Rebels finals dream shattered - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Rebels finals dream shattered

Rebels finals dream shattered

The home loss against the Waratahs is a crucial blow for the Melbourne team.

The Rebels were forced to win their second last home game of the season, in order to keep their hopes alive.  In a gritty encounter, they weren’t able to overcome a determinate Waratahs outfit.

The Waratahs can now hope for a playoff spot, that after the home loss versus the Jaguares last week, seemed impossible.

The Game

Both teams tested each other with high balls in the wet of AAMI Park, although when the Waratahs used their kicks to gain meters, the Rebels lacked in precision, and most of the time just handed back possession.

It was the Waratahs who scored the first points. After just 6 minutes the visitors use their set piece in the best way possible, moving the ball quickly out of the scrum on the left hand side. A quick Beale pass finds Haylett-Petty off guard and Rona, Foley and finally, Ashley Cooper combined for the try.

The Rebels quickly got 3 points back thanks to a Cooper penalty, dead set in front of the sticks.

The Tahs converted a penalty of their own after having enjoyed some possession in the Rebels 22. They were unable to find space through the defensive line, but a penalty from Adam Coleman gave Foley an easy kick for 10-3.

With the penalties’ count increasing against the Rebels, the Waratahs made more metres in the home side’s half. They forced the Rebels into another penalty and made another easy three points.

With the Rebels resembling a boxer on the ropes after only 25 minutes of play, the Tahs had another scoring chance when Cooper was caught by Ashley-Cooper over his try line. The resulting scrum gave another attacking possibility to the visitors, but Maddocks stopped AAC in a desperate tackle inches from the chalk.

The defensive effort encouraged the home team and Koroibete was close to scoring when Rona stopped him in front of the try line with a no arms tackle. The Waratahs should have been punished more harshly than with a simple penalty, given the no arms tackle stopped a certain try.

The Rebels kept on pushing but were denied twice by the TMO, who could not find a clear grounding in the first instance, and saw a knock forward in the second occasion and weren’t able to put any other points on the scoreboard.

First half score: Rebels 3 – Waratahs 13

Second Half

The Rebels came back from the sheds with some sense of urgency. After a number of useless kicks from both teams that attracted the boos from the normally patient Rebels supporters, the home team finally got the ball moving by hand.

Koroibete ran over a tackler and offloaded to Haylett-Petty who ran a couple of metres before passing to Cooper for the try. The flyhalf converted his own try to reduce the gap to only 3 points.

At the first opportunity, the Waratahs scored their second try thanks to Rona who caught a ball from Ashley-Cooper rolling between the legs of two Rebels players.

The spectators and the Wallabies held their breath at the 15th minute when Foley came second best in an aerial contest with Cottrell. Fortunately, the player didn’t suffer any serious injury, and was able to continue. Referee Williams and his assistant Peyper decided that the Rebels back rower was genuinely going for the ball and adjudicated a scrum to the Tahs.

The Rebels were able to score again, this time Genia got the try after a fine Koroibete pass, unfortunately for them Cooper wasn’t able to convert the try making it a 5 point game.

The Rebels were desperate for another score and pushed hard into Waratahs territory even after the final hooter, but the visitors’ defensive line held firm in the last minutes of the game to ensure a victory that will most likely end any dream of a finals berth.

Final Score: Melbourne Rebels 15 – NSW Waratahs 20

The Game Changer

The missed penalty try and yellow card against the Waratahs in the 26th minute deprived the Rebels of 7 crucial points in their effort to come back.


Captain Hooper was crucial in his defensive effort in the second half when the Rebels threw the proverbial kitchen sink at them.

Wallaby Watch

Reece Hodge showed his toughness, when after he dislocated a finger, got the physic to put it back in place from the sideline during play and gots back to tackle Foley. Marika Koroibete performed strongly on the wing, Beale had another fine game at fullback, although the uncapped player that impressed the most was again Billy Meakes that revitalised the Rebels in the second half when he came in for Matt Toomua.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Melbourne Rebels 15 (3):

Try: Cooper, Genia
Conv.: Cooper 1/2
Pen.: Cooper 1/1

Waratahs 20 (13):
Try: Ashley-Cooper, Rona
Conv.: Foley 2/2
Pen.: Foley 2/2

Cards & citings




  • Huw Tindall

    Thanks for the match report 22Metri! Always appreciated.

