Scotland hold on for brave win over Wallabies - Green and Gold Rugby

Scotland hold on for brave win over Wallabies

Scotland hold on for brave win over Wallabies

These two sides have a nice rivalry going and today would be no different as they continued their run of close finishes but this time it would be Scotland who would come out on top 24-19 in a tough battle at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

It was was a case of poor Wallabies execution combined with immense Scottish defensive pressure at the end of the match that managed to hold out the Wallabies attacking raids and hold on for a five-point win, their first ever in Sydney.

The Match

Both sides were keen to show who was the boss early after a big hit from Adam Coleman ruffled the Scots feathers in the opening minute to get crowd and nearly the Aussie bench involved.

Scotland opened the scoring with a long-range penalty to fullback Greg Tonks after just three minutes. The Wallabies had a chance to level almost immediately following a spectacular collision off the restart involving Ned Hanigan but Bernard Foley missed from a handy position.

The Scots looked good in the opening 15 minutes with Finn Russell in particular steering the Scots around as they enjoyed territory in the Wallabies half.

The Wallabies looked to have escaped but a mix up in the backline with Tatafu Polota-Nau saw the Scots pounce and Duncan Taylor collected the ball for an easy run to the line. Russell’s conversion made it 10-0.

Wallabies v Scotland

The Wallabies finally got on the board with a try to Israel Folau around the twenty-minute mark after a number of penalties went their way. The Wallabies maul looked to be going nowhere but Will Genia spotted a gap and found Foley who passed to Folau in acres of space for a relatively easy run to the line. Foley converted to make it 10-7.

The home side looked good to score again but a poor kick choice on attack got Scotland off the hook. They took advantage of quick 22 and after a chip kick ahead from Russell, Foley turned his shoulder and took him out to earn himself a ten-minute rest from referee Wayne Barnes.

With Foley off the field, the Wallabies looked to clear their lines with a box kick from Will Genia but his kick was charged down by Russell and he only had to catch it and fall over to score their second try of the day. Russell converted his own try for a 17-7 lead.

It seemed the only way the Wallabies could get into the Scottish 22 was on the back off penalties and just before the half time break the Scots went down to 14 men after number 8 Ryan Wilson slowed the ball down with the Wallabies on attack. With another penalty advantage, Bernard Foley kicked to the right wing where Israel Folau jumped about 3 metres and collected the ball above Tonks to score his second try of the game to leave 17-12 in Scotland’s favour at the break.

Wallabies v Scotland-13

The second half was a bit of a scratchy start from the Wallabies with a few things not going their way – lineout overthrows in particular – not helping despite having the majority of the ball in the Scotland half.

It took 15 minutes for the home side to start getting good front foot ball that they could use effectively possibly in part due to a number of changes being made that gave a bit more urgency around the breakdown.

With the Wallabies knocking on the door of the Scottish line, Will Genia snuck around the side to catch the defence napping and get the nod from the TMO for the Wallabies third try. Foley converted to give the Wallabies the lead at 19-17.

The lead wouldn’t last for long as the Scottish backs sent it wide to catch the defence stretched and the weight of numbers was too much as Hamish Watson collected the last pass to stroll over and make it 24-19.

The Wallabies went close to leveling as Quade Cooper got involved with some short passing down the left wing with Tevita Kuridrani who found Foley but excellent scrambling defence from Scotland saved them.

With time winding down, the home side had a penalty in good field position but again poor execution at the lineout only metres out allowed an easy out for Scotland.

The Wallabies had another chance to snatch the win and kept hammering the Scottish line but again the defence was immense in their own 22.

Scotland looked to close out the game with pick and drives but gave away a penalty to give the Wallabies one last chance but yet again their defence came up trumps to win the game winning penalty as they held on for a tough 24-19 win.

The Game Changer

In the second half the Wallabies got their noses in front for the first time but Scotland snatched back the lead almost immediately and then left it up to their defence and hang on.


Plenty in the Scottish side stood up, particularly towards the end with their defence but Finn Russell gets the nod for leading the Scots around the park and even bagging a try for his efforts.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: Folau 2, Genia
Conversions: Foley 2
Tries: Taylor, Russell, Watson
Conversions: Russell 3
Penalties: Tonks


23 mins – Foley (Australia) – Yellow
39 mins – Wilson (Scotland) – Yellow



Photos by Peter Mitchell

  • Kev

    Wallabies fans right now (me included):

  • Gegonago

    The problem the Aussies seem to have is they don’t look like they have a plan inside their own half. If you keep them there, they will make mistakes and you will get points from them

    You’ve got to start taking some of these three pointers, instead of constantly going for the corner

    • Darrin Briggs

      We don’t play for field / territory position but to retain the ball. Unfortunately this leads time and time again to mistakes and points….its just silly

  • juswal

    Good job with the instant review, Steve.

    We couldn’t attack from the set piece. We couldn’t cope with a simple rushing defence. We yielded tries to fumbles and charge-downs. The stuff we mostly did well, we failed to do in critical moments. It’s a lot like 2016.

    • Darrin Briggs

      Why cant we deal with a simple rush defence? Its disgraceful.

  • Pedro

    Bugger. Enjoy it Scots.

  • Moose

    That was hard to watch. Hunt is a machine, but thought the attack looked better when Quade came on.

    • Seb V

      Cooper looked sharp. Problem with Cooper is he can look sharp one weekend and complete shite the next, hard to pick his form.

