Preview - Wallabies v. Wales The Last Stand! - Green and Gold Rugby
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Preview: Wallabies v. Wales – The Last Stand!

Preview: Wallabies v. Wales – The Last Stand!

This is not how it was supposed to be. They are the Six Nations champions. Only two positions below us on the official World Rankings, well prepared and at practically full strength. We only had a few days together. Had been beaten by the Scots who at the time were a full 10 places below us in the rankings. We were missing a host of our first choice players and many of the players in the squad were out of form. The Welsh were too big, too hard, too awesome — but we won the first Test anyway.

So they went away and rejigged things. Yes, they had underestimated Genia. Yes, the defence wasn’t quite right. The lay-off was probably too long. The ruck is not reffed as they are used to and they needed clarification. And then we won the second Test. By a whisker, but a win is a win.

So where are the two teams now? What is their thinking coming into this last Test? What is motivating each team to go out there one more time and give it everything they’ve got?

Wales have had their egos severely dented. They wouldn’t have been expecting to be coming into this last match down 0–2. Gatland, Howley and co. will have spent the week in repair mode, building their team up for one more tilt at the southern hemisphere win they’ve been chasing for more than a generation.

And what about the Australians? We have a history of losing dead rubber Tests. We’ve been doing it for years and years… and years. How do you motivate a team who have already won a series against, lets face it, a fairly likeable foe? Many will say that they, as professional sportsmen, shouldn’t need motivating. I don’t subscribe to that notion. No matter how good any of us are at our chosen job we all need a little motivation sometimes.

So what will the Aussie coaches be whispering in our players’ ears this week? Will they be telling them about the rich history they are now a part of? Will they urge players to give just a little more to lock in that chance of glory? What ever they’re saying, I hope it works. The Welsh side will know as well as we do that we lose third Tests! Now is the time for our side to take a step forward and close out this Test series 3-0.

The Welsh have kept the same side as last match. Showing faith in the players from last week is not that big a call. They were pretty good on the pitch. Robbie Deans and company have decided to fiddle. Mike Harris and Cooper Vuna drop out of the 22 completely. Sitaleki Timani comes from outside the squad to take Rob Simmons’s loosehead lock spot. Timani is taller and heavier but it’s hard to see a good reason for the swap, except perhaps an opportunity to see what he’s got. Kurtley Beale also comes in from outside last week’s playing squad. Beale slots straight into fullback on his return from injury and this forces Adam Ashley-Cooper out onto the wing. Robbie Deans has picked a 5:2 split on the bench which, to me, means Kurtley must be 100 per cent fit and capable of playing a full game.

The Teams

 

The Details

3:30 pm, 23 June 2012, Sydney Football Stadium

Referee: Craig Joubert

Assistant Referees: Jaco Peyper, Jonathon White

Video Ref: Vinny Munro

The Game Breaker

All the talk this week has been around Kurtley Beale. But there is one guy building throughout this Test series, quietly going about his work and gain match practice. Wycliff Palu is set to light the afterburners. Watch him as he create havoc on the fringes. The 120-kilogram wrecking ball is back!

The Fearless Prediction

Well, not really that fearless. Australia will win this one. Here’s why:

  • Third Test syndrome. There is no way the Australian coaching staff is talking this Test down. They will have their side primed and ready to go.
  • History. No Welsh team has won here since… who knows when! These guys aren’t going to let them win now!
  • An afternoon Test match at the Football Stadium! Australians love an afternoon international and Sydneysiders love their Stadium. Put them together and the guys in red have no chance.

So there it is. Couldn’t be clearer. Could it?

Wallabies by 10.

 

 

  • JJJ

    I just hope the pasting Joubert took for his supposed laxity towards Pocock from the world media doesn’t affect how he refs this match.

    I’d like to see us complete the white wash, but I’m not at all confident. The kiwis have a hundred-plus year record to defend, the saffers have a new coach to impress and rabid, packed stadiums, we have… nothing springs to mind. Momentum? Not a bankable asset for this side. Pride in the jersey? Pfff

    At least there’s no rain on the forecast. Which sadly probably warrants a mention in any preview involving the wallabies.

    • I think Joubert is experienced enough to not over react to what said in the media JJJ.

      • Dally M

        He will at least keep the Welsh on side & from slowing the ball down, so the game should be a lot more open than last week.

