Post-Test Observations: Australia vs Samoa - Green and Gold Rugby
Wallabies

Post-Test Observations: Australia vs Samoa

Post-Test Observations: Australia vs Samoa

Australia has gotten through a potentially dangerous game against Samoa, winning 34-15 at Bankwest Stadium. However, what are the key take-aways from the performance?

Pocock Unscathed

In his first game back since March, the most pleasing aspect of his performance was seeing Pocock leave the field at the 59th minute. Not because he was poor in any way, but because baring a training injury, Pocock will be lining up for Australia in some way on the 21st September against Fiji.

Pocock was his usual busy self throughout the match, finishing with five carries for 28 metres, eight tackles, and a try assist in a pleasing performance. The million-dollar question is whether he starts alongside Michael Hooper?

Embed from Getty Images

Super Marika

Marika Koroibete has been among the Wallabies best this year, playing an influential role in the Aussies last three wins from four games. Averaging 90.5 metres per game, Marika is crucial in giving the Wallabies go-forward, whether it be out wide or with his pick and drives which often catch the ruck defense out.

At Bankwest Koroibete notched his best stats ever in a Test match, finishing with 139 metres, eight tackle busts, five line breaks, a try assist, and a brilliant individual try for the highlight real. As the only out and out winger in the Wallabies World Cup squad, Marika is a crucial point of difference in the Aussies attack with his speed and finishing abilities up there with the best in the world.

Embed from Getty Images

Selection Headaches

With the majority of the starting 15 fairly down pat it seems, the Samoa match was a fight off for bench spots. Dempsey was the pick of the forwards in his return to the Wallabies fold from injury, with his ability to dynamic and powerful game a serious asset off the bench. However, with Pocock certainly to be either starting or off the bench this could leave the Wallabies short in second-row stocks.

In the backs, Adam Ashley-Cooper showed experience outweighs pace with several brilliant defensive reads to shut down the Samoan attack. Meanwhile, Tom Banks showed that if any back is to go down, he should be the first choice replacement.

Embed from Getty Images

Fitting Send-Off

Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, and David Pocock all announced the Samoa test would be their last on Australian soil. It signifies a changing of the guard with all three having been loyal servants to Australian rugby. The Wallabies administration produced a nice touch with a post-game presentation for all three players, giving the fans a chance to show their appreciation for the player’s efforts over the years. Hopefully, Australian rugby gets another chance come November 2nd.

Embed from Getty Images

Next Stop: Japan 

With the World Cup only 13 days away, the Samoa test concludes four years of build-up for this moment. In 2015 Australian rugby was in shambles, coming into the tournament ranked 6th on the IRB World Rankings, the lowest it had ever been since the ranking’s introduction. This time round where is Australia ranked? 6th. Here’s hoping the similarities continue in Japan, with the Wallabies first game against Fiji on the 21st of September.

Embed from Getty Images

  • Mart

    “As the only out and out winger in the Wallabies World Cup squad” baffling

    • Geoffro

      yeah,bloody Fiji needs to up our quota in supply of quality wingers.

      • Huw Tindall

        surprised this is not a condition of our aid programme for Fiji – just checked DFAT and we are tipping in $58m this year so would think could afford a couple of gas men amongst that

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I agree and I think it may end up biting them on the arse

      • Geoffro

        Yep,most of our opponents have quick,quality finishers on the end of their backlines

        • Patrick

          They all do except possibly Georgia.

          No idea why they would all do that, funny thing really.

    • Duvstar

      Terrifying. The thought of watching DHP or Hodge try and defend the outside against the likes of North/Ioane/Nkosi/May/Stockdale gives me shivers

      • Mart

        Be interesting to see a list of Australian wingers running around at the moment, left out.
        What ever happened to Cam Crawford? he was a very underrated player in my opinion

      • Mart

        Or Semi Radradra or Tuisova?!?

  • Huw Tindall

    In what was a damned if they do, damned if they don’t game, the Wallabies pretty much got out all we could expect. Game time for squad members outside the XV/XXIII and a look at the back up guys not flying to Japan like Banks and Wright and Phipps. No injuries. Confirmed what we knew about all the players e.g. CLL > Foley, AAC still has it, Toomua capable, DHP a deceptively strong runner with a good boot, and so on.

    Sure we could have gone the AB route and played essentially a first string side and put 10 tries on them but what would that get us really? NZ squad has depth for days and been running through the players quite well. We haven’t had the same luxury so needed to put the B Team in.

  • joy

    My stats show Ashley-Cooper missed 3 of his 5 tackles.
    James O’Conner has a proven record as a quality winger and is a world class goalkicker. Untested Petaia is no slouch.

    • Tim

      He is so bad. Watch him he never stops the player before the advantage line. He was dropped to the bench for a reason at the tahs… and normally he was hooked early.

      • joy

        Good in his hay day. Great defender and difficult to stop near the line.

Wallabies

Aspiring sports journalism with a passion for all things rugby. Currently studying journalism at the University of Wollongong.

More in Wallabies