Podcast 34 - Champions Forever - Green and Gold Rugby
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Podcast 34 – Champions Forever

Podcast 34 – Champions Forever

We come together to bask, humbly, in the glorious victory by the Wallabies on the weekend, our comfort strengthened by the knowledge the we are Tri Nations Champions…


we also enjoy a statsgasm as we look back at the tournament and the trends that developed. We then give our opinions on the chances of the various squads and selections heading into Rugby World Cup 2011.

Some topics we cover:

  • How good is it when the Wallabies play like that?
  • How important was the win, in the scheme of things?
  • On the flip side, what has the loss done to the Kiwis?
  • Are we seeing the fruits of Robbie’s labours?

This week we rock out to the Aussie rock anthem “We Can’t Be Beaten” by Rose Tattoo, we know we will never lose another Tri Nations title.

Also, we are still running the Rooting for the Wallabies campaign, so head to the Facebook page and like it, if you haven’t already.

And, as we mention, get onto here before the stubby holders are gone.

You can listen directly here:

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  • Graeme

    Interesting comment in the podcast about how our backline choices really come down to what style of centers we want. And I quite agreed with the comments.

    I was sceptical of McCabe at first, but for what he is being used for, he does it perfectly. His defensive “50% of the game” has been superb, and with the prospect of eventually meeting Nonu and Smith outside of Carter if we make the finals, closing those channels could be the difference between winning and losing. In attack he is not great, and I’d almost say poor. But he is capable of shuffling the ball on if necessary. And another strength which is rarely brought up, is that he never seems to get turned over. If we don’t score a try in one phase, it doesn’t really matter as long as we retain the ball, we can try again a few phases later (something that Beale and a few others should probably keep in mind more often). The other possibility is Barnes who is coming back. He would have been the obvious number 12 choice if not for his headache issues opening the door for McCabe. He is as solid a defender as McCabe, although not as dominant, and has a better attacking and kicking game, although he is more liable to turnover the ball to the opposition by attempting to create more. At the moment I would lean on McCabe to be the first choice just because he has weathered the tri-nations campaign and formed part of a succesful backline strategy that was based on certain individual attacking brilliance being combined with defensive strength in key positions.

    The JOC dilema is one I’m sure Robbie must be backslapping his cat over. But I agree with the podcast, at the moment his best position is probably a power sub. AAC is the more dominant tackler of the two, and a more solid “workhorse” if you can call a powerhouse like him that (only in the relative sense). JOC coming on with fresh legs at the 50 minute mark and a tiring opposition could be devestating. Also, as a bench player he can cover every position from 10 out, even though I think Deans would move Beale to 10 if Cooper becomes injured, I’d rather he stayed at fullback and JOC took over the role.

    The big dilemma occurs once Mitchell comes back. He was our best winger and must have been very close to the best in the Super15/World just before his injury. If he could come back at 100% then he would be automatically our first choice winger. If he comes back at 95% (fairly possible) then he’ll probably only get a couple of games vs the minnow’s . If he does come back then we’ll have 6 players (McCabe, Barnes, AAC, Faiinga, Horne, JOC) competing for the 2 center spots, and I have fuck all idea where that will go…

    • Garry

      Isn’t it great to have the dilemma of depth in some of our backline positions. It’s not something we’ve often had to deal with. Congrats again to our franchises for bringing through so many strong candidates.

      With a view to the future game, and the intensity of the number of games in the next six weeks, one factor that we haven’t taken into account is player fatigue and (god forbid) injury. As discussed in the pod cast NZ are skinny in a couple of vital positions (Carter, McCheat), but so might the WB’s. If injured, how well would we cover Genia or Cooper (certainly our game would suffer), or perhaps if we lost a prop (if I were MJohnson, I’d be targeting this area). Pocock is irreplaceable.

      Player fatigue will need to be managed better than it has been if we are going to win the tough matches. Should Cooper, Genia and Pocock play all the games? Perhaps JOC is a good option to cover 10 , Barnsey at 12, against a minnow side?

  • Reman

    Obvious guest for next week is Big Kev!

    One appearance wins you the Super 15.