    Rambling will commence in 3, 2, 1….

    Bit of a scrappy game but it was a night made for tactical kicking with the water logged pitch. Pity both sides were pretty sh!t at the kicking game. Tahs came out in front just on that front IMO. Beale a couple of fine touch finders but plenty of rubbish down the throat of the opposition back 3. A Kiwi team would have punished with counter attack.

    Still, will always take a win from my mighty Tahs! I don’t think I’ve been relaxed watching the Tahs since 2014. It’s always a close struggle. Maybe the Highlanders game with the fly kick red card I could relax in.

    Tonight didn’t really answer any questions of Cooper v Foley for Wallabies 10. Both offer different things. Really depends what the selectors want in the test team and the players around them. Will leave that debate for another day.

    I thought the Rebels favoured second row of Coleman and Phillip failed to really enforce themselves on the game. Hanigan got HIA’ed early on so Jed Holloway replaced him to play out the match with Simmons. Personally I think Simmons is going OK. Knocked on once in a big tackle but his set piece is quality and he gets through a mountain of defence and is a legit 80 minute player. A very unpopular player with the fans but you could do a lot worse. Still, Arnold and Rodda first picked. If Skelton comes back there could be no place for Simmons or Coleman!

    Toomua went off with a calf injury so hopefully he’s OK. Was pretty quiet though other than one crunching tackle. Expected more. Similar from Hodge. Nothing wrong tonight but nothing special either. Versatility and his boot will see him into the RWC squad.

    In the backrow Dicky Hardwick played well. Arguably the next best on baller in Aus rugby after Poey right now. Not going to compare him to Hooper as they have different games but for the traditional ruck money role he is pretty good right now.

    Tahs front row reliable once again. Fitzpatrick has got to be the most underrated 2 in the conference. Kepu playing serious minutes in his Australian swansong year is impressive too. Hopefully he is right come RWC time. Scrum Doctor Robertson is getting back into form too. Very mobile and good post contact metres. With HJH on the bench there is a semblance of depth too. He is a true modern style prop and is a legitimate threat over the ball. Future looks good for that lad.

    Perhaps the standouts in the match then were Marika and Rona. They are the form wingers right now. Marika finally looks like a rugby player. Bit of game awareness and doesn’t just run into blokes. Now just needs to learn how to kick. Rona is deceptively fast and a big unit. Feel we are losing him overseas just as he is showing promise.

    Looking ahead I think the Brums will need to be on form to get the points against the Tahs. If there is one thing you can say about the 2019 Tahs it’s that they don’t know how to stop trying. Brums have the pack and game to win though so I expect they’ll do it by <8.

    For the Rebels it's all falling apart. Crusaders away and then Chiefs at home won't be easy. Assume they lose away they should be a good chance of beating the Chiefs who have been pretty average this year and more so since D Mac was injured. Still, it's a Kiwi team and won't be easy. Say 5 points from their last 2 matches will put them on 39 which may not be good enough to get a top 8 this year. Has the gloss come off Wessells a bit now? He's got the best roster in the Aussie conference but just can't make it click.

    • IIPA

      Picking up what you’re putting down Huw.

      Rona and MK are the two form wingers right now although I would still consider Hodge or Banks in one spot for better Wallabies balance.

      If I had a dollar for every shit DHP, Genia ( especially Genia), Maddocks or Cooper kick I’d be buying a new suit today.

      I thought Foley fairly comfortably outplayed Cooper although he was far from terrible and it’s only one match.

      Philip for me was good as was Hardwick. But Swinton is really impressing he lined up and whacked Isi every time he caught the re-start and also Wells does a lot of good un-noticed stuff.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I don’t think there’s much evidence to suggest Rona and MK are playing better than Speight and Banks.

