The Tuesday Top 5 - Green and Gold Rugby

The Tuesday Top 5

The Tuesday Top 5

Well that was a bit of an odd round. Just two Aussie teams in action, and one of those was a breakfast game! this week in the Top 5 we have given you things to mull over, consider, make suggestions on and just straight up argue over.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Good – How bloody close is this season?! It’s weirdly unpredictable (I enjoy reading all the frustrated tweets about how poor tipping was again this week), teams are beating teams they have no real right to beat, and, like I said, it is close. Apart from the Crusaders who are miles ahead and the Canes who are also pulling ahead, the next 10 teams are all have between 26 and 20 points. How awesomely unpredictable! It’s that time of the season where teams will start falling away, but it’s really refreshing to go into the back end of the season having no idea whatsoever who the final 8 teams will be!

Bad – I could easily change this to “Dumb” or “Probably cost my team the win”. Can you guess who I am talking about? Jed Holloway and his swinging arm. Look, I get that he was frustrated at being held into the maul. I’m sure Henry Speight was too when it happened to him on the weekend. Or any player who was held onto by the jumper in a maul in any other game over the weekend, and let’s face it, it happens all the bloody time. But how many of those players decided to swing their arm at the head of the player holding them? Just one. Henry smacked the other players’ arm away, a move I have seen many times. Jed went for the backhand elbow/forearm to the head. I understand that a captain feels they have to try and defend their players, but for Hooper to defend it by saying “It’s not intentional on the head” and “he wasn’t looking at him”, well if you watch the footage Holloway did turn and look. Even if he didn’t look all the way around, he was in a position to see exactly where the players head was. It was pretty clear cut, he made contact with the players head, red card. But I love that Fox Sports tried to drum up some controversy by questioning on Twitter whether people thought it deserved a red. The replies were unanimous – “YEP!”

And while we can’t know for sure that the red card affected the outcome, making your team play a man down for 35 minute definitely isn’t going to help them win.

Jed sneaking a look at who was holding him, moments before elbowing him in the head!

Jed sneaking a look at who was holding him, moments before elbowing him in the head!

Ugly – Just over 10,000 fans heading out west to watch the Tahs v Sharks. From what I’ve heard it isn’t an easy place to get to, either that or some Sydneysiders just couldn’t be bothered heading out of the city, but it isn’t doing much for rugby in Sydney’s west. With no teams based out there, it looks as though interest is rapidly declining. 

Report Card

Waratahs D-: What a dire game that was. There was really not much of note about it. Handling was better than last week, but discipline was worse with 2 cards undoubtedly having an impact on the outcome. There was no one who really took control of the game and there were patches which appeared to be outright amateurish. On paper it looked like it was a pretty even game, but watching it I never really got the sense that the Waratahs were in it and the score line is a bit flattering given one of their tries came after the siren. Unfortunately, Foley’s missed conversion cost the Tahs a bonus point, something which could come back to bit them considering how close the conference is turning out to be.

Jack Dempsey claims a restart.

Jack Dempsey claims a restart.

Brumbies C-: Another tough defensive game for the Brumbies, and I wonder just how much last week’s effort took out of them. They were in the game right until the end, but had patches of poor handling that let them down, as well as some questionable kicking. The maul isn’t the weapon it once was for the Brumbies (no matter how much the commentators talk it up as being the most dangerous part of their game) and the Brumbies just weren’t able to get through the Jaguares defence when it counted. But to walk away from a SA/Argentina road trip with a win and a bonus point loss is still commendable.

Looking ahead …

With 7 rounds to go in Super Rugby we could be in for some interesting games if you’re willing to surf some time zones. The plus of RWC years is it throws up whacky results and as it gets closer to the end of the competion there could be some more interesting twists and turns as the RWC player “cotton wooling” process intensifies. It’s not often we get to part way through a Super Rugby season and only have one real candidate for the spoon, one team just behind the bunch, two teams running away and the remaining 11 teams all within two games of each other purely on win points. Factor in the bonus points and 12 teams are all within two games reach of each other.

As for the Aussie conference, it’s tight with only 6 points between them. But factor in the upcoming bye for the Brumbies and that they all still need to play off against each other there are some very influential games to be played.

The Rebels need to get their form back quick and bank some points before dealing with the Tahs, Crusaders and the unpredictable Chiefs to close out the season.

The Tahs have a challenging run home with a South Africa double away then home, the Jaguars and Rebels that will all be season defining.

The Reds can be the spoiler for any or all of the Aussie teams and certainly climb the table if they get a few results. If they can get past the Jaguars, Chiefs and double dose of the Sunwolves they will be looking to upset the Aussie conference.

Its critical the Brumbies bank points against the Blues before their bye as even having the double crack at the Sunwolves and the Bulls at home will still mean that the Tahs away and Reds at home are pretty much must win games.

Wallaby RDO’s

This week once again saw Tevita Kuridrani playing the full 80 minutes. He is the only player to have done so, having not had a Wallaby requested rest yet and only the one bye so far. Tom Banks is close behind him, having played 80 for the majority of games. Then it starts to even out a bit (remember, Brumbies players can have played a maximum of 800 minutes, other teams 720), you can see that a bulk of the Wallaby players from last year’s spring tour have played around the 550-600 minute mark. There is a clear difference forming between the minutes being played by forwards and backs, with the exception of Simmons (680), Hooper (640) and Rodda (621).

It will be very interesting to see how many minutes of rugby each of these players has played by the time the World Cup comes around.


How much form to form a team that’s in form?

With reports Scott Johnston is suggesting a radical concept like using form (I had to Google this concept) as a selection criterion it raises the question of who is showing enough form to warrant selection, or at least making the right impressions. Granted it’s a long way but we should have players appearing on the radar.

First up, let’s get Genia dealt with. In my opinion if Genia is the benchmark we may only be sending one player!

We already know most of the candidates for the front row. Hooker is the position of most concern.  Folau Fiangaa is making the right impressions but who else? No else really has got hold of the Wallabies Hooker spot and claimed it. For my prop stocks I have already booked a seat for Harry Johnson-Holmes and if his form continues, he will be in my 23. Aside from Harry we have one or two other props that could be good options but need to show they are best option.

The ever-problematic unsettled locks. Well right now for me Coleman might be carrying bags at best. Philip, Jones, Rodda and Arnold are looking the goods but this one will be invariably complex as usual.

