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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News celebrates and covers everything from the incredible match that was Bledisloe I, wraps up the action from clubland and the Force’s trio of re-signings.


Proud

Photo Courtesy of Keith McInnes

Photo Courtesy of Keith McInnes

What a match!

The Wallabies have shone in Dave Rennie’s first outing as coach, managing to nab a 16-all draw against the All Blacks.

Flyhalf James O’Connor looked to have sealed victory, but the home side levelled through Jordie Barrett with 90-seconds left on the clock when Rob Simmons was penalised at a maul.

Both sides were unable to be separated after almost 90 minutes, with replacement back Reece Hodge hitting the post after a 55-metre penalty kick attempt.

Despite the impressive performance, Rennie admits that he wasn’t pleased with their discipline and lack of execution.

“We’re miles away from where we need to be,” he said.

“We let ourselves down.

“We found a lot of space in behind them, we had a lot of ball but the quality of our cleanout just wasn’t good enough and it’s an area we need to be better next week. We gave away 14 penalties and a big chunk of those were post-tackle.”

Rennie laughed off the bold suggestion by one Kiwi journo that the Wallabies were now favourites to win the Bledisloe, admitting that he was pleased with his side’s sour reaction to the draw.

“We’re disappointed. We had a chance today and didn’t take it. We’re certainly not celebrating in the change room,” he said.

“It’s 80 minutes. We saw last year where the Wallabies hammered the All Blacks in Perth and then lost 36-0 the following week. For us it’s got to be how we back up.

“What I liked seeing was the disappointment of the guys in the change room.

“There’s three Tests left and we had to win three anyway, and we still have to win two. From that perspective, it’s not a bad result. Certainly not satisfied with a draw.”

Debutants shine

Filipo Daugunu 2020 headshot

One of the main taking points out of the performance was the impressive showing by debutants Harry Wilson, Filipo Daugunu and Hunter Paisami.

For me, Daugunu was arguably the Wallabies’ best, with his hard running style getting the ball over the advantage line on multiple occasions.

The stats seem to back that up, with Daugunu recording a game-high 108 metres to go with two line breaks, four tackle busts and a try.

Along with this, Harry Wilson immediately lifted to test rugby standard, refusing to be intimidated by the fierce All Blacks pack, cementing his spot in the side for the next decade or so (Maybe a slight over-reaction but I stand by it).

His Reds teammate Hunter Paisami was also solid in the centres, looking solid in defence as he caused a major turnover in the second half.

Their performances did not go unnoticed by the coach, with Rennie expressing his delight in how they performed against one of the best sides in the world.

“I thought they were all great today,” Rennie said.

“Filipo was fantastic. He scored on debut but he got a lot of ball in his hands and he’s going to get better and better.

“He’s a great athlete, he’s an aggressive tackler, he’s great post tackle and it’s exciting for those young men.

“Harry, I thought, was really strong.

“Hunter had a great game for a young man who wasn’t even sure he would play Super Rugby this year. Ends up starting in a Wallaby Test.”

With a fourth left on the bench (Noah Lolesio), the next generation of Wallabies are showing that they can match with some of the best.

Club thrillers

Royals

As various competitions across the country get to the climax of their competitions, clubland threw up a bunch of brilliant matches.

The headliner for this came in Perth with the final of the Fortescue Premer Grade between Cottesloe and Associates.

The game headed to extra-time, with both sides deadlocked at 15-all at the end of 80 minutes.

In the end, it was Tobias Hoskins that would prove the game-winner, picking the ball up from the back of the rolling maul to steal victory for Cottesloe 22-21 in the final minute of extra time.

Meanwhile, in the championship division, it was UWA who would finish the season on a high, defeating Joondalup 21-17.

In Tasmania, it was all about Tarooma after they dominated Stags 32-8, booking their place in the final against the undefeated Devonport.

Heading across to the nation’s capital, an Isaak Fines master class powered Gungahlin to a 17-10 win over minor premiers Vikings, booking their spot in the final against Royals after the defending premiers accounted for Owls 27-14.

In the Coopers Premier down in Adelaide and it was Brighton who came out on top against Old Collegians 36-25, whilst Burnside eliminated Onkaparinga in a 54-24 shootout.

Up to Queensland for the Hospital Challenge Cup, Easts were narrow winners over Brothers, coming out on top 15-13 to snatch the minor premiership after Uni of Queensland were upset by Bond Uni 48-28.

Around the grounds, Sunnybank outgunned Norths 36-33 whilst Souths secured their first win of the year as they defeated Wests 43-38.

Finishing with the Shute Shield, Gordon cemented their spot as the favourites, accounting for Eastwood 29-24.

