Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the Wallabies draw with Argentina, the Wallaroos Rugby World Cup draw, how the ‘golden arches’ sealed Taniela Tupou and Nic White’s brutal assessment of Saturday’s draw

Another one

Taniela Tupou , Folau Faingaa, Angus Bell , Noah Lolesio, Filipo Daugunu and Tate McDermott during anthems

Taniela Tupou , Folau Faingaa, Angus Bell , Noah Lolesio, Filipo Daugunu and Tate McDermott during anthems

The Wallabies have been held to their second draw of 2020, forced to share to points with Argentina as both sides were locked at 15-all at the end of 80 minutes at Mcdonalds Jones Stadium in Newcastle.

It was a game for the rugby purists as neither side would cross the tr-line, with the Pumas holding out multiple attacking raids during the first half.

Ultimately it would once again come down to the boot of Reece Hodge, who missed a tough penalty kick to break the deadlock, leaving Australia in last place on the Tri-Nations table.

The miss left Hodge devastated after the match despite contributing all 15 points, admitting that he felt like he ‘let his country down.’

“I feel like I’ve let the country down,” he told Fox Sports.

“It’s a pretty tough one to take at the moment. We were up 15-6 and had our chances to seal that game.”

Coach Dave Rennie was like all Wallaby fans after the match, incredibly frustrated with their inability to close out a game.

“I’m really frustrated, really disappointed,” Rennie told reporters following the draw.

“At 15-6 we had control of the game, we had chances to pin them in the corners.

“We had a fair bit of success from kicking; looks like we got bored of it. Played and overplayed and turned the ball over and brought them back into the game.

“Disappointing, we should have closed that out. We’ve really got ourselves to blame.

“When Nic White kicked we were able to apply a lot of pressure. Reece put a bomb up at one stage which we went into the game and had a plan and got some success out of that.

“But we had a lot of opportunities from two or three phases to then drill a corner and they’ve got no-one there and we turn that into a foot race and apply a bit of pressure and maybe we get a set-piece down there.”

Wallaroos ready

Grace Hamilton on the charge for Wallaroos

The Wallaroos are optimistic about their 2021 World Cup campaign despite copping a difficult draw.

The Aussies have drawn defending champions New Zealand, Wales and the Final Qualifier Winner in Pool A for the event in New Zealand next September.

Top-ranked England and fourth-seeded France have been drawn together in Pool C alongside Fiji and South Africa whilst third-ranked Canada and inaugural champions, the United States, will be in Pool B for the 12-team competition.

With the squad set to reconvene in December at the AIS, coach Dwayne Nestor remains confident that they can improve on their sixth-placed finish from 2017.

“It’s not going to be anything new with us playing the Kiwis and Wales have just picked up a new coach in Warren Abrahams and then the qualifier,” Nestor said on Friday.

“If you want to win a World Cup, you’re looking at winning every game regardless of who gets put in your pool.

“I said to the girls a couple of years ago, ‘we will beat the Black Ferns’ and if it happens to be at the World Cup that will be a nice environment to do it in.”

This was shared by captain Grace Hamilton, who was excited about the prospect of having a World Cup in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time.

“I’m incredibly excited about the prospect of Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand,” she added.

“To have it in the southern hemisphere is going to open people’s eyes to our World Cup and I know New Zealand will be fantastic hosts.

“Now that we know we are meeting New Zealand, Wales and the Final Qualifier Winner, we can take up our preparation up another notch and we are all looking forward to Test Rugby again.”

I’m loving it

Taniela Tupou  on the charge

Taniela Tupou  on the charge

After returning to the Wallabies starting line-up over the weekend, the story of how Taniela Tupou became a Red has come to light and it will warm the heart of every front-rower out there.

Having made his name in Auckland for Sacred Heart College First XV, Tupou had several clubs looking to secure his signature, including Dave Rennie’s Chiefs.

Ultimately he chose the Reds, with the Queenslanders offering him his first pro contract at the mecca for front-rowers, McDonalds.

“I went down there and watched them train twice and met up with Dave,” Tupou told the Herald.

“He told me he wanted me to stay there and join the Chiefs.

“The Waratahs were interested in signing me and the Brumbies spoke to my manager. When I finished school, my brother told me he thought it was best I come to Australia because there were more opportunities there. I knew I was coming to Australia but wasn’t sure where I was going to go.

“There was offers but the Reds wanted it more. I met [Reds general manager] Sam Cordingley in an Auckland McDonald’s restaurant and signed my first rugby contract there for the Reds.”

This was verified by Cordingley, who revealed to The Herald that a couple of Big Macs helped ensure that Tupou would eventually be in green and gold for the future.

“I was hoping that one never got out,” Cordingley joked.

“Talking to his agent, we said rather than do this from a distance, face-to-face is better. I flew over to Auckland and he wanted to meet in a location that was comfortable with him. The north Auckland McDonald’s was the preference. I think I bought him a couple of Big Mac meals.

“I remember thinking, ‘I just can’t let Damien Marsh, our head of physical prep, know that I’ve done this’.

“We don’t often like to sign up guys based on highlight reels alone but we thought that anyone with that sort of physical ability is going to be able to transition pretty well.”

Losing draw

Nic White during warm-up

Nic White during warm-up

Whilst it won’t show up on the table, the Wallabies are taking Saturday’s result as a ‘losing draw’ after failing to close the game out against Argentina.

You could argue that this was the second time that the Wallabies have been on the wrong side of a draw in 2020 following the heart-breaking 16-all draw in Wellington against New Zealand last month.

Playing his first international in his hometown, halfback Nic White conceded that the result had left the dressing room ‘shattered’.

“Bugger aye,” the halfback said to reporters after the game. “Pretty disappointed.

“Almost every time I say there’s a draw someone comes away with it being a winning draw and another team a losing draw, and I certainly feel that we’re in that category – the latter.

“That game was there for us to close out and we’re pretty disappointed that we haven’t closed that out and learnt from Wellington, so pretty shattered.”

White backed the assessment from coach Rennie that they got ‘bored’ with the kicking-heavy approach that put them comfortably ahead, failing to adapt to the greasy and wet conditions.

“Yeah definitely, I think we got to a position where it was 15-6 and it (the rain) was starting to come down and the wind was behind us and I just feel like we played a lot in the middle of the field,” he added.

“Probably just a better understanding that they’re the moments and sort of conditions where it’s probably better to play without the ball and I thought Argentina did that a little bit better than us, and we saw that they did it against the All Blacks last week and then they did it against us.

“They gave us a lot of ball and enough rope to strangle ourselves…It’s going to be hard reviewing and moments like we these we’ve got to learn and we can’t make these mistakes.”

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Thanks Nathan. I can’t believe how many points we refused in the first half, opting instead for line-outs that didn’t result in any points at all. It might look dull, but getting to an early lead can give you the confidence to execute your plays, and puts the other team on the back foot (instead of letting them feel like they got away with something). I was so frustrated after the first half – I could almost smell a loss. We were lucky to be in a ‘losing draw’, IMO. Is it Hooper, or a game plan thing? I mean, I have an opinion, but I’m prepared to be convinced otherwise.

    • Timbo

      Especially with Sanchez kicking at 100%. They knew that though. And they knew that we were likely to lose a few line outs. The Argies plan was simple. Defend like last week, score tries in open play and take shots at goal within 50. Had we done the same, we’d have won

      • Who?

        Sanchez missed one too, just like Hodge.

        Our failings weren’t in kicking at goal, it was that our replacement backs messed up. Daugunu’s first touch, he ran into contact, conceded a ‘not releasing penalty’, 3 points. Bang. Wright was excellent all night…
        Gordon came on and threw a quick lineout to a team mate right as the Pumas arrived. He took a while to settle into the match, and we just didn’t have that time. It meant we were stuck in our own half a few times we shouldn’t have been.
        And Petaia… Bloke isn’t part of a team. He’s always looking to do the impossible on his own.

        White, Paisami and Wright were excellent on the night. Losing two of those from the field was just too much.

        • Timbo

          Not saying our failings were off the boot. Agreed re replacements.
          Petaia should have passed a few times when he didn’t. He’s young and wants to score tries. His maturity will come.
          Realistically all we had to do was keep them in their own half and otherwise without the ball but we failed to do that and gifting penalties with a kicker like Sanchez is just dumb.

