Player Ratings - Wallabies v Scotland - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Player Ratings – Wallabies v Scotland

Player Ratings – Wallabies v Scotland

1. Tom Robertson

Robertson-2017HeadshotDropped the first scrum and was penalised. 5 runs for the measly total of 1 metre gained. Put on some decent hits on defence and scooped up a loose ball that was out. But should have dominated the relatively inexperienced Fagerson from the first whistle, was subbed shortly after Nel was brought on and folded him twice. - 4

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau

PolotaNau-2017HeadshotA shocker. After getting in the way of a player running in the correct direction to secure a ball, he then did the same thing again but this time picked it up successfully and throw it to the other team, handing the Scots 7 points. Two overthrows later and Moore was brought on. 3

3. Allan Alaalatoa

Alaalatoa-2017HeadshotAgain lead the starting front row in all attacking stats (but that’s a pretty low bar). This time didn’t miss any tackles but only had to make 3. 5

4. Sam Carter

Carter-2017HeadshotThe wrong guy to be being used for a half only. Carter didn’t do much wrong this game but purely isn’t an assertive enough second rower on attack. He was lucky we had advantage at one stage when he played sleeping brumby to secure an under pressure ruck. 5

5. Adam Coleman

Coleman-2017HeadshotAnother textbook display of physical dominance, 14/14 tackles. His only mistake was holding the ball loosely for a maul drive, which this year should have been ripped by the Hooker (TPN) or recent history Pocock (maybe Hooper?), either way not entirely his fault. - 7

6. Ned Hanigan

Hanigan-2017HeadshotA young guy with some physical presence and a good engine, another good display and some of the best rugby I’ve seen him play. It’s a pity we’re trusting a rookie, who has been out played in that area all game, to clear out rucks by himself with the game and our 3rd place ranking on the line. 5

7. Michael Hooper (c)

Hooper-2017Headshot“He’s one of the few out there leading the charge” is what Cheika said about Hooper post match. Hooper was at his dynamic best on defence and attack and also ended up with two ruck steals in the first half and was involved in a third at the end of the game that could have won it. 6

8. Scott Higginbotham

Higginbotham-2017HeadshotHiggers tried to replicate the success he had playing in the tight against Fiji and just wasn’t able to against the Scots, out pointed and unable to secure fast available ball, he was eventually replaced by Hardwick. 5

9. Will Genia

Genia-2017HeadshotFour kicks, two of them charged down, one of them resulting directly in a try. Played a large part in chasing the game early. However, did manage to get over the line from close range in the second half, something others couldn’t manage. 4

10.  Bernard Foley

Foley-2017HeadshotFoley had a slow start to the game and was targeted successfully by Scotland with kicks, he dropped one of them. He was then rightfully carded for checking a chaser hot on attack. This lead to first half Scottish points and us chasing the game. Foley had a couple of okay try assists in the first half, but it’s fitting that we lost by the number of points he missed off the tee after posing next to a cringeworthy statue of himself made from ice. 3 

11. Eto Nabuli

Apparently he made 7 tackles and a staggering 2 linebreaks. He obviously didn’t due much with them. Eto now joins the Michael Hooper club of making your debut with a home loss against Scotland. 5

12. Karmichael Hunt

Hunt-2017HeadshotFound out on attack and was the only backline member not to make at least a metre per run. Just like Higginbotham, he wasn’t able to bring the combative tight game he did against Fiji. Had a fine game on defence though and even made his tackles with the trainer trying to treat him. 5

13. Tevita Kuridrani

Kuridrani-2017HeadshotConsistently bent the line, even off poor passes and well behind the advantage line. Being outplayed at the ruck meant despite this dominance in the midfield we were unable to attack effectively off the holes punched. A poor pass to Hodge late in the second half was disappointing. 5

14. Dane Haylett-Petty

HaylettPetty-2017HeadshotA couple of errors fielding the ball and a poor grubber option in the first half ruined what was an okay game otherwise. One great touch finder when Foley was off makes you wonder why he wouldn’t be the full-time punter. 4

15. Israel Folau

Folau-2017HeadshotSpot on catching skills contributed to two very good tries and almost a match winning third. His second try will be on highlight reels for years to come as he lept almost a whole person above the defence to take one of the best catches rugby football has witnessed. 7 – GAGR MOTM

