Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 4 - Page 2 of 2 - Green and Gold Rugby
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Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 4

Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 4

1. James Slipper (Brumbies)


Great start to the season with the Brumbies. I’m very unsure why he is starting on the bench. Strong in the scrum and handy around the park.

2. Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies)


It took a few weeks but Fainga’a has shown that he is ahead of the other hookers in the country and should be our #2. Has been very accurate the last few weeks in the lineout and quite a good runner of the ball.

3. Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies)

Allan_Alaalatoa_02 - Copy

Rounding out an all Brumbies front row, AAA has scrummed well, run well and made some good tackles.

4.Rory Arnold (Brumbies)


Has been a key man for the Brumbies. Taking lots of lineouts and I’ve loved his running in the midfield.

5. Izack Rodda (Reds)


Hard to deny Rodda has been, along with Arnold, one of the most consistent locks for the Australian teams in Super Rugby so far.  Seems to be maturing as a leader as well.

6. Rob Valetini (Brumbies)


Probably one that might surprise a few people. I’m a big fan of the young Brumbies blindside. He has only missed 1 tackle all season 34/35, a strong ball runner and hits the rucks well.

7. David Pocock (Brumbies)


As much as I love Michael Hooper, I’m not a huge fan of the Pooper experiment. I understand why they did it as they were trying to get two of their best players on the field and didn’t have too many others pushing hard for selection. David Pocock is the best #7 in the world and you simply can’t look past him..

8. Isi Naisarani (Rebels) 


A nice big body to bend the line at number 8. Has been strong all season. I’d love to see Isi be used as a battering ram for 50-60 minutes and then have Hooper come on at 7 and Pocock pushed to 8 for the last 20-30 minutes.

9. Will Genia (Rebels)


Has shown this season why he is the incumbent. Controls the game well with his kicking and seems to have his running game back this season.

10.  Quade Cooper  (Rebels)

Quade Cooper

Back from purgatory this season and back next to Genia. These two work so well together at shifting the ball short or wide and picking the right runner. Also helps that Foley has not had the best season thus far.

11. Curtis Rona (Waratahs)


Despite being in a backline that has changed around him consistently, Rona has continued to impress and prove his worth despite being further away from the ball than last year. A strong Wallaby contender.

12. Karmichael Hunt (Waratahs)

Karmichael Hunt

I always thought 15 was Hunts best position at the Reds. After watching him this year I believe he might make a great Australian #12. He tackles hard, runs hard, can kick, pass and seems to have a good rugby head. I’d like to see this and if it doesn’t work you have a few backups in Meakes, Beale and Toomua.

13. Samu Kerevi (Reds)


Stunning form this season. Scary with ball in hand. Defense is vastly improved too.

14. Israel Folau (Waratahs)


Has been lethal at fullback and while he was quiet last weekend on the wing, I’m still a firm believer that his best position is 14. With someone like Quade being able to spread the ball wide to him I think he could be lethal.

15. Dane Haylett-Petty (Rebels)


There are plenty of fullback options at the moment so this was a tough pick.  DHP has controlled the game well from the back for the Rebels. Has a decent boot and a strong running game.

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  • Brendan Hume

    Great write up – agree on the blokes unlucky here. The Wallabies selections are tough – the team you’ve picked could be a likely Wallaby team based on form through the season but there seems to be a lack of genuine world-class players. Genia would make most test teams in the world, as would Pocock… the rest – doubtful. I’d love to see a few more consistent displays from our leading backs contenders in their work rate and creativity. In the forwards – Faingaa is potentially world class and Rodda also.
    Anyway – food for thought, and thanks again for the write up. Hopefully it’ll all be clearer after the Aussie teams play a few more cross-conference matches.

    • Patrick

      Wait until you see those backs with Genia and Cooper to distribute to them and Pocock to support them… I’ll bet Folau, Kerevi and Hunt will look a different level with that set up.

      • Huw Tindall

        Could be the case and incidentally is probably why Meakes, English and Maddocks are looking so good as well. Hell, I’d probably be able to score a try hanging out on the wing with Genia and QC distributing the ball.

        • Patrick

          Yep! Even Gilbert could be great outside those two.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          English is a quality, underrated player.

          How quickly people forget last year. Maddocks did the exact same thing and scored something like 6 tries in 3 or 4 matches or something. But when he played for the Wallabies or became abundently clear he was a fish totally out of water. Not that fast, not elusive and not powerful enough through contact in attack to play wing; while his defence was woreful.

          Quality player, and one who hopefully has a big future, but not on the wing. A bloke who benefited last year, as he is this year, playing outside of Genia and Quade.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I wonder how much of Maddock’s, and others, poor play for the Wallabies is because of the crap distribution from the current 10 & 12 though.

