REVIEW: England v. Australia – Wallabies Pump Poms to Put Parisian Pasting in Past

Steve Timms November 18, 2012 48

No GravatarAll the heat was on the Wallabies leading into this Test, with most assuming the English team just had to show up to beat them. Apparently the English team thought the same. Would the Australians’ butter-out-on-the-bench-all-day-strength pack hold out against England’s traditional forte? Would their less-than-impressive try-scoring record hold out? If the English strip wasn’t bad enough, the anthems sealed the deal: this wasn’t looking rosy, or cerise as it may be, for the Poms.

The Wallaby scrum was much better

Scoring got under way for the English in the first three minutes. Toby Flood converted the first points from an accidental offside penalty by the visitors.

The Wallabies went on the attack, but the English defence held. That forced Berrick Barnes to hit a nice drop goal. Coming without the usual posturing and getting into the pocket, he just slotted it and got back to business.

The scrum wobbles — though it could just have easily been the random penalty generator — made an appearance with the English earning a couple of penalties. The second was in a good position and Flood added another 3, putting the home team into the lead 6-3.

The Wallabies then got back on the attack, pushing hard on the try-line with multiple phases being held out. Eventually Ben Alexander got over, but realising he wasn’t going to get it down he tried to recycle the pill but it was too late. The ref went upstairs and received a ‘no try’ ruling. The Wallabies’ next scrum was solid and earned a penalty giving Berrick an easy kick to level the scores at 6-all.

The English took a turn to attack and after a moment of refereeing blindness, missing the English being clearly offside, the Wallabies did some great counter-rucking. The English were awarded another penalty right in front and Flood took the points.

The Honey Badger: something he will give a shit about

Something extraordinary then happened: the Wallabies scored a try. From a English box kick, Berrick took the ball and sent it to Beale who passed to Phipps, who beat the first line of defence before getting a good ball out to Nick Cummins who ran 20-odd metres untouched and put the ball down. It was a well worked try. Berrick was unable to add the conversion.

Keeping the see-saw going, the English decided to avoid kicking a penalty and instead went for a run. This provided dividends with Tuilagi getting over for a try of his own. Flood was also unable to convert, leaving the at score at 14-11 to the home team.

That remained the score a minute or so later as the teams hit the sheds for oranges. There had been some great signs at the breakdown, and our scrum was looking better.

The second half got started and a few minutes later the Wallabies had levelled the score through another Barnes penalty goal. Then another penalty gave the Wallabies the lead, 17-14. Another penalty was given away by English prop Marler who was hooked not long after.

The final points of the game came in the 53rd minute with another Barnes penalty goal. The scorer would not be bothered for the remaining 25 minutes. The final score was 20-14 to the visitors.

Though there were no more points, there was plenty of willing rugby played. The home team turned down enough penalty kicks to have won the game, preferring instead to run. Perhaps that will be a decision they will be ruing this morning.

It was a much better performance by the Wallabies too, and I think it was more than just the return of the talismanic Sitaleki Timani, though his pushing in the scrum has to have made a difference. Their enthusiasm at the breakdown and in defence was the most pleasing change. Hopefully it’s not just a one-off. With Italy up next week, let’s hope it become obvious the scrum just had an off night against the French.

At least we aren’t poor losers, hey Robshaw?

Australia 20 (Try: Cummins Con: Barnes 0/1 Pen: Barnes 3/4 Drop: Barnes 1/1) def England 14 (Try: Tuilagi Con: Flood 0/1 Pen: Flood 3/3)

Discussion

  • adc3000

    Best WBs performance of the year. Deans still has to go.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alan.grouse Alan Grouse

      agreed, he has to go but sadly it wont happen

    • http://www.facebook.com/craig.bowers.3914 Craig Bowers

      Unfortunately the players look to have saved his arse again & unless they lose another one we will be stuck with him for at least the next 6 months.

      • http://www.facebook.com/manpageman Roland Chan

        Yeah, hang on. The players save his arse when they win, but they aren’t to blame when they lose? I don’t think so. the problem is with both of them: the wallabies aren’t very good (I’m looking at you forwards. and Inside backs. And the back three. oh wait…) and the tactics and selection are a bit ordinary. Substituting could do with some work too. TPN was out cold for close to 10 seconds, and then couldn’t play accurately afterwards. Should have been hooked after a few mins, not at half time.

        Sacking Deans isn’t going to yield instant results, or perhaps even anything positive in the next year,but I think it needs to happen in the not to distant future in order to be ready for the RWC. Pretty sure the Lions tour is a write off.

        • http://www.facebook.com/manpageman Roland Chan

          To be fair, Tapuai was excellent.