Finishers

16. Stephen Moore

Moore-2017HeadshotHe played better than TPN and was sound in the lineout but still offered almost zero go forward in contact. 5

17. Scott Sio

Okay in the scrum, but didn’t make an impact anywhere else. 4

18. Sekope Kepu

Kepu-2017HeadshotSimilar to the other two front row replacements but won a ruck late in the game that gave us one final crack. 5

19. Rory Arnold

Arnold-2017HeadshotWas having a good game off the bench but dropped a very catchable ball that would have resulted in a close range lineout drive. 4

20. Richard Hardwick

Hardwick-2017HeadshotFor the second game in a row has come on with the attitude and enthusiasm needed to close out a game, but couldn’t get there in the end. 5 

21. Joe Powell

Powell-2017HeadshotUnused replacement. NA

22. Quade Cooper

Cooper-2017HeadshotProbably wouldn’t have been used either, but Hunt’s concussion opened the door. Cooper showed how unlock the rush defence with a mixture of both short and long balls but was unable to provide the final telling blow. 6

23. Reece Hodge

Hodge-2017HeadshotWent looking for the ball in the second half and never found it. 4

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 Scotland

  • Pedro

    Good ratings .For me the main thing holding the wallabies back was an inability to create mismatches in attack. Even with all the errors we were still capable of winning it, Genia and Foley are mainly to blame so the ratings reflect that.

    • first time long time

      The lack of work off the ball is astonishing.
      Most of the “support players” might as well be spectators.
      The reason we don’t offload well is because there is usually no one in a better position than the ball carrier.

      • Simon

        Yep. And when there’s a linebreak (like Hooper’s) the player’s looking round for who to offload to but there’s nothing but empty space. It’s like they don’t expect to break the line so they’re wrong-footed and out of position when it happens.

        • first time long time

          I thought Hooper was going have to do some donuts to give the support a chance to catch up

        • Adrian

          They mostly rely on Hooper himself providing the support, and aren’t geared up to do it when Hooper himself makes the break.

          It’s possibly an unpopular thing to say, but Phipps is always there to provide support, and from what I’ve heard, so is Powell

        • McWarren

          Yep Powell and Gordon for me are the future, Tuttle maybe. Make the change now and let them take us through to the next rwc.

        • Who?

          The lack of support for Hooper’s line break (and to a lesser extent for Foley at 74 minutes) was just plain embarrassing. I’d be embarrassed if my old U13’s team gave that much time with so little urgency, off such a short break! It was under 30m, and he was backpedalling for the last 10, looking for his non-existent support.

        • McWarren

          I’m waiting for Hooper to decide fuck it I’ll turn around and run back to my support, better than getting isolated.

  • jamie

    Christ, Hooper with 3 ruck steals. I didn’t think wingers hit rucks (sarcasm)

    Hooper, Coleman, Hanigan and Folau look like the only few that really want to be there and are willing to bleed for their jersey. That Scottish 7(?) with the stitches that had split open. Beast!

    PS How good is that letter from the bloke from Lithgow??

  • dane

    Read yourself the ARU’s player ratings on rugby.com.au. The fact they can give everyone a 5 or better after losing to the Scot’s shows that the ARU head in the sand policy runs all the way down to the media department.

    • Steve

      It’s a bit of a rubbish concept to be fair Dane.

      I realise rugby.com.au is recently trying to promote itself as a news/discussion source, but you just can’t be rating your own players.

      Leave it to the folks who aren’t on the ARU payroll.

    • Adrian

      It’s ok I think. They are just a couple of points higher that’s all

  • Harbo

    Basic skills letting us down again. We should have a stat of unforced errors like in tennis, although I would be scared to see our numbers.

    Hooper had the best game I’ve seen him play in ages. I’ve been a doubter but if he can play like that every week he deserves the 7 spot. Does everyone here think he is captain material?

    Gutted but not surprised about the loss. Let’s pick ourselves up and hope we stomp next week!

    • muffy

      He is a real conundrum. By far the best footballer on the park, but such a lightweight over the ball both in A and D that he is almost irrelevant in that area.

      • jamie

        So irrelevant he made 3 turnovers… right.

        He doesn’t fill the role of a ruck pest and slowing down the ball, but when he goes for the ball he seems to get it.

        • first time long time

          He made them over about a 10-15 min period and they were great don’t get me wrong but there were another 65 min of that game where he was ineffective at the breakdown which is his norm. There is really no arguing otherwise that’s just how he plays.

