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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News is hyped up about the Wallabies win, marvelling at the class of the Black Ferns, breaking down the contentious red carding of Scott Barrett and looking at rugby around the country (and pacific) as it reaches finals time.


What A Performance

WAL039

The Wallabies have produced one of the best performances in recent memories, defeating the All Blacks 47-26 in a match that I’m still trying to figure out whether I dreamt it.

They would run in six tries to four to record their largest win in Bledisloe history and the highest points scored against the All Blacks in their 116-year existence.

The All Blacks would be left licking their wounds after losing Scott Barrett right before halftime after he was red-carded (we’ll get to that) followed by brother Beauden, who’s still lodged in the surface of Optus Stadium after being Lomu’d by Samu Kerevi.

The win will ensure a new number one with Pool brothers Wales leapfrogging the Kiwis into first place for the first time in the nation’s history, which lasted a solid 28 hour period before they were thumped by England 33-19.

For a more in-depth discussion, check out Brendon’s review of the game along with Nick’s player ratings for the first game (Credit for showing restraint and not giving everyone 10, because that’s what I would’ve done)

Whilst fans and writers alike are currently pumping the tyres of the squad after the win, coach Michael Cheika looked to keep lids on the celebrations, reaffirming that all it did was get them to Fortess Eden with the series still alive.

“A few things went our way but I was really pleased for the lads,” Cheika said in the post-match press conference.

“They have been working really hard.

“I know we are all pumped and everything like that but all we have done is bought a ticket to Auckland.

“That’s what we did. Great atmosphere and great for the players to get a win but in the bigger scheme of things, we have got ourselves a ticket to go there and take the opportunity that is going to be given to us.”

The win gives the Wallabies second place in the Rugby Championship after the Springboks pumped Argentina 46-13 in Buenos Aires.

Handre Polland was a one-man wrecking machine, scoring 31 points in the win to give them their first championship since 2009, back when it was in it’s old Tri-Nations format.

Too Good

Wallaroos anthem and flags (Credit Keith McInnes)

The Black Ferns have shown why they are the premier team in women’s rugby, dominating the Wallaroos 47-10 at Optus Stadium.

The contest would break the record for the highest attended match for women’s rugby, with 30,142 turning up for the occassion.

They would get out to an electric start, scoring four answered tries to kick away to a 22-0 lead at halftime, leaving the Aussies shell-shocked.

The Wallaroos would eventually find some composure and fight back, with a double to flyer Lori Cramer getting them back into the game.

However, the Black Ferns would ultimately be too strong, recording two more tries in the closing moments to seal their 18th consecutive win over the Wallaroos.

Coach Daniel Nestor was disappointed with the effort put in by his side, critical of their inability to tackle and maintain possession.

“I think we allowed ourselves to get bullied [in the] the tackle contest. We had way too many balls stripped from us. We didn’t nail our tackles, we spoke about sticking our tackles and it just didn’t happen,” Nestor said.

“One-on-one, it’s a contact sport. You’ve got to go and whack someone and we didn’t do that.”

Captain Grace Hamilton echoed Nestor’s thoughts, believing that the performance would act as the perfect motivator for next week’s rematch at Eden Park.

“It’s disappointing but for us I think the biggest thing is we learn from this and we fire into next week,” Hamilton said.

“Defensively we didn’t value the ball enough when we had it and we turned it over easily. That is something we need to work on. We need to value that ball because that is the way we get momentum. We played into their hands.”

Barrett Banished

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The main talking point from the game on Saturday night was the red card of lock Scott Barrett.

Barrett was sent off by French referee Jerome Garces after making contact with the head of Michael Hooper with his shoulder as the All Blacks were defending their line.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen refused to comment on the incident after the game, believing that the All Blacks lack of composure after being reduced to 14 men was the ultimate difference.

“Regardless of whether I was happy (with the explanation) or not, it was his decision to make and he made it and now we go to a process and we will have to live with it. We have to go away and have a good look at the video,” Hansen said.

“Our discipline was poor. We missed 20 tackles out of 90 in the first half. We didn’t get ourselves away to a good start. We double piggy-backed them into the red card and we were offside when we didn’t need to be. They’re all things we have to go away and fix up.

Brother Beauden looked to defend him after the game, stating that he’s not a dirty player despite the ugly hit.

“Obviously he’s really disappointed and he’s carrying a lot of responsibility on his shoulders at the moment,” B Barrett said.

“But these things happen so we’ve just got to get around him.

“I reminded him that he’s not a dirty player and he realises that, too.

“He’s just disappointed in himself and he’s taking responsibility but these things can happen especially when you’re defending close to the line and players do get in a low position.”

The younger Barrett found an unlikely ally in Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who was disappointed in the decision to send him off.

“I love to play the game tough, right,” Cheika said when asked for his thoughts on the red.

“It’s disappointing, for me, that a player gets sent off like that but referees have been given guidelines.

“He went through the guidelines exactly how he needed to and he made the decision that he was required to make.

“So I’m sort of torn, both sides.

“They went through the regulations and got what should have happened, but I feel for the opposition player as well.”

Rugby Wrap-up

Michael Richards and Harry Hockings UQ v GPS QPR Club Rugby at Ballymore (Credit Brendan Hertel QRU)

We start in the Pacific for the final round of the Pacific Nations Cup, where World Cup host Japan clinched the title with a 34-20 win over the United States. Japan was led from the front by captain Michael Leitch, who scored a double to secure the title for the cherry blossoms for the 3rd time and first since 2014.

In other results from the Nations Cup, Fiji held off rivals Samoa 10-3 thanks to a Vereniki Goneva try whilst Tonga posted their first win of the tournament with a 33-22 win over Canada.

Back to clubland, the first week of the Shute Shield finals saw Sydney Uni gain revenge over Manly with a 47-31, Eastwood reversed last week’s fortunes with a 24-21 win over Easts and Warringah overcame Norths 24-7 in a rematch of the 2017 Grand Final.

In the Hospital Challenge Cup in Brisbane, Queensland Uni secured their spot in the Grand Final for the fourth straight time with a 34-14 win over reigning premiers GPS, gaining revenge from last year’s final. They will face minor premiers Brothers at Ballymore next week.

In the nation’s capital, the Vikings held off a gallant Uni-Norths 34-31, with the minor premiers set to meet Canberra Royals in the final with vengeance on their mind after their semi final loss last week.

Moving down to Victoria, the first week of the Dewar Shield finals saw Melbourne move into the Grand Final with a 12-0 over Harlequins, who will play Box Hill in the preliminary semi after they eliminated Melbourne Uni 28-15.

In the Coopers Premier, Burnside held off Souths 24-12, Port Adelaide outgunned Onkaparinga 36-33, Elizabeth finally got rid of their duck egg with a 57-25 win over Barossa, Adelaide Uni held off Woodville 29-20 and Brighton and Old Collegians could not be split, drawing 27-all in a top of the table thriller.

