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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Holloway re-signs, Four More Years for Gregan, No Pocock, and Force captain returns.


 

 

HOLLOWAY LOCKED AWAY

Waratahs v Sunwolves 2018 1st half-9

NSW forward Jed Holloway is the latest player to commit to staying with the Waratahs after signing as new two year contract.

Previously there had been a few rumours floating around that Holloway might head down south to the Brumbies, but those rumours have been put to bed after Jed committed to his home town.

The 26 year old notched up his 50th cap for NSW  in 2019, where the traditional No. 8 spent most of his time in the second row.

NSW General Manager of Rugby Tim Rapp had big raps on Holloway, highlighting his work rating around the pitch, his efforts in attack and defence, and his over all versatility as a forward.

“He’s come through our development pathways, more recently has taken on leadership roles at Southern Districts and loves representing New South Wales.

“Not only that, he does some wonderful charity work in his role as an Ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation – which I think says a lot for the sort of character Jed is.

“He’s a valued member of our squad and the ultimate team man, his presence around our young forwards will be invaluable over the next two years.”

After six years with the Waratahs, Holloway is happy to be the leader and inspire the next generation of sky blue players.

“After making my debut [in 2013] I had to bide my time a little bit before getting some regular opportunities,” Holloway said.

“To have notched 50 caps this season is an achievement I’m really proud of, and I’m glad to be staying in New South Wales to continue representing the Waratahs.

“There’s a good group of young guys coming through here and to be a part of that is an exciting prospect.

“In the meantime, I’ll be focusing on the National Rugby Championships before we get started on pre-season for 2020.”

FOUR MORE YEARS…16 YEARS LATER

Gregan in more peaceful, reflective days

Gregan in more peaceful, reflective days

It may have been one of the most iconic moments for the 2003 World Cup, but the “Four more years” sledge appears to still be haunting George Gregan.

The Wallaby great appeared on Fox Sports The Back Page, where he opened up behind the history of the epic taunt and the fallout that still follows him in New Zealand.

Gregan is still held in high regard across the ditch, so much so that the kiwis asked him to reprise the line on their latest Air (All Blacks) New Zealand advertisement in which Gregan says the next ad will be in ‘four more years.’

“I cop it for that line all the time,” Gregan said.

“That’s the only time I’ve said that line since the 2003 (Rugby World Cup) semifinal which was directed at Byron Kelleher.

“But they had a bit of fun (in making the ad), I do like that about them, there’s a bit of that ANZAC spirit.”

The taunt, despite twisting the knife in New Zealands World Cup drought, was merely an instinctive reaction between half backs according to Gregan.

“There was no premeditated, I’m going to say this when the moment comes,” Gregan said.

“But you’re in the heat of the moment and it was Byron Kelleher, we had a feisty, halfback relationship.

“And when you’ve got a chance to give it to each other — it was that moment where we were on top.

“The cameraman who is still working here (at Fox Sports) on weekends, who captured it, I said ‘you know I’ve copped a lot of grief — why did you tell the producer and OB (outside broadcast) that something was there?’

“It was just a little halfback moment.”

 

POCOCK TO MISS BLEDISLOE ONE

Photo by Keith McInnes

Photo by Keith McInnes

Despite rumblings from the New Zealand camp that the Wallabies would include David Pocock in their match day 23, it appears the kiwis got it wrong.

Fox Sports are report that Poey will be left on ice for at least Bledisloe one, and may not even make the trip to the fortress of New Zealand, Eden Park.

Apparently he was never actually in test consideration for this week, more mind game from Hansen’s camp it would seem.

Pocock has played limited rugby this year, after he injured his calf in the Wallabies fitness camp that resulted in four players suffering from the same soft tissue injury.

He made limited minutes for the Brumbies, playing his last game against the Rebels back in March.

As one of Australia’s few World Class players, and world class humans, his inability to play has frustrated Wallabies supporters. But selectors are left with the call to make sure that Pocock is fit for the World Cup, if the Wallabies are to be any chance at making the finals.

Pocock has shown he is one of the few players that can take time away from the game, and still give a high quality performance, after taking a sabbatical year in 2017, he was able to win the John Eales Medal in 2018.

In the absence of the breakdown specialist, other players are expected to step up at the break down, with the likes Tolu Latu expecting to put in a shift with getting a card, and Michael Hooper, who made surprised rugby fans with his turn overs against Argentina.

 

 PRIOR BACK FOR FORCE

Ian Prior celebrates Force v World XV (Photo Credit Delphy)

Western Force Captain Ian Prior will make his return to Rapid Rugby after a three month stint on the sidelines with a pectoral injury.

He will make his return in the Force’ last match of the season when they play Malaysia. 

Along with the returning Prior, coach Tim Sampson will use this as an opportunity to trial some of his rookies.

“The game will be a great experience and opportunity for our younger emerging talent who have come through the Western Australian pathway systems,” he said.

“The Malaysia Valke are a team who throws the ball around and play to their strengths out wide where they have a lot of speed. They will also challenge us through the middle of the field with their big pack.”

One such rookie is former Manly Sea Eagles player Halaufa Lavaka, who joined the squad just over a fortnight ago after serving on a religious missions.

“Hala has completed a two-year Mormon mission and is very committed to reigniting his professional career. He only joined us a couple of weeks ago and is showing some promising signs”.

This will be the Force last hit out before the start of the NRC.

Force to face Malaysia Valke

1. Cameron Orr 2. Feleti Kaitu’u 3. Tom Sheminant 4. Jeremy Thrush 5. Fergus Lee Warner 6. Tevin Ferris 7. Carlo Tizzano 8. Brynard Stander 9. Issak Fines 10. Andrew Deegan 11. Rod Davies 12. Rodney Iona 13. Nick Jooste 14. Jonah Placid 15. Jack McGregor

Reserves

16. Heath Tessmann 17. Harrison Lloyd 18. Chris Heiberg 19. Ben Grant 20. Jackson Pugh 21 Ian Prior 22. Chris Miller 23. Leon Feke 24. Halaufa Lavaka 25. Ollie Callan 26. Dom Hardman

 

  • onlinesideline

    OK its Thursday, enough of the fashion talk, its game on.

    Re Poey – Im not actually frustared by this. I value team balance, consistency more than his involvement. Yeah hes good when he is on and he is mostly on but to make the grand entrance in such a big match didnt sound right to me. We need a 6,7, 8 combo that is relaxed, working together and just gets on with it. Its a team sport and there are many factors which make a team play well, often intangible ones.

    Re JOC at 13 if its true. It feels weird.

    1. Has he ever played 13 internationally, EVER. Playing 13 at Sale is one thing but this is another. If he interchanges with Kerevi in attack and reverts to 13 in defense isnt this something we have tried before, where players interchange and we failed at it. Isnt it an added pressure. I dun know.

    2 This feels like Deans putting JOC at 10 doesnt it. Is this the way to smooth a players entrance into a team. Would Hansen EVER do something like this. Me thinks not.

    3. Why now. Surely Cheika and Co shoudl have doen this 2 wweks ago. Instead they give the bloke 5 mins on the wing. We knwo what TK can do and basically what form he was in 2 weeks ago, we know JOCs skill. Argentinan match JOC should have subbed on at 13 for 25 mins.