Meanwhile, Hunter was too good for Penrith 51-14, Sydney Uni dominated Two Blues 72-24, Warringah upset Norths 26-14 and Souths and West Harbour played out a 45-all draw.

Oh and Easts beat Randwick 81-24, but let’s not focus on that…

Bolsted backs

Byron Ralston chases his kick

Byron Ralston chases his kick

The Western Force have continued to lock up their playing roster for the future, re-signing backs Brad Lacey, Jack McGregor and Byron Ralston until the end of 2022.

The backline trio all played major roles for the side during their Super Rugby return, with Lacey excited to be able to continue playing for his home state.

“It means a great deal for me to be staying in WA. I grew up wanting to play for the Western Force my whole life,” Lacey said in a statement.

“To get the opportunity to stay on board for an extra two years to watch the team grow, as well as the WA pathway for local talent to grow, is an amazing accomplishment in my career.

“We have been given the chance to deliver performances that we and our loyal fans can be proud of. I look forward to that challenge the most.”

This was shared by McGregor and Ralston, who thanked head of rugby Matt Hodgson and coach Tim Sampson for their support and show of confidence.

“I can’t thank Sambo (Tim Sampson, head coach) and Hodgo (Matt Hodgson, head of rugby) enough for giving me the opportunity to stay in Perth and keep playing here in a state and team that I love,” McGregor explained.

“It’s a childhood dream to play Super Rugby, so to tick that off this year with this group was massive.

“The club has shown a lot of faith in me, especially as a 19-year old with only a handful of games in senior rugby,” Ralston added.

“To be amongst that NRC winning team was unreal, and then for them to continue to show faith and sign me on for another two years is really exciting, it feels like home.

“It was a childhood dream to go out and play Super Rugby. I took a lot of learnings from that experience and realise you’ve got to be on every single moment of every single play, which is the same for off the field with your professionalism and looking after your body.”

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Thanks Nathan. I really do need to wake up early next Sunday. I feel better about that than I do about last year’s Perth outing against 14 Nuns in the second dig. Looking forward to reading some Hossanas in the highest, a few Yowsers, BL on the long run-off, and some KARationaLisations (among other esteemed contributors). Over to you, folks.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Thanks GS. I will struggle to come off the long run up. As I really like what I am seeing so far.

      • IIPA

        Haha i would be disappointed if you found much to come off the long run up with after that WBs performance ! Maybe our lineout throwing, Gardener’s work on the sideline and 7A’s haircut ( though not as bad as Tungafasi’s )…

        • Mica

          I’ll help you BL – Bloody Lineout. As a fellow Reds supporter it’s the pox of our rugby at the moment!!

        • Often the problem with hookers

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nope. And unlike the Cheika era I havnt smashed any plasterboard walls.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Still sulking hahahahaha

      • Mica

        Gees, no pleasing you KARL!!
        You always say you want a contest.
        Well you certainly got one :)
        Even though you live in Canberra (I think) don’t get sucked into the pollies say one thing but do something else.
        Ok that’s enough baiting for one morning……… ;)

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Sydney now. Canberra for 4 years was enough for me. As my Australian wife said “Kiwis come to Australia for warm weather and beaches. WTF are we doing living in Canberra?”
          Hahahahaha yeah I am bitching. Always the way when the ABs don’t win. Us supporters are hard taskmasters it’s just what we do.

  • Keith Butler

    So much to like about yesterday’s performance and it’s good to see Rennie’s feet well and truely planted on the ground. Penalty count will be an issue that needs addressing and line out did misfire a bit but that can be fixed. Would stick with the same team next weekend. As others have mentioned elsewhere a combination of Paisarini and Pertaia (probably spelt wrong) would be interesting to see, maybe for the home fixtures? As they say “one swallow does not a summer make”. Go the G&G next week. The Darkness will be looking for payback.

  • sambo6

    So the more I watch it, the more impressed I am with the last move of the match…I.e. JOC2.0 kicking it out.

    It would have been easy to get caught up in the emotion of the frenetic last 9 mins, and tried to have another crack at running it run it back. But while the crowd booed, it was the smart move that I think wallabies in years gone by wouldn’t have made. So kudos to level-headed JOC.

    Well…that…or he saw his boys were out on their feet!!!….all 16 forwards on the field no doubt mumbled a ‘thank fuck for that’ under their breath as he punted it out….

    • Graeme

      While no-one wants to kiss their own sister, there was no realistic possibility of us making it out of our 22 to score, let alone our own goal-line. While it feels like a defeat to both sides, I’m glad he decided to take a draw on their home soil, rather than keep it alive and suffer a loss. I’m proud of the draw.