After that weekend we have, it would be wrong of me not the remind you of the tantalising opportunity that is coming up next week to pick the brains of the Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson. Johnson will talk at Rugby 1st ‘Currency of Rugby’ event, which will be held at the City Tattersalls Club, Sydney on Monday 19th August.

This will be a perfect opportunity to ask questions about how the Wallabies are progressing and hopefully, he will give money can’t buy insights regarding how the Bledisloe Cup was re-gained and the curse of Eden Park was broken (a man can dream, let me have it).

For more details about the event and the wonderful work that Rugby 1st does, read my story from last week and please check out the link

  • Wonky Donkey

    First time Ive been to a Bledisloe

    I walked through Perth city with my Wallabies jersey Saturday morning.
    An All Blacks punter stops me in the street and says “Wallaby soup tonight!” I laughed with him, yeah yeah, then said “Its Wallabies stew, not soup” under my breath.
    I had convinced myself rugby will be the winner today because theres no chance we’d win and Id be happy with a “good close game with decent defence”.

    Having been at the force game the night before, I had heard a mix of cheers and geers as twiggy implored the sea of blue to get behind the Wallabies. To my surprise there was hardly any blue in the stand. Good on you Perth for doing the right thing.

    Of course there were tonnes of AB supporters, that was a given. But damn I was surprised by how many West Aussies owned a gold jersey. We weren’t alone. There were heaps.
    The game was unreal. When the Wallabies had the ball I believed them. I actually believed them.
    I believed any moment now they are going to score with out doubt and they did. Samu busted Barret like Jonah and White to finish it off and Beale stepping around Whitelock making it 80m up the park. Pfft wheres this team been. Ive only seen Aus play this good on tv. Now I got to see it before me.

    I feel really lucky to have witnessed the game. You dont get to see your team beat the ABs very often. All I asked for was to see some rugby and got this. Thanks Rugby. Thanks Wallabies. Thanks All Blacks.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Thanks for that! and good on you WA!

    • joy

      What a delightful post!

  • andrewM

    Don’t you mean Dwayne Nestor? Unless this is now the MapleLeaf Tennis site :)

  • Max Graham

    Hopefully this week we’ll not hear more awesome suggestions such as moving Kerevi to 13 (or dropping him), bringing Banks into the starting side, calling up Rangi and Mafi or dropping Hooper and bringing in (insert vastly inferior player). Cheika and the selection team and doing a great job. We are winning. We look gorgeous. Maybe there is a spot or two to swap around, but for once, we should all happily agree that the selectors know much more than us and leave them to it.

    Unless of course they bring back Foley or drop any Queenflanders.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan.
    Well played Wallabies. They wanted that game more and it showed. The ABs just didn’t turn up and got a good old fashioned thumping. I have no issue with the Red Card, I agree it was dumb rather than deliberate but still met the current threshold for red and just summed up the night really. Dumb play at dumb times and a real lack of intensity.
    I read an article about the players going off shore and not having their head in the game and players out of position. Personally I think the second issue is actually more relevant and having seen it done before by Mitchell and other coaches I’m picking that if it continues we won’t make it past the semis at the RWC.
    I hope Hansen and co go back to players being in the right place and up the intensity or we may have to say goodbye to the cup this weekend.
    Bad luck to the Wallaroos, they came back quite well but were off the pace in that first half and it showed.

  • chisel68

    The Wallabies won because of two things:

    1. Collisions. They won them. I haven’t seen them be as direct as they were and be as persistent as they were, on Saturday. re watch the game to see what I mean,

    2. Accuracy. Clean outs were brilliant which means ball retention. If you’ve got ball you score tries.

    When you nail those two objectives, you win games.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Chisel, agree. Especially after Rodda was penalised early for lack of accuracy in his clean out. After that, the Wallabies were a lot more targetted. Where the fuck has that been for the last 4 years!

    • Will

      Totally agree mate. Both those require huge amounts of stamina and strength and you could see our boys fading massively in the second. Cheika needs to be a little quicker with the finishers with this approach.

  • Greg

    Interesting comments from Mr Jones (Eddie not Alan) overnight re the Barrett red card.I don’t agree. Shoulder to the head seems to be something that we should avoid.

    Perhaps his motivation is something to do with having Owen Farrell in the team. He seems like an accident (and long suspension) waiting to happen.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all-blacks/114922720/england-coach-eddie-jones-rubbishes-all-blacks-lock-scott-barretts-ridiculous-red-card

    • OnTheBurst

      Eddie is doing his classic “look over here” distraction routine.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’m just glad they beat Wales. That not only keeps us at No 1 (not really a biggie but good to rub in the nose of the NH) but it’ll also help the Wallabies for when they meet in RWC. TBH if the Wallabies keep playing like they did on Saturday they could do very well in Japan.

      • Brumby Runner

        Big “if” KRL. But, to be honest, with the right players playing mostly in their right positions, and with the confidence gained from this win, then anything is possible. I just hope they don’t ruin all the good work this coming weekend.

    • Missing Link

      I have no idea how Owen Farrell keeps getting away with it. He is a serial no arms tackler, no wonder his nickname is T-Rex

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    Eden Park hoodoo? Meh. That’s only been 33 years.

    How about the fact that we’ve NEVER lost to NZ in Perth?

    • The Jackal

      We beat Wales at Eden Park in 2011 RWC Bronze match.

      There is no hoodoo!! haha

      • Who?

        Good point. Though that was after losing to Ireland…

    • Missing Link

      At the end of the day it’s a piece of grass 100m long by 70m wide. That’s all the players need to know.

      • Yowie

        Distance between tryline to dead-ball line variable depending on English buffoonery

        https://www.sportsjoe.ie/rugby/england-decision-paint-pitch-markings-may-won-ireland-grand-slam-154168

        • Who?

          I remember that – truly one of the great moments. :-)
          10m minimum, 22m maximum. Really, should be 22 wherever possible. It’s similar to the old laws on width – it used to be 68m maximum, minimum of 61m. But that changed after we played Scotland at Murrayfield and, in order to limit our attack, they narrowed the field. Eddie Jones pointed it out before the game (we won), then the laws were ‘clarified’. One of the few sensible changes this millennium.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      This Wallabies never lost in Perth. This record will stand a very long time as the Wallabies may not play in Perth for a very long time, especially not against the All Blacks as RA hated to see how stupid their decision was to axe WA’s rugby community

  • OnTheBurst

    Scott Barrett faced the Sanzarr judiciary last night. When is the result made known?

    • Hoss

      Checked 4-5 sites and can’t find mention of the finding. Apparently the death penalty was an option.

    • Greg

      I really hope they are not debating hanging another ref out to dry.