    Anyway good luck to the bloke, I hope he smasshes it. He has always punched above his weight. He a gutsy defender and has a blistering fast turn of sped and one hell of a step. He could smoke the darkness and be putting te wingers over the line. Lets hope so.

    If Nic White is starting, great. Im in.

    This is going to be a cracker. Sold out 66 000. Womens match will be awesome too. Atmosphere shoudl be amazing.

    • Keith Butler

      Spot on with your comment on team balance. Not sure what time the team is announced but would be happy to see Tupou given a run on with 7As coming on for 20 mins or so at the end. Will Cheika try some new combinations or will he stick with the tried and tested for this game. We’ll see.

      • Mart

        everything feels like a roll of the dice at this stage… ‘fark it what have we got to loose’

        • onlinesideline

          a 45% winning rate ?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Can we suck anymore than we currently do?

        • Jason

          I mean we aren’t Argentina… so that’s nice.

        • Funk

          The Argies are improving, we can’t say that!

        • Jason

          But we are still (if even marginally) better than them…

        • Happyman

          A bit like Bob the builder yes we can.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Just as I have said many times before, when we think we have hit rock bottom. Cheika goes and hires an excavator.

        • Yowie

          He’d probably flog a hired excavator too hard and it would end up in the repair bay for a series of important hole-digs.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think we could mate. Not getting out of the pool would be worse

        • Brisneyland Local

          MAte I think that is exactly where we are headed.

    • Jason

      Re JO’C at 13 it does feel very weird. I feel like Cheika has a tendency to ‘get guys out of his squad’ not sure if it’s deliberate or not, but he’ll throw guys in the deep end and then cut them when they suddenly don’t know how to swim.

      He’s done it to Quade countless times where he’ll throw him in to start against New Zealand in New Zealand and then when to no one’s surprise he doesn’t light it up (especially a confidence player like Quade) he has a good reason to drop him from the Squad. Setting Cheika’s madness aside. (It’s really hard!)

      I actually like the idea of JO’C playing 13 it feels a little like NZ with SBY and/or Crotty playing there. A battering ram at 12 and a semi-playmaker at 13.
      I think O’Connor is capable of playing 13 he has always been a deceptively good defender especially for his size. I do hope we drop this crap of hiding people in defence you can maybe do it with one player, I don’t mind the flyhalf swapping with the fullback (except with Beale at 15 we don’t exactly have a ‘good defender’ in our fullback so I’d not do it in that context); but other than that just defend in your position, if you can’t defend then you shouldn’t be playing test rugby.

      • onlinesideline

        Yeah he has not treated Quade with an ounce of recognition. He just clearly doesnt rate him. Maybe its those chest high tackles that just grates Cheika too much. Who knows. Look, if CLL fires, then Im happy. Hes silky smooth, cool under pressure, amazing kicker. Gotta move on. And hes everyones hero ATM, including his team mates. Thats gotta be good internally.

      • Brumby Runner

        A good defender for his size – damned by faint praise I think.

      • Damo

        My preference for RWC is for JOC to be bracketed with SK & TK for the world cup, so I’m ok with him having a starting run at 13. I also have a feeling he will make sure he gets more ball in his hands from Samu than TK has so far. I think he might be more creative in terms of releasing Koroibete and Beale/Banks into space. I hope so because it will add a bit of new attacking dimension. Of course our 1-8 then 9 & 10 still have to do their jobs very aggressively or it won’t matter who is out wide.

        • Jason

          Yeah, he looked so desperate to get on, get the ball, and just find work. Especially in defence, IIRC he kind of fell of one tackle because he was so eager to try to make it (not that he’s a bad defender by any stretch). So I have full faith in him getting plenty of ball — even if he has to step in to 10 or 12 to get it!

          Of our bits’a he’s probably the one most capable of playing 13, so it’d probably go SK, TK, JO’C, Petia in my depth chart (obviously you’d prefer SK at 12 to 13 but he’s still our best 13).

        • Who?

          Samu’s too slow to play 13. He got chased down by a replacement hooker in the Super season. He’s also not as strong defensively with his decision making at 13. TK’s arguably in the top couple of 13’s in the world defensively, and as a 13 in attack he’s always at the mercy of the players inside him. There’s plenty of games where Samu wore the Gold 13 and barely saw any pill.
          Samu’s our best 12, hands down, no question. We just need time (which we don’t have) to build combinations.

        • UTG

          Part of this is about giving JOC time to audition for a ticket to Japan. We know what we’re getting with TK, defensive strength and hard lines in attack. JOC may provide a bit more attacking flair, hopefully without too much of a loss in defence.

          Looking forward to seeing
          Samu running at ALB and Goodhue, they’re not always the strongest defenders one on one.

        • Who?

          Totally agree – it’s all about game time for JOC with only 240 minutes of Rugby before Bill.
          That’s still more Rugby than Latu’s played all year, so clearly Cheika can make up his mind pretty quickly… But still. ;-)

        • UTG

          I reckon FF secured his spot last outing. Latu was good when he came on but we still need to see how he goes when the pressure is on and guys still have breath left to get in his ear. I’m reading it more as a trial for Latu than anything else.

        • Who?

          I’m hoping you’re right, though I also can see the point that he’s supposed to cover for the lack of BamBam.
          .
          But it’s still hilarious to be saying we’re desperately short of time to put together combinations with only three games before the RWC, 240 minutes, when that’s more rugby than 2 of our 3 initially selected squad hookers had under their belts COMBINED for the season… And it’s still more than either of them have under their belt this season. It makes dragging Taf back (who’s still here, but still not playing) look less like going back to the future and more like a wise move.

        • UTG

          Ah, I’m not as concerned about that. I don’t really see what else the selectors could do aside from pick Uelese and Latu given the steep drop off in depth after that. I’d be worried if Fitzy was jogging out against the ABs and Tolu and Uelese were available.

        • Who?

          I’m not as sure the drop off is as great as you’re saying. Fitzpatrick might’ve kept Latu on the bench at the Tahs (and may be a bit small for Test footy), but Rangi would be a reasonable selection (experienced and more than solid), along with Mafi and BPA from the Reds. Both of whom played way more footy than Latu and Uelese, with BPA having more experience than Uelese. I get the fascination with Uelese, but I think he’s out of time. Mafi could’ve been in his third Test this weekend, with better form and more minutes than Latu had.

        • UTG

          Mafi is smaller than Fitzpatrick unfortunately. Good season from him but I didn’t see enough to show he’s ready for the physicality of test rugby. Give him another preseason and he’ll be pushing for contention. Rangi dropped off a lot in the back end of the season, needed to stand up like Naisarani if he was going to prove his case.

        • Who?

          Is there much in it? I thought Mafi looked as big as BPA, and BPA (when I watched them up close, live) was bigger than Latu…
          .
          Rangi got tired by the end of the season, he didn’t have the benefit of sharing the load. It wouldn’t surprise me if he got past 800 minutes of game time.