    • He looked better in his brief time on the field today than he has at any stage for the Reds this year. Hopefully it’s a sign that he’s coming back into form.

      • Moose

        Hope so. I’m a Foley fan but Wobblies desperately need more options at 10.
        Re 12 I hope Beale can slot in and get his combination with Foley going like in 2014-15 (probably wishful thinking). Hunt to fullback, Izzy to wing maybe.

        • Who?

          Hunt stays at 12, Beale to 15, Folau to wing. That way, there’s no swapping on defence, and the 15 can inject himself into the line wherever he sees fit anyway. May as well have them in the right jumpers. :-)

        • Adrian

          Something like that will happen re Beale and Hunt Moose and Who.

          Foley did a lot of good things as well as the YC, the charge-down, missed kicks and dropped kick.

          Foley fits Cheika style, but I wish there was a way to use the best of Cooper too.

          When we add in Kerevi we’ll have a crack backline, so long as they get quick ball from the forwards via the halfback.

          I’m beginning to wonder about “all is under control Genia”. I’d like Gordon, but let’s see if he gets any time v Italy, because Powell also deserves a run

        • Darrin Briggs

          Beale to fullback izzy to wing.

      • idiot savant

        I don’t think thats true. He has had several 15 minute bursts of brilliance for the Reds this year. But there hasnt been a single game where he have maintained that level for very long.

        • Who?

          I’ve seen that written a bit this year. I think, though, we need to be fair to Quade, in that generally the ball hasn’t gone to him for more than the first half of most games. Most games, they’ve been like the Wallabies. Lots of fire and brimstone to start, but unable to maintain the rage. So they go hard early, the backs look fantastic, score a couple of tries. Run out of puff by the 30 minute mark. Maybe a small spark after the half time break, and then rapidly fade and do nothing for the last 20. When the pack’s no longer going forward (Smith and Higgers are generally still working hard, but the ‘pack’ mentality of the forwards has been lost), no 10 really gets ball or opportunity, so all you see is box kicks, or maybe clearances… And in those periods, he hasn’t been making big mistakes. He just hasn’t been setting the field alight. Which is ok – it’s not the time to try the impossible when you’re in a defensive position.

    • Darrin Briggs

      Cooper did look good when he came on….Genia looked rubbish…he cant box kick!

      • Brumby Runner

        Or grubber, or any other bloody kicking style. Midway through the first half, after a prolonged period of no possession, we get a scrum win and Genia immediately put through a grubber that simply gifted possession back to the Scots, with no pressure on the receiver so there was really no possibility of it leading to any different result.
        The decision making by key players in the backline was shit, and unfortunately, has been for a long time now.

        • Will

          Totally agree.

      • Will

        his box kick has become a risk for the wallabies. More times than not it gets charged down. Let’s be honest he’s shit at it.

      • Rob Malcolm

        Genia can’t box kick – he is either charged down or the kick is ineffective. He absolutely needs to stop doing that. His passing is long and accurate, if a touch slow at clearing. His running and sniping are good. Phipps can’t box kick either, but at least he knows his limitations. Phipps clears the ruck quicker, but his passing isn’t as long or accurate. He also doesn’t snipe/run enough.

        Foley’s running and passing are good, but his kick is not long enough. Combined with Genia or Phipps it means that “kicking for territory” isn’t really an option ie when Foley/Genia kick they either return with interest or if our chasers aren’t aligned, tear us apart.

        Until we solve the kicking game good defensive teams ABs, England, even Scotland, can just wait for a mistake.

        Cooper did look good sticking to running and passing. But he wasn’t on long enough to expose his defence and kicking limitations. His kicking is marginally longer, but slow and inaccurate.

        DHP and Hodge are the two natural and long kickers. For me they need to come in and kick when we are in our 22.

  • Bobas

    What I hate most about this game is that the Brumbies would have beaten Scotland today.
    Again the wallabies have no plan b… rush defence scores more points than we do…
    Scotland played a very aggressive counter attack style much like the southern kings.
    Kuridrani severely underused for crash ball.
    Cooper employed too late, Powell not at all despite both of them in form against that style of defence.

    • Hoss

      Isn’t the Brumbies coach the Oz attack coach….

      • Bobas

        So he makes the team selections and flags when the subs come on?
        Cheika is the one who picks Hooper and bigger slower Hooper (Higgers) in the same back row. Gives a cap Nabouli even though he looks like a sweaty slow never was. Overlooks the guy he named as captain for the less in form (can’t even get a start for the Force) TPN, who ruins a line out steal, then passes to the opposition and then over throws twice in a row.

        • jamie

          I can’t believe we didn’t use this test series to blood Latu and Ready properly. Moore has had it, and TPN is a shadow of his 2015 supersub self.
          (Ready is very much a ball-stealer and would help justify our wider playing back row)

  • Hoss

    Just when I think our 9 and 10 are starting to get somewhere, they remind me just how truly shite they are.

    Although Genia must be MOTM, one try and two assists…….

  • jamie

    Foley was dumb. Cooper looked good at 12.

    I’m sick to death of seeing the forwards pass the ball flat to another when they’re both just going to get tackled anyway. I can’t remember when, but it lead to a penalty against us. I understand it sucks their players in, but when there’s no cavalry to ruck anyway, that just doesn’t work.

    • MisterDel

      This really annoys me too about the forwards, especially since the one who passed is now in front of the one being tackled. He is now in a poor position to support at the breakdown and has no momentum.