    • The Jackal

      They adjourned his hearing overnight as they are looking for more evidence. I’m not sure what that means, surely the vision is all they have, there isn’t a zapruder film which which show he made no contact etc. Other than maybe a statement from Hooper which might lessen the suspension.

      Methinks SANZAAR being strong armed by NZ to make sure he isn’t rubbed out of the World Cup as New Zealand’s ‘world class’ depth at a few positions is definitely up for discussion

      • OnTheBurst

        I find the “he was falling… it was already lower to the ground” defence totally irrelevant.

        The fact remains that he had his arm cocked and made no attempt to make a tackle with his arms. If you make contact with a players head with a cocked arm it doesn’t matter if he is upright or 1mm from the ground. Red every day of the week.

        The NZHerald’s retinue of usually well-educated rugby writers are really off on this one

        • Crescent

          The NZHerald’s retinue of usually well-educated rugby writers

          The same writers who decried Tupou’s hit in South Africa as “late no arms tackle” and he was lucky to only get yellow? Just to recap – referee was happy with the wrap of the arms, he didn’t like the lateness (widely debated here, let’s not re cover the ground) or the height even though he hit the chest.

          They may be well educated in the classical sense, but they are definitely enabling cheerleaders lacking in criticaly analysis. They are, and remain, well off the mark.

          The guidelines from WR have been clear, Garces ticked through the checklist and his decision was in line with the expectation set by his paymasters. Despite any other faults, he got this decision correct. The only mitigation NZ can bring to the table is to question the force of the impact to downgrade any penalty as much as possible.

        • OnTheBurst

          Ha. I must admit I was trying to be as kind and neutral as possible by saying that, but yes you’re right, of course they are terrible AB cheerleaders. I’m sure Rattue and Gregor Paul in particular do it for the clicks.

        • Who?

          Agree. The ‘falling’ argument takes a standard high tackle from a RC to a YC. But this wasn’t a standard tackle, so adding in the no-arms tackle penalty YC takes it back to a very clear RC.

      • Yowie

        There was a second shoulder-charger who ran in from a grassy knoll!

        • Parker

          Apparently Fox has released the Zapruder film showing Barret should er charging Hooper earlier in the game.

        • Who?

          They got the footage from Andrew Denton. Given it’s one of Zapruder’s Other Films… :-P
          They’ve also found a better angle of the RC hit. It’s brutal. Nothing like accidental, so far from passive.

    • Greg
  • joy

    Hanson’s “we were offside when we didn’t need to be” is tantamount to an admission that he coaches his side to break the laws of the game. Could he please advise us when and why his team needs to be offside?

    • Yowie

      Hansen has an explanatory Venn diagram that looks like a waning crescent moon.

    • Who?

      I agree, but… There’s times when it’s much more justifiable to be offside than others. If you’re chasing back on a break, it’s a lot more justifiable to be offside than if you’ve got a set defensive line. If you’re chasing back that break, you take the penalty for offside rather than allowing another break. If you have a set defensive line, it’s a lot simpler to stay onside.
      Ultimately, I think it’s just poor phrasing.

      • joy

        I live in a simpler world.

  • Singapore Sling

    The Wallabies are in with a chance in Auckland but they need to look at their defence. The Wallabies scored a try every 8.6 minutes of pocession and the Nuns every 7 minutes with 73% and 81% respective tackle efficiency.

    The ruck speed needs a bit of work too and I’d like to see them attack the AB’s lineout throw.

    The backs looked good……it’s like a bottleneck was removed from the halves.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Agree. that flow from White to CLL to Samu to JOC. THat is the blueprint for us moving forward. If Foley ends up back in the mix I will be so pissed off.

      • onlinesideline

        I really wonder if we had turned the team around a year earlier whether guys like Coleman and Kerevi would have enjoyed their footy more, been part of a winning team more and not so eager to go OS. It seems such a shame that these young guys dont wont the jumper more, for longer. They are still so young. And with 2cows, JOC, White all coming home, as well as Scott Johnston there is a good future for this team. With Sio and AAAs approaching their peak in next 2 years and staying put and Thor signing, ist a shame these guys are going. And I belive Arnold is going too. Its definitely not unconditional love for the jersey anymore these days.

        • Dud Roodt

          To be honest, I think that’s just modern professional rugby. They know they have a finite career that can end any minute. The years between World Cups are years they can really make some money and see the world, and still come back and make the next cup

        • onlinesideline

          it seems so

        • Keith Butler

          I certainly cannot blame them. One injury away from having no career.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I gues we will never know. BUt generally speaking if the environment is fun and the culture good, and we are winning more games then we lose. People have a tendency to stay.
          Kerevi I think was always going to go as it is about supporting family for him. And as RA has already wasted more money on bigger contracts and dumb decisions they couldnt give him the $$ he should have received.

        • Singapore Sling

          No-one gets off a winning ride especially if there is a sense of something special evolving.

        • Keith Butler

          Really rated the pairing of Arnold and Coleman a few years back. Both went off the boil but only Arnold seemed to get his form back. Bad move from the Rebs making Coleman captain in 2017 when he really needed to focus on his gan

    • Parker

      I vote for the name Spanners being changed to Bottleneck.

  • onlinesideline

    its a 128 hours till kick off.
    as Einstein said ‘time is relative”.
    It can seem fast for some and slow for others
    But this week will seem slow for all
    Once the game starts time will fly and they will be trotting in for half time before we know it
    I have no idea what Im talking about.
    Its a good night from me and a good night from him.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate sounds like the celebration on the win is ongoing

    • John Tynan

      To paraphrase The Best Movie of All Time:

      It’s 128 hours to kick off.
      We’ve got half a Bledisloe Cup,
      a full pack of forwards.
      It’s The Darkness.
      We’re wearing gold jerseys.
      Hit it!

      • onlinesideline

        thanks, now I dont feel so embarassed for my effort

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Gold mate

      • Yowie

        It’s really bugging me not getting this film reference – can you throw me a clue?

        • Braveheart81

          Blues Brothers.

        • Ads
        • Yowie

          Awesome, cheers.

        • Keith Butler

          Too young to remember?

        • Yowie

          Pretty much. I’m aware of a few scenes etc but the great lines aren’t etched in my memory like with some other films.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          They’re on a mission from god.

        • Greg

          please…. let’s not go there again.

        • Who?

          Why not? They even had to deal with an abusive person in black clothing who beat them with a ruler!

        • John Tynan

          It’s 128 miles to Chicago, we’ve got half a tank of gas, a full packet of cigarettes, it’s dark, we’re wearing sunglasses, hit it!

          Followed by the mother of all car chase scenes.

        • laurence king

          My three sons collectively watched this movie no less than 50 times by their estimation

        • laurence king
      • juswal

        If the Wallabies are the Blues Brothers, the AB are the Illinois Nazis.

