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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

MONDAY’S RUGBY NEWS

Monday’s rugby news does a lap ’round the grounds covering the weekend’s action and checks in on the injuries threatening the Brumbies’ season.


Super Rugby Round 10

Kerevi led the Reds brilliantly

Kerevi led the Reds brilliantly

Inexplicably, given the four-day weekend, the round 10 matches were condensed into two days of action.  Personally, I do wonder if a better job could have been done of spreading out the weekend’s fixtures to take advantage of the extra time most folk had off.

McAnyway, to the results.

Friday night football’s triple header kicked things off with the Chiefs facing the Lions and one had to wonder exactly what was going to transpire.  Both teams have been a bit hit and miss this season and the match duly followed the script.

It was 6-0 to the visitors after 35 minutes yet they went into the sheds up 20-0.  The scoring baton was passed to the locals for the second as they piled on 3 tries in 15 minutes before Jantjies added a field goal in the dying stages to leave the final score 23-17 to the Lions.  One (this time) had to wonder what effect successful conversions might have had as all else being equal, the Chiefs would have held the lead after their 75th minute try.

Next up was the Sunwolves (who knows what they’ll do) hosting the Hurricanes, whose only two losses this season have been to the Crusaders.  For the first half an hour it looked like an upset was on the cards as the home side toyed with the visitors and ran in two tries while superboot Parker knocked over three penalties to leave the half-time score 23-10.  The Sunwolves must have rued their mistakes and wasted opportunities in the second half as the ‘Canes ran in three unanswered tries while the ‘Wolves didn’t add any points.  Final score, 29-23.

Durban, where the Reds haven’t won since forever things looked good from the outset with the underdogs up 14-0 early on.  The Shorks repeatedly turned down shots at goal and eventually got a 7 of their own and when the ref called the end of the first 40 it was 14-7 to the away side.  When teams took the field again, both fingernails and defensive lines were tested until the almost the hour when Tate McDermott was on the spot backing up, dotting down near the posts and an upset was on!  Try as they might, the hosts couldn’t breach the Reds’ line until 65 seconds to go but it wasn’t until the 83rd minute and a forced turnover by Liam Wright and time was called. REDS WIN 21-14.

Saturday started in Dunedin with the ironically lowly Highlanders and surprising Blues duking it out.

From a meagre 7-5 halftime lead the ‘Landers kicked away to be well in control throughout much of the match.  The guests clawed a converted try back late in the piece but to no avail as the lads from Otago walked away with it, 24-12.

Sydney was the venue for the match of the round-1 vs 2 in the Aussies conference and a mess of players vying for Wallabies’ selection.  Initially, things looked good for Hodge, Meakes, Cooper and Co as the darker blue team controlled proceedings, strolling off for oranges with a healthy 20-7 lead.  Two second-half tries by the ‘Tahs and a perfect night with the boot for Foley meant NSW won 23-20.

Finally, we had the dangerous, but stuttering Stormers up against the similarly-stuttering Brumbies.  The opening exchanges belonged to the donkeys as they ran in two unanswered tries and held a 12-3 lead as half-time was blown.  There was more to come in the first half though.  The TMO called the ref’s attention to a high tackle by Toni Pulu which led to a yellow card and the Stormers being awarded a penalty try, cutting the Brumbies’ lead to 12-10.  The locals put their advantage to use early in the second with another converted try pushing them out to a 17-12 lead until near the hour where Tom Banks got his team ahead again, 19-17 which ended up being the final score.

Brumby Injury Toll Mounts

38 years old and still playing at this level.  Tip of the hat.

38 years old and still playing at this level. Tip of the hat.

The Brumbies have already had to manage the talismanic Pocock’s workload this year.  After the GREATEST ASSET IN MODERN WALLABIES HISTORY picked up a calf strain at the Voldemort of training camps earlier this year the star openside has been struggling to get back to the level he’s capable of.

Coach Dan McKellar put his thoughts into words and (for mind) was brilliantly reserved in his assessment of the situation,

“It all started back in January at the Wallabies camp and hasn’t stopped really,” he said.