        • Who?

          Didn’t think you were mate – just wanted to point out that Sanchez wasn’t perfect either, so Hodge shouldn’t feel bad. He matched his opponent exactly.
          Just disappointing for those guys who put in and got us that lead that the game management disappeared in the last 15, as did our lead.

        • onlinesideline

          This run back by Gunu’s first touch was just criminal. What happened to putting your body on the line and trying to get over the gain line in close proximity to you team mates. Look at Beau Robinson run this back at minute 3:57 – that’s how you do it. Not a hop skip and jump in to the line inviting a turnover. My goodness this is just infuriating. Bolt up your wing and then look for offload inside. Start SOMETHING. You are fast enough.You are supposed to be the best in our country !! Hair tearing stuff.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          All that fancy stepping and shit just gives the defence time to get set. Love the hard running return, go into the tackle at speed with the intent of hurting the tackler – bang on!

        • Mica

          Ironically that resulted in a penalty too…….

        • onlinesideline

          but from Simmons not Beau Robinson

        • Singapore Sling

          Can someone get Hodge a shorter kicking tee. He gets plenty of distance and would improve his accuracy with a lower ball flight. He’s hitting a 12 degree driver off a 3 inch tee.

    • Patrick

      Yes. FFS kick the points every time until you are 30 ahead.

    • Keith Butler

      Exactly GS. Take what’s on offer. I remember my SDs being criticised for doing exactly that back in 2002/03 and look what happened.

  • Greg

    Thanks for the write-up Nathan.

    What to say? (that can be printed)

    We would have won if we had just held our nerve.

    For the nth time… some small things would have made a big difference.

    Defence was good enough, scrum was solid – unlucky not to get a few more penalties – breakdown was OK without being great. A nine point lead was more than enough. For me, the disaster was 14 (?) trying to run a kick back from the quarter. Why? Hoof it downfield and let them run it back. Unfair to pick on him…. but why?

    Our back line defence was fine but where was the attack? It is hard to believe the game plan didn’t include using the backs… I think we were found out with Hodge at 10.

    And Hooper…. if you kick for the corner…. come away with 7 points. Penalties are boring…. but you have to take what you can get with the team you have. I still don’t think he has grown into the skipper role.


    was that you in the banana suit with some mates? I thought you were in a box. I hope you were not somewhere with a plentiful beer supply.

    • Keith Butler

      No, he was the Giant Pineapple!

  • onlinesideline

    I support the Wallabies
    Am I in real life ?


  • sambo6

    I agree with all general sentiment about wallabies leaving a bunch of points out there, and the fact that we fell apart in the last 20.

    Some random comments…..

    I’d be interested to see petaia get some time at 15 next super season. I agree that he held (or grubbered) when he should have passed a few times, but I wonder if his lethal running might be better utilised with him chiming in from the back, or on kick returns. Not sure what his hoof or positioning would be like at the back, so not an experiment for test level, but given the plethora of good centre options at the reds, I’d be keen to see him tried there.

    I didn’t watch much of the tahs this year. So haven’t seen much of Jake Gordon. Unfort I thought he had an absolute shocker when he came on. I hope his ruck tracking and service is typically a lot lot quicker.

    I get that TT was taken off as he gave away a few silly penalties, but this is exactly what the argies were going for in my mind. Probably with a quiet word from Cheika in their ears, they had a brief to wind the big guy up. Would have preferred to see him get a stern word from Rennie at the break, then get another 15 out of him after halftime.

    Paisami is really adding some nice nuance to previously his straight ahead game. He could be sewing up 12 if he keeps this up.

    Hodge is not a 10. But having his long range boot in the side (even if inaccurate at the death!) Keeps sides that little bit more honest in their entire half, rather than just in their own 22. That’s valuable.

    This argies side didn’t fluke it against the AB’s. It’s great so see how competitive the top 8 of world rugby now is.

    • Who?

      I said a few weeks ago that I wanted Petaia to go to 14 in place of Daugunu. Then Wright debuted… He’s been fantastic. I don’t think Petaia should be wearing a starting jersey right now, and I don’t know that he makes the bench.

      I don’t know why Tate was switched for Jake – I can’t see where Jake did better in his previous two games than Tate.

  • onlinesideline

    If anyone doubts Hodge being side, well we can kiss winning goodbye at the moment. We are not scorin enough tries to relegate this aspect of our points scoring to anything less than essential. Any time we could have won this comp but rather drew the match showed its getting down to 1 kick and thats based on a pretty high to very high kicking rate already. If we didnt have him in side right now we wouldn’t have drawn this and doubtfully drawn against kiwis. Beside RH who is our Dan Carter for kicking. In todays rugby world is just essential. Dont have it and its just …..

  • Custardtaht

    Well what schmozzle, there to be won and instead snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.

    1. The Argies are a good team and will cause more “boil overs” when they play the NH teams.

    2. There was Royal Commission into Banks, it found Banks are shit, the one wearing Gold 15 is no different. He’s not the best option for 15.

    3. Petaia has a very narrow and short vision for the game. It extends to just past his nose at an angle of 10 degrees either side.

    4. The ruck work of the Wallabies needs to improve and fast.

    5. Just hold the fucking ball, too many unforced handling errors and loose carries.

    6. Stop passing the god damn ball to someone in a worse postion than you. Hooper is not on his own with this, but he is a serial offender.

    7. Respect the opposition and take the points on offer, especially when the weather is or is going to become shit.

    8. Stop the niggly shit, it adds nothing but the opportunity to be penalised.

    • Keith Butler

      Totally agree with all points CT. Maybe it was a cunning G&G plan to niggle the Argies into retaliation that would end in a red card. For all the slaps Tupou gave out on Saturday he needs a few from Rennie. Pull your head in young man and concentrate on your game. Finally, no need for Hodge to carry the can, he did alright imo. A few of his teammates need to hold their hands up instead.

      • Custardtaht

        Yep, Tupou needs a chat, his antics are an embarrassment to himself. You want to get under their skin, destroy their scrum and bash them through tackles.

        Hodge has gone surprisingly well at 10. When O’Connor returns I would either have Hodge at 10 and O’Connor at 13 or 15. Or O’Connor’ at 10 and Hodge at 13 or 15 , but Hodge would need to work on the high ball to be 15.

        And I am really liking the Simmons Phillip pairing. It is no frills, but they compliment each other well.

        The back row needs to be tweaked, and Hannigan should hit the road.

        • Keith Butler

          Shock horror! Hate to admit it but Simmons has done real well these last couple of games. Have always rated Phillip. Massive engine gives his all. Pity he’s departing in 2021. Bigs boots to fill at the Rebs.

        • Patrick

          Agree re Hanigan. He looked better at the start of the year but that seems to have been a false dawn. There are so many players who add so much more.

    • While I generally agree, I’m not sure Petaia deserves the opprobrium. He’s young, and he was asked to be the main playmaker. I get why White wasn’t given the Pumas back row. But Hodge is more experienced, or you pick a real 10, and let them try to work it out.

      You need to add to this list, that Hooper pissing off the ref by essentially demanding a YC for an offence that he would have totally lost his shit over if it had been awarded the other way – there is no way handling in the ruck/not releasing is a YC without a warning, even on the try line – and going back at the ref after he’d been warned about it needs to be stamped out. He’s had a better run, but this is reverting to old habits and doesn’t do the Wallabies any favours.

      • Custardtaht

        Petaia has a lot of potential, but his vision is lacking and he is trying to do too much on his own. I would put him on the bench and work on his vision in training. It’s a pity Larkham isn’t around to help the young playmakers. Some of his decision-making cost the Wallabies dearly.

        Ageee on Hooper, I am not and have not been a fan of his as Captain.

      • Who?

        I think Hooper was grumpy with some of the off the ball incidents by that point. Though, honestly, that sort of cynical infringement inside the 5m is liable to be a YC without warning. I was shocked it wasn’t.

        • Anonymous bloke

          I think that’s right re off ball incidents, but he didn’t communicate it to the ref.

        • Who?

          The ref didn’t let him communicate it. Williams’ games always degenerate into chaos. Even when he somehow makes correct calls (it often doesn’t go that way).

