Super Rugby Au - Round 1 - Team of the Week - Green and Gold Rugby
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Super Rugby Au – Round 1 – Team of the Week

Super Rugby Au – Round 1 – Team of the Week

1.Harry Hoopert – Reds

Off the stats, Hoopert wins the #1 jersey this week. Part of the dominant scrum from the weekend.

2. Jordan Uelese – Rebels

The one-time Wallaby starter put a marker on counterpart and Wallaby rival Folau Fainga’a.

3. Harry Johnson-Holmes – Tahs

HJH had an impressive game on Friday, despite the loss. Slowly edging his way to Wallabies consideration

4.Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – Reds

I’ll be honest, I can’t see any useful stats to compare locks so I’ll just go off what Rugby Reg said.

5. Murray Douglas – Brums

Was a big reason the Brumbies line out was so effective. Also made 15 tackles on defence

6. Lachie Swinton – Tahs

I’ll concede several good reasons why Wright should be here. He brought grubbiness, cheek and most of all, he brought life to the State of the Union. Australian rugby is suffering from apathy, self-interest, Phil Kearns’ commentary and an oversaturation of News Corp. It was inspiring to see his passion and heeeeeeeart on Friday. G&GR POTW

7. Liam Wright – Reds

To satiate the Queensland fans, and I know he didn’t technically play at 7, here is Liam Wright. Made some critical pilfers and led from the front.

8. Harry Wilson – Reds

Thought he had a great game on Friday. Made 51m, 3 busts, and laid on 11 tackles himself. Also he scored a try

9. Tate McDermott – Reds

Tate curated a promising scrumhalf exhibition, including the classics of clean, crisp passing, as well as some more avant-garde flourishes. Set up a try, scored one himself and put a marker down as the Wallabies #9.

Tate put on a very impressionist display to make it into the team of the week

Tate put on a very impressionist display to make it into the team of the week

10.  Noah Lolesio – Brums

The most promising of the new generation of flyhalfs – which I think might just be him and Harrison – Lolesio put in another encouraging display for the Brumbies.

11. Marika Koroibete – Rebels

From a week of so-so winger performances, Koro got himself up to 84 run metres off 10 runs despite his – and the Rebels – rocky start.

12. Irae Simone – Brums

What is wrong with the Waratahs? Simone is beginning to look like the footballer he can be every game he spends with the Brumbies.


13. Hunter Paisami – Reds

Paisami put on a deadly display against the Waratahs, crushing several spines in a dominant defensive display.


14. James Ramm – Tahs

Put in the best winger performance of the weekend, making almost 100 metres with his 5 runs. Generally threatened whenever he touched the ball.

15. Jack Maddocks – Tahs

Ah ok, so he is a fullback after all.

Jack Maddocks played well on the weekend after being played in the correct position

Jack Maddocks played well on the weekend after being played in the correct position

  • Wallabrumby

    2. Jordan Uelese – Rebels

    I must have been watching a different game ? 45 degree lineout throws and not much else around the park a good marker for team of the week

    Marika K on the wing as well, I must have missed something. I think the only quieter winger out of all 4 teams was his teammate Kellaway

    • Hambone

      I’m not convinced on Jordan either, big presence around the field and scrum. But his line out throws are consistently inconsistent, and not gaining much precision over the last few seasons either.. give me rangi any day, technically superior and the heart of a lion.

      • Huw Tindall

        Rangi off OS unfortunately :(

        • Hambone

          Is he? He never broke through the check barrier unfortunately.
          Now I’m hearing matt Phillip aswell.. 2 rebel work horses lost

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah Phillip off to France for one season. Guess he’s hedging his bets as they don’t know what next season will look like in AU. Phillip did come out and state he still had Wallabies ambitions and that this was a single year signing so he’d be back in Aus in 2021 at the end of NH season.

    • Hutch

      What have people got against Folau? In 60 minutes he had a try, an assist, 12 tackles and no wonky throws. Close to player of the round for me. But somehow Uelese gets the nod…

  • Brumby Runner

    Nick, clearly debatable putting a No 6 in the No 7 jersey, but on this occasion I can agree.

    Otherwise, you and I watched two very different games. The Brumbies/Rebels game was a level above the other, but very few representatives from either side. Too much reliance on statistics I think in making your selections. An example, Koroibete might have had 80m or so on paper, but on the ground both Brumbies’ wingers were better in the game, and promising as Ramm is, not the best winger on show last weekend.