“If I had had been told, when I was originally told it was a calf strain in January, that it would be still dragging on in the back end of April, you’d certainly be frustrated.

“He’s been frustrated, as much as anyone. He works hard on his rehab and wants to contribute to the team. He still certainly had a really good contribution but he wants to be able to have a contribution on the field and hasn’t been able to do that this year.

“But there is still a long way to go and it’ll be nice to have him back for the second part of the season.

“We have to make sure if we throw him back into a game situation that he is prepared and ready to perform. And not just play, so the last thing we want him to do is have another setback.”

Now to add the ongoing calf strain saga the Brumbies might be looking for another forward with cult figure Josh Mann-Rea having to leave the field with a pronounced limp.  One theory is the 38-year-old has torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL, if you will) and without a contract next season it might be curtains.

While realistically the biggest loser in this situation is Mann-Rea himself the Brumbies and RA look set to lose one of their best stories in recent years (and don’t they need them).

Mann-Rea went from working in a coal mine to playing for the Wallabies.  A talented schoolboy who played an U/19 world cup he gave away rugby for a period in the early 200s, ‘I thought it was time to get a real job, earn some money and look after the family. I had an opportunity to work in the [Illawarra coal] mines and couldn’t say no’ before the most unusual pathway brought him back to Green and Gold contention.  Through Japan, to the Waratahs and eventually the Brumbies he finally won his first cap in 2014.

In Mann-Rea’s absence Connal McInerney has flown to Argentina to join the team there.

Strangely, the Brumbies didn’t look down any mine shafts in the Illawarra to find a suitable replacement.

Kitakyushu Sevens

Ellia Green has now done this a hundred times.

Ellia Green has now done this a hundred times.

It’s finally happened.

After four rounds of the HSBC Women’s Sevens series, the Kiwis have finally been beaten.

Progressing through the first three rounds without dropping any matches the Kiwis were both held to a draw by Russia, 17-17 and defeated in their pool clash by long-time NZ bogey team, France, 29-7.

Things went from bad to worse for previously immovable objects as they then lost the Cup quarter final to the USA although made some amends by thumping Russia 36-0 to qualify for the 5th place play-off where they then overcame the Aussies, 26-24.

Elsewhere, the French, fresh of their Davidesque efforts against New Zealand then went down to England and to add insult to insult, lost the Bronze medal to the USA.

Quietly going about their business, Canada brushed aside their pool-mates, Spain, 26-17, China, 42-19 and Australia, 17-14 to qualify for the finals.  Come the finals and they were faced with the giant-matching Russians and the giant-conquering USA but swept both aside before a solitary conversion separated them from the Poms in the final.

Our girls didn’t fare so well. A loss to Canada in their pool game meant a Cup quarter-final against England where our antipodean neighbours cantered into the semis, 21-7 however, a stronger showing against Ireland saw them qualify for the 5th place play-off against the *other* old enemy, NZ.  New Zealand got away to a huge lead that even Ellia Green’s 100th career try wasn’t enough and the Aussies had to settle for 6th.

The win for the Canuks sees them leap-frog their continental buddies into second place on the standings, New Zealand still hold down top spot and our girls still hang on to fourth place.

It’s a shade under three weeks until the women hit the turf again in British Columbia.

Premier Grade Results

The Shute Shield table expressed though interpretive dance.

The Shute Shield table expressed through interpretive dance.

The Dewar Shield hasn’t started yet and two states known for their relaxed attitude took the weekend off with QLD and WA getting into the chocolate instead of each other.

Down in ol’ Sydney town the Shute Shield marched on as they forged ahead with round 3 action.

The first fixture was a 2018 grand final rematch as the Students played the Rats.  One suspects the Rats came into it looking to make at least some amends for their 45-12 trashing in last year’s grandy but they instead decided to lose by even more as Uni raised the bat and Warringah managed a duck, final score 50-0, turning Good Friday into Great Friday for the blue and gold.

Eastwood fell to North Sydney at home, 44-14.

Gordon extended the Two Blue’s losing streak to 3/3 this year with their 43-10 trouncing.