        MK has some great individual involvements but still makes poor rookie errors (like carrying the ball in the wrong hand) and is defensively weak.

        Rona isn’t that fast or strong defensively, isn’t great at the ruck.

        Can see the argument for a Hodge in there (although he isn’t the line breaker i’d want). But Banks and Speight have been performing the best in the second half of the season.

        • Pedro

          I disagree that Rona isn’t good defensively. He can play thirteen which is the hardest spot defensively and had a great, if illegal, try saver in this game.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He was dropped for a grandpa because of how poor his defence at 13 was. Don’t deny he’s an adequate defender at wing, but not world class or anything. Not AAC at wing as per the last World Cup.

        • Pedro

          He was never dropped, just moved to the wing after the tahs acquired khunt and aac in the off season.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Actually, he was dropped to the wing plenty.

          Think about that, he was dropped for a 35 year old AAC who did nothing all year until finishing that try last night.

          Doesn’t sound like the sort of player the Wallabies need.

          Rather like the Maddocks and Gordon hype, the Wallabies will regret it if they pick him. He’s a good super player, but he will get found out again at international level.

        • Pedro

          Mate, he’s good defensively and he was never dropped for his poor defense, just moved to his natural position on the wing following the acquisition of two international centres.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Neither Beale nor AAC are international quality centres…

          And he actually fell behind Newsome and Clark for a while there.

          Didn’t say he was bad defensively. Bit you wouldn’t pick him for his defence. He’s no Hodge there.

        • Pedro

          You said he wasn’t strong defensively, I disagree. I’d say it was one of his strengths.

        • Pedro

          Funnily enough Rona has a higher tackle percentage than both aac and khunt. It’s weird then that the tahs management (apparently) dropped him for his poor defense. It seems more likely that they’re just playing people in their natural positions.

        • Mica

          Considering how well Newsome and Clark have played this year, if what you say is the case, it’s not because he was poor is it?

        • Huw Tindall

          Rona made a heap of ground for the Owen Farrell impersonation on MK. Came off the other wing and tracked back. He is no slouch.

        • Who?

          The effort to get their was special, truly laudable. But absolutely wasted, and not punished as harshly as the laws demand. If you’re going to run that far to make an illegal tackle, you may as well not bother running there. And the punishment should emphasize that. No illegal tackle (meaning, no tackle at all), and there’s no doubt that Koroibete scores that try.

        • Mica

          Just a throwback to his instincts from league I would say rather than setting out to make an illegal tackle. Not defending, just saying I don’t think it was “deliberately or intentionally” illegal

    • Who?

      Simmons to Kepu to Beale for the break. There’s only one other team in the Australian conference with forwards who could do that (I’m thinking Arnold to Slipper to Banks). The Rebels’ hands are not good enough, and that’s where Wessels needs to work. We all said it earlier in the season, too.
      Wessels has proven that he’s got some blind spots. His issues are around game plan, especially in the forwards, relying on size and strength rather than adding guile (which is where Gibson’s forwards shine).
      Miller made a good turnover on the ball late in the game. He might’ve been supporting his weight on his head, but Williams thought it was ok… The way all refs run turnovers these days drives me nuts – I can’t remember the last time we saw a turnover where there wasn’t already a ruck formed and the jackal was genuinely supporting his weight. Williams also looked to allow AAC to jackal after being the tackler and not entering through the gate (he jumped straight to his feet and went for the ball stepping over the player, rather than going back past the player – would’ve been perfect in the pre-2016 laws – only blown up because of an earlier infringement). It’s as though the 2016 law changes – which were completely unnecessary and wrong – made it impossible to turn over the ball, so now there’s extra leeway given to defensive teams to make turnovers that are completely illegal. The same happened in the Blues/Bulls game preceding last night.

  • Happyman

    With the Rebels being my second team I am probably a little more balanced than if it were my Reds so here goes.
    Seasons that fail to live up to expectations often come back to certain moments. I can say with some certainty that the Rebels season was unduly affected by the man in the middle this year.
    I am sure the Rebels were not happy to see the main protagonist for them being the guys from the lions game as an AR on the weekend.
    They got stitched up in the Lions game and in this one.
    Last night the turning point was the reversed knock on giving the Tahs the scrum feed when in the same phase the Tahs also knocked on at the line out.
    The Rona no arms tackle was easy a yellow.. but pen try might have been a stretch.

