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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Big calls from Cheika, Samu making the most of the NRC, A new NRL recruit to the Brumbies and Sio ready to scrum for 80 minutes.


 

 

BIG SELECTIONS

Jordan Petaia makes a break

Jordan Petaia makes a break

It what could likely be Michael Cheika’s final match as Wallabies head coach, it appears he has prepared to live out to the title of “mad man” with his selections against England.

Christy Doran has reported on FOXSPORTS.com.au what is likely to be the Wallabies squad to face England with some big changes and some high risk calls. As they say you have to risk it to get the biscuit, though Wallabies fans aren’t all that forgiving at the moment.

In just his 3rd test, Jordan Petaia is expected to start at outside centre, replacing James O’Connor. 

After two tests on the wing against Uraguay and Georgia, 11 Super Rugby matches and an injury plagued 12 months, Cheika believes that Petaia is ready to take on Manu Tuilagi, who is expected to start for England.

Petaia will be pairing up with Reds team mate Samu Kerevi in the centres, as the Wallabies look to replicate the magic the two shared in the opening rounds of Super Rugby.

Other big calls come with Reece Hodge, fresh from his three week stint in the naughty chair, coming back into the starting spot on the right wing.

Kurtley Beale is expected to be named without yet passing all of his concussion protocols, but Dane Haylett-Petty will come into the squad should KB fail.

In the sixth straight test that the Wallabies have a new halves pairing, Will Genia will start with Christian Lealiifano at 9 and 10, with Nic White and Matt To’omua finding themselves on the bench.

Two sayings come to mind about the Pooper, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” though I have a leaning towards the last one.

David Pocock and Michael Hooper will start together again at 6 and 7, which is how Wallabies tend to feel with these selections. Rebels big man Isi Naisarani is expected to pull on the No. 8 jersey with them in the back row.

The Wallabies haven’t beaten England since 2015, losing six in a row to the Eddie Jones’ men. Bookies would likely give better odds to Japan over South Africa than the Wallabies beating England.

Expected Wallabies team:Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Will Genia, Isi Naisarani, Michael Hooper (c), David Pocock, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Allan Alaalatoa, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio

Reserves: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Matt To’omua, James O’Connor

GUTTED SAMU MAKES MOST OF NRC

Pete Samu gets in the zone

Pete Samu gets in the zone

Pete Samu is considered by many to be one of the unluckiest players in Australian Rugby to miss out on selection for the World Cup squad. For Samu he was ‘gutted’ that an injury meant he missed out on the Rugby Championship and ultimately the World Cup.

For a player who was lured back to Australian Rugby by Michael Cheika in a World Cup bid, it was a hammer blow for Samu to not be selected.

Despite not getting picked for the World Cup, Samu has taken all the energy he can and focused into helping the Canberra Vikings win an NRC Premiership.

“I was a bit gutted with the injury but that’s footy. You’ve just got to roll with it and keep going,” Samu said.

“They (Brumbies) tried to fast-track me back to play had we made the final, possibly playing that game but we obviously went down in the semi, so I think the next thing was trying to get back for maybe the Wallabies.

“To be honest, I didn’t really see myself playing NRC but not getting picked in the Wallabies, it was me playing footy, so that was the best option for me, to play NRC and I’m really enjoying NRC at the moment as well.

“It’s a good bunch of boys and we’re going pretty well this season.”

Samu let on that he didn’t receive much feedback from the Wallaby camp about why he missed out on selection, but after a few chats with Brumbies coach Dan McKellar, he used the Vikings season to refocus and prepare for 2020.

 “I had chats to Dan and with the World Cup squad being named, I still had hopes that I would be injury cover if someone went down but I think the focus now is next season with the Brumbies,” Samu said.

“Playing footy was what I really wanted to do, so having the NRC season was a real bonus.

“It’s good quality football and you see a lot of young boys coming through, so it’s a good pathway for the young boys.”

Samu admits he is looking forward to the Brumbies back row next season, with the inclusion of former Waratahs 7, Will Miller and recent Wallabies debutant Rob Valentini looking fighting fit.

“It’s been awesome seeing Will (Miller) come over, he’s fit in really good and having Rob there as well, having played with him last season,” Samu said.

“It’s been pretty good getting those connections early and I’ll be looking forward to lacing up next to them in the Brumbies’ season.”

FROM NRL TO THE BRUMBIES

Embed from Getty Images

The Brumbies have secured the services of NRL player Solomone Kata, with the utility back switching back to Rugby.