Will Pocock make it and if so, will he make it right through? I would suggest that we need to be hedging our bets for the 7, um, 8, um, back row sports.  Positions are irrelevant with this one, it’s all about funky sounding combinations and compromise. Hooper, Samu, McCaffery? We see patches of form but we want someone to be that back row power house.

Genia’ s understudies are pretty well known at this point and aren’t really being consistently challenged. Cue entry stage left a persecuted big kicking boot.

Foley and Cooper are a must.

As for the rest of the backs Kerevi and Banks are making their presence known. Maddocks has shown he will find the try line. Who else is in the running is more about who they are willing to leave out.

So, if form is king and we go with the radical concept of picking by position (are you brave enough?) and thinking combinations who has the form right if you were to put your form 23 out there?

Oh, look. What’s in this can of worms?

Last week I decided to make my life difficult and uncomfortable by saying in the comments that I would take on the challenge at attempting to answer why many All Black supporters would prefer to be playing the Wallabies with Foley at 10 rather than Cooper.  But hey, I also figured that if I was going to tackle that question then I might as well put myself fully in the firing line and also provide my take on Foley and QC and why I wrote last week that “Quade Cooper under pressure is not performing”.

I considered a few ways to approach these questions and also how I could back up my claims. Do I lean on past history? Both have won Super Rugby titles and both have been Wallabies. I could try comparing performance stats but that’s limited by Cooper not playing Super Rugby last season so I would only have a limited sample to compare, but I would also need to factor in that this is Coopers first season with the Rebels compared to the continuity that Foley has with a familiar Tahs side. But at the end of the day stats are only good as a guide and give us a method of comparison; how good, well that is subjective. To that exact point I always like to use the Kiwi team stats as a good guide to the indication of what’s a good stat and what’s a negative stat.  Errors are bad right, a negative? Yet if you have a look at the stats for Kiwi teams the error rate is usually higher than Aussie teams; yet they have better overall results. Risk does yield reward, and the Kiwis are willing to generally take educated risks.

But enough with my justifications, caveats and rationalisation. The best way I can do this is simply to give you my assessment on Foley compared to Cooper.

A few years ago, I posted in one of the forums that I believe the reason why Chieka has stuck with Foley is he provides that basic understood platform to operate from. He isn’t too flashy or complicated so you can easily build a backline around him. Consistent, good skills and enough variety without confusing or surprising the backline. Foley is an enabler for talented creative backs. A backline will play off Foley as he provides that perfect platform for a good creative back to feed from. But to his detriment he is also the focal point of the defensive plan as he is the starting point or key for the majority of attacking play. He is a known quantity that has been keeping it simple for many years by design. His high-quality simplicity is needed to enable an immature, unsophisticated and unsettled Wallabies attack over the last few years.

With Foley you also get a good all-round set of skills, a decent physicality in defence and he has composure. The reality is with Foley when he runs out you petty much will get what you expect from him every single game. But all these assets are also offset by his predictability and stable operating platform. How often are we surprised by something he does? The Kiwi’s and many of our opposition want him at 10 for that reason. Cheika’s and the general Wallabies attacking philosophy also reinforces this by needing a second playmaker to supplement him. But that need for creativity comes at a cost usually with a selection that is more occasional “X” factor than real constant attacking threat.

As a player I rate him. I think as a Wallabies 10 he could be a real weapon if we arm him with a better and different backline and let him evolve.

Bernard Foley break Waratahs v Rebels 2019 (Credit Keith McInnes)

Now, about Mr Quade Cooper. For me Cooper is an interesting conundrum. First up my take on Quade the player. He is competitor and has a fantastic read on the game. I believe (and I have never met hm unfortunately) that he is a confidence player and also does get emotionally invested in the games and it can undo him at times.

One key difference that I believe differentiates Cooper from Foley is he needs that point of stability to work from where as Foley is that point of stability. The Genia-Coper combination works due to Genia providing that game control and platform that Cooper needs to set off. We have seen Cooper suffer from combination that didn’t suit him. Nick Frisbee for example was a creative player like Cooper and in combination at 9 and 10 it was like two positive charges; it ended up as a negative. Just messy and too chaotic.

Cooper is now back and after having a tough few years where his confidence would have suffered undoubted and being out of top flight rugby he would still be building back in to Super Rugby. His combination with Genia again provides him with the platform to work from and we are seeing some of that past form and “QC brilliance” coming back. His composure at times under pressure is causing him to make errors; both in judgement and handling. But you expect this to a degree with a more emotional player like Cooper. There are some mitigating and even contributing factors. As a competitor, as your team is tanking you can tend to overplay your hand or try too hard which he appears to have done on occasions lately. But I also believe the Rebels are yet to provide him with all the right assets he needs in the backline and also the right game plan.

Now I am going to answer why I believe the Rebels don’t have the right game plan for Cooper which also will give you a clue why the Kiwis fear him at 10.

A few weeks ago, we showed you this. The Rebels in the crunch moments of a game, needing to score to win and they default to all forwards pick and drives. It yielded nothing for them.

There are 13 Rebels players in this frame. No wonder their attack wasn't working. Look familiar?

There are 13 Rebels players in this frame. No wonder their attack wasn’t working. Look familiar?

Let me recast this script. With a few minutes to go, you have a backline of Meakes, Maddocks, Koroibete and English to name a few who can break the line and have enough gas to find the try line. You need that one bit of magic to unlock the opportunity. It’s time to gamble, take the chance. Who do you want at 10?

Foley or Cooper? If nothing else in most of our minds it most likely Cooper who can produce that bit of magic. In reality we have seen him do it so we know he is certainly capable. Cooper at full confidence with a strong backline would be a worry to any opposition. He could open up an All Black backline and if you watched the Reds game the previous week and witnessed Kerevi cutting back and straight through the line, or how Maddocks has found the ball from Co0per out wide so many times this season; it’s why the Kiwis prefer Foley.

Cooper brings that unpredictability and the risk that he will pull the preverbal rabbit from the hat. But Cooper can also be a risk.  So, with Cooper you do need to make sure you have the right players around him to provide him the weapons he needs, but also to protect him from himself at times. This season we have seen Cooper showing he can play a far more understated controlled game. That’s an even more ominous sign. The potential of an in-form Cooper able to control a game and unleash his creativity at the right time.

Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper

Personally, I want them both on the plane to the RWC and both given the opportunity at the right time. They both offer a lot but in different ways and they need to be played based on their form. But the key; it’s all about the backline selections, and the backlines we currently have probably won’t help either of then play at their full potential.

Have I got this wrong or am I right? Well, it’s my opinion and as far as I am concerned that’s right enough for me; until I get more evidence or a better perspective of course and I change my opinion!

Our Picks

Try of the week: I have gone for two this week. The try from the Crusaders against the Lions is there pretty much purely for the massive hit on Kwagga Smith by the ball carrier, while the Jaguares try was just really good play. I would have enjoyed it much more if it wasn’t the Brumbies they scored it against! Honourable mention to Folau Fiangaa for his fantastic skill in diving and placing the ball in the corner.

Dumbass move of the week: Bit of a no brainer here, Holloway wins hands down.


“What the heck was that?” play of the week: I’m not sure that comedy of errors really sums up this movement of play. It started with a poor decision to take a quick line out, it never looked like it would come off, and ended when I think the ref gave up trying to work out who had held/lost/fumbled/passed/kicked the ball and called half time. The Sharks were responsible for as many fumbles as the Tahs, but it all looked a bit comedic.

  • While I’m open for debate around the impact of the red card (more on that below) having finally watched it, under the current interpretations, Holloway was always getting a red for that. It’s now a case of guess the length of the ban, and if he gets all the reductions going (pleads guilty, previous good conduct) I’ll go for 4 weeks. If he’s stupid enough to argue anything else, it could be a lot longer.

    Regarding red cards, I think there is space for it to be more like a yellow (10 minutes down a player) but, unlike the yellow card, the red carded player can’t return after their time is done. You’re forced to use a substitute, plus they should cop a lengthy ban from playing. The latter should stop cynical use of the red card to target star players because you’re losing a nobody player for 10 minutes. I think there is space for other interpretations too. Ice Hockey has a goal or time penalty system. YC – if they score 5 points or 10 minutes elapse you come back, RC if they score 10 points of 20 minutes elapse (plus the player with the RC still can’t return to play, and has to be substituted). This would kill the horrible Penalty Try + automatic YC thing we’ve got going at the moment, which I really dislike even as I understand the logic behind it. But the penalty try should be penalty enough IMO.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Don’t see the issue with red cards. They’re pretty rare and only when a player is guilty of utterly horrendous discipline.

      I fear that if the punishment was less severe we would see more red cards as players would take more risks.

      • I think the issue is, if you get a red card early in the match it generally (not always, but often) ends the match as a spectacle. And ultimately that is what the sport is – if we, the public, stop watching whether live or on TV, then rugby stops being played, certainly in the way we consume at the moment. Club rugby for the enthusiastic players continues of course, but big internationals, huge stadiums, professional sport status is out the window.

        While red cards are, thankfully, rare, if you doubled the sanctions in terms of bans, added a meaningful fine – make it so the players who get a red card are hurt personally but their teams are not hurt so much, the spectacle of the match is not hurt so much, do you really think that players would take more risks?

        That’s what I’m really advocating. Punish the players directly absolutely – give them a huge deterrent. But give us, the fans, a good spectacle in every match, a match where the team is not punished for the rash/stupid/dangerous actions of an individual for a long period of time. When SBW drops his shoulder into someone’s face next time, *he* is punished, but the match continues basically as 15-a-side. If Holloway is stupid enough to do it again, he gets a much bigger ban, but the Tahs don’t lose a player for a half. That doesn’t mean they don’t get beaten by the Sharks still, but it’s less clear cut.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I empathise with that argument, and used to be in favour of it. If one was to take your route I’d say you’d still have to make it that the team is down by a man for 20-40mins then he can be replaced.

          That said, I still think it is the threat of red cards being as serious as they are is what makes them so rare. It’s also clean and simple, commit a red card offence and your team is down a man for the rest of the match.

          I don’t think we should risk player welfare just at every turn to benefit ‘the spectacle’. I guess it is a law that could be trialled, but due to how rare red cards are it would need to be a huge sample size to see whether it made a difference to their frequency.

        • I’m not sure we’d actually need a huge sample size. There are a few red cards per year in all competitions, they’re rare but not unknown. SR sees 105 matches in the regular season if I’ve done my sums right and 2-3 red cards in a normal year. Call it 2%. So run a season with the trial laws, even if not at SR level. 50 games. If you’re seeing 10% red cards you’ve got a real issue. If you’re seeing 4% it’s trickier, you probably need to extend the trial. But quite a short trial will tell you if the right is climbing markedly.

          I suspect it won’t – I think players are just as motivated by a big fine as they are by letting their team mates down, but we could see.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But going from 2% to 3-4% (which is more likely I think) will need a long sample size to determine. Even if it goes to 4% in a small sample size we would be asking if it was statistically significant or just due to there being more cards by random chance. Likewise if it stayed at 2%.

          But anyway, I personally don’t actually see the problem, especially as red cards are so rare anyway.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but so what? why is the focus now on the red card rather than the stupid player that cost the team the game and leave it to the coach and management of that team to sort the player out. Taking the responsibility for red cards away from the player who does the foul act that creates the card doesn’t make sense to me

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I don’t think that the idea is to take responsibility away, or reduce the size of the penalty. It’s just a question of when the penalty is applied (i.e after the match – suspensions, fines etc.), and can it be done without damaging the match too much.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think the penalty in the match is the worst one could give and should remain. The bit I still am not getting is why there is this focus on the red card rather than on the player doing something unlawful. Rather than change the rule, why not change the player and how he/she plays?

        • Who?