        • Max Graham

          Latu is miles better than those dudes. It’s not comparable. Uelese has loads of potential, so I see why he was picked out for the figure. Injuries have crueled his chances to show what he’s got. BPA had no form this year – couldn’t get minutes ahead of Mafi. Scrum seems to get minced when Rangi’s on. If I was Cheika, the first thing I’d do is lose 30 kg and get a facelift. The last thing I would do is change out any of the hookers. Reckon he’s nailed it with the 4 he’s gone with.

        • Who?

          We’ve got our premier super hooker (Fainga’a), a mentor (Taf), and two blokes picked on potential (Latu and Uelese). Latu’s not nailed down a Wallabies berth. He’s not an incumbent. He’s in and out. And he’s not picked on form. So he’s there on potential, not on performance. Potential for a bloke with 60 Super caps. Normally with 60 Super caps, you’re picking on form and experience. Uelese’s barely played pro rugby, so he’s pretty clearly there on potential.
          .
          If you’re picking on potential, there’s logic to pick form as well as potential… And while BPA struggled for minutes with Mafi, he still clocked up way more than Latu did. But that’s why I mentioned Mafi ahead of BPA.

        • Max Graham

          Latu is outstanding in the scrum and fantastic at the breakdown. Without Pocock, we need someone to attack the ruck.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I think he’s treated Quade appallingly

        • RF

          He doesn’t rate him. At least Foley has fallen out of favour too

        • Jason

          I don’t know if it’s just been a disrespect for him, or if it’s just not understanding Quade but it was a thing of beauty seeing a coach who understood Quade and got the best of him. (Que Foo Fighters)

      • AllyOz

        When I read semi-playmaker I immediately thought ahead to facing Semi Radrahdrah (???) in the pool game. whoever is defending on 13 is going to have to be on their game that day. he is more your semi-trailer playmaker

        • Custard Taht

          The good news for the Wallaby facing off against Semi Radrahdrah….it will be half as hard as facing off against Fully Radrahdrah.

        • AllyOz

          boom….tish

    • Mart

      I still can’t get over the fact they played Hodge at 13 last year and he hadn’t played there at all. And had Petia available

      • Max Graham

        Think Hodge is in for the boot. I couldn’t see him starting 13 at any of the Super teams – he must be behind TK, JOC, Petaia, AAC, CFS and even Tom English. I think there still looking for his position. Personally I think it’s driving the bus; however last week he went pretty well so perhaps deserves more than my excellent gags.

    • Custard Taht

      In regards to doing something like that, I think Hansen would and has.

      Pretty sure Richie McCaw played on the wing for the All Blacks a fair bit, in his last few years.

    • Exact, he has been named there even if he admits being inside at 12 is his preferred (and best) position. To me, if you have to pick him then do so at 12 and move Kerevi to outside centre which is his best position. Also why have Toomua at all? His form for the Rebels was a lot lower than Quade’s and no where near the standard of Simone at the Brumbies.

      • Max Graham

        Simone looks the goods.

    • I think just dismissing JOC’s time at 13 for Sale is a bit of a mistake. I’ve never played there, but I’ve listened to pundits who have, and played well at 13. They talk about how long it takes to learn to read the opposition when they attack to get your defensive angles right, and how long it takes to read your offence properly so you know when to step, when to draw, when to tip on and so on.

      JOC’s never done that against a Kiwi side, certainly never done that against the AB’s, never done that in an Aussie set up, granted. He could get horribly undone. But, equally, it’s not like he’s a back-three player being asked to step in to the 13 jersey with no experience of playing top-flight rugby.

      I’m always wary of Cheika and his training – but JOC’s presumably had 2 weeks in camp training in the 13 jersey to get used to the specifics of the role, how they’re different to playing 13 at Sale. And, to be honest, if he’d played 13 in any of the Australian SR sides, although he’d have seen ALB, Laumape and Goodhue, probably, seeing an AB side in full flow (which I expect we’ll see for the first time this weekend) is a step up from their SR sides.

  • Crescent

    In less than astonishing news – Poey remains on the sidelines. The key question – is he a koala or a dodo?

    Good to see Holloway staying in blue, just need to recruit a lot more grunt in the forwards to get the performances required to compete at the top of the table.

    Thanks for the update on GRR as well Dylan – appreciated. I have caught more than a few games of the exhibition series, but I need more time to come to terms with some of the variations. I like the rapid scrum reset, could take or leave the reduction of game time by 10 minutes, and have not yet warmed to the variation for kicking the ball out – with that said, am looking forward to following it next year as a full blown competition series rather than exhibition series – the coaches have had a season under the law variations, and we will see how they integrate them into their tactics in the new season as a result of the experience.

    • IIPA

      That Force backline has more speed, smarts and creativity than any of the Oz Super Rugby backlines.

      I don’t mind the team that has been flagged for Bledisloe but geez Cheika doesn’t like budging from bad ideas at 6 does he? Pooper, then Hanigan now LSL. Cane and Savea will take us apart at the ruck I fear. To’omua on the bench is unnecessary when you already have Beale who can play 10/12 and Hodge 13. Hope he gives Banks and Jones more than 5min we need to see them matched against the ABs.

      • onlinesideline

        100% agree – LSL is just too slow. He’d never be in my team. Jones all the way. Same with Banks. Speed speed speed.

        Would love to see Thor, Nic white, Banks, Jones start, Uleseeee, Pateia on bench,

      • andrewM

        I’m not sure if I should take that as a complement or not IIPA! I’ve certainly enjoyed watching the Force backs this season, not sure if they’d be up to the All Blacks though :)

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan.
    Good to see Holloway sign on again although I’d like to see him at 8 more. I think he would get more room at 8 and could really stand out.
    By hell they’re leaving it late for Pocock. I hope he really is on the improve as I think he’s a huge asset and makes a big difference.
    Hated that 4 more years comment, which is of course why it’s so cool. A great comment at a great time.

    • Brisneyland Local

      AH yes, my friend it was at a great time.. That time was a long time ago. And we are far far from great.

      • AllyOz

        Just waiting for Keiran Reid to take off his shoes and socks and go “20 more years!!”

        • Brisneyland Local

          And it would be deserved! Mind you if it was said to Hooper I am not sure he can count that high!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ouch

        • Brisneyland Local

          What too harsh? I thought I was being pretty gentle.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No I agree. Just ouch!

        • Brisneyland Local

          It is a long, rocky, bumpy winding path that we find ourselves coming towards the end of.

        • onlinesideline
        • Brisneyland Local

          Spot on

        • Brisneyland Local

          Spot on

        • Keith Butler

          One of Cheika’s secret gym sessions. Great movie too.

        • AllyOz

          the light at the end of the tunnel is a train Bris

        • Brisneyland Local

          Bullet train

        • AllyOz

          they have those in Japan

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes they do

        • From NooZealand

          That is a very fine piece of writing. “It is a long, rocky, bumpy winding path that we find ourselves coming towards the end of…

        • Brisneyland Local

          I thought it was verbal Diarrhea

        • From NooZealand

          Not at all BL. If said (or read) as a soliloquy is (like) a person leading a group thinking deep and hurtful of the situation they are and there is no way back. I would add “winding down path”. Thank you very much.

        • Brisneyland Local

          No worries

        • idiot savant

          yes he seems to have difficulty counting in threes.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Boom tish!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold

        • onlinesideline

          for RWC or Bledisloe ?

