Rugby World Cup: Australia v England - Green and Gold Rugby
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Rugby World Cup: Australia v England

Rugby World Cup: Australia v England

The knockout stage of the World Cup is finally here with Australia set to take on England on Saturday, with both teams having contrasting paths to the quarter-finals. Whilst the Wallabies have seemingly struggled at some stage during each match of the pool stages, England hasn’t seemed to be troubled yet, cruising to first place in Pool C after their clash with France was cancelled.

Whilst England may have an imposing record over Australia, both sides will be eager to book their place in the semi-finals in the grudge match, with the loser set to say goodbye to their Australian-born coach.

Background

The Wallabies got off to a slow start in 2019, losing 35-17 to the Springboks at Ellis Park in a sloppy performance that saw the side waste possession and opportunities. The side would bounce back over the next fortnight, defeating the Pumas 20-16 and producing their greatest performance since the last World Cup to dominate the All Blacks 47-26 at Optus Stadium.

Unfortunately, this dream turned into a nightmare, with the All Blacks dominating from the opening whistle the following week, shutting out the Wallabies 36-0 in a disappointing performance with the Bledisloe on the line. They would regain some form in their final warmup game, with a second-string side defeating Samoa 34-15.

The Wallabies got their World Cup campaign off to a shaky start, with a come-from-behind 39-21 victory against Fiji to open their Rugby World Cup campaign. They trailed for the majority of the match, before the injection of halfback Will Genia and a double to hooker Tolu Latu changed the contest, with the Wallabies scoring 27 points in the second half to secure victory. This continued into their following game, falling to a narrow three-point loss to Wales. The Aussies were unable to overcome a slow start and some questionable refereeing decisions, which all but shattered their dreams of topping the group.

They bounced back with a dominant 45-10 win over Uruguay, with Tevita Kuridrani and Dane Haylett-Petty pressing their case for selection with a double. Australia would finish off the group stages with a tough win over Georgia, with a miraculous Marika Koroibete try and two late efforts in the last ten minutes sealing the 27-8

England win

England comes into the tournament as one of the major contenders for the title, with the side witnessing a resurgence under Aussie Eddie Jones. His influence was immediately shown during their 17-game winning streak in 2016/2017.

England finished off 2018 strongly, with wins over Japan, Australia and South Africa followed with a narrow loss to the All Blacks by a point. However, they struggled to meet their lofty expectations in the Six Nations, losing to Wales and blowing a 31 point lead against Scotland to draw the match. The side split their pre-World Cup series with Wales, followed by thumping wins over Ireland and Italy.

They started their tournament off on a positive note, with a double to beast centre Manu Tuilagi helping England to a 35-3 bonus-point victory over Tonga. This was followed up by a dominant 45-7 win over the USA thanks to a double to Joe Cokanasiga and a masterful display from George Ford. Their first real challenge appeared to be against Argentina, however, an early red card to Tomás Lavanini ensured that they coasted him 39-10. England’s final match against France was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

Team News

The Wallabies have made some big changes to the side that defeated Georgia, notably the selection of 19-year-old Jordan Petaia. Petaia reverts to his favoured position of outside centre, with James O’Connor dropping to the bench. Reece Hodge returns from his three-match ban on the wing, whilst Will Genia slots to the starting line-up in place of Nic White. Kurtley Beale has been tentatively named at fullback but must still pass return to play protocols after being concussed against Georgia, with Dane Haylett-Petty on standby.

Photo courtesy of Tim Anger

Photo courtesy of Tim Anger

England has dropped their own selection surprise by dumping star playmaker George Ford to the bench. Captain Owen Farrell switches from No. 12 to 10, Manu Tuilagi from 13 to 12 with Henry Slade the new man to mark Petaia at outside centre. The Vunipola brothers, Billy and Mako, have recovered from injury scares to take their place in the starting line-up, joined by lock Courtney Lawes, who starts ahead of George Kruis.