          I agree. The only area where I’ve disagreed on this has been things like 2017 with YC’s for deliberate knock downs, especially knock downs like Nabuli’s one in SA. He copped a YC for accidentally knocking on the ball whilst making a tackle. He didn’t deliberately knock it on, and so adjustment was needed, and thankfully WR and the refs have adjusted (we don’t see such frivolous YC’s for knock downs anymore – they actually need to be deliberate).
          We sometimes (though not completely consistently) see the refs given a little leeway to make the same adjustment for things like high tackles when a player’s falling, and that’s only appropriate. Because sometimes the infringing player’s actions weren’t wrong, they were just mistimed or didn’t allow enough for factors beyond their control. I’m fine with not seeing it for Dempsey on Saturday night, because, as I’m sure I heard a League commentator say many years ago, nothing good happens when you get your hand between an opponent’s legs and lift. Dempsey could’ve made the tackle without going there.
          I agree on reffing, too. I don’t get to do it anymore, but it’s seriously good fun. Even better, you get to enforce the laws as you see fit, so you feel as though you can actually improve the game. Sick of watching Super games where everyone’s crawling after the tackle and diving off their feet at the ruck? Warn before the game, then penalize both offences hard and early, and suddenly you don’t have that issue in the game you’re watching/reffing! Great fun. :-)

        • What I’m suggesting, although I hear your objections, I think puts the onus more on the player that does the stupid thing. I’m suggesting – I realise my original post wasn’t 100% clear on that rereading it – that they are taken off for the rest of the match, same as now. Their bans are made lengthier than at the moment, and they are also slapped with a meaningful fine. Lets suggest 100% of their match fee and 1% of their annual salary per week of the ban. (That’s basically half their weekly income from their salary.) It’s putting the punishment on the player who got carded, rather than the team they play for.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but my proposal of a coach accepting that to win a WC final still stays mate. They get a red and it’s still 15 on 15 with a short bench that is still better than a critical opposition player being taken out. 14 on 15 is a much better result

      • Kiwi rugby lover


    • Greg

      Not much to say about Holloway. If you hit someone in the head it is a problem.

      Personally, I think there also needs to be a bigger sanction against those that trigger these incidents.

      If you were guaranteed 10 mins on the sideline for holding back players (or taking out away from the ruck, or generally being a dick), I think it would soon stop. This would make for a better game (and yes, I was once upon a time a forward).

      • While part of me sympathises with that, I think holding back a player is a penalty offence, not a yellow card in general. It needs headroom to lift, if it becomes flagrant, repeated, occurs in a situation where it may save a try but doesn’t meet the penalty try situation and so on. If it starts as an automatic YC, the only place to go up is red…

        However, I have no problem with it being policed more rigorously, and players getting pinged, then sin-binned for repeat infringements. You hear from coaches and commentators so often now “we want to keep the penalty count under 10″ or “under 15 penalties to be in with a chance of winning the match.” If a player is giving away 3 penalties a match and getting 10 minutes regularly for tugging a jersey, the coach and the senior players will be screaming at them soon enough, and it will stop.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Good morning Eloise,

      While I normally agree with a lot of what you say, I don’t in this instance. A game is never ruined by a red card, a game is ruined because a player has done an action that was so far against the rules that the punishment is a red card. It is the action of the player that has caused the issue, the red card is only a consequence of his/her actions.

      I really don’t get the way that the focus has gone from the player to the consequence of the action. Personally I blame some of the recent commentators on this as they are the ones who seem to have decided that it’s not the players fault it’s the referees fault that a red card was issued. In the past the blame was always squarely on the player and I’m not sure why that changed.

      While I can see some merit in the change you propose I don’t agree with it at all. If I was a coach in a final at the RWC and the opposition had a really good player who was likely to influence the result I’d consider if me having one less on the bench was less of an issue than that player not being available and if the answer was yes I’d pick some mutton to take out the opposition player knowing that my reduced bench would be less of an issue than that player not being there. I’m damn sure other coaches would think the same. I think if anyone thinks that won’t be a process that coaches will go through then I think they are very naive

      • Brendan Hume

        The allocation of blame has changed because cards are now issued after the fact. We have video and a TMO. By all means, a punch or whatever probably deserves a red, but some of the offences that now incur a red card and see a player removed from the game are the unfortunate result of physics and the pace and size of players. Warburton’s 2011 RC always comes to mind for me here. At the 2007 world cup, that’s probably a good tackle (can’t remember the exact timeline of these laws). 4 years later, Wales opportunity is effectively boshed 20 mins in.

        • Brendan Hume

          By your definition, I think you’d have to agree Warburton shouldn’t have been removed from the game for that tackle: “a player has done an action that was so far against the rules that the punishment is a red card”

        • Garry

          Watched it again. Lifting him above the horizontal, didn’t try to ease him down after that, let him fall from a height to land on his shoulders (luckily the French man tucked his head in). It’s a red any day of the week. There needs to be a high profile standard set so that someone in the Emus third grade doesn’t attempt something similar, resulting in some tragedy we hear of on the six o’clock news.

        • Who?

          I had no issue with the Warburton RC. Hilarious that, 8 years on, we’re still whinging about a ref who followed directions. Perhaps if more refs followed directions, there’d be fewer complaints about those sort of calls..?
          Beyond that, it has to be remembered, Wales lost by 2, and they missed a penalty goal directly in front. And no points were scored after that missed kick. Wales beat themselves that day.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I don’t agree that some red cards are “the unfortunate result of physics…..” It doesn’t matter how hard you hit a player if the tackle is legal and while I agree things have changed over the years and what was acceptable 10 years ago now isn’t I don’t see that as an issue. Every red card is still the result of an action by a player so any blame on the ruin of the game should go to the player not to the consequence of his/her action which is the red card. I find that the hardest bit to understand in all of this

      • Andrew Luscombe

        In other sports that don’t have sendings off, or which do allow sent off players to be replaced, they don’t have a big problem because there are still strong penalties, and most people are actually reasonably good sports anyway.

        I think a different issue is what do you do at amateur level, and how different should the punishments be for professional and amateur. It’s much harder to fine an amateur, and at lower levels even suspensions may not be that much of a deterrent. There also aren’t so many resources to have hearings after the fact and keep track of suspensions.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    I think Lealiifano deserves to be in the conversation.

    I don’t think HJH even makes the squad, unless you want to risk leaving Kepu at home. Ala’alatoa and Tupou are our best THPs and Slipper and Sio are both better in the set piece than HJH, and have the runs on the board at international level. Kepu has the experience you need in a World Cup and can also play both sides of the scrum if someone is injured.

    • IIPA

      We need new blood and energy throughout the team and I’m liking what HJH and for that matter Harry Hoopert have brought to Super Rugby this year. Kepu is rightly under pressure as is Sio.

      Sio’s “runs on the board” are pretty mediocre as is the case for the majority of Wallaby incumbents.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Not really. Despite the horrific form of the team the Wallabies’ scrum has been a shining light for most of the last four years. We’ve almost always at parity and often even dominant. The props are the only part of the team worth keeping.