        • UTG

          That was definitely a YC, we probably go in out wide under advantage if he releases. Terrible refereeing.

          People can complain but Hooper guaranteed the YC in the second half by chucking a stink at the end of the first half.

        • Who?

          I’m not complaining about Hooper complaining then. Williams’ matches always somehow deteriorate into a mess.

          Petaia – to be fair to KARL, he, like myself, hasn’t seen Petaia as having justified his position for a while. I don’t think he’s lacking talent; rather I think he’s constantly overplaying his hand and not understanding his role in the team. He’s showing a lot of immaturity in how he plays, making a lot of poor decisions (I look at his breakdown work two weeks ago). I see more value in getting him stronger and healthier (given he’s still constantly injured) and getting him to understand his role whilst off the field. Because his poor decision making on the field is costing us more than it’s benefiting us.

    • RedAnt

      Agree on all except Banks, although he certainly hasn’t gone as well as he should. He’s what I’d call an old-fashioned style of fullback, great last line of defence, very safe under high ball, good boot. But he definitely needs to show more in attack, which I think he’s definitely capable of doing.

      • Who?

        Agreed. I think, with Banks, he needs something to run off. He’s not a creator, he’s a ball runner. And we don’t have enough ball playing backs out there (a grand total of zero regular playmaking backs).

    • Hoppy





  • Alister Smith

    Now I am not anti Ned Hannigan (but this might sound like I am). Twice he took it into contact and was turned over. I think he needs to go away and work on that and I personally can’t see Pete Samu or Isi N making that same error twice. I would like to try a back row similar to our first game of this year with Samu or Isi at 8 and Wilson at 6 or Samu 6 and Wilson 8.

    On the rest of the game, Hodge has the physical skill set to play 10 but he does have the ability to read and manage a game and that requires a lot more experience. Unless he is playing there for the Rebels and adding that to his game next year then I don’t think he should be in the position (but given injuries he may be our best available option though the lad from the Tahs might be worth looking at in this last game). I think Hodge is good enough to play at this level but I think it is at 13 or 15 and given Petaia’s and Bank’s games on the weekend I weekend I think he might be an improvement on either of those but I would choose 15.

    • Jason

      Yeah, I’d not hate Samu or Wright starting at 6 for us. I think the problem Rennie has with Samu is he plays the same sort of role as Hooper so you’d want to pick a different 7 (perhaps Wright or McReight) then Samu at 6.

      • Reds Revival

        With the last game likely to be a dead rubber, I would like to see Hooper get a rest and put on Samu/McReight to see what that does to our backrow balance.

        • Jason

          Yeah, I would have been keen for Wright to get an actual run too, don’t understand how Hanigan was the favoured choice for 6.

          But some combination of those 4 would be nice to see.

      • Patrick

        So sack Hooper, he isn’t up to it anyway. He still think you can take the line out instead of the points.

  • Missing Link

    came here to make a few points but it looks like they’ve already been made by others. we should have won, granted but I wont be pessimistic about the draw as there are some good take aways. unecessary grubber kicks and kicking the ball away at the end when we needed to maintain possession and willy nilly offloads when they should take the ball into contact were poor decisions that cost us.

    I’m predicting NZ to steamroll Argentina in the next game, which will set up a dead rubber for us. This is an opportunity for Rennie to roll the dice, change the team and see how different combinations work. Given the points differential, and if my prediction is true, we wont be able to knock NZ off the top even with a bonus point win.

    • Patrick

      Alternative theory: NZ are seriously rattled and lose next week, and we have second place to play for next week.

    • Patrick

      Alternative theory: NZ are seriously rattled and lose next week, and we have second place to play for next week.

  • Hoss

    Warning lengthy observation below – get a cuppa and settle in

    Hmmm, just where to begin?

    So many thoughts, a simmering anger and a looming darkness on my soul – ahhh yes, let’s start with a verb, or as Miss Hollander would say – ‘a doing word’


    What on god’s-green orb was that? Just how much of a cluster fuck can this mob keep delivering to the dwindling rugby loving public of the Hunter! Two tests in 8 years – NO tries scored in either for effectively two losses, for like it or hate it, the Nearlies just won the tri-nations tonite. They will roll the FISMS next week (got my tickets already) get a bonus point and then be clear on top on 11points and get home on ‘for & against differential’ by some margin. We will be left with the ‘Whacky Fucking Doo Cup’ for beating some South American shithole where rugby is like the 38th highest ranking national sport. I mean Prince Fucking ‘Screw an Underage Girl’ Andrew felt comfortable enough to fly a plane into combat against this mob, where’s the glory in beating them if a kiddy-fiddler can do it?

    Nope – we’ll just roll out dross and inflict more misery of Oz Rugby Fans. Now, I am no chef, but when you serve dog shit, on fine china, with a nice accoutrement, a string quarter tucked away in the corner and a saucy little French red to partner it, it’s still just dog shit right ??


    I spotted just two plays from the Captains Run on Friday and each bore some fruit. Perhaps in my Wallaby love haze of Friday I must have completely missed these drills:

    – The one hand behind your back flick pass in your 22 when the balls about to go out for your lineout throw by The Exocet. Let’s be frank. MK has developed a disturbing rhythm to his rugby career. One game ‘on’ and one a completely miserable brain-dead shit-show. I leant over to my father after said abomination of a pass and said ‘watch him give away a penalty now as he tries to compensate for the brain fart – bing-bam-boom, within 5-7 seconds –‘not rolling away’ and Sanchez lines up a shot
    – The Abattoir – the FISMS got inside his head and it was game over. He was poor, ineffectual and largely immature. So wound up did they have him he made a colossal bad read before halftime in D and left a HUGE whole that Los Pumas exploited. He was not injured – he was yanked at the oranges break – and rightfully so.
    – Plastics was poor all night and to be fair, he was poor at his throws on Friday as well and he thus played as he trained – should have been hooked earlier
    – I must have gone to the loo at the Captains Run when Wiesmantle screamed out – ‘scores are level with two to go so kick it aimlessly away three times and hope something comes of it’……they were nothing more than ‘Hail Mary’s’ and we could have been torched from them – dumb, dumb, dumb.


    Campo was the pre-game speaker (Well Rob Clarke & Matt Dunning too – he was boring as bat-shit, I liked him better as a fat, drop goal kicking prop) and Campo said three times – you can’t win it without the ball, maybe next time our backs should skip the warmup and head up to corporate for a pointer or two.


    We played off 12 most the night tonight and that’s ok if your 10 is in control and calling the shots, but when our 10 is a Claytons 10, it left us without the one-two punch of The Squatter and Jordan of Nazareth and seemed an odd tactic as it left us without The Squatters straight line ‘punch’ that works for us.

    The Clydesdale aint no 10. He is ‘serviceable’ the way McDonalds is ‘serviceable’ as a meal. Unfortunately like the Scottish Restaurant you end up with a deep sense of regret and feeling crook in the guts two hours after the experience. JOC2.0 ran with the physio at the Captains Run and kicked a fair bit – here’s hoping he’s right for last game of the year


    Tom Wright has developed the ‘Gilberts’ with annoying grubber kicks to nowhere, for no gain and no reward. They were like pissing in a dark suit, you may feel all warm and fuzzy but no one else knows what’s going on.


    We were slow to rucks and lacked precision


    We had a skipper who seemed to agitate the ref (I haven’t watched the replay yet) but they were like a married couple who knew their time was up but went through the motions anyhow. The body language between the pair, from where I sat, was not conducive to an open, respectful and frank relationship.


    The Bull-shitter was my MOTM by some margin too, but did all his best work in the first half and from what could tell seemed a bit stiff to be penalised for offside late in the piece when it ‘seemed’ live at the ground that it was knock-on FISMS first, then knock on us and whilst he was most certainly offside the original knock-on advantage to us would apply – happy to be wrong for those who saw / heard it on FUX, but at the ground it seemed a poor call and naturally Sanchez slotted it. Just on that Sanchez has a beautiful technique, he his them from 50 with little effort but a beautiful smooth action – he’s the Erne Els or ‘Big Easy’ of goal kicking.


