Player Ratings - Wallabies v Italy - Green and Gold Rugby
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Player Ratings – Wallabies v Italy

Player Ratings – Wallabies v Italy

1. Scott Sio

Penalised four times in the scrum, replaced eight minutes into the second half. 3

2. Stephen Moore (c)

Lineout throwing was quite good, but failed to hook the ball quickly to take pressure off our own feed at scrum time. 4

3. Allan Alaalatoa

Alaalatoa-2017Headshot

Part of a dominated scrum, but avoided the penalties. Lead the front rowers yet again in attack and defence stats, made nine tackles with none missed. Was unlucky not to get his maiden test try. 5

4. Rory Arnold

The first of a few mixed bags this game. Arnold looked great with crash ball and big hits on defence, but offset that with some uncharacteristic turnovers. He seemed destined for the full 80 minutes as the coach subbed Coleman off, but was then hooked for throwing the Italians a “glass Slipper” that saw them close to a point behind. 5

5. Adam Coleman

Coleman-2017Headshot

Played like Nobody before being replaced for the first time this year, can only assume that’s to keep him fit as he has to be one of our most irreplaceable players at the moment. Again, a high work rate with no missed tackles, most of them being dominating hits. The best part of his performance was his lack of errors.  8 – GAGR MOTM

6. Ned Hanigan

Hanigan-2017Headshot

He’s certainly got the engine to become a world class backrower and he’s developed in the last two test matches. But is still yet to put in the complete performance to give him that illusive 6 mark for mine. The Italians found it easy to clear him out in defensive rucks and get him to the ground in contact. His beautiful short pass to put Hooper down the left wing on counter attack was cancelled out by his slap on pass into touch. 5

7. Michael Hooper

Hooper-2017Headshot

Hooper didn’t have the ruck impact that he probably should have had against Italy. However, he was solid elsewhere and the sparkle for mind was one play where the Italian’s turned the screws on their scrum to open up a simple overlap down the blindside, not only did Hooper break-away and reeled in the winger, but he also somehow managed to get his arse back up and 20m down the field to support the counter attack, got the ball and sprinted another 30m down the left wing and smartly took the ruck. Moments later Folau along with two others could have gone in untouched around the corner of the right edge of the stretched Italian line. 7

8. Lopeti Timani

A smart return to the gold jersey, Timani brought exactly what we expected making metres and hitting hard in his tackles. A very clever linebreak assist to Genia gets him to the solid game, after all, this play was butchered twice inside the first half an hour against the Scots. 6

9. Will Genia

Genia-2017Headshot

This game was a step back in terms of difficulty for Genia and he had an easy time of it seemingly having the ball on a string at times. He also seemed pretty good at kicking. Genia’s biggest error was a poor left to right pass to Foley, something he should execute 99/100. 5

10.  Bernard Foley

Foley-2017Headshot

Another slow start to the game for Foley. A lot of dropped balls and a strange ratio of distribution, considering how easily our outside backs were shredding tackles. Foley only passed the ball five more times than he kicked it or ran it into contact himself. Took the same player as Hunt and left Genia to cover his player for the Italians first try. However, he must be commended for asserting himself in the right way with the game on the line, slamming down a try line like he wanted to rupture a watermelon. Great off the tee this game but I could pass to touch further than he kicks it sometimes. 4 

11. Sefa Naivalu

He only made four runs! 70 run metres, four tackle busts, two line breaks and two meat pies. A pity he’s now out for 6-7 weeks with a high ankle injury. Three Rebels walk into a bar… three broken tibias. 7

12. Karmichael Hunt

Hunt-2017Headshot

Bone rattling defence early and becoming very clever in the rucks too. Needs to mix up his technique to bring players to the ground as the next team he faces will work out how to bump him faster than the Italians did. Some great passing execution, his left to right ball to Izzy reminded me of a certain fly half called Bernie. 7

13. Rob Horne

A spilt ball to begin with was less than ideal, but pulled off an OK game barring one involvement after that. That being failure to track his player on a cross field kick, which meant when DHP spilt the ball nothing other than an Italian try was possible, not good enough. 4

14. Dane Haylett-Petty

HaylettPetty-2017Headshot

It was either a brilliant involvement or an error it seemed for DHP. Campo like, two try assists for us and one for them. A very, very busy game for a winger, but such a mixed bag. Made the most linebreaks with four. 5