Key Match-Ups

Tuilagi runs 2 in Lions vs Force 2013

Kerevi/Petaia v Tuilagi/Slade
Both teams have made some shock decisions in the centres which will have a massive impact on the game. Michael Cheika has decided to reunite the Reds pair of Samu Kerevi and Jordan Petaia, throwing the three-game rookie into the cauldron. As always, Kerevi is the x-factor for the Wallabies side and his combination with Petaia, along with how the 19-year-old handles the pressure of the quarter-finals, will be crucial to Australia’s attack. If they can find a way to especially isolate Farrell, it will go a long way to securing the win for Australia.

Eddie Jones has seemingly reacted to the threat of Kerevi, choosing to drop George Ford and opted for the bigger bodies of Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade. The pair had a shaky combination in the Six Nations and it will be interesting to see how they look to potentially exploit Petaia, along with adapting to not having a dominant second playmaker like Ford.

Isi Naisarani

Isi Naisarani

Billy Vunipola v Isi Naisarani
Billy Vunipola has been one of the key benefactors from the cancelled game, having tweaked his ankle during the win over Argentina. The Brisbane-born number eight will be looking to inflict punishment on his home country and his go-forward and presence at set-piece time will be crucial to England controlling the contest.

He comes up against Fijian-born Aussie Isi Naisarani, who will be looking to make a statement against one of the world’s best. Naisarani hasn’t seemed to have found his rampant form from The Rugby Championship and he needs to step up against the experienced head of Vunipola if the Wallabies wish to compete and cause the upset.

Numbers that matter (Thanks to Opta Sports)

210-120: England have beat Australia in their last six games by a combined margin of 90 points, scoring 30 or more in five out of their six wins
71: England have been on the opposite end of two red cards, meaning that they have played 71 minutes with a man advantage in their three games
33-13: The score-line the last time that both teams played in a World Cup knock-out game in 2015, with Australia winning thanks to 28 points from Bernard Foley
627: Australia tops the tournament in terms of carries (627), with Samu Kerevi (48) leading the way for the Wallabies
3: The number of yellow cards given up by Australia, with England yet to cope the rath of the referee (aka Ben Skeen)
7: Number of turnovers recorded by England’s Mario Itoje in the two games that he has played.

Predictions

I think England have a much more settled and confident lineup than ours and unfortunately, I reckon that will be the difference. The extra week off will have them primed for a big showing and the lack of discipline and the wayward goalkicking from Australia so far does not bode well in the crunch time, which is where I think the game will be won.

Match Prediction: England by 5
Bold Prediction: Owen Farrell 15+ points.

Match Details

Wallabies (15-1): Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Will Genia, Isi Naisarani, Michael Hooper (c), David Pocock, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Allan Alaalatoa, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio

Reserves: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Matt To’omua, James O’Connor

England (15-1): Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (c), Ben Youngs, Billy Vunipola, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola

Reserves: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Willi Heinz, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph

Date: Saturday October 19
Venue: Ōita Bank Dome, Ōita
Kick-off: 6:15 pm AEDT (4:15pm local time)
Where to Watch: Fox Sports 3 (Channel 503), RWC 4K (499) and Channel 10 (Free To Air)

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

  • sambo6

    So after 4 years prep…we make 5 changes to the backline for a world cup qtr-final…..resulting in ANOTHER backline that’s never played together before…..

    I’m sick of this shit. Thank God it’ll be over soon.

  • Patrick

    Cheika has really rolled the dice, especially if Beale pulls through. As always when you roll the dice who knows how it will turn out, but there’s a reason why England are pretty hot favourites.

    I find myself in the unenviable position of rooting for four underdogs and probably watching four losses – may they at least be great games of rugby!

  • Jason

    I’m a little bit shocked that I called Petaia at 13; not shocked that I predicted it, but that Cheika actually did it. It’s a very bold but kinda brilliant decision. I think I’d have rathered DHP to start and Beale on the bench in place of JO’C.

    And I’m not sure of Isi yet, still he’s been decent but hardly amazing, I’d have gone with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto to start our lineout needs it and he’s been probably the best of our non-Pooper back rowers.

    • Matt O’Neill

      I doubt selecting Petaia is a brilliant decision. Younguns have notoriously underperformed in clutch games, just ask JOC.