    Special mention to Tahs fanboy Rod Kafer. Fox obviously need a new Phil Kearny and given his recent departure from the ARU he needs to fill that role.

    The worst part is some will now push for multiple Tahs in the Wallabies who have proven time and time again to not be up to it.

    • Peter Morse

      Plenty of Rebs also proved they are not up to it and that is a tragedy because we were looking for them to fill so many places previously occupied by Tah players……….and I’m a Tah fan.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Genia is the big concern. He was and has been atrocious recently.

        To be honest, it didn’t change many of my opinions. I still think Jones should be 6, but he would do better with an 8 who attacks more rucks, so McCaffrey is 8.

        Maddocks not up to it on the wing, doesn’t really have any of the qualities a wing requires – he isn’t: super fast, super strong though contact, elusive or a strong defender. Also doesn’t know when to pass, offload or take the tackle there. Not his fault aa he will be a good Wallaby, but he ain’t a winger.

        Koroibete played very well but still makes dumb error (carrying the ball in the wrong hand so Rona could pull off that no arms try saving tackle).

        Hodge was invisible, not sure if that was his fault.

        So we’re left in a situation where the Rebels supply DHP, Jones and Genia and Quade (although maybe White and Lilo start).

        The Rebels have no performed against non-Brumby, Red and Sunwolve sides over the last 2 years. Combined win rate of something like 2/17 I read.

        I like Wessels, but he needs to play off 10 more. 2019 Genia isn’t Fourie du Preez. Too often the Rebels’ attack becomes one off forward runners. Why do this when you have Quade and Toomua at 10 and 12?

        • IIPA

          Philip and Naisarani were good. Philip had a big second half and totally outshone Coleman as he has for 2yrs.

          Jones alas has been pretty underwhelming the last six weeks. Genia was horrible alas.

          Maddocks pass out wide was a beauty and easily his best involvement of the night. Maybe 10 is where his future lies.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I didn’t actually see Naisarani do much, but that could have just been me missing things.

          I too think he’s a 10 in the future. Needs game time there though.

        • Peter Morse

          Genia’s game is very easy to fix. Get rid of the man bun.

    • Geoffro

      Dont know about getting stitched up,the Rebs got away with Genia’s try from a fairly obvious forward pop pass right in front of the touchie.Given some press this week over no arm tackles surprised was only a penalty – was fairly blatant and a try stopper.No one really shone in the selection stakes to my mind,Beale and DHP both committing the same defensive errors in the similar tries to each side was poor but Izzy would have done the same probably.Foley v Cooper….meh and the status quo probably remains amongst the rest.Good on the Tahs for scrapping away to get the win as the Rebs disappointed yet again.

      • Who?

        Agree – not a great night for selection, especially in the backs. That was a game won and lost in the forwards. The Tahs forwards aimed up, they didn’t let the Rebels have an easy metre, and the Rebels forwards dropped far too much ball. The backs for both sides didn’t really have that much of an opportunity to shine.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Tahs 92% tackle rate
          Rebels 75%


      Yep not only did they go back and reward the Tahs from a missed Rebels knock…. they ignored the clear Tahs knock on 10secs before despite it being in the highlights reel! Worst thing is Tahs score of the next play! 100%Robbed!
      Then apply a penalty try to the Rona tackle and the Rebels win comfortably without the Refs intervention!
      A couple of disallowed tries aswell that really could have blown the score out!

      • IIPA

        If my Aunty has bollocks she’d be?

        Cmon you can’t re-write history nor can you take individual moments from a match add them and subtract them and arrive at a different result. But if you want to play that game: no try forward pass for MKs offload to Genia and if Rona would have been yellow carded 12months ago under interpretation then Cottrell would have alas got a Red after Foley landed on his head.

