Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 9 - Green and Gold Rugby
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Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 9

Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 9

Week 9 of the Super Rugby was Australia vs South Africa. The Rebels lost to the Stormers in Melbourne, the Brumbies got a win for Australia against the Lions in Canberra and the Reds were outclassed by the Bulls in Pretoria. Here is our team of the week.


1. James Slipper (Brumbies)

Coming off the bench he had another strong performance. He didn’t miss a tackle (5/5) and showed some good hands as a link player in the backline.


2. Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies)

Doesn’t get a lot of attention playing but is consistently putting in good efforts for the sky blue. 13/13 lineouts, 12/14 tackles and 5 runs.


3. Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies)

AAA was the workhorse of the front row this week. Had a great week in defence making 15/16 tackles. He also made a good 10 runs in his 66 minutes.


4. Izack Rodda   (Reds)

Had a great game. 19/22 tackles and 7 runs. Stole 2 at the lineout and is becoming as important as Samu Kerevi for the Reds.


5.Sam Carter (Brumbies)

You can’t look past Carters 100% tackle success over his 16 tackles of the game. Also stole one at lineout time.


6. Luke Jones (Rebels)

Not Jones best week for the Rebels but that seems to be because of what was happening around him. He was his usual busy self, making 17 runs. He seemed to be picking up the slack for a few of the players around him.


7. Liam Wright (Reds)

Had an okay game. Made 8/9 tackles and 11 run metres from his 4 runs. He gets the spot due to Cusack being a penalty magnet this week.


8. Lachlan McCaffrey (Brumbies) 

Another tireless hit out from the Brumbies 8. Only played 52 minutes due to an injury but managed 11 run for 25 metres, 3 defenders beaten, 2 offloads and a try.


9. Joe Powell (Brumbies)

Some nice fast ball and good decisions gives him the spot this week. He looks good but it could be because of his pack winning the contest.


10.  Christian Lealiifano  (Brumbies)

Lead from the front with direction. Ended up beating 3 defenders on his way to 42 run metres. The backline ran smoothly and even though it doesn’t work that often I love the inside ball to a hard running Banks.


11. Toni Pulu (Brumbies)

Getting some good time on the park after his injury has shown how good of a signing Pulu was for the Brumbies. He managed 6 defenders beaten on his way to 70 run metres. He also scored a try to top it off.


12. Tom Wright (Brumbies)

Even though he was carded early in the game (Yes it probably deserved a card, but was very soft), he made a fiery comeback to have his best game of the year. He is still young and made some questionable decisions but he was electric. He beat 7 defenders with 2 clean breaks, a try assist and a try for himself on his way to 70 run metres.


13. Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)

TK has been quiet this season. This week he had a great attacking game and seemed like when there wasn’t much on they just threw it to him and let him truck it up. He made the defence on the way to his try look like under 10’s and racked up 76 run metres.  Could he be coming back into form?

Jack Hardy

14. Jack Hardy (Reds)

It seemed as if only 5 of the Reds players wanted to be there this week and Hardy was one of them. Tried hard all night and looked dangerous in open play. 53 run metres in only 5 runs. They should have been trying to get the ball in his hand more often.


15. Tom Banks (Brumbies)

With the Folau news everywhere this week, it was the perfect opportunity for Banks to show he deserves that Wallabies #15 jersey. Had a fantastic game beating 9 defenders and having 11 runs for 64m.

On the fringe of selection:

Taniela Tupou – It was a bit of an up and down night for the Reds scrum. It seemed Tupou had the upper hand in majority of the scrums he was in though. When the Reds scrum was pinged it was on the other side. Hopefully he had become that scrummaging weapon we know he is capable of.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – Another great showing from the big Reds player. Made 9 runs for 21m and 6/7 tackles. A couple of handling errors put a small wet blanket on his performance.

Chris Feauai-Sautia – I thought CFS had a fantastic game and was another Red that seemed like he wanted to be there. 11/11 tackles and even though he didn’t get much room to move he still managed 20 run metres from his 7 runs.


Quade Cooper – It just wasn’t his week this week. As the general of the backline, his failure to execute a different plan when the one they were using obviously wasn’t working falls back onto him. Other teams will watch that match and try to copy what the Stormers did, hopefully next time he will be ready.

Semisi Tupou – I don’t want to be too harsh on the young Rebel but a few mistakes (specifically the one where he dropped the cross field kick over the line) were unforgiveable. Looked okay with ball in hand but also only made 3/7 tackles.