  • Andy

    Another backline starting from scratch…… wonder how this will go.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well if Beale is declared fit to play, then I see shit loads of high balls, and players running at the fuckwit that cant catch and cant defend. Well the only positive thing I havet o say is that this is last match that the Ass Clown gets to coach.
    After that I personally will commission an Author to write a book on cheika. As long as it is titled:
    Cheiaka: The Herpes of Australian Rugby.
    The Gift that just keeps on givng.

    • From NooZealand

      I know, I know, but what if? There must be a reason for Eddie to go for a defensive plan. Let’s have some faith if it the only thing left.

      • laurence king

        We have a good side, and the boys will be up for it and the guys who run on with 20 and 30 to go are better than theirs.

        • From NooZealand

          Thank you.

        • laurence king

          (:

      • Haz

        I’m not entirely sure it is a defensive plan from jones. He’s definitely gone for ball players over set piece players in nearly every position there was a choice (Marler v Mako, Sinckler v Cole, Lawes v Kruis).

        Slade gives even more width to the attack by bringing in the back 3 even more potently. It’s just changing the ball playing centre from 12 to 13 really.

        • From NooZealand

          Appreciate your comment. I consider myself rather a novice regarding rugby (and on most other subjects). That is one of the reasons I like this forum. People like you clarifies to me the game. Cheers.

      • Huw Tindall

        Eddie doesn’t want the big units running at George Ford who is honestly a bit shit in defence. Hopefully Farrell and Tuialigi try and line up Kerevi and Petaia on the charge and get red carded. Tuialigi has brain fart on his CV for sure.

      • Slade is not a defensive player really, or not only, he’s a genuine attacking threat on a number of levels. He increases the defensive capacity of the backs because they shift Farrell, who is notionally a 10, back in a slot (bad call, should have ripped the captain’s armband off and kept Ford on IMO) so he’s not trying to tackle Kerevi (good call from their point of view). I don’t know how well Petaia plays at 13 at any level, I know he’s played there for the Reds but they didn’t have a season to inspire confidence… Slade will challenge him, and Slade, May and Watson have pace to burn against Koroibete and Hodge and the Beale “how many kicks can I drop, how many tackles can I miss” show.

        • From NooZealand

          Thank you EP. I usually read your comments with eagerness and learn something or because your opinion supports someone else’s. I just read and not comment because I am not at your level. I feel the same with the majority commenting in this forum. Please see my reply to Haz above. I thank you for taking your time to address my comment.

        • Pfft, reply away. We learn by doing after all and I don’t mind a friendly difference of opinion or a friendly ego-boost!

    • Custard Taht

      Apart from Beale, the rest of the team is solid. The Wallabies are a real chance in and de spite of Cheika. It might be one more week.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Against England all 15 must defend. BEale cant so only 14 will. Hodge is in there so we have some one that can kick us out of our 22. Other wise we will run it out every time and cough up the ball.

    • Reinforce

      In the remote chance the Wobs come up with a win (we really are rooting for you) there will be a cook-off at my joint for the amount of humble pie we will have to eat.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I will be there to eat my fair share.

  • Bernie Chan

    I guess if our pack doesn’t at least gain parity with the ENG pack, the backline will matter little…another new combination for a RWC QF kind of baffles, though I hope Kerevi and Petaia carve it up. Worried about the selection of Beale…
    Has Eddie Jones ‘blinked’ or simply reverted to type by omitting his best playmaker (Ford) and going a bit defensive with his centre pairing? Daly, Watson and May have plenty of gas though, so our kicking had better place them under pressure by ensuring a contested ball.

  • Mike Thompson

    Oh, boy. How crap is it being a Wallaby supporter?

    Beale at fullback! Will drop 50% of box kicks and fire little pop gun kicks back at their bazookas. Will then run across field, get tacked and turn the ball over.
    The Pooper – which has simply not delivered. Both very fine players. But as a combination, not so much.
    Two steps Genia.
    A relatively unfamiliar inside backs pairing.
    A very untested and unfamiliar center pairing
    A virtually rookie test center, who has recently played at wing.
    A team which is asleep for the first 20 mins of games.

    All of this and Cheaka actually has at his disposal a pretty decent team. The Wallabies should be an absolute handful for any team in world Rugby. But, instead, we present as a stupid and disorganised outfit, full of yeallow cards and muddled minds.