        Rebels lost because no one in the backline apart from MK was prepared to run the ball and their forward pack gave away a procession of penalties and handling errors

        • Who?

          I don’t think the non-PT for Rona is a change of interpretation, it’s a lack of competence. Remember, their initial call was scrum, knock on Rebels. How ANYONE could miss Rona’s tackle as a shoulder charge is beyond me.
          It wasn’t the only potential PT that was missed – Cooper tackled Wells (I think?) without the ball in that little run from the Phipps knock on/Beale pass into the head. Also, when Hanigan copped an elbow from Kepu tackling Maddocks, it was a high tackle on Maddocks (not called), and then Cooper was tackled whilst on the ground by Hooper (he’d gone to ground to collect the ball, was looking to regain his feet but hadn’t yet managed to get his knee off the ground, and Hooper made the tackle rather than looking to steal the ball), who dragged him into the in goal (scrum Tahs, should’ve been penalty Rebels).
          Williams made the right call on Cottrell (whilst Sydney boy Leckie was pushing for the card), but that doesn’t mean he, Jaco and Seconds had a good night.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          The difference is your examples were incidents missed in live play. Not stopped replays subsequently ignored or missed by the TMO! Big difference

        • Who?

          I don’t think there’s an excuse for missing a high shot on a kick return, or tackling a player on the ground on a kick chase. These are incidents that happen in space, with time to find the play.
          And the Cooper tackle was also on the TMO, they just didn’t bother noting it.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yep fair enough but I’ll certainly take far more points from the refs missing stuff during a TMO ruling! Refs should be heavily criticised when stuffing up TMO interrupted rulings that have a direct impact on games/scorelines! Unfortunately they are a protected species…..

        • IIPA

          Likewise TMO had ample opp to review MK final pop pass to Genia but didn’t. Genia was clearly passed Koreibete when he received the pop pass. So don’t let the TMO off the hook on that one.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Exactly…… Reff made a call live which right or wrong is far better to stomach then if he’d gone to the TMO and it was ruled NOT forwrd when too us it looks forward!
          Don’t forget tho that just because you appear past a player doesn’t make it forward either… a combination of the passer reaching forward and the catcher reaching backward can trick a Reff!

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Mate its all hypothetical! Or are you saying Rona’s shoulder charge shouldn’t have been a PT and that TMO review that only picked up 1 of the 2 obvious knocks is OK adjudicating!
          I got no problem letting refs off the hook if they’re making calls on the heat of the moment and even miss things. A TMO NEVER gets that excuse!
          And that high ball collision was handled pretty well by the Reff I thought! Allowed a very important mitigating point effect the ruling! Good call.

  • Custard Taht

    Unless Wessels can pull a Rabbit out of the hat and dispatch the Crusaders and the Chiefs, their season is done, 1 more win won’t get it done.

    If Wessels is/has been looking for an o/s job, the Rebs should let him walk. If not, they should thank him for his service and tell him to hit the road.

    The Rebs have vastly under performed, the talent is there, but to me, the Rebs failures are mostly coaching issues. I don’t think next season would be any different under Wessels.

    The waratah win has probably just cemented a more of the same from the wallabies.

    • Hoss

      Morning CT,

      The Rebs were largely underwhelming, their forwards were flat, their backs likewise. Best game I’ve seen by Can’t-get-right in the XV code and lucky they had him otherwise they looked toothless in attack.

      The Tah’s put in an honest effort and man for man finished over likely Wallaby competitors. Gilbert outplayed Sauce, Spanners v Sunshine Band, Simmons v Coleman & Phillips. Even Two-Dads outplayed the Rebs Centres and Phipps schooled Sanchez as well.

      On the plus side, I thought Naisarani was good and does a lot of the hard yakka and he should be in gold squad for RWC. Koroibete is maybe in the conversation. Robertson for the Tah’s could be on the plane as well, he doesn’t do much wrong and his work around the park is exceptional. Kepu was very good.

      As a Tah’s fan I a small part of me is satisfied, but as a gold fan first the game left me flat.