15. Israel Folau

Folau-2017Headshot

He runs it and seems to break the first tackle at least. Faultless in the air again too, but he’ll be regretting quick throwing it back in, resulting in a close range field scrum to the Italians. 2 Tries but far from an excellent game.  7

Finishers

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau

Cleaned up our own ball in the scrum a bit, that’s about it in his 32 minutes. 5

17. Toby Smith

Got Alexanderd, just like Sio, 4 penalties conceded in the scrum, but he got the card. 3

18. Sekope Kepu

Kepu-2017Headshot

Didn’t offer as much as the player he was brought on for and the scrum was still a mess. 4

19. Sam Carter

Didn’t really do anything wrong and made a rare metre for quick ball in the lead up to Foley going over late in the game. 5

20. Jack Dempsey

What a debut! One run for six metres and didn’t have to make a tackle. 5 

21. Joe Powell

Powell-2017Headshot

Pretty much played the perfect game, a Wallaby try every minute he was on, imagine if he played for more than one minute. 5

22. Quade Cooper

Cooper-2017Headshot

Quade took on Kuridrani’s crash ball role and he was surprisingly OK with it, not sure its his best use, but the pro-boxer could do with a bit of toughening up. 5

23. Reece Hodge

Hodge-2017Headshot

Rugby is a funny game, you can be on the field for more than half an hour and the only time you get to touch the ball you get to run 52 metres for a final minute try in the corner. The determination in his running style reminded me of a certain Honey Badger. 6

THE PATENTED G&GR RATINGS GUIDE:

10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Outstanding performance: Man of the match shoo-in
8 – Excellent all-round game
7 – Good game with a few sparkles
6 – Solid performance
5 – Average – ho hum
4 – Below par
3 – Had a bad game
2 – Tell your story walking pal
1 – A complete joke

Player Ratings – Wallabies v Italy

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Hanigan ran 3 times for 3 meters; conceded 2 turnovers; and made 7 tackles, missing 1.

    On what planet did Hanigan acquit himself well? A rating of 4 would have been fairer.

    What is the point of him?

    • Pedro

      You sound like you’re ready to do the ratings for the next match.

      I think the main thing with ratings is that there’s always bias, Hooper gets marked harsher now than when he debuted. For me, Hannigan didn’t deserve his call up but fair play to him, he’s looked decent for a rookie. I think 5 is fair enough.

      • Hoss

        I think Hannigan is an affordable investment for the June series. I see a young Rocky Elsom in him, but is 8-9 kgs light from being an effective 6. Good engine, good skills, the mongrel will develop, but needs some more size. I think he has a future and June was a good time to start that journey.

        • Pedro

          Agree, had my misgivings but it’s been a good investment.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        How is running 3 times for 3 meters, conceding 2 turnovers and making 7/8 tackles constitute doing a ‘decent’ job for a rookie?

        He wasn’t ready, he has proven that with three ineffectual and poor performances, or is the fact that he only make one stupid error (that idiotic pass that went straight out) enough to garner him praise?

        • Pedro

          Stop trying to straw man me.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not.

          Provide some evidence that he has one a decent job for a rookie or don’t make claims that are contradicted by all available facts/statistics.

        • Pedro

          You’re getting all huffy over a difference of opinion which amounts to one mark on a player rating. I disagree with your expert analysis, time to move along.

          To avoid such disappointment in the future, put your hand up for the next ratings, that way they’ll be perfect.

  • Viking

    Overall Wallaby performance probably 5/10, still plenty to work on:
    -fitness not up to scratch as Moore confessed. Shocking how this can be for professional footballers.
    -all Wallabies bar the Brumbies players should now be training just for the Wallabies. Their super teams are out now anyway and the ABs are next…
    -ban Foley from kicking for touch.
    -Cheika really needs to get his selections right, especially in the back row to balance breakdown presence, ball running, without compromising the lineout.

  • Wallabrumby

    Agree on most of these ratings. Don’t get why Foley mentioned in other write ups as having played well and one of our best. He dropped a few balls, passes were behind his runners and as usual clearing and gen play kicking rubbish. He is the best we have at the moment and I do rate what he can do (although Lance if could stay uninjured for a season would be good) but people need to realise his shortcomings are still hurting us, mainly his gen play pop gun kicking. Him and Folau should never score 8 or above until that is fixed.

