, on the field today!) of our administration is “the great Legacy” instilled and left by our Old Boys Clubs…(St Josephians, Shoreshians, Knoxians, Scotsians, Newingtonians, Barkerians, Nadgeenians (No Argentinians though!) etc. etc. etc.

    The malaise and poisoning of Australian Rugby started in 1995 just before the RWC in South Africa when the International Rugby Board valiantly announced…

    “RUGBY IS NO LONGER AMATEUR”
    Please, allow me to elaborate this ‘crazy notion’ of mine. This completely unwittingly and unwilling statement decision made in haste by the authorities of the Four Home Unions + South Africa + New Zealand + Australia (and may be other countries also); because World Rugby Corporation (WRC), seriously threatened to take over 90% of elite international rugby (off its own traditional and conservative canvas/map and comfort zone?). WRC was almost (by a whisker) off the Global Corporations Circus by beaming out ‘the rugby images’ to the whole world, whether rugby playing, darts throwing or ‘curling’ brushing…countries!

    By the way, this is what Twiggy Forrest and World Rugby are fighting for and working ON, yet Agustin Pichot (Vice-Chair World Rugby) has quite conveniently a shoe in each camp! – (LOL), So much for high values and principled individuals? I wonder what the president of the Australian Republican movement would think, feel or say?

    WRC was the brain-child of David Lord (ABC’s well know cricketer, tennis layer and sports journalist) dating back in 1982/83. Then the idea was ‘borrowed’ by Ross Turnbull (RIP) former ARU Vice-President and Australian IRB Delegate for a number of years. The WRC project/plan was backed by an Australian consortium led by Mr Kerry Packer, Mr Geoff Levy and other backers.

    YET, the IRB Board together with renown South African businessman and powerbroker Mr Louis Luyt (RIP), Chair of the South African Rugby Board and organiser amongst many other rugby ventures, of the 1995 RWC (bid and also the event itself) with the support of Rupert Murdoch’s FOX Sports, re-gained control of RUGBY by (first buying back some players and coaches contracted by WRC and adding a little inducement for the rugby fraternity officialdom (in selling the TV rights for 10 years, in exchange for the CONTENT generated by the Tri-Nations Tournament and the 1996 Super 12, all for an estimated US$850M (or similar amount).

    Louis Luyt ‘the man of many parts’ (https://www.iol.co.za/pretoria-news/luyt-was-man-of-many-parts-1463036).

    From that moment, when Australian Directors were throwing out the whole cheque book in order to retain the Wallaby starts (substantial contracts were signed to retain those senior stars, no questions asked!!! – Mr John O’Neill was the illustrious leader of those ‘wonderful times of Australian rugby affluence and prosperous future, leading onto the (snuffed out of NZ’s wishes) 2003 RWC.

    And here comes the real punch line and ‘raison d’etre’ of
    WHAT WENT WRONG!
    The ARU Board of Directors and of course its CEO, (completely lost the plot that by the way, never had). The ARU became a “Millionaires Factory”…instead of just generously compensating players and coaches for the time dedicated to training, playing, travelling, etc. Therefore, the mullah ‘can of worms’ opened up and… didn’t it ever?

    Australian Rugby had such a ‘momentum’ carried from its Golden era of 1984-1991, with the 1984 Grand Slam; 1986 Bledisloe Cup; and the 1991 RWC) that it was not too difficult to remain positive and productive for a second RWC in 1991. An by then, it already happened the nasty ‘coup de grace’ that kneeled Wallaby Rugby as we knew it.

    Mr John O’Neill taking over from Bruce Hayman (CEO), started his ‘iron fist regime’ by straight away sacking: Mark Ella, Dick Marks, National Director of Coaching Development 1976-1996 (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/opinion/wayne-smith/its…) and many others. Mr Warren Robilliard was made (Yes Boss, in charge of this crucial National Coaching Development area, who in fact went-on to survive O’Neill (twice), Gary Flowers, and Michael Hawker/Bill Pulver from 1996 till 2011 (15 years in charge). (https://www.linkedin.com/in/warren-robilliard-38379344/?originalSubdomain=au)

    Not only O’Neill strategically ‘displaced’ key people in the ARU but of course he made sure to ‘place’ KYP’s (key yes people) to supervise his dictatorial regime. Well known SMH journalist Mr Greg Growden coined a brilliant metaphoric expression to reflect on the JON led ARU: “Fort Fumble”, to me it was and still is… ‘the nickname of the century’.