Billy Meakes – A very uncharacteristically quiet night for the Rebels #12. 3/6 tackles and made more runs (7) than metres (6). 2 handling errors also.

  • Howard

    Jack Hardy a Wallaby? Really? Did Wright play? No mention of Kerevi…


      Didn’t you know they chuck in a curly every week for us to argue about. … . a bit like Hegartys selection last week….

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Banks didn’t get a hat-trick?

    Also, for my mind it looks like Quade has easily had the best season of our 10s, but Lealiifano has had three very good performances now, on the weekend, against the Chiefs and against the Tahs. Foley, meanwhile, hasn’t had any very good 80 min performances. On form, he is surely out 4th 10 after Quade, Toomu and Lealiifano.

    Powell is again showing he is a superior 9 to Phipps and Gordon because, unlike those guys, he has a consistently fast and accurate pass and makes fast decisions at the ruck. I’m tired of us selecting halfbacks with average passes because they have ‘great running games’. Burgess and Phipps were enough, we don’t need to add Gordon to that list.


      I’m with you on Powell and have been since he surfaced. The points you mention are Primary roles/skills for a 9…..the rest are secondary bonuses. A bit like Quades playmaking ability as a 10 Vs Hamish Stewart’s Rucking as a 10!!!

  • Anonymous bloke

    Seriously need to mention Faingaa’s kick too. What a corker.

  • Mart

    Didn’t samu kerevi score 2 tries?

    • Howard

      Yep. 2 good ones and the only 2 by the Reds. Hardy had a poor game

  • Nutta

    I apologise for asking this but may I clarify what are the envisaged guidelines of this selection? Are we adhering to a narrow idea of picking the best 15 based on & solely last weekends matches? Or is it broader and a bit more of a ‘on current form’ which naturally includes a spread of games?

    • Mica

      Bit harsh. Carter was probably picked too early for the Wallabies. I definitely wasn’t a fan at the time. He’s a much better player now. Besides if he’s one of the best performing locks he really deserves a call up. Greg Holmes was a much better prop second time round.

      • Nutta

        Yeh fair call. If we pick on last weekend in isolation he gets a jersey for a cracker of a game. But if we’re picking a bit more broadly then his place goes to Mat Phillips instead (only IMO of-course).

    • Howard

      Good point. I accepted last week’s point from you that players weren’t mentioned last we week because they aren’t realistically a Wallaby chance , but some strange picks here if that’s the criteria

      • Nutta

        I’m sweet and happy to play either way, but am seeking clarity as I would rather I wasn’t taking off on my own little tangent/world.

    • Who?

      It’s a ‘Team of the Week’ Nutta. :-) Gallagher’s posts each week generally show how they’re tracking across the season (you’d be stoked with the selections at 10).

      • Howard

        Then call it “Team of the week.” Some strange selections every week

        • Who?

          Just so you know, I’m not the author… Just a regular reader.
          But I honestly wouldn’t have thought that it was that confusing. Especially given it says in the introductory paragraph, “This is our team of the week.”
          In terms of strange selections… What’s new there? Every team of the week picked will have a selection to debate, some more than others. There’s always inherent biases in selectors and selections. That’s fine, I’m sure the author would have no issue with you posting where you disagree. It just adds to the debate. :-)

        • Nutta

          People’s Liberation Front of Judea argument eh?

          No10: I’m tempted to plead the Front-Rowers Immunity – Once the jersey numbers higher than 8 I have no opinion.

        • Who?

          I’m definitely not called Brian…. And I’m not Mexican.
          You have an opinion above 8! The question is whether it’s based on playing the game or being an idiot off the field. ;-)
          For QC, he’s not publicly alleged to have done anything untoward since 2012 (toxic comments) or before 2011 (laptop). That’s a long time…
          If you’re talking on the field, you’d have to appreciate that, more often than not, he gets out of the way and lets the forwards have all the ball they want. Which is the role of a 10, isn’t it? To get out of the way in general play, keep the ball in front of his forwards with his kicking game, and, when the forwards have a win and damage the defensive line, reward them for their hard work by finding a way of getting the ball across the stripe?
          What do you think of the cumulative team taken from these selections in Gallagher’s post? Especially the pack?

        • Nutta

          I remember you tried to get me so-incriminated back when emotions were high over Beale with Braveheart! I have a long memory. You’re not the Messiah. You’re a naughty little boy.

          I’ll go consider Gallagher and come back.

        • Who?