    Hunt should have been MoM

    Would like to see Timani @6 and Higgers @8 for a game.

    Genia looks unfit.

    Overall we looked rubbish and I think alot of it came down to selections, game plan and fitness which is the coaches responsibility.

    • Human

      Hunt threw a couple of long passes that almost restored some faith in the Wallaby attack…it seems that he can do it – has he been instructed not to do so in previous games?

    • Brisneyland Local

      I agree Wallarumby! I thought it was between Coleman and Hunt. Hunt is coming on quickly.
      Foley on other websites in man of the match and a star, my ass. I am hung like a rogue cashew and my dick is still longer than Foley’s kicks!

  • Who?

    So… Foley’s first three involvements were:
    1. Passed to no one inside his own 22. Tried to clean it up, but knocked it on. Lucky for us that we only conceded 3 points, not 7.
    2. Passed to Horne so far over his head that Rory Arnold would’ve struggled to pull it in. Horne’s blamed for it in the player ratings, I don’t blame for that one.
    3. Clearance kick from just inside own try line. Made it to just outside the 22…
    It’s a very, very good thing he brought his kicking boots. Channel 10 interviewed him at half time, he looked and sounded rattled. Certainly wasn’t in ice man mode.
    Genia’s pass was a Quade moment. As in, spoilt for choice on an open field break and botched it (though thankfully Quade doesn’t do that as often anymore). But it wasn’t a great game from Genia. And now we go into a Bledisloe where our back up is either a bloke who hasn’t been able to maintain his starting place for his Super team, or a bloke with a grand total of 14 minutes of Test Rugby under his belt. That’s fantastic management there… Seriously – why wasn’t Powell on at half time?! If not starting, as I advocated elsewhere on here?!
    I didn’t think Horne offered much, and he did drop a couple of passes (Foley’s shocker, and also a pop ball from DHP (or was it Sefa?) that was a little low). And he was, for mine, outshone massively by Campagnaro. But for his Wallabies swansong, I don’t think he deserves a slating. It wasn’t his choice to be out there…
    Our front row actually got quite lucky. In that series of three scrums around 50-55 minutes directly on our line, the ref missed a call (he didn’t have a great game, missed a few both ways, but was at least even-handed). The last scrum – before the Italians knocked on – Toby had already been warned, but his knees went to deck, which was the only reason why he wasn’t shunted again. Because he was kneeling and the Italian THP therefore couldn’t drive him. Given the earlier penalties had been for the same offence, it really should’ve been a penalty, and, being the third consecutive penalty for that prop, which followed on from penalties against his predecessor in the same location, it should’ve been a YC and penalty try.
    We’ve now had Super Mario with the team for two full seasons, heading into a third. But I can’t see any significant progress for most of our props compared to 2014. Yes, this was Italy, and they scrum well. But this was Suncorp, Castrogiovanni’s retired, it’s not supposed to be like this.
    Our tactics continue to be inordinately unintelligent. It was interesting to see that we’ve given up on taking a tackle before clearing on kick offs. Most were returned by Genia the second they were caught, before the Italian chase could get there. That won’t always be an option. DHP also took a kick in general play, though it was only because Genia was otherwise going to be caught having taken the ball into our own in goal area. But what on earth were we doing trying to run the ball out of our own 22?! Arnold got hooked after throwing a poor pass (with the defender there, he needed a basketball pass – no one could’ve intercepted a high pass from him, rather than the technically rather nice pass he did throw), but why were we running the ball there?! Foley was on the field, so Quade wasn’t going to kick it. But Foley decided not to, either. Quade was fresh to the field. Was it direction from Cheik?! Because it wasn’t the only time we were stupid enough to muck around in our own 22.
    The comments from many on here before the game were that anything less than a 25/30/40 point win was a loss, and not good enough. With 5 minutes to play, at Fortress Suncorp, on a fine, sunny day, we were 1 point ahead. We finished 13 points ahead, but that was good luck, not good management. Against an Italian team that showed some fight (thought their 9 was excellent, 10 and 12 were ok, and Campagnaro in 13 was truly fantastic), and had a strong scrum, but still had a lot of errors in general play (their 8 dropped it how many time?!). How’s this anywhere near acceptable?!
    Moore came out after the match complaining that Super Rugby coaches aren’t sending the players in fit, and Cheika admitted that he’s given the team a lot of extras the last three weeks, so they’ve not been tapering for games. This was suspected by many on here after the Scotland game. I think Moore’s come out as the one to say it to defend his teammates and, more importantly, Cheika. Cheika’s admitted it because he needs some excuse (and it’s valid that they’ve been doing extra work).
    However… What’s the excuse that the players aren’t fit enough? Cheika’s been tracking their fitness all year – he gets the data. He can contact his players and tell them they’re not fit enough. Further… Comfortably under half the players come from the Reds and Rebels. The other clubs, well, one is owned by the ARU (and no one’s complaining about Coleman or DHP, and not really Taf, either), and the other two… One is the Tahs, Cheika’s old club, run by his appointment Gibson, with their mutual defence coach Nathan Grey. The other is run by Larkham, the Wallabies’ attack coach. What’s the excuse for players from those club?! Especially when they make up the majority of players in the squad?!
    So, whilst the players aren’t fit enough, for mine, there’s no excuse for that, as two clubs providing many (most!) key players have Wallabies assistants either running or assisting running the club.
    And Bobas, love the line about three Rebels walking into a bar. :-)