      • Larry Jorgensen

        Was thinking just that this morning. There is a very intense and contracted period of high intensity matches ahead. There was nothing more to gain.

        I also didn’t see any strong objections from anyone on the field.

    • Mike D

      Agreed. That took courage and good sense.

  • Custardtaht

    What a great first game of the Rennie era. Despite the conditions the Wallabies were a vastly improved team, albeit not quite to NZ standards.

    But, what a game, both teams were out on their feet throwing haymakers. One of the best test matches I’ve seen. It is a shame the referee’s were of such poor standard.

    From across the ditch there are already calls for Fosters to be thrown away, after just one game.

    There will be some sore sheepies this morning.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Interesting call against the guy and I think a lot of it is still people sulking from not getting Robertson in the role. TBH I’m not a fan of the selection of players out of position that I thought contributed to the mistakes. Also, and as I waxed on about last week, Mo’unga again demonstrated that as good as he is at Super level, he’s got a long way to go before he’s a good test player. Too many dumb mistakes at critical times.

      • Custardtaht

        That was the gist of what I was reading. One game against an improved Wallaby team with a quality coach and the razor supporters are calling for Fosters to be cut. As far knee jerk reactions go, it is up there.

        Yeah, All Blacks don’t need to be picking guys out of position,.

      • Reds Revival

        Did everyone see the hit that Harry Wilson put on Mo’unga? It was a bell ringer, and you could tell because it took him a while to get up. He got another couple of big hits in the second half (2 Cows and Pastrami). He will wake up this morning knowing that he’s played a test against the Wallabies!!
        Welcome to the new look Wallabies, Richie.

      • Dally M

        Yeah it seemed odd he decided to play Jordie on the wing to start with, but then when Beauden was ruled out he doubled down and threw McKenzie in at 15 instead of moving Jordie to his best position.

      • Damo

        I think you are right about Richie M KARL. There is no doubt the wallabies rush D was hell bent on stopping the ball going wide and they really were all over Mo’unga. I’ve got a feeling that if BB was wearing 10 he might have become a bit more creative to put some uncertainty into the rushing D. Of course from Rennie’s point of view the plan worked- apart from once.

      • Hambone

        He was a marked man yesterday, and copped some big hits. I kept waiting for the tmo to call back a few of them.
        That sort of constant barrage definately plays into your decision making ability. Which is why I prefered putting the hits on the flyhalf, nothing sweeter except on maybe the mouthy scrum half ;)

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mouthy scrum half! Love it. I had one this year and when he finally got a hit and grizzled I just laughed and said he’d been asking for it all game

        • Hambone

          10 points I say, bonus point if u take the wind from their pipes for a couple of resets ;)

  • theduke

    Those boys played like the upcoming broadcast deal depended on it.

    • Hambone

      Touche, and let’s hope they managed to tack on a couple 000’s to the end of it. I see more than a few fair weathered supporters coming back on soc media to cry foul. The locker room post beers says it all to me and why I love this game. Beers post belting the crap out of one another for 90 mins. I tip my hat to all, especially rennie the chosen one ;)

  • Graeme

    Some of my takeouts from yesterdays game, I only saw the game from 30 minutes onwards, and the YouTube highlights:

    No.1). Most important by far. We are back to playing intelligent rugby. I remember in the 90’s when we were known as the smartest team in Rugby. It’s been a slow, accelerating progression downward from then until today. The game plan was perfect for the conditions. Strong defense. No stupid offloads.

    White, while not my favourite scum half, showed just how effective he can be in these conditions, continually kicking high, contestable box-kicks into the strong, uneven winds. We looked like the smart teams of the 90’s (except for not going for the drop goal at the end).

    2). The AB’s are really dangerous. They crossed our line 4 times with only about a third of possession. Held up one time, a dickhead knock-on, and two tries given despite a foot on the sideline, and a professional foul in the ruck, But that said, every time they touched the ball they looked dangerous. Much more dangerous than we did.

    3). The locks played much better than I expected. I was worried about our locks, but LSL and Philips both had great games. A lot of impact.

    4). Our discipline was bad. It was partly the referumping, but even if he let the AB’s off somewhat, he was penalising us fairly. We have to be more accurate next week.

    5). Was our line out that bad? I only saw the last 50(61) minutes, but I saw the stats that said we had lost 2 against the throw and they had also. Our line out seemed ok while I was watching. Was it really that bad for the first 30 minutes.

    6). That last 9 minutes was like watching a train wreck happening. You just knew that they were going to score. And then when they didn’t on the first attempt you knew the second time they were going to score. We’ve seen this happen too many times before, not just to us, but Ireland among many other hideous victims. And when they didn’t, the third time it was just like watching a horror movie when you know the cliched ending.