        • AllyOz

          does it matter which??

        • Hoss

          Lets hope they dont get to 21……….

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He’s not from Gore (NZ Tasmania) mate

        • AllyOz

          He will internally combust

    • laurence king

      Scored what were to be the winning points in a grand final 40 years ago, my opposing winger accused me of being off-side. I agreed that I was, I wasn’t but I thought it would wind him up. He wasn’t worth a cracker for the rest of the game.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Kiwis posted thier team

    1. Joe Moodt
    2. Dan Coles
    3. Owen Franks
    4. Scott BArrett
    5. Sam Whitelock
    6. Ardi Savea
    7. Same Cane
    8 Kieran Read
    9. Aaron Smith
    10. Richie Mounga
    11. Rieko Ioanne
    12. Anton Lienert-Broan
    13. Jack good hue
    14. Ben smith
    15. Beauden Barrett
    16. codie Taylor
    17. Atu moli
    18. Angus Ta’avao
    19. Patrick tuipulotu
    20. Matt todd
    21 TJ Perenara
    22. Nigel Luampe
    23. George Bridge.

    • Damo

      Nothing to worry about there…much!! The 12/13 battle will however be interesting. I reckon the AB’s will be very keen to have Ryan Crotty back for RWC. Their mid field just looks more organised when he is there.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Agree. But that is really starting to look like their full team now!

        • onlinesideline

          its a bloody good team too. They will pumped. Im starting to get teh impression they respect the Bled more than us, becuase they ahev dominated it for so long and have alot to lose. Amazes me how they get into focus for these matches. They will be as good as ever in this match. We need more than a shiny new home stadiun.

        • Hoss

          Sceptics thought the same about the Americas Cup too mate. All things must inevitably change

        • onlinesideline

          Didnt we play the Amercias cup anthem “6’4 and full of msucles” before the Haka once ?

        • Hoss

          Wheres John Williamson when you need him. Mic him up and a guitar and get the crowd singing Waltzing Matilda while the Darkness start chanting about Arty.

          Haka gives me goosebumps – but why the fuck should we stand supplicant before the altar of the Nearlies ??

        • Keith Butler

          I hear that the SDs will be unleashing their secret weapon the Morris Dance as their pre match challenge. The opposition will be rolling on the pitch for the first 20 mins in laughter and we’ll sneak in. Bill is ours.

        • Hoss

          While the Irish break into Michael Flatley’s River Dance.

          I truly love the Haka – best theatre in world sport, bar none. But this utter crap from World Rugby about teams standing there and accepting is tripe. Why does one team get an advantage ? I think it was the late, great Jerry Collins who said something like it feels like they’ve run a 400m race, they are up, the adrenaline is pumping and they are fully amped. Love what the French have done to accept the challenge over the years, The arrowhead, the walking to halfway – man they were goosebump inspiring moments. The last time i saw it was 2011 at Suncorp and i was there, when the Aussies stood there when it was done and eyeballed them, mono-a-mono and big Vicks literally snarling at them and then the Aussies tore them up for 80.

          What we’ve done till now aint worked so pull apart the 1%’s and try again – what have we got to lose.

        • Keith Butler

          Dead right Hoss. After standing around for the anthems and all the other crap that goes with it, there’s no doubt that it pumps them up. Not a lot you can do though. Totally ignore it and it will wind them up even more.

        • John Tynan

          I liked the gold old fashioned stare down from a couple of years ago – Wales I think?

        • John Tynan

          Yep, Wales, and more than a couple of years ago!!
          Good article here: none of them worked!!

          https://www.rugbypass.com/news/9-responses-haka-all-blacks-new-zealand-british-lions/

        • idiot savant

          We need to bring our own haka back – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quE8EhS4Zms

        • Hoss

          The Kiwi Frigates have been deployed. You’ve done it now.

        • idiot savant

          Both canoes. Must be war.

        • Hoss

          Wish i could upvote that 500 times – gold.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Three

        • Custard Taht

          They are called Wakas.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahahaha that’s gold

        • Keith Butler

          Nearly fell off my chair. If only we could.

        • Yowie

          Back in the 90s my school had an incoming NZ student team who performed their Haka. Some of our students took it upon themselves to do the John Travolta / Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction dance in front of them during said Haka. I think our lads got some hefty punishment from the school, but it was arguably worth it.

        • Custard Taht
        • idiot savant

          and fart in their general direction….

        • Geoffro
        • Who?

          Post of the day. :-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Face up to it and challenge them back. You don’t have to Haka to challenge them. Just stand up and show you’re not intimidated by it

        • Custard Taht

          Nah, Rick Astley is touring soon, we should get him out early and Rick and Roll the All Blacks!

        • onlinesideline

          as long as we dont a frenchie and hold hands Im in

        • The Slow Eater

          I like it too but it does give an unfair advantage to the Darkness

        • idiot savant

          But then again the more things change….

        • Hoss

          I dont know this proverb ??

          The more chance we have of winning ????

        • idiot savant

          Can be read either way!

        • Hoss

          I saw a quote in Brisbane that touched me:

          ‘No urinating on the footpath’

          Also saw one from some dead president :

          ‘Change is the law of life. And those who only look to the past or present are certain to miss the future’.

          Saturday night is the future.

        • idiot savant

          Lets hope their future is not behind them.

        • Sevenwithasixonmyback

          Or on the footpath…

        • Yowie

          Going to a Metallica concert in Brisbane (well, Boondall) was the first and only time I’ve seen anyone p!ss in a bathroom wastepaper bin.
          Probably due to lack of signage prohibiting it.

        • idiot savant

          Wouldve been wasted (sic). They have to be able to read.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Took 160 odd years for it to change though

        • Hoss

          ‘The Ox is slow, but the earth is patient’

        • AllyOz

          is that from your wife?

        • Hoss

          I think the Ox crack was her about my hygiene and general physique.

        • joy

          We will very much miss our winged keel.

        • Hoss

          Sceptics thought the same about the Americas Cup too mate. All things must inevitably change

        • Brisneyland Local

          I fell an ass whooping coming on!

        • onlinesideline

          we definietly need to respect the darkness and that up to Cheika to instill.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Rather than just execute our plan harder. Because that has worked so well for us before.

        • Keith Butler

          Oh yea of little faith.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I stand correctly charged your honour!

        • Custard Taht

          That’s the spirit, the All Blacks won’t know what hit them.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I fell an ass whooping coming on!

        • RF

          I don’t think they will be as good as ever. They will play a basic game and hold everything back for the World Cup. They’re not going to show any of their hand in this Championship.

          They don’t respect the Wallabies and why should they.

        • Laumape over ALB for me, and Crotty over both of them if fit. A fit natural 6 with Savea probably covering the bench (although saying that, he’ll probably play a blinder, and with Retallik back, S Barrett on the bench… you wouldn’t complain about Ardie in a 6, 7 or 8 jersey in most international squads).

          But it’s pretty damn close. I have a nasty feeling it’s going to be pretty to watch but painful on the scoreboard.

        • Brisneyland Local

          That is my concern exactly

    • idiot savant

      If Hansen decides to replace Read the ABs could have 3 number 7s on the field for the last quarter of the game. That could mean total dominance of the breakdown.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep against our total lack of commitment at the break down.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep against our total lack of commitment at the break down.