      As for Wessels, I wonder if he knows just how he wants the team to play? They seem muddled and confused and have regressed a fair but since season start – just like 2018.

      • Custard Taht

        Yep, the Rebs were off the pace, which is a little alarming, considering what was on the line.

        It is strange that the rebs looked confused, considering Cooper is an excellent communicator and organizer. They have definitely regressed.

        Perhaps Wessles is being too rigid and structured, when dare I say it, he should borrow a little of the Robbie Deans philosophy and play what is in front of them.

        From a wallaby stand point, there is no point picking Cooper at 10 with Cheika as the head and attack coach.

        Cooper is at his best when he is given the game strategy and then given free reign for the tactical employemt on field.

        That is not the Cheika way and I feel it might not be the Wessels way. Cheika should go with Lilo at 10, but it will be Foley.

      • Who?

        Hoss, can you imagine how we’d all be feeling about Koroibete after that game, if he’d not played two seasons in Gold already? We’d be stoked about the prospects of this guy who’s working out how to play the game…
        Don’t think the backs had much impact – for either side – last night. That win was credited to the Tahs forwards, and a loss for the Rebels’ forwards – their predictability and their poor handling. Compare that with Simmons and Kepu when they put Beale into space… Just beautiful work shifting the point of attack.

    • Crescent

      It was an uncomfortable game for me to watch. Like Hoss, my inner Wallabies fan needed the Rebs to get up, but being a Tahs fan, it felt weird to want them to lose. Maybe I should want them to lose more because they finally decided to turn up and play for a win – of course, still too late for their season. Hello Daryl – when are you going to rest your players?

      Rebs were nearly there all night, just could not get ascendancy when it counted. Forwards were so intermittent, gave the fairies very little platform to work off. Koroibete played best I have seen, but still lacking some basic rugby skills – change arms for the carry and give yourself a chance to hand off the last defender and get your body height down to go for the line!

      Questions need to be asked of Wessels capability or coaching staff – talent to burn, and he has turned it to ash. Questions also need to be asked of Gibson – too many years for too little progress with his roster as well.

      On the plus side – game went the full distance as a contest, and wasn’t a dour affair. Get that on FTA/free streaming and radio and we might see more warm bodies making the effort to get to the game (oh we can dream!)

  • paul

    Look on the bright side, at least it saved the rebels $70,000 ;-)

  • Brumby Runner

    Tahs were hungrier right from the get go last night, and despite some woeful refereeing mostly in their favour, deserved the win.

    The Rebels’ game plan was diabolical; just kick the ball away on first phase with little direction or intent. Many comments about Toomua, Hodge etc not being involved – that happens when the No 9 or the No 10 continually kick the ball to the opposition. I can’t say I am ever disappointed when a game plan based on that much directionless kicking fails.

    Not many players enhanced their selection prospects for the Wallabies. Rona was again strong for the Tahs and must be close. Kepu and Robertson will battle out the fifth prop spot. Foketai looks to be a find but won’t be Wallaby material this year. For the Rebels, Koroibete and Naisarani were best and didn’t harm their chances. Philip had the best impact of the locks but gave away too many silly penalties or turnovers through his too aggressive, undisciplined, actions. Genia was very ordinary and should have harmed his position as the starting No 9.

    • Custard Taht

      I would not be at all surprised to see cheika roll out 9. Phipps 10. Foley 12. Beale 13. Kerevi.

      • Singapore Sling

        Genia was poor and his recent decision making trajectory has been down. He should have been hooked at 50min or earlier.

        The big problem with the Tahs winning this game lies in the back line you’ve named. The only way we can take hope into the RWC is to purge the previous year’s circus. This is becoming very unlikely now.

      • Brumby Runner

        Nightmare stuff.

        • Custard Taht

          Yep…I honestly don’t think last night didn’t do anything other than reinforce cheikas opinion, and I doubt the Tah/Brumbies game will have any effect.
          It is hard to argue Genia should be wallabies 9 and Toomua should be in the 23.

          I think whether Beale is 12 or 15 is probably still up in the air.