    Some very close contests in other spots. Wright was very good at 6, as was Swinton, but Valetini was at least equally impressive with his dominant defense. Philip and Swain both had strong games at lock. Not much between McDermott and Powell but given the more influential games of Powell and Lolesio over McDermott and JOC, behind a beaten pack mind, I think Joe finished in front.

    In summary, too many Tahs and too many Reds.

    • idiot savant

      Yeah Valentini is having a great year. Theres a lot to be said though for the inspirational value of a power hitting 6 like Swinton. He caused pain. And wouldn’t it be nice to give the Kiwis a bit of their own Kaino medicine? But its only one game. Lets see if he can keep it up or be a flash in the pan like his team mates Holloway and Hanigan. On stats, Hooper made the most tackles ad had 2 turnovers stymied by penalties. Its rare to not see him in team of the week.

      • Huw Tindall

        The first proper hit of the game set the tone. Hooper and Swinton lined up Wilson. Hooper text book low and Swinton checked his body. To his credit Wilson wasn’t shied and capped the match with run metres and a meat pie for his efforts.

        • idiot savant

          Yeah that was great rugby. The challenge laid down and accepted.

      • Xaviera

        Yep – Hooper didn’t do anything glamorous, just worked blody hard all night. Everyone talked about the chase from the QLD backrow to trap us behind the line, forcing a drop-out (which should have been a 5m scrum, as it was taken back, just). Who scooped it up for NSW? Yep – Hooper, running like the wind.

  • Xaviera

    Always a good talking point, so thanks for posting.

    I’ll start by saying I watched every minute of Tahs v Reds, and snippets of the other game, with a full review to follow.

    Good things:
    Front row. Tongan Thor is still a work in progress, but is on an upward trend. Needs to sort out the brain farts and he’d probably be in the mix here. Needs to drive a bit straighter too. HJH coming along nicely. Angus Bell unfairly maligned (see below).
    Back row. Riches galore. Some are green, but the Australian “7” factory has been busy, so lots of options, plus we have a couple of promising 8s coming through too. And a mongrel 6 developing nicely as well. Haven’t had one of those in way too long. Still very raw is Swinton, but trending nicely. Valentini looking good too. Nice options to have, and that’s even before trying to accomodate those north of the Tweed. A veritable feast. David who?
    9. Tate take a bow. Head and shoulders our best 9. Powell is OK, perhaps safe. Tate is dangerous and lively. We need that.
    10. With time, we have two exciting prospects, and another one waiting in the wings (Donaldson). Exciting. But still green. Let’s not put too much pressure on them.
    15. Maddocks. Finally. Where he should be. A Barrett type of player (Jordie or Beaudie). Big boot, strong runner, good defender, X factor. Along with Banks, gives us two next generation 15s.

    Not so good.
    Hooker. No stand out. All offer bits and peices, but no-one is anywhere near complete. Must do better.
    Second row. Our weakest link. By far. Angus Bell took the heat, but he wasn’t helped by the lack of grunt behind him. Need some mongrel and muscle here ASAP. Probably from Australians returning from offshore.
    Centres. A bit like the 10s, but not quite as exciting. Some young guns on the up (Paisami was brutal) but very much an open field. Good to see Simone finally developing – he had an awesome trajectory at Norths under Simon Cron, but that connection was lost at the Tahs. Looks like someone is helping in Canberra.
    Wing. Ramm was the standout from what I saw (a la George Bridge), but we’re still scratching our heads for some serious wing talent. Not sure of the answer just yet.

    Looking forward to this weekend – going to both matches! How good is that?

    • idiot savant

      Good observations Xav. Im a big fan of Ramm and have also thought he reminds me of Bridge! A winger fullback. Wright (who could play anywhere) and Daugunu both have real wing potential. Simone has to be front runner for the 12 jersey. He has been great all year. I dont get the thinking Thor doesn’t pack straight. I dont see it and why would he? No one can match his strength so he doesn’t have to angle in. He should give up charge downs though.

      • Xaviera

        Wright to the wing? That’s brave! Perhaps not Liam…. :)

        I thought Daugunu was quiet last week, but yes, certainly some potential there.

