Player Ratings: Wallabies v. Pumas I - Green and Gold Rugby

Player Ratings: Wallabies v. Pumas I

Player Ratings: Wallabies v. Pumas I

In my view, this Argentinean side would beat most if not all of the Six Nations teams. They’re no mugs, as they’ve shown throughout The Rugby Championship.

That’s why I think the Wallabies’ effort against them on Saturday was more positive than negative. We played well against them, especially in that last quarter, and looked the better side for 60 of the 80 minutes.

I mean, we made a lot of the play in this match. An example of that is in the tackle stats — the Wallabies made 63 tackles, the Argies 160. So it’s no surprise that a few holes opened up later in the game.

Argentina employ an aggressive defence and we just couldn’t break through them until we wore them down, notwithstanding the two tries that went begging in-goal.

Sure, our mistake rate was high and sadly, at pivot, we had a player who is out of sorts and was unable to cope with the pressure put on him. That 10-minute period between 50th and 60th minutes when we let those two Argentinean tries in was poor — we took our eye off the ball, so to speak.

Sharpie said after the match that the result showed the character of the team and he’s dead right. To win both this game and the recent Springbok Test after being seriously behind (6-19 at one stage on Saturday) is a credit to this team, especially when you look at the injury count.

It was pleasing to see Nick Phipps step up at halfback and, although no Will Genia, he gave a good account of himself. Kane Douglas made a promising debut at lock.

We need to go to another level to win both remaining matches and I think the Rosario Test may potentially give the Pumas their first win of the tournament.

Benn RobinsonFairly anonymous first stanza and pulled after 30 minutes, returning at the end. The Wallaby scrum held up in the main against the Argies but Robbo remains only half the player he used to be. What's missing? 5
Tatafu Polota-NauPlayed the full 80 minutes with a solid effort. A few typical defensive hits but his lineout throwing again let him down a couple of times and his workrate is not in the same league as Squeaky Moore. 6
Ben AlexanderHad a very good second half, especially in that last crucial 20 minutes. Trucked the ball up for some go-forward and, despite a couple of scrum penalties, held it together at tighthead against the experienced Roncero.7
Kane DouglasPromising debut especially with ball in hand. Physical player - looks streets ahead of Simmons in this aspect. Workrate needs to lift but did the basics well. 7
Nathan SharpeSharpie held the team together when under pressure and inspired them to lift when it counted. He worked hard in the tight and we'd be in the doo doo if he had retired when originally planned. 7
Dave DennisStarting to get the hang of international rugby and the tight/loose forward role seems to suit him. Bit of an unsung hero actually. Good under the high ball at restarts. Worked hard.6
Michael HooperCarried on from last week. He's skilful, fast, impressive in both attack and defence but had fewer opportunities to pilfer this week. Sort of looks like we don't miss David Pocock that much, eh? 7
Radike SamoBack to top form, DK was a handful for the Argies on the charge. Seemed to play it a bit tighter too. Had 53 minutes and looked the goods. Great advert for the over 40s...7
Nick PhippsExcellent substitute for Will Genia and proved the doubters wrong. I've never been completely convinced that he was going to be the answer but he sure as hell looked up to it on the day. His passing was crisp, he was quick to the breakdown and it's good to see the dive-pass is back in vogue. His break led to Digger's try. Only downside was a few dodgy kicks. 7
Quade CooperCrap day for QC. Whether it was too much Argy pressure, too casual an attitude or just trying too much, the mistake rate was just way too high in this crucial position. He also topped the missed tackle count, but made a few on the way. Some of his passes did hit the mark though. I'm not sure what's going on but his confidence seems way down and he really is looking like Carlos at his worst.4
Digby IoaneQuite the opposite for Diggers. He featured in more rucks than 7 of the 8 forwards! Always looking for work and always getting over the advantage line. Wouldn't you just love to bottle those thighs? Had a dozen or so runs and scored the winning try. Only made one tackle, but what a beauty! He's the GAGR MOTM. 8
Pat McCabeCame into his own in that last quarter making multiple breaks and scoring the first Wallaby try. Not forgetting the try-saving tackle on Camacho (but being yellow carded in the process). It's good to have him back straightening the attack and I actually saw him pass the ball once or twice... 7
Adam Ashley-CooperConsistently made plenty of metres (up there with Diggers) and looked as classy and reliable as ever. They just need to leave him in that position for a season or two. One of the first guys chosen, you'd imagine.7
Dom ShipperleyDidn't see much of the ball and was off for a while with his hand injury, which sounded (and looked) a little nasty. Had a few runs.5
Berrick BarnesBerrick had a top game at fullback. His positional play was excellent, he was very safe under the high ball (unlike KB for instance - just saying), kicked well, was involved in the attack and doesn't miss tackles etc etc. Accomplished display. Whether he stays there or not? 7
Saia Fainga'aDNR0
James SlipperHe had 40 minutes game time off the bench and involved himself in everything. I'm not sure why he isn't starting at loosehead? Gets over the gain line and works hard around the field. Good scrummaging effort too. 7
Scott HigginbothamMade a few tackles in his 25 minutes but didn't really stand out this week.5
Liam GillDNR0
Brett SheehanNo game time0
Anthony Fainga'aDNR0
Kurtley BealeReplaced Shipperley during blood bin and later in the match. Didn't get many opportunities.5
Robbie DeansSurvived another week.Not rated