        We do absolutely need new blood, but in the back-row and backline. We have good and (crucially) experiences options in the tight five. Don’t sacrifice them in a World Cup year for a guy with a good work rate that is average in the scrums, but is somehow worthy of hero worship as he’s one of the only guys playing well in a terrible forward pack. I see the Tahs’ scum dominated again and again, including by the Sunwolves earlier this season. Harry’s time will come if he continues growing as a player, but it won’t be, or at least shouldn’t be, at this World Cup.

        Kepu gets in as he covers LHP and THP. Super valuable in a 31 man wc squad.

      • Who?

        Until HJH proves he can scrum with his hips lower than his shoulders, and with his elbow not pointing at the ground, he’s a liability. He’s got a Gold jersey in his future, but he needs to fix his core role issues first. Sure, he hasn’t been penalized heavily this year, but that’s dumb luck as much as anything. Refereeing can be looser at the scrum in Super Rugby than when you’re at a RWC with an NH ref.
        Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s great around the park. Along with Slipper, he’s the form LHP in the Aussie conference. But Slipper scrums way better, and Sio’s also better at scrumtime. And a prop’s job starts with the scrum. If you look likely to hinge or have your left elbow pointing at the ground, you aren’t safe to take to a RWC (even if you wear a sky blue jersey).
        That said… I wonder how Tom Robertson’s feeling? He was a guaranteed selection in the 23 before he did his ACL. Now he’s coming back to find Slipper rampaging and having all but stolen back his Wallabies jersey, and now there’s HJH giving him a very difficult path back to the sky blue #1 jersey!

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Great…. Robertson barely deserved a Super start let alone a TEST Start. I have NEVER seen him impress…..

  • Brisneyland Local

    Goodmorning MST’s, great write up there today. A lot of points for consideration. And by the way, thanks for grabbing my point from the other day and turning into a big part of your post. A really good read. BL’s points in no particular order:
    – HJH appears to be solid overall. But I think he looks good in amongst a sea of not very good. A rose amongst the thorns so to speak.
    – Our front row options across the board are good. We really have some good choices there with some experience to back it up.
    – Our second row still has some concern with variable form. Very variable form. Previously I would have said that Coleman was a shoe in, but has been looking average of late. Rodda is form, and so Arnold. Phillip and Jones as well. Simmons maybe not so.
    – Our back row has some good options, but depends on which path Cheika takes. Sure as hell I hope Pooey comes back and is in form. The injury caused by Cheika is just a debacle, and he has never really been held to account for injuring 4 or 5 players in that way. He has no role taking fitness drills.
    – Foley and Cooper are a must. More about that later.
    – The backs there are some options. But Hodge must be in that mix. Especially if Foley is playing ten. Foley cant kick for shit, so Superboot has to be in the team then.
    – Again thanks for the whole NZ Foley / Cooper thing. It really did stem off from a discussion on night after a game with my usual street international rugby crew. We have a Fijian, and ex-Wallaby, an Italian, 2 x Kiwi’s, a Scott and an Irishman. BTW all are Aussie citizens and have been for decades, not that you would know hearing their accents. We debated the whole Foley Cooper thing for an hour or so after the game. But in the end both of the Kiwi’s are adamant that Foley doesn’t worry them. In fact they prefer to face him. Cooper whilst hot and cold, on a good day they (the Kiwi’s) say he can beat anyone including the Kiwi’s! Where as they know with Foley that isn’t going to happen! So with an Aussie team it comes down to Cooper and whether he is in form. With Genia joined at the hip, and Kerevi and other running flat hard lines outside him we have potential. With Foley and Grandpa AAC we have nothing!
    Thanks again. Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Good morning mate, Agree 100% on Foley vs Cooper although I still think we can get inside Coopers head and put him off. However anyone can get inside Foley’s OODA Loop and if you take this with his pathetic line gains and choking on kicks I’d much rather have him in the opposition. In fact the Foley Beale combination has been brilliant for us and everyone else for years.

      I agree on HJH, a good non travelling reserve but you have better players than him available now, the real issue is the locks and I think Rodda and Arnold are the form locks at the moment. I still think Coleman has the capability and maybe it’s just a head thing that may come right in the Wallaby environment.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep 100% agree. I am hoping with 7 matches in the SR season to go we see Coleman get back in form. Sure as shit I dont want to see Simmons there.

  • disqus_NMX

    I’ve got my popcorn ready for the Cooper vs Foley debate. Especially waiting for GO THE Q REDS to go berzerk, frothing at the mouth, with stats to counter most of MST’s pro-Foley arguments :P

    Funny thing is, if this debate had come up a couple of weeks ago before the Rebels lost their last two games, then everyone would be hands down, QC is the one. A couple of average results later, and suddenly it’s all doubt, even though QC played just as well, if not better than Foley in those two games.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      That’s the thing, it’s not a real debate, because the two players are not judged on their merits. Foley is held to a lower standard, so he automatically wins.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Yep….. Like someone said above… If this conversation had happened 2 weeks ago everyone would be saying Cooper considering his dominant season to date ……but after two quiet games that is forgotten about and Foley’s Season long “averagness” gets him the nod!

    • MST
    • MST
      • disqus_NMX

        Yes, you are a very naughty child MST :D

        Seriously though, I may not agree on Foley, but love that you wrote the article, and all the other articles you write for us. GaGR makes my mornings! Thanks kindly!

    • Gallagher

      Haha, personally I take offence that we aren’t talking about Cooper v Lealifano! :) Below is some flyhalf stats I did last week on the Super season to date (which got GTQR’s tick of approval);

      Interesting stats and analysis for the Wallaby fly half jersey;
      (Stats are ordered arguably by their importance or impact to a positive or negative score line change, from most important at the top to least at the bottom (1 point for best, 2 for second best, 3 for worst)

      Cooper V Foley V Lealiifano
      Try Assists – 9, 2, 4
      Conceded penalties- 4, 2, 1
      Kick % – 79%, 71%, 70%
      Tackle percentage – 69%, 73%, 83%
      Line breaks – 7, 2, 5
      Tackle busts – 9, 9, 14

      Handling errors – 18, 6, 13
      Turnovers – 20, 9, 18
      Points – 84, 66, 49
      Metres per run – 8.7, 11.6, 11.4
      Tries scored – 2, 1, 1
      Offloads – 10, 2, 6

      Cooper – 17 points (Run on)
      With 3 wins in the top 6 most important stats, he is directly generating tries for his team, kicking with the highest accuracy and making the most line breaks, with equal second best tackle busts. Although he has the worst stats for conceding penalties and his tackle percentage, they are not damning by any means (seven more successful tackles would catch Foley). The risk that comes with Quade’s game style, that being the point generating threat that all teams fear and develop game plans around is, on balance worth the risk for the reward he is garnering.