        Thor – if he can pack straighter when necessary, but still have enough dark arts to angle when he has to, he’ll get more pay. With his strength, he shouldn’t need to angle, except against the very best, so the more he practises doing it right, the better he will be. He wants to create an aura that he is a dominant legal scrummager so that when he isn’t quite legal, he gets the benefit of the doubt. Perception is a powerful ally.

        I’ve just realised I’ve completely forgotten some left fielders – the Aussie 7s guys. Holland, Anderson and Skelton (J, not W!). If they adapt quickly, they provide further depth. All three are outstanding athletes and offer all sorts of things, far more than Henry H offered (as much as I like Henry and think he’s an excellent 7s exponent). Lewie Holland at 12 wouldn’t be a bad option – sensational pass, big boot, robust defence and a game manager – could be ideal outside one of the young pups at 10. Throw in Lachie A as a utility back, and Skelton as another mongrel 6 option with exquisite pace, strength and step. Tasty, no?

        • idiot savant

          Yeah its tasty. I think the 7s boys will need a season to get the stamina required tho.

          Thor does have a move he has been penalised for before where he works his opponent up and down like a ripple. Its a show of strength but a smart arse move. I think he could lose that. Refs really do watch him more carefully than other props so he has to be careful.

          And yes it is Tom Wright (the ex Manly sea eagle) who plays on the wing for Canberra. A very clever footballer.

        • Xaviera

          Yeah – he has too much of the wrong mongrel still. Knock that out of his game and he stays on the field against the Tahs and wins more scrum penalties. It’s a no-brainer. Hope he can work it out. Quickly.

        • Geoffro

          Given props mature later than most I’m sure TT will get it together.Personally can’t get enough and love watching him .+1 on Tom Wright.Would like to see him a bit closer to the action.

        • Huw Tindall

          Meakes was talking up Holland on RA’s Rugby Nation show/vod (or one of the others) and he said how impressive his passing was. Easily best in the team. Hopefully he gets a run and we see what he can do but I just think the adjustment from 7s to 12 is going to be too much in a short period of time. He’s on loan as well and expected to head back to 7s for the delayed Tokyo Olympics so how much time are Wessels and Rennie really going to invest in him this year? Just check and he’s 27 now so maybe a post Olympics switch to XVs? Could be interesting.

    • Huw Tindall

      100% agree with you Xaviera. Thouhgts on not so goods:
      – Our locks seem to be really in demand OS for some reason and it sucks! What can we do? Giteau Law exception?
      – Hooker, just when Latu was coming good and seemed to have stopped the in game brain farts off he goes to Europe putting a hole in our 2 stocks.
      – Centre, think it’s just a 12 problem in the main. Got no issues with TK at 13. Class and has proved it in the past. Paisami looking a great prospect too. 12 is a bit more of a head scratcher but between Toomua and Simone we should be able to put together a decent 12/13 combo.
      – Wing, I think we sorely need an absolute gas man with wider range of skills to compliment Marika. Speed is X-Factor in it’s own right – see BB and Kolbe. Ramm looks promising but none of the others really scream out ‘pick me’.

      • Xaviera

        The second row issue is something of a paradox isn’t it? Skelton (W), Arnold twins, Roddha on a good day – some options there. I’m sure Rennie has some plans – probably need an old hard head to show the young pups the ropes. Nick Frost and the like. Tasty.

        12 is interesting and like it has a lot recently, it will depend on the 13/15 balance. I think if we’re looking at generational change, and that seems to be a theme, then TK’s days are probably limited, especially given his limited skillset in a Rennie team. Toomua, or a left fielder in Holland (refer my other comments on this thread) could be the backline leaders supporting the young pups, acting as second playmaker, and providing some mental toughness. Bring SImone into that cohort to learn some of the wisdom at the next level.

        With Maddocks or Banks at 15 (sorry, DHP misses out with those two on form), we need some serious wheels on the wing. Not sure who has genuine pace, but we need at least one flyer, as you say. Once they’ve done their hair and made sure they are clean, there’s not much grander sight than a genuinely fast winger running at full throttle down a sideline into a corner.

        • Huw Tindall

          Good shout about the “Rennie” team as well. Sounds like he demands a fitter and more skillful player to make the cut so as you say TK may struggle to reach the mark unless he shows development. Still, he doesn’t have many threats for the 13 jersey so expect him to be in the mix for year end.