        • jamie

          Absolutely. That’s what I’m saying. He has great judgement about when to go for the ball though. It’s a waste tying a player of Hooper’s defensive and counterattacking calibre in the rucks. Surely we can teach the props how to get in the way in a ruck?

        • Adrian

          Need Latu in rucks and mauls

        • Big Ted

          And line outs it would appear

        • Who?

          I’m curious to see how he goes when he’s under a ref like Barnes. Will he be considered to be supporting his own weight? I’m not sure.

        • Adrian

          True
          But when you se him he has an odd shape, with huge powerful, and perhaps heavy legs

        • Seb V

          @jamie waste? Your kidding right? How about leave the counter-attacking to I dunno, the bloody entire backline and have your forwards hitting rucks. The fact he CAN counter-attack should be a bonus, not a primary factor his in his game. Primary skills should be the basics of the position. Like slowing the god damn ball down. (I actually do like Hooper tho, skills are all there just looks like the 7’s role has been coached out of him)

        • jamie

          I disagree. Forwards shouldn’t always be hitting rucks in defence. Maybe one to suck in one or two players.

          To use a metaphor, you don’t give your master craftsman a job that is any unskilled labourer could do, even if it is important. Let’s leave slowing the ball down to less mobile and defensively aware players (numbers 1 and 3, for example).

        • Glen Boevink

          I think you’ll find Richie ‘the master craftsman’ skill was rucks. What is more important than rucks?

        • first time long time

          Someone has to and there in lies the rub. That someone has to compromise their role to do that.
          He isn’t great at picking when to go in he gets blown off the ball most of the time. It is a chink in his armour no matter how you spin it.
          What he does he does well but the breakdown is not it, and as an openside it should be.
          Either way he is going to be the openside so we have to balance the back row accordingly.

        • Glen Boevink

          Must be a back mate. Saying that a seven shouldn’t ruck is like saying a Mac Truck shouldn’t carry heavy stuff

        • jamie

          2 and 7. Hooper’s greatest asset isn’t slowing down rucks though. Our props can do that. Leave him to make a million tackles, linebreaks and try assists, with the occasional steal when the timing is just right.

        • McWarren

          Jamie if he’s making a million tackles he is the best placed person to slow down the ruck. I think you do the skill of legally slowing the ruck down a disservice. It’s no good tackling jumping up and resetting in the defensive line only for your prop to arrive two seconds too late to legally or meaningfully attempt to to slow the ruck down. Better Hooper, who is already present at the ruck slows it down and give his tight five extra time to set the defensive wall IMO.

        • Mica

          I think what FTLT is saying is that he doesn’t survive the clean out, where we are used to our gold 7’s being limpet mines. I agree that we are really missing this role and I think this is one of the reasons why our defence has gone down hill. Continual quick ball is a nightmare for defences.

        • Harbo

          Coincidence that after they bring George Smith in as an advisor Hooper is much more aggressive at the breakdown?

        • jamie

          Haha, well, there’s correlation there isn’t there ;-)

          He’s always averaged at least a turnover a game in Gold IIRC. He just doesn’t slow down ball very often.

    • Who?

      I don’t think Hooper’s captain material. I didn’t think he showed much either way in that match. He himself has said he should’ve taken the 3 a few more times rather than going to the corner, but I think he’s wrong. We were getting constant penalties (and were unlucky not to get a card) off lineout drives, and Foley missed the first penalty and second conversion. So, a sniff of reward for the risk, and less certainty than usual in the 3 points… Fair call from Hooper.
      But he wasn’t under real captaincy pressure in that game. We didn’t give away consistent penalties. We weren’t given a warning. We copped a YC, but that wasn’t anything that could’ve been saved by Hooper. So no, I don’t think he’s a good captain (and we’ve got up to 4 other captains on that field – Moore, Carter, Higgers and Genia – not saying Test captains, but guys with captaincy experience, some of whom were pretty handy as captains), but I’m not sure there’s anyone else out there who’s nailed down their spot who is a better option.

      • Seb V

        Colman for Captain. Just throwing it out there

        • Who?

          I’d agree, but would like to see him have a little more time to feel established first. It’s barely a year since he debuted. Give him another year, and who knows – he could be an 8 year captain.

