Report Card 12 - Grand Shame - Green and Gold Rugby

Report Card 12 – Grand Shame

Report Card 12 – Grand Shame

In this Report Card the boys pick over the bones of another lost grand slam with the 3 point loss to Ireland in Dublin.

Get along to to order some of the sweet craft beers the boys talk about.


  • Therealhodgie

    Can we talk the penalty count?

    It feels a bit “awks” when Michael Cheika headlines the presser with strongly implied issues with the penalty count BEFORE he congratulates Ireland. However, when the WBs survived the first 20 minutes with only 20-30% possession, it’s worth investigating why.

    Here’s an analysis that could have had Australia with two fewer penalty concessions and four more penalties earned in the first 20 minutes alone. Yep, that’s a reversal of fortunes equivalent to SIX PENALTIES WORTH of extra territory, possession, points, or some combination.

    1. Henry Speight was penalised for being offside as he exited a ruck near our right wing on defence and scurried back onside. He played no part in the game, no material effect. No penalty.

    2. Ireland made a break down their right wing, DHP made a tackle, was sitting, arms in the air, in an effort to stay out of the way. The ref played advantage to Ireland and after the next phase returned and awarded the penalty to Ireland. No material effect, No penalty should have been awarded.

    3. In that subsequent play, Pocock was all over the ball, on his feet and the Ireland player held on. Without the return to the previous advantage (above), penalty to Australia.

    4. Earlier, on our lineout throw on our right side, our player initially successfully taps the ball down towards our receiver, Moments (literally) later, the Ireland lock knocks the Australian player’s hand and distorts the flight of the ball. It bounces in front of the receiver (Moore) and back into the arms of the Ireland player. Australia loses possession on our own ball. An alternative interpretation is that the Ireland player, having lost the contest for the ball, should have been penalised for interfering with the WB jumper. Penalty to Australia.

    5. Scrum on our own line, WB scrum under pressure, Genia rescues the ball from the base of the scrum as it shifts backwards and passes to (either DHP or Foley, feel free to check). Ireland half back Murray reaches out for the ball and knocks it on. Sorry, knocks it DOWN. The ref awards a scrum to Australia. Why not a penalty for a deliberate knock on? Penalty to Australia.

    6. Ireland go right from a scrum in roughly the middle of the pitch, big blind side (or small open). Probably 3 on 3 and the Ireland centres play a somewhat intricate fake inside line and then break to the outside. Ireland make big metres. Reece Hodge was impeded in trying to take one of the Ireland players. Definitely impeded – could/should have been ruled obstruction. Penalty to Australia.

    Some/all of these are open to interpretation. But have a look for yourself! These were in the first critical 20 minutes when the Wallabies had no ball!

    Maybe Cheika had a point?

    • BF

      Hoopers poor defence cost us 14 points

      • Rebels3

        I just read 2 match day player ratings report cards (one from a kiwi perspective and one from the Irish) and they both gave Hooper 8+, the highest of all aus forwards. Get off the negative band wagon.

        • BF

          Sorry, what i was thinking.
          I won’t mention the missed tackle that lead to the 1st try.
          And I won’t mention him sprinting out of the defensive line and losing connections with his inside and outside defenders and Ireland scored in his channel.
          But hey, I’m off the negative band wagon just hopped on the reality train.

    • adastra32

      Decisions that go this way or that are always a bone of contention in the game: the key – as coaches always bang on about – is to tune in quickly to the ref’s interpretations. It would seem that Aus did not do this with enough speed.

      • Therealhodgie

        except that in each of the 6 examples I listed, not one of these is subject to player behaviour. (Watch the replays of these incidents if not already.) Each one is a ref decision / interpretation.

        I’m the last bloke to bag refs – I am one! Also support the idea that “things balance themselves out over time”, refs make errors etc. as well as your point about players adapting.

        In the case of this match, Australia were starved of the ball for the first 20 minutes. Partly due to wallaby errors, and to Ireland good play. The penalty count was 3-13. It needs understanding and above are 6 decisions by the ref and the ref alone tht could reasonably have gone the other way.

    • Wallabrumby

      I agree. Would generally not bag the Ref, but the Wallabies just could not get into the game that first 20 minutes and found the penalties were perplexing. That Speight call was a absolute Joke and there was another one where he penalised Pockock going for a pilfer ruck as a tackler not releasing, when he wasn’t even the tackler!

      But the fact that the Wallabies just didn’t react and reset themselves when getting possession was there own fault and the reason they lost in the end…test rugby = field position and Australia still has not worked that out.