      Lealiifano – 20 points (Bench)
      Also with 3 wins in the top 6 most important stats, he is conceding the least penalties, has the best tackle percentage and busts the most tackles, solid in contact. His kicking percentage is the worst, but only slightly behind Foley in 2nd place (two more successful kicks would surpass Foley). Lealiifano brings an all round game, he lacks the outright flair that Cooper has, but still generates point scoring opportunities, although with a less risky game style. An excellent bench or second playmaker, especially if the scoreboard is under control.

      Foley – 21 points (Bye Bye)
      Despite sitting behind Lealiifano by only one point, Foley has no wins in the top 6 most important stats and also finds himself losing two of them. He finds himself uncompetitive when it comes to generating points, being the worst at try assists and line breaks, although he does draw level with Cooper in 2nd for tackle busts. His tackle percentage and kick percentage are only just above 3rd place also, showing a clear lack of x factor that Cooper provides, and an inability to provide the same level of all-round stability that Lealiifano provides. Handling errors and turnovers are his only shining lights as he is outpointing both Cooper and Lealiifano by some margin on both stats, but they do not hold as much weight as stats that impact score lines directly such as Try Assists, making advantage line metres on attack or preventing the same in solid defence. In the mould of Lealiifano, just not with the ability to generate points at the same level.

      • MST

        Do Lilo’s stats indicate that their is limited support or option for Lilo being provided by his center so the stats are as a result of him doing the work due to the lack of options? Aside form the changing combinations, TK has been playing out wide and the other centres have reasonably low numbers.

        • Gallagher

          Heya MST, is metres counted once advantage line is gained though? Not sure to be honest but I think it is…

      • GO THE Q REDS

        You see I rather respect your opinion Gallagher….. far more then anyone who flippantly says….”I feel like”.. or “from what I’ve seen” right before they then go onto put forward the players they want to represent the WALLABIES! Your comments and opinions are formed from a sound analytical base! And that is exactly what we should expect from the honchos with Cheika! I mean Cheika doesn’t even watch the games…… how is he or anyone else supposed to form an objective assessment of his players and their oposition?

  • Who?

    I’ve mentioned below why I think HJH shouldn’t wear gold this year. Great round the field, major technical risk at scrumtime. I don’t know how two mad Brumbies like yourselves could consider anyone but the two Brumbies LHP’s, who are both long term Wallabies! The incumbent, and then the benchie with 80-odd Wallaby caps and who happens to be the form prop in the conference!
    But I want to talk about Foley and Cooper……..
    Foley. Foley is supposed to be consistent. That’s not always true. He’s had more off games the last few years (2016 and beyond) than good ones. In 2016, he was exhausted, having played RWC/Japan/Super/Tests, and wasn’t dropped to give him time off when it was needed. Instead, he was played at 12. Just like Cheika refused to drop Beale last year when he was clearly out of sorts and needing a rest.
    2017/18, Foley played some very good Rugby for the Tahs, but very little for the Wallabies.
    Foley plays his best – like many 10’s – when given clarity. The constant defensive shuffle for the Wallabies doesn’t allow clarity even in attack – you never know when everyone’s going to be back in position. And you end up with odd positionings, such as Kerevi playing effectively on the wing in June last year.
    Foley also plays his best on the run and when he’s got Beale running off his hip, in form. In 2014, Foley showed promise. He had Beale outside him. He had clear game plans. Both at the Tahs and with the Wallabies. There were issues that needed improvement (his show inside/pass outside option taking was glacial), but he had potential and looked to be working hard.
    In 2015, he played his worst game in the win against the ABs (as he’d played his worst game in the draw with the ABs the year before). He played his best game against England, but I still maintain that Beale provided all the spark that day, and should have been MOTM.
    Since then, we haven’t really seen his game develop. His kicking has been less consistent – in general play and at goal. He doesn’t have the same confidence he had in 2016, not even for the Tahs. He had a good season for the Tahs last year, but this year, not as much.
    Foley at his best is picked for his consistency. So the question is, should an Australian 10 be safe and consistent?
    Cooper is regarded as emotional, a confidence player, flaky… I acknowledge that Cooper has shortcomings. He’s not as secure as he should be under the high ball (his technique is good, but it’s not uncommon to see him jump for the ball and have the ball bounce out). He can look for offloads in contact under pressure when he should go to ground rather than transferring pressure. His defence – especially front on and in the line – this year has been significantly improved. I’d note that he seems less likely to make YC high tackles in the line than the backfield, though tackling Kerevi and Foketi in space (he’s done both this year) is no mean feat.
    On attack, Cooper’s style is heavily dependent on the game plan provided. Under McKenzie, he was clearly engaged in the game plan, and (as he matured) rarely overplayed his hand. The 2013 Lions game was his showcase, but even there, he was underplaying his hand, sticking hard on the game plan. Under Graham and Stiles, I don’t believe anyone can say there was anything like an effective game plan, or that he was consistently engaged. Under Wessels, there’s a game plan. Everyone’s saying he’s engaged with it. I don’t know that it’s consistently the correct plan – especially given it’s been easily nullified by the Stormers (can’t say about the Tahs, I missed the first half, and they didn’t really see any ball in the second half), and given I’m seeing Cooper go to scrumhalf whenever Genia or Ruru is tackled. The consistency of Cooper going to 9 makes me think it’s part of the game plan, but I’m not sold on the concept.
    Cooper has the best ‘shared’ vision in the country. Others can find a gap for themselves, but at 10, Cooper is the most consistent at finding where the ball needs to go for others to take advantage. Perhaps that’s because his skills in getting the ball there are unmatched, and so he successfully gets the ball there more often than his counterparts? Perhaps if Foley (and, to a lesser extent, Leali’ifano – lesser extent because his kicking and passing seems more fluid than Foley’s) were more slick with his passing and kicking, he’d show more of his vision (it’s not terrible, he’s put in some very good kicks – and not just high balls for Folau – over the last couple of years). Maybe?
    So, there’s a few questions that need to be asked to determine who you’d want at 10. First off, I believe the coach’s vision for the 10 needs to be defined. If I’m coaching, I pick 10 on vision, and I want a 10 who will pass first, kick second, and run third. I’m not worried about pace. I don’t need my 10 to have a great step, but I want my 10 to be a control freak – constantly bossing around his backs (and, to a lesser extent, organizing the forwards). My 10 should want the ball in hand, so that they can get the ball where they want it. But they should be willing to use other people to do that job, too. I don’t want my 10 being consistently overcalled, my 10 should be the loudest voice on the field. If someone else wants the ball, they call the 10, not the 9.
    That doesn’t appear to be how Cheika works. When Beale wants the ball, he calls and gets it (and Foley will jump sideways to allow him to run the ship). Foley is a run/pass/kick player. He’s reduced the amount of running he does (as in he picks it better), but he’s much more likely to create when running than when stationary. Cheika plays a ‘solid’ 10, and a ‘mercurial’ 12.
    I think the Australian way is more frequently the other way around. You play a mercurial 10 – an Ella – and then a solid 12 (a Lynagh, Horan) outside. The 10 can play the wide game, the 12 is bigger, reliable, and can be trusted to clean things up if necessary. They won’t transfer pressure (something we saw happening far too frequently in recent Super games). There’s been a few the other way around (Lynagh wasn’t mercurial, and Larkham/Giteau was reversed, but Mortlock at 13 provided the stability). The most recent Australian example of this arrangement was Cooper at 10 with Toomua at 12. It worked… I’d also argue that Cooper at 10 and Kerevi at 12 would be similar – because Kerevi can kick (he’s working with Dave Alred), but he’s never going to throw a pass to a person in a poorer position than himself.
    I consider Beauden Barrett to be more like Foley in terms of decision making than Cooper. In that, he’s a very dangerous ball runner, so he’s likely to run whenever he can, and he’s most creative on the run. But he can be flaky, and he loves the kick pass… He’s the risk taker in his backlines. So they play guys like Laumape, SBW (not the best example) and (ideally, but not yet) Nonu outside him. Even if they stuck Jordie outside him, it’s still risk at 10 and solidity at 12.
    So, when I advocate for Cooper over Foley, it’s because of a philosophical difference in how I believe the game should be played, compared with Cheika. It’s similar when I say I prefer Pocock over Hooper, Jones at 6, etc.
    And our lack of options behind Cooper and Foley is concerning. Who do we have behind them? Leali’ifano’s better at 12. Toomua’s not had much game time at 10, and he’s just as old as the other two. Hawera’s a Kiwi, and isn’t well loved, even amongst Brumbies fans. Hegarty’s a very handy play, but at his third club in 3 or 4 seasons, and hasn’t looked like he’s bound for higher honours. Stewart’s not playing at 10, doesn’t look to have much spark. Mason gets no game time – who knows what he can do? Jackson-Hope’s getting no game time – ditto. The only younger player with any positives listed around him at 10 is Deegan, and he’s with the Force, who RA don’t even consider. That’s a major failing on our coaching pathways…