      • jamie

        It feels like we’re trying to look like we have the same ball handling skills the NZ Forwards do, when we do not.

        • joey

          I disagree Jamie. It’s a good tactic, just poorly executed. Done properly, short passing between forwards quickly changes the point of impact to a weaker defensive shoulder.

          The problem isn’t short passing, it’s short passing with no one running onto the ball. ATM we’re standing still, passing it backwards and shoveling shit.

  • Dally M


  • Wilbur Starn

    Completely ineffective back row for the last two weeks. I’m not sure you can have both Higgers and Hooper. I rate them both but not together. Hannibal is just a little bit light for now.
    The backs look like they had concrete in their boots.
    That Finn Russell was great but if I was a Scot I wouldn’t get too carried away, they played well for their ability but I think we lost it

    • Bobas

      Fardy and Latu and Speight balance the on ball presence… none of them were in the team today.

    • Darrin Briggs

      I agree the backrow is totally ineffectual…sorry but Ned Hanigan isn’t up to this level at this stage of his career. We missed Fardy.

  • Garry

    Watching the WB’s is like watching the local 4th grade run around. You’ll see the same mistakes. Quick, turn around, look out for the quick 22 restart. Fullback, get into position to catch the clearance before it bounces into touch. Winger, get ready to chase after this highball. But you’d forgive the fourth graders for the performance, they’d probably been out till late on the sauce. But hold tight, these WB bunch are professionals, paid to hone their skills 8 hours a day. I feel sorry for Cheika, surely you can expect a basic skill level when they turn up to camp. Perhaps that’s where he is going wrong. Back to basics for our boys. Catch, pass, chase, 101.
    I have worked out why we have trouble with the Scots, they don’t offer a lot in attack, but just defend and wait for our blunder. Result tries for intercepts and charge downs. And good for them, it works.
    I feel sorry for those who paid for a ticket. At the moment you couldn’t give me a WBs ticket. I’m sure I’m not alone.

    ABC, it’s time for a sequel. “The fall and fall….. and fall of Australian Rugby”

    • Brisneyland Local

      I dont feel sorry for Cheika, he owns this shite! He has to stand up and say my bad!

      • Tommy Brady

        It is consistent with any Cheika coached team.
        Year 1 spent addressing the easy fix issues of bad environment / poor player attitude which spark immediate improvement.
        Year 2 spent on player fitness / player in-game mentality which lead to better results and strong self-belief.
        Year 3 sees regression as the easy fixes re. fitness and player attitude mature. The necessary accompanying improvements in player skills are not forthcoming. Game plan fails to evolve and becomes well understood by opposition sides.
        Year 4 sees Cheika leave to pursue next challenge. Let’s see his stomach to turn this growing mess around.

        • Brisneyland Local

          TB, thats a pretty accurate and harsh write up, but you are completley correct.
          This problem will not go away til we get a new plan. There is no more benefit of the doubt anymore! Win or be fired.

      • Mike Thompson

        Cheika has been given a ludicrously long honeymoon period. Surely now the criticism will rightly flow.

        Ewen McKensie who was given 0 honeymoon period by the press is sorely missed by me. Now that’s a guy who could coach.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep we are getting let down with the coaching side of things at the moment.

        • jamie

          Very underrated. Found the strengths and weaknesses of everyone. Our peak in the last few years was when we were playing with McKenzie’s gameplan and Cheik’s team management (mid 2015)

          Strangely, only tiem we’ve beaten the ABs

    • Nick

      The mistakes are so amateur. As I’ve said previously I think we have a good team that just makes too many errors and is tactically very poor. Players like Hanigan, Hooper, Hunt and Coleman bust their guts and just get constantly let down by others in the team.

      • Who?

        I think busting a gut is a very Cheika was to put it, but a poor way to explain it. I don’t think any of the players out there failed to try yesterday. But not all the efforts were directed as best they might be. Hanigan’s the perfect example. Ran hard pretty well all day. But ran very upright, got hit hard and knocked backwards from the initial point of contact pretty well every time. SO, the effort was there, but the intelligence wasn’t. The same goes for our exit strategy, which is an absolute farce. We get stuck in our own 22 like no other nation in the world…
        That doesn’t excuse the mistakes, but I’m just a bit tired of people – including, now, Cheika – questioning the effort of the players, rather than the skills, the decision making, or, most critically, the coaching…

  • skip

    Same old shit.

    Charge down leads to try – check
    Stupid pass intercepted for try – check
    Defensive system exposed for try – check
    Crap arse grubber kicks – check
    Forced offloads – check
    Bad body position – check
    Lumbering attack – check
    Not respecting the opposition – check
    No passion for the jersey – check.

    • Gegonago

      Cheika – check

    • Seb V

      Poor kicking game – check

      No support play – check

      No urgency or accuracy at the breakdown – check

    • David Jones

      Easy kicks at goal missed – check

    • Mike Thompson

      Please come back Ewen, we need someone who knows how to coach.

    • Nick

      The charge down stuff is so irritating. Some of our players are excellent and work very hard. The problem is we have too many passengers who just aren’t good enough.

      Genia – Woeful passing and kicking. Far too slow.
      Foley – Stupid decisions

      I’d much rather we put Quade and anyone else in.

      I think we are a good side that is just not smart enough and cannot kick whatsoever.

      The groans from the crowd whenever Genia kicked…

  • Adrian


    Every player that did something good, did two three things poorly (Genia, Foley, TPN)

    I don’t think they were over confident, but they weren’t concentrating.