        • rossco

          Agree Dally M, the Welsh line speed last week was pretty exceptional but there were any number of times when they got away with being offside at the breakdown

          I wouldn’t normally say that Beale would be the difference but all of a sudden the Welsh have to worry about 3 1/2 ball players in the backline. Genia, Barnes, Beale and AAC being the 1/2.

          The Wallabies just seem to always play better with a number of complete players in the backs. As a defender, when you know that a winger can’t kick or a centre can’t kick or pass , it just makes things so much easier.

    • Gumby

      I actually think the Wallabies have a lot to play for and I’m sure they know it.

      1. There are quite a few injuries at the moment and with the most important of tournaments approaching there are opportunities to be part of that.

      2. Some of the injured players will be returning to the group in coming weeks/months. The current players know they have to perform to stay in the squad as someone has to lose out.

      3. A number of pundits have suggested that the Wallabies and Wales are the teams who will be dominant in the years ahead. This is a great opportunity to plant the seeds of doubt and leave some permanent scarring in the Welsh psyche.

      4. None of them want to be the team that gave the Welsh the self belief to step up to the next level.

      Plenty of good reasons to continue their current dominance I would say.

      • RedMan

        and 5. Their country.

        That should be enough for anyone

  • Pedro

    If we can start well the wallabies will be tough to chase down. Giving away a try at the start of each half last week forced a more conservative game plan. Looking forward to seeing Beale going nuts in open play on a sunny afternoon.

    • Sully

      would be great to see Beale and Ioane carving up but do you think Beale could be under done?

      • Pedro

        Nah, he tested the shoulder out whilst both fatigued and dehydrated the other night.

      • Patrick

        Actually I don’t think Beale will be underdone, I think he had a couple niggles towards the end of the first half of the S15 season and he will have really benefited from the enforced break.

        I think he will be in cracking form, in fact, and although I feel dread in the pit of my stomach every time I think the Wallabies should win comfortably I think he will really rip the Welsh apart – as others have noted, their line-speed won’t help them against him and their kick-return defence has consistently looked one or two passes short of being shredded apart – passes he will normally provide.

        I would also look to him and Barnes to rotate a few times.

        Also AAC, for all that he can’t pass, is a great finisher and for my money our wingers are far stronger than theirs. Of course we have to pass to them though.

  • johnny-boy

    Wallabies by 20. All Blacks by 20. Springboks by 20. Welcome to the real world NH.

    • Ian

      Wallabies by 20, SA by 20, Ireland by 3.

  • RJ

    If we beat wales again, the wallabies are going to start believing they already own the Bledislow, turn up for game one and get blown away.

    I say go the welsh. It’s sad that I have to hope my team loses the unimportant games in order to win an important one, but this is the life of a wallabies supporter.

    • TahMan

      They are already talking today how they are going to bring it to the All Blacks.

    • Ian

      RJ, just hang around, some of us old boys know what the wallabies are capable of. Our second string team are holding it against one of the best teams in the world in wales… We have a lot to be optimistic about.

  • Robson

    I would like to think that the Wallabies will win by 20 and the All Blacks will lose by 20, but neither of those two things are going to happen.

    However, the team that wins this one will be the team that brings, at least, the same intensity and accuracy to their game as they did last week, because one team won’t. I will be very surprised if both teams bring equal amounts of intensity and accuracy to the match as they did last week. That’s not the way the swings and roundabouts go. And in this the losers are usually the fancied ones to up their game because they have far greater motivation to.

    So on that basis I would rate Wales as a good chance to come home with the bacon, except for one factor and that is the Beale factor. He may very well be the pinch hitter the Wallabies need tomorrow.

    If he is on form, the Wallabies by 8 and the rational of that is that Beale, along with Genia, and Ioane knows instinctively what to do to get across the chalk.

  • muffy

    Faaark…I hate dead rubbers, one team always fails to get up…I pray the Welsh are mentally on the plane of shame…

    Top two inches is where we need the most focus at the moment. That will bring much needed consistency…and that if they get up, it will be a very good thing for the RC..

    • Brax

      Fark, I hate the term “dead rubber” There is no such thing! They are playing for their country & personal pride… no one should ever need any more motivation than those two things when playing test rugby.

      • bill

        well you’d have to congratulate them both for effort if not execution, it was good to see a dead rubber played like a true test match though as mentioned.

        ….EvErY sperm/(test match) is SaCred….dadada!