    • Rebels3

      I think we have hit a new phenomenon in int rugby where Ireland now have the most intimidating crowd in rugby, surpassing a mantle that used to be owned by South Africa. They cheer and boo louder than anyone, influencing referees, meaning they get the home town rub of the green. Multiply this by the fact Australia (along with Argentina) are perceived to be the two most likely teams to infringe. Both for different reasons, Argentinas perceived thug nature and Australia perceived to be the breakdown nemesis, doing all it can to touch, slow down, steal the ball (no other team I world rugby puts as much emphasis on challenging the breakdown like we do, for right or wrong).

      These two factors ended up sculpting the game we saw. Factor a) irelands almost feral but clever crowds influence on the game, aka South Africa. B) reputation/perception what ever you want to call it.

    • Fatflanker

      Some great observations there Hodgie. I must say I initially thought the ref didn’t have as bad a game as was being made out however evidence to the contrary is starting to mount up. He wasn’t helped by his men on the sideline much to be fair.

      • Therealhodgie

        Yes Flanker (don’t really want to call you “Fat”.) I don’t like it all being about the ref – there was actually a really good rugby match played – some great aspects and some errors – and a conservative view is that we just take the ref’s decisions in our stride.

        Cheika’s point was that with 3-13 penalties it’s bloody difficult to win, regardless of errors, game breakers etc. So the question is, why was it 3-13? If “poor discipline” or similar then we don’t have a leg to stand on. In this case it seems things were stacked up against us with at least some of the decisions.

    • Red Army

      Garces always is more pedantic at the start of the match. DHP he didn’t roll away quickly but he was probably quicker to signal penalty because he was already playing advantage from moore and sio taking players dev toner etc out of the driving maul other side of the pitch.
      No advantage to ireland after pococks steal so penaltly given.
      Pocock wasn’t helped by the rest of his forwards, moore at least once if not not twice in first half was called for sealing and not rolling away, hence creating opportunities illegally for pocock to get over the ball. Penalty Ireland. Australia were v sloppy at the breakdown.
      Joe Schmidt has worked to make Ireland the best rucking team in 6n. During a training session, if a player commits a foul/penalty, they are sent to the side lines and sits out the rest of the session.
      Do i think the ref missed some Ireland penalties yes, but i also think he let Aus off with some too.

    • Ben

      Just rewatched the first 20 mins – missed it Saturday. For 1 & 2 – Speight and DHP are just kind of in the way a little bit. Maybe a fraction harsh but I can live with them. 5 Genia is passing to Speight and that is a deliberate KD.
      just one more – in the last ruck before the final Ireland try it looks like Genia maybe has his hands on the ball and gets cleaned out but the Ireland player must have been holding in.

      • Red Army

        Ireland had their own kd in the second half, maybe DHP, scrum given to Ireland. Garces was lenient, the ref in eng v arg gave yellow card penalty try to england, but different areas of the pitch.
        Thought Pocock was v unlucky not to great turnover on the 10m line in the second half at a critical time, might have swayed the match.
        Thought with ire backline jigged around, and an explosive start by aus, we were looking at a mauling, argentina 2.0!
        Looking forward to match and the eddie and michael show at the wkend,
        Best of luck to the wallabies, and hoping if you don’t win,ire will get the chance to ruin their possible 18 match winning streak in dublin – paddies wkend!! Lots of rugby to look forward to before all that though.

  • Jason

    I think if we are going to continue to pick Dean Mumm, we need to have a more tactical kinking game otherwise he’s wasted.

    • mutley

      I think the kink must be in the photos he has of Cheika

  • ozrugbynut

    Penalty count aside, its the cumulative effect of all the unforced errors plus the penalties that made us have to work extremely hard to get back into the game. Poor execution, poor judgement reflect that we just do not value posession enough.

  • Tim

    It was clear we missed an aggressive forward pack. Dean Mumm should have been subbed off earlier for Sean.
    Wallabies don’t know how to use Timani when his on the field.Once they figure out how to use him Wallabies will benefit greatly. I would like him to defend wider marking the 12 and 13 channels and also running things lines as well.
    The Wallabies need to work on stealing the ball. They cant just rely on Pocock all 15 need to be able to go in for a steal. Next year we will struggle as we don’t have a ball fetcher.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Great podcast, as per usual. Just a couple of things

    1. Statistics have demonstrated that Timani has been getting over the line although I agree, weirdly somewhat, it sometimes looks like he doesn’t??
    2. DHP has been excellent for about 5 tests – needs to be starting fullback for his counter attacking and kicking abilities which are better than Folau’s, and Folau needs to be switched to the wing
    3. Naivalu is the fastest man in Aussie rugby – I thought his best 100m time was 10,75 seconds but have since been told by a Rebels fan that’s it’s 10.4 seconds allegedly?? Not even Bryan Habana could catch him when he’s given the chance to accelerate.

    I do miss the rage you showed after Bledisloe 1 though – I found that highly cathartic :P.

    Great one again guys, look forward to it every week!

  • Red Army

    Just wanted to add an article from an Irish point of view on Pocock and his work around the breakdown, good read


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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