    It looked to me like they weren’t expecting the rush defence.

    It also looked to me that they didn’t have the pack working as a pack for go forward, despite individual efforts from TPN, Alaalatoa, Coleman.

    Some looked slow and/or out of their depth

    Need bigger more brutal and tighter forwards for Italians, and even more so for ABs and RC

    • idiot savant

      You’re right Adrian, they looked slow. They were slow. It looked like a side that had been flogged on the training track and not tapered properly for game day. I think Ive seen this before with Cheika coached sides.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Firstly congrats to the Scotts, they did well and wanted this more!

    Well BL is coming in off the long run up for this delivery!
    Holy fucking shit, that was crap. There is no excuse for that, we really were total and utter bollocks today! Complete dross.

    There is no way we can sell this as other than a complete and utter coaching failure. I dont give shit about how cranky Cheika wants to be about this and remonstrate. He owns this utter giant turd! There is no putting glitter on this one! There is no plan B, if there was even these dumb arses would have switched to it, but there isnt, so they didnt.

    – We cant keep box kicking. Genia shit in the first half, good in the second.
    – Foley again blew dog. Cant kick yellow card.
    – Cooper actually looked good, but didnt get enough game time, but I even as a Qld fan, am still not sure about his state of mind, but fuck he cant be worse than the dross Foley served up.
    – Shit line out throw ins.
    – Intercepted passes.

    I am sorry have to stop listing these points, we all know what they are, and they are not getting better. Shit with SR, and fucking sucking ass as the Wallabies.

    The plan is not working, we need to get a new one.
    I am really pissed as I have got a corporate box next week at Suncorp and other than the food and booze am now convinced I have done my dough.

    Highlight of the day other than Izzy’s try was seeing Fiji beat the Italians.

    We are truly shit!

    • Huw Tindall

      I love a good rant. Stress relief.

      Bit harsh on old Nard there I thought. Yellowcard was dumb and his place kicking was off tonight but didn’t lose it for us. He has a proven record as place kicker so stick with him.

      What I can’t forgive though is our continued shit exit strategies and box kicking. When Foley was in the bin DHP took a penalty and chewed off 50m on the kick!!! He should be doing all our kicks to touch if Hodge isn’t on the pitch.

      Hopefully Hunt’s concussion isn’t too bad. If it is then Hodge can slot back into 12 and at least we’ll be getting out of our own half.

      Unfortunately next week we’ll probably smash up the poor old Italians and gloss over the underlying problems in the team.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep Huw, I needed that!
        I didnt think I was harsh on Nard, I didnt think he lost us the match, but I am afraid his is not what I see as our 10 and that yellow card was Cooper style of stupid.
        We need people who can roost it out of the park and Foley isnt one and DHP can kick long so why does Cheika the fucktard keep having his plan give it to the guy that can barely dribble it 20 metres! Fuck me!
        Hunt was good and is truly one of the positivies of this rugby year, when most things are looking pretty dismal!
        I think you are totally right in saying we will give the Italians six of the best trousers down old school style, and we will white wash the whole thing.
        I am supporting the fijians from now on!

      • Who?

        Nard got a YC, and it cost us 7 points. We lost by 5. Further, he missed a conversion (2 points that can be earned without changing the rest of the game), and he missed a penalty he would normally hit that meant that, rather than being 3-3, we were shortly 0-10. He didn’t singlehandedly lose it, but he certainly had a poor game by his own standards.

      • Nick

        Hodge’s defending was pretty poor at times I thought. He just tracked the runner instead of making tackles.

    • Rebels3

      To be honest I am not sure if Cheika is the man to point the finger at. Selection wise apart from Fardy it’s hard to argue against the team on paper.

      Lack of skills etc, Cheika has had the team for 2 weeks. I’d personally be pointing the finger at the clowns that had these players for the past 20weeks. Cheika has his flaws but he’s not the issue. In fact it can easily be argued that the longer Cheika had the team last year the better the players got. Then it’s almost as if the players return to their super sides and all is forgotten and they regress.

      The philosophy from each and every super side is out dated. What’s happening at training during the season.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Rebs, got that he doesnt own the skill sets, but he owns the game plan and ours blew dog! Plus there was no plan B to got to. That is the coaches perview and he has to own that.
        When you keep fucking up the existing plan via poor execution, you go back to ball in hand rugby, but we didnt! Cheika has to own that! He has runners and breaks in play where he can messgaes to the players. So either they are ignoring his messages, cant execute the plan, or there isnt a plan B. either way, he has has to own it!

    • Dally M

      If the best players we have in Australia cannot execute plan A without turning it into a clusterfuck, what good is a plan B?

      • Brisneyland Local

        A half reasonable team can switch from one to the other if the first isnt working. But alas we are not a half reasonable team.

  • Huw Tindall

    Wallabies mistakes are killing us. The Scots looked good for their one try but the intercept and charge down are more down to shit Wallaby skills and decision making than brilliant Scottish play. Fair play to them though. The defensive effort in the last 10 by the Scots was outstanding. I’d kill for a guy like Conor Murray in Wallabies. Now there is a guy you can box kick 50m and drop it on a 10 cent piece. Until the Wallabies learn to play basic disciplined field position rugby we will continue to struggle. If our halves can’t box kick then shelve it. Have Hodge or DHP in the pocket to clear out of our half.