    Jones has selected a defensive uint. He knows that if he can contain the “posession based” game of the Wallabies, he’ll win via territory, penalty kicks and a rolling maul. I wonder if Cheaka has a plan for England’s excellent rush defence – which is an absolute weapon. As a coach he apparently doesn’t think you need to adjust for the opposition.

    On a more positive note, can take a minute to enjoy how well Simon Raiwalui has done with our set piece!!

    • donktec

      nice summary – sadly!

    • Fallon

      Well said Mike. Glad that this will soon be over. Wonder what happened to the independent selection panel that was meant to provide some intelligent rugby governance over the coach. Cannot understand bringing back Hodge. An international wing three quarter in term of pace – please……………

      • Graeme

        I think we should request Jonny May has his right leg bound and is forced to hop in order to somewhat equalize the speed difference. Although I can still see him hopping down hodge if it came to a race.

    • Dex Stewart

      Yeah – except England scored tries

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Marler sure to be sharpening his sledges for this one. Something about Petaia’s mum, perhaps?

    • Keith Butler

      Nah, he is a reformed character. Still looks like a thug though. Mako with so little game time and dodgy technique will end up with a card.

      • Mica

        I think the refs will be really averse to scrum cards.
        There’s already been too much controversy at this world cup, so I think they will give lots of chances in the scrum.

  • laurence king

    Way too much negativity from some people, we are not playing the ABs, just the Poms. Eddie Jones is not the Messiah, just a haughty boy. It’s a decent side, good pack of forwards, scrum and lineout parity, Pocock etc and the boys will be up for it, Cheika can do that much. The english are nervous, one can see from their selections.

    • adastra32

      The Kool-Aid must be good where you are Laurence. It’s “just the Poms.” Who have beaten the WBs wholesale since 2015.

      • laurence king

        The Kool-Aid is indeed of a rare quality here in the Apple Isle, however that is not the cause of my optimism. Yes, we have been crap over the last four years that has unfortunately for Cheika coincided with his tenure. But this is a one-off game, the side is starting to display real power in the forwards, I like the look of the backline. Not quite the side I or others would have picked but I think that our best is better than their best. I’m going to be optimistic, if we lose, Cheika will be gone and the next coach will have a great platform for creating a truly world class team. Cheers, now…. where is that Kool-Aid

  • Perth girl

    No DHP! Madness!

    • laurence king

      Not who I would have picked either BUT he’s still brilliant on his day and who knows, he might win the game on the last play of the game. He has done it before

  • Bulldog Sing

    I am in Japan and every fan I meet is so dark on the wallabies. Everything before means nothing – it feels daft to say it but let’s get behind our team for the next 48 hours. Drink the Kool-Aid or the Cheik-Aid or a 9% Suntory highball and start to dream… because at the end of the day one team is going to win. And it sucks being more pessimistic than the Poms.

    • Huw Tindall

      I don’t get the self loathing Wallabies fans seem to exhibit. Sure it’s been tough but it’s the national side and players are busting their guts for us. If nothing else get out and support the players! Bring on the quarters! Also f#ck you for being in Japan BS. Not jealous at all. :D

    • donktec

      Would be great to have a vending machine of chu-hi’s nearby! Everyone will support the team and be yelling at the tv for them during the game. Before that this is all a bit of spleen venting at MC, better to get it out now i reckon.

  • Mishad

    Will be interesting to see if England target Beale with the high balls as its an obvious weakness. I hope he’s been focusing on that in training in contact scenarios.
    Beales’s running lines can be electric and can create holes as much as confuse our own players. I’m surprised with the selection but not overly concerned, as I don’t rate DHP either as a fullback.

    Petaia at 13, didn’t see that coming but looking forward to the results of this bold move.

    Genia’s side step before pass is going to shit me the second I see it. Thats an extra second the defence get to close the distance and put so much more pressure on the backs. That, and the way he stands back at the rucks expecting others to clean out even when noone is around him to do so. Hope these two issues have been addressed, otherwise White may find himself on the field sooner rather than later.