    Two appearances wins you the Tri-nations.

    The third appearance by induction would lead to winning the World Cup!

    Big Kev come on down! :D

  • Graeme

    And about the Quade thing. Those like myself who were really anti that behaviour. It’s nothing because of him not respecting McCaw. It’s because we worship Quade and it’s killing us to see him acting like a bogan rugby league mungo.

  • D.

    If I got 2 punches and an elbow in the face from McCaw like Quade did in the 13th minute, I would have looked down and given him two!!!!! Ritchie got lucky!

    • Ooaahh

      Late breaking news… Quade wasn’t cited because the ref thought he’d just need the grass. Ritchie if your reading, Frodo wants his cloak back.

  • Ooaahh

    do’h I meant kneed.

  • Alan

    loved the Quade – McCaw assessment, 100% agree. Absolutely adore how much Cooper gets under McCaw’s skin, long may it continue!!

    just so long as a total brain fuck doesn’t occur and he gets banned. Keep it to the little bit of pushing and shoving

    Also agree with i think it was Austin’s appraisal of Simmons – good player and exciting prospect but for me he really hasn’t done anything special at test level. Vicks and Kev for starting positions and then Sharpie on the bench

  • Nick

    Hilarous banter re. Russians looking out for McCaw… love Kiwi logic

    • D.

      Kiwi logic? That’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one!

  • Garry

    Cue the Rose Tattoo for the dressing room after we take Bill.

  • Garry

    Thank Christ.

    I’m pleased that others thought our line-out was crap last week. I was beginning to think I was alone on that one. When others have described the line-out as ‘solid’, I was wondering how low our expectations had fallen.

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  • One other thing was carter casually hoped over Beale after he scored the winning try…no urgency or guttedness’ which I found weird???

  • I also found the discussion about trading an offensive threat for defensive soundness in the centres to be interesting. That’s pretty much the road England went down and it helped them to two wins over the Wallabies. English rugby doesn’t have a rich seam of attacking centres but Matthew Tait was still in the running on last summer’s tour. He played in the 2007 RWC final and, using his pace, was the only back of ours to manage a decent break in the match. He was widely expected to become a regular but Johnson decided he was weak defensively on that summer tour and he hasn’t had a sniff since.

    The problem England found is that this strategy hasn’t really been effective since that Twickenham win over Australia. It’s unclear whether teams just worked out how to counter Ashton & Foden or whether the service from the half backs deteriorated. Whatever the reason, it has led Martin Johnson to consider starting the inexperienced Manu Tuilagi.

    Even as an England supporter, I don’t doubt that Australia has superior resources in the back line and your defensively-stronger centre options are more effective in attack than ours. However, if you do start relying more on your stars in the back three to do the job, then it will put more pressure on Cooper’s consistency. That’s always going to be an issue for the Wallaby World Cup campaign but I wonder if you really want to be raising the stakes there.

    Cooper has goalkicking duties, and Ewen McKenzie’s recent piece on Rugby Heaven mentioned how he spent a lot of time practising drop goals for the Reds. If Cooper has an off day with the boot then he may well try to force things elsewhere on the pitch. If he’s asked to think more about bypassing the centres to bring his back three into the game, then the miracle pass he sometimes favours becomes more risky. You might want to keep more incisiveness in the centre just to make sure he has additional options.

    There’s no reason why you can’t do both. in 2003, England played Catt in the centre against France for more kicking and distribution options but brought Tindall back for his stronger defence in the final. Australia could also consider changing the balance depending on the opposition.

    • Garry

      Fingers has the benefit of playing regularly off Cooper and inside Diggers (at the Reds), where he is considered not only sound defensively, but potent in attack. Cooper will benefit from having straight running options, rather than the magicians like Gits and Barnes.

      Fingers just hasn’t been given enough opportunities internationally yet. Watch this space.

      I’m interested in seeing how Manu Tuilagi travels this cup. Being an islander, I’m wondering how often he gets hit hard in the British League. Looking forward to match ups.

All Blacks

Steve Timms, He likes watching the odd game of Rugby, occasionally writes about it.. Proud member of the original Mudchooks.

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