    Other thing I noticed was Scotland being very cynical at ruck time. Lots of lying around on the Wallaby side of the ruck and slowing things down. Their 8 got a yellow for it but probably could have dished out a few more! Given the Wallabies are now committing less people to the ruck (seems to be the plan this year) we need to make sure the guys who do go in to clear out are fucking rockets. In this regard I think we need someone like Timani in the side. Can’t sustain Hannigan, Higgers and Hooper, who all have their own talents, but probably the wrong balance to ensure enough clean recycle and quick ball. Timani is that low bodyheight bulldozer who destroys rucks.

    In terms of good performances I think Coleman, Hunt, Folau and Hooper all did well. Coleman just did all the hard work running it up and making the hits. Hunt looks dangerous and is a defensive weapon. Folau the best finisher going around. Hooper doing his thing as usual and getting more pilfers again, including in the 79th minute which gave us one final shot at the win. Starting front row was solid in the scrum too. Looked like Robertson won the battle on his side of the scrum which will be a turn up for all his detractors.

  • Darrin Briggs

    That was so painful to watch!!! I could tell from the opening minutes that we had the skill set to put them away but our own errors, stupid amateur mistakes and inability to have composure and leadership to work the ball through phases in the right part of the field to score was so predictable. Why don’t we play field / territory position???? Instead we try to run the ball out of own 22 only to make mistakes which turn into points….so stupid!!
    I’m a diehard Wallabies supporter but if a 4th grade club team had committed some of those basic errors today I would be upset. There are some people playing that are not up to this standard of rugby…sorry Ned Hanigan. We got smashed at the breakdown today, with our back row setup all teams know that we are not going to compete at the breakdown and thus can set up their defence and attack structures. I could write a thesis on this game on the topic “How not to play Rugby”

    • Brisneyland Local

      Here Here!

  • Gilbert

    Woeful Wallabies. That was painful. Would somebody please send Nathan Grey to Zimbabwe they need a defence coach. Genia was terrible and should have been pulled after that pass to Taf and that box kick. Shit if we are going to lose do it properly and put Powell on to get some experience. Haylett Petty is overrated. And Ned is not up to it bring back Fardy please. Generally they should have shown Scotland respect and taken the points offered on penalty instead of going for the corner all the time. They really were a pathetic bunch of players tonight… no respect for the Wallaby jersey. But you have to give credit where it is due the Scots piggies were all over the Wannabes. Well played Scotland.

  • Jonno

    Wow didn’t think the WBs could get worse than last year. The myth of the Aussie attacking brilliance and superior skill set remains exactly that. Now the reliance on it is simply losing them games.

  • Who?

    So… First try, I was surprised that Barnes didn’t go to the TMO. Thought those Scots got off their line pretty quickly. But Taf did mess up the pretty poor Genia pass…
    Second try against us, that’s on Cheika and Foley. Because it is blindingly obvious to all and sundry that there’s only two allowed to kick in that team. Foley and Genia. So, Foley is stupid enough to get a YC (Barnes made a mistake there – should’ve allowed the Scots to play the advantage, they might’ve scored on the kick chase), which leaves Genia as the only kicking option on the field. So they run an 8th man pass from a 5m scrum, to a flat 9 who kicks?! That was NEVER going to work! With a 5m scrum, you want your best passer – your scrumhalf, not your 8 – passing to your strongest kicker deep in the pocket, to give time and space to ensure that ball goes out. But what other option was there, as Hunt and DHP don’t appear to be allowed to kick, even though they’ve both got bigger boots than Foley..?
    Our exit strategy has been horrible since the end of 2014. It’s ridiculous that we haven’t figured it out yet. And we appear to be even worse than ever this year, constantly passing right to left from the scrumhalf for the 10 to kick to the left touchline. Which exposes a right footed kicker for charge downs. Just basic, basic stuff…
    The third Scottish try… That was just great stuff. Try of the day.
    Folau’s tries? The first one was good work from Genia to stay alive, then great work from Foley to find the space. Because I reckon we’d have been smashed off the ball if it’d stayed in tight, as Scotland had been very dominant in the contact and breakdown in that period. Good vision from Foley, great pass. But the second one, poor from Foley. For two reasons. Firstly, he overkicked it. Folau’s not short, he was at full extension on a full vertical leap to pull it in. Great work Israel, but a bit long from Foley. But it was significantly too long, as DHP was inside Folau, completely unmarked. Could’ve grabbed it without even a contest! When Matty White’s picking it up… It’s great Folau’s scoring tries again, but it’s hard not to worry that our only game plan is falling back into ‘give it to Issy’ mode, just now it’s ‘give it to Issy up high were no one else can grab it.’
    Our breakdown was completely dominated today. I don’t think any of our forwards, perhaps with the exception of Coleman, could claim they were accurate enough or early enough to the breakdown.
    But not only were we dominated in the breakdown, oftentimes we were dominated in the contact. Someone needs to tell Hanigan to get lower – the amount of times he ran hard into contact, only to be rocked back by a low tackle round his hips…
    Our support play wasn’t good enough. Hooper’s break was proof of that, and it was still the case after Cooper/Folau/Kuridrani/Cooper/Foley had their little interplay late in the game.
    Our lineout was actually pretty handy (except when overthrown). We almost earned a card there…
    Nabuli was unsighted… Hunt was excellent. The timing for TK’s crash balls was often off – often he was just a little early onto the ball, which meant he had to hold back a little bit to avoid overrunning the ball. Cooper was far and away our most dangerous back, but the support lines offered to him weren’t good enough. Foley wasn’t at his usual standard, left 5 points off his boot on the field (all in the first half), his YC cost us 7 points (if he weren’t YC’d, Genia wouldn’t have taken that clearance kick that was charged down. Note, it wasn’t a box kick…).
    Cheika’s come out and said he feels sorry for Hooper, because he’s the only one showing the passion the jersey deserves. I think that’s horribly harsh. Our selection was off (proof is the breakdown domination – we needed someone there to protect that ball and disrupt theirs, which was flagged by many of us when the squad was named, but Cheika doesn’t value pilferers), our game plans are too one dimensional (especially exiting – it’s something every team has to be able to do, but we can’t)…
    For all the comments about the crowd at AAMI last week, too, I saw a LOT of empty seats in the upper tiers today…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Who, as always a very good comment, very analytical and detailed. to be honest I was going to write up a detailed piece, but finally lost my cookies and cracked the shits.
      Hooper may show passion but he doesnt demonstrate rugby brains. going for tries when he had the option to have three points on the board numerous times. That was just bad captaincy and a lack of understanding of the game.
      Foley’s kick was / is shit. Someone else needs to kick. Cooper certainly looked better in attack. That yellow card was bloody costly. Infact as I said early that was a Cooper style of dumb that yellow!
      Our game plan struggled against Fiji (BTW congrats to Fiji on beating Italy that was a most enjoyable game). So rolling it out against a dominate forward pack like Scotland was just utter stupidity.