The battle for eastern-Sydney supremacy proved a much tighter contest.  Manly and Eastern Suburbs were both one from two for the season heading in to the Manly oval fixture and it was the locals just scraping home 22-18.

On paper, the final match of the round might have looked like a cake walk. Southern Districts were one of only two undefeated teams after two rounds meanwhile their opponents Randwick were coming off consecutive losses to start their year.  Any hopes by Randwick for an easter-style risen from the dead miracle fell short, 24-17 as Southern Districts consolidated their position leading the comp and Randwick sit second last grasping at bonus points.

Normally programming returns next weekend with QLD, Vic and WA comps getting or getting back underway.

 

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Andrew, must be hard to get this out on the holiday so well done.

    I enjoyed the Brumbies game the most and I hope they can find players to back up the injuries. This was always going to be their biggest risk this year. Fuck I hope Pocock improves soon. Must be getting close to pissing it off if he doesn’t improve soon.

    Reds game was good and the players showed a lot of heart when needed. I thought the Rebels and Tahs both let the game go to their heads and both played quite poorly. I don’t think QC did enough to push Foley out and I’m not sure he’ll even make the Wallabies as I think he needs to be way better than Foley to be considered by Cheika and he’s not doing that.

    The Kiwi girls had a rough one but they’ll be back. I thought all the games were a bit flat this tournament and maybe having a tournament in the Easter Break isn’t a good idea.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      This will be a season of ‘what ifs’.

      I just imagine how much better the team could have played so far had Pocock been playing.

    • Andrew H

      Always a pleasure me old China.
      My highlight for the weekend was the performance of Liam f’n Wright (can we start using Gill’s old nickname for the new Liam on the block?). Against the backdrop of huge defensive efforts by two of the four Aussie teams he just seemed to pop up when they really needed him. It’s frustrating that the Reds are capable of this but next week could just as easily lose to the Narrabri Blue Boars.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Consistency seems to be a real issue here and that tells me it’s a headspace thing rather than anything physical

  • Geoffro

    So,at the halfway point in this years SR round robin,with patchy form,niggling injuries and a good dollop controversy off the field I see Kerevi,Genia,Arnold and Hooper as the only genuine locks for my wallaby starting side.Hope rests eternal and it will all come together in the next few months but not holding my breath.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Is Hooper a “lock” if Pocock comes back in his old form?

      I’d add Luke Jones to that list, and Alaalatoa. Slipper too. He’s playing with some dynamism that the other LHPs cannot match in my eyes, while also scrummaging well.

      • Dylan Langes

        The reason I wouldn’t add Jones as a lock in (though he should be) is because when Cheika was questioned about the 6 jersey the first name he said was Valentini, the second was LSL and third was Dempsy and Hannigan. Nick McArdle has to remind him Jones plays in Australia

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I mean in an ideal world. I am resigned to the Wallabies being shite in the World Cup, and Cheika being taught a lesson for his hubris, and his cronies in the media to finally stop defending him.

        • Singapore Sling

          A guy like Ckeika doesn’t learn lessons when he’s spending other people’s money. He will just double down on the stupidity.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          It’s going to be interesting to see if they all turn on Cheika the way they have turned on Folau. Worst record as a Wallaby coach ever and they still love him

        • Brisneyland Local

          Why are we surprised by that. Cheika will play who he wants. That is all that matters to him.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          To be fair I think coaches should pick who they want, I just think there should be consequences for poor performances and that is missing here

        • Brisneyland Local

          Absolutely. In Aus rugby there is no consequence, well that is unless you play for someone other than the Tah’s!

        • Geoffro

          Hopefully Jones will keep playing so well for the rest of the year that shnozz and Johnson feel the overwhelming urge to tackle/shackle cheika.(maybe on a few other selections as well)

      • Geoffro

        Pocock is our most valuable player by a mile but needs to be handled at this stage,maybe that means limiting his game time.Sure,at this stage I’d be throwing geurnseys to Slippper,AAA,Fiaanga,Jones,Rodda,McCaffery,Banks and probably Hunt and Pulu (along with Naivalu and Lilo I s’pose that makes up the team I’d run out if a test was played tomorrow,but it’s only a personal opinion and I reckon the four I mentioned previously are probably the only locks I personally see on the selectors agenda looking forward.(Notwithstanding Poey IF he’s fit

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not convinced about Hunt hey. He’s good, but wouldn’t be a starter in my eyes.