    In closing, it is my not-so-modest-opinion, that the QE II (or any other Ocean liner) left South Africa in 1995, slightly one or two degrees off course! ~ The Rest is History ~
    One of my poignant questions and recommendations to the rugby public and to Rugby Australia today in November 2018, are:

    If you are in doubt, please don’t
    The use of Euthanasia or Fratricide on the Western Force to alleviate your own sufferings, was the worst cowardly act executed by amateurs. Simply put, RA killed one of our 5 siblings. WHY?

    The Board of Rugby Australia did not have the necessary internal fortitude to STAND UP to SANZAAR and just say NO! It will not work! and it didn’t. The tail was wagging the dog…
    And, Ms Robinson,

    YES, WE NEED TO UN-BURY THOSE PAPERS… “The ARBIB Report” and all the recommendations made afterwards by hundreds of rugby people of ‘good heart and nature’ at the time. See, the Australian Sports Commission has already once tried to help Australian Rugby by setting the guidelines on How To Run a National Sporting Body. Yet our Old Boys prefer to ‘bully and cheat’ behind closed doors…

    Sincerely yours,

    Enrique TOPO Rodriguez [Triple Rugby Union International] ~ 1971-1992 ~ Sydney 12th November 2018.

  • moaning expat

    Apologise if this has already been asked but any one know what we were pinged for in the final ruck (and game over) ? They didnt go back to it and I cant see what we did for the life of me on playback/pause. Not arguing just wondering.

    • Who?

      Pocock ran a great blocking line. It was a penalty called by the touchie for obstruction.

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Cheers Andrew. Not sure I’d characterise 28-17 scoreline as a ‘thumping’, but yes, the Lelos will be hurting after that. Looking forward to seeing them redeem themselves against Samoa this Sat. Won’t be catching any Wallabies action for the remainder of the year – I haven’t topped up my life insurance.

    • Andrew H

      Thumping in the sense that the Lelos were fired up for a big result and it didn’t go their way at all. Like you said, they’ll be hurting.
      The scoreline itself is actually pretty respectable against any tier 1 opposition.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Haha not sure on everyone. There’s still plenty of people that see us as the epitamy of unlawful cheating bastards who get away with breaking all the rules and that’s the only reason we win.

  • Huw Tindall

    OK in the calm light of day and with the red mist clearing from my vision (two metaphors in the first sentence!) I watched the Wallabies match again and it wasn’t actually a complete disaster of a performance. Now, hear me out. Bit of a long post.

    If you take out the the plain bad decision of not to the take points in the second half then the Wallabies looked the better team in every other facet. We regularly made good metres in attack and plenty of half breaks all putting us in positions to score. We didn’t convert those, obviously, but the Welsh attack was nowhere. Didn’t really look like scoring. By comparison Wallabies had a touch under 25% more run metres. Other good stats:
    – Tackle % of 91% for the good guys. Wow what I’d give for that each match.
    – Penalty count – 11 to 12 so not a lop sided affair like previous Wallabies results
    – Defenders beaten – 10 to 15 in the Wallabies favour (50% more!)
    – Offloads – 6 to 11 in Australia’s favour again.

    The match was just two very good defensive efforts and some relatively uninspiring attack. The Wallabies weren’t terrible. Some of the reports I’ve read make it sound like the Welsh played out of their skin to finally put one on the Wallabies. That wasn’t the case. They played good solid rugby and kicked one more penalty. They won it by the length of a bee’s dick. The result, however, is terrible in the context of the Wallabies’ year.

    The negatives:
    – Not taking the points. No more needs to be said.
    – Wallaby starting front row had the shakes in the scrum. Figuring out best starters is tough.
    – Beale is trying too hard. Few good moments but he is only good with regular front foot ball (i.e. room to play). You don’t get enough of that in Test matches. I think he needs to play more conservatively or move to 15. I’d actually bench him a la RWC15 where he always had an impact when the game naturally opens up in the last 20 mins. Time to give Toomua or Kerevi a proper run at 12.
    – Kicking duels. We aren’t good enough to win them and won’t be with the current players. We need someone with a big boot in the backfield. Banks is the only one in the squad who can do that but dropping DHP would be tough.
    – Ned and Simmo. Ned added 0 when he came on and gave away a soft penalty which was ultimately the difference. Can’t wait for Naisarani to be eligible and with Tui back next year maybe we’ve got a half decent set of starters/bench. Simmo starts or is carrying the water. After his game in Bled 3 I was all for starting him and Coleman. Maybe not anymore. After the NRC I want another look at Matt Phillip in the green and gold. An outstanding season and seems the best all around second rower we’ve got. Hopefully kills it in 2019.
    – Taf. I really don’t see what he brings anymore. He doesn’t even start for Leicester. I understand BPA is being rested essentially after a breakout year but we’ve got Folau and Latu in the squad to focus on. Taf may be a great mentor but he just doesn’t seem to be up to it in Tests anymore.