        “I hate Illinois Nazis.”

        • John Tynan

          On this we can agree!

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        We’ve got a forward pack powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline.

  • Nutta

    Morning Y’All

    First things first – great win Wobblies. I confess I was not a believer beyond the most basic given it was a two-horse race and Steve Bradbury is Australian. How sheepish do I feel?

    That said, we can and do need to be better. I still think LSL is a weakness at 6, not taking the midfield scrum at 38min when the AiB were at their most vulnerable, there was some really poor tactical kicking decisions between 55min and 75min and we were beaten to the Finishers Punch by about 5min all of which may have proven decisive otherwise. But no game is ever perfect.

    On reflection the biggest surprise to me on the weekend was Latte. Some may same JOC or Nic White, but I disagree because we always knew they were good (remember JOC in Hong Kong anyone?). And it was great to see Coleman impact off the bench, but again we knew he could do that. Latte on the other hand played beyond what I thought he was capable of. Hats off. Now do it again.

    Great win. Drink the wine. Now move on and prepare for possibly the most emotionally pivotal game in 25yrs.

    I’m hearing nothing but good things about JOC both from media-control but also on the quiet. We may be seeing something special there.

    And I agree with Joy’s comment below on Hansen’s ‘offside when we didn’t need to be…’ comment. Freudian slip? Hardly…

    As for the folk saying Barrett should not have seen a red, well not at any time in my +40yrs of playing rugby have we ever been allowed to put a leading shoulder into a guys skull.

    • Singapore Sling

      LSL had a few good moments but I agree he’s not a 6. He does not have the speed or work rate. He’s a lock all day every day! I’m not sure Jones is the option, maybe, I’d like to have seen Matt Phillip get a go.

      • onlinesideline

        I’d like to see Cheika give Jones a white hot crack to prove himself as a starter in a big game. Next week could be it.

      • Nutta

        MattP is a wholehearted guy and would play himself to a standstill. But again he is a lock playing at loose. We have a heap of good loose options some of which are proper 6ers: Jones, Samu, Dempsey and McCafe (my fav) to name a few.

      • Keith Butler

        Matt Phillip is even less of a 6 than Jones. He’s a grafting lock just what the Rebs need but not ready for the G&G yet.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey Nutta. Well done on the win and next week could be interesting. TBH if we lose the Bledisloe and win the RWC I’ll still be happy but I am starting to worry.
      Not about Saturday as you guys turned up and we didn’t and that can always happen, but I’m worried about the selections, especially having players out of position and where this could go. It led to us getting knocked out at previous cups and is my biggest issue

      • Yowie

        The thing with “players out of position” is you guys just have to stick with it until it works.

        Obviously Australia is still waiting for it to work, but not for a lack of persistence.

      • Keith Butler

        Don’t know the outcome of Barrett’s hearing but must assume that he’ll be missing. This could leave the ABs a bit light in the tight five. Both Franks and Moody looked like they were struggling. Dead right about players out of position. Seems to be some kind of disease that coaches suffer from.

      • Nutta

        As judicious and gracious as ever KRL.

      • Will

        As a wallaby supporter I have to wonder why Shag has been tinkering with something that has obviously worked for years. What is the problem he is trying to solve??

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I don’t know mate. It shits me to tears

        • From what I’ve been reading – he doesn’t like the 6’s he’s got, that’s one problem. Not sure that Savea at 6 is necessarily a good answer, although I think Savea at 8 and Read at 6 might work. Although Read is not looking up to his normal standards, Savea at 8 and Frizzel or someone at 6 might be the answer, however shocking that is.

          I think his other problem is not really a problem, I think he’s not going to do it in the RWC but he’s getting Mo’unga hours under his belt at 10. I think he’s been exploring whether it will work with BB at 15 and the answer’s just no. Smith back to 15 and another winger on the wing.

          I think the loss of Goodhue will hurt them more if Crotty isn’t back though. I like ALB but ALB and Laumape isn’t a good combination. ALB is a more rounded player, but he’s not a 13.

      • NSWelsham in London

        Mounga is good, actually he is great, but Barrett at 10 offers more (you dont get 2 straight world player of the year awards for nothing). He is so threatening and each time he gets the ball, defensively you have to follow him until he passes as his acceleration is so quick you never know when he will snipe. Each time he injected himself (he had to try alot as we finally stopped giving you lot the ball) he was dangerous.

        • Nutta

          I know I bring it up too often but didn’t anyone pay attention to when the worlds best fullback (Matt Burke) was shifted to 13 to make room for a pretty good fullback instead (Chris Latham)? We devalued both positions in one go.

    • Keith Butler

      Personal opinion, Barrett attempted clean out was a definite yellow but under the new rules a red was the correct call. That being said I reckon we would have still won the game with a great overall team performance. We were up for it and the ABs were lacklustre. Difference for me was that we did not kick possession away and that starved the ABs of the counter attack option. Hodge surprised me, he did well. Nic White my motm, he got his hands dirty at ruck time and controlled the game. However, instead of flapping his arms about he should have gone for the tackle. Great effort. From the pack but the jury is still out for me on LSL. Would prefer a genuine 6. Luke Jones not the answer as imo will always be a lock. But only giving him a few minutes at the end of the game is a joke.

      • Nutta

        Pretty much agree with all you wrote. Nic White was MOTM and yes he should have just made the tackle and played the whistle. He has always had the goods and been a good 9 but needed refinement and it looks like he has matured into it nicely. His sniping really kept the ruck defence at x & y honest creating better opportunity for those outside him. My regret about SB getting carded is that it gave NZ an excuse for losing (14 men blah blah blah). We would have won regardless and I would have preferred it that way. I think Jones could be the 6 and certainly McCafe could but it’s getting too close to Bill Time now.

        For me, possession control was the big one. We played rugby where and when we wanted to, not from where & when we were allowed to. Much of that is down to two elements:
        1) Bending the line and winning collisions so as to afford to keep the ball (and much of that comes from pinning their defenders into their channels and creating choices so-as running lines aren’t telegraphed and so sand-bagged by expectant defense)
        2) generally smart kicking (AKA not just kicking it away) and a presumption to not kick until tactically needed.

        Bending the line is the biggest element. It’s here that both Nics sniping but also JOC’s wider distribution meant AiB’s defence were forced to think and adjust as opposed to us just piling up bodies into the running channels of the pre-formulated and transparent roadmap we have stuck to for nigh 5yrs now. Seriously, playing Oz for the past half decade has been achievable even when blindfolded because everyone knew what we would do. With Nic challenging post-defenders plus being bold enough to direct play off himself it thins the defensive line then so with L’fano being big and cool enough to play flat and Beale coming from fullback being far more dangerous in tighter channels than Folau ever was, we can actually effectively use some of the bigger ball-runners we have to skewer the line more effectively. We haven’t lacked mass for 10yrs. What we lacked was enough craft being on-field to use them coherently.