G&GR Patented Player ratings scale

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

  • Dovester

    Nice to see a bit more of a positive view on what happened, although Phipps surely has to drop to a six for that mind-blowingly shit kick

    • Old Weary

      agree – his passing was for the most part good, but his (box) kicking was not and put a lot of pressure back on the forwards when it wasn’t needed. That being said, for his first run on, I think he did step up very well.

      I thought Shipperly played a lot better than a 5?!? He was constantly looking for work, ran hard and didn’t seemed to be over whelmed by the moment at all

  • Who?

    Why’s everyone drinking the Deans Kool-Aid? Phipps was woeful. He’s worth a 3 at best, because he saw a clear overlap that was on the side that favoured his vision (enter ruck from right, continue running left). Let’s not forget that, 2 minutes earlier, he’d taken a free kick outside the 22 then immediately hoofed it into touch on the full. Let’s not overlook that he produces the dive pass because he’s not as strong a pass going from left to right, and he uses the dive to allow himself the opportunity to switch and throw a right-left pass. Let’s not overlook the fact that the only time he threatened in any way running from the ruck was the try – every other run he made (there weren’t many) was far from threatening. Let’s not overlook that he regularly picked up the ball then spun round looking for someone to pass it to. Better to leave it in there and keep the defense on the line than to pick the ball up, allow the defense to advance, and not have any options. Let’s not overlook that he doesn’t pass from the ruck. If he doesn’t dive pass, he generally takes between one and four steps towards the 10 whilst setting up a backswing for his pass, allowing the defense to get off the line. Let’s not forget the multiple passes that went to no one in that period after half time. I’m not saying Quade shouldn’t have done better, but the pass for the charge down was to Quade’s left hand when it should’ve been to his right hand. Let’s not forget the box kicks…

    We’d have done better with Sheehan out there, and Lucas in the side. It almost feels like Deans just wants to keep the family happy.

    We should also remember that Quade, whilst not perfect found the only two runners who cut back against the defense and put both of them over the line. It’s just a shame that Sharpie couldn’t get the pill down. Quade was playing outside a bloke who’s not up to the level (not on passing, organization or holding the defense) who he’s barely seen before, and inside a bloke who, whilst he played well, has only had 30 minutes of club rugby since an injury, and in their first game together this year.

    A sign of the Deans insanity is that Shipperley’s injury may well keep Quade in the side. Meaning, Beale to the wing, Barnes at 15, and Quade at 10. Otherwise we’d be looking at Kurtley at 10. Kurtley who admittedly slotted the goal the other night, but who only two weeks ago was questioned as to whether he was mentally in the right space. A bloke who is similarly a confidence player and had his worst ever game only a few weeks ago, where everything he touched went pear-shaped. A bloke with less game time under his belt than Quade, who was supposedly not fit for the first Rugby Championship Test…

    And while Barnes can take the high ball, he was out of position too often.

    • me

      So you’re the bloke who used to date Robbie’s Daughter. And now you’re dating Quade?