    Some positives:
    – Lineout not so bad and actually got some good ball off the top.
    – Defence. 91% tackle completion and 0 tries conceded. Sure the Welsh attack may not be the ABs but they put enough on Scotland last week and have now won 7 on the trot. They aren’t mugs and with guys like Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams they have legit world class backs.
    – Basic tactics. Plenty of forward runners interchanging with short passes. Allowed for some front foot ball.
    – Latu added extra breakdown nuisance in a game where the breakdown was fiercely contested.
    – Coleman. He had a massive first half. Best I’ve seen him play all year. Need to bottle it.
    – Naivalu. Couple of good runs and worked his butt off to make the sh!t defensive system work. I’d say better than Marika at this point.
    – Kerevi and Dempsey. Building minutes. Dempsey nothing on the highlight reel but got stuck in.

    Enough of that for now. Looking forward what do I want to see? I believe this team needs a change above all else. I’d like Chek to fall on his sword at this stage but short of that happening I hope to see plenty of change against Italy. Hell even change the prep. The team needs some mental clarity and freedom. Constant losses must be weighing on them. They aren’t going to learn anything special in this week of prep so just really change it up at training. Give the regulars a rest – Genia, Poey, Hoops, DHP, Beale all need a rest. I’d be tempted to have them carrying the water or at best 30 mins stints with plenty of minutes for the others.

    Potential team:
    Backs: Gordon, Foley, Toomua, Kerevi, , Naivalu, Izzy, Banks.
    Pack: Switch the front rows and Fainga’a in for Taf. Then Simmo, Arnold, Dempsey, Samu, Poey/Hoops (not enough back rowers to bench them both; would have been nice to have Timu on tour).
    Bench: 7As, Latu, Sio, Coleman, Poey/Hoops, Phipps, Maddocks, AAC.

    Still dark days for the Wallabies but the Welsh game in and of itself wasn’t as disastrous as it’s been made out. Yes I think Chek and coaches probably need to go but without that looking likely we need to work with what we’ve got. I really hope we play a blinder against Italy and pull it out of the bag against the Poms. I think the latter is unlikely but maybe, just maybe, they will be emotionally spent after chucking the kitchen sink at NZ.

    • Who?

      You’re mostly right. It was a horrible game to watch, but some comments are too far. Coleman, I actually thought he ran smarter than he usually does. He ran good angles and didn’t try to run over people, he tried to run through people. If there’s a lock who needs some attention at the moment, it’s Rodda… I haven’t seen him doing much good for a while.
      Also, you missed Dempsey’s failings in regularly entering tackles and turning them into mauls. I really appreciate his footwork and workrate, but he needs to add intelligence in this area of the game.
      I also disagree on the starting scrum. I think O’Keeffe went into the game biased. I don’t often agree with Cheika, but he pointed out that Pickerill was making the calls from the sideline, even though we were – consistently – the team that was advancing. The only clear penalty was against Sio for dropping his bind, which is harsh when the Welsh jersey was tighter than the THP’s skin, but the first offence was the Welsh THP binding on Sio’s arm…
      The big issue, though, is that it was two teams who didn’t know how to win. Wales played poorly compared to almost any game they’ve played this year, and almost any game they’ve played against us in years. They felt the pressure of expectation and history. Meanwhile, the Wallabies played like a team who knew how to fire a shot, but had no idea how to win. They’ve developed a losing habit. So we had a strong scrum, no poorer a lineout, defence holding out a nervous attack, and we retained as much ball as Wales (though it was mostly slow – for both teams). But we didn’t know how to turn that into points. In the end, we gave up two kickable penalties, that could’ve won us the game (forgetting that any such change would’ve completely changed everything that happened after that changed decision). But conveniently forgetting that Halfpenny missed two (relatively) easy penalties, one of which was immediately before halftime, meaning that kicking that penalty doesn’t change the restart from Foley. We were shaded by a better team, even though neither truly deserved to win it.

      • Huw Tindall

        All fair comments here Who. Maybe I was harsh on the starting row but it’s far from the RWC2015 scrum where we had arguably the best Wallaby scrum in over a decade. Makes you miss Moore and Holmes!

        Agree re Rodda. I haven’t seen it this year in Tests. Potential yes but he isn’t world class yet.

        Dempsey I’m prepared to give some leeway too as he is making his way back and it means we don’t have to start with Ned so I’ll take that all day right now!

        All in all though just a sh!te game and we were shaded by a Welsh team on the up.

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Turned to writing for GAGR before my over the top rants about rugby landed me in hot water. Hoping this will keep me a little more measured.

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