        • Brumby Runner

          I also doubt that next week’s game will have a big bearing on Wallabies’ backline selections. Even if the Brumbies can put the Tahs asway, as they should, it is not likely that players like Simone or Speight or Pulu or Banks will enhance their chances from where they are now. Simone is still too green, Speight seems to be out of consideration, Banks doesn’t seem to caught Cheika’s interest and Pulu is probably already in the mix.

          Hopefully, the battle in the forwards will see Arnold overtake Simmons and Pete Samu strengthen his claims to a spot.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Still, we can have quite a good side under Rennie if we Kerevi.

      • Timbo

        If Folau was in the picture, that line up is exactly what we’d see. Without Folau, I’d say


        Then 6/2 split on the bench with To’omua and the reserve Hb. Probs Gordon.

        If he was brave enough, he’d have 2 9/10 combos with Phipps and Foley and Genia and Cooper and then run the centres through because both Kerevi and TK are more than capable of running off both Cooper and Foley.

        But this is Cheika.

      • Ben Fox

        I see White is coming back

        • Hoss

          Is there more on that somewhere mate ?

      • Mart

        don’t joke

  • Willie really needs to get that “Im a scrum half, just watch me box kick” out of his game.

    • IIPA

      So does Gordon alas

      • Make that most halves Ive ever seen.
        Any kick to no advantage should be followed up by a jolly good slappping with a wet referee.
        I can think of several of them too.

    • Who?

      Given Ruru also did it at 78 minutes, I’m pretty confident that it’s coached by Wessels.

  • Tim

    Rebels played really bad. The depressing thing about that is the Waratahs didn’t put them away. Every-time the rebels got the ball they made easy metres but then would knock the ball on. The tahs did deserve the win but should have won by a mile.


    Seeing alot of discussion on the kicking in this game….. it was wet so it’s a viable tactic!
    This game was 100% the Rebels with the Reffs rub of the green quite heavily in the Tahs favour, combined equally with the amount of basic errors by the Rebels forwards… It’s truly a shame that once again people are forgetting 1 game does not make up for a season of dribble! That Tahs backline has NOT earned any Wallaby rights from that game! Apart from Rona’s good game(still bettered by Korrobete) the rest of the Tahs backline was just in the winning side!
    (last week Beale was being thrown to the slaughter… now this week he’s a Wallaby shoe in)hmmmm

    • Who?

      The difference in that game wasn’t the 10’s, that’s for sure. It was the Tahs’ forwards. They didn’t drop the ball constantly. They even created opportunities – Simmons to Kepu to Beale for the break after the Phipps’ knock on, before Cooper tackled Wells (I think?) without the ball (Rona’s shoulder should’ve been a PT, and that one could also easily have been a PT), before Williams ruled that Beale’s pass back into the face of the Rebels tackler was ultimately a knock on. Can’t imagine the Rebels forwards passing like that at the gain line, given they consistently drop the ball in space.
      This has been a major issue for the Rebels all year. There’s two clear issues they’ve had. And they’re both predominantly in the forwards. Firstly, their hands. They drop FAR too much pill. Secondly… They’re expected to graft hard through the middle and dominate the contact. The forwards run hard, and aren’t shy, but their play can be too flat (many games), a little too deep (last night, at times), and generally without guile (which means they’re only asking the defenders to tackle, and whilst that’s not fun, it’s way easier to make a tackle when you know where the runner is and where they’re going). Fix those issues, and the Rebels are a much more dangerous team. Leave them in place, and the performance from this year is their ceiling.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Agreed…. and think of the Bombed tries this year so far aswell, particularly the first half of the season!

      • Hoss

        The piggies hands for the Tah’s are actually very good, their little interchanges age quite skilful.

    • Kicking is indeed a viable tactic GTQR.
      Still cant see on % how box kicking in your own half, when all back defenders are in place is tactical.
      Its simply a turnover, based on a vain hope.
      Part from that, in full agreement

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Agreed….. Box kicking is very situational and there was a couple of bad examples in this gane

  • Nutta

    Someone grab that Scum replacement 9 and make him watch that idiotic box kick with 2min to go x10,000 times with a Flavor Flav style clock jammed in his face and see if he gets the point about NOT GIVING AWAY THE FKN BALL WHEN WE ARE OUT OF TIME AND IT’S TIME TO RUN IT.

