Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 17 - Green and Gold Rugby

Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 17

Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 17

Round 17 of the Super Rugby brought us the Reds toppling the Blues, the Rebels being slaughtered by the Crusaders and the Brumbies with a controlling win over the Waratahs. Check out our team of the week.


1. James Slipper (Brumbies)

A nice controlled game from Slipper. Made his tackles (8/8) and scrummed well.


2. Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies)

Big game with ball in hand. Ran 11 times for 53m and scored another try.


3. Taniela Tupou (Reds)

Has started to bring some fire into his play. Big hits and steaming runs this week and even scored himself a nice try.


4. Rory Arnold (Brumbies)

Another big week for the 2m tall lock. Ran 6 times for 26m and pinched one at lineout time. Another forward that picked up a try this week.


5. Izack Rodda (Reds)

Joining Arnold in the second row – This looks like it will be the Wallabies combination. Rodda has been a master at the lineout and was again this week. He continued his workhorse like approach with 13 runs and 8 tackles.


6. Lachlan Swinton (Waratahs)

Swinton brings intensity and physically the Waratahs haven’t had since Potgieter. Although he is still young and needs to hone his craft he had another solid week in defence making 11 tackles.


7. Liam Wright (Reds)

Probably the best player on the park for the Reds this week. He didn’t miss a tackle (13/13) and stole the ball time and time again. Most imporantly he made a pilfer at fulltime which allowed the Reds to kick it out.


8. Scott Higginbotham (Reds) 

Playing his last game as Suncorp, Higginbotham played a blinder in attack scoring 2 tries and running 75m in the process.


9. Joe Powell (Brumbies)

Another very strong performance and is finally starting to put his name on the reserve halfback spot for the Wallabies. Did a good job distributing, got through 8 tackles and made 8 runs.


10.  Christian Lealiifan0 (Brumbies)

Continued his rich vein of form this weekend and is another Brumbies player that is pushing for a World Cup spot. He got the better of Foley, made all his tackles (6/6) and kicked all 5 conversions. The form number 10 for Australia right now.


11. Toni Pulu (Brumbies)

Finally starting to get his hands on the ball more to show what he is capable of. Pulu ran for 77m with 4 defenders beaten and 3 clean breaks.


12. Samu Kerevi (Reds)

Kerevi steered the ship this week making sure they followed the gameplan by kicking into the corners. He also made 18 runs for 35m beating 8 defenders.


13. Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)

Nothing too flashy this week. Ran hard for his 40m and made 11 tackles.


14. Jock Campbell (Reds)

Campbell has been impressive since he earnt his starting spot on the wing. Another week where he ran for 53m with 3 defenders beaten and 3 clean breaks.


15. Bryce Hegarty (Reds)

Mr Consistent for the Reds. Plays his supporting role extremely well and made a huge amount of metres this week (94).

On the fringe of selection:

Allan Alaalatoa – Was a big part of a huge Brumbies scrum. Made 10/11 tackles and a great performance.
Tom Banks – Had a good showing for the Brumbies. He made 64m with ball in hand.

Damien Fitzpartick – A workhorse for the Tahs. Made 14/14 tackles and ran for 22m this week.


The Rebels – Without a few senior players on the field the Rebels completely fell apart and were put to the sword by the Crusaders. Will need to fix alot of their problems if they want to make finals and push further in the competition.

  • muffy

    Half of those guys aren’t even in Chiekas phone, or in Higgers case, were deleted long time ago!!

    • Brisneyland Local

      Oh so true. The picking of this squad really scares me

    • Jason

      I just love that there isn’t a better fit than Higgers to play alongside our mandatory Pocock and Hooper combination, yet the only Wallabies spot Higgers is getting is left-right-out…

      • Peter Morse

        Its an absolute fucking disgrace as well as being a farce, and a tragedy. Its almost Shakesperean that 2 of our better bigger loosies in Fardy, and Higginbotham (let alone Liam F’n Gill and McMahon) are not here when we really need them. Christ I can’t wait to see the back of Cheika, (let alone fucking Gibson) but that’s a whole ‘nuther angry rant. I just hope Easter Island and Snoz really take him on.

  • Huw Tindall

    Thanks again for stating the Wallaby watch chat! Love it!

    IMO Naisarani still gets the 8 over Higgers as he does the tough stuff in a aide that got smashed on the weekend.

    Powell got schooled by Phipps a couple of times and missed a couple of key tackles. Phipps by a nose. Would pick Genia if he played though!

    Rona most underrated wing for sure. Would have him in my side on form but he’s off to London Irish with half the Aussie conference so doubt the national selectors will invest in him. For mine better than Korobiete on form. 14 a real problem though. The more dynamic winger. Edging towards Hodge. Maddocks no. DHP is 15 or nothing now Folau is out. No other guys killing it as the 14.

    • Twoilms

      It’s probably Hodge or DHP – though neither have been outstanding recently.

    • Jason

      Rona most underrated wing for sure.