    At 9-6 at half time and with no ball, no territory and no desire to play rugby I thought the FISMIS would be well pleased with themselves and they scrapped, mugged and hoodwinked the dumb Wallabies into the street fight and we had no leadership, no smarts and no ability to force our will upon them. Beautifully exemplified by how we played with a one man advantage. No urgency, no increase in tempo, no exposing our advantage by holding the pill just more of the same absolute dross they played with all night.


    That was as bad a performance as any that I can recall out of Segal’s era. It was bereft of character, smarts, tactics, execution, leadership, sense of purpose and most obviously – of cohesion. I drove my father home after the game and the mood was sombre and most disappoint of all and after being filled with optimism and being invigorated just 24 hours before, there was not ONE redeeming feature about the performance – not one.


    I don’t know what Samu is doing / or not doing for selection or Naisarini for that matter but either offer more impact than current selections. Flanders wasn’t terrible but largely non-descript, but he wasn’t on his own on that front

    This was a deeply personal loss for me and one that sits really, really heavily at present. It’s not that we lost per se, it’s that the world I was privileged to get a glimpse inside of had clarity, skill, sport science, purpose, a plan and execution. The reality hit home that more than fitness, skill or execution, more than the brilliant coach, the tactics, the symbolism and the planning this current Wallabies are mentally fragile and that folks was laid bare on a beautiful track, with 70% possession, all the territory and yet……………….the difference between potential of performance and the delivery of the performance is currently a quantum leap.
    Mario Ledesma summed it up beautifully during his press conference – something like – ‘ I couldn’t believe we weren’t further behind. They stretched us side to side to fatigue us and it was working. I sent messages down to take the 3 when on offer, even though we were 9 behind because I knew they would start to get doubts as we got closer’………….here’s the link, have a listen yourselves.

    Big shout out to Pablo for his comments about Newcastle during the same presser.

    Oh well, at least they trained well, where I have I heard that before……oh wait a minute.


    • Missing Link

      9/10 post Hoss, with a bonus point for the “Claytons” reference, so 10/10 all up.

    • Greg

      Those few points aside, I am guessing you enjoyed the game….

      • Hoss

        I wanted too mate and perhaps that’s why the performance sits so heavily on my shoulders. i let myself believe and got burnt.

        It’s like believing your partner that no more matrimonial ‘indiscretions’ will occur and then come home and find them chockers inside the baby sitter again. So to Mrs Hoss #2 again, i sincerely apologise and have more empathy for the situation you faced……….also to our baby sitter Trevor let me firstly……..

        • Greg

          I had forgotten about Trevor.

          Can he throw to a lineout?
          Any captaining experience?

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hard night mate. I still maintain, as I’ve rabbitted on about before, is that the issue isn’t with the individual skill sets or the fitness, it’s all about the top 2 inches and the way that decisions are made under pressure. As you say, no pressure on the training field and things look smooth. The only difference between the training field and the game is the pressure that is being applied and it is pretty obvious that most of these guys have no idea on how to manage their thoughts under pressure. The Wallabies need a Gilbert Enoka. Have a read of this and you’ll see what I mean.

      Clear off side by the Bullshitter mate. Ball was knocked back by the Exocet, FISMS never got a hand on it then he was definitely off side when he picked up the ball. No issues with that call at all

      • Hoss

        Cheers mate. Only got one replay at the ground and i frankly couldn’t tell from that. Fair cop.

        Spot on re the grey matter – if only this mob would realise its them holding themselves back and no one else.

    • I must admit, I’d hoped to see some of these super plays you’d talked about. Instead we saw a mess. Some of that was poor discipline, both in the sense of needless pushing and shoving, but in the sense of poor skills too – bad line outs, bad ball retention etc.

      But where did the thinking go? You can forgive some of the youngsters for get caught up in the pushing and shoving, forgetting the big plan. And it’s always a potential weakness when the midfield have about 10 caps between them. But there are a enough older heads out there that seemed to forget it all too… and who should really be holding their holding their hands up in the review sessions on Monday.

      A few players had acceptable games, possibly even good ones taken in isolation. But they were surrounded by mediocrity and bad decisions from people who are meant to be the big decision makers, and mature enough to know better… just not good enough.

      • Hoss

        Very eloquent EP and entirely on point.

      • onlinesideline

        Really, the guys who have the tests under their belts are the props and Hooper. All the rest, right through to the wings are far from leaders. But that does not mean that younger guys arent capable of clever decision making individually at specific points in the game. After all, the team is suppose to comprise of guys who are the best of the best, the best in each position in the country, with natural footballling abilities, game smarts. They are supposed to be extra special rugby players. These tactical decisions at pressure points of the game should be already ingrained in them.
        People say we have the cattle, I have actually said it but at times I really don’t think we have. We have the cattle to get us to the point of having a shot at winning games but actually winning is a universe away at this level. Say what you want about the kiwis at present, they are just smarter. And as for Saffas, they have lacked smarts in the past but good coaching has smartend them up. Same with England. So there is hope, but we need a sustained period under Rennie, so that up and comers can also see whats expected of them too.

        • Damo

          Bumbles Lloyd, when describing Glen McGrath’s bowling accuracy famously said “he wouldn’t give a door a bang”. That was the attitude that would have gotten the Wallabies home on Saturday night. Rennie’s summation that the wallabies got bored was brilliant. It isn’t in the rugby DNA of these young guys to just kick it into the corners and grind out the win. Having a crack with the ball in hand, including 50/50 passes, grubbers etc, is just too tempting. “This one will work” This Argie team has an excellent defensive structure and just like last week against the AB’s they were able to wait it out. They didn’t have enough of the ball to make their own errors. Under par on field leadership is a big issue here.

        • onlinesideline

          yeah it was a comment that didnt quite click instantly I must admit but I clicked shortly thereafter (about a day and half). Strange way of putting it but i like it. He is clearly very into using your noodle properly and clearly and intelligently. Theres hope mate.

        • Who?

          106 caps at lock, too.
          I don’t think the issue was with the pack… Sure, a few got understandably annoyed that Hooper complained about dirty play and cheap shots (which Williams ignored), but they did enough. We got to 15-6. I don’t think the issues existed whilst the experienced (but still less than 40 caps) Nic White was on the field. When White left, our most experienced backs were Hodge and Koroibete. Everyone else had fewer than 20 caps. And none are game managers.

        • onlinesideline

          Forgot about Simmons….. but leadership and in-game tactical shift and standing up and saying fellas, hold on to the f…king ball, lets use our nuts – doesnt quite seem a Simmonseque thing.

        • Who?

          It’s not really Simmons’ role, but, equally importantly, we were 9 points up when he was subbed off.

          We shouldn’t have been holding the ball – the issue was that, with 15 minutes to go, in pouring rain, we stopped playing enough territory.

        • onlinesideline

          really ? – a 100 cap second rower veteran doesnt have the role of standing up and imparting a few wise wrods at certain crucial times of the match. John Eales ring a bell ? – he wasnt always captian.
          or a Victor Matfield ?

        • Who?

          I don’t think that game management is necessarily a lock’s role. Eales was captain.

          I also don’t think the issue was that we didn’t hold the ball. I think the issue was that we stopped following the coach’s directions in terms of playing for territory, particularly at the end of the game (the last 15) when it was raining.

          Lastly, as mentioned, Simmons wasn’t on the field at that point. He’d been subbed off, along with Wilson, with Hanigan moving to lock, Wright to six and Valetini to eight. It’s unfair to blame guys like Simmons, Wilson, White and Wright for the draw when they were on the field whilst we built to a lead that their replacements surrendered.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I agree. It was the bench coming on that cost us. The team just lost a lot of cohesion. I’m not sure they were all on board with any particular strategy or plan.

        • Brumby Runner

          AL the strategy and plan changed quite dramatically when White and Wright left the field. Until then Tom Wright had been playing the second fullback spot and doing it well. With Koroibete and Daugunu out two wingers, neither of them had the capability nor imo the intelligence (rugby-wise) to carry out that role. Hodge then shifted to second fullback in defense which then had ramifications on the team as a whole and caused the game plan in place up til then to be abandoned.

          There is no excuse for having two very iffy wingers who just don’t seem to have game smarts on the field at the same time. A good coach will see that now, I believe.

        • Who?