        • Anonymous bloke

          CLL also not afraid to run the ball into contact too. He got over the advantage line in the lead up to White’s try.

        • Nutta

          Absolutely. Having a 10 who has an extra 10kg (then Foley) is huge for both D and O. Having a 9 that held defenders so he only had 1 or 2 instead of 3 opponents to use that +10kg on helps again. Then toss in that Kevy was double-teamed all night meant inside (L’fano) and outside (JOC) again had less defenders to contend with.

        • idiot savant

          The conundrum about the number 6 is that LSL was one of the constant line benders even tho he has other shortcomings and it was the line bending where we got the go forward to win the game.

        • Nutta

          My concern with LSL is that he runs too high. Every run becomes an upright wrestle wherein he is liable to stripping, getting held up and ‘mauled’ or simply taking too long to get to ground creating slower ball (so D realigns). Offensively, if he dropped his head and charged into contact for a 5 or 8-count leg-drive to then eat the grass for a 3-count before a long-place back to a waiting 9 he would be far more effective. Defensively he is just too slow to turn fast. He will be a target for nimble backrowers or creative centres to exploit (eg Irish).

        • idiot savant

          In theory I agree but the evidence doesn’t quite bear that out. We just beat an AB side with 2 nimble backrowers, partly because we had 2 big back rowers in Naisarani and LSL who won the collisions. So in practice LSL is not as big a liability as it is made out. I do agree his breakdown work is poor as all Reds forwards breakdown work under Thorn have been (Wright the exception). I also would prefer Dempsey or Samu in the role but in their absence I can see why the selectors have persevered with him.

        • Nutta

          All fair enough. And what he certainly does add is weight to the prop he packs on. His commitment to the engage sequence is noticable. A tight-side pod of Tupou paired with Arnold & LSL is a fair chunk of BBQ lovers meat-pack.

        • laurence king

          We could see in the Irish series last year what Cheika’s intentions were, however his selections and hence the ridiculous musical chairs defence hamstrung momentum.
          The new selectors, and hence, more suitable players, an extra 12 months and Berne have made a real difference

        • From NooZealand

          A good number of fans and commentators have said that even with 15 players the ABs would have lost and so I think.

        • Nutta

          Very gracious of you FNZ. Cheers.

      • onlinesideline

        I agree its a yellow, but under the rules its a red. Thing is – how many cleanouts look similar ?

        I’m in favour of a red not being a send off but 10 mins and then harsh suspension after match end. Like for 4 weeks. I really think the crowd deserves to be considered in this matter, especially at 100 bucks a pop.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think this is the issue. For me it seemed like at every ruck players from both sides were off their feet and coming in from the side. Sometimes pinged for it but mostly not and it’s the inconsistency that gets me.
          No issues with the Red though

        • Parker

          As long as the inconsistency is evenly applied it’s tolerable, something it hasn’t been in the past.

        • Keith Butler

          And that’s the trouble, too many. No consistency from the refs with anything to do with the ruck. I like the idea which I’ve seen touted here that if a red is given the player is off the pitch for say 10 or 15 mins and then has to be replaced.

        • onlinesideline

          mehhh – wheres the punishment in replacement.

        • Nutta

          Correct. Are we proposing I get to use a neanderthal to remove my opponents biggest threat by a good ‘ol piece of foul play and all it costs me is 10min down the neanderthal and then replace him with someone smarter/dynamic? I’ll buy that for a dollar.

        • Keith Butler

          I concede a red is a red and he’s off permanently. However I’ve seen instances where a player is going down, as Hooper seems to be, and is caught in the neck head area and the ref has clearly said that in that circumstance a yellow was appropriate rather that a red. I reckon that will be Barrett’s defence. Consistency is all I want.

        • Who?

          That would’ve been an acceptable argument had the arm not been tucked. Tuck that shoulder and it’s a lot harder to argue. Takes it from an RC (high tackle) reduced to a YC (mitigating circumstance of the player being low and falling), back to a RC (no arms).
          .
          With all that in mind, how, under the NRC laws with no tackling about the waist, do you tackle a pick and go on your tryline..?

        • Greg

          with your arms?

        • Who?

          But how do you tackle someone below the waist when they’re picking and driving? Head down, shoulders down? I don’t think what Barrett did was anything like intelligent or acceptable. I’m saying that a high tackle RC can be reduced down to a YC by the mitigating circumstance of a falling player, but that’s a lucky dip when you’re talking a pick and go at the tryline where you’re not allowed to tackle above the waist, which effectively means the top metre or so of the attacker gets a free dig at the tryline. It’s a problem.

        • Nutta

          Hang the arm out and it’s a high contact but viewed as a tackle. That get’s viewed a lot differently than a cocked-shoulder meaning it’s a high shoulder-charge especially after our Nearlies mates broke the Frogs skull last year.

        • Keith Butler

          Good point about the below the waist tackle. Short answer imo you probably can’t and you could well pick up a card and a penalty try if you did.

        • It’s one of the stupidities of the law experiment. You’re also putting the tackler’s head against one, potentially two hard things – pelvis and it’s closer to the knees if you’re slightly wrong. You might stop the tackled player getting so many concussions, but that’s f’all good if the tackler ends up getting concussed instead.

          I’ll be shocked if that one survives to be honest.

        • Parker

          Don’t forget the armlessness of the assault. Not harmless, regardless of the point of impact — low or high.

        • juswal

          Tackle! Not ruck.

        • laurence king

          Or for 20

      • juswal

        Not a clean-out, Keith — a tackle. It was a head-high, no-arms hit on an upright ball carrier.

        On top of that, the incident occurred under penalty advantage to Australia, with Hooper heading for the try-line. It it wasn’t a red offence, it was three separate yellows. (But it was a genuine red, like Sonny Bill Williams’ shoulder shot on Anthony Watson in 2017.)

        • Keith Butler

          I stand corrected.

        • Who?

          Fox has found footage (there’s an article) where Barrett did exactly the same thing earlier in the game (14 minutes earlier). Also on Hooper. While Leali’ifano lined up a penalty kick, Hooper came over and asked Jerome about it. Saying shoulder to the head. Jerome disagreed… But he acted very quickly 14 minutes later. So quickly I was grumpy that he was stopping the game when we were hot on attack – thinking he should’ve just let us play on, and get the TMO to check it while play continued! I was eventually happy with his decision, but it’s easy to miss those sorts of things.
          .
          Also worth noting that, of the four ABs to have copped a RC, 2 were in the past 3 years, and both were from Garces (SBW and SB).

        • Nutta

          And do not underestimate the quiet comms that would have surrounded the Frenchman last year getting a fractured skull from the Sam Kane & Tuungafasi hit.