    That was a stupendous ending, and showed incredible bravery.

    Next week we will have to step up. They showed yesterday how they can still create something out of nothing, and defend like the evil satan and sheep lovers that they are. They probably won’t play as brainlessly two week in a row.

    Go Wallabies.

    • Who?

      Williams hasn’t reffed a good game in his life. Not even when reffing between non-Kiwi teams, or reffing two Kiwi teams. He has a vendetta against Tupou (long history of giving him cards, often for non-infringements), and he continued trying to find excuses to penalize Nela yesterday.

      The lineout, one of the turnovers was a ‘crooked’ throw. I note ‘crooked’, as it was on the halfway and thrown to the front jumper, who received it just on the contest side of the jumper’s centreline. It was on O’Keeffe’s sideline. We saw the ABs throw far more crooked throws on that sideline with impunity. We also saw the gap consistently disappearing on that sideline, too…

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, a great game and as one of my mates said on Facebook, “Great to have Australia back” and I agree with that 100%. Yeah I’m more nervous than I have been for a while and I’m not totally on board with some of the selection decision made by Foster, which proved to be the case in the game but by hell I’d rather have that any day than the crap we had under Cheika. Pity in some ways that Rennie didn’t emulate Deans and start his tenure with a win. In saying that I’m absolutely gutted with a draw but to be fair it was a typical first up game with mistakes by both sides and the referee team that actually helped make the game so enticing. I think both teams will improve dramatically for next week but I’m worried a bit about the referee team, I think they adjudicated pretty averagely TBH and I’m no so sure we’ll see the same improvement as they seem to operate without any accountability which I think is a huge weakness for them going forward. Interesting I see there are some posts on other sites going on about one particular ruck or another which I really detest. Watching the game there were about 15 or so times for both sides (so at least 30 in total) where players were off their feet, in from the sides and up off side, to try and say only one or two of them counted in the end is simply childish and demonstrates a simple one eyed view that doesn’t face up to reality. I was disappointed in the way the game was refereed and I think a stricter application would have made for a better game and might have got a result. Still bring on next week.

    • Keith Butler

      Absolutely right KARL. The breakdown is still a clusterfuck and until the refs and the ARs have the balls to ref it correctly it will always be thus. Both teams were guilty. I stand to be corrected but lying on top of a pile of you team mates is not supporting your body weight in any mans language.

      • Mica

        Rolling through the ruck then out the side to slow the ball down.
        Clearing an attacking ruck at 90 degrees because you were running a flat support line and the ball carrier got tackled.
        Hands in the ruck.
        It really was a mess.

    • Custardtaht

      I honestly thought overall the skills and execution by both teams were quite good given the conditions. The Wallabies especially displayed better skill in this game then they did in the dry during the Cheika era.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Absolutely. I think you’ll see players improve under Rennie and also you’ll see them work on improving their deficiencies. Both things never seen under Cheika.

      • Mica

        The interesting bit here is that the skills coach has changed too and from all reports Mick Byrne is a highly rated coach. Interesting to see what was going on here…..

        • Custardtaht

          I feel as though the quality of skills coaching at Super level has improved, and we are seeing it flow on.
          I also think there were too many wallabies that were comfortable under Cheika and felt not need to improve.

        • Mica

          If the no need to improve comment is actually how they felt, I’d find this mind blowing. Considering the drop in our success rate against the Kiwis from the 90s I can’t imagine how this would even enter their consciousness.

        • Custardtaht

          From the outside looking in, it seemed there were players with core deficiencies and in the 4 years we saw no improvement.
          Well, I guess win, lose or draw, they were getting big dollars.

          This only from the view looking in, things and thoughts may have been different, but the perception for me was one of comfort zone.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I’m with you. It’s one of the things that used to shit me. Foley (and others to be fair) never learning to kick deeper, so many backs who could only pass one way and never got better, Hookers never getting more accurate, tight players still hitting the rucks with poor body positions, Guys like Folau never getting better at getting into position and it goes on and on.

        • laurence king

          I think that under Cheika it was more about effort than accuracy

    • Greg

      I said in my post yesterday that I thought the officiating wasn’t too bad. I received only one language warning form my wife!

      There were definitely inconsistencies – I picked out the penalty/no penalty at the dominant scrum – but they did not imo change the outcome of the game.

      Did you see the chat from the touch judge after each scrum? Any idea what was happening there. A comment every time but no action either way. Would the touch judge bother saying “Just want to let you know that everything was OK“!!