    • Bobas

      re: no.2 I thought DHP threw the pass to Horne, A shit pass but he went for it with one hand.

      • Who?

        Nup, definitely Foley. Just went back to the recording, it’s at 2:42. Hunt to Foley, Foley to Horne. #10 clearly visible on the back of the jersey. Horne went for it with only one hand, but honestly I was impressed he got anything to it. If he hadn’t knocked it on, it either would’ve gone to touch or the Italian 14 might’ve gotten it first. Twas a truly horrid pass.

        EDIT: Main point of it is to show what sort of mindset we had starting the game. You can’t start a game like that. You can’t – as the 10 – take a good 10 minutes before your impact on the team changes from negative to neutral!

        Not complaining about the ratings (you’ve done well, I reckon – not easy, these last couple of games), more just the fact there’s no match report!

        • Bobas

          Yeah saw it again, my error.

    • first time long time

      We were up by 1 with 5 to go only because of a terrible TMO decision to disallow that first Italian try.

      • Who?

        I did have typed out how I’d be absolutely filthy to have a call like that go against us… If you had every angle, you might’ve been able to justify it, but with the evidence available it was a call on suspicion. Italy have every right to feel robbed.

        • Bobas

          But then Aaaaaaa didn’t really use his knees to propel himself again. He just didn’t celebrate like he scored his first ever try so they took it off him.

        • Who?

          I thought he did… He lifted his backside into the air, which was enough. If he’d moved his arm instead of his backside, there’d have been no issue. And the key was that they went back to the ‘real time’ speed – they didn’t rely on the slow motion replay to make that call. Crazy thing was, he’d have had the try if he hadn’t lifted his backside, because the atomic wedgie he was getting (I think from Coleman?) likely would’ve gotten him over the line.

        • Bobas

          I’d have to watch it all again with you. After the Dean Budd one. Like and like for mine. Bad TMOing in terms of time wasted is maybe something we can agree with.

    • idiot savant

      This post makes too much sense.

      I too can’t understand why the reserve half backs weren’t given considerable game time in the June series. Theres a logic flaw in Cheika’s argument that he has taken measures to prepare for the ABs (by flogging the players to get them fit for the ABs – not a bad idea by any means) and yet not taken measures to prepare for injury problems like trying other half backs, full backs, 6s, 12s….

      Cheika said after the match that the side needed to practise counter attack as an excuse for the debacle that occurred as they transferred the pill across field from the opening kick off. Strange time to practise it.

  • idiot savant

    Bobas your task was made more difficult by Cheika’s confession post match that he had indeed been flogging his charges acknowledging that this had taken the edge off them on field. So theoretically players that had not played both previous tests should have been less gassed than those that had played them making the comparisons more difficult. And then Genia, coming off all those croissants, was probably more gassed than anyone. Cheika’s confession explains why Genia looked so sharp against Fiji and has had his arse dragging ever since. I think it also explains why Sio looked like he was dragging around a bag of lead. I don’t think he made a single carry as he was searching for an oxygen mask. On the other hand Timani for example should have been a half a yard (to use Cheika’s own term) faster on account of having a breather for the last 2 match days. and so on… So I think the comparative rankings need a ‘degassing’ algorithm!