    • Roscoe Tims

      QC, as an experienced international No 10, should have been providing more leadership and direction to Phipps. That notwithstanding, I thought the latter performed creditably when most of us were doubting that he was the answer.

      And…lets…not…forget…that…WE WON!

    • BloodRed

      I certainly agree re:Quade. He is light years ahead of the alternatives; Beale in worst form of his career (and couldn’t hold the 10 spot at the Tahs over Hangers) or back to Berrick (shudder)?
      Sure his game had plenty of errors but he single handedly created about 99% of our effective attack and oddly most of his errors occurred when he didn’t have much pressure on him eg the pass into touch.
      We look so much better when playing flatter and on the advantage line but the down side is always going to be the risk of an intercept. I’ll take that anyday over Barnes standing 20m deep and telling Genia not to pass it or Kutley resorting to chip and regather.

    • jrsONE

      I’m not saying Quade shouldn’t have done better, but Berrick really should be able to catch passes that are a metre ahead of him …

      :-) RT

    • Dave

      I feel I have to stand up for Phipps here. Apologies for the length.

      Phipps “woeful”? I’m not even his greatest fan but you’re not only being unfair on the boy but your critisicms are inaccurate and reek of bias (if I were to hazard a guess). “Let’s not overlook” he was replacing what some term as the best HB going around in a team under immense pressure to perform. He did well to handle this pressure.

      His break that eventually put Digby away isn’t worthy of praise because he was running that way anyway? Come on. It was bloody good vision which ever way you cut it. And yes that kick was a fuck up. He wasn’t the only one that made errors. But what’s more important was how he responded – not two minutes after making that mistake he produced the break that lead to a try. That shows a whole lot more determination than I imagine your prejudicial view will ever give him credit for.

      It seems to me he uses the dive pass to give him more strength after the switch. I’ve seen plenty of loopy passes from HBs after they have made the switch because power has been taken out of the legs by initially running the other way – including Genia. A dive pass goes some way to counter this. Maybe Genia needs to implement this technique into his game? In no way did that dive pass affect the speed of his delivery in a negative sense. In fact it was quite the opposite.

      You say, “Every run he made was far from threatening”. You don’t get many opportunities in a test match, he took his and a try was a result, yes that’s right, a try. What more do you want? And I would call this particular run extremely threatening. Also let’s not forget that the Argies defend well around the ruck so space there was always going to be at a minimum.

      You criticise him for picking the ball up prematurely then looking for someone to pass to rather than leaving it in the ruck, essentially accusing him of indecisiveness. I didn’t see too many instances where this could have been the case. Most of his plays were deliberate other than a few switches which deserve some credit as they kept the defence guessing. One even lead to Hooper, which may very well have been planned, getting 20m over the ad line. In the very least he’s trying something. I’m sure if he did leave it in the ruck the criticism would be that his delivery wasn’t quick enough.
      He does take one or two steps. And on a few occasions more than that. But generally they are quick and hardly detrimental to the attack or advantageous to the defence. His passes generally have more distance on them as result. It was clear the WBs wanted to play wider than usual and Phipp’s pass was more than up to the task. But, I have to add, that I agree (for once) this could improve.

      Passes to no-one? Nearly every HB has a couple of wayward passes. I know I’m flogging a dead horse but let’s not be hyper-critical here. Quade’s charge down was not the result of the pass being delivered to his wrong side. Whatever slight bias it did have there was ample time and space for Quade to cope. Quade was simply too slow in getting boot to ball. I don’t know how you can blame Phipps for that.

      While on Quade, his mistakes were hardly the result of Phipps’ or McCabe’s. He did some good things, sure, but his unforced errors are a concern that shouldn’t be overlooked, or scape goated onto someone else. Quade’s mistakes alone put the team under pressure. He shouldn’t be dropped as he’s a damn fine player who can and will pull it back, I’m sure. But clearly his head, like Beale’s, is in the wrong space.

      Overall I have to say, please, credit where credit’s due.

      • Who?