        • juswal
        • Who?

          Thanks – saw it on my phone (don’t post from here on my phone). :-)

        • laurence king

          Ardie Savea also delivered a high shot on Hooper as well, puts a new twist on ‘just messin with his head’. Hanson glosses over things like that – Savea’s push on Hooper’s head was ‘dumb’, but Barrett’s ‘not a dirty player. And just thinking back to last year when Pocock was consistently taken around the head and neck which was not a cause of concern for Hanson either.

        • Who?

          Good point. That was in the 8th minute, and Garces actually delivered a warning about it (“no more, you’ve been warned.” Wasn’t clear if it was high tackles only, or penalties in general, given it was a penalty on a restart after the Wallabies kicked a penalty).

        • Keith Butler

          There more I watch it the worse it gets. No mitigating circumstances straight red and at least 4 weeks.

        • laurence king

          Spiro thinks that Hooper milked it, although agreeing with the ref’s decision. I disagree with in regards to Hooper who was clearly hurt, Savea had already go penalised early for connecting him around the chops, Barrett had apparently hit him high as well and one wonders how he got that shiner. I think that maybe he was targeted, if so, he showed some metal

        • Keith Butler

          Best game I’ve seen Hooper play in ages. Could well have been targeted. Maybe the news on Pocock isn’t that good Hoops is stepping into the more genuine 7 role.

        • laurence king

          Yeh agree, the separation has been good for his development. When Pocock is back it may be that we can see them used a little differently. Hooper looked spent near the end the other night. If Pocock were to replace him in such a circumstance it could only be a win for the Wallabies. A young man developing into a good leader being replaced by a great leader.

        • Who?

          How do you milk copping a shoulder charge to the head?
          Boy Spiro goes on with some rubbish sometimes…..
          There’s a link from Juswal on here that points out a story on Fox where they discuss the Barrett high shot on Hooper at 25 minutes (without going into the Ardie high shot at 8 minutes).

        • laurence king

          I saw a view on the night that showed the impact and Hooper clearly was hurt. Yeh, I just saw the article that your referring to. Kafer was saying that he believed that Hooper was being targeted. Well it was pretty clear last year that Pocock was a marked man as well.

        • Nutta

          He certainly was. Not since George Smith have I seen a guy outright be a marked-man the way Poet has been. That the guy isn’t seriously FUBAR’d already is a bit of a medical miracle and I sort of have a very quiet hope he never plays again because old age will not be kind to him already.

    • Damo

      The key for me above all else is that while the wallabies still have some errors in their play, those errors are being committed while they are trying to execute the right game plan- a stark contrast to whatever it is we have been trying to play over the last 3+ years. I don’t think there is any doubt that the quantity of run metres gained by the outside backs, particularly KB, is due to the directness of play in the inside channels, forwards + 9 and 10. Committing and creating uncertainty in the defensive line. One other thing I reckon is selecting JOC has got us a “schemer” back in the backline. Particularly in the middle 40 minutes you could see him, QC like, talking, pointing, moving around in his position. I think his contribution to the backs doing smart things will grow as he settles in.
      A lot to like, still a lot to do.

      • Dave P

        We’ve missed having a ‘smart’ outside back for years now. I was always hoping he could be developed as an outside centre in the Andrew Slack / Conrad Smith mold. Hope Cheika persists with the centre combination until the end of our World Cup campaign.

  • Missing Link

    I am literally in shock. Upon seeing the score at the 80 minute mark, I asked someone to slap me twice, then I washed my eyes just in case there was some dirt in there. we actually won, but not like in the past where we’ve scraped over the line, we smashed them.

    This is the type of rugby I remember watching in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, gold getting across the gain line with easy. This will be added to the Wallabies highlight reel for decades as one of the great Bledisloe cup wins. Now it all boils down to next week. In the past, on the rare occasion that we’ve set up a decider, we’ve come up against the other NZ and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen this time.

    The question still remains in my mind, are we really that good or have NZ set the throttle to 50% and kept most of their innovative new secrets in the bank in preparation for the world cup? They looks vulnerable and not the same team that won 2011 and 2015, but you never know with them, they are the masters of lulling the opposition into a false sense of security before biting their head off. Either way, Hansen will have to reveal some of them this week unless he is happy to make history by being the first NZ coach to lose the Bledisloe Cup in 15 years.

    I just find it strange that after so many years of us attempting to play dual opensides and a secondary 10 at 12, we revert back to a tall ball running 6 and 8 and bulldozer at 12, and NZ have reverted to dual opensides and a 10 playing 15, and a 15 on the wing? They seemed to have a tried and true formula, but all means, change the players but why change the system?

    On our side, I’m proud of James O’Connor. whatever he is doing, good on him, bringing him and Nik White back has been a master stroke and Hodge has been the target of some flack, but he looks like someone has coached him to run, he’s now running upright and taking big strides instead of being hunched over and looking awkward, equal top try scorer for the comp. Christian Lealifano makes Foley look amatuer, With Christian at 10, the Wallabies are a different beast. Kerevi is just untouchable and so is Beale but for different reasons. Naisirani has been a great addition to the forward pack too and in his first year – will go close to rookie of the year.

    Can we say “Israel Fol-who?” yet?

    • UTG

      NZ haven’t been able to come up with a suitable replacement at 6 for Kaino. Now Squire’s gone cold they don’t have a lot of test quality options which is why we saw Cane and Savea. A back row combination that produced just 3 turnovers, massive props to our clean outs.

      The centre pairing is not really working for them either. Goodhue hasn’t been as good this season and 12 is just a merry-go-round.

      Add in the fact that their tight-five doesn’t have as much go forward sans Retallick and Ioane and Smith are in career worst form and you can see why they’re struggling.

    • Greg

      “Can we say “Israel Fal-who?” yet?”

      For better or worse I think it has been “Israel Fal-who?” for a while now. I can’t see him playing in gold again whatever financial outcome the court case concludes. Relationships with team and mgt would seem to be very badly broken.

      • Yowie

        If everyone just repents like they were told to there won’t be any issues.

      • onlinesideline

        Izzy was a one trick pony in my book. Up there Cazaly and thats it. Hes ancient history mate, its a new new side.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          I couldn’t agree more, OLSL. Plus the tactic (singular) was “get it to Izzy”, which was predictable. He is talented enough to get some points despite that, but keeping the opposition guessing because you have tactics (plural) is surely something to aspire to.

    • Ads

      Good post. I would still prefer Izzy on Hodge’s wing. He brings better aerial, and finishing skills. He also would draw more defenders than Hodge helping others as a decoy. Yes you lose the cannon boot, but think that is less of a big deal with CLL, JOC, and KB all being good/competent place kickers. Greg may well be right re the team dynamics, but, just as a player, he would be a step up IMO.