      I agree with you comment about the “officiating team”. One example – I am sure there are others both ways – was the black hands in the ruck on the blind side after the Hodge rebound. The ref can’t see that but his mate should be helping.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        yeah and look I get completely the issues. Rugby is a complicated game and at every set piece, ruck and breakdown there are probably 5 or 6 things that could be ruled on. The good referees are those who are in the right position to see and rule on the ones that matter and sometimes what we see as poor refereeing is just a referee not seeing a transgression as having any materiel affect and so not bothering with it. Agree with that 100% and we want to see the game flowing not stopped with endless penalties. But, I still think a few penalties early stops the rot from settling in and makes the game better.

      • Parker

        Except his mate was O’Keefe. Don’t expect fairness from him.

        • RedSheep1989

          think it was Angus actually? he was on the far touchline for Rieko’s foot in touch, then they swap, so he was camerside for the 2nd half

      • Custardtaht

        The biggest wtf for me was the advantage rule. The All Blacks would have multiple phases going forward anywhere between 10 and 20m and apparently there was no advantage.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          That’s been a problem for a while. I personally think the law should change to add immediate in there, so if there’s no clear immediate advantage then blow the whistle. I think it would actually speed the game up as you wouldn’t get the players going over and over without making ground. You’d stop and reset.

        • Custardtaht

          Agreed.

        • Yowie

          It seems to take a cynical knock-on by the team going forward to actually guarantee the penalty gets awarded (rather than evaporating after a few phases).

    • Crescent

      I am with you on the refereeing front – you have to play well enough to take it away from that factor. I am more looking at Simmons for giving away the 3 point lead with a failure to listen to the refs clear and loud call to get out…

      But away from that – happy to see the Wallabies turn up and take the game to the AB’s all the way. Saw more smarts and quality of play in one game than we saw in the last few seasons. Still areas to improve, and I love what Rennie has achieved, and the work is nowhere near complete.

      For me, the real litmus test will be how they back up for the next game – but how great it is to finally know we can go in and have a real red hot go……

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    The ABs certainly pushed the offside rule to its limits, on one occasion actually tackling us from within our own backline.
    And I can’t recall many lineouts where we even attempted to compete their throw.
    The not releasing penalties were flowing from the outset and we kept getting pinged for them, the last one obviously a Kiwi hand not releasing on our behalf…
    And why Matt Toomua wasn’t given the kicking duties remains one for someone here to answer for me.
    Great fun.
    I always dread the final three and a half minutes though…

  • onlinesideline

    On Friday I wrote:

    “How long has it been since we played the kiwis in wellington without it raining. Any money they will organiise a rain dance in the second half if they are behind.

    You mark my words. The amount of matches these guys have won in Wellington while its raining I reckon would be up near 75%.

    This is a dark dreary rugby enviroment. Maybe being October its different.
    But watch the kiwi elders at around 50 minute mark. Stranger things have
    happened “

    • Missing Link

      NZ desperately need a second indoor rugby stadium

      • onlinesideline

        Wellington need a footy stadium. This is a cricket stadium. Cmon NZ.

      • Yowie

        Where would they find the scaffolders for that sort of job?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Queensland

        • Nutta

          May find a few forklift drivers there as well?

        • Custardtaht

          Certainly find baggage handlers to pack and load.

  • Larry Jorgensen

    Further to Greame’s point below re J2.0 kicking it out, depth of squad will be critical by the time we get to mid December.

    I suspect there will be many getting a Test jumper who wouldn’t have dreamed it this time last year. And not just because of injury if we are smart. This will be very much like the World Cup re sqaud management.

  • Damo

    My wife and I yelling at the screen instead of groaning (or, in her case getting up and walking away) in the final minutes of the game, which we have done so often in the last 4 years or so, pretty much sums it up for me. That included “kick it out James” at the end. We will take the draw. Go you good Wallabies.

    • Yowie

      I called out to my wife to “come and watch the kick that will probably win a Bledisloe game for the Wallabies” twice.

      Turns out that my domestic streak of being both “wrong” and “annoying” continues.

  • Parker

    Crikey, it’s so good not to have to deal with Cheika’s bs anymore! I hope I can experience similar relief after US election when that other ass clown moves on. Thanks coach Rennie. More power to you.

    • Missing Link

      Sorry to tell you this Parker, but Cheika is not the President of the US :)

  • Reds Revival

    It’s interesting to consider that for the debutants, and particularly Wilson and Lolesio – they have never been beaten by the All Blacks. Long may that continue!!