    I’m not a forward but aside from set piece (which everyone seems to be praising), the handling and securing possession into contact and at the breakdown has been woeful. I’d rather see more committing to the breakdown than risk losing possession. Japan showed it can be done quickly and still create space when it counted with precise, fast, accurate recycling.

    I don’t care about Englands winning record against us last few years, I dont even remember the number from reading it above (is it up there?), I just care that we knock them out of the RWC again, because that’s something I will remember. C’mon Wallabies! Put in a full 80 all of us can be proud of.

  • Frenchy

    If I may interject, I’m not Australian, I’m French but have been a supporter of the Wallabies for personal reasons for a long time.

    This Australian team reminds me of the French team. Alas. I wish that could a compliment. Quality individuals, capable of great things, but a questionable team management that seems to be in perpetual tinkering mode.

    Whenever somebody performs a little bit below expectations, he gets the axe. A new one comes in. And then that guy can stay so long as he doesn’t have an off day, because he too will be out the next week. Constant rotation. Are we to believe this constitutes intentional team management, and not a quest for yet more answers??

    After many years in charge Cheika should know EXACTLY which of his lineups is the very best. Yet it seems he has no clue. To be fair, maybe his players haven’t been able to give him certainty and the fault is split. But as the coach he’s still responsible for that.

    Let’s look at his thought process: he starts White, then starts Genia, then realises Genia is a strong finisher as a sub, but then finally he decides to start him. Toomua has a great game at 10, and makes an impact each time he came on, while CLL has been a bit off this tournament? Doesn’t matter, he benches Toomua and put all the pressure on CLL (who will have no one in the centers to share playmaking with). You bring in O’Connor, taunt the new “playmaker at 13″ strategy, then bench him to bring a talented but completely inexperienced teenager. Why? O’Connor didn’t have enough of an impact? Well how about you ask him to stop underplaying his hands each time! He’s been locked in a linking role and Kerevi hasn’t off-loaded to him once (or to anyone for that matter, hence the problem with that center pairing)…

    All that being said, I’m still placing a bet on Australia, on account of the legends Hooper & Pocock in the 3rd row, and because I want to see the english loose (sorry not sorry). Also, red cards are flying this tournament and I fancy the odd Tuilagi brain fart.

    • Huw Tindall

      A Les Bleus and Wallabies fan? What did you do wrong in a past life?

      • Frenchy

        Clearly something atrocious

    • Steve

      Much as it hurts me to say Frenchy, but you’re bang on.

      I think Kerevi is one of the best one-man bands in the world, but that hasn’t really translated to being a great player in an ensemble.

      First K’drani looked a bit average (apparently his own fault), now JOC too it seems. IMO I think we would be better served with Toomua at 12, but we would then need some real wingers for him to deliver to – the further down the line you go the more clusterfuck you realise the squad is.

      I still don’t rate us quite as moody as the Frogs, but definitely just as disorganised.

  • Duvstar

    Jesus MC. Let’s just roll out a backline that has never played together before. What were the last four years even for? Four years of shit results and not even sorting out what our best team is.

    Other teams have identified weaknesses in the build up to this tournament and tried different things. Sure, dropping Ford is a big call. But they’ve tried this format before and it has worked for them. It is by no means a blind call.

    ABs keeping BB at fullback. Again, trialled it in the buildup. Could argue either way but they’re happy with it and have experience and gametime behind it to back it up.

    We’re more of a shambles than the French, and that’s saying something.

    How Beale is picked ahead of DHP is, for me, the biggest shocker. DHP has been rock solid in the games so far, particularly under the high ball. Beale meanwhile has been so so average. Especially when we know what the English are going to do. They’ve moved Ford there partly for that reason, he’s going to bomb us worse than The Blitz. Jones would have smirked when he saw KB on the teamsheet.

    Genia a big part of our loss to Wales. Nic White a big part of our only great performance this calendar year.

    Let’s bring back the flyhalf we dropped after week 1 against the Fijians (I do actually think he should start. I just hate Cheikha for not sticking with him).

    Let’s drop the 13 we’ve stuck with for all tests this year for a guy who, as talented as he is, has 70 mins of international rugby under his belt against tier 2 nations, has played about 200 mins all year, and throw him into a QF.