      • laurence king

        I think that there is still one piece in the backline that’s missing. I would like to see Petaia out there on the wing. He knows how to play it, he’s fast and I think a combo between him and O’Connor could blitz opposition defenses in a way that Hodge cannot, good player though he is.
        Banks to my mind has the potential to be a world class fullback and I think at the moment he is stuck behind Beale in that position, plus he hasn’t been given any decent opportunity time wise on the wing, so for mine, I’d like to see Petaia be in the 23 come the weekend

    • onlinesideline

      I dont buy that the darkness are experimenting or anything else pre world cup. 1 – because you cant compare the Bled against the 6 weeks world cup campaign. 2 – Different style matches. Its knockout and defense plays bigger role after pools. More intense, tighter affairs means different players. Could be wrong but Bledisloe is right up there for the kiwis and no all black team takes losing lightly.

      I think we just beat them fair and square on the night. 14 men wa definite advantage. It was 26-19 at 56 min mark. We won because we had the ability to close out a match a player up – thats true but how we would have gone 15 on 15 – well we are about to find out soon.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely, although if we lose the Bledisloe and win the RWC I’ll still be sort of happy

  • The Jackal

    Who would have thought that we are one Test away from the naming of the RWC 31 man squad and the likes of Bernard Foley, Dane Haylett-Petty & Rob Simmons are legitimately on the bubble and may not make the cut. What a turn of events

    • Braveheart81

      I think DHP is the only one on the bubble. Foley is the only reasonable choice to start at 10 if Lilo is unavailable. He’ll go to Japan. Likewise Simmons needs to be there. We have to have four specialist locks in the squad with LSL remaining as the starting 6.

      • LBJ

        Agree on Foley – I wouldn’t be surprised if Foley got a chance this weekend.

        • Braveheart81

          I would have 100% said the plan for the two Bledisloes was to give White, Genia, Lilo and Foley one start each. I think that will change after the win in Perth though.

          Leali’ifano was also much more convincing against the All Blacks. Against the Pumas he barely touched the ball in the first 20 minutes and had far fewer involvements. He was given the reins to control the game at first receiver much more against the All Blacks. Our pack was strong against the Pumas and dominant against the All Blacks. Genia and Foley would get the job done behind that sort of performance as well. Foley had a pretty good game in South Africa behind a well beaten pack.

        • LBJ

          I think you’re right about that plan.
          But if CLL fails at Eden park, there are no more opportunities to see if Foley could get the job done.
          So what’s more important – Bledisloe, or RWC preparation?
          Cheika will have to be very brave to stick to the plan – CLL and White is the easy option…

        • onlinesideline

          mate there would be a national meltdown if he reverts to Foley. There is no way in helll he could justify it after playing him for 40 tests over 5 years. “Yeah we just wanted to see what he could do”

          CLL has the job. Period.

        • LBJ

          I’d love to be in the selection meeting – would be ironic if O’Connor or Johnson were pushing to see Foley.

        • Singapore Sling

          Ironic….nah! Idiotic…..yes!

        • Keith Butler

          Stick with the same team, win the Bledisloe and then make the changes against Samoa avoiding injury to the main players. Nothing like being a glass half full bloke.

        • onlinesideline

          too right – playing Samoa is just an injury fest waiting to happen. But Im telling you now, I’ll bet you any money Cheika will risk a lot of top players in that match. He doesnt belive in cotton woolling players.

        • Yowie

          Perhaps some sort of super-hard training camp is in order before the Samoa game?

        • Braveheart81

          Foley is very much a known quantity though. Whilst I think Cheika could comfortably say that he isn’t 100% certain what his best combination is, White and Lilo played easily well enough to suggest that that there is little to be gained by tinkering with it. I think momentum is important and having the best crack possible at the Bledisloe is very important and in my opinion that means minimal changes.

          The situation is very different to 2015 in that Foley was not a locked in starter at that point in time and Cheika was new in the role. He probably thought he’d get a few more decent chances at winning a Bledisloe as well. This is almost certainly his last chance at a Bledisloe and he also has the benefit of hindsight knowing what happened in 2015 and the fallout from making so many changes to a winning team.

        • Who?

          I think you’re right about momentum – Cheika’s used that word a lot.
          2015, Foley was the incumbent. He’d started pretty well all the 2014 Tests at 10, and he was Cheika’s incumbent from the Tahs. So I don’t know how you can claim he wasn’t locked in?

        • Braveheart81

          Foley did start most of the 2014 tests but Cooper had been out injured for most of that year and only returned for the End of Year Tour. I do think there was more uncertainty at that point as to whether Foley was definitely going to remain as the starter. Cheika was also new in the job.

        • Who?

          Cooper had been out for most of the year and Foley was considered the incumbent, the same way that Pocock had been out all year and Hooper was considered the incumbent.
          Cheika was new in the job, but history has proven that he likes guys he knows. He’s fiercely loyal (look at Grey, look at him dragging a suspended Beale halfway round the world to the EOYT – something highly irregular). So I don’t see that Foley wasn’t incumbent.

        • Missing Link

          I think we’ve seen enough of Foley over the last 6 years to know what he is and isn’t capable of. We have an opportunity to make history, Cheika needs to stick with the same starting XV and combinations. The worlds cup is important but we MUST have a crack at the Bledisloe. Cheika hasn’t had the most successfully reign as coach, but imagine being the coach that returned the Bledisloe Cup to Australia!

        • joy

          Imagine being in the team.

        • joy

          We’ll have a much better chance in the world cup if we win the Bledisloe.

        • Who?

          Touches doesn’t equate to whether or not a player is fulfilling their role, particularly when their role involves large amounts of organisation.
          .
          Foley was given a 5 for his effort in Johannesburg. Which was generous. He was outside a 9 who scored a 7, inside a 12 who received an 8 for his ball running primarily late in the game when shifted wider (I didn’t think Kerevi was worthy of an 8 that weekend), who ran sideways a lot (not the 12’s natural tendency), and inside a 13 who saw no pill. Contrast the shape of the Wallabies’ attack in Johannesburg to what we saw the very next week with the same centres, and it’s pretty clear that Foley is significantly behind Leali’ifano.
          Given how well Quade played under Berne this season, in a very similar attacking structure, it would be fair to say – were it not for existing biases from Cheik and also seemingly Schnoz – that he’d be the form and stylistic backup to Leali’ifano (in the squad).
          .
          Also worth pointing out that, in 2015, when we won, we won in spite of Foley. It was the worst game he played that year… So you’re right, we could have won with Foley at 10 on the weekend, off the back of the stellar performance of our pack. But does that mean we should choose to weaken ourselves..? I don’t think we have that sort of margin, to be able to carry someone who doesn’t fit.