Kata played 94 times for the New Zealand Warriors, scoring 46 tries whilst also representing Tonga and New Zealand in League.

“What attracted us to Solomone is that he is a point of difference player with a physical profile to add to our squad,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.

“He is a very powerful and dynamic footballer who has the ability to stress any defensive line.

“Beyond having a very successful career in the NRL, Solomone also has a strong rugby union background having grown up playing the game.

“This prior knowledge and experience will help him make the transition back to rugby.

“At this stage we see him as a utility back and we will be open minded about the position he plays for the Brumbies in 2020.”

Kata previously  played rugby for Tonga at under-20 level.

“I am very happy to have signed for the Brumbies and am looking forward to joining the club for the 2020 season and beyond,” Kata said.

“I have heard very good things about the Brumbies and how they have developed their players and can’t wait to get to Canberra to start my professional rugby union career.”

 

80 MINUTES OF SCRUMS

dan cole scott sio scrum england australia brisbane

Scott Sio says despite the history and reputation of the Wallabies scrum, it will count for nothing after the first whistle is blown. But that doesn’t mean the Wallabies props aren’t prepared to take it to the English front row.

“It’s such a humbling part of the game where you can be on top one scrum and the very next scrum you can be penalised and be shoved back five metres,” he said.

“I think it’s really about just backing the process, trusting in our principles there as a team. It’s obviously been broken down but every team’s going to have a different style of how they approach it as well.

“It’s just trusting in each other, we understand scrummaging is as an eight, it’s not just the guys up front although we do cop a lot of the wrap for it, we understand as a group if we’re all firing together, that’s what I believe makes a successful scrum.

“It’s a day by day, scrum by scrum.”

“The solution to that roller coaster? Always be ready,” Sio said.

“If we have to scrum every minute of the 80 minutes, we’re ready to do that as well,” he said.

“It’s just being prepared for any situation that comes in there but once you know the ball’s knocked on it’s ready to go, it’s about connecting, getting the right messages to the forward pack and then providing a solid base there for our backs.”

Typical of Eddie Jones’ prematch mind games has seen England scrum coach Neal Hatley said the Wallabies were a “different beast” with their scrum and English prop Joe Marler said the reputation for a weak wallabies scrum was long gone.

Despite many other positions being chopped and changed to find combinations, the front row has seen the most consistency of the World Cup squad, with there being far less changes, but the opportunity to rest the players to get the most out of front rowers.

“We went through last year, we had to meddle around with a few different combinations but just having that time spent together in numerous matches consistently is probably what’s been the difference for us and it’s been great for us in this tournament style of footy as well,” Sio said.

“I think it definitely helps (playing together in Super Rugby), you get to know each other pretty well but we’ve had guys like Tolu and Keps, a lot of these guys, Jordy as well, the last two years, who’ve been in and around the system,” he said.

“Having these camps and having put the rugby championship together as well has put us in good stead but as we always say, another  week is another week to grow and get better.”

 

  • Custard Taht

    Today is D-day, who is Cheika taking into battle. Whose Cheikaccount is full, whose Cheikaccount is out has been emptied.

    • Hoss

      If FUX is right i don’t mind JP at 13 with JOC on the pine. Sanchez to start is a bit ho-hum – we could have sprung a Cheik -mate. I invested a wee-bit at $3.60, so i am invested emotionally & financially.

      • Custard Taht

        That team released by fux is pretty damn good, the only blight is Beale at 15, and really, he shouldn’t even be in the 23.

        With Kerevi at 12, not sure JP will fair any better than JOC, but worth a try.

        The forwards are bang on, so we should have a platform for the backs.

        I reckon the Wallabies can do it.

  • Hoss

    Hello Shaggers,

    Posted this late yesterday – but here are your selections again

    Your votes are in – based on 70 votes, here is the GAGR Wallaby XXIII

    Starting XV

    1. Allan Alaalatoa 60 (85.70%)
    2 Tolu LAtu 60 (85.70%)
    3. Scott Sio 55 (78.60%)
    4. Rory Arnold 64* (91.40) – highest vote for any starting forward – honourable mention to Rodda
    5. Izack Rodda 63 (90%)
    6. David Pocock 41 (58.60%)
    7. Michael Hooper 50 (71.40%)
    8. Isi Naisarani 60 (85.70%)
    9. Nic White 59 (84.30%)
    10. Christian Lealiifano 60 (85.70%)
    11. Marika Koroibete 67 (95.70) – highest vote for back AND starting player overall
    12. Samu Kerevi 46 (65.70%)
    13. James O’Connor 47 (67.10%)
    14. Jordan Petaia 54 (77.10%)
    15 Dane Haylett-Petty 63 (90%)