    • Hoss

      Not the scariest bench i have ever seen from them. I think this game is winnable.

      • UTG

        Jimmy Slips will be licking his lips at the prospect of lining up against Ta’avao.

      • John Tynan

        Easy, tiger. I say optimism is NOT your friend.

        • Hoss

          I am in full on delusion state mate – law of averages says sooner or later i will be right.

        • idiot savant

          If you fire enough bullets you’ll eventually hit something.

        • Hoss

          Exactly – i am like the American Military. Not sure who the bad guys are, but we will drop enough bombs and sooner or later……….

        • John Tynan

          …sooner or later slink home with our tails between our legs?

        • Hoss

          No mate – go all George Dubbya and declare ‘Victory’ with 25 to go only to look rather stupid at full time.

        • John Tynan

          I should never have doubted the Hoss!!

        • Hoss

          I like to walk amongst the humans and help them where I can.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Dream on

        • Hoss

          ‘The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.’

        • Can I interest you in the new British PM? You can have a spare Leader of the House while you’re at it… they both tell us to be optimistic about Brexit and what awaits.

        • Hoss

          What’s second prize ??

        • You not only get BoJo and Rees-Mogg, you get Cummings, Raab and Gove too!

        • Hoss

          Bojo has got want he wanted all along – what’s the old adage – be careful what you wish for…..

        • May he live in interesting times. Different adage though.

      • Brisneyland Local

        t the scariest. But I think you are looking at this game through Adrian coloured glasses.

        • Hoss

          Some one must carry the great mans mantle forward.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I miss his optimism. I hope he comes back

    • Custard Taht

      For an All Black team, it is meh.

      • Brisneyland Local

        For a Nearlies team I agree. But it is us trying to beat them. Their B Team would still flog us.,

        • Custard Taht

          I smell an upset, the Wallabies have trained well and this is probably the best team Cheika has selected, or had selected.

        • Hoss

          At last – salvation. Can i get an Amen.

        • Damo

          No Amen but I promise to consume some holy spirits on Sat night.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am hoping for an upset. But am expecting a whooping.

        • UTG

          Their B team struggled against the Argies…

    • Missing Link

      nigel laumape???? :D

      • Brisneyland Local

        I can feel a breakdown ass whooping coming on.

        • From NooZealand

          Looking forward to a pincer attack. 2 play-makers and I think Ardie, the great, will play more as a 7.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I reckon you are spot on.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Damn that’s a good team

    • Hoss

      Unbalanced in the loosies. Average bench.

      Wallabies by 9.

  • Hoss

    and were off

    TEAM
    IN: Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Adam Coleman

    OUT: Sekope Kepu, Tevita Kuridrani, Rob Simmons

    Wallabies team to play New Zealand

    1. Scott Sio (56 Tests)

    2. Tolu Latu (13 Tests)

    3. Allan Alaalatoa (32 Tests)

    4. Izack Rodda (19 Tests)

    5. Rory Arnold (21 Tests)

    6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (13 Tests)

    7. Michael Hooper (c) (93 Tests)

    8. Isi Naisarani (2 Tests)

    9. Nic White (24 Tests)

    10. Christian Lealiifano (20 Tests)

    11. Marika Koroibete (21 Tests)

    12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (27 Tests)

    13. James O’Connor (45 Tests)

    14. Reece Hodge (35 Tests)

    15. Kurtley Beale (85 Tests)

    Reserves

    16. Folau Fainga’a (9 Tests)

    17. James Slipper (88 Tests)

    18. Taniela Tupou (13 Tests)

    19. Adam Coleman (31 Tests)

    20. Luke Jones (4 Tests)

    21. Will Genia (102 Tests)

    22. Matt To’omua (44 Tests)

    23. Tom Banks (4 Tests)

    • Brisneyland Local

      Other than 2 & 6. It is as good as we are going to get til Poey is better.
      The Kiwi’s will niggle the shit out of Latu til he has a brain explosion. LSL has demonstrated in the two tests so far that he is not really a 6.
      Glad CLL has the reigns.

      • Who?

        2, 6, 14… 13’s up for debate, but JOC needs some minutes.
        LSL will be fascinating, given his direct opponent isn’t exactly slow, being Ardie.
        Hope Christian can play the full 80.
        Glad Coleman’s off the bench – he’s done nothing to justify any selection, but I expected he’d be started if played.
        .
        All the talk from Methuselah in the lead up to the game, and he doesn’t make the 23. It’s the right call – well done Cheika – but it’s still a bit sad.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. See JOC get some game time would be good and he has some pace and a quick step. we need that.
          LSL will struggle.
          Coleman, maybe off the bench with a bit of decisive impact will be good.

        • Hoss

          Yep – for 25 minutes go and channel your inner Vickerman.- smash anything in black that moves or looks like moving.

        • Brisneyland Local

          And if it doesnt move, kick it then smash it!

        • Hoss

          I’d hit them on suspicion alone.

        • Brisneyland Local

          DO unto others as they would do unto you. But get in first.

        • idiot savant

          As Barry Muir once told the Maroons before a state of origin game, “Dont come back into the sheds at half time without blood on you!”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. See JOC get some game time would be good and he has some pace and a quick step. we need that.
          LSL will struggle.
          Coleman, maybe off the bench with a bit of decisive impact will be good.

        • John Tynan

          Guarantee there will be more Ardie highlights than LSL.

        • Max Graham

          But isn’t it more important to have a 6 move bodies at the breakdown? Highlights are for backs.

        • John Tynan

          Depends what you call a highlight. As a busted arse old forward, I get my kicks in closer to the unseen and unknowable, rather than a FoxSports promo.
          I can almost guarantee there will be more counter-ruck highlights from Ardie on top of line bending hit up highlights from Ardie than you will see of either from LSL playing as a 6.

        • John Tynan

          Well we got the Ardie highlight , but not like I thought!!

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          On recent form, I don’t know about 22 either.

        • Who?

          Only reason I didn’t mention him is that, if Toomua’s removed from that 23, it’s pretty certain his replacement would be Foley…..

      • Keith Butler

        Bloody Lotto at 6 again and ffs Hodge on the wing. I can already see Dickhead Coles winding up Latu and the aforementioned brain explosion. Would have liked to see Tupou start to see how he goes against Moody. Rodda needs to raise his game as well. Changing front rows after 50-55 mins seems par for the course these days but I hope we make better use of the others this time out. The bench management at the Argentina game was a joke.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah agree. I would rather start Banks, and have Kurtley ‘I am a recidivist dickhead’ Beale come on at the 50 min mark.

        • onlinesideline

          lol

        • Max Graham

          Reckon the head knock to Isi threw their plans into chaos. Expect Jones to come on for LSL and Coleman to come on for Arnold with about 30 to go.

        • Keith Butler

          Would like to see it.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I just hope Banks and a couple of others get more than 5 minutes at the end when it’s only to share the blame

        • Brisneyland Local

          Zachary!