          Tried to get you incriminated with Beale?! I was calling for his banishment, exile from the fair realms! I only acceded, accepting reality, when it was clear the new King Cheiks the First considered him to be his most important knight!
          I’m still riled by the fact that he arranged a transport to the conquest for Sir Gilbert mid-campaign, when the bloke had been (rightly) cast aside by the round table on the basis that he wasn’t to be trusted, that he wasn’t united behind his King. For better a knight maintain fealty with a declining King than change allegiances purely because he sees that power has shifted. This tradition of chivalry is what made The Marshal, Lord of Pembroke and Leinster, so highly respected in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. And the power shift in question was only brought about by Sir Gilbert’s shift in allegiances, by his undermining of his suzerain.

        • Huw Tindall

          7/8 agrees there Nutts but Dempsey over Jones? If I didn’t know better I’d think you have a man crush. Dempsey probably has more potential and dynamism but in a world cup I want hard nuts like Jones.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          I may be wrong, but I think this ‘team of the week’ is also based on the position the person has been playing, rather than the one they perhaps should be. Hence, Dempsey would have to be picked at 8, if at all.

  • Gallagher

    Updated combined scores after nine rounds;
    (Picked on incumbency if a draw, numbers mean additional selections, stars mean fringe selections, Capitals is run on squad with 6/2 split, Brackets doesn’t make match day squad, Up arrow recently IN squad, + symbol means injured or contract ripped up)

    1 SLIPPER 3**, Sio 1 (Johnson-Holmes*, Faulkner, JP Smith)
    2 FAINGAA 3*, Fitzpatrick 2 (Rangi 1*)
    3 ALAALATOA 3*, Kepu 2 (Talakai, L-Makin)
    4 ARNOLD 2 (Holloway 1, Swain)
    5 RODDA 2, Simmons 1 (Phillip 1, Coleman**, Carter*, Hockings)
    6 SALAKIAIA-LOTO 3*, Jones 2*** (+Valentini 1*, Hanigan*, Scott-Young)
    7 HOOPER 3, LWright 2 (Pocock, Hardwick)
    8 NAISARANI 3** (McCaffrey 1*, Timu, Cottrell*, Wells)
    9 GENIA 3*, ^Powell 2 (McDermott 1, Sorovi)
    10 COOPER 4* (Lealiifano 1, Foley, Hegarty)
    11 NAIVALU 3 (Korobete, Peni, Pulu)
    12 MEAKES 2** (Hunt 1, TWright)
    13 KEREVI 6, Rona 2 (Kuridrani 1*, English**, +Petaia)
    14 F-SAUTIA 2* (Clark 1, Muirhead, Hardy)
    15 ^MADDOCKS 1* (+Folau 2**, Banks 1*, Haylett-Petty, Hodge, Stewart*, Lucas)

    Talking Points;
    – Folau is gone, Maddocks winning the battle with Banks, Haylett-Petty and Hodge!
    – We have THREE bolters in the squad who are outperforming the likes of incumbents Pocock and Hunt.
    – Still keeping major injuries at bay, with Petaia and Valentini being the only two of note.
    – Rangi, Holloway and Phillip still putting pressure on Fitzpatrick and Simmons respectively!
    – Is the backup to Genia now McDermott? – No it’s still Powell
    – Still no backup to Cooper or his place kicking?
    – Current back 5 has not a lot of experience.
    – Of the Match day squad, we have seen three disappointing weeks from Kepu, two from Meakes and one from Cooper, showing some good consistency overall.

    Fringe worthy selections;
    Tupou, Dempsey 1, Samu, Higginbotham, Cusack, Newsome
    Slipper, Faingaa, Alaalatoa, Naisarani, Genia, Cooper, Kerevi
    Jones, LWright, Meakes
    Powell and Banks IN, McDermott (benched) and Folau (contract issues) OUT

    Tupou, Johnson-Holmes 2, Kepu 2, Ainsley, Faulkner, Talakai, L-Makin, Ruru, Foley, Cooper, Mason, Beale 1, Meakes 1, Hunt, Simone, Peni, Muirhead, STupou, Maddocks, Korobete, Folau
    Still no selections?;
    Tupou, Paenga-Amosa, Phipps, Beale

    • Howard

      Thanks for the time compiling this list, but I don’t agree with a lot of the data. Who Is the selector?

      • Gallagher

        The selector is the G&GR journalist I believe, and of course there is some of my own selection decisions in there when positions don’t quite make sense (i.e. Kerevi should prob be at 12). If I was biased I’d have Coleman and Pocock starting and Kuridrani and Hodge in the team to cover defense and kicking/backup 10 without question, but it’s about player form not preferences.