          Was Hodge full time in that role? Because I saw Gordon back there making poor decisions a fair bit, too – something you don’t see from White (defending at the back). I honestly thought Hodge only went back when the wingers and Gordon failed to kick the ball back as much as they should’ve done.

        • Alister Smith

          He was Tahs captain, he calls lineout and he plays the same position as John Eales did.

        • Who?

          And wasn’t on the field when those calls needed to be made.

        • Simmons, Ned now has enough I think, White at 26 might not count as a senior player, but he’s old enough to not be a young gun any more. (He’s also got a lot of experience from abroad.)

          But yes, I don’t like the description of rugby players as cattle. I think the Wallabies do have them… but they have been losing over the last five years because they’re treated as such. They lose to other sides that may not, player for player, be as good, but that play as a team and play to plan A, B and sometimes C. I don’t always agree with that plan, I think England are over-coached to do X in position Y rather than think about what’s there for example. However, all too often, and Saturday was a case in point, Australia go out and you struggle to see even plan A. Look back a week – arguably the Pumas disrupted the AB even more successfully, since they won – but until the last 10 minutes when they pressed the panic button you could see the ABs going through their plans and trying to get back into the match. They failed because of a monumental effort in defence and some uncharacteristic poor choices from young players, but the plan was there and was being executed, then rebuffed.

        • Simmons, Ned now has enough I think, White at 26 might not count as a senior player, but he’s old enough to not be a young gun any more. (He’s also got a lot of experience from abroad.)

          But yes, I don’t like the description of rugby players as cattle. I think the Wallabies do have them… but they have been losing over the last five years because they’re treated as such. They lose to other sides that may not, player for player, be as good, but that play as a team and play to plan A, B and sometimes C. I don’t always agree with that plan, I think England are over-coached to do X in position Y rather than think about what’s there for example. However, all too often, and Saturday was a case in point, Australia go out and you struggle to see even plan A. Look back a week – arguably the Pumas disrupted the AB even more successfully, since they won – but until the last 10 minutes when they pressed the panic button you could see the ABs going through their plans and trying to get back into the match. They failed because of a monumental effort in defence and some uncharacteristic poor choices from young players, but the plan was there and was being executed, then rebuffed.

    • Alister Smith

      Starting to wonder if Jesus is from Haifa not Nazareth…close but not exactly the same place. Also possible he’s the Wallabies David Koresh….just a false claimant taking us on a road to Waco. To be honest I think he has the potential but I don’t think either of the two blokes inside him have the game management skills to get him back. Now JOC is clearly just a (reformed) naughty boy and not a messiah but I think he is currently best available to get the best out of this backline.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’m not so sure you can blame the guys inside him. I actually thought Piasami had a very good game with good defence and a couple of little kicks that could have gone well. Hodge is too slow a distributor to be a permanent 10 but Petaia let himself and the team down with dumb decisions. I’m not so sure he demonstrates a lot of potential in any area other than he can run fast and make some ground. He has a lot of very obvious deficiencies in so many other areas that I think he needs to go back to club rugby with a good coach and start again

        • Alister Smith

          Yes I see what you mean and I agree that neither Hodge nor Paisami had bad games BUT I think that with a JOC at 10 and or a Toomua JP is given more instruction, given the ball in a better position to do something and perhaps, someone who picks the time best to use him, if he goes off on a little wander, is brought back in line. I have read that none of these backline players are big talkers and I think that shows. I am not sure where that leadership comes from but I suspect it may be absent to a degree.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          absent there, and everywhere else mate

        • UTG

          Really, back to club rugby to start again on the back of one poor kick?

          Best defensive back in the squad and biggest attacking threat. He’s not going anywhere for a long time.

        • Alister Smith

          Yes I wouldn’t drop him. What I was trying to say was that it isn’t great for his development to surround him with virtual newcomers or players who are very new to their positions. If he has JOC and Toomua there determining when to use him and when not to I think it prevents some of the less effective stuff he did and he can start with a simpler role. He is a rare talent i think (despite sacastic comments elsewhere by myself) and that will be borne out over time.

        • Steve

          I actually think he needs to be moved onto the wing – He is undoubtedly a great threat with the ball but he’s not playing with any structure or system. I’m not sure if that’s the coach’s fault or not.

        • Who?

          I’ve said elsewhere, that’s what I thought. Until Wright debuted… I guess you could stick him on the other wing, for Koroibete, but…

    • Keith Butler

      Would hate to be any of your employees today. All that angst but at least it’s out of your system. As EP says, taken in isolation a couple of players had decent game and wash my mouth out I thought Simmons put in a decent shift and Phillip had another good game. I could be pedantic and say the HRH the Prince flew a helicopter against the FISMs, a match that the SDs actually won but that would be adding insult to injury.

      • Hoss

        ‘It’s the vibe’

      • onlinesideline

        He also flew the helicopter on to Epstein’s Island and all without a “sweat”- AS IT WERE !

    • mortlucky

      “I drove my father home after the game…”

      I see the problem. You left a corporate box sober.

      • Hoss

        There wasn’t enough bourbon to make the witnessing of that experience a distant, hazy blur

    • Simon

      Got to admit Hoss, not being able to spend anywhere near as much time on GAGR as I used to, I’m finding it harder and harder to follow your posts without a Who’s Who guide to nicknames!

      But I get the gist of it and I concur. It was infuriating, and in the all-time rankings of Most Frustrating Tests of the Last Decade for Wallabies Fans, that’s a top 10 for me – which might not sound that bad until you think back to some of the colossally bad performances it’s coming up against.

      Three big issues for me:

      1. Lineout still very shaky, especially 5m out from their line.
      2. Pushing the pass and trying for offloads that just aren’t on
      3. STILL their first instinct on any turnover or threatening attacking position is to KICK THE BLOODY BALL AWAY.

      I don’t know why #3 is proving such a hard lesson to learn. It almost never works and you only have to watch one ABs test (well, not the last one, but any other) to see how when they turn the ball over against an unstructured defence, their instinct is to run it, and they score most of their tries that way.

      I did think there was one redeeming feature, though – the defence was generally very good and better than most games of the Cheika era. There was one occasion it looked like it was going to get wobbly again when the Pumas broke through and we started falling off tackles like Under 10s trying to tackle the big Islander kid, but under Cheika (and Grey) that used to happen all the time.

      • Hoss

        G’day Simon,

        included ‘The Hossary’ FYI.

        As for point #3. I was fortunate to attend the captains run on Friday where attack coach Weismantle specifically ran a drill & i quote

        ‘right, one minute to go and we ar 2 behind’ – The Wallabies got into formation and rana play to slot the drop goal – it was precise, clever and had clarity of role & purpose about it.

        Roll forward 36 hours, scores are level with 90 seconds to go (i have no beef with The Clydesdale missing a penalty – it happens) – but instead they hoist 2 Garry Owens and Jordan of Nazareth puts through a grubber when we had a 3-2 overlap that almost leads to the FISMS going 80 and stealing it – which as Mario L said ‘wouldn’t have been fair’ but when you leave the farm gate open, you cant scream when the horses get out.

        Hence the problems that afflict this side largely reside north of the temple area.

        The coaches armed them with the tools, the process and the blueprint – but…………….

        • Simon

          Thanks for the Hossary. What about the FISMS? Some reference to a rather unfortunate incident in 1982?

          That Petaia grubber did my head in, the TV can count itself lucky it didn’t get a nearly full can of Young Henry’s through it.

        • Who?

          You’ve got it Simon – 1982 Silver Medallists. ;-)

        • Hoss

          Yes mate – Los Pumas = Falkland Island Silver Medalist’s (FISM’s)

        • Keith Butler

          I remember that weekend very well. My club played United Services Portsmouth a game that we usually won comfortably. But they came out breathing fire to give their lads a good send off and unsurprisingly we lost.

    • onlinesideline

      The only upside I can offer mate, is that Rennie’s job is clearly something that involves stripping down to its core and rebuilding back up, what these guys should be thinking as a match progresses. This will take some time. If it was acheived in just a few test matches only, one would wonder and question just how much Rennie actually changed things up ie if it was possible in such a short time period then ….