  • Mitch T Gray

    Is it just me or is it that the Wallabies basic skill set have become much worse since the appointment of Mick Byrne, The ABs seem to have gotten better in the skills department with the Departure of Mick Byrne as their skills coach?

    • muffy

      Oooooohhh…… Scathing observation, I like it!

  • first time long time

    Hey Bobas that must have been a barrel of fun doing those rating. Kudos.
    I’m not sure how Taf and Foley got equal best scores of minus 3 though!

    • Bobas

      I didn’t like how the page looked without the dashes after this game. Maybe the golf under par scoring a should become a bit of a bobas Easter egg after losses. Hopefully we don’t see them again next week. Although who knows, in Quades debut Italy almosy beat us.

      • first time long time

        He has certainly caused a few over the years but I think Quade saved us from that embarrassment with a try at the death.

  • Simon

    We need to start including Cheika in these ratings. Based on things like appropriate selections, use and timing of bench, game plan, attack and defence strategy, ability of the team to adapt through messages relayed onto the field, ability to anticipate the opposition’s game plan, etc.

    He gets a solid 3 from me.

    • Who?

      I was thinking exactly the same thing! But had a lower rating…
      Everyone’s on here complaining about Genia, but Powell doesn’t get on? Just silly stuff. Let alone the issues with exits, which create the vast bulk of our issues. And they’ve been an issue for 2 years, all because Cheika wanted to play Running Rugby, then hasn’t figured out how to adapt.

      • jamie

        You have to remember, Powell has played 10 minutes in his test career. Genia probably thousands. Even Genia on an off day will handle the pressure better than Powell who looked, unbelievably rattled last week, and that’s when we were up constantly.

        • Who?

          I know. No experience. But also no reason to fear. If we lost with him out there, what’s the loss? It’s not his fault. It’s a chance to be a hero with no negatives if things don’t go well. Just don’t give him only five minutes – give him time to work into the game.
          He didn’t have that time last week. And, let’s be honest, the kid’s underweight for Under 12’s even when he’s wringing wet. I don’t blame him for looking rattled when you look at how those Fijians play!!! Tiny little thing against a team of giants… Wouldn’t have been exactly the same against Scotland…

        • Twoilms

          Why the hell is Powell even on the bench then? Shot in the foot. Genia was completely cooked by the end. I hate to say it but we needed Phipps energy off the bench.

        • Chinese Dave

          Well, if you have a Scrumhalf on the bench who you don’t trust enough use even when your starting SH is having an awful game, then why did you pick him in the first place? As injury cover only? There’s a coaching mistake either in the picking or in the not using.

        • jamie

          I’m not sure CD. I can’t decide if it was a show of arrogance, bad coaching, or Cheika is desperate to blood young players.

          What other 9 do we have that’s available and would’ve honestly been better than a tired Genia? Every other one bar Frisby is uncapped (Phipps injured IIRC) And Frisby couldn’t organize a piss up in a brewery, let alone a pack of forwards and a backline.

        • Chinese Dave

          I don’t disagree about our lack of depth, but I think Genia was more than tired, he was off his game from the start. And Joe Powell has done enough to have been given a go for the last 20 minutes. What sort of message does that send to him, being kept on the bench in favour of that Genia performance?

    • Harbo

      Well said mate

    • Brumby Runner

      He actually failed on each of those metrics. How does he rate a 3?

      • Simon

        He gets 3 points for not including Dean Mumm in the team. Baby steps!

  • Viking

    Have to agree with your ratings, just such a disappointing performance. I’d add to your analysis:
    1) agree totally with Foley’s touchfinders, his last kick for touch made what 15m when the Wallabies could have had a much better lineout position. He’s so scared of not finding touch now he’s just popgunning – why didn’t Hodge kick that?
    2) Hooper constantly turning down kickable penalties makes me question his captaincy credentials.
    3) the back row balance doesn’t look right. We haven’t had a big ball runner since Cliffy in his prime.

    • Simon

      When even Phil Kearns is asking why Foley keeps kicking for touch when there are at least 4 better touch finders in the team (Hodge, DHP, Hunt, Cooper), you know it’s obvious.

      I’m not so bothered about Hooper turning down kickable penalties because Foley’s boot seemed to be off and the kicks were kickable but not gimmes. We were behind on the scoreboard so going for the corner was an okay choice, we just bungled the lineouts at key moments.

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    IMHO when we started grubber kicking, box kicking, and just generally booting it back to the Scots instead of hanging onto the pill, the Scots must have thought ‘we’ve got these Aussies absolutely rattled’.