          I’d go for 12. Kerevi, 23. TK, which necessitates playing Quade at 10, as Foley just doesn’t flourish without a playmaker at 12.

          But none of this matters as it will be 10. Foley, 11. Ashley-Cooper, 12. Beale, 13. Kerevi, 14. Koroibete, 15. DHP anyway.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep and that is a fucking nightmare!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I honestly think it is the most likely backline.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Most likely, not most dangerous!

        • Geoffro

          I like Hunt as he’s smart(on the field),tough and an organizer (again,personal opinion).That incumbent backline sucks and won’t get us past the pool so we can only look beyond the WC now eh ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He’s an excellent organiser, I agree. But he is very slow in defence (remember when Masirewa chopped him up off that line out when Hunt could close the gap?), doesn’t break the line and actually misses a few too many tackles for my liking.

          I wouldn’t be upset with him starting, but I want a 12 that breaks the line. If we want a defensive lynchpin + distributor, then I prefer Toomua.

          All personal preference of course.

        • Brumby Runner

          I agree about the incumbent backline, but Hunt has shown very little to suggest he is part of the solution. At this stage, I’d rate both Kerevi and Meakes in front of him for the 12 jersey, and Kuridrani, CFS, Hodge and English for the 13 jersey with Petaia the next big thing there when he overcomes his current injury.

          Matt Toomua also enters the calculations and would be well in front of Hunt at 12.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think Meakes drops and loses the ball too much in contact to get in ahead of Kerevi or Toomua, but I agree he has shown better form than Hunt.

          English is quality and underrated. Lacks a bit of power in contact, but is very quick and unlike TK and CFS he has a good passing game (TKs offloading game and grubber game is far better though), and CFS he isn’t lazy. He’s a quality player

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree Hunt is good, I just don’t see him better than Kerevi. He may be a good bench player

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I think Kerevi and TK are the form centres and should be locked in

        • Brumby Runner

          Kerevi could well be regarded as the top No 12 in world rugby by the end of the RWC, but it all depends on a blindly set in his ways head coach to put him there and to make it work with complementary selections and game plan. Think that will be too much.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He could. But I’m not convinced he is yet the best 12 in super rugby. I do wonder whether Nonu might still have that crown? Unsure.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Every head coach in the world will LAUGH and then do a big sigh of relief if Cheika doesn’t use Kerevi at 12!!!!

        • GO THE Q REDS

          There’s no way TK has shown he’s the form 13!Hasnt been consistent at all. It’s one of the most open spots in the squad atm….Wallaby incumbency and Cheikas picks are a totally different story again…. .

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think he’s improved in every game and his attack and defence this weekend were better than anyone else. I also think him and Kerevi will work well together

        • disqus_NMX

          Imagine how much fun Kerevi would have with Genia and Cooper inside him!

      • Andrew H

        +1 for Jones. Could he be the man to fill the #6 jersey for the foreseeable future?

    • Andrew H

      Rodda not doing enough or more that there are so many options in the second row?

      • Geoffro

        Hed be in my side for sure but dont think hes a lock in.I mentioned guys in my side that I think are actually going to be first choices for Cheika as well.Reckon he will stick with Coleman.Who knows,he might pick Rodda and pair him with Coleman or Hanigan.Better still,he’ll likely pick Hanigan and Coleman with Simmo on the bench and leave two of the best three 2nd rowers going around out of it altogether.Go figure

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I can see that last scenario playing out

        • Andrew H

          Ok, fair call.

  • Geoffwho

    So Bernard Foley plays dogshite so far this year and is only kicking at 66% then starts off in the first half of this game crapping out on two touch finders and then disappears for the rest of the half. In second half puts in a passable shift by pouncing on a lucky lineout overthrow, gets lucky again off a skewed left foot touch finder and kicks some very easy goals from right in front. And now everyone is like “lock him in for the World Cup boys!”?