    • MST

      Thats an awesome response Who, a really good read and I like what you’re saying. A lot of merit in it. Thank you.

      Re: Hawera. He should be close to qualified for Australia i believe as that was part of the plan bring him to the Brumbies. Personally I am a fan of Hawera and would start him ahead of Lilo. He provides much better service at the line, far more threatening but doesn’t have the kicking game Lilo does (not a bad thing).

      • Who?

        Thanks MST’s.
        Hawera should be good at the end of the season, shouldn’t he? I have to admit, I haven’t watched enough of the Brumbies (especially given he’s in and out of the side) to have a clear personal view on him. From the little I’ve seen, he has some strong points, but doesn’t seem to be highly rated by fans, and coaching staff (given how often he’s not in the starting team). I figured he was always meant to become eligible over here, but there’s never been great enthusiasm for him.
        Interesting that his kicking game’s a shortcoming, when he can knock over goals from 50.

        • MST

          I say that as if you watch him play he has that Kiwi trait of being able to play close to the line, provide great ball in close and even cut through the line himself. He doesn’t play way back in the stands to be able to play “that” kicking game.

          I think at times the Lilo selection is more sentimentality than what he really provides ( and we really like the bloke).IMHO, right now the Brumbies are getting closer to a good running game that suits Hawera’s skills far more than Lilo’s. Hawear showed rally good form in the NRC. I cant help but wonder if the Wallabies have missed an opportunity not getting him more game time to really test him out.

          But what do i know. I baged on about sending Tk to the wing as he is past it as a centre. The last few games that have played him wide just inside of the wingers. In that space he has been fantastic. He will be the Wallabies starting or backup 13 and under-perform.

        • Who?

          Your first paragraph is definitely the positive I’ve seen from him in the few games I’ve seen.
          I’d be running Christian at 12. He can be the solid, secure, composed head there, outside Hawera, giving more threat to his own running game (which is strong enough for that role), kicking as needed.
          TK… He’s got to wear 13 for the Wallabies. He’s the only centre we have who can fix our defence, and is arguably top three in the world on defence. Then we just need to feed him well in attack – something the Brumbies don’t always do well, and something the Wallabies do well even less frequently!

        • MST


        • Who?

          Nah…. He’s not played there that much, he doesn’t offer near as much direction in defence, and he’s ultimately an easier player to bring to ground in attack. It’s TK, Petaia, or an out of position Kerevi.

      • Brumby Runner

        I think Hawera is a better player than he’s given credit for being, but on his last couple of showings off the bench, I’m starting to wonder if he’s lost interest after losing the starting spot. I believe he would be Wallaby eligible, if not really in the picture, early next year.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate he didn’t get into a NZ team for a reason. Not sure he offers that much

        • MST

          True, but I actually think he would have been picked up if he had of stayed. As per BR’s comment he was improving and looking good but he won’t get a chance under McKellar sadly.

    • Brisneyland Local

      WHo that is an excellent read. Deep analytical ability there mate.