          Maddocks/Banks/DHP someone will be missing out on the squad but hey it’s great to have genuine competition. Still, would take Jordie Barrett over all of them :(

          When is the last time we had a gas man who could be a player on the outside? Digby Ioane?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Rocket Rod Davies.

        • Xaviera

          Yep – and that was about all he had, otherwise he would have cemented a Wallaby jersey. Sadly, while still quick, recent 7s outings would suggest he’s lost some pace.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sad I know. I used to watch him training at Ballymore back in the Reds heyday. Boy he was quick. 50+ caps for Qld. Played for Aus Under 20’s, and by memory one test for the Wallabies. Dissapointing for him and Aus that he could never consolidate that spot.

        • Keith Butler

          I remember a few years back seeing a G&G game with Arnold and Coleman at lock. They put in a complete performance, complimenting each other perfectly. I thought at the time that they could be a world class pairing but Coleman’s form dropped right off and he never seemed to regain it. Both gone now A pity

        • Xaviera

          Coleman needs some wise curation. I reckon he’ll be back and Rennie is probably the sort of coach he needs. Wouldn’t that be good?

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’d like to see JOC at 12. I think he’s better suited to 12 than 10 and he provides the experience and guidance the youngsters who should be at 10 need.
        I’m happy with LSL and I think he has both the skills and the mongrel but we do need more options

        • Huw Tindall

          Problem with JOC at 12 is picking out of position. Would like to leave that in the Chekia era. Looks like he’ll be 10 for the Reds all year so hesitant to drop at 12. He did play 12 over at Sale Sharks however so not as bad as putting old mate Nard at 12!

          LSL having to play lock in a completed reds side could be the making of him!

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I think he’s been picked out of position at 10 by Thorn. When he played so well in the NH it was at inside centre with the odd game at outside. He never played 10 and I think Thorn is picking him because; a. he doesn’t think he has a lot of options, and b, he doesn’t know bugger all about back play and so JOC is safe

        • Xaviera

          JOC remains a conundrum. Way too much talent so has never really nailed a single position – a bit like KB. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the idea of an old head at 12 (e.g. Toomua) is appealing. Just not sure JOC is the answer to that. Seems better at 12 than 10, but I’m still not sure 12 is his best position either. Probably a solid 15, but he may be out of luck with Banks, Maddocks, DHP and others vying for that role.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I think probably too slow for the back 3 now and also for 13 which is by far the hardest position to defend from. I just think he suits 12 and was playing very well there in the NH

        • Ads

          I reckon JOC has more upside than Toomua at 12 too. Similar defence/kicking, but superior attacking. Blood Lolesio and/or Harrison with JOC at 12 lending support. TK at 13, with Toomua off the bench to replace 10 or 12 if required. He does remind me of Horan still.

        • Xaviera

          A compelling argument. I think 13 is wide open too, so it comes back to balance. Tantalising isn’t it?

        • Ads

          For sure. I think TK is a safe option at 13 until we get Jordan P or whoever fully up to speed. He might serve an apprenticeship at wing first to address that problem too. For once it is exciting times!

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Nice analysis and pretty much on the mark

    • Keith Butler

      You are dead right about Bell. He was given. Good going over by Tupou. I think Ned was behind him. A 6 playing at 4. Recipe for disaster. Lots to like about all the young talent coming through. First G&G squad will be interesting. Hopefully a nice balance between experience and youth.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nic, I always love these posts and the comments and I think it’s a brave call to do this as everyone has so many opinions. Personally I agree with most except Koroibete who I thought was very poor in defence and positioning (as usual) but TBH I think the real value is in seeing who keeps coming up and how that goes later. Be really interesting to see what Rennie and his team think but I get that we won’t know

  • Juan_Time

    Good overview Phil Hartman. Agree with most and suggest a few changes. One of the Rebels props over Hoopert. Whoever was responsible for ‘winning’ penalties. Equally swap Uelese for Fainga’a or BPA. You’d take Wright or McReight at 7 right. Marika not his best – would go Filipi or one of the Brums back three. New lad did very well at 15. Otherwise on the money. Big fan of McDermott & Kuridrani and Valetini were more than solid too.
    Question – who, if anyone, really enhanced their claims for wallabies spot. I’d say Liam Wright, McDermott, Lolesio and Maddocks. Hurt them: Hodge is about it. Lock is a definite worry. Open to anyone who wants to have a sustained crack.

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Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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