    • Geoffro

      If by “everyone” you mean Cheika and a few tahcentric journos,sure but the main problem is the shortage of alternatives.I don’t understand why Lilo gets so few mentions as he’s the most reliable 10 we’ve got running around

    • joy

      Would critics have been satisfied if Cooper slammed into Foley head on with both suffering year ending injuries?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep I watched that in the replay. Foley was airborne. If Cooper had hade significant contact he would have been carded. He was smart to pull out of the tackle.

        • Bobas

          I haven’t seen it since I watched it like but for mine it looked like both players were going for the ball and Cooper attempted what Rory Arnold successfully pulled off.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The diffference being Foley was higher and got to the ball before Cooper. Like with all of the Folau issues and other last year, Cooper would have been pinged and everyone would have hooked into him. If he was 2 seconds later he could have just pillored Foley on the gound.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        HMMM yes true! The fact is both players went hard at the ball and Foley got the bounce. That turned into Foley was more committed and Quade wussed out, diving away so as not to get hurt! Clowns…..

    • Brisneyland Local

      Geoffwho, agree completely. If Cooper had had the first half Foley had they would have pillored him.

      • Brumby Runner

        I think Quade had an absolutely shithouse game, but I am also confident he was playing to instructions. It’s just that the instructions were wrong and didn’t seem to change as the game got away from them.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I wouldnt have said shit house, I would have said below average. Foley’s first half was shit house. there is a difference. Where as Cooper was following the game plan in the second half and seem to be mostly absent til Genia went off and then spent a majority of hims time playing scrum half because Ruru was at the bottom of a ruck. Foley had an above average second half positioning himself well to be on the recieving end of some good fortune.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          He made 3 personal errors along with a fair few positive moments that I can’t be bothered to list. If they snuck over for the win he would have grabbed the 10 of the round slot! Well….. he should have IMHO!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate did you read that shit dribble Parkes wrote on the roar “Foley TKO Cooper”. Had Foley ahead in all areas

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well Parkes is a crad carrying member of the Rah Rah club.

        • Greg

          Is that a typo for “card” or “crud”. At the moment it is hard to decide the best fit.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Could be either mate

        • Brisneyland Local

          Both Greg. Very funny!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah but who else is there? QC hasn’t stepped up enough and nor has anyone else. It’s a sad indictment of the lack of development but that’s not Foley’s fault

      • Patrick

        Lilo

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Good but not sure he’s doing enough to remove the incumbent

        • Patrick

          Yes I understand that point of view but I’m hoping the selection committee doesn’t let him take Foley on principle

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Lol what rubbish. Quade has more than stepped up so far this year. His kicking, defence, try assists and overall possative attacking involvements are excellent, and have put him well in front of anyone else overall season to date! His two biggest flaws so far have been some handling errors and funnily enough staying religiously to the coaches plan!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Don’t get me wrong I think he’s a better choice than Foley, however I think if he wants to push him out he needs to be demonstrating a much higher level than he currently is. I don’t agree that Foley necessarily outscored him last weekend but I don’t think QC actually outscored Foley that much either and that’s enough for Cheika to argue for his love child to stay

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Murphy’s law may hit me in the face for saying this, but considering I’m now immune to our inconsistencies, what the hell, let’s do this!
    I bloody loved that last round. Reds and Brumbies played some gritty footy and gave us a glimpse of the potential we know they have. Rebels should be kicking themselves for their discipline and for blowing such a promising lead. Two games they’ve been able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and I already know that’s going to bite them in the arse come seasons end. 7-2 looks a lot better than 5-4. At the same time, good on the Tahs for not giving up. Certainly made the race for the Aussie conference a lot more interesting.
    I’m really starting to get worried about Poey. He’s my favourite player and I’m desperate for him to come back because of how positive an influence he is, but at the same time the amount of injuries he’s had is becoming increasingly concerning.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Great to see the Reds and Brumbies push hard for the win. I agree the Rebels should be kicking themselves. I think they need help on the mental aspect of the game. Some dumb decisions at critical times

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Rebels are weak mentally against the Tahs, and the Tahs are weak mentally against the Brumbies, and the Brumbies are weak mentally against the Rebels.