        • Brumby Runner

          And the consistently poor defensive structures at the Wallabies.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          True, and the answer is a lot. But that doesn’t change his lack of speed, power through contact, tackles that he missed or stupid passes and offloads he was throwing on the wing.

          Just watch, if Cheika picks him on the wing he will have his reputation ruined.

        • Mica

          Harsh on Maddocks. Thought he brought a fair bit of spark for a rookie when he got on the field.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I was really excited watching him, as I love the kid and think he has a huge future, but I saw no positives in his performances on the wing for the Wallabies.

        • Mica

          I think he has only started in about 3 games. He’s scored a try which was really just a catch from a regulation pass and run to the try line, but he did what a good winger should do and positioned himself where he needed to be.
          Also I recall him making a few line breaks or half breaks. Can’t find any good video footage of his international game time, but he seems to be really good at always being in support of a line break or potential line break (right place right time).
          To me he looked threatening when he came on as a sub too.
          Anyway – time will tell if he can fulfil his potential or not, but I am optimistic he has what it takes.
          Seems to have a good attitude too, much like Petaia, in fact to me, they are very similar players (potential wise).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I remember multiple butchered tries, not pushing up in defence and letting through easy breaks, being driven back in the tackle.

          Not really his fault though, he isn’t and never has been a winger. All his coaches agree he’s a 10 longterm.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Apparently he has already missed 30% of his tackles in super rugby this year. And it isn’t like the Rebels have had difficult tours to New Zealand or South Africa, or played the top Kiwi teams.

        • Huw Tindall

          Agree mate. Maddocks is apparently a freak talent and can kick off both feet and so on but too early for international duties.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Great write up. The only difference I would make is Pocock instead of Hooper. Even though he only played half a game, he was instrumental in the Brumbies doing well.
    I think your Wallabies team is pretty much bang on. What are your thoughts for the bench?
    Welcome aboard GAGR!

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I don’t think Hunt should be tried at 12 until Kerevi has been and has failed.

      No reason not to use Hunt at fullback I don’t think.

      • Brisneyland Local

        To be honest I am happy with either.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, honestly, so would I. Or even 12. Hunt, 13. Kerevi if Samu defends well there this year. Imagine having two centres who can pass? We haven’t had that since Gits and Mortlock were running our midfield.

          Could then have three dangerous outsider backs: Folau, Banks and Hodge, for example.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I agree. It is amazing what might happen when you pick players on merit, not whether they are part of your old boys club or not!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not saying that this will be the best team by June, but if I had to pick a team tomorrow it would be as follows:

          1. Slipper
          2. BPA
          3. Ala’alatoa
          4. Rodda
          5. Coleman
          6. Naisarani
          7. Pocock
          8. McCaffrey
          9. Genia
          10. Quade
          11. Banks
          12. Hunt
          13. Kerevi
          14. Folau
          15. DHP

          16. FF
          17. Sio
          18. Tupou
          19. Jones
          20. Hooper
          21. Gordon
          22. Toomua
          23. Hodge

          I don’t think that this will necessarily be our best 23, but purely based off what we’ve seen so far.

        • Brisneyland Local

          MAte I think you have just named my 23 as well.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          An say above, bodes well if we’re in broad agreement!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Means I am not the mad man standing here by myself.

        • Nutta

          Pretty close

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, there are a bunch of spots I’m not certain about, and totally willing to be convinced on, but it is good if we’re generally in agreement.

        • OnTheBurst

          Really like it

          Could argue Rory Arnold is hard done by, he has been excellent. Also Coleman hasn’t played much this year yet

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, look, I’ll pay that. I’ve just loved Coleman’s hits in defence.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I’d like to see Hunt at 15 in Super rugby before putting him there for the Wallabies. I actually think he could play there but like playing at 12 he needs time to develop the instinctive skills needed. he’d certainly be better than KB or Folau at 15.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He played all of his rugby there in 2016, when he got his cap (ironically, at 12).

          He has more experience playing fullback than inside centre in Australian rugby.

      • Michael Mooney

        This is actually something I battled over. I think Cooper is an excellent distributer with his passing so having Kerevi and Kurindrani at 12 And 13 would probably work. It also looked like Kerevi has been working on his kicking and passing and seemed comfortable at 12. I’d like to see them trial this in a RC game.

        • Brumby Runner

          Kerevi on one side of the ruck and Kuridrani the other would be very hard to defend against. And Kerevi is noticeably a much better kicker from hand and distributor these days than in previous years. I do believe he is taking inspiration from how Ma’a Nonu developed his wider range of skills once he made the ABs.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Man this irks me. .. “has been working on his KICKING and PASSING game”
          That’s an incumbent Wallaby centre being talked about there for International duty! You learn kicking and passing in grade 3……..
          Now if it was a player working on their scrummaging or gialkicking I’d understand! Not simple ball skills….