    Finishers
    16. Jordan Uelese 32 (45.70%)
    17. James Slipper 46 (65.70%)
    18. Taniela Tupou 55 (78.60%)
    19. Adam Coleman 42 (60%)
    20. Lukan Salakaia-Loto 24 (34.30%)
    21. Will Genia 55 (78.60%)
    22. Matt To’omua 39 (55.70%)
    23. Kurtley Beale 25 (35.70%)

    There it is folks – some points of interest

    – No love for Reece Hodge in the XXIII (although he was only 3 votes behind Gilbert for the #23 Jersey)
    – Petaia is highly regarded by the GAGR faithful and starts on the right flank.
    – Same for Jack Dempsey – polled OK in starting XV vote – ranked #9 in your forward votes, but it didn’t translate to a spot on the bench with FKA getting the gig 24 (34.30%) to 18 (25.70%)
    – Spanners career in gold looks over at 1 vote to start and 1 for the pine – that voter had the ID ‘Bernies Mum’ so…..
    – No room for AAC

    Look forward to the debate and let’s see how good we are.

    As Gough Whitlam famously said……’long may the Poms sing ‘God Save the Queen’ for nothing will save them from our Wallabies’
    C’mon Gold – do us proud.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed99c186fd629b13ba873ab83debf3ffe8b07466ad3f2fb2283368e602c0781c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13ba70c148e6b32a1056d3952dbdd8632706c0d6b81835bd84d42ac9f6412436.jpg

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Be interesting to see how far off we are.

      • Hoss

        Fox (usually have inside word) that Sanchez @9, JP @ 13, Hodge @ 14, JOC to bench (i personally would love to see him run more and use those twinkling feet) and Gilbert touch and go to make 23 at all due to concussion protocols – so 15 is still undecided.

        Hows Korea mate – sighted Kim Jong yet ?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          2nd day and first hangover so starting well

        • Hoss

          Thats a solid start.

        • Hoss
        • I can kind of understand poor Ben Smith missing out with the Mo’unga-Barrett 10-15 axis. He doesn’t really cover the back 3 all that well, he’s a class 15 and not a class winger any longer at test level, Father Time has caught up with him.

          Crotty, not so much, although Hansen’s love of SBW continues it appears…

        • Hoss

          Yep. Nice problems too have, ‘oh i think ill just leave Ryan Crotty and one of the worlds best fullbacks out of my 23…….but we will be ok”.

          Life would suck being Jordy Barrett though wouldn’t it, i mean, at least i was the best rugby player in my family, but Jordy, well.

        • Yowie

          Hahaha, Jordy Barrett and Luke Hemsworth can hang out and bitch about the same problems.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold

        • Not so much first world problems as best in the world problems…

          And I find my heart doesn’t bleed too much for Jordy, he gets enough caps to keep going, even if he’s the second best full-back in his family.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think the issue with Crotty is he’s really only a 12 and ALB is playing better at the moment

        • I don’t really object to ALB starting ahead of Crotty, it’s SBW on the pine ahead of Crotty that I disagree with.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think SBW has more impact late in the game. TBH I’d be happy with either. We’re lucky to have so many choices

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think SBW has more impact late in the game. TBH I’d be happy with either. We’re lucky to have so many choices

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Haven’t seen it yet. Sitting a friggen faraday cage most of the day

        • Hoss

          ‘faraday cage’ – didnt take you long to assimilate to Korean sex clubs?

        • Yowie

          I hear that the ladies are all very skinny in the North Korean clubs…

        • AllyOz

          Yowie, going just that little bit further than others are prepared to risk.

        • Yowie

          Just highlighting food shortage issues in the less fortunate parts of the world.

        • AllyOz

          it’s good to live on the edge…keeps you sharp…enjoy your sense of humour mate, don’t change it.

          Strangely the food shortages don’t appear to be an issue for the Dear Leader himself. (I am sure this comment will be blocked on Red & Red Rugby).

        • Yowie

          Well, as a divine being who doesn’t defecate (according to official sources) I suppose he’s going to swell up a bit even with modest eating.