  • Simon

    Moore said after the match that they were guilty of underestimating the Italians. The worst part is I don’t even think they did. That’s just the standard the Wallabies are playing at right now.

    • joey

      Greg Martin was so on the money I nearly cried, “The Wallabies are making a habit of playing teams into form”

      Such a cutting and appropriate blow

    • Fatflanker

      I think they definitely did. The pushed passes and low percentage plays reeked of a team that just could not believe they were ever in danger of losing. I have no doubt they went into this game believing they could/had to put 20 points on Italy to redeem themselves.

  • Ads

    You see something in Hannigan I don’t. 4 for him. Think Horne was probably worth 1 more, and maybe Genia 1 less. Coleman looks better and better.

    • Bobas

      I see a Hooper-like almost limitless energy system.
      IMO Genia did a lot of good work in the first half that was quickly forgotten and the 10 commentators were very, very generous with Horne and Foley, which does shape people opinions of their game.

      • first time long time

        Did we get 1 turnover from anyone in the back row?
        I was reasonably pissed but I can’t remember 1.
        It’s almost like we have just given up challenging in this area.

        • Bobas

          None. One penalty against for not releasing I can remember though.

        • Garry

          No fetchers selected. Apparently we don’t have the cattle.

        • Pedro

          I can imagine Alcock playing better than some of those selected.

        • Who?

          I’ve come to the conclusion that Cheika doesn’t believe in competing for the ball on the ground. Win the contact/collision, get past the ball before it gets to ground. Which is great in theory, but is one dimensional and something that’s not going to work in every situation. Pocock wasn’t a natural Cheika selection. And he’s never picked another natural on-baller (Hooper and McMahon can go on-ball, but it’s not their natural game – their natural game is to do everything – tackle, jackal, counter ruck, and they can be a little distracted from the task of pilfering unless instructed it’s a priority. Not a complaint against them, just an observation).

        • idiot savant

          I think Cheika would like his forwards to be able to contest the breakdown, just not Hooper. He did after all get George Smith in to offer advice. Not that we have seen any fruits of that – partly due to the gas required that their midweek floggings have drained. The reality is that the only victory Cheika has had over the ABs was in a game when Pocock denied the ABs the super quick ball they destroy sides with. And just having seen the ABs deploy a quick ball strategy against beefy strong Lions forwards where they exhausted them playing 1 or 2 out either side of the ruck for long periods, I can’t see us competing against them if we can’t contest and slow that exhausting recycling down.

          Ive said it before, if Hooper was a kiwi, he wouldn’t start. He’d be an impact bench player after the opposition had been worn down – by a real ball contester like Cane.

        • Who?

          There’s a difference, though, between having your playing the ball on the ground and selecting a natural pilferer. That’s where I’m coming from. We’re one of very few countries who don’t actually have a jackalling-focused player in our forward pack. At all.
          I certainly recognize the value Pocock brings. I wasn’t the one who benched him multiple times in 2015…
          And I wouldn’t try to play an out and out power game against an ABs team that just overpowered a Lions team that were supposedly going to blast them off the park with their power game!

        • idiot savant

          I thought watching Hoopers game against the Argies in London that he could, if encouraged, follow the ball a la David Wilson (about the same size as Hooper) and contest. Yes he might get cleaned out a lot but his speed and motor (like Wilson) will if applied in this way over 80 minutes have the desired effect of slowing momentum and winning the odd turnover. But this doesn’t appear to be the Cheika design for him. He plays like a centre in the forwards and then skews the selection of the entire back row.

          And I’m in your choir when it comes to the power game against the ABs. Palu, the ultimate power player, played in some the greatest thrashings ever handed out to us. Hansen was so clever to play to their fitness strength against the Lions. Those huge sides of beef from those lush English pastures were dead on their feet after 50 minutes.

  • Human

    Horne seemed to spend most of the match on the wing…Spilt an early pass at knee height, with the line open…Chek certainly has his favourites. Foley rates 4 only for place kicks…otherwise he was rubbish. The AB’s will do us by 35…their intensity is light years above ours. Most 4th grade teams would be embarrassed to play like the Wallabies did yesterday.