      At least we will have the possibility of a national side in the future that has been rebuilt properly as opposed to a few gloss overs (which ironically would have shone a positive light on Cheika’s reign – as he, bar a few small adjustments would have been theoretically quite close to getting it right) We all know this isnt true. The botton line as Missing Link said the other day and you reiterated on Friday Rennie is no spud. So optimism and hope are well justified with a decent coach. Its clearly essential and have all the cattle you want, in the top 6 teams, you have to have aworld class coach.

    • Who?

      Our pack did well. They did more than enough to win that game. I agree that Rennie hooked Tupou, and that it was a good call. But with all that, I see our pack got us to 15-6. They did it, as you say, without a 10. It was all off their hard work.

      Petaia’s got to go. You’ve complained about Wright’s grubbers, well, they’re better than Petaia’s grubbers… Petaia had a 3 on 2 at the end of the game and kicked it into the end goal, 40m away. Paisami, under Rennie, is starting to look like a Chiefs player. He was fantastic. Whereas Petaia’s just a naughty boy. I mean, even the ‘almost’ try, he’s getting plaudits for that, when any time in the past you’d have expected the player to dive for that ball (not try to run past it), which would’ve avoided having a boot on the line…

      I wouldn’t call that game bereft of character. Only bereft of smarts. And those smarts left the field with Wright (Daugunu’s first touch cost us 3 points) and White (the Commissioner was abysmal for 10 of his 15 minutes). Our pack did enough to get us the win. The starting backs did enough to convert that graft into a lead. Our bench backs gave away that lead by failing to play smart rugby in the rain (i.e. field position).

      That said, Rennie’s working with absolutely no experience out there. Our starting backline had maybe 132 caps. Our bench backs have another 10. The two guys Rennie would’ve been hoping to have bring experience and calm out there (JOC and Toomua) are both injured. I expected more control from the Commissioner, but, given he’s a Tah (and therefore subject to Gibson for a few years), that’s maybe a little unfair. I didn’t expect Hodge to show game management, but at least he (unlike Daugunu and Gordon) knew enough to play at the right end with the game tight at the end. He looked for territory, where the other two tried to run it out of our half in the rain against a team that prefers to play without the ball.

      That all being the case, I think the criticism that, “You can’t win without the ball,” is a little unfair, born of your frustration. Because we had 70% possession.

      • Hoss


        All fair and astute comments as I would expect from yourself. I don’t know if you could hear it on the coverage, but the groans of sheer disbelief from the 12,000 at the game when, with 90 seconds to go we launched two Gary Owens (The Clydesdale & Bastards) and then a third brain-numbing grubber from Jordan of Nazareth when the match was there for the taking. My absolute frustrations were that i had personally witnessed a drill around nearly that precise scenario only 36 hours earlier that ended in the opportunity of a field goal or in this case the Pumas perhaps coughing up an infringement with a chance at 3.

        The pack worked hard, but again, the specific plays / moves i had seen on Friday were not evident at all. The play deviated comprehensively from the plan. Absolutely the pumas would impact ‘plans’, but Rennie and his team provided with Plans from A-J and we ignored them all and at our cost.

        It is absolutely early doors for DR and this team – i can cop that. But when i see what goes into their prep v what translates on the field I then get a much clearer understanding that there is something intrinsically wrong with the grey matter of those players in gold charged with implementing said ambitions. They are not robots and certainly there will always be opportunity for deviations as required, but as a minimum you must have a base to work from and return to when challenged, they do have such a base and they chose to ignore it.

        Leadership is a problem.

        • Who?

          It’s fair to complain about what we did at 90 seconds, but my comments are aimed at the last 20, where we went from 15-6 up to level. We shouldn’t ever have put ourselves into that position (level with 90 seconds on the clock), which is why White (accurately) labelled it a losing draw.

          How much of the play calling that you saw on Friday was based on the pack, and how much was the backs? Burke was complaining about execution for the entire first half. First he was complaining that the backs weren’t sweeping hard enough and early enough (meaning they weren’t outside their defender, or far enough outside the ball carrier), and then (particularly for the forward pass from Banks to Koroibete) that they were too wide (and too flat – making the pass from Banks far too difficult with no time in possession – he also pointed out that the pass from Hodge to Banks wasn’t in front of Banks, making the pass from Banks even harder to execute).

          I don’t disagree that leadership’s a problem. But I think it’s leadership in the backs, and without experience… I mean, all year, our most capped back is JOC, with 55, over Toomua with 49 caps, over DHP (38 caps) and Hodge (Burke claimed 44 during the game, I think it’s more like 38), and White with 36. With JOC, Toomua and DHP both out, that’s as many missing caps as we had total caps on the field – including the bench! With JOC out, we’ve no one over 50 caps. Where we lost two 70 cap 10’s (Foley and Cooper) last year, along with 110 caps for Genia, 70 caps from Phipps, 98 caps from Beale, 119 caps from AAC. Oh, and Rennie didn’t select the most capped local back available this year (Kuridrani – 60 caps). More than happy for you to question the value of some of that experience, but with Genia and Foley at 9 and 10 (and you know I wasn’t ever a Foley fan!), I don’t think we see some of the insanity that gave Los Pumas those 9 points to come back. I say Genia, because even though White did well, having Genia as well would mean that we’d have an experienced scrummie at the end of the game rather than the Commissioner. The fact we started this year with one 9 with more than double digit caps – in spite of having had a number of options and time to blood them – is an indictment on Cheika. Powell got no time, Gordon wasn’t ever blooded. So they’re behind schedule with their development and comfort at the top level.

          What’s really encouraging to hear is that the issue’s leadership and failing to follow the game plans, rather than failure to have a game plan. Because, sooner (hopefully!) or later, those players are going to start to realize, “If I follow the coaches, we win. If I don’t, we lose, and I don’t like losing.”

        • Hoss

          Yep – certainly DR made the point in a Q&A I attended Friday that of the wider leadership group of 8, 5 are currently out injured (Sauce, JOC, 2Cows, FKA & Eric Clapton) so there is a huge ‘voice’ missing from the squad, let alone the match day 23, but worryingly no one stood up to help breach that gap

        • RedAnt

          All good points, Who?. Especially Cheika’s complete failure to see beyond the next test match and actually build and develop a squad for the future. The lack of quality halves with test experience is an abject failure in a game where injuries are par for the course. I think we also have to question Hooper’s leadership here – surely if, as Hoss points out, the team had discussed and practiced for situations like they found themselves in, Hooper should have made sure that’s what everyone was focused on. I’m sure Cheika’s influence lingers in Hooper’s head as well.

        • Keith Butler

          Cast your mind back to 2003. It’s the SDs v the G&G for the Bill and we’re in extra time with a couple of minutes on the clock. The SDs know they have a match winner in Lord Johnny Wilkinson so what do the pack do, they set it up for him and the rest is history. The look on Howards face when he reluctantly handed over Bill was priceless.

        • Nutta

          I cannot like that comment no matter how accurate.

        • Keith Butler

          Mate I felt the pain in 1991.

        • Nutta

          I have learnt recently to not let truth get in the road of an election emotion.

        • Who?

          Seeing Prince Harry in the stands cheering against us increased my Republican fervour… Our heads of state should be happy when we succeed, and sad when we lose. He felt no sense of loss.

      • Missing Link

        Have to agree re. Paisami. I simply did not pick this, most of the Reds I watched this season involved Paisami coming off the bench. I was a little shocked to see him selected in the Wallabies, and then starting in the centres but he is good. can tackle and kick and looks threatening in attack. not the complete package yet but impressive considering he’s only played a handful of games.

        The other shock selection for mine was Len Ikitau. It will be interesting to see him develop over the next few years.

        • Who?

          Two years ago Paisami was released by the Rebels after Wessels told him he wasn’t big enough and wouldn’t ever get a game of Super Rugby (there). Huge achievement from him. He really looks like a Charlie Ngati sort of player (a player Rennie loved at the Chiefs) in these last few games.

    • Keith Butler

      Petaia stays. He’s the only eye candy on the ground. Sorry, the Mayoress is typing this.

      • Reds Revival

        With that haircut??

      • Hoss

        The Mayoress is British Royalty is she mate, he’s only just turned 18 or something hasn’t he……touch creepy.

        • Keith Butler

          I think it’s called cradle snatching.

    • Brumby Runner

      Hoss, you are clearly in a lot of pain. At home, watching on tv and not having had the privilege of attending the Captains Run (excellent report btw), I wasn’t nearly as pissed off as you are.