        First off, I must make mention that I have never been in any way close to the Deans family. I never dated his daughter. :-)

        I didn’t once say that Quade was perfect. I did say that he was playing around players who either have very little Test experience (Phipps) or are fresh back from injury (McCabe). With how disjointed the Wallabies have looked playing blokes who’ve been in the squad the entire time (think Bledisloe 1 and 2), then you’ve got to expect that things aren’t going to gel in one week.

        What I’m saying is that Deans has come out and blamed QC for everything that was wrong with our game on the weekend, rather than acknowledging that his possible future son-in-law could be human, inexperienced, and possibly not up to it. Hence my comment about the media and many others swallowing the Kool-Aid.

        Should Quade have provided more direction? Possibly. That said, if you don’t have direction, sometimes it pays to find it or find your own direction before you make a decision. Am I happy we won? ABSOLUTELY! I actually thought we looked better in the first half than the ABs did against the Pumas. Sure, we had much nicer conditions, but we probably looked as good in that 40 minutes as we have done all year, with Digby and AAC working well together, Quade finding space with his long passes (very important against a very good Puma defense), Barnes not grubbering from the 22 once for the first time in a monh… That said, I’m very nervous about Rosario. The Pumas have played very well this tournament, and I can understand the disappointment they showed after the loss..

        I don’t have any reason to be biased against Phipps. There’s just a few things that frustrate me about modern 9’s. My son played U8’s this year. He can spin pass a ball from the ground both directions. Why can’t any of our Super scrummies do that? None of them do it, certainly not regularly. It’s not good enough. So to go from having a backswing (a la McKibbin – if he could get rid of it, he’d be quite useful) to taking three steps to deliver the ball (as Phipps regularly does)… It’s not good enough. I’d rather the 10 stand 2m closer and use his pass to get the ball wider if distance is the issue. But it didn’t look like the problem was distance.

        I do like that Phipps uses the dive pass. I just also think he does it to find a means of switching sides, which adds time and is a weakness.

        When I mentioned that his running game other than the break wasn’t threatening, I was referring to the other times he had a scamper from the ruck around the corner before passing to a forward. Not once did the Pumas defense look like they were concerned by the run. They covered the forwards, and left half gaps in front of Phipps, knowing he’d pass. I know this might be a tough comparison given it’s against one of the best at it, but the defense either mans up on Genia or pays the price. It’s something Phipps can improve on by simply taking a tackle every now and then. Either he’ll get through, or maybe next time his forward runner will get through.

        His break for Digby’s try was good, but I’m saying it was in his field of vision. It was something you’d hope most players would see and exploit. I’ll credit him for not passing earlier – I honestly expected him to pass at the first contact.

        On picking the ball up too early, something we see taught at U8’s is you don’t pass until you get asked for the ball. If no one calls for the ball, then picking it up before looking for an option is a mistake. And I won’t criticise a halfback for leaving the ball in a ruck – I criticise the pack and the 10 for that. Until the 5 second rule is brought in, better to leave the ball alone until you know how to use it.

        I’m not happy with our depth at 9 at the moment. I do think Phipps could, with more technical coaching and perhaps more direction (something the entire Wallabies attack could use), be a very useful 9. But it’s about time we stop letting Robbie constantly scapegoat individual players (“Barnes kicks too much and I tell him not to, but I’ll keep selecting him so I can blame him for us kicking too much,” or, “If it weren’t for our 14 having a broken finger our 10 would be dropped”) and praise blokes as doing a good job or a surprisingly good job (I’ve wanted Douglas blooded for a couple of years now – his performance was no surprise) without questioning what he’s saying. I’ve not seen a single media-produced review that didn’t just swallow Deans’ lines about Phipps and ignore his glaring errors on the field.

        And Dave, don’t ever apologise for long posts. Better to say what you think that leave room for misunderstanding. :-)

  • Huw

    Berrick Barnes a 7? did you forget the missed penalty’s? I saw him take one high ball, the rest of the game is was average as he usually is.

    • The Rant

      Well that’s just a bullshit comment.

      Yeah he hit the upright twice – it happens. His kicking this season is still the highest quality we’ve had for a few long years. He took 2 good high balls actually, didn’t miss any.
      He tackled really well and compared to the last few games where everyone has been wondering what the fuck he’s doing with his kicks – he didn’t try any shitty grubbers or chips and generally kicked well. His positional play was also perfect considering he’s only played 15 at club level. This was a steady and successful outing for him and nice to know we have another option there.