    The ice statue of Foley wasn’t lost on me as he failed to slot the goals. But one outstanding impression I had before kick off, and I may have Kafe to thank for this, is just how accurate Sanchez’s pass was. If only he could have passed half as well as Kafe’s review tapes, things might have worked out very differently.

    My biggest disappointment was probably the number of times that players, instead of hanging onto the ball and resetting, opted to transfer the pressure to a player that was not in a better position than they were.

  • Rebels3

    Are they dashes before the score or negatives?

    • jamie

      It depends on who we’re talking about… Genia, Foley and Robertson it’s a negative ;-)

  • Jack Mallick

    A loss just like every Aussie super team this year, basic skills and attitude let them down in the big moment.

    Hooper was Aus man of the match for me, along with Coleman. Issy was just another player making errors when the game was there to be won.

    I don’t know how or when it happened but too many of our pro players can’t handle pressure.

  • Nutta

    When you started with negative scores I thought this was going to get interesting very fast…

    Scoring was difficult for me. It was a strange mix of skills, tactics and strategy that fubar’d us:

    – Skills at the individual level are simply shite. Pure and simple. From shovelling on shit, to dumb kicks to unsupported runners the simple basics are just not there.

    – Tactics from the coaching team are laughably transparent, a full decade behind and inept

    – Strategy has come home to roost in that since the scrummage and general forward humiliation of 2005 through 2010 out governing body said ‘Fkn won’t have that happen again’ and now we have a whole generation of guys who bench more than Silverback Gorillas but simply can’t play rugby beyond the preprogrammed 1st & 2nd phase if their fkn lives depended on it.

    Reap what you sow.

    • jamie

      It concerns me that my Colt XV can change strategy on a whim (usually at a lineout, when we have a break in play), and then change again when the opportunity presents.

      Our 9-10 know when to keep the ball in the forwards, and when to take it to the backs. Our forwards know when to pick and drive, and when to run a pod off the 9 or the 10, or another forward.

      Our backs know when to hit a crash ball in midfield and when to spread it wide, and our 15 knows when and where to hit the line.

      We know when to counterruck and when to leave it. We can adapt based on the ref (and in Victoria, they’re usually not great) and where the opposition are good.

      I can entirely understand it’s a different kettle of fish playing against international opposition, but the basic idea remains the same. Hit them where they’re not, or where your strengths lie. For us, that’s our scrum, our 9/10’s kicking game and our midfield. And we play to those strengths. Same as how the lions did last night. They’ve lost against NZ teams when they try to play like NZ teams, and won when they’ve played to their strengths.

    • Glen Boevink

      I love the silverback comment. How many junior lads have I seen come through who are massive but can’t catch the pill. Its laughable

  • Adrian

    Generally ok ratings,
    BUT
    Too tough on TPN, as I think the overthrows were miscommunication, and the desperate pass understandable. I saw him make some good bullocking runs, and hold the scrum together. Id give him 5

    Not tough enough on Genia. He only did 2 good things, which were draw and pass to Foley in Folau try, and use downward pressure on ball at try line. The rest of the time he was slow and late to 50 rucks, and gave off a vibe of not being flustered, when clearly he should have been. I’d give him 2

    Foley probably deserves 5 IMO for his mixed bag

    • Who?

      Foley missed 5 points in kicks, we lost by 5. And his YC absence forced Genia’s charged down clearance on the try line which was 7 points.
      Plus, the wide ball to Folau was almost a desperation option (“I’m gonna get smashed, who can I give the ball who won’t get smashed and where I won’t have to clean out?!” Good vision to find him, but that whole passage of play felt pretty desperate), and the kick to Folau was too long – should’ve been to the unmarked DHP. 3’s about right.
      I could see Taf getting a 4, the desperate pass was understandable.
      Genia I’d have had as a 4. I don’t like seeing a halfback flustered – what benefit is there for the team if their leaders look stressed? That said, Cheika could easily get a 1 for not subbing Powell on. NO ONE plays halfbacks for 80 minutes anymore, Powell could’ve added some zip at the death when we were chasing the game.

      • Adrian

        All true.
        I actually don’t want the halfback to look flustered, what I really meant is that I think Genia’s attitude of “I’ve got everything under control” rather than some sense of urgency unsettles younger players who are trying hard, and (perhaps mistakenly) think Genia isn’t trying, or is playing selfishly

        • Who?