  • Missing Link

    what a game. where do you start? We did so well to wrestle the game back, when Barrett scored the first try, I thought “here we go” as they just opened up our defense so easily. Then a silly loose inside pop from Fainga’a resulted in typical NZ counter attack except for Reiko’s rush of blood where he started his try celebration before he dotted the ball down. O’Connor then missed a few conversions, but played well in general play, Toomua put in a few aimless kicks but it was great to see us not kicking the ball as much as we did under cheika (or at least it seemed that way). Unfortunately Hodge was 2 inches off target otherwise we would have gone up 1-0, and I still don’t know why we didn’t set up a drop goal at the end, I would have thought we had perfect field position there with a ruck under the posts about 5 M out – pass to O’Connor 15 M back, thanks for coming. Our team was/is surprisingly good, our debutants were good. A few weeks ago I wanted to see Koroibete and Daugunu on the wings but my concern was with kicking but that didn’t matter. Paisami was exceptional, better than I thought he’d be. Philip made yards and Wilson was also good. O’Connor is a much improved player and Nic White asked a lot of questions, I just wished he’d been able to stop Aaron Smith from scoring. Honorable mention for Rob “Penalty Magnet” Simmons, seriously, Ned Hanigan would have been a better option.

    end of the day, a draw that is effectively a win for us because it’s now a best of 3 series and we didn’t get hammered like we usually do. It will be interesting to see the changes. I think NZ got it wrong with Reiko, Bridge and J.Barrett. I know McKenzie was a late change for BB. I would rather the experience of DHP over banks but banks did OK, otherwise punt Simmons from the bench.

    • Parker

      Condtions were too windy for Flotsam Hanigan. He would have been blown off the park before the ABs had a chance to toss him around.

      • Missing Link

        hahahaha

    • Who?

      To be fair to JOC and his goal kicking, Jordie did no better. Burke said, with the scores at 13 all, “Someone could kick 2 from 5 and be a hero today!”
      And I thought Rennie said we were setting up for the droppie, but then the ABs managed to drag us too far right (i.e. the missed penalty at the ruck managed to ruin positioning).

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      Best of 4 this year. Plenty to come.

  • Parker

    I think Banks deserves an honorable mention. He was safe under the high ball in windy conditions and took us back to the days when kicks for touch could be advantageous.

    • Damo

      I noticed a marked improvement in catching high balls in the Oz SR this year. This carried across to the performance yesterday. I don’t remember a single glaring high ball error by the back 3 yesterday- and it could have been forgiven given the weather.

    • mortlucky

      High ball yes, but he was out of position (jogging even) for Barrett’s try, one of his penalty touch finders went about 15 metres and he didn’t come looking for work nearly enough. He needs to watch more Chris Latham vids.

      • Mica

        Good point. His running style actually reminds me a bit of Latho. No reason why he can’t start having the same impact too. Wouldn’t that be nice!!

        • RedAnt

          Yeah, I think he could be very much in the Chris Latham mould and I’m here for it!

  • onlinesideline

    78th minute – “19 ! – NO 19, 19 ?”

    What does Rob Simmons do – he keeps on doing what he’s doing. That was just one too many dumb penalties at crucial stages of a match from this guy, for mine.

    Hes done. Just had enough. Stage left and see ya later mate. Move aside for next generation. A minute shy of a historic win with nothing to gain from doing what he was doing and he does that.

    • PJ

      The referee even gave him two warnings before he blew the penalty. Simmons is a peanut and needs to be sent packing.

      • Who?

        I’ve just re-visited it. The penalty was bogus. Simmons was caught in the maul when he changed his right arm bind. He was bound to the maul with his right arm when he’d changed his left arm bind (which was required because the players outside him detached).
        Williams said, “I told you to get out of there,” which is pretty unreasonable when he was caught in the maul by Black 17. Who’d re-entered the maul illegally (i.e. ahead of the last feet).

        The ‘Simmons is a peanut’ line is just another trope, along with ‘Simmons is soft’. If we didn’t all love him, we’d be saying the same things about Tupou, given he was again penalized by Williams. “Tupou’s a penalty magnet!” Without considering that Williams seems to have a vendetta against him, having previously penalized and carded him for legal actions.

        The only peanut on the field was the one with a whistle.

        • onlinesideline

          yeah but Who, left hand, right hand – what does it matter ? it was clear the Ref was right there, pissed and didnt like what he saw and screamed as such. If I was Simmons, make an effort to at least make eye contact with the ref, raise one hand in innocence and show some cheesy goodwill towards the ref to avoid the whistle. Instead Simmons just remains stubbornly expressionless, makes no eye contact or verbal contact – of course he s going to get pinned. Who cares what arm, JUST STOP.

        • Who?

          It all happened pretty quickly – Simmons first had to locate Williams – who was running from one side of the maul to the other – before he could do anything.