    • Gnostic

      Great comment Who and spot on the money. The lack of exit strategy is just ridiculous. It is well known I do not rate Larkham as a coach and it is for these reasons. Despite having apprenticed under White he failed to take on the fundamentals taught to every team from kids up to 1sts, such as basic strategies for exits and the ability to have a number of options to distract the defence. So despite Foley having a pop gun kick (even when he is on the field) and always under huge pressure because the Wallabies use no other option they have for three seasons (this being the third) not mixed it up and used the other options such as DHP and Hunt is this test. Or how about this novel idea teach (you know actually coach some skills) Folau how to kick and tell him if he wants to remain Wallabies Fullback it is a required skill for the position.
      Support lines as you say are a joke. Hooper made a brilliant break and it was a full 3 seconds before Higgers arrived and did two parts of SFA missing the cleanout totally. Higgers is a huge disappointment, despite his physical attributes and undeniable current ability and more potential he just has not played to it in tests.
      On passing – so many passes Wallaby players make to static receivers, can they pass to a moving target? And you mentioned that you want you best passer send the ball to your best kicker for clearance, well Genia last night should have been hooked, he was as bad as Nick Phipps at his worst with the added value of box kicks. I’ll give Larkham a tip, get some videos of Connor Murray and sit Genia down and show him what an international 9 plays like. His long association with Aaron Smith through playing obviously hasn’t rubbed off and the videos can free up Larkham for what ever the F%$# else he does because it certainly isn’t brilliant attack patterns.
      On defence – in 2014 and 2015 the Tahs and then the Wallabies had a very efficient and strong defence with Grey as coach. Since that time it has degraded at a rapid pace. What has happened? There are holes everywhere but they are especially easily out flanked and the kick chase is lazy and disorganised. Grey clearly showed he has the ability to come up with a plan and have it executed very well, that plan has been found out at Super Level and at test level, can he develop a new one or evolve the old one to meet current situations. Given his comments about easy fixes last year and this year with the Tahs I now have serious doubts.
      All this comes back to Cheika, he can be excused for taking Grey to the Wallabies as he had a winning formula at the Tahs, there is no excuse for Larkham, unproven and undeserved now being totally found out and this is Cheika’s fault. Just think we have Larkham as the great anointed successor to Cheika.

    • idiot savant

      Yes you really see the difference without any breakdown contesters in the back row. In Cheika’s time we’ve usually had one – Pocock or Fardy (and when we had both of them against France we beat their giant pack and won with a B team). And the only time Cheika beat the ABs, Pocock was instrumental. Hansen and Jones will be laughing.

      • Who?

        It’s true we’ve often had an on baller in the team, but half the time I reckon that’s by accident, not design… Cheika tried to avoid Pocock, he tried hard, in 2015. But Pocock was irresistible. So he stuck him in the 8 jersey, even though he’s a traditional 7 (I consider Hooper to play more like a 6, just shorter than your average 6). Fardy was continually overlooked for Mumm.
        As you point out, the only recent time we had Fardy and Pocock, we dropped the majority of the starting team and still beat France. And despite the fact that Pocock is regularly decried as being slow, I remember him chasing down players who’d taken intercepts… The fact we won that by controlling the breakdown was an aberration from the standard Cheika playbook.

        • joey

          Pocock is the type of player that would run a 15 second hundred, but if he’s chasing someone with the Ball he’d do it in 11.

        • jamie


          What does that make Brian Habana in his prime then?

  • Adrian

    Yes, well, it’s all been said, and I agree with most that’s said below.

    Only exception might be, that I think Hanigan was ok, …though probably not as good as Fardy yet…

    I think we’ll use Fardy and Skelton off the bench v All Blacks (first RC game I think, irrespective of what Cheika has said previously.

    I thought Genia was poor actually. I think Cheika will possibly start Powell v Italy, but I’d kinda prefer it was Gordon.

    Either way they’d show more urgency than Genia, who tries to give the impression that “all is under control”, when it isn’t.