    • Adrian

      Horne also set up a try

      • Human

        I must have missed it – saw him give the simple last pass for Naivalu to outpace the defence. If Horne is the second best 13 in Australia, things are much worse that they look. He was not the only under-performer though.

        • Adrian

          You didn’t miss it.
          A centres job is to draw and pass and he did it.
          By his standards he practically over performed. Moore, Sio, Smith, Genia underperformed

        • jamie

          I think you’ll find third best. And I’d rate him 4th or 5th best. Kerevi, TK, Meakes, probably R Hodge, even Folau I’d put in front of RH.

      • Bobas

        While Horne did well there the overlap is created by the Genia quick tap, regardless of what Matt Burke thinks.
        Agreed that Horne set up a try but if he was passing to himself it wouldn’t have been scored.

        • Adrian

          Nonetheless he did his job, draw and pass. He ran straight too.
          I wouldn’t have picked him, but he did the basics as best he could, unlike some other players

  • Garry

    I must have watched a different game than these ratings suggest. At times during the match I found myself laughing out loud as my beloved WB’s, for the second week in a row, did their best impression of the keystone cops.
    Take 1-2 points off each off these and we’d be closer to the mark. A little honest reflection is required at the moment.

  • first time long time

    Just saw headline on another site….
    “McKenzie in and NZ worried”
    For a moment my heart skipped a beat then I realised it was Damien McKenzie not Link and NZ were worried for Ben Smith not about the wallabies.
    Back to reality!

  • Hoss

    I awoke this morning to the sobering reality that the Wallabies are just not good enough. Forget the selections, fitness, coaches, game play and any peripherals we just aren’t good enough -full stop, end of story. In hindsight maybe making the RWC Final lulled us into a false sense of security and on reflection maybe the rest of the world made us look better than we were ??

    Either way being ranked 4-5 is about right. We will get a few scalps here and there, but overall we are completely crap with no foreseeable end in sight.

    Sigh.

    • Garry

      With this coach, flyhalf, and CEO there is no light at the end of the tunnel. And forget paying out their contracts, we’re broke, and they know it.

      • Bobas

        Too harsh. At least we get to see Cheik and Foley try and they have been successful in the past and still can be in the future. With the CEO the best thing we can hope for is a golden shower in lieu of a handshake.

        • Adrian

          Wow!

        • idiot savant

          Please let me know which Sydney clubs I need to avoid where this happens.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You see I am not in to Golden Showers, but would settle for a warm hand shandy! ;-)

    • Gilbert

      I agree. All this talk about us beating the ABs is just like the last 10 yrs, watching the Wallabies is like playing Russian roulette. Put the gun against your forehead and pull the tigger, click … then boom. One minute they are fine ..next minute I am out of my chair screaming WTF was that. ( Sorry, I was polluted by Eales Larkham Finnegan and Gregan … and dream about the good old days, but they were all semi -amateur so they played rugby for the love of it and their skills showed). Every year I hope we will get there… now we hear they are not fit enough. Geez we know they can’t pass but any coach worth his salt can get his team fit.

  • Pedro

    It was another tough one to rate, toweled in the scrum and full of errors in attack. Defensively we were OK and in the contact zone we were marginally dominant. I think the ratings were about right.

  • Greg

    As I watched, I thought what would it take to make it a lot better.

    Backs: we largely need to stop trying too hard (or to be too flashy). There is a lot of good stuff there but too many mistakes.

    Kicking in play/touch: We have some great kickers. We just need to use them.

    Goal kicking: Was good… but has been patchy. We have Hodge and QC as back up.

    Lineout: OK

    Back row: We need a 7 and some more size.Fardy + ?

    Scrum: Oh dear… not sure about this one.

    So despite the damage to the TV…. I thought we were able to make some big improvements with some small changes. Why haven’t we?

  • Adrian

    Yes, ratings ok, but a bit rough on Foley and Horne.

    Re the game, there were enough snippets to suggest that IF everything CLICKS, they can be competitive with NZ, …and possibly win an occasional match.