          (Cheers for the other comment btw. I have a lot of fun on this forum and it’s good to know (from the odd bit of feedback) that it’s not p!ssing too many people off. I figure that the “selections debate” topic is well covered by others most days so there is room for a few attempted jokes. I also try to stay away from being too vulgar or beating-up victims, but success on that front is a subjective thing of course.)

        • Who?

          I felt sorry for that poor white stallion that had to drag up him that snow-covered peak the other day… Looked like hard work!

        • Yowie

          Just highlighting food shortage issues in the less fortunate parts of the world.

        • AllyOz

          Yowie, going just that little bit further than others are prepared to risk.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          When in Rome

        • AllyOz

          I thought you were in Korea…now you’re a in Rome? Can’t follow you bl lo ked sometimes.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahahaha I confuse myself most days mate, why should you be let off.

          Yes in Korea for 7 months

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahahaha I confuse myself most days mate, why should you be let off.

          Yes in Korea for 7 months

        • Hoss

          New Zealand to face Ireland

          1. Joe Moody (43)

          2. Codie Taylor (48)

          3. Nepo Laulala (23)

          4. Brodie Retallick (78)

          5. Samuel Whitelock (115)

          6. Ardie Savea (42)

          7. Sam Cane (65)

          8. Kieran Read – captain (124)

          9. Aaron Smith (89)

          10. Richie Mo’unga (14)

          11. George Bridge (7)

          12. Anton Lienert-Brown (40)

          13. Jack Goodhue (11)

          14. Sevu Reece (5)

          15. Beauden Barrett (80)

          Reserves

          16. Dane Coles (66)

          17. Ofa Tuungafasi (33)

          18. Angus Ta’avao (11)

          19. Scott Barrett (33)

          20. Matt Todd (23)

          21. T J Perenara (62)

          22. Sonny Bill Williams (55)

          23. Jordie Barrett (14)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Thanks. That’s a good team. Surprised on Goodhue as I thought he was a bit shit last game. ALB has been magic and Crotty’s only really a 12 so misses out.
          Pretty happy with it actually

      • joy

        Being close would make you all as bad a Cheika!

        • Custard Taht

          Or in this case, would it make Cheika as good as all of us?

    • Happyman

      Nice team Hoss

      I wonder did folk pick the team they thought would be picked or the one they thought MC would pick

    • disqus_NMX

      I’m no expert on hookers, so maybe someone can help me here. Why has Folau Fainga’a gone off the boil with gagr voters? It seemed to me he was everyone’s favourite after the Brumbies dominant front row season, but then Cheika ignored him for Latu and Uelese, and the gagr voters seemed to have followed suit. I get it that Latu has been playing exceptionally well, but has Uelese really shown more than what Fainga’a did all season?

      • disqus_NMX

        PS – Hoss, I didn’t see when and where you posted the voting link this week. Assuming you keep this up in future, maybe you could talk to the gagr hierarchy about making it more prominent? Maybe a part of the Monday news article on weeks before a test?

        • Hoss

          Currently in contract negotiations with said GAGR boffins. Apparently my request for harbour facing corner office is proving a ‘stumbling block’

      • ozrugbynut

        probably not, but Uelese for me is a bigger bod and showed quite a bit last season. Cheika might want a bit more strength

      • Jason

        Because he’s not one of Cheika’s favorites.

    • LBJ

      I’m curious to know how many times the Pooper was picked.
      The numbers suggest both were well backed, but how many times together as a combo – as opposed to one starting and one on the bench.
      Are you able to provide that stat?

      • donktec

        suspect there were many that voted for one or the other on the bench

      • Hoss

        No mate

        • LBJ

          Cheers, thanks for getting back to me.

    • Hoss
  • Caeliv Donnelly

    Good luck to Australia. See you in the semi final*

    *unspecific SF of future tournament

    • Hoss

      I reckon the Kiwi’s are more nervous facing the Emerald XV than the other way round.

      Based on our shared passion for despising England and our convict bloodlines, i wish you nothing but ádh mór

      • onlinesideline

        what a weekend of footy – best quarters to date Id say. Wales v France is going to be a belter too.

        • Hoss

          My hard earned is on Les Bleus for that one. IMO The Toff’s are impostors.

        • onlinesideline

          couldnt agree more

        • pem890

          Taffs shurely ?

        • Hoss

          Yep- them too.

        • AllyOz

          Think the French might win but I won’t be betting with my money.

      • Caeliv Donnelly

        Cheers. Ireland have never (Ever? Jesus) won a RWC knock-out game. If you meet a confident Irishman this week – then check his passport.