          Reality is, Williams has never been a competent ref. :-(

        • onlinesideline

          reality is Ref screamed NO 19, 19 !! There was no location needed. Just stick your hands up and smile mate. You’re making excuses.

        • PJ

          100% Simmons looked at the ref and still continued to to do what he was doing. So my comment stands he is a peanut. He has been a peanut, always will be a peanut

        • Who?

          101 Test caps over a decade from 4 different coaches… Just like Hooper with his 100 caps across 9 seasons from 4 coaches. We can think they’re not necessarily the best in their position, or don’t fill the role the way we’d prefer, but clearly the coaches and selectors see things differently. You’re calling confirmation biases rather than looking at the situation from a clean sheet.

          Simmons looked at the ref in the same second the ref’s arm went out. When the ref’s arm’s out, you’re too late to act on any warning. And hey – the ball came out 4 seconds after the call of advantage, with TJ only looking for the ball 1 second after the ref called advantage (TJ being between Simmons and the ref, ensuring he (TJ) knew what was going on). If Simmons had continued digging for the ball, it wouldn’t have come out so easily (easily, as TJ had to communicate he wanted the ball, and he didn’t really wait once he got in and asked for it).

          The peanut was the incompetent referee (and I’ve ALWAYS said Williams was incompetent).

        • Who?

          With how long he screamed before giving advantage (i.e. literally 2 seconds), with Simmons not looking up until the arm went out (indicating he didn’t realize there was anything going on), and with Simmons having been bound the entire time… There was no other outcome, he was looking for a reason to penalize the Wallabies, regardless of how flimsy it might’ve been, and Simmons was just the unlucky one on that occasion. The decision was debatable at best, and inconsistent with how he ruled other mauls.

          Worth noting that other players don’t cop the same scrutiny for the same level of mistake. NZ received 10 penalties in the last 20 minutes. We’re not scapegoating Sio for dropping the scrum. We’re not scapegoating Uelese for giving away the penalty that got the AB’s that driving maul (a far more obvious ‘entering the maul from the side’ call, made by Bin O’Keeffe, ).

  • Reds Revival

    Hey Nathan, do you know if GAGR are going to do their famous Player Ratings? Always good to stoke the furnace of the comments section on who thought who was scored too high, or too low.

    • Nathan Williamson

      I believe so, look out for them over the next 24-48hrs

      • Reds Revival

        Great news. Thanks mate!

      • Dally M

        Surely a couple of podcasts are in order as well.

        Long overdue….

        • Reds Revival

          Yes, can we get the Rugby Report Card boys out of retirement! Would love to hear their take on the match.

  • onlinesideline

    Im mystified why JOC didnt just drop back and go for the drop goal. There is never a perfect platform set in these conditions. Every re-ccyle is a chance to fluff it. Just go for it. Anyway ABs did the same thing. Incredible.

    I think the dreaded AB rebound / blackout the following week aint gonna happen in Auckland. I think this match will more a booster for us more than them. If we won, then maybe Auckland would be savage. But we didnt so we may see the whole thing over again minus the rain. Awesome rugby times are back.

    • Missing Link

      have to agree, I have seen at least 2 bledisloes like this in the last 15 years, which were tight (Eden Park and Sydney) where both could have been won by the Wallabies with a drop goal, instead they tried to hammer the line defense and ended up knocking on, game over. you are seldom going to get an opportunity like in training, so just have a crack. it was unfortunate Lolesio wasn’t able to come onto the field as he casually nailed a nice droppy for the brumbies, I would have backed him to do it again.

      I too am very very worried about the AB rebound, every time we poke the bear it ends up hurting us 7 days later. perhaps Rennie is a little more understanding of this and can prepare the right game plan for it.

    • See Mounga in position for the drop goal, till he gave up because noone thought to give him the ball. All forgotten in the enthusiasm perhaps?

    • MichaelA

      JOC did drop back for the drop goal. But it never came.

      • Bernie Chan

        Yeh…Rennie said as much in the post game presser. They planned for it and JOC was in position but the ball was spun out wide…

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    The WB looked better coached than the AB and a draw in NZ is a great outcome. The WB show grit and determination however I think the AB has a lot of potential to improve especially if Foster learned not to select players out of position. I think Foster underestimated the WB by experimenting in this test. The AB lacked an edge in attack and it seems that their own plan to score was to capitalise on WB mistakes. These mistakes were not even forced by AB pressure so Foster has some things to reflect on. Rennie easily won the coaching battle.

  • Yowie
    • Greg

      @Yowie I think that is more fake news.

      For heaven’s sake, how could anyone believe this. :-)

      “Their unique brand of rugby (which lets them play the ball while on all fours, put a foot on the touch line and still be inside the field of play, bulling the referee, deciding that they don’t really want to play the ball after they get tackled and entering rucks and mauls from anyway they want) is now on the out.”