    Wow. Just wow. In a game of stupidities and waste that was the dead-set, absolute, knock-‘em-down, highlight.

    I also love the way the commentary team gave it to Sauce for getting sucked-in off his man leaving space for a break but when Beale did EXACTLY the same thing it was “a brave attempt to support his team-mate…”

    • Who?

      You’re not suggesting that Fox employees are biased towards the Tahs, are you Nutta?! Surely not… :-P
      The consistency of kicking away possession in their own half shows that Ruru’s box kick at 78 minutes was coached. Rigidly coached.
      Beyond that, they stood a better chance of regaining possession upfield (which they did) against the Tahs than scoring a long range try. They’d not threatened from outside the 22 all night, apart from the Koroibete run/Rona shoulder charge.

      • Nutta

        I well believe it was coached. Completely agree. But the Nuremberg Defence is no chop in my opinion.

        • Who?

          Problem is, last year, we heard an awful lot about how Quade was a horrible player because he didn’t follow the game plan, and that was one of a few justifications for Thorn wasting his talent on the sideline. So it’s a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
          My reason for not being grumpy is that the Rebels had turned over so much ball and not looked like scoring from long range (apart from Koroibete’s big run before Rona’s shoulder charge), so there wasn’t value in hanging around back there. I figured by the time they had that ball from the lineout, they’d already lost.

        • Nutta

          That’s a fair point about already having committed enough atrocities to have considered the game lost.

          But I don’t buy comparing a guy who wilfully did pretty much whatever the hell he wanted from the kickoff to a moment of mature clarity realising with (say) 20min to go and the plan is not working that it’s time to do something different.


    Just checked some stats
    Rebels gave away TWENTY TWO turnovers…. nearly all by forwards!
    They also had 60% posession and Ran a whopping 500+metres….200more than the Tahs!
    Tahs had a crazy 92% tackle rate too….

    • Who?

      Says it all….

    • Hoss

      Tah’s defence has been actually very good under Tandy, their attack is pedestrian, even before the loss of Voldemort.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Yeah not quite the “Blue Wall” touted early season but they’re not the worst in the conference, sitting at 3rd in points for an against……45 behind the Rebels!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Afternoon GAGR’s. Well wasnt that dissapointing.
    – The Rebels threw that gave away last night with poor skills and poor discipline. Yes it was wet, got that. But dropping the ball / knocning it on that many times is appalling.
    – The Tahs deffinitely got the benefit of the 50/50 calls.
    – I dont think Rona’s tackle in the corner was a PT, maybe, but it was a yellow card everday of the week. we have seen people binned for less.
    – The Tahs forwards and defence won that game for them. As the Tah’s backs werent really that much better than the Rebs.
    – Couple of those scrum penalties were a lucky dip.
    – Genia didnt have the best of games.
    Whats dissapoints me is taht this was the Rebs game to take the bull by the horns and they didnt. And as usual another Aus teams helps in blowing the chances of another. BUt the Rebs didnt deserve that.

    • John Miller

      I agree that dropped ball was the Rebs biggest issue yesterday BL.

      But if the Rona tackle is a foul play penalty (and yellow), as he is the last line of defence stopping a certain Rebs try, it must also be a penalty try.

      The only other option is no penalty at all. And that clearly wasn’t the case (and wasn’t the call). Very, very poor decision from Williams. One of many unfortunately.

      • Brisneyland Local

        YEah I suppose there was Rona and no other player to the try line. So if YC, the must PT. Yep I stand corrected!
        Looks like we are all on the Brumbies band wagon now!

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Diego Ghirardi is a rugby fanatic from Italy, living in Melbourne. Played on the wing, now mainly couch flanker or sideline halfback. Enjoys writing in broken English, which should be read in a Franco Cozzo accent to render it more original. In case you understand Italian, you can read his banters on or better not

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