      • OnTheBurst

        Good summary. LSL at 6 the biggest missed opportunity in my book

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah it is a bit of a worry

    • onlinesideline

      thanks mate – now I can sleep
      You have to say the team is looking markedly different
      Stoked to see Coleamn, Jones and Banks in.
      I really think Kepu, Simmons and TK out makes sense

      Looks like Foley is on the out and Genia benched.
      The Pooper is no longer ATM
      Hige changes really. This 3 panel is making a world of difference.
      I hope Cheika subs the right players at teh right time – thats the unknown.
      Banks starting at 14 would have really started to get me excited.

      • Hoss

        Liking alot about this. Especially white & Lilo in run-on.

        Not a huge fan of Hodge on the flank, but i wont lose sleep over it. Add Brian in down the track (looking more and more like he will be 6) and its looking good. At present, barring Poey, i reckon this is our best 23.

        • onlinesideline

          yep and if it fires, will be no pushovers either.

        • Damo

          That’s a really good point. I would like the Wallabies to finish the RC being well know as a team that is bloody hard to beat. A kind of “yeah, just try and knock us over” attitude. I think with that comes a hardheadiness (maybe that’s a word) that vindicates the current selection strategies and becomes a great platform for a successful RWC. The AB’s must not put 30 points on us in the last 20 mins of either of these tests.

        • onlinesideline

          yep they have to be close hard fought matches going into Cup.

          One observation – there iare so many less Tahs and Reds in the team.
          5 in total re sarters and 6 in the 23 between the 2 franchises.

          HUGE ddifference and accurately reflects the Rebels and Brumbies season.

        • Who?

          I think it’s probably also the first time since 2015 where we’ve had more than 1 player who didn’t play the full Super season. We’ve got Toomua, who got what, 3 games for the Rebels? Plus JOC, who’s back for next year, and White, who doesn’t yet have a Super club. That’s really unusual.
          .
          Only 4 Brums and 3 Rebs in the starting XV. Add that to the 3 Tahs, 3 Reds, 2 non-aligned players, and it’s a pretty even mix.

        • onlinesideline

          but oh so much better than the default Tahs. Feels like selections reflect a strategy at least.

        • idiot savant

          I would love to have been in the room when the number 10 was discussed. Cheik would have fought hard for Foley.

        • UTG

          Foley and Genia will start in Auckland lest we win this week and it’s anchored by Lilo and White.

        • John Tynan

          From me, the master of reading something into nothing, I think that’s probably overcooking it. I reckon he knows what he gets out of Foley, so rightly or wrongly it’s sink or swim for CLL I reckon.

        • AllyOz

          I reckon Foley gets the run in the last Bledisloe regardless.

        • John Tynan

          I reckon you’re right.

        • Damo

          And you know, just maybe they are going to continue to pick players who can execute a game plan that is actually within the confines of the team’s skill set- as opposed to a complicated and expansive plan (attack and D) that just seems to have been beyond the collective skill of the team. CLL’s left shoulder dummy and then right shoulder short pass to Koroibete was simple and a joy to watch. Direct and aggressive. I guess we will see.

        • AllyOz

          all these successful league teams talk about players knowing and performing their roles – and doing the simple things right – I think that is what Koroibete is trying to do and it worked in Brisbane. But, as you say, if the plan is complicated and difficult to understand then players don’t even understand their roles let alone perform them.

        • Yowie

          That’s because Cheika is a master of complex strategy.

          Actually, that sentence doesn’t look right….

        • You need to replace master with “unthinking adherent and fan, despite the evidence.” Your sentence becomes less mellifluous but more accurate.

        • Yowie

          Also, I’ve just learned a new word :)

        • joy

          Hardheadedness is.

        • Damo

          Yes joy, that’s the spelling I intended to use. Brain & fingers not cooperating.

        • Hoss

          Halle-fucking-lugah.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I see Hodge as a weakness. Too slow and defensively weak. Mind you most wingers can’t tackle so that’s not a biggie

        • Hoss

          Agree mate and actually a bit surprising given there are a few good calls elsewhere in the 23 Pataia must have been in the conversation given he can also cover 13 (as can Hodge) – 45-50 on the wing would appear a good way to nurse him back in

        • Who?

          Or even on the bench, with Banks starting in 14.

        • Hoss

          Covered by a few here mate but my only beef is 6 & 14. I reckon Poey slots back at 6 but would love to have seen Valentini get a go – could be the making of him. And Pataia on the wing for 40-50, ease him back in and also cover 13 if required.

          But I would say it’s the best team we’ve had on the paddock for 4 years bar those 2 decisions..

          Man for man the Nearlies are still the better side, but I like our chances.

        • Who?

          Think you’re not far off. The teams selected this year have been significantly closer to ‘form’ sides than we’ve seen for ages, and it’s only tactics and time that are holding us back. Tactics, as in I’m not sure we’re as good as we could be (though we’ve improved), and time, because it takes time to get those tactics and combinations to bed in.
          .
          I’m not as optimistic as you. But you’re channelling Adrian, and I’m always a realist/pessimist.
          .
          I wouldn’t push Petaia or Valentini. Lots of positives about Valentini, but I want him to have a long career, which means not breaking him now. So I’m ok with leaving him out. Petaia, I was saying start Banks at 14, and Petaia easing in with 20 off the bench. Because he’s then able to come on at 11/13/14, pending requirements.

      • Keith Butler

        No chance, there will always be a Spanner in the works. Proper game time for all those warming the pine would be good. Irrespective of the score line at least 15 – 20 mins each.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I hope Coleman Banks and Jones get some good time on the field

      • I’m saying it here first. Win, lose or draw, next week we’ll see Sancho and the Ice-Man back in 9 and 10.

        I think it’s stupid, but I think he’s just going to rotate them, at least at the moment.

        I’m liking JOC, it just depends on whether he gets the ball.. TK never did and he’s been dropped for Kerevi keeping it, not doing anything wrong himself per se.

        I’d prefer Banks starting (14 or 15 would be ok). Personally I’d prefer 15 and Beale off the bench, and get a proper winger in there for Hodge too.

        And drop LSL already, please.

        But, overall, a good team with some niggles.

        • Who?

          I’ve a sneaking suspicion you’re right about 9 and 10 next game.
          .
          I’m not sure that TK’s been dropped, as opposed to JOC being given a decent chance at some game time before the RWC. We’re rapidly running out of game minutes (only 240 to go), and we can’t take someone we haven’t seen play in an eternity.
          .
          Agree with the rest… Though I’d be ok with Banks at 14 and Beale at 15, or Banks and JOC sharing 14/15 and Beale on the bench. But Cheika’s already given up so many favourites this year…

        • My wording was loose on TK, I agree we need to see JOC play if he’s going to go to Japan, it just feels a bit like he’s carrying the can for Kerevi carrying all the ball and not distributing… They’re not necessarily linked quite like that, but I’m not sure Cheika is separating them any better than I did in my first post.

          We’ve talked about JOC and Banks at 14/15 before. Not sure JOC has the pace any more but I think it might work better overall if he does.

    • Frosty morning

      I like Kerevi. I really do. He brings a lot to the team. But unless he can learn to offload it won’t matter who plays at 13. Just pick the best defender.

      • Hoss

        Rumour has it his team mates call him ‘The Pope’ as he wont pass the pill.