    The 10 things that have to CLICK are:

    1. Timing re flat backline. A little bit deeper but take the ball flat and moving forward (solution =practice)
    2. Planned strategy when kicking to exit red zone. Kicking options to include Hunt, Beale, DHP, Hodge, depending on who is playing (solution=planning & on-field leadership)
    3. Scrum improvement (solution =practice)
    4. Use the big forwards in a POWER GAME, don’t just select them (solution =planning and on- field leadership)
    5. Hope Kerevi, Naivalu and Phipps (for bench) are fit (solution = hope)
    6. Select from all available players, including Fardy and Skelton, who have both had great years this year, irrespective of what they may have been like previously (solution = selection)
    7. Don’t select players who are obviously over the hill, irrespective of how they were once, such as Moore and possibly Genia (solution = selection)
    8. Select Beale somewhere (solution =selection)
    9. Clarify captaincy, and encourage thoughtful on field decision making (solution = coaching)
    10. Stay modest and self effacing before games

    If all these things CLICK at the same time, we can beat NZ. It’s not impossible, and this is what Cheika meant!

    • idiot savant

      Good thoughts. And a lot of ifs. But agree with a lot of this. Hunt for captain. Genia was down because Cheika has flogged him. If he can get fit, he is the man. Tho I have always like the speed advantage Phipps gives so we need both. Beware the power game – witness just how successful that was for the Lions against the ABs. Better to play the intensity game (on top of the territory game).

    • Joe King

      I like your point 10. Not sure if this is what you’re getting at, but I like to talk about keeping your confidence and pride internal, rather than external in talk and stuff. Two components of the Oz psyche include cutting down the tall poppy and backing the underdog. When we talk our chances up, we work against ourselves. We don’t work well in that situation. Just keep it quite and totally respect the opposition no matter who they are.

      • Adrian

        Agree 100% that’s what I meant.
        Unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
        To some degree the media contracts the team has force this, but it’s not the only reason

  • joey

    I think you’re well off the mark regarding Hunts tackling technique. He’s played front-line (6) in State of Origin, there’s no worry in getting bumped.

    The thing is, if he decides to change technique and go low against the next team we’re playing, Sonny Bill will have an absolute field day!

    • idiot savant

      Agree totally. In most cases Hunt knocked the guy over anyway and moved up quickly to remove the threat.

      • Bobas

        I agree with both of you, it worked against Italy it wasnt meant to be a mark against him, he was a bees dick from a 7 IMO.
        I can’t imagine that high chop technique working all the time with The good Retalick coming round the corner… that was what I was getting at. Very happy to be wrong of course.
        From what I’ve seen in SOO, 120k plus players still make bump dents and sometimes even offload after.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well see my write up on the other post (Review of the Game). Bobas I thought you were pretty on the money. Reading other websites they had Foley as man of the match or golden glower. Jesus Christ I threw three beers away in the Corporate box, but hey that is what the staff are for! he he Just kidding!. Foley was totally fucking crap, three kicks not into touch fuck me roman!. How he is rated is appaling. I thought Hunt and Coleman were the picks for me. Willy G had some good moments and some bad. I am not sure where Beale is going to fit, with Hunt, Kerevi, and SN. I wouldnt take Beale.

    • Bobas

      Best part of Hunt is he could prove a huge yin/yang for Kerevi and they have time to gel maybe at the reds.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I hope so. I never really watched league so didnt know huge amounts about him (special K) other than he was a name. But my nephew was in the Reds Squad, and he just raved about him. Saying he had skills and had an inate ability to read the game, plus he was such a good bloke that he was the only player that was prepared to go one on one with Brad Thorn during opposed training (apparently quite a scary factor at the Reds). His defence and attack has been wonderful this year, but his passion and effort is so visible. Other players need to follow his example.

        • Who?

          Think Hunt and Thorn won their last NRL title together at the Broncs, back in 2006, when Dean Benton (fitness trainer – who Jake White later got in to work at the Brums – or, at least attempt to work with Dan Palmer, who disagreed with the concept of not eating. Dan was the man!) had the Broncs on a massive fitness kick, leaving Thorn to play 6kg underweight all year. He said at the end of the year he was going back to Rugby because his wife couldn’t stand him being hangry all the time! :-D

        • Brisneyland Local

          It is interesting to hear that. I heard an interview with KH, and he said that the professionalism in diet and training at AFL blew him away and made the NRL and RU look like rank amatuers (my words, not his, I am paraphrasing). He was so scared of the caliper test that he said you couldnt have the occaisional beer in AFL, but in NRL they would have them after each game and sometimes after training.