    • Michael Mooney

      Hey mate, it’s something I’ll be looking into at the end of the season. If I had to pick the bench now it would probably look something like this.
      16. TPN – due to past performances in gold and it a good in the scrum.
      17. Sio
      18. Tupou
      19. Coleman – probably takes a starting position once he has played some more rugby.
      20. Hooper
      21. Powell or Gordon – need one of them to make this their own at the moment
      22. Toomua – covers 10,12.
      23. Beale – Slots is wherever needed.

      I’ve picked a few players that are a touch out of form and a few that haven’t played much rugby in Australia (or at all), but by the time the Wallabies games roll around I’d hope they’re up to scratch.

      A few players like Meakes and Kuridrani miss out due to not being able to cover an few position.

      Thanks for the warm welcome!

      • Brisneyland Local

        That bench is pretty good. POwell or Gordon I think could potentially also have Sorovi adding the selction dilema. I personally think Beale is done, but I know Cheika will keep him in the first 15.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think TPN should be ahead of our other two acronyms BPA and FF.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Actually that is a good point. I dont think poor old Taf is up for international rugby anymore. Last week after five minutes he looked like he was blowing chunks!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          All great players must come to an end. I hope he and Kepu prove themselves capable of one last mighty stand, but who knows …

        • GO THE Q REDS

          I’m surprised the point actually had to be made! Does anyone even watch the actual games these days or just go off history an headlines? People think TPN should be in the team, some think Foley deserves to be the Wallaby 10, while others thing Folou isn’t a good FB! STATS and Eyeballs put a whole spin of reality onto things sometimes. .. ..

        • Brisneyland Local

          LIes, damn lies and statistics.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Would rather Hodge or DHP in no. 23.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Which ever one isnt in the starting 15?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not convinced they will both make the 23, or either will start, but wouldn’t mind if they did!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sounds like you and are pretty aligned.

        • Brumby Runner

          BL, on form this year I reckon it won’t be long before McDermott replaces Sorovi in the Reds starting No 9. Can’t see Sorovi being in the mix for the Wallabies, at least this year.

  • Jason

    Oh tough on Rodda not having him in there, outstanding and incredibly consistent, I think he’s even played the full 80 for all the Reds games thus far. Not the flashest lock going around but he does the dirty things right, competes at the lineout as well as anyone and just works hard! Oh and he’s got an amazing knack for charge downs.

    • John Tynan

      Charge downs and that Retallick-like back up line between the 15m lines, with the work rate to get there – try two weeks ago and close one last week just from the effort and ambition to be there.

      • Jason

        Yeah, that’s the most impressive thing, he’s not doing that though tallent, that’s all work. He’s still developing his tallent!

        He could be our best lock since some tall bloke kicked a drop goal.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Valetini is a gun, but no way should he be playing for the Wallabies this year.

      Ditto with Petaia and also Uelese.

      Why risk guys with huge futures before they’re physically ready for international rugby when we have such a small chance of doing well anyway? So we can have them injured and never reach their potential?

      It isn’t good for Australia, or their careers.

      • Brumby Runner

        I think DBTB that a team makeup like the above would have more than a good chance of making it to the big games at RWC. Would be even better with a half decent coach in charge.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Respectfully, I don’t think the team above would have any real chance of winning the World Cup, especially with our current coaching staff.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Michael. No real complaints especially as I didn’t see the Reds vs Tahs match. I’ve got some concerns on Hunt as I think he still gets out of position too much, I also like Kerevi as a 12 more than a 13. Interesting that the Brumbies front row got buckled a few times by the Rebels and maybe that should be looked at more. I still think Coleman and Arnold are your best locks and I’d start Pocock over Hooper ever day of the week

  • Adrian

    Ok with both teams really.

    Very happy with Hannigan’s form, but very happy to have Valentini ahead of him.

    I thought Rona was great, but so was Korebette.

    Even though Brums went off the boil, I think that was more on-field leadership getting injured than anything.

    All players played well…IMO of course.

  • Huw Tindall

    A lot of Brumbies and Reds in the team of the week from teams that lost! Only 7/15 players from the winning sides!

    • OnTheBurst

      I agree on Naisirani – clearly a great prospect but hasn’t (yet) delivered on the hype.

      How long is McCaffrey out for? He has been the best 8 so far

      • Huw Tindall

        Back this week which is good news! Thought a longer period on the sideline.

  • Larry Jorgensen

    Sorry, not getting Isaac Lucas. I cringed for his mother with every kamikaze carry headlong into larger humans when he inevitably died with the ball. What happens when even larger and more clever humans pound him mercilessly prior to separating him from possession of the ball?