  • onlinesideline


    1. Mackenzie saga
    2. poor 4 nations year in year out
    3. 0 from what 27 matches against kiwis in super rugby
    4. Beaten by Scotland how many times now ?
    5. Done nothing but organise expensive barbies for club rugby
    6. Oh yeah – selling out aussie rugby by cutting a team and pissing off whole supporter base

    Things like this dont happen when someone at the helm has vision and wise input. Pulver is not a leader. He is a corporate and no more – but NOT a rugby man.

    Did this guy say he’d leave if asked ?

    Well we’re all asking – PLEASE LEAVE !

    Stay tuned – rock bottom comig soon.

    • Brisneyland Local

      OLSL, yep Pulver has a lot to answer for. I personally wouldnt call it the McKenzie saga, I would call it the Wallabies appalling culture saga. McKenzie was the poor sod that tried to break it and got steam rolled.
      Rock bottom is the least of my concerns. When they hit it, they will hire an excavator and keep on digging! Mark my words!

  • Andy

    Congrats to Scotland. They defended their hearts out.

    For our guys, wholeheartedly disappointing performance. Didn’t get out of the blocks until 20 minutes. If you’re not in game mode as soon as you walk on the pitch, at international level you can get done by anyone ranked within the top 10 unless your NZ and maybe England. All the leaders in this team need a good look in the mirror. In the forwards, no one except Hooper stood up. I thought he was phenomenal and was the only player who look int. standard.

    In the backs no one set the world alight but thought Genianand Foley were really poor. Genia especially. He had an absolute shocker.

    Just not good enough and really bad/dumb performance.

    • Adrian

      Yes, Genia very poor.

      Apart from his poor kicking, he was annoyingly slow to rucks, but maintained his “all is under control” demeanor

      • ozrugbynut

        Exactly. He thinks he has a lot more time than he actually does to execute whatever hes trying to. 2 box kicks charged down or touched yesterday, and one against fiji from memory but its a common occurrence. He will also not get involved in a ruck or go digging for the ball when its deep in a ruck. Its as if the attitude is “its the forwards job, so if they fuck it up then its not my fault”. If youre only half a back, then whats the other half Will?

        • Kev

          That is so bloody accurate mate. He never gets involved in any other capacity. This is especially true at the breakdown. He’ll stand and watch the opposition turnover over our ball rather than do something about it.

        • Who?

          The charge down for the try yesterday wasn’t a box kick, it was a clearing kick from a scrum… Which he shouldn’t have been taking. But given that DHP, Hunt and Hodge have taken a sum total of zero kicks in general play over the last two tests, it’s pretty clear that they’re all banned from kicking, meaning he’s the only one allowed to kick the ball when Foley’s got his YC. Reality is he shouldn’t have been the one kicking from that part of the field. DHP should have.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Andy yep you are right, but Hooper whilst he tried his guts out, and lead from the front effort wise, demonstrated he doesnt have a rugby brain. Couldnt get the team on the paddock to change the game plan! Plus turning down three when on offer cost us badly and was a lack of rugby nous!

      • Nick

        I was at the game and never really thought he made the wrong decisions when turning down penalties. After Foley missed that sitter from right in front at the start of the game it stuck in the back of mind.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sometimes as the song say you have to know when to hold and know when to fold. In rugby that translates to go for touch and the try, or take the three points on offer. I not sure Hooper knows that balance point yet!

      • Andy

        Agree in hindsight we should have taken more shots at goal. But when watching the game I was yelling at them to go for touch as we had all the momentum. Knock ons in linouts and terrible clear outs cost us in a multiple of opportunities near the line. Passing from all players was also woeful.

        And not sure the game plan was completely wrong as we were parked in their 22 for large parts of the game. In my eyes, execution of the basics killed this game for us. But agree it would be good moving forward to see more of a variety in our game. I just look at the team and I don’t see a group of players capable of changing their game, at least successfully….

        Not too sure what the answer is but can’t see this team knocking over any decent opposition this year.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Andy, like you normally I would scream for them to go for touch, and go for the try. But our skills are so shit lately that I just know we are going to drop it or cough it up. So as we cant be relied upon to hang onto it, take the three!

        • joey

          Pressure builds points, points builds pressure.
          It’s a test match, put the points on the board

        • Brisneyland Local

          Here here Joey!

    • jamie

      Hey mate, just wondering if you’d consider Foley to have had a drab game today? Not poking the bear or anything, I just thought he was really poor and assume you would have too?

      • Andy

        Definitely. He had a terrible game by his standards. Copper also looked really good when he came on

        • jamie

          Glad to hear. Some people get so caught up in their/our own player debates that they forget the endgame is to win in gold. At the moment I think Foley is the best option at 10, but Cooper is tempting for mine, with a rock outside him in Karmichael Hunt.

        • Andy

          I try not to be bias. Case in point. I’m a tahs man through and through but when I watch the reds play anyone overseas I’m always pulling for them. Was over the moon when they won the s15, not for QLD but for Oz rugby. Same with the Brumbies.

          I’ve always liked watching Cooper play and his ceiling is much higher than Foley’s. His consistency just hasn’t been there at provincial level. Absolutely hope he turns that around as he’s a world beater when on song.

          Hunt also looks good at 12. About time we had a 12 that can hit hard and cause havoc at the breakdown.

  • Adrian

    Scrum v Italy?