      • seaweed

        I’m no Barnes fan, but I thought he looked good at FB. Also no fan of Phipps but some of his passing was long and crisp. Not a long term answer though. Nic White but for injury.

      • Jimmy

        Agreed – he was fine. QC on the other hand was rubbish and Slipper still can’t pack a scrum.

  • speedy

    Phipps passing was crisp and he was quick to the breakdown? Were we watching the same game?

  • The Rant

    Agree with these ratings almost to the letter. Have just watched the replay for the second time and have only a few comments.
    Passing through the hands is shithouse right now – everybody wants to cut to the wings. Several chances where just playing through the hands would have created overlaps but we just rush to get it as wide as possible. Samo’s almost try came off pure hands (all fwds) – if alexander hadn’t thrown a loose one robbo was probably gonna score and samo definitely.
    Errors are killing us this year. Just basic stuff. We’re looking better but still just shooting ourselves in the foot. Quade needs to put his hand up and say sorry to the lads – and then he has to explain to them what he wants – cos he’s in his own world out there and our guys aren’t used to his style maybe. He needs more runners who know how to time it cos he holds it longer than you’d expect. No more intercepts please.

    As always the wallabies played to the same level as the opposition. Paris was probably one of the only times in recent years where we’ve put it all together and played way above our opponents.

    Still – a lot of 7’s given and I think they were earned. Have been on the Douglas wagon for a while and good to see it work. Scrum was instantly more stable and he carries and passed well when needed. Dennis’ restarts and line outs were great – is he our go to guy in the lineout? He’s getting more comfortable at this level.

    Couple of tough games coming but as it has been every year (EVERY YEAR)- it takes Deans 3-4 games to really get going so hopefully we’ll only get better. Wish we were playing NZ last.

    • seaweed

      Your comment about playing to the opposition is right on the money. Our rugby is generally played as a series of counterpunches. Absorb pressure. Defend. Counterpunch. It is one of the things Deans doesn’t understand about Australian rugby. We very rarely impose ourselves on the opposition and it has always been so. This is because we have had to think our way out of trouble when beating the All Blacks and why all successful Australian rugby teams have had a smart captain. It is also why, e.g. teams led by John Eales could absorb pressure and understand when to counterpunch (cf. Rocky?!). Note also the close results of that era. To be fair this team in the last two matches, although mistake ridden, have started to do that, but it is in spite of Deans not because of him.

  • Big Al

    Ok so which of the six nations sides are you confident the Pumas would beat, here’s ‘my view':

    England -probable not.
    Wales -probable not.
    Ireland -probable not.
    France -probable not.
    Scotland -possible.
    Italy -definitely.

    • Bally Moore

      Well they beat france 2-3 months ago.
      Scotland would need to play them in Newcastle (NSW) to beat them, anywhere else they wouldnt.
      Ireland almost depends on what mood they are in, but right now i’d be inclined to say probably, as opposed to probably not.
      England needed a late try to just beat them in last years WC and i think against the run of play.
      Wales the toughest of the lot, and agree probably not, but we only just beat wales, and werent far ahead of argies…

      I dont know, i reckon their pretty solid….

      • BigAl

        And Scotland and and Samoa have beaten us, but I wouldn’t either team is ‘in my view’ a better side.

    • Roscoe Tims

      I’d suggest that the Argies have the capability of beating all the Six Nation sides. Well, they defeated Italy and France (1-1) in June. Last year they beat Scotland and had a narrow loss to England. They’ve drawn with the Bokke and caused problems for the ABs and Wallabies (away), and I think they may well defeat us in Rosario. What other Six Nations side would be as tough against the top three ranked teams in world rugby?

      • BigAl

        It’s often claimed on this site that the wallabies have the capability of beating teams such as England, Scotland, Samoa and the All Blacks, but they don’t. My point is Roscoe, I think you are falling into that old ‘Southern trap’ of underestimating Northern Hemisphere teams.

  • Bally Moore

    Agree with some of the comments above re Quade and Phipps.