        • Nicholas Wasiliev

          A classic Aussie rugby three-way! Inconsistency all round!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Probably a lot of truth there. I just look at people like Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Graham Henry, Steve Hansen and others talk about how getting a mental skills coach in after the disaster in Wales was the single biggest change that moved them forward and I don’t understand why it seems to be dismissed within rugby here

        • Timbo

          we’re too busy getting offended

        • Ed

          Ceri Evans of Blue Head Red Head fame has his first book, Perform Under Pressue, out in July.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Just read the synopsis on Amazon. Sounds like something some players here need

        • Brumby Runner

          Maybe not dismissed but certainly not widespread support for the idea. I understand the Brumbies brought someone in a few weeks ago to help with the mental aspects. Maybe the results are starting to show?

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep would have been good if our dickhead head coach didnt do that to Poey and two other players!

    • Huw Tindall

      If the Brumbies start playing from now like they were at the end of last season they could go far. Arguably easiest run home of all the Aussie sides.

  • RF

    The reaction to Foley in the comments section here since Saturday doesn’t reflect well on some G&G commentators.

    I’d personally have Cooper in ahead of him but the talk of Foley having an awful game etc just shows how agenda driven some people are here with no grounding in reality.

    • IIPA

      Hmm I’m inclined to agree. I mean the result was probably not a positive for Wallaby team selections and serves to validate some of the ongoing poor choices made by Cheika but there must have been two collective Roar orgasms with each of those Foley failed touch finders.

    • Andy

      Agree to a certain extent. I don’t think Foley was especially good. His first half was atrocious but I do think Cooper had a really poor 2nd 40 as well. I’d say they both take the honours in an equally poor display. But most notably, both played better when their packs were in top. Which I think was the deciding factor in the game.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Lealiifano played pretty well. Not really the style of 10 that would suit Cheika’s game plan, and doesn’t realistically have a chance of being selected. But I think he should get credit where it is due.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Isn’t sad when a head coach doesn’t have the ability to adjust his game plan to suit his best players!

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Your probably talking about me, but there’s zero agenda going on! Foley has only had 11/2 good games this season. Fact.
      The other night not only was his first half very poor, the 2nd half only had a lucky bounce try he scored and a questionable left footed kick to the sideline that worked out well! Add his conversion kicks if your struggling to build a case for a good “game” by Foley.
      If you or anyone else wants to debate that feel absolutely free to point out ANY posative moments Foley contributed!
      Foleys game included very poor vision and skills execution..missing a 3-0 overlap opportunity with a terrible pass into the ground, a terrible chip kick under advantage near the Rebels goal line, the now famous 2 missed sideline penalty kicks, poor in field kicking directly to Rebel defenders, getting charged down, poor exit kick that didn’t go into touch, 2 very strange under the leg flick passes that go absolutely nowhere…. one almost gets intercepted……..and people are saying that’s a GOOD game!
      As I’ve said a million times now. . If that had been Quade hed probably never play again. Alas his game included a knock under the highball, a kick out on the full and a charge down! On balance Quade had a far better game. .. .he just has FAAR higher expectations to live up too I feel. ….

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I think you’re correct, especially with that last sentence. I think for Cheika to be forced to pick QC, and it will be “forced” Quade has to be almost without fault. No matter how crap Foley is Cheika and the rest of the Northern Beaches fan club will use any little thing they can find as an excuse to not pick him. This is why I’ve said what I said below. I think it’s bullshit, but it’s the environment we live in

        • David Creagh

          The only way the Silk Trader will pick Cooper is if Foley is injured so badly he is unable to play. He (and the Warratahs) have put all their faith and development into a fly half that no other tier one nation would have in their XV. Plan B (play Beale at 10) has been tried and found wanting. This will damging for the Wallabies in the next five years.