    • AllyOz

      I will be a little less detailed but I agree with the overall premise. I think the temptation for some might be to pick Foley as the more conventional of the two to start and have QC finish but I think that is the wrong way to go. I think part of the resurgence of QC this year has been his improved ability (I don’t want to use ability in the personal sense but in the team sense – hopefully this will make sense as I go on) to organise the game because he 1. has a better organiser inside him to give him a bit better direction and 2. more attacking options outside him so that he doesn’t have to go to the higher risk option to try and spark something like he had at the Reds. If QC is used as the finishing option only I think the temptation will be to play the high risk stuff in the closing minutes chasing points. I believe that, on current form, he deserves the opportunity to build his way into and through the game and to take opportunities as they are presented and not be forced to make opportunities that aren’t necessarily there.

    • John Miller

      Outstanding response Who? Thank you.

    • Brumby Runner

      Well said Who. I’d like to see your philosophy implemented at the Wallabies.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I don’t think Lealiifano is better at 12. Always thought he was a superior 10, and he’s certainly outplaying Foley this season and even Cooper too the last few rounds.

      Toomua was a very good 10, but since he’s bulked up and played 12, that ship has probably sailed.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks MST another great read and some good pointsThanks MST, as always some great discussion points.

    Personally I’m not sold on HJH yet. I think he’s a good player in waiting but he came off second best on Saturday in most contact areas and I think that some of the other players are better. I’d have him as a non travelling reserve at this stage but wouldn’t have him I the squad and certainly not in the match 23.

    TBH I would prefer that Foley plays for exactly the reason you state. He has no flair and apart from the odd run that is easily halted he doesn’t offer anything dangerous for the ABs. On top of that you know his gains from penalties or any other kicks are going to be limited so letting him kick isn’t an issue. Cooper offers a lot more of a threat, especially now as he seems to have matured a bit, but I don’t mind him either as he is easy to upset and once he gets upset his game still goes to pieces. I’d still prefer the ABs faced Foley and Beale than Cooper and Kerevi as the latter 2 are much more dangerous.

    I also am liking the closeness of the games this year but I caution that with a lot of disappointment that there is so much inconsistency and so many poor individual skills in play in all the teams. Maybe it’s because the players are trying too hard to get noticed for the RWC but whatever it is it’s painful to watch

    Can’t argue with the ratings much although I’m not sure the Tahs deserve even a D- as they were pretty poor.

    • Brumby Runner

      Foley and Beale v Cooper and Kerevi – chalk and cheese.

  • Hoss

    MST – that was a great read and i loved the point of comparison. One point i would make is that single cell amoeba evolved quicker than Spanners game management, skill or ability has, but i give you your due in pointing out some mitigating circumstances and selections that do impact his role / performance.

    If Mandrake & The Schnoz can influence Segall enough to pick players in form and in their positions then we are along way to solving the 10 conundrum – with combinations used as the ‘tie break’ and there-in lies the rub. Its Sanchez first, White Second and McDermott as a bolter. The Commissioner has played himself out of form of late and the Bovine Sprinkler is like a penis enlargement pump – great in theory, but just doesn’t work like you’d hope – apparently. Sanchez at 9 alone gets QC & the sunshine band the gig at 10. As a long time doubter and recent convert i have been impressed with QC’s toned down approach (since mid 2018) and i like he now reads the game better, plays distributor better than previous (his passing has always been best in Oz) and injects himself with pace at the right times – usually igniting the backline at the same time. Apologies in advance to the Frebels – but their backline are honest tradesmen and toilers, but not international class weapons, yet QC has got every inch of ability out of Zoolander, The Motherland and Cant-get-right. Maddocks is growing and will play 70 tests and Sauce should be Wallabies XV.

    Spanners will be on the trip to radioactive Nipponville and will get game time with White as the starting 9 in the lesser games. But with the Hoss backline of Bastards/Maddocks, ,Kerevi, Pateai (remember combos count and if the kid can get 3-4 SR games a RC campaign in then he is my out & out 13), Naivalu & Sauce. With a combo of either Hodge, Toomua & Gilbert as possible pine riders well, life at the RC just got a whole lot m ore interesting and i am salivating at the prospect.

    • Who?

      Zoolander and The Motherland! :-D
      Only problem is, those eyelashes, The Motherland could also be called Zoolander… I just hope the two of them don’t ever go for a drive to get orange mocha frappacinos!
      The only questions about your backline are:
      1. Will the Chef pick that backline? And
      2. What’s the game plan?
      I’m not confident that the Chef will cook up that backline, or that even if he did, he’d find the right balance or cooking time. He’d likely swap ingredients and if you’d braise the backline, he’d slow cook it. :-(

    • disqus_NMX

      Loving that backline Hoss, loving it!

      • Hoss

        I like Mandrakes talk of combinations mate

        – 9/10, 11 All Rebs, but i could live with Bastards at 11 also – pace to burn, can kick and good under the pill.Sauce at 15
        -12,13 & 14 All from the Northern Padres XV

        Depending on the game / team it also leaves possible pine riders

        * White
        * Mc Dermott

        * Foley
        * Toomua

        * Hodge
        * Gilbert
        * Maddocks / Banks.

        Fair bit of flexible cover there but i concede it would mean a bench of 5-3 split for all games. Which of course you could do if you picked specialist players in form as your piggies…………………..and therein lies the rub my friend.

  • cm

    What really got me after the Tahs’ awful, unimaginative game was rag-doll Hooper’s post-match comment when he said they would now learn a lot about the importance of moving the big Saffer forwards around. FFS! Surely this should have been part of the game plan from the get-go?

    • Miss Rugby

      But you have to give him a bit of leeway there, SA teams are relatively new to the comp and we don’t know much about them ………..


  • Hoss

    Well a ‘penis pump’ is apparently (according to KRL anyway) a device used to enhance the male love organ by using suction to enhance circumference. I don’t hold much confidence in its usability, but some on here (aforementioned) swear by it – so there you go.

  • Kristian Thomas

    The majority of the rugby press were very quick to jump on the Tahs win over the REbels and claim Foley’s one good moment as the second coming of JC! Foley had a god awful game and Cooper had a really solid game. No one seemed to want to mention that its a bit hard to go forward when your team keeps giving away penalties…

    Foley is a runner not a play maker. He can’t organise a team or control a game. He relies on KB to do that stuff for him. MST your comment that “Foley is an enabler for talented creative backs” is a really nice way of saying that he consistently passes the ball on and hopes the next guy can do something with it!

    Great reply Who?


Brumbies first, then for the love of the game. "It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right." —Moliere

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