          So you don’t want him to look flustered, you want him to scare his team mates into getting their jobs done. Like a little mini-Cheik on the field. ;-)
          As opposed to Phipps, who regularly looks flustered. I love his passion, but he rarely looks in control, which makes everyone nervous, or even panicky.
          Really would’ve been good to see Powell out there, though. If he comes on with 15 to go, with the Wallabies 5 points down, it’s not his fault if we lose. If he comes on with 5 to go, us up by 2 but under intense pressure, there’s all the pressure in the world not to lose the game. But if you’re behind, you can’t lose it, you can only win it. It was actually a good opportunity.

  • Andy

    Fair scoring. Thought Hooper deserved more. He was immense all over the field. 2 steps ahead of every other player in our pack

  • Who?

    Great job Bobas. :-)
    So, if Nabuli’s followed Hooper’s steps of making his debut in a home loss to Scotland, will he also follow his footsteps by constantly being a controversial selection based primarily on state lines because he doesn’t provide the standard attributes for his position, and will he end up captaining the Wallabies..? :-P
    Whatever, I’m just happy he didn’t get a card!

  • Adrian

    Team v Italy has to build towards NZ games in August.

    I wouldn’t select players that are out of form, or with no capacity to stand up against NZ period.

    I would though select in-form players who made mistakes in this game.

    I also realise that Beale, Kerevi and Phipps will come in, and that Fardy and Skelton might too, … irrespective of Cheikas previous comments.

    My team (probably not Cheika’s) from the current squad would be:
    Sio
    Latu
    AAA
    Coleman
    Arnold
    Hanigan
    Hooper
    Timani
    Gordon
    Foley
    Naivalu
    Hunt
    Kurandrani
    DHP, but not sure, Cooper?
    Folau

    TPN
    Kepu
    Smith
    Tui
    Higginbotham or Dempsey
    Powell
    Cooper
    Korebette

    Need to win by 20

    • jamie

      Cooper won’t be on a wing lol. Only way I can see him starting when Foley is 10 is at 15. And even that won’t happen. Folau to 14.

      • Adrian

        Exactly, Jamie

        Team above is just for one game, and yes, Cooper won’t be on the wing, even though I’d try him there.

        When Beale returns, either he or Hunt will wear 14, and the other will wear 12

        • Who?

          For me, player position selection is something we do really badly in this country. From Under 6’s up.
          I look at so many teams with tall props, and shorter locks. It’s proof the coaches are watching too much League – you want shorter guys in the front row, so they can set up low and drive up under their opponents. You want the taller guys in the second row where they can start more horizontal.
          I look at so many backlines where the best ball runners are picked at 9 and 10. So many teams, the wingers don’t see the ball. But if they did, they probably wouldn’t know what to do with it, because ‘wing’ often – for many coaches – means, “I can’t trust you not to drop the ball or miss tackles.” It’s where coaches often position players they can’t figure out, and they’re often the first to leave the game. Usually with a bad taste in their mouths.
          Your 9 should be picked for his constant talking, his vision, and his pass. A running game is a bonus, a strong pass is so much more important (which is why I reckon Nick Phipps is a very good winger – good pace, poor pass. And Powell’s going to be a good 9).
          Your 10 should be picked for his vision. Kicking is something that can be trained, or shared. Running is useful, but you don’t need your 10 to be the strongest/most elusive/fastest guy on the team. Fastest is back three. Strongest is in the centres (unless the player’s not afraid to hit rucks, in which case, loose forwards). Quade should never play wing. His biggest threat isn’t his pace (he’s lost enough of that). It’s not his elusiveness (although he can still pull a good anklesnapper). It’s his vision. Which is why he’s a 10. Sticking a distributor on a wing (or in what is intended to be primarily a running position – which can be 12, 13 or 15, too, depending on the coach’s structures) is a waste. Kurtley worked there in the RWC because his vision is something he uses combined with his pace to create opportunities. He’s a ball runner, not a passer. Quade’s always looking to pass… Find the gap, get rid of the ball.
          Many are also arguing that Foley’s a first instinct runner, not a first instinct passer…

        • Adrian

          An excellent description of how we end up with mis-positioned players.

          Re Cooper, I don’t really disagree at all. I’m just looking for a way to get Cooper onto the paddock.