  • Lee Enfield

    I am riding the Wallabies for a clean sweep. The Wallabies are fully aware any more losses will have the knives out. Reputations will mean nothing, if we maintain the staus quo of the last 4 years, the blood letting will begin.
    Deans knows he is out of losses and excuses, and is coaching for his future.
    There are players who are playing for their future, who by luck of injury and reputation have made the team.
    This game is really important for the Wallabies, I think they will be up for it, Wallabies by 12.

  • robbo

    Sully – what the coaches will be saying to them is “Fuck this up and your chances of starting against the ABs will be in the toilet”. That should be enough keep them focused.

    Just so long as we don’t give away too many penalties trying to show them who is boss at the breakdown, as seems to be part of the battle plan.

    • I hope they’re saying it in a professional way.

      • Fulltime

        And that professional way will be … come on Rabo

        • Fulltime

          Sorry, I meant Robbo

  • Stin

    And you’d assume there’ll be the odd Welshman in the BIL team. So, sending a WARNING that we’re steely and ready, would be another motivation…

  • Joe Mac

    We forget how young this Wallaby team actually is and I think that has been their problem with consistency in the last 4 years…

    I would like to see the Wallabies make it 3-0 to show that they are maturing as a group. If not, our tag of being the new French team is well-deserved…

  • Brax

    With Joubert in charge we will see an open, flowing game of rugby & the Taff’s just won’t be able to keep up again. Aussie by 15.

  • Jess

    I think Wales will take this last test if only because of how hard it is to beat a opponent of almost equal strength 3 times in a row.

    I could be wrong though if the Wallabies have discovered the old killer instinct

  • bill

    I guess motm is a bit incidental, Barnes did nothing wrong, but Pocock was motm for mine.

    Loved Deans half time summation to the tv.

    Higgers was a bit ineffective at times, body height in contact needs to improve, good work rate but needs to improve his accuracy, with his speed he could really profit from running tight lines off guys shoulders if taf is going to keep popping offloads in close. Dennis looked better suited when he came on, but i’d persist with Higgers. Palu actually improved during the game the longer he went, or maybe thats the longer the opposition went and got wore down trying to cope with the big bastard, he looked a bit less than he has been as a physical force over the years during the first 60.

    Slipper should come in for Benn Robinson if you looked at this test in isolation. Nice to see Alexander get one up.
    Beale, well, lots of time out recently, wonderful talent, but he does need the game time at his age, once he gets to 26/28 he’ll have the polish to cope with being thrown in to big games at short notice.

    overall a good tough game, if inaccurate at times.

  • bill

    And if we play like this against the Boks and Blacks we’ll have an…interesting time of things. Wales are a genuine side however, hopefully they’ll improve though. If Cuthbert’s reaction to the loss and their play during the game is any guide, they will.

  • Manto

    Yet another Rugby International Channel 9 refused to broadcast, let alone live. I’m sick of them. Its amazing Australian rugby does so well with the lacklustre support it gets from TV. Can you imagine any other country in the world not televising their own team live ! ? There’d be riots.

    • Brax

      I don’t know where you are mate but it was live here in Brisbane, my big gripe is the long ads after a penalty or try so we miss the first play off a re start. Terrible production!

  • campo

    where to brgin<<

  • campo

    we won.fine.deans needs to go .timani-not one throw to him all game, last week our lineout our strength,this week shite.general play one nice offload to KB,otherwise he was poo. a waste of space.lineout disrupted,he poo. higgumbun-anonymous,again,sadly,i had hopes for him. Benny r,best looosie in the world,apparently,got shafted.ben a came on,should never play for australia again, at least not in front row.horrrible.he could be great owen finnegan.

    backs- where do I start BB a better 12.note how much better he is w a bit of room. mccabe,no comment. horne,fuck brnes made break,he was,30 metres behind.2nd chance hogged and given try,whole world knows he dropped it.pass you cunt.he is poor.

    evident now you need X FACTOR. Backs when all fit: will, quade(so fucken important ,if you have watched and understood rugby in the last 3 games you should understand)berrick,AAC(BEST OUTSIDE CENTRE IN THE WORLD AT END OF 2010,WATCH THE GAMES FROM HONG KONG THROUGH PARIS)
    Then digby,jamrs,and drew,all equally brilliant but always one lame,KB FULLBACK.

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@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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