        Look to see Jimmy Nimble pop up at 12 a fair bit i reckon.

        • Frosty morning

          I actually like the sound of Beiber at 12 and Kerevi at 13.

        • onlinesideline

          ROFL

    • Tah Tragic

      Wow, only 3 Tahs players in the 23. Times have changed. Also lucky to get 3 with Latu. Good to see the Brums rewarded for their season.

      • Hoss

        Theres alot written re Latu, but we no Brian we need a genuine on-baller to at least slow / win their pill and he is our only one. Although i reckon Hooper will play much tighter than usual.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I respect his on ball ability, just whether he holds his temper and doesn’t have a brain fart

        • Hoss

          Yep – watch Coles and co go the niggle and bore in on him first few scrums.

        • Brisneyland Local

          That is my concern. Because Coles is an A Class bastard and will push and push. the difference is. coles has more control.

        • Hoss

          We must also factor in the Monsieur Garces effect too. Traditionally the Frogs have been kryptonite for the Nearlies.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The Cheese eating surrender Monkeys

        • From NooZealand

          Provocateur sounds better than “A Class Bastard” ha ha – All is fair in love and war, it has been said and done.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Spot on. But LAtu will bite, and we will play 14 for 10 on the rest of the game.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          If the ref is watching, that shouldn’t happen due to the new rules. Oh wait, it’s the Nuns.

        • Hoss

          And a French ref

        • AllyOz

          Hooper played a more traditional 7 game in Brisbane I thought and played it pretty well.
          i have also just realised that we have been calling it the Pooper when we could have been calling it the Cock a Hoop.

      • Hoss

        Theres alot written re Latu, but we no Brian we need a genuine on-baller to at least slow / win their pill and he is our only one. Although i reckon Hooper will play much tighter than usual.

    • Tah Tragic

      Wow, only 3 Tahs players in the 23. Times have changed. Also lucky to get 3 with Latu. Good to see the Brums rewarded for their season.

    • idiot savant

      After we lost 3 nil to England in 2016, I called for selectors and was rubbished by Cheik’s shotgun guards. I thought at the time it would only save him from himself. Now I wonder what he could have achieved if his absolute power had been watered down all those years ago, because he had a good coaching record to that point. I have seen so many positive signs since Johnson became his boss and curbed his power. I was not disappointed to see Larkham go. Great player but and felt he achieved little at the Brumbies.

      Now they are playing off the 9, chasing contested box kicks, using kickers other than Foley for the line, stopped musical chairs defence, and selecting players that Cheik wouldn’t have selected. All these changes are for the better regardless of the outcome of the match on Saturday. So maybe the RA board has made one good decision.

      • Hoss

        There’s a reason you’re a savant.

        Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      • Brumby Runner

        Yeah, just much too late.

      • RF

        If they don’t back Cheika’s selections then they don’t think he has the competencies for the job and should have replaced him with someone who does.

        A selection panel is a huge step backwards and we will pay the price for this in the future.

        • idiot savant

          Theres the small matter of paying out a contract for a million a year. But in any case no selectors delivered the worst coaching record of the modern era. And smart coaches know they need other perspectives. Bennett was at his best when he had Cyril Connell looking over this shoulder. Johnson and O’Connor are smart and experienced men who understand that the coach has to have the cattle that conform to his game plan and will accommodate and value add. Messiahs rarely deliver. Hansen has a whole team of people around him providing input – he aint a one man band and he is the most successful coach in history.

        • Who?

          I completely agree. The smartest leaders surround themselves with people whose judgment they trust, but who they also trust to strongly disagree with them. You don’t learn by listening to people with whom you always agree. Staff your weaknesses!
          .
          The question with Cheika remains… Does he listen?
          .
          With Deans, it was obvious to those who knew (and I wasn’t amongst them) before day 1 that he wasn’t that type of bloke. It was further confirmed by his retention of Graham and – even more tellingly – Jim Williams (everything Jim touched went backwards, then he’d be ‘promoted’ to a new responsibility, which would similarly fail).
          .
          For Ted, he learned a lot from what he considered his failures of planning for the 2001 Lions tour. And even back then, he was listening to some intelligent people (Nick Bishop’s talked about steaks eaten in Brisbane during the tour).
          .
          Macqueen listened to his players present and past (drafting in Link), and drafted in intelligent people (like Muggles).
          .
          Link would bounce ideas off anyone and everyone at the QRU (I can’t imagine that changed when he went to the top job).
          .
          Cheika’s retained Nathan Grey. He clearly never worked well with Larkham. I don’t see great evidence that Cheika’s always a great listener. Sometimes, just not consistently.

      • Max Graham

        Well said, Idiot!!

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    Latu. FFS.

    • Nutta

      He’s there because there is no Poet and we play with a wild & free ranging 7. We desperately need a fetcher so that’s why he is there. If Poet was there I don’t think even Cheks would risk Latte.

      • Hoss

        Spot on.

      • Tah Tragic

        Agree with why he is in there but doesn’t this just mean that there is no balance in the back row? Or should Hooper go to playing a more traditional 7 role (which he can play; just not as good as Poey).

        On the other hand one of the of highlights of the last 2 games has been the lineout. So is it worth fiddling with the back row? It’s all too hard for my simple mind.

        • Nutta

          It would make little real difference. If the worlds best 7 was available he would undoubtedly be made to play 8 pushing Nisi to 6 and LSL off to the pine for an even more unbalanced loose group. Because they are infatuated with Ulysses at 16 that would mean Fingers starts at 2 and Latte has pies.

        • John Tynan

          Insightful as ever, Nutta.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bang on mate

        • Tah Tragic

          Firstly, can I get a translation for the last sentence?

          I would hope with the new selection committee they would keep the best 7, Poey, at 7 and I think Isi has done enough to cement the #8. So if you have a traditional #7 & #8 then you are already in a much more balanced back row. Who for 6 then? I really don’t know here. Is it really too late to get Fardy back? Is it worth giving LSL another go given there are already so many changes to the team? As for Hooper I think if Poey comes back in form and fully fit (wishful thinking?) I don’t think there is a place for him even off the bench.

        • John Tynan

          Allow me.
          Jordan Uelese reserve Hooker, Folau Faaingaa run on, Latu off doing an Adam Ashley-Cooper in the stands.

        • Who?

          Pocock will wear 6, Hooper will continue to wear 7. They effectively play the opposite roles (though Hooper’s a short six – he covers much of the role, but he’s not as physically large and dominant as a typical traditional 6), and Naisarani will continue to wear 8.
          .
          And Mr Tynan’s provided a succinct translation for that last sentence. :-)

        • Nutta

          Ok. Firstly, do not insert logic into a selections discussion with the current mob/structure. You’ve already dealt yourself out.

          Hooper will not be shifted from 7 by Cheks. Won’t happen. RA will pay Izzy his $10m and give me back my knees before Capt Sk8R gives up the 7 jersey.

          Given Cheks cementing of Hooper in the 7 jersey, Cheks has shown time and time again that the only place he then contemplates Poet is at 8. His self-belief is such a level that the only way Poet will play is in an 8 or in a reserves jersey.