          I love Cooper as a player and distributed,and like him better than Foley in many ways.
          BUT
          For some reason, Cooper can’t play the flat backline of the type Cheika understands, but Foley (and Beale, and maybe Hunt) do. Cheika tried the various options with them alternating 10 and 12 last year, and it didn’t work.
          Cheika can’t do a deeper backline himself, and seemingly nor can Larkham, …at least as a coach.

          I think the way to get Cooper to work well with a flat backline, is to have Phipps inside of him, and Beale outside of him, … and Folau behind him

        • Who?

          I’m not sure Cooper can’t play a flat backline, but I don’t think it’s fair to judge him off last year’s 5 tests with Foley at 12. Because Foley and Cooper didn’t work together well at all, and it meant there wasn’t a genuinely threatening crashballer at 12. If you want a flatter backline, you need someone who can crashball at 12, so the 10 can go flat to him, across to the 13, or out the back to the 15.
          That said, I’m not sure Cheika really knows how to run a backline… The 2014 Tahs weren’t based on a backline. They were based on rolling dominant ball carrying forwards (a role widely credited to Douglas, but it was really Potgeiter). Which gave dominant front foot ball for the backs. Quade knows how to adjust his depth dependent on the type of ball he’s getting – any 10 who’s worth his salt knows to get flatter as the ball is faster and the gain line is more regularly breached. I think the worst performance of any 10 that I’ve ever seen for depth was Foley in the 2015 Bledisloe draw (think it was 2015? The 12-12 game in Sydney), where he just kept getting deeper and deeper, in spite of a dominant forward pack, to the point that in the 40th minute he knocked on a ball in his own 22 because Phipps couldn’t pass it far enough to reach him! Everyone was blaming Phipps, but the real culprit and cause was Foley.
          Since then, we’ve seen a lot of second man plays even in the Wallabies, where the forward pod in the midfield takes the ball, then they (usually Squeaky) pass it out the back to a ball player (Foley) to get width. That’s not exactly a flat backline – you can’t play wide passes that flat. I’ve seen it widely claimed that this midfield pod structure is Larkham’s doing, claims from people far smarter than myself.
          I do know that the one good thing claimed as coming out of Eddie Jones’ time with the Reds in 2007 was, according to those in the know, how much time he spent with Quade – one on one – on setting the depth of the backline. Varying it according to the quality of ruck ball.
          That’s still the way to get Cooper flatter. To have dominant forward runners and quick ball. If he sees something he likes, he’ll come forward. That run down the left flank in the 74th minute? That was based on Cooper seeing what he wanted from the far side of the field – if you watch, he throws the last or second last pass into a tackle on the right wing a phase or two (think there was a midfield tackle) before that break, counts the numbers, and immediately runs 45m across field to set up the movement, calling for the ball. And he was pretty flat (given how far the ball had to travel). And the ball to Folau was dead flat.
          I think Cheika – understandably – has a tendency to pick those he knows and understands. He knows Foley. I don’t think – even after a few years as Wallabies coach – he necessarily understands Quade. Cheika’s direct. He wants hard forwards, we lost yesterday because we didn’t play hard enough. Everything’s that simple. Foley just busts his guts. Goes hard, runs straight, does whatever he can. Quade’s mindset is different. Not better, not worse. Arguably complimentary, because no one is the font of all knowledge. But that doesn’t mean that the mindsets have met yet…

        • Adrian

          Agree, mindsets haven’t met re Foley and Cooper. I think Cooper played a test or 2 at 12, with Foley at 10, as well as playing 2 or 3 at 10 with Foley at 12. It didn’t gell either way.

          I agree, Cooper could play flat successfully, just as Foley could play deep…..but doesn’t want to.
          I think Cheika does understand backlines, but only flat ones.
          14/15 Tahs played flat off the rumbling forwards, that got defences on the back foot. Set pieces were different. They stood flat, but the action all happened around 10/12 and Folau. Never wider than that on each play. AAC and Co backed up breaks

        • Who?

          A flat backline isn’t limited to only two passes off the ruck, though. I’d argue that’s barely even backline play – that’s just backs doing what Cheika’s forwards did. Flat backline with Ella, and then back to Towers, was about width and hands at the gain line, about draw and pass, not simple crash. Simple crash is loose forwards play… It’s not the full breadth of Randwick play. It’s a great part of it, the tight-loose play, but not all of it.
          From memory, set pieces for the Tahs in 14/15 were pretty well just rubbish. They weren’t the first – or last – to show that, whilst Test Rugby requires a strong set piece, you can win a Super title without a functioning lineout and with a weak scrum.