    Alaalatoa (can play loosehead)
    Latu (pilfers)
    Kepu (runs and leadership)
    Coleman (everything)
    Arnold (aggression )
    Hanigan (thought he was ok)
    Timani (aggression, size, tight)
    Robertson (can play tight head)
    Tui (aggression, energy, size)
    Hardwick (plays tight)

    I’d play the power game, driving through their forwards right from the beginning, to set up the mood for the rest of the team, and the rest of the match

    • Brisneyland Local

      Adrian, that looks pretty good. But after yesterday I would be changing Foley for Cooper too! Time to try something else as Foley is screwing the pooch too much!

  • Mike Thompson

    That was utter failure in coaching.
    Poor spacing in defense, lumbering (repeated) attack, dodgy kicking skills and (I was at the game) a lead-footed-ness in most activities.
    The cattle aren’t that bad. So much more is possible.
    This coaching team is crap.

    • idiot savant

      On the spacing, I wondered whether there was confusion on the forward defensive pattern? I think they stood against Fiji but might have switched to 2.4.2 for the Scots? Or just got confused about which one? I also thought the Scots held players down on the ground all the time after play had moved on which would have forced the Wallabies to lose their structure.

  • Arty

    Genia as a senior player was just woeful. Times up for him lets move on with some youth. Surely he wasn’t told to put in slow motion box kickes or sloppy grubbers to no-one after just winning a scrum. They were his own faults not Cheika’s.
    TPN – lets move on from him. Carter the same. DHP again poor skills and obvious why he is not fullback.
    Lucky we have Folau, Coleman and Hooper.

    • Adrian

      100% agree Arty

  • first time long time

    What do you call a guy who is out of position for long periods of play, can’t tackle, is pretty slow, kicks out of hand worse than any local club player worth their salt, can’t manage a game or direct the team around the field, good goal kicker but too short on distance, decent distribution game.
    At international level I’d call him left right out…. The wallabies call him fly half.

    Why wasn’t he at first receiver or at least organising the players when that cock up intercept happened.

    Why did he go back to kicking for touch off penalties after being sinbinned when DHP had chewed off twice as much distance than Foley has in the last 3 years.
    I don’t give a fark what the coach says why doesn’t the captain say you can’t kick give it to someone else.

    That stunk! Hard to begrudge the Scots the win though.

    • Brisneyland Local

      FTLT, love your work. there are a lot of people out there saying other than the yellow card he had a good game. Really WTF?
      His yellow card cost us points, badly. His poor kicking some more points. It takes a team to lose a game, but he certainly was a major contributor! People bagged Qaude out for his moments of brilliance followewd by a moment of stupidity. The only difference here is I havnt seen him (Foley) have a moment of brilliance yet!

      • first time long time

        I was in a harsh mood BL….. And hung over.
        Foley is just missing a few core skills that should be prerequisites for an international 10.

        He needs to watch B Barrett bust a gut to get back into position all game for starters as that doesn’t take skill just effort.

        I know Cooper hasn’t been anywhere near his best this year but I’d like to see him given a go and a license to just go for it and let’s see what happens,
        He looked good in his cameo which is always deceptive, a guy like him against tired legs should always look sharp.

        Just saw Cheika wants more cross field kicks for Izzy! FFS hasn’t every rugby fan in the world been wondering why there haven’t been 3 or 4 a game since 2013?

        I’m going to stop now, I feel that harsh mood returning.

        • Brisneyland Local


    • jamie

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Foley is a very very good rugby player. But he’s Not a flyhalf. He’s a player not a distributor. He was a fullback pre-2014 or so, and we tried to mirror the Larkham Fullback-flyhalf transition.

      Even in his England 2015 RWC game, the reason he got a 10/10 on the site that’s opinion matters was because of his rugby ability and his individual brilliance, not his game management or distribution skills. Beale and Gits were predominantly pulling the strings there.

      • first time long time

        Personal opinion here, but I don’t think he is the best player we have in any back line position.
        He is struggling as a 10, we have better 12s, he’s not a 13, too slow for wing and we have better fullbacks.
        We are in quite a bind if we keep him for the RC but I don’t think Cheika will drop him

        • jamie

          Unfortunately, I think he’s still our best player at 10… Cooper is too hit and miss, and I love the man.

          Still, Quade looked good in his cameo at the end (as he should against tired legs). Maybe his kicking and distribution (and his partnership with KH who has seemingly sewn up 12) will provide better returns than Foley?

        • first time long time

          But aren’t those hits pretty to watch. It’s such a pity they are few and far between these days but his bad games are no worse/better than what Foley dished up last night and his good games….. Wow

        • jamie

          Agree. When Cooper is at his very best I’d say he matches it with the likes of Beauden Barrett and maybe even an Ella. I’d say he’s actually got more rugby skill than BB, he just doesn’t do the basics anywhere near as well.

  • RedAnt

    Quade Cooper. What might have been, hey?

  • Nick

    We bottled so many chances…

  • Hutch

    Fair play to the Scots, they rattled the Wallabies and forced mistakes across the field. They used a very similar approach to the one employed at the World Cup of messing up rucks, getting in our faces and targeting our weaker backs with high balls. We were lacking a pest of our own to deal with their ruck shenigans, and a plan for dealing with their kicks. i reckon
    If we had Fardy, Alcock, Smith or Hodgson on the field we would all be a lot happier this morning.

    • jamie

      Hooper had 2 and a half ruck steals. I’d say that’s a decent return turnover wise, but true, we didn’t have anyone really slowing ball.

  • skip

    Sure, never said otherwise.


Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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