      A few comments you might find salient regarding Koroibete, the last two minutes, Paisami and team selections.

      I agree entirely with your comments about Marika the exocet. Too many poor games interspersed with those that are acceptable. That back handed pass simply gave possession to the Pumas when we would have had a lineout (at that stage our lineout was holding up) and is an example of what I think is a lack of rugby intelligence. I have come in for criticism for saying it, but I wouldn’t have him in my tgest team for any amount of money.

      I believe the purpose of the call of an even scoreline with two minutes to go was to get the team set up for a drop goal to win. But where was our drop goal weapon? On the bench. The failure to play Lolesio in the last 20 minutes was one that Rennie has to wear. Very poor bench management – there were some other examples too; the replacement of Tom Wright when Koroibete should have been taken off, and the replacement of Wilson when Hanigan should have been taken off.

      For some unfathomable reason, Rennie had Paisami playing the No 10 role in attack and at least until Wright left the field, he had Hodge defending at 10. Paisami also had the main kicking duties in general play. Why you’d give a player having his second start ever at 12 such a critical workload is way beyond me. Hunter actually had a strong game but he could have been a whole lot better if he’d just concentrated on his straight running game at 12. Unfortunately, to make matters worse, when Wright left the field, Hodge was then needed to defend at the back because neither of Koroibete nor Duagunu have a clue in that regard. Shades of Nathan Grey.

      I am again in complete agreement with your comments about the non-selection of players like Samu and Naisarani. Rennie must do better in future tests.


      • Hoss

        G’day BR,

        I had typed my piece Saturday nite after the game so perhaps my emotions were somewhat raw. On reflection I could have perhaps toned down the emotional volume somewhat.

        Having said that I stand by the content but should clarify that it’s not the loss that riles me so, it’s simply the performance.

        I accept losses will be endured, I accept they are a youngish squad still learning their craft and will ‘bank’ some of the lesser experiences along the road to rugby maturity. I accept that our race car was not purring when DR arrived some tinkering would prove entirely useless and a complete engine rebuild was warranted and such a rebuild needs bedding in, all entirely reasonable and all part of a broader trajectory.

        But – it’s the low expectations and the unacceptable variation between a good performance from the team say Wellington and Brisbane for example – what I would call 7.5 / 10 scores to Sydney and Newcastle which IMO were 3.5 / 10 – that’s what kills me and also that the team doesn’t hold itself to higher expectations. Again IMO they don’t and that’s the killer for me.

        I am fortunate to run a largish business, 200+ staff and big dollar turnover. Our team has strived to be ‘recession proof’. Good month or bad month I know the the results will only vary marginally. We can plan for expansion, develop succession plans and build our own team for the future by identifying and growing our own talent – we have an established baseline and essentially we tinker at the margins. However if the result of our company varied 40% from result to result I would be found in a shallow grave somewhere in the Wattigans.

        DR went to lengths to stress what the ‘expectations’ were for being a Wallaby were and he is no doubt gutted by the performance.

        My anger is that as fans we have a reasonable right to hold them to higher expectations – here comes the kicker – expectations that they themselves are capable of reaching, they’ve done it, we’ve witnessed it. It is completely unacceptable for a commodity, like rugby, competing for discretionary income to roll out such an inconsistent product.

        I don’t disagree with any comment regarding the changes on Saturday, the substitutions almost looked ‘pre-programmed’ and left my father and I and the guests I entertained completely bewildered and stupefied. The drill I witnessed on Friday absolutely had Noah Lolesio in the pocket and slotting a 30m drop goal, a feet hard to achieve from the pine on Saturday.

        DR spoke of expectations, clarity, opportunity, desire, culture and symbolism amongst a range of topics and all are of equal importance, but the players must believe, the players must engage and take ownership and the players must own the performance. Results are variable, refs call, white hot opposition, the bounce of a ball, individual brilliance, injuries. suspensions, et al, but the performance should be within much narrower perimeters of good and bad and THATS the expectations of this supporter and one I’d encourage the wallabies to pursue, for they are infinitely better than they showed on
        Saturday and that’s what hurts most.

        I remain a fan with a caveat. If I go to a restaurant and the foods good and the staff friendly i will return, I go the next time and the foods off, the waiters rude and the chef shits on my plate I leave confused and angry and wonder what changed so much and why?

        • Greg

          So… why is it so Hoss?

          You saw the Friday planning and the Saturday execution.

          Confusion? Lack of skills? panic? Lack of interest? Is it just a lack of focus?

          It certainly make sit hard to regularly get excited…. but somehow we still do (Trevor notwithstanding)

        • Brumby Runner

          Hoss I appreciate your reply.

          And thanks a heap for your series of posts leading up to the game and afterwards. Gave me and I’d guess a lot more people a good insight into the preparations for a test match. Sadly, the finished product didn’t match the practice, but there are a lot of good signs and we can still hope for a better future than our past five years.

      • Ads

        Good comments. The only one I’d quibble is Hannigan. There were both a shitlload of lineouts and we were a bit shaky. Keeping the better jumper on makes sense. It also leads to the direction to not take the points being a coach directive?

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, well that was a disappointment of a game. Still too many dumb decisions under pressure and I think that Rennie is right to be so frustrated. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he has some serious one on ones as I’ve heard from ex-Chief players that he doesn’t take prisoners in these talks.

    Playing the Kiwi girls in the pool game won’t be too bad as the results for those games won’t be a knockout and regardless of the score both teams can go through and meet later. I think it’ll be good as it’ll set both teams up for what they need later in the tournament when the games really count.

    Why am I not surprised that Tupou was swayed by a couple of big macs, let’s face it he doesn’t look as though salad is on his diet a lot. Great story though.

  • Nutta

    Nǐ hǎo tóngzhì

    We knew the Argies would be niggly and ‘passionate’ (aka hiding all sorts of illegalities behind amped up aggro) and so they were. We knew they would be killing competing the breakdown and so they were. We also knew they would have their kicking boots on and so they did (missed one). They brought everything we knew they would.

    We made opportunities. great. Then we failed to take them. Bad. It’s not Hodges fault – they missed one shot as well.

    Poor decision making and poor execution in critical moments are to blame. And that’s shocking because these guys are full time pro’s who specifically prepare for this shit apparently.

    Arguing with refs incessantly?

    Not taking 3pters on a slimy rainy day?

    Blitzing the line and FKN MISSING THE TACKLE?

    Getting suckered into bullshit argy-bargy?

    Really? REALLY? From full-time fkn professionals?

    The two outside shoulder lineout turnovers were mind-numbing. It’s moneyball. Stop picking folk because they look scarey or they sing an anthem well or they lift tin. Pick someone to do a fkn job. Firstly, it’s on lifters and jumpers to not close the fkn gap on your own throw. That’s under10 shit. It just narrows the percentages. And Christ on a fkn stick if it comes to that fella’s then fkn pick me to throw lineouts. I’m closer to 50yrs than any other round number with fkd knees and an over-turned turtle can run faster than I can. I get out of breath walking my fkn dog. But if it has come down to that, then pick me for fks sake because at least I don’t miss lineouts throws.

    • Alister Smith

      Up voted purely for theover-turned turtle comment and breathless do walking. That’s my life.

    • Missing Link

      how many times did one of our players shoot out of the line, only to miss the tackle and the ball carrier would then run into the gap created? I think I ran out of fingers

      • Nutta

        It drives me spare. I stopped drinking at halftime. I was worried I would throw a stubby at the telly.

      • Geoffro

        shame Banks wasnt onto it,he coud’ve strolled over the line instead of throwing a desperate forward pass to koro

        • Who?

          If Koroibete’s catching a pass that went that far forward without looking like he was going to drop it, he was too wide and flat…
          Burke also pointed out that the pass from Hodge to Banks wasn’t great – it was caught on Banks’ centreline, rather than in front, allowing him to shift the ball across more freely and quickly.

        • Patrick

          I don’t think Koroibete was so badly placed, he seriously accelerated to get to that ball and caught it on his fingertips. I agree he could have been a bit deeper but he could have taken a flat pass on the surge.

        • Patrick

          I don’t think Koroibete was so badly placed, he seriously accelerated to get to that ball and caught it on his fingertips. I agree he could have been a bit deeper but he could have taken a flat pass on the surge.