        • Adrian

          BTW I like Phipps on the wing.
          I think we should play him there against agile wingers (Habana types), and let him give the No9 a rest when he temporarily tires. RL and AFL have planned resting strategies for players who aren’t going to be rotated through the bench

        • Who?

          You know, that’s not a bad idea… Just interesting that SA didn’t ever really try it, given they had Houggard, who played wing and 9…

        • Brumby Runner

          Hougard Mk II. Not many Saffas seem to like the way that panned out.

        • Glen Boevink

          Who? For PM, or at least head of ARU, that spot should be vacant soon

        • Glen Boevink

          Adrian, I’ve been enjoying your comments until this one. This is our national team. We can’t try people in a spot at national level. We need to stop thinking that playing out of position is okay?! If we need to play QC at wing, send him back to Sunnybank for a season of prems and then he can reapply. Why o why is Hunt playing 12??!?!

    • Pclifto

      Really like this team.

      Latu would provide much more at breakdown time too.

      Agree to give Genia a rest too. I sadly think he’s past it… generally too slow and dare I say it a bit lazy

  • Who?

    No need to apologize about opinion… There’s no personal attack there.

  • Who?

    So, Cheika’s solution is that our guys have to commit to work harder at a higher level…
    And more crossfield kicks to Folau.
    Glad that’s the only issues we have to fix. That our players aren’t trying hard enough and we can telegraph tactics. :-

  • Harbo

    I watched the whole game again this afternoon and didn’t even know Carter was out there..

  • Dean

    Im so sick of the shit Australian rugby seems to spit out every year.
    We say we need to put money back to grassroots to bring it back to standard.
    Say after a few years this works and we start producing more players. Now how are we going to keep the cream of good players when we don’t have any money to keep them? If you look at the nrl junior programs there is an abundance of players that were brought up playing union. The only reason they went to league instead of union is because league pays juniors very well. look at the current kangaroos in the nrl. I can name 4 players( dugan ,cronk , frizzle, fifita) straight up that were union raised but switched cause of the money. We produce world class players as good as the all blacks but just don’t have the the money to keep them. we can pump all the money we want into grass roots but we are going to keep losing them to rival clubs and overseas as we don’t have the money to keep them in union! We need a frank lowey for union. They say rugby is for the upper class and wealthy. So where are the wealthy when you need them??

    • Dean

      Angus critchton was a schoolboy star that went to league too. Losing to many

      • PJ

        Hymel Hunt was also a schoolboy rugby star

    • Adrian

      100% spot on Dean

    • Mart

      This is the area that rugby needs to focus on. Club rugby is not professional so you can’t pay players. Shooting yourself in the foot. ridiculous

  • Dean

    And how many times have we seen foley drop a box kick that he is spouse to catch ??? To many !!!

    • Timbo

      Before Saturday? Not many. He’s generally pretty solid.

      • Dean

        I can think of a few of the top of my head that he has dropped similar to Saturday

  • Adrian

    Interesting that Genia has owned up today to “creating” 14 of Scotland’s points.

    It might save his bacon, but it shouldn’t, because he’s been slipping in form and attitude since he came back from injury 12 months ago

  • Bernie Chan

    Rate the coaches…Cheika, Byrne, Grey and Larkham…! What are we…7 from the last 21 Test”? And no obvious advance in strategy or tactical acumen..?

  • Jimmydubs

    Bring back the player rankings done by us peons. I’ve got a need to smash a mouse button fn hard on a big thumbs down a bunch of times.

  • Nicholas

    I didnt want to say it last week because it was nice to win a game for once, but we played shit then we played shit this week. The NZ BarBars, landscapes and trades, played better and with more pride.

    Never say no to three points. Never play in your 22. Never lose your own scrum/throw. Hit hard, run harder. Make your tackles. Do the little things right, do them well.

    When you are in their halve you can throw it around. But you must do it together.

  • Mart

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Moore break out of a trot? can the guy run? he is a professional elite athlete.
    The one time he tried to run he tripped himself up and fell over in the background of the scottish try

  • formerflanker

    The rankings looked initially like minus scores and I was nodding my head in agreement.

Rugby

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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