        I’m sure we all look at other weekly team of the weeks and these are not grossly different. On balance across the season it is accurate on performance to date…

        What data don’t you agree with?

        • Howard

          The selections

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Better take that up each week with the Gagr selectors then!

        • Gallagher

          How bout you take your negativity to a site that agrees with you then, and try actually post your selections so they can be discussed (just not in this article because everyone bar you understands this article isn’t about peoples personal selections, its about identifying those who have been seen as performing poorly and well)…

  • Brumby Runner

    My only issue is with Rory Arnold’s omission. He again showed he is the best maul proponent in the country and his general play was excellent. Maybe he missed a tackle or two more than others, but there can be too much reliance put on stats at the expense of the overall value provided to the team.

    • Huw Tindall

      Bring back Skelton! Maul destroyer.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I think people are being a bit harsh on QC. He wasn’t brilliant but he pulled off a couple of good tackles and if his finishers had been on the ball he would have setup a couple of good tries. I get the feeling sometimes that some people are looking for him to fail so they can say “I told you so!”

    • Who?

      Completely agree. Set up three tries (two of which were scored), his effort to get across and support Koroibete to send in English (I think? Or was it Hodge?) was exceptional. And he didn’t miss a conversion.
      Last year, all we had was whining that Cooper changed the game plan on the coach, didn’t follow directions. This week, he clearly stuck to the game plan for the vast majority of the game, only changing late.
      And it wasn’t his fault that the timing was off, that ruck ball was slow, that runners were too flat and static in the forwards…

      • Gallagher

        Totally agree also. Cooper still played well overall, definitely not worth a disappointment vote! Just goes to show how a 10 can be perceived and perform behind a current front running Wallaby pack. Suggest Lealiifano can be marked UP for a good game, but Cooper shouldn’t be marked DOWN for poorer forwards support around him… I don’t see Lealiifano getting marked down with disappointing votes when his team lose, and they have a Wallaby pack in front of him… (Coleman, Naisarani, Jones v Pocock, Alaalatoa, Faingaa, Sio, Samu, Carter, Slipper, Arnold). Give him a rest already.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Cooper was decent. Certainly as good or better than all of Foley’s hit outs this season.

          He was just outplayed by Lealiifano.

        • Brumby Runner

          To be fair, on present form, Rangi and Philip would probably make the Wallaby bench at least if picked today.

        • Who?

          But both of those guys were rested on the weekend (being equally fair).
          I’m not saying either pack is bad, just that the Brums’ pack had a more successful night out on the weekend, Christian played well, and was rewarded. I think he put Banks through a couple of gaps, managed the backline and kicked well.
          But Cooper was arguably harshly marked purely because his pack was dominated, and he didn’t demand much ball (because, as a percentage of the large amount of possession the Rebels had, not much was worth testing for Cooper). That said, he still put on three tries (one of which was bombed). In a losing team, that’s not a disappointing performance. Maybe not team of the week, but not ‘disappointing’.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Couldnt agree more. Whilst he did have a few faults, like all Rebs players, he was pretty solid elsewhere.

    • AllyOz

      Everyone can have an off night. I guess the criticism here is that he is a one trick pony but that hasn’t been the case this year and he has underplayed his hand in some games to the betterment of the team. It’s possi that when we are put under pressure we revert to our default position and that’s maybe what’s happened this weekend but I think the coach and Genia will get him a bit more balanced again

      • Who?

        But did he have an off night? That’s the real question. He followed the game plan, the game plan wasn’t working for a variety of reasons, he still created opportunities.
        He didn’t have a dominant night, but that’s different to an off night. It’s a quiet night.


    I love it! The very second the Rebels have a poor game Quade Cooper becomes the scape goat! Now maybe if he had a poor personal game amongst a team that dominated I’d understand the negativity…… but seriously! The guy had a pretty good game, created opportunities that once again were snuffed by his team mates and his defense and kicking was once again solid!
    And as the author of this article seems rather blind to the facts I feel abliged to point out…… Quade Cooper in fact appeared to be sticking to the COACHES plan, not failing to come up with his own! There was a period of play were Quade clearly adjusted the game plan and started going wider for runs. This appeared to be working! You’ll note a waterboy runs past Quade and says something and immediately Quade brings the play back in tight!
    So it appears the bloke can’t win you rusted old haters either way!
    Imagine if the Tahs and Foley ever loose a game….. Foleys immaculate form will be instantly in question……. (smacks forehead)

    • Bernie Chan


Super Rugby

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

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