        • laurence king

          The scary thing is, we are only one injury away from being stuck with Foley.

        • Missing Link

          please god no!

        • Parker

          Please God, NO!

      • GO THE Q REDS

        “reasonable” is not the word I would use!

        • laurence king

          Quade is in my opinion the only reasonable option. Yes, he has some weaknesses, but his positives are enough to give opponents nightmares.

        • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

          I’ve never quite understood what KB and now JOC are given chances to prove themselves but Quade is not. I wonder what gives there. Maybe he needed to bugger off overseas to be seen as worthy or something.

          Surely decent coaching would iron out the flaws in his D.

        • laurence king

          I think that with Cheika, Quade was the outsider, and as such when he made a mistake he paid big-time. Beale and Foley pretty much would have played themselves out of most sides with the way they played for the Wallabies last year. And who knows what would have happened if Cheika had remained the sole selector this year.

        • joy

          Just ban him from trying to strip the ball would halve his missed tackle count.
          He pulled off some really good tackles against big blokes this year in otherwise try scoring situations.

    • Brumby Runner

      Not forgetting Phipps and Hanigan also.

  • LBJ

    Thanks Mr Hansen:
    “We were offside when we didn’t need to be”
    Confirming what we all already knew
    – The AB’s are actively coached to infringe. He was only upset that they weren’t smart about it.

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      Maybe it’s about time that we cottoned onto this ploy too.

      • John Tynan

        Hey BB, long time no post or have I just missed them?

        • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

          Gidday JT. No, I don’t post too much. I find that it just highlights my ignorance of the game. But…. I still wear the Wallaby jersey during tests whether home or out, sing the national anthem with gusto, an then hunker down ready for a right flogging. I am what I refer to as a foul weather fan.

          TBH I am still in shock with that Perth test. Were we really that good, were they that bad, or was it maybe a bit of both. As usual I am never sure of these things. Roll on Auckland where the truth shall be revealed for all to see.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          BBOB, you may be my rugby soul brother. I wore my jersey to a bar in Moscow where there was one other person watching. A Kiwi. He wasn’t happy – complained about us celebrating White’s try (“So you SHOULD score against 14 men.”). Complained about everything, really, and was rude to the bar staff (which I really can’t abide). He left at 3/4 time after threatening to leave at the break. I was never confident until the whistle had blown.

        • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

          Moscow eh? Great stuff. Always good to get our jersey known around the planet. Hopefully this team will help us achieve that.
          Too bad about the grumpy Kiwi. In his defence, they don’t have the practice at losing and picking yourself up that we do.
          To be fair though most Kiwis have been gracious and complimentary about the Wallaby performance. I know they must be feeling it, but sport is all about give and take.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Absolutely. I have a very learned Kiwi mate who was most good-natured about it. He also reckoned that Hooper retaliated to Savea because he was being a good sport and trying to get the incident reduced to a penalty in case it was going to be a YC. I don’t know that I’d go that far, but it was rather gracious to suggest it.

    • misha

      “We were offside when we didn’t need to be”. Yeah when only the ref was watching

  • Jason

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, all we can really say is the Wallabies have played 1 good half of rugby — they looked impressive, but only for one half.

    • Who?

      Which one, Jason? I thought their first half was the better half… The second half was just reaping the rewards of all the hard work done there. The ABs made 90 tackles in the first half (and missed another 20), the Wallabies only made 112 in the whole game.

      • Jason

        The first half obviously, the second half was just par for the course. A good performance but it was against 14 men.

        • Who?

          Worth the ask – plenty have said the opposite. :-)

        • Jason

          Anyone who says the second half forgot the AB’s were missing a man, a lock too.

  • Crescent

    Whilst we are rehashing the enjoyment of Saturday night, would love to hear the view points from the die hards who watched Pumas v Boks on Sunday morning.

    Boks shaping nicely as a squad and showing some real improvement under Erasmus. Thought Ledesma was thinking about chucking a Cheika and smashing the door in frustration at one point – he saw some real coach killers at home and had a rough day.

    In particular, curious about the thoughts on Etzebeth, who seems to have taken a liking to jumping into tackles…. This may come back to haunt him with some sharper coaches and good highlights reel.

    • Brumby Runner

      On the whole. the game was a big step down in quality from the Wallabies/ABs game. It was won by the Saffas almost entirely on their scrum dominance leading to Pollard kicking a bunch of penalties.

      Certainly, something official needs to be done about Etsebeth (and I noticed another Saffa doing it too) jumping into the tackle situation. Led to a penalty against the Puma player committed to making a low tackle when imo he wasn’t at fault at all. Someone will get hurt if allowed to continue.

      • Who?

        Jumping into tackles is an old problem, but one that’s never been legislated previously. To my knowledge. Whereas, in League, they banned it around 1913, as someone (I think Dally Messenger, but I could be wrong) had taken to hurdling defenders who were standing upright. They decided it was too unsafe for both the ball carrier and the defender, and banned it.

  • GO THE Q REDS

    OK I can’t read anymore of these dribble comments about Foley. What a bunch of useless selectors you guys would make! CL and Quade were by FAR the best options at 10 all season. What short memories you have! Quade demolished Foley in the seasons weekly tally player ratings! He even beat CL! Foley has been rubbish for YEARS now and Quade not only showed good form behind a garbage pack this year…… he is still our most sucsessfull 10 in a long long time in a Wallaby jumper! CL and Quade have a similar skillful style so would 100% interchange well!

    • Braveheart81

      LOL

    • joy

      Certainly agree that Quade is much better backup for Christian. Quade problem this year was his competition high turnovers, handling errors and missed tackles. Even so I think he actually stepped up when behind a beaten pack, particularly his tackle rate. No one anticipates and tracks play as well as this bloke.

  • Greg

    NZ press has identified the wobs secret tactic.

    tbh I didn’t notice it but agree that the breakdown was inconsistently refereed.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/rugby/scott-barrett-attempted-apologise-all-blacks-team-meeting-before-steve-hansen-interjected-dane-coles-says?auto=6071774811001

    • laurence king

      I think that it was a tactic of the ABs to target Hooper the other night. That hit by Barrett wasn’t the first on him in the game, Savea also got a high shot on him as well. As well, I believe that Barrett had actually been involved in some other high stuff as well. Remembering the last few seasons, the ABs also didn’t think that there was anything wrong with ringing Pocock’s neck either. If the AB’s claim they aren’t dirty players, then it’s not something that’s hard to demonstrate.

      • Who?

        Fox has an article about a high shot from Barrett on Hooper at the 25 minute mark. :-)

        • laurence king

          Thanks mate, I did see that, I also think I double posted my above comment to you. The take no prisoners approach could seriously come back and bite them on the arse in the world cup. If it does, they won’t be able to say that they weren’t warned

Rugby
@NathW1997

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

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