    Quade copping a fair bit of negative press since game, he made a few clear errors (ie pass to barnes and charge down) and absolutely shouldnt have made either. But i thought was actually reasonably good elsewhere, found some width, and as highlighted set up two charges over the line. All Blacks couldnt break Argies defense until late either, they make life tough for a 10, give the guy some time to build form, we know what he is capable of.

    Phipps was solid but for me, the 70 odd botched boxed kicks, and of course the mind snap quick free kick all matter and seem to be ignored by much of the praise. As with Quade, he deserves another go to work into the role, but he was a 6 at best on Saturday i reckon.

    What the wallabies need is some stability and support in selections to build momentum. We won, tell blokes what they got wrong, tell them to fix it, and get out there again.

  • suckerforred

    I thought Phipps played well for his starting debut. And yes he seemed to be quicker at the ruck then Will at times. This I liked, just need the rest to catch up with him.

    Douglas, likewise played well on debut. Would like to see him settle there & see what he can produce.

    Only disagreement I would have is with Berrick. Love the boy dearly, but he did seem out of position quite a bit. Having said that, it may have been the swapping with QC that meant they were both caught out of position & I think Argentina targeted this withsome success. Strong game, but would have him at a 6 not a 7.

    • Roscoe Tims

      I know what you’re saying Steph re Barnes. A couple of times I thought that too but looking at the tape last night he was actually up in the line making tackles, or involved in the previous play – so that’s why he may have seemed missing or late to re-position at the time.

  • Captain & Tennile

    Barnes was definitley better @ FB – and with no shitty kicks- he looks a better player – QC should be talking more – he seems to drift in and out – ok when you have Genia, but not with a new 1/2 –
    oh how I long for the day when we catch, draw & pass…everytime we do it we score? let the ball do the work in the hands…we were quite good at it once upon a time…

  • Joker

    AAC a 7?

    On one side of the field he has someone outside of him that would have a red hot go at running through a brick wall and on the other a guy that might give a cheetah a run for its money, and yet… Does he create anything for them? Even just running straight and drawing and passing to give them the time and space to beat their man one on one? No wonder digby is in the ruck so often for the wallabies, he can’t expect the backline to give him any quality ball. McCabe did the same thing in the 2nd half to shipperly, ran sideways so far that all he could do to sup from taking the ball out was to shovel the ball on to shipperly after taking all his space.

    In my opinion, whatever else they do. Two centres who rarely pass and never create anything outside is a fail mark.

    • betterRedthandead

      absolutely Joker,

      i cant in my living memory recall such a dearth of attacking skill in the mid field. Cooper has been abandoned by his own coach and a crippling injury toll. it makes me cringe watching him try to play rugby when the centres are playing ’80s league. mcabe/aac/fiangga all obviously bleed green and gold, and their heart cant be questioned, but they are so far short of their predecessors with the ball in hand, its hard to ever give them more than a pass mark.

    • Who?

      I honestly thought our centres played better with ball in hand than we’ve seen for a while. That said, I’d love someone to get out there and teach them about running AGAINST the drift. This year, we’ve seen four clear examples of it. First was in the first Test against Wales, where McCabe cut back hard across the front of three drift runners to take a pass, slide between defenders, and dot down for a try. The next was Sharpie’s try against the ABs. Beale was running with the drift outside him, Sharpe ran against the drift and fell through the hole. Next was Sharpe again on the weekend – just a shame he couldn’t get it down. And the last one I can remember was again McCabe, running straight and straightening (hence why he hit the inside shoulder of the defender) to score on the weekend.

      If you have someone running infield or at least straight, against the drift, as the legendary Snorky showed us for all those years, you have a great chance to slide through the drift, or you stop the drift and create the chance to get around it. No inside runners, and you end up doing something we’ve seen too often over the past 5 years under Robbie, especially against NZ. You see us taking the ball from the top of the lineout on one side of the field, and getting bundled into touch on the first phase exactly opposite the lineout. We did it in 2009, in 2010, and again this year…

  • BloodRed

    Really enjoyed Kane Douglas’ performance. Best effort by a tight forward on debut for a long time. Better all round game then Timani and is an option in the lineout. Rob Simmons is our best lineout forward, Douglas our best scrummaging lock would love to see the pair of them together. Next year maybe?