      Maybe because I don’t rate him. I suspect he’ll always be on of those ‘good at Super never make it in tests’ kind of guys. He’s decent, but to my eye he’s just not good enough.

      I think we all know Cheika will pick the squad he knowns and guys like Maddocks/English/Banks will be left out in the cold. I’d be very surprised if we don’t see the Foley/Beale combo for the majority of the RWC. It’s a shame, because we have a lot of talented young guys coming through, but they just aren’t getting the chance because Cheika refuses to play anyone. I’m almost expecting AAC to make the RWC squad despite his very poor form.

      • Huw Tindall

        The 3 man selection panel should see to Chek’s strange picks and forgetting about guys in form. If Kerevi and TK aren’t first choice centre pairing I’ll hand my Wallabies jersey in.

        • Jason

          I’ve been saying for about three years now Kerevi + Kuridrani must be our center pairing, with a playmaker at 10 and 15. They are just so dominate and it allows us to not hide every other player in the backline. Kerevi got so much flack last year because he ‘wasn’t making good decisions in defence’ when it wasn’t really his fault — we were hiding Folau, Beale and Foley in defence no wonder Samu wasn’t making the right reads, he had 3 guys he was covering!

          I can’t wait to see us have a real rugby team again where you just defend your position…

    • numpty

      Powell was far superior to Phipps. Yes, phipps sold the dummy on him but technically its the inside mans job to cover. Powell got through way more work than phipps around the ground defensively and in the rucks let alone the crisper passing. Powell made a number of key covering tackles as well. eg: first half, left touchline 10m out from brumbies try line, powell puts ??? someone into touch who was certain to score.

      • Onside

        Add to that the pilfer he made if I recall well.
        He doesn’t mind getting stuck into rucks to ensure ball security, something Genia needs to learn to do as many times he watches around waiting for other players to secure the ball.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I don’t think Naisarani does do the tight stuff. He runs it in tight, but doesn’t do the blue collar stuff at the breakdown (nor does Higgers). McCaffrey does, however.

      • Huw Tindall

        The above team is based on the past weekend where McCaffrey only played 30 mins or thereabouts so hard to give him the nod. Before injury though he was my first pick for 8. Better skill set and game smarts than Naisarani. Hopefully he gets a good run next few games and puts himself front and centre.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          In that case, McCaffrey is even further ahead – how can you pick Naisarani over McCaffrey based on this last week…? Look at the Rebels’ result!

        • Huw Tindall

          Minutes played and the fact Naisarani battled hard in terrible result gets him the nod in this wallaby watch team of the week. McCaffrey came on and didn’t get a chance to do much. Almost mucked up the Cusack try at the back of the scrum which ultimately secured the win for the Brums! Still he’s my true bolter this year. From not in the picture last season to up there in for 15/23 and certainly 31 man squads.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He created a linebreak with a debt offload off a scrum. McCaffrey alone had more highlights in his 30 minutes than the entirety of the Rebels (admittedly, with a dominant scrum).

          I just personally think it’s a bit difficult to justify any Rebel when the team lost 66-0…

        • Gallagher

          Brumbies got smashed 43-13 by the Hurricanes, so don’t agree with that logic, especially when their best performed players in Jones, Naisarani, Genia, Cooper or Korobete didn’t even start or feature…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          They got smashed back when they were playing infinitely poorer. They lost to the Rebels twice, and got smashed by the Reds at the start of the season.

          You cannot compare form from the start of the season, to now.

  • Jason

    For 9 an absolute bolter from out of absolutely nowhere would be Scott Malolua, he looked really good coming off the bench and then starting for the Reds this weekend past. I’d be having a think about him playing off the bench in one of our warmups, despite being 25 he looks like he’s been playing with men for the last 5/10 years. Just shows the value of club rugby over sitting on the Super Rugby bench.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Michael, I love this as there are always so many personal choices and preferences out there the debates are great and so passionate.
    For me; I’m not a fan of Tupou, I think he reads far too much of his own press and seems to watch old Utube clips of himself as a schoolboy and tries to be that person all the time. Too many penalties, not strong enough in the scrum and goes missing.
    McCaffery is 8 for me, mainly because it’s looking to the future which to me is needed more than bringing back the past, especially a past that while good has never been a match winner.
    Powell to me is just the best of what was a bad bunch. Still too slow on the pass and I’d almost have Soroviti over him just for that – person bias on criteria for a halfback.

    • Geoffro

      Tupou only 23 , a few years to go yet for a prop.Reckon he’ll get there.Lachie at 29 is a late bloomer too.Key for these guys is staying injury free and when I look at someone like Jordan Petaia who is only 19 with so much promise and blighted by injury I get a bit sick.

  • Brumby Runner

    A great job to squeeze so many non-Brumbies into the team this week. The two I have most argument with are Swinton and Campbell. Tom Cusack had more influence than Swinton on the game and even when he wears 7, he plays 6. Rona had a better all round wing game than Campbell. Campbell’s defense is quite iffy.