        • Mart

          Tapuai was excellent. Because he was played in his correct position.

        • A. Fox-Russell

          Fair call, agree. I want him gone too. But its too late now re the Lions. No one will be able to turn it all around before then. Leave him there till then and lets get behind him.

          Just wish he would improve on selections. Who agrees we are a better side without McCabe? I know I am not alone there.

        • Brumby Runner

          Do you really want to continue with such proven mediocrity a moment longer. With Deans we will just go backwards; with a competent coach we will have a chance to stabilise and then turn things around. The change in coaching needs to happen now – not after what will be a Lions shambles if he stays.

      • idiot savant

        Only one player saved his arse. Deans’ favorite – McCabe.

  • Brumby Runner

    An enjoyable game with some interesting aspects. The ref decided early not to police the breakdown, but more often than not the game continued to flow without his intervention. The glaring mistake was the missed offside by the English when the Wallabies turned the ball over, mentioned above. The Wallabies scored their (only) try by running the ball back from an English kick. Why can’t this happen more often? The Wallaby scrum mostly held up, but the inexperienced English front row might have been the telling factor. We’ll probably know more next week. The backline made a number of line breaks, mostly by Tapuai, who then showed his ability to unload. What a waste of time it’s been up til now playing anyone else at 12.

    Hooper again outstanding and deserved MOM. Tapuai and Honey Badger not far behind. Barnes and Beale had good games.

  • steveisanidiot

    How about more review and less hating on England eh Stevie boy?

    • Steve Timms

      Really didn’t think I was that harsh on them.

      • ‘BoutBloodyTime

        You were more gentle with the Poms than Clive Woodward. I was watching on Sky & their whole assessment from Will Greenwood & Sir Clive was along the lines of tactical errors from an inexperienced team & not being able to think on their feet to adapt the game plan during the game in response to pressure from the Wallabies.

      • Steveisok

        Well not really, just didn’t like all the attention around one little video, I swear this site has reposted twice and put it on YouTube, Robshaw could of done that for numerous reasons, heck, we actually don’t know for sure he deliberately veered out the way. Also I lived in Brisbane (Brisbane Grammar School) and had many Aussie friends; and they were all sore losers when England beat them, going back to the argument of winning with “non-entertaining rugby” and “only kicking the ball” and “we’ve won more world cups than you.” I was just a bit defensive.

        • Steve Timms

          I thought I balanced it nicely with the photo of the dominant Aussie scrum.

          But this game does that to us, we get emotionally involved. You should try being a Wallaby supporter :)

        • Steveisgood

          Yea I was going to ask about that, isn’t that photo showing a good English scrum? Am I missing something because it looks like England still have the from in that particular one and Australia have fallen away; but you still said Australian scrum was much better. Or have I just completely missed the sarcasm? And I could’t switch sides! Not now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alan.grouse Alan Grouse

    Unreal. Un-fucking-real and always fantastic to beat the Poms!!!! Mixed feelings too though as this win will surely paper over the cracks and keep Deans in the job.

    Its quite a miraculous win especially with our insistence on kicking away possession – particularly in the second 40! Phipps again had a poor game, wayward passing and miscommunication with Palu could have cost us multiple times but he did redeem himself a little with his RUN (yes a fucking run!! shocking isnt it!?) that set up the Honey badger’s try. When we decided to hold onto the ball we looked good so i still cant believe we continue to kick away possession so often

    Scrum and breakdown were pretty good along with a scrambling, stoic and at times heroic defence coupled with some pathetic handling errors from england helped us to the win. Centres looked great, AAC and Taps showed their class and Cummins was our most dangerous runner proving he deserves to be in the team. Barnes again answered his critics with an assured performance. Why is it that only when this side at criticised from pillar to post do they decide to become a little more adventurous and pull out a few backline moves?

    Hooper was tremendous once more and my mouth is watering at the prospect of him and BamBam working in tandem to tear through Italy’s breakdown.

    Plenty to work on but overall a fine win built off the right attitude and effort.

    More please.
    More often.

  • Garry

    Dust out the trophy cabinet, we’ve got one again.

    Congrats fellas for making my Sunday. And for mine, the best part of the game was that it was close enough at the end, that the soap dodgers watching on couldn’t leave until the final whistle.

  • Timbo

    Surely that Tuilagi try wasn’t…

    • bill

      Benefit of the doubt. I thought it was double movement, tmo didn’t.

      • http://www.facebook.com/manpageman Roland Chan

        No such thing. The only problem was with the ball was not reaching the line. He’s allowed to bounce along under natural momentum and then reach out.