    • Mart

      I disagree about Simmons. He has done nothing at international level and has been given a fair bit of game time. I think they need to try someone else.

      • BloodRed

        I’ll repeat it. Simmons is our best lineout forward and caller. Also pushes at least as hard as Sharpie in scrums. Makes almost as many tackles a game as Pocock. Gets to and contributes to over 50% of breakdowns. Runs the ball up well – may not be hard hitting like a Cliffy Palu but gets over the gain line and doesn’t turn the ball over. Needs more anger in him but has steadily improved over the past 2 or 3 years and will still get better. What’s not to love.

        • bill

          Yup, Simmons has been inconsistent this year, moving to next year, Douglas, who has just had the best debut for a second rower for us for a long time, Timani, Horwill…those four guys are a pretty good unit to be putting pressure on each other and making each other perform through competition.

  • Robson

    The only way I could strongly disagree with Roscoe’s ratings would be if I was seriously prejuidiced against the player concerned. Yes the odd point here or there, but no wholesale disagreement.

    Quade has obviously drawn some flak, but he showed a couple of glimpses of being close to breaking out of whatever shackles have been pinning him down recently, so for my money he deserves being persisted with. And more than that, the team deserves having the serivices of a fully functional Quade too.

    I haven’t watched a replay, but on the night I couldn’t see too much wrong with Phipp’s game either; especially for someone who has been sitting out all the tests as Genia’s principle spectator.

    A try was a fitting reward for Digby’s persistent persistence. He doesn’t get the opportunities he needs at the end of the line, but he sure as hell doesn’t let that stop him from constantly looking for them.

    Two test match wins coming from behind is worth some sort of medal. After the Argies second try I really did think the game was up for the Wallabies. But no, they came back and played some great rugby. And while I’m about it, I have to say that any side that can pin the All Blacks down for a solid 40 minutes like Argentina did in Wellington aint no shove over.

  • Nutta

    For what it’s worth:

    FatCat I thought did ok. It wasn’t his side of the scrum getting sheared off x3 times for penalties. His lineout work was sound and whilst he didn’t score a Ben Alexander 20m try THAT’S NOT WHAT HE IS OUT THERE TO DO. Meat, potatoes, gravy… in that order…

    TPN threw well compared to his usual lightening. Didn’t scrum well enough tho

    Ben A – fk me.

    Slipps – getting better

    Douglas did well. Would like to see Caydrn Nev get a shot tho.

    Sharpe – Thank Christ Above

    Dennis is settling in well. Miles in front of most other 6cum8 wannabes

    Still reckon Mowen needs a crack at 8

    Samo – luv ya. But need more if you’re going to stay

    Hooper – Keep taking your chances lad. You’re doing fine.

    Phibbs – lay off the box kicks boyo but after years of Gins and Greegans “hop, skip,dance then chuck a Stirlo” I had almost forgotten what a semi-decent ruck/scrum base pass looked like. Would love to see Barnes get a crack off that passing instead on the usual shite he gets shovelled

    Our midfield play is just crap atm with the exception of Two Dads (leave him at 13 FFS).

    Keep going Diggers – you set a good example for Shipps to follow.

    • Patrick

      I agree with Nutta and Robson. Nutta didn’t say it but I’m sure he also hopes that Dan Palmer and Sekope Kepu are recovering swiftly and will be available to tour RSA/Argentina.

      I agree with Nutta on AAC but as per Joker’s comments above I would really really like him to create space for and distribute to Ioane more. Surely that should be the whole backline’s primary aim??

  • Trys NOT Kicks

    Why the hell was Mcabe sin binned? Im a forward and that was not even a penalty. He came through the ruck (if the opposition player lying on his face can be called that) and cleared out the scrumhalf…who fumbled the ball away proving he had his hands on… AWFUL call Barnes…

    • Nutta

      I didn’t get that one either. A ruck is 2 men on their feet contesting the ball. There was no ruck. Therefore there is no offside & you can use your hands to pick up a ball. However if you are not the tackler, then you are expected to enter through the gate – which I thought he did anyway

  • Devils Advocate

    Anyone named Fainga’a should never be allowed to play for Australia again.


Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

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