    • David Creagh

      Yep, I am one of those people. No agenda other than to point out that Foley is over rated. Most of the media reporting is talking up his dominance over Cooper. IMO this was in the second half where Cooper played extremely poorly. Foley was equally poor in the first half to the point of anonimity. I barely heard the commentators (usually so overwhelming with praise for his capabilities) call his name. Two missed kicks for touch? How do you do that? It is a 100m line painted on the ground! I don’t accept that, as Horan commented, that it was caused by wide open spaces either side of the field. There is a corner post marking the line of touch, advertising hoardings, a multitude of people on the sideline from cameramen and touch judges.

  • Mart

    Some position starting to firm up in options for Wallabies. Locks, backrow, Full back, Inside centre.

    Wings, outside centre and 10 still wide open

    I really don’t want to see a fullback on the wing for wallabies But looks like it’ll happen again

    I would’ve liked to see a back 3 of Niavalu and Folau on wings and Hodge to fullback But …

  • David Creagh

    I thought I would throw my potential XV into the mix. For shits and giggles I have put what I suggest Cheik would pick.
    My XV Cheika’s XV
    1. Slipper Sio
    2. Fa’inga Fa’inga
    3. Allaallatoa Kepu
    4. Arnold Coleman
    5. Rodda Simmons
    6. MacCaffery Hannigan
    7. Pocock Hooper
    8. Naisarani Pocock
    9. Genia Genia
    10. Tomoua Foley
    11. Hodge Koribieti
    12. Kerevi Kerevi
    13. Kurindrani Ashley-Cooper
    14. Maddocks Maddocks
    15. Banks Beale

    16. Rangi Latu
    17. Sio Slipper
    18. Tupu Allaallatoa
    19. Philip Rodda
    20. Hooper Dempsey
    21. Samu Can you clone Hannigan?
    22. Gordon Phipps
    23. Pulu Banks

    Justifications for my selections:
    Front row has been the form front row in Australian conference.
    Two big ball carrying locks who can make an impact in defence. Strong in the lineout in both D and attack.
    MacCaffery has been one of the form back rowers and can cover blindside and No 8. Clever footballer who can create opportunities for others. Naisarani is a strong ball carrier who can get a side over the gain line. Both he and MacCaffery are genuine lineout options giving four targets in the lineout. Pocock, well because Pocock. This backrow is able to tackle well, carry well and compete for the pill on the deck.
    Genia is the best half in Australia with daylight second.
    Tomoua, can control a game, has a strong kicking game in hand and an OK one off the tee. Is able to defend properly in the 10 channel without having to hide him on the wings in D. Will run straight and commit defenders. Foley is not up to it IMO and sadly neither is Cooper.
    Kerevi and Kurindrani are good strong ball running centres, Kerevi’s pass has improved and they are both able to defend in position. Kerevi committing defenders will allow Kurindrani more space.
    Hodge has long leg and will be excellent for both kicking from hand and off the tee, defends well and is a big physical unit in attack, he is a bit slow for a wing but this is made up for with both Maddocks and Banks. Maddock and Banks are elusive runners with both good footwork and speed. Run good attack lines and have good timing. Reasonable defenders and Banks has a reasonable boot.
    Rangi is the best of the other hookers. Nobody has really put their hand up to get over the top of Fa’inga.
    Sio is the next best loosehead in the country.
    Tupu, well this one is a long shot really. Has not lived up to the hype this year but Kepu is past it and gives away too many silly penalties and cards.
    Philip is another good strong ball carrying lock who seems to make and cross the gainline with aggression.
    Hooper is the next best seven past Pocock (until Liam Gill comes home).
    Pete Samu is the closest thing we have to Sean McMahon without being Sean McMahon.
    Toss up with Gordon and Powell with Gordon getting the time on the bench. Phipps is past it and now too limited in my view.
    Pulu, well why not throw in a genuine finisher? Played well for Chiefs and looks OK for the Brumbies. He is only a genuine winger but with Maddocks and Hodge there is some utility value on the paddock already.

    • Andrew H

      I can get around this. Nice team.

Rugby

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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