        • Geoffro

          For sure,was just alluding to the fact that Tom didn’t even need to attempt it.The argie had dropped off the tackle and he basically had an open line in front of him.Banks is skilful with a ton of heart but not the smartest player Ive seen imho.

    • Keith Butler

      Maybe we should bring on a special pack at line out time as in American football with a hooker that can hit his target. Would probably take less time to make the change than scrum resets.

      • Nutta

        Well we like to spend 30sec having a strategy and feelings session out of the line prior to each lineout. Then someone trots up and whispers Chinese Whispers (or sweek fkn nothings) into the Hookers ear. Then someone thinks about maybe doing something.

        Then we toss a grenade…

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Morning mate. Always makes me wonder what the fuck these guys do when they are so obviously stuffed at the critical basics of their role. I remember years ago Fitzpatrick would spend at least 2 hrs a day just throwing at different targets so he could do it in a match. Used to get balls put in a bucket and have to throw them wet, got balls covered in mud and had to throw them. Funnily enough he actually became very accurate.

      • Nutta

        To be fair:
        > Both not-straight calls were a drift-left that happened at the on-shore end of the ground whilst throwing long with a right>left evening wind. Poor calling by lineout Capt.
        > Both not-straight calls were not helped by the jumpers and lifters closing the gap early. If they stayed where they started they were not even overhead but were still clearly inside shoulder. Poor technique by the pod.
        > But all that said, throwing long into a R>L breeze means you stand one-foot slightly forward (to get your hips driving through the ball) and you angle the nose to the right (into the breeze) to compensate.

        It’s about knowing your craft. It’s your job.

  • Jason

    Am I the only one who thinks Hooper can’t continue long term as our captain?
    He was just very bad as a captain on the weekend.

    • Custardtaht

      Nope not at all. I think people just accept it isn’t going to change.

      • Jason

        Yeah, to be completely fair we kind of have a lack of alternatives, but it’d be nice to see some kind of succession planning in place, because Hooper’s captaincy genuinely cost us the win on the weekend. He pissed off the refs he let Argentina off the hook many times and really didn’t seam to control his players.

        • Custardtaht

          I’m sure Rennie has a plan.

        • Reds Revival

          I don’t think Rennie’s plan is the issue. It is the ability of the team (and the captain) to carry it out that is the problem.

        • Who?

          And it’s our patience in allowing that transformation to happen. We gave Deans more time than this before expecting results (and rightly so). Deans won something like 6 of 15 in his second year, but still received the benefit of the doubt. Rennie’s currently 1-2-2. Those 2 draws were lost draws (to quote White), but there’s progress in key areas, and there’s other areas that will take time.

        • laurence king

          Tbh, I think that we are going OK and I totally agree with the need for patience. This is a youngish side (several very young ones). New wingers, centres, halves, backrow, locks etc and there are are obvious improvements, eg defence. There are no excuses being trotted out, a lot of honesty both from the coach and players (and isn’t that a breath of fresh air). And hey, I’m enjoying watching the Walabies again. The last 4 or so years have been like going to the dentist, it’s a wonder I have any teeth left.

        • Mike D

          Harry Wilson. Once he settles in a bit more.

  • Greg

    Not a “we was robbed” because sadly we were not…

    Gold takes the ball to the try line, I think off a lineout, and was tackled. Somehow a blue player burrows into the ruck and grabs the ball. He is lying on his back holding the ball to his chest with White trying to tear it out of his hands. Blue forward holds on for dear life and is eventually pinged when the ref decides that White is no match for a beefy forward.

    I would have thought that was a yellow card for a professional foul or else just being a d#ck (it must be in the Laws somewhere)


    • Nutta

      Cynical and deliberate infringement in a try scoring situation. Yellow any day of the week.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      The only way that it would be ok was if the blue player had his hands on the ball before the ruck was formed. If that happened then he can continue wrestling for the ball and doesn’t have to let go once the ruck is formed. I think the issue was that neither the referee or AR could see who had got hold of the ball when and while White was trying to remove it, there were gold arms around the ball as well as blue ones. There was no clear indication of who had the ball when and who was actually holding it in so breaking it up and playing a scrum with gold moving forward was probably an ok decision. TBH I think the Argies have been coached very well on how to slow down the ball and disrupt the momentum of the attacking team. They certainly push the boundaries of the law but then that’s what players should do so I haven’t got an issue with it. Personally I think they cross the boundaries and a couple of penalties early on would set the scene well but you can’t fault their smarts.

      • Who?

        I’m thinking you’re thinking of a different infraction, as I don’t recall a ‘Scrum Gold, moving forward’ call… The one I’m taking it that Greg (and myself) is referencing is at 43 minutes in time on in the first half.

        Does it really matter when the ruck’s formed mate? Reality is, the moment you’re off your feet, you’re required to release. At the ruck in question (Tupou carried inside the 5m), Blue 2 was bridging when he went at the ball on the ground, Williams ruled it as “Hands past the breakdown, then back onto the ball, meaning you’re off your feet.” So Williams very clearly knew who got it, and when he got it. The Puma then rolled onto his back, and still decided he had no requirement to release the ball. I think what got to the Australians – particularly White – was that he was lying on the Australian side of the ruck not releasing. White was on his feet, Blue 2 was on his back.

        So, he was never legal (Williams’ call – he had a better angle than the camera), then lay all over the ground not releasing. I really don’t see how it wasn’t a straight card. It’s truly baffling, unexplainable. And it’s no wonder Hooper was grumpy.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Sorry, no I wasn’t thinking of that one. Absolutely that should have been a YC as a clear cynical play to slow the ball. Hooper needs to look at how he talks to the referee. He can be a s frustrated as he likes but getting the referee off side is a dumb move and is never going to end well.

  • Reds Revival

    Can I just say how much of a fan I am of young Harry Wilson. His defence is regularly dominant, along with his cleanouts. When he gets the ball in the wider channels, he always makes good inroads into the defence.
    For mine, he would have to be a shoo in for Wallabies Rookie of the Year.

  • UTG

    LOL @ the posters who go on about the team being young and inexperienced in the lead up to the game and then throw the toys out of the cot when the decision making under pressure isn’t great.

    It’s not surprising that the team lacked finishing ability when we have a makeshift ten who struggles to throw the a left to right pass. That’s not a knock on Hodge, who has done a good job under the circumstances, but it’s bloody hard to finish with a ten with sub-optimal distribution skills.

    For all the doom and gloom, the Pumas never even made it within 10m of our line. We fluffed two opportunities and allowed them back into the game with some dumb penalties near the halfway line. In summary, we shit the bed as a young team.

    I was very impressed with Paisami and Petaia defensively. Drifting like seasoned pros. They also worked well in attack with Paisami distributing and Petaia running the hard lines. Yes, they both made two poor kicks but that’ll happen when you have played a handful of games.

    Simmo and Philip were excellent in the row and Tom Wright is all class, the sooner he moves to fullback the better. Our lineout was a little dodgy but still was at a better % than the Pumas. Our scrum was also dominant when Tupou was on.

    Lots to look forward, disappointed not to get the win but always happy not to lose on a banana peel game.

    • whatwouldberniedo

      thanks for the clear headed appraisal UTG. you can really feel the tensions in the comments below. Petaia in particular coming in for shellacking. I think in his case the disparity between his potential and his on field performance is somehow harder to cop.

      Can we all just take a deep breath with the Jordy thing? due to injuries, the guy has played less top level rugby than even JOC when he debuted at 18. he’s been thrown into arguably the most difficult position on the field, that he’s hardly even played at super level. with a game plan that put way too much pressure on his ability to make a play from not much.

      it would have been great if someone in leadership brought focus to the final 20min and simply spelled out the goals for the remainder of the match. i also think Rennie missed a chance to play lolesio and take off one of the centres.

      Kafer mentioned in the wrap up how disappointed he was that we failed to recognise the argies drifting early and straighten up our attack. Hodge was running a Beale like trajectory for most of the game. Lolesio should have been given the chance to do what he naturally does very well, and find lazy/tired defenders on the inside shoulder.

      instead, it was under 12’s stuff with lets run sideways then give it to Jordy.


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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