      • Yowie

        The Bettoota writers come up with some pretty wild stuff out of nowhere sometimes.

    • “Rugby Australia’s marketing pigeon…”

      • Yowie

        Yeah, they have run with that as a concept for some time. The RA Marketing Pigeon gets blamed for doing f*ck-all a lot.

  • Mike D

    Key difference I see inABs now is lack of that talismanic leader. Lots of really skilled, quality players but there’s no Dan Carter or Ritchie Parrot. Current 10s are very good but don’t settle the team. Half back is just unlikable. Moody and Coles lack the clean image that bolsters legitimacy because their play’s a bit shady. Fullbacks lack presence, most of back line in fact. Whitelock was the one who stood out to me.

    Contrast Aus: JOC has a Dan Carter vibe with added moxie for having been through the ringer of life. Tupou is a physical statement, likewise Samu. Harry is a future leader. Could be the 1% difference over the series.

  • Hoss

    Good afternoon all,

    I have let the emotions simmer down and the charcoal infused sour mash run it’s coarse – put away the milk crate that I delivered the ‘my team is pious, the other team are cheats’ sermon and after a glorious morning walk along the glorious Darwin waterfront am in a contemplative mood

    Our boys first. Moses said he wanted to see ‘connection and brotherhood’ from Sunday’s match and on this I reckon the men in gold delivered in spades. Magnificently exemplified through that defensive effort. To hold the opposition to 16 in the face of a hostile home crowd, typical Wellington weather and the concerted efforts of the Southern Hemispheres own version of Nigel Owens. Yes we got calls go our way as well, but just not the volume that the others did.

    There is much scope and an imperative to improve. We were poor at the breakdown, and too much of Spanners and Gilbert in that ‘out the back’ mungo, second man attacking shit. We looked much better, more dangerous and made yards when we played at them, on top of them, on the front line.

    Whilst brave overall, a few disappointed. 2Cows was defensively sound but undid that when with pill. Palestine was completely ineffectual in all areas. Bravely though they had men in gold around who lifted and covered, but they won’t be afforded such luxury again from the other side.

    On the Hossometer I give the overall side a 6.5 from 10. That’s not to say in any way they were poor, just that I see much upside to what could be achieved.

    It would be surly and small to not comment on the Aztecs, it would also be churlish to call them cheats.

    So, to the cheats. They had an off day for sure, but the Aussies contributed to that off day with rushing D, stinging hits and a refusal to yield and THATS what stirred my loins most. Princess Moana in 10 got a few good rib ticklers and he went missing, the vaunted Aztec forwards were ‘meh’ at best and without Savea were in all sorts, not even SH Nigel Owens could get them
    home, but he shelled the whistle for the mad 8 minutes at the end all together. Rarely have I seen ‘no call’ being seen as the right call. For shame.

    For all of that a draw is about right. No team laid claim to the victory. Each had there chance, each would perhaps take a different option if they had their time over. But that’s the beauty of sport, it reveals character.

    The Bledisloe is alive, the sleeping giant of SH rugby is stirring from it’s seemingly endless winter of discontent, finally the veneer of the ABs has worn away and revealed a current side that has, to date, done nothing, now let’s see what’s revealed next Sunday.

    Once more men of gold, into the breach.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Maaaaate, you’re drinking the cool aid with the cheat claim. Lets just say both sides played to the referee and AR’s and both of them had a pretty shit game. I saw as many gold jerseys going in from the side, off their feet and off side as I did Black

      • Hoss

        Hard for me to tell mate, I got a budget colour tv, only broadcasts in green and gold.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahahahaha damn mine must be the same but in black. Thought the game looked a bit dark

      • Who?

        I agree, I just didn’t see the MIB getting penalized, the way the Wallabies were. ;-)
        10 penalties of the Wallabies 14 (they had 61% possession and lost the penalty count 14 – 7) were in the last 20 minutes of the game…

  • Greg

    Seriously…. just imagine if the hand in the ruck was called at 80 minutes. The ref might have been in serious difficulty! Touch judge “black hands on the ground”. Ref “They know where I live”

  • From NooZealand

    “ANALYSIS: The
    Wallabies should have been awarded penalties near the posts after Reece
    Hodge’s long-range penalty goal to win the first Bledisloe Cup test
    struck the post. ” As reported is StuffNews sports.

  • From NooZealand

    And another comment in the same media outlet:
    It may have been a 16-16 draw but the Wallabies scored a moral victory
    over the All Blacks in the eyes of the international rugby media.

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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