    Did not see anything particularly creative either.

    Pat McCabe lasted 5 years using this modus operandi and he was bigger and sturdier. Good luck to him and happy to be proven wrong but we have many options in front of him presently.

    Reality check: he is bigger than me. Really puts into perspective how big pro rugby now is. Google a 1970’s test match, watch it and reflect on the change.

    • Mica

      He did use a bit of footwork and guile on the weekend. Also he has a pass on him, so he’s not quite the same as McCabe.

  • Ruggaman

    Reckon Aus should go with Kerevi Kuridrani midfield with Beale at 15 joining the 2nd line of attack as 1st receiver. Izzy on the wing is always a threat because of the cross kick option and his poor kicking game wont be exposed playing wing

    Nasarani will fix the imbalance in the loosies

  • Gallagher

    Combined scores after four rounds;
    (Picked on incumbency if a draw, numbers next to name mean more than one selection, stars mean they got a fringe selection, capitals means Wallabies match day squad based on performance so far with a 6/2 split)

    1 SLIPPER**, JOHNSON-HOLMES*, Sio, Faulkner
    4 ARNOLD 2, RODDA 2, Holloway
    5 SIMMONS, Hockings, Phillip
    7 POCOCK, HOOPER, Wright, Hardwick
    8 NAISARANI 3, Timu
    10 COOPER 3, Lealiifano
    11 RONA 2, Korobete, Peni
    12 HUNT 2
    13 KEREVI 3, KURIDRANI*, English*, Petaia
    14 MADDOCKS, Naiavalu, F-Sautia, Muirhead
    15 FOLAU*, Haylett-Petty, Banks, Lucas

    Season fringe worthy selections to date;
    Jones 2, Carter, Hanigan, Coleman, McCaffrey, Cusack, Meakes 2

    Talking points;
    Alaalatoa, Naisarani, Genia and Cooper have had excellent starts to the year
    No mention of Tupou, TPN, Paenga-Amosa, Smiths, AAC or Beale?
    Surely Sio, Phipps, Hodge, Beale and Haylett-Petty need to fit at least somewhere?
    Bolters are Talakai, Valentini, Sorovi and Rona!
    Pooper is gone for good?


      ATM I would take those highlighted as a match day team very comfortably. The 11 is the only spot I’ve not seen a shut out contender so far this season….. .therefore I’d be happy with someone like DHP, AAC or Hodge slotted into the other wing alongside Maddocks. Probably Naivalu but I still think his chances will be destroyed by Thorns inability to have a playmaker at 10…..but one of those guys in there just to keep solid quality on the field!

  • OnTheBurst

    Hard to argue with most of these.

    I’d go for Koroibete over Rona – I think he has shown more dangerous ability to bust tackles and find the chalk.

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but Hanigan had a massive game on the weekend – best I’ve ever seen him play. If he can continue in the same vein he will win a lot of admirers (and shake off a lot of detractors)!

    • joy

      Hannigan has a bright future despite derogatory comments in these pages. Maybe as good as that John bloke. His grounding for his try last weekend was a cracker.

    • Nutta

      Can’t go with you on K’bete over Rona on the basis that K’bete just has days when his hands may as well be feet.

      In terms of Hanigan, no one doubts he has the attributes; size, strength, willingness in the contact etc. He is also a fairly level head and doesn’t waste/lose time & effort on tuff-boyz garbage. If he survives to being a mature footballer, then with a mature physique he will be a weapon. But if he keeps getting used as a crowbar whilst still essentially a developing youngster with bum-fluff on his face, his career will be over inside of 2 more years.

      • OnTheBurst

        Hear you on Kbete’s handling which can let him down.

        But you have to say he’s performed very well in 2019 thus far and has certainly done more than Rona to warrant being the WB frame for selection.

        It’s still an open race though with plenty of SR matches to watch.

  • Nutta

    Good write-up. Thanks.

    IsiN is playing hard & direct. Whilst this warms my heart, selection wise I find this wastes a little of his footwork. Running that direct won’t have the same impact in Gold as at NRC or even Super level. I still think McCafe has the edge there as a more multi-dimensional footballer. Likewise it creates an argument also for Dempsey as he always finds a way to sneak an extra yard or two by hitting the weak shoulder/line.

    FolFingers is playing well. I reckon the closest other contender would be Rangi from the Scum. And that said, whilst TPN is out of favour he is clearly back in the hunt esp now he is back in-country given his experience and clear strength displayed last weekend.

    7A’s is getting serious pressure from Tupou. And whilst I am not saying ‘Give him gold’ just yet, Sam Talakai is starting to look good for the Scum as well. Nice to have serious choice there.

    Simmons? Nope.

    • joy

      Rangi is TPN less his suicidal instinct. His lineout is improving.

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

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