    AH well, it’s nearly over

    • Huw Tindall

      Beale at 15 because Kerevi is 12. Simple as that. Need someone to come in as second receiver when we go out wide. Otherwise Petaia and Koribete won’t see any ball. IMO Kerevi is a bit of a flat track bully. Will dominate at Super level but needs to develop a passing game to be truly class at tests like Nonu did. Unfortunately he is buggering of to Japan and will just run over blokes for 3 years and come back to Australia no better than when he left.

      • Duvstar

        Good point.

        I just dread the idea of him defending at fullback. Could he not have played DHP on the wing, then defending at FB with KB defending on one of the wings (I know that reverts to one of everyone’s favourite things our recent coaches have angered us with by defending players out of the position they’re playing in but still). For me, it’s just another example of Cheikha selecting what he feels is his best team with little or no regard to the opposition and what their gameplan is likely to be. He is allergic to clever rugby.

        I know it’s a different backline again but I’d rather 10 – CLL, 12 – MT, 13 – TK. Then Koroibete, Petaia and DHP. At least the first guys have all played Brumbies together.

        • Huw Tindall

          I was having this very discussion on a WhatsApp forum today. If you can’t put SK and TK together and want DHP at 15 for the high balls and defence then the only real options is MT and TK 12/13. As much as Kerevi is a beast I’d be more comfortable against England with Toomua and TK and DHP. I’m a KB fan but against this English side he isn’t a starter.

        • Fallon

          Love it – allergic to clever rugby. Australia haven’t played clever rugby in quite some time – Perth dead cat bounce excepted.

  • Huw Tindall

    Hopefully the match officials don’t become the stars of this match as it should be a cracker. England favourites but not really tested in a while with the France match cancelled. Wallabies still searching for a consistent backline but with a set piece than is humming. I feel Wallabies on their best day are better than England on their best day but Wallabies on their worst day are way worse than England on their worst day. So could be Wallabies by 15 either way!

    Player wise in the piggies Dempsey a bit unlucky but was always going to be one back rower missing out. If they fix up the offensive ruck and focus on securing the ball rather blasting over the top with huge cleanouts then I’ll be happy. Hopefully the French refs give us scrum dominance and we put the poms under the pump there.

    Petaia at 13? F#ck it why not. JOC has been so so and Petaia is a legit talent and has played 13 outside Kerevi. Beale really has to be a 15 with Kerevi at 12 as otherwise there isn’t a sceond set of hands to get the ball wide. Hodge and his bit boot and a knack for finding the chalk. Tick. Koribete probably the only guy ever to have actually given 110%. CLL yes the fairy-tale continues.

    The selection that really shits me is Genia to start at 9. He’s too old. England will target us like Wales and old mate with his Gregan two step won’t cut it. White is better as he gets stuck in at the breakdown and knows the English players inside and out from his time in Exeter. Still, if Sanchez has one big game left in him and it’s this then he could be sensational. Unfortunately at the end of his career he’s having more average days than blinders. Great leader and organiser of the piggies though.

    If the Wallabies get set piece dominance and we decide to not run it out of our half then we are a chance. If not then the English defence will be too good and they’ll capitalise from forced Wallabies errors. So basically the same as every game against the poms since RWC 2015! Hopefully Chek has been foxing this whole tournament and Genia, CLL, Hodge and Beale will turning the poms around and kicking into the corners. I’m not naive but I am an optimist!

    • Graeme

      “If we decide to not run it out of our half“. Not much chance of that. Genia might do the occasional uncontested box kick to Jonny May, for him to have a little bit of a run, but otherwise we will just do Cheiks traditional try to run it from our own 22.

      • Huw Tindall

        Hope springs eternal

    • Adrian

      Great post Huw, spot on

  • Fatflanker

    Beale to start at 15! INCOMING!!!
    Hope I’m wrong but I reckon JOC will see out 70 minutes as fullback.
    Anyway good luck to lads – we’re due a bit of luck against England. If we’re chasing in the last 20 minutes though I reckon we’re stuffed.