    • numpty

      Agree re: swinton. He had mongrel because he was throwing a hissy fit about being dominated by slipper. All brumbies forwards showed more physicality than swinton.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I dunno, Swinton had a pretty major influence by killing off the Tahs’ comeback when he dropped the ball cold over the line.

      • IIPA

        Was knocked out of his hand but anyway I thought he played well. Brumbies weren’t that superior across the field. Just sucker punched the Tahs into allowing a scrum-lineout-rolling maul kind of game.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Hmm, I didn’t see it that way but admit I was celebrating that he dropped it, so you might be right.

          And for once I agree with the Fox commentators, guys on the Rugby Ruckus and Paul Cully all of whom seem to think the Brumbies were basically better man for man. Nick Bishop on the other site seems to agree.

          The Brumbies didn’t dominate in the first half through the rolling maul and scrum. The backs were destroying the Tah backs also.

          I do agree Swinton was one of the better Tahs, but that was a low a bar.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      No Tah outplayed his opposite man. The Brumbies were better from 1 to 23.

  • Geoffro

    Makes me laugh that Banks,last year and this,has been on the fringe of selection.He’d be in my 23 in a heartbeat

  • Gallagher

    Updated combined scores after seventeen rounds;
    (Picked on Wallaby squad incumbency if a draw, numbers mean additional selections, stars mean fringe selections, Capitals is run on squad with 5/3 split, Brackets doesn’t make match day squad, Up arrow recently IN squad, + symbol means injured, retired or contract ripped up)

    1 ^SLIPPER 5**, Sio 4 (J-Holmes 1*, Robertson, Faulkner, JP Smith, Hoopert)
    2 FAINGAA 8*, Fitzpatrick 2* (Rangi 1**, Mafi 1, McInerney)
    3 ALAALATOA 9**, Kepu 3 (Tupou***, Talakai, L-Makin)
    4 RODDA 6* (Holloway 1, Swain, Staniforth, Blythe)
    5 ^ARNOLD 5 (Philip 5, Carter 2*, Simmons 2, Coleman**, Hockings)
    6 SALAKIAIA-LOTO 5*, Jones 2*** (Hanigan 1*, Scott-Young 1, Valentini 1*, Swinton 1, Dempsey**, Cusack**, Brown)
    7 HOOPER 8* (LWright 5, +Pocock, Hardwick)
    8 SAMU 4**, Naisarani 3*** (McCaffrey 1*, Wells 1*, Higginbotham***, Timu, Cottrell*)
    9 POWELL 6*, Genia 4* (McDermott 3, Sorovi, Gordon)
    10 COOPER 5*, ^Lealiifano 4 (Foley 3, Hegarty 2)
    11 NAIVALU 4 (Korobete 3, Pulu 1**, Newsome**, Peni)
    12 KEREVI 10* (+Hunt 3, Meakes 2**, Simone 1*, TWright)
    13 KURIDRANI 5*, F-Sautia 4** (English**, Ashley-Cooper, Ikitau, +Petaia)
    14 RONA 4** (Clark 3, Campbell 3, Speight 1**, Muirhead, Hardy)
    15 BANKS 3** (Haylett-Petty 2, Beale 2, +Folau 2**, Maddocks 1*, Hodge***, Stewart*, Lucas)

    Talking Points;
    – FITZPATRICK, RODDA, JONES, GENIA and BANKS are now our Fifteenth to Nineteenth players that can’t be caught/beaten at Hooker (bench), Lock, Flanker (bench), Scrumhalf (bench) and Fullback, and are now UNTOUCHABLE WALLABY’s!
    – Wallaby spots up for grabs still remain in Lock, Flyhalf and both Wing positions!
    – Slipper, Arnold and Lealiifano have all taken their spots back pushing back Sio, Philip and Foley with only one round left!
    – Based on the below only 4 backs make the top 11 spots (Kerevi, Powell, Cooper and Kuidrani)
    – Still no room for Tupou, Philip, Coleman, LWright, Foley, Korobete, Ashley-Cooper, Heylett-Petty, Beale, Maddocks or Hodge????????

    WALLABY Untouchables! (now listed from best performed to worst);
    KEREVI (10)

    Fitzpatrick, Jones
    G&GR Fringe worthy selections;
    Blyth, Phipps*, Daugunu
    Slipper (from bench), Arnold and Lealiifano (to bench) IN and Sio (to bench), Philip and Foley OUT
    G&GR Disappointments;
    Johnson-Holmes 2, Kepu 2, Beale 2, Talakai 1, Tupou, Ainsley, Faulkner, L-Makin, Rangi, Arnold, Phillip, Salakiaia-Loto, Hockings, Holloway, Ruru 1, Foley 1, Cooper 1, Meakes 1, Korobete 1, Hegarty, Mason, Hunt, English, F-Sautia, Simone, Peni, Muirhead, STupou, Naivalu, Maddocks, Folau, Hodge, Toomua


23 year old Rugby tragic who plays for Merewether in Newcastle. Too young to remember a Bledisloe Cup win.

More in Rugby