          This means that the only way for an 8 to play in Cheks Wobblies is in a 6. That would push Isi to 6 or else open the door to other perceived 8’s like … HANNIGAN (bom bom boooom)

          However underneath all of this is the simple truth that Capt SK8R is not a fetcher. We need a fetcher. So in comes Latte as a lineout thrower who can fetch.

          Now Ulese is called Ulysses because besides being a minor re-spelling, he is also a mythical character who can do anything to anyone be they Cyclops, Mermaids or the Trojan army. Whilst everyone has heard stories about him and some claim he has leaped tall buildings in a single bound, no one has ever actually seen him do it. It’s all legend. Maybe he can do all that. But whodafuk knows? Thus Ulysses. Such is the faith in Ulysses that he is the anointed 16 unless/until/again he physically cannot pull on a jersey. I’m talking Holy Grail ‘Flesh Wound’ stuff. Thus needing a fetcher and a thrower we get Latte at 2. If Poet was 8 we would have a fetcher & there would be no pressing need for penalty-magnet Latte. In-which case Fingers Faaingaa would be the perfect Labrador at 2 (bludger on the blind) and surprise surprise I would bet you my mortgage that Ulysses would still be there as the 16.

      • Max Graham

        Agree. But he’s also the best in the scrum.

  • Looks like the new panel of selectors are prepared to risk it all in World Cup year. Keep the best hooker on the bench for Bledisloe 1 to include the Warathas number 2 (as in second best) with Brumbies props. Then choose O’Connor who prefers 10 or 12 at 13, and keep Kerevi at 12 when he plays even better at 13. To exacerbate the matter keep Toomua on the bench when he should not even be in the squad. Pity Naivalu, Speight, and Irae Simone as it seems obvious none will be given a chance in place of Toomua.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I don’t agree that Kerevi is a better 13. I think 12 is his best position. He doesn’t have the distribution skills you need at 13 and I’m not sure his defence is up to it

      • Tah Tragic

        Agree 100%, Kerevi is much better at 12. It will be interesting to see how JOC goes at 13 but I suspect it will be SK & TK as the 1st choice centers combo for the WC.

    • Max Graham

      Latu is the best hooker in the country.

      • Who?

        You’re more than a little over the top with your praise of him… He’s still not proven that. He’s not outplayed Fainga’a in a single game. He’s still only played 7 games, under 200 minutes of Rugby for the year. You might think he has potential to be the best (and perhaps he does), but he simply hasn’t proven it.

        • Max Graham

          It’s just my personal opinion and reckon I’ll be proven right. Of course, the list of people I initially wrote off as rubbish includes Glen McGrath and Shane Warne. I also once predicted Gomez would be bigger than Pearl Jam. Don’t put the house on Latu on my say so – that’s the gist.

        • Who?

          I get that. It’s just easy (speaking from personal experience) to look like a blind fanboi when you say essentially the same thing in multiple posts. And even moreso when there’s claims that are hard to back up. I think it’s a fair statement to say, “I believe Latu will prove himself the best hooker in the country.” But he’s still not played 200 minutes this year. Where guys like Fainga’a and Rangi would have at least 800 minutes up, having dominated the team of the week charts and been excellent for their clubs.
          .
          We all have hits and misses when we play Nostradamus. It’s just how far out we stick our necks, and how often… For instance, you’ve said Latu’s our best scrummager, when Fainga’as been involved in a very strong Brumbies scrum, Uelese (in his singular scrum for the Wallabies this year) looked pretty dominant (we won a penalty, driving the Bokke off the ball), and Taf’s hardly a slouch. I don’t think it’d be unreasonable to say he’s a strong scrummager, but that’s a pretty good group of scrummaging hookers. And it’s very hard to provide evidence – especially on recent form (given Taf’s overseas, and 2 of the 3 local guys have barely played) – who’s in the best scrummaging form.
          .
          I’d love for Latu to prove me completely wrong this weekend. For him to come out and play a blinder. And not just a visible game, but a technically improved game (others have talked about his tendency to bridge when jackalling – he’s lucky that refs don’t seem to have any concern about legality for jackallers anymore – I’ve talked about his lineout throwing), and a busy game doing the tight stuff. But, at this point, he’s not nailed it down. He’s like Douglas in 2014. Everyone talked him up, saying he was critical for the Wallabies, when he’d not yet had a good game in Gold.

        • Max Graham

          I’ve seen enough from Latu to think he’s the best hooker in the country. Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t stable. But in the scrum and the tackle he’s streets ahead of anyone else we have. That’s what I want in a hooker.

        • onlinesideline

          I agree, I dont understand the Latu questioning. Hes not the first guy to get a yellow card. Hes lovvvves the stuff up front, enjoys a good pilfer and doesnt take a backward step. He’ll get better re decison making. Many blokes have had this problem. Look at Simmons, was a penalty magnet.

        • Who?

          The questioning is really simple. What’s he done this year? He’s not missed a game through injury, so why has he barely played any footy? And when he’s played, how many good games has he had? It’s nothing more than that.

  • Andy

    JOC at 13? In theory, great. But has he ever played it? There is never any stability in these Cheika teams. No wonder our attack and execution is all over the shop.

    • Max Graham

      Yep. Played 13 at Sale.

  • AllyOz

    We seem to be at the same place with our centres as we were with our 2nd rowers 12 months ago – a different combination every week. I feel a little sorry for K2 as I thought he didn’t get too many opportunities in the first couple of games (though he did have some dropsies at one stage). I actually thought they might be keeping the ball away from him under instructions, just showing a little bit of the plan but holding back on some elements of you they will use 13 in attack until closer to the RWC. But now we have a whole different combination with a different skill set so there might be another plan (though I think it will still involve Kerevi playing “man-skittles”). Perhaps JOC might be in a better position to take advantage of the Kerevi offload and the centres will work more in combination as opposed to the 1-2 punch that we have had before.

  • RF

    Our selections this year seem to all be Hail-Marys. Hopefully we stumble onto a winning formula, but this seems to be farcical in a World Cup year.

    JOC thrown in for his first test game in midfield, against the best side in the world is the latest. We threw him in on the wing the last week.

    Our selection panel, coaching ticket, team selections… it’s a World Cup year!!!

    Ironically I think we might do well against a NZ side which will play with a limited game plan as they hold all their cards back until the World Cup. They won’t want to give anything away to South Africa or Ireland.

    • Max Graham

      I think this is the best Wallaby side in ages. That tight 5 makes my pants tight. Latu is good on the ball, somewhat making up for a lack of that capability in the back row. Scrum is as strong as it has ever been. Lineout has potential edge – definitely much taller and extra jumper.
      A 10 that can tackle and doesn’t look like a dodgy PE teacher. JOC is quality. Back 3 isn’t what I’d choose but I’ve seen much worse. Petaia the missing ingredient next week maybe. Our bench is strong – you’d have to think our pig subs might have an edge. Toomua can’t play that badly again and Genia off the bench might be awesome.

      The worry I have is speed. That AB team is bloody fast and won’t stop. Lots of quick call and we are dead as Kazakh disco.

      • onlinesideline

        yep speed is my main worry. They are lighting quick.

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@DylanGLanges

Once captained the 3rds Rugby team, but then again so did Nick Farr-Jones

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