        • Who?

          Thorn was asked to play all year at 108-109kg. He played Rugby at 114-115kg.
          Benton left the Broncos with Bennett at the end of that year, or the year after.
          Dan Palmer wrote a few cracking articles, I think a couple in the rags and a few online. He was absolutely hilarious… His article about his wars with Dean Benton was among his best. Started with comments about how much he loved SA, because it’s the only place in the world where it’s normal to walk around a shopping centre eating a piece of meat the size of your fist. And how, no matter what was said, those in the front row club weren’t ever going to listen to the fitness bloke. It was absolute gold! Been trying to find it, but can’t… :-(

        • Brisneyland Local

          Would love to hear it if you find it! At 6’8″ i tip the scales these days at 120kegs. Should be 110-15, but cheese and wine are just too damn appealing!

        • Who?

          I think the SMH/Age have pulled all his articles… :-( You can still find him listed (with a very early wild hair cut) on there as an author.

      • first time long time

        one thing Cheika should demand and SR coaches should comply with is that incumbent Wallabies play that position for their SR team eg Hunt to 12, I know that’s tough on Duncan Pai’aua but we have to get a bit smarter. Especially seeing as they are out of contention for finals.
        Get QC, Hunt and Kerevi playing in midfield for the next 2 games and see how it goes.

        Stephen Larkham didn’t get picked at 10 for Wobs then return to 15 at the Brumbies.

        And Timani to 8 at Rebels FFS he has to practice at SR level the job he’ll be performing for Australia

        • idiot savant

          This makes too much sense. Moderator!

        • Bernie Chan

          Fair enough…except Hunt is being played at #12 so Cheika can keep Izzy in the #15 methinks….Hunt is a better fullback as he tackles, defends and kicks better and is a better “ball player”. Why can’t see see a Hunt, Izzy, Naivalu/Speight back three? Izzy would still score tries out side, and get more 1-on-1 opportunities. But that 10/12/13 combo you suggest could e a good thing!

        • Waz_dog

          How about the wallabies coach pick players that are playing that position? Hunt is a fair better FB than Folu – get Folu out on the wing where he belongs.

  • Harbo

    Can we all agree Italy were robbed of a try in the opening minutes? I have no idea how he decided with clear evidence from those camera angles and quality of the picture that his finger was still touching the ball. Would’ve been a very different game if Italy started off with that great try. Just when I think we can’t get worse we do…

    The Report card boys are right. We are 5/6 in the world at the moment and will be for the foreseeable future.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Harbo well my corporate box was right ont hat try line / side line, it was a try with out a doubt. I was devastated for the Italians!

  • first time long time

    IMO part of the trouble with Genia is the obsession with him being a “playmaker”, he’s not, he’s an instinctive player and his brief should be clear the ball to your 10/runners as quickly and accurately as possible and if it’s on run.

    Cooper is always going to be on the back burner while his test goal kicking is at 65% (Foley ~77%) and there’s no better kicking option. Personally I’d still pick him with Hodge on a wing and kicking.
    If we had a Leigh Halfpenny (85%), Folau would be on a wing next match.

    As long as we have to keep making selections to compensate for the deficiencies of guys who seem guaranteed their position we will remain in this world of hurt.

  • Waz_dog

    How Hunt didn’t get MOTM I’ll be miffed… and a six? Well that’s just sad – a yard stick better than any of the backs.

  • Ian Pye

    It was quite entertaining watching the Australian Scrum get destroyed by Italy.
    Especially when they haven’t fallen into the “lets raid the islands and import most of our pack” mentality that Australia decided to build their packs on.
    After watching the Qld Schoolboy Trials at Ballymore on the weekend there is clearly no end to this plan in sight either.
    Not hard to work out why Qld Rugby & Australian Rugby is where it is at the moment.
    The NRL must love all the development the GPS and QLD School Boy Pathways are doing for them.

Italy

Brumbies supporter now living in Melbourne. Rugby and Larkham fan ever since he de beered de Beer. Never shy of controversy because when I say it it's cute.

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