        • Timbo

          Exactly, He placed the ball and from what i saw it wasn’t touching the line. then had another go at it but lost control. No try. Don’t know what the TMO was looking at.

        • ‘BoutBloodyTime

          Agreed, the first placement came up short & when the ball touched the line, he didn’t have control over it, but what I liked most is that the Wallabies weren’t fazed by it & just got on with the job…

          Deans still has to go though. The Wallabies played a lot more positively, spreading the ball etc, which if the SMH is to be believed, is because Robbie finally gave them licence to ‘throw the ball around’, ie: play some positive rugby. That is enough to convince me that a significant amount of the Wallabies’ inconsistency is a result of the coach’s instructions to play a certain style (overly conservative).

          Finally, through more injury (ie: necessity versus coaching genius), we finally saw our best centre pairing in a long time with Tapuai at 12 (running through gaps instead of just crashing the ball up) & AAC at 13, although the honey badger looks like he could be developed into a long term prospect at 13.

          Well done Wallabies, much improved & a much more composed & professional performance & congratulations for rolling the Poms at home!

          All the best for the rest of the tour.

        • Timbo

          So if the SMH is to be believed, Robbie has been stifling the Wallabies attack ever since he took over? That for mine is grounds for dismissal.

        • ‘BoutBloodyTime

          Not wholly & solely the SMH Timbo, the SMH article was just the icing on the cake (especially when the SMH has been quite supportive of Deans during his tenure), but add it together with:

          Disenfranchised players like Giteau & Cooper, a functional centre pairing against England that resulted not from selection but by necessity, 4 years of questionable selections & use of the bench (when contributors to this site have repeatedly been calling for the changes that result in much improved performances…Taps at 12 just 1 example), an often unintelligible gameplan, uncontested defensive lineouts (that weren’t addressed until highlighted on GAGR), still massive frailties under the high ball and kick restarts, feedback from people like McCaw re Deans not getting the ABs job (as well as questionable player selections & playing styles of the ABs when Deans was the assistant coach to Mitchell), 4 years of consistently inconsistent performances resulting in losses to Scotland (twice) & Samoa, as well as Ireland in the RWC2011 (again due to poor selections & an inability to recognise that high body position going into a collision often results in a player being held up &/or turned over), comments that tries should not be scored from set moves, an attitude that the ABs are unbeatable & a style of play that has veered away from traditional Australian intelligent running rugby (since just before RWC 2011) etc…way too many coincidences in my opinion…and most of these are predominantly issues that are the coaching staff’s remit, especially when that coach was hired following the assurance of various benchmarks that have not been met…

          Deans has demonstrated that he has the ability to produce the results with the Crusaders, and has an outstanding record at provincial level. However, it seems that something is lacking at the higher level, whether it be an ability to delegate, to man manage or to identify & rectify the finer points of coaching at international level.

          Furthermore, it appears he hasn’t learnt from these shortcomings/deficiencies that were highlighted during his tenure with the ABs from 2001-2003. Contrast that to Graham Henry after RWC 2007, who had a gameplan to identify & rectify his coaching deficiencies (and a team to produce these identified results) while Deans thought he could do it alone…that is either plain naivety or arrogance.

          Regardless of whether we are the 2nd or 3rd ranked side currently, he has failed in the KPIs that was the basis for him being hired in the first place

          Sorry to go off into rant mode, but I hope that clears up any confusion from my previous post.

  • Johnny-boy

    Fair dinkum the Poms new strip would look good in the Mardi Gras.

  • bill

    We get a pair of centres that can pass, surprise, surprise we threaten the defence.

    Although the english defence didn’t look the flashest this result ought to bring more pressure on Robbie rather than less. He’s spent two years ignoring this aspect and sticking by McCabe to the detriment of the team for reasons best known to himself. The effect of it was more than adequately critiqued by Campo.

    If we have to put up with this guy for any longer the best we can hope is that he gets out of the way of the players. As it is whoever comes in after has some work to do just repairing the damage.

  • Tangawizi

    Well played Wallabies. Great win!

    Can we start calling England the Purple Pansies now?

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    Well that much needed win has me smiling again. Both teams played positive footy. I constantly struggle to know if we were good or they were bad. Regardless, we got there in the end despite our last 15-20 minutes of brain dead booting the ball away. So many positives but I still don’t get Phipps at 9 for the entire 80, and why did it take an injury to get a 12/13 combo that works? Also I just can’t see Kurtley offering more at 10 that at 15.

    • idiot savant

      I agree Kurtley is a weapon in attack as a full back. But he appears to have lost his confidence under the high ball and does miss tackles.

      • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

        So true about the high ball & Kurtley. Mind you he’s not exactly Robinson Crusoe. So many of our guys have problems in that department. I don’t get why. I’ve seen the NRL guys & AFL guys reliably take these kicks all day long. Surely we can hire them to coach us. We can’t be that dumb. Can we?

        KB’s defense – It may be wishful thinking but I think he’s improved. Maybe not enough for that last line of defense. But when trim he offers so much in attack from 15.

        I can imagine him enjoying the space from the back & loving the idea of linking with Taps, AAC, Ioanne and the Honey Badger.

        • idiot savant

          Perhaps Kurtley and Barnes could swap places in defence and attack? Agree Kurtley can be lethal chiming in from the back.

          On the high ball, its got me flummoxed why so many struggle. You could practise it a lot but I think at the end of the day its a hand eye coordination thing. You have to read the ball in the air. Digby cannot read the ball in the air that is clear. Ive seen him over run it and he hates having to drop back and field kicks. Barnes and Genia are the only two I’d trust to catch under pressure. JOC of course but hes not there.

        • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

          Didn’t KB swap with BB a couple of times against the Poms? Maybe I’ve got that wrong as I don’t recall too many serious cracks at the line by KB. All in all though I thought KB played a better 10. More understated, if you like. Reckon having Taps & AAC there would have helped him.

          Our highball woes – I don’t know if it’s an eye hand problem or a brain heart problem. I just want it sorted out & pronto. It’s no secret that we are shite at the high ball & kick restarts and…………..

  • Peter Morse

    The poms were pretty ordinary and made us look better than we are.

  • JB

    Great work Australia. Took England down several notches, showed what a poor midfield and attack they have and guaranteed Deans to be in charge for the Lions tour.

  • Scott teh Aussie in Devon

    That was one of the sweetest victories over the Poms I have seen since the 76-0 at Ballymore. Buying the Times this morning and reading Stephen Jones comments was a great start to the day. Onwards and upwards.

    • saus

      Suncorp I do believe

      • saus

        And J.Wilkinson’s first cap for England. last night was indeed as sweet Scott. Also I’ll add to the chorus and say “Deans has to go”

      • The Other Dave

        …and the brewery-sponsored push-up boys nearly dying

  • Joe Blow

    Great win! Any win over the Poms is just that.
    Tapuai looks to have the makings of a very good test 12. Timani added a lot at the set piece and gained a lot of yards up the middle.
    Take a bow Ben Alexander. He remained straight and strong the whole time he was on. Someone is coaching him well!
    Well done to all involved.
    Hopefully we can back this performance up over the next two weeks and cap off the international season on a high.
    Deans should still go. Last time Robshaw will captain England…..twat

  • Who Needs Melon

    Crickey! How come more people aren’t commenting on that Robshaw video?!? That’s freaking disgraceful! Had he already shaken hands with him or something – surely this can’t be as bad as it looks. If it is, what an absolute tosser. More reason to love beating England.

    • http://twitter.com/Bay35Pablo Paul Jurdeczka

      Very poor. But why? What did he think Sharpie was going to do? Stick his tongue put and yell “Nah-nah nah nah nah!!!”??!?!

    • bill

      maybe he’s a tosser, looked more like he was disappointed, shook a few hands and was just oblivious rather than a malcontent.

      Sure if he was a bigger man he may have sought Sharpie out to congratulate him for succeeding after a shit of a week, but there aren’t many Freddie Flintoffs’s in this world I’m afraid. He certainly didn’t behave like Greg Chappell or Richard Loe.

  • Goldie

    Funny to see every one back on the bandwagon after a “heroic” win over a hopeless english side, who should have had 40 points put on them, gees our standards really have dropped.could have easily lost that game in the last 10, but england couldn’t throw a salad togeather. Deans will win the remainder now over the underperforming welsh and solid italy,just to give every one false hope again.Only to be awoken again lions game 1 and probably blowin of the park e.g belidsloe1 most years.

    • bill

      I don’t think any of Deans’ critics are back on the bandwagon or believe that the last couple of years were some strange, alchemical exercise in team building via a Nietszchean process of undergoing and so overcoming mediocrity and stupidity and that everthing’s gold now.

    • http://twitter.com/Bay35Pablo Paul Jurdeczka

      Given Wales have now been pantsed by Argentina and Samoa, perhaps that 3 Test gold wash (which was a close run thing) wasn’t such a great victory after all … i.e. perhaps we should have done it at a canter irrespective of their 6N title?

  • Mart

    Just out of interest, anyone know how Waldrom qualified to play for England?

    • Andy Law

      Granny was English

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