  • I Should be Coach

    Does anyone know this independent doctor that is going assess Beale. I need to send him an envelope

  • Joe

    The coach should have made The Kerevi-Kuridrani work! Just love Kerevi and it’s a shame they haven’t developed him more, he could be as good or better than nonu. And should have picked proper wingers. But well let’s see! If you think about it we have a pretty nice team! Forwards really good and that’s key! The pooper could actually be good for this game! And let’s see how are the vunipola physically… their advantage is their kicking game.. and lineout if we let them

  • Pedro

    I don’t get the selection at thirteen. Joc has been solid there and saved our bacon cleaning up sloppy play on occasion. Then you have Kuridrani who is a world class thirteen, especially defensively not even on the pine.

    My theory is that Cheika is trying to get England to target Petaia for some reason. I don’t see this as working, that’s because there’s enough weak links in our backs (especially with Beale playing) that he doesn’t stand out. But that being said organisationally thirteen is the toughest position, so Petaia might still leave some holes.

    • Fallon

      England can pick any of these targets – Hodge, Beale so why would another one make any difference?

  • Keith Butler

    Such pessimism from you G&G supporters. I having a feeling that EJ has inadvertently helped your cause by not have Ford, Marler and Kruis in the SDs starting XV. Farrell has not had the best of comps and Young’s still blows hot and cold. EJ must feel that defence and kick chase are going to win the game but this could well backfire. If we are beaten by a better team on the day then no complaints from me. Hope the game shows the best from both teams and is not decided on the whim of the ref or an intervention from the idiot Skeen.

    • donktec

      A few folk have opened the kool-aid and started sipping! Everyone else frustrated by the chopping and changing of the backs and because Eddy has runs rings around Cheiks (on and off field) for the last few years. Hoping for a good game, but hard to be overly optimistic.

    • laurence king

      Well said sir.

      • Keith Butler

        Cheers LK. Once the RWC is over you can expect a couple of visitors to check out your gallery.

        • laurence king

          You will both be most welcome.

        • Keith Butler

          The scones look very appetising.

        • laurence king

          They are indeed and the home-made cheese cake with lemon syrup aint half bad either. They are deadly for one’s figure

        • Keith Butler

          Way past worrying about my figure. The six pack had turned into a bay window.

        • laurence king

          lol

  • Bernie Chan

    Regrettably, I will miss the game as I will be on a flight out of Asia… bugger for the shit planning. Don’t agree with the way Cheika appears to make changes on a whim, but not surprised as he has done similar things for years. But this is AUS v ENG….so “c’mon Aussies”! We must win , even if it is just to stop EJs smug smile…

  • Graeme

    I’m going to be first to say. I hope Farrell gets red carded in the first 10 minutes for a late shoulder charge. And we win, completely undeservedly, because of it…

    • Huw Tindall

      Then Tuialigi at the 20 min mark as he tries to take new boy Petaia’s head off

      • Graeme

        Tuilagi is the only English player I don’t actually hate. I mean he punched Chris Ashton.

        https://youtu.be/vSa9hAl1Lpo

        • Huw Tindall

          Lolz there was as video compilation doing the rounds on social media today of all the instances of Chris Ashton being a thug on the field. Very punchable face.

    • Graeme

      I’d even suggest just going back to previous video evidence. « this Video is currently used as the measure of a red card offense. Since it wasn’t red carded at the time, I would suggest we red card it for this game even though it is at the 5:47 minute mark ».

  • Huw Tindall

    Also any GAGRs in London tomorrow bunch of us going to be at the Broadleaf pub on Old Broad Street in The City tomorrow for the games. Welcome to join for breakfast beers!

  • Oscar

    Cheika is an absolute balloon headed bogan. Starting an ankle biter in the knockout stages of the World Cup! Lucky for us, the boys will overcome his stupidity and bring the Wallies back to glory!!!

  • Jay Mack

    If Farrell stays on the field his #1 plan is to kick to Petaia.
    However he wont be at 10 for long (one way or another).
    Eng 9-10 space to get plenty of traffic.

  • maximus_wong

    Just a Kiwi signing in… best of luck Australia.
    May the gods of sensible refereeing be with you.

    • maximus_wong

      Okay, my bad. The gods of self destruction are far more dominant.

England
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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