        England and Wales’ form lines are really similar so I think Australia could be right there given that the Wales game was close. England are a bit undercooked as well so plenty to draw comfort from.

        • Hoss

          History is just that – the future is yet to be written and the current Irish team could start a whole new chapter. Of course you’d then lose to us next week, you cant have everything, but its a start.

        • Caeliv Donnelly

          As far as I am concerned – there is no next week. This is it. The QF, the millstone, the monkey off the back, the hoodoo, the holy grail, our rugby jinx, our nemesis, Ireland greatest sporting Hex (Apart from Mayo for Sam*) , what we have been building towards for the last freaking 32 years. Please dear lord baby jesus let us win just one. The AB’s have won the last 2, the last RWC was a southern hemisphere benefit competition. Its now time for us in the North to put up or shut up (Except England). Lets get as many 6N’s teams into the semi final as possible (except England) and lets hope a 6N team wins the tournament outright (except England).

          *’Mayo for Sam’ is now the battle cry for one of Irelands best Gaelic football counties who haven’t picked up the Sam Maguire trophy awarded to the All Ireland champions since 1951. Legend has it that the last Time the mayo team were travelling back accross the country after that 51′ win they overtook a funeral procession on the way. The Priest is said to have put a curse on the team winning it again until all remining members of that team had died! Mayo have since been beaten in 9 finals.

        • From NooZealand

          I really, really, really am with you …in the
          (except England) bit..

      • From NooZealand

        My small Irish side says they will need that.

  • Happyman

    Unfortunately the biggest influence on the outcome of this game won’t be Chieca or Eddie or the thirty players on the field it will be the three cheese eating surrender monkeys and the blight on the game that is Ben Skeen.

    I have real concerns that someone will get sent off early in this one and the game will lose the spectacle that it should be.

    Or that Skeen will find some stupid way to screw the Wallabies over as he did against the Welsh.

    Both teams are evenly matched with perhaps the English having a slight edge. I think our best is better than their best but our average is much worse than their average.

    Discuss

    • onlinesideline

      Thats a good last line. Mate really in all reality there are a myriad of possibilities. There is ball bounce, a couple of fumbles, concussions, imjuries.Its footy, anything can happen. The players know by now to keep it low. If they head high its THEIR fault.
      Its within their control.

    • Greg

      I am relying on Skeen putting Farrell in his place.

      • Happyman

        Good luck with that one mate no-one has done that in the past two years

      • Hoss

        I don’t know how Rodda wasn’t carded for this – the temerity

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gDtmZEpJxA

        • Who?

          And people wonder why I think Jaco’s a mercurial fool…
          “I thought your player also dropped the shoulder.”
          Give me the three Frogs over Jaco. But leave Bin bick in Envercargell…

        • Hoss

          Yep – Reece Hodge got 3 weeks for same at this RWC and i recall spewing forth several adjectives at Mr Peyper at the time regarding his claim about the ball carrier lowering their height into contact……………..as every player is taught from age of 6 onwards.

        • Keith Butler

          Totally agree. Should have been a red and a 12 week ban. No, make that jail time.

        • Hoss

          You’re becoming more Australian every day………..

        • Keith Butler

          I’ve tried self medicating but I can’t cure it.

        • idiot savant

          Should have been sent to the Colonies. We could do with a number 10.

    • John Tynan

      “Both teams are evenly matched with perhaps the English having a slight edge. I think our best is better than their best but our average is much worse than their average.”

      So we are Quade Cooper and they are Bernard Foley.

      • Happyman

        Pure Gold but sadly true

    • Keith Butler

      Obviously I would like the SDs to win but if we are beaten fair and square by a better team you’ll hear no complaints from me. I’m looking forward to a belter. Two evenly matched teams where the result could go either way. As long as it’s not decided by contentious ref decisions or intervention by the idiot know as Skeen. Go well both teams.

      • Mica

        You’re a scholar and a gentleman KB. I agree, that I really just want to see a great game where both teams play to their potential and as little action from the refs as is possible. Definitely want to see a 15 on 15 game.

      • AllyOz

        I would settle for a win even if we’re clearly inferior and have to cheat and get a dodgy decision to get there….sorry dropped my sandpaper… got it again now.

        • Keith Butler

          Spoken like a true fan.

    • disqus_NMX

      What happens if a team gets 15 red cards in a game?

      • Happyman

        I am waiting for a game where a Captain blows up and gets a yellow for dissent.

        I hope it never happens but I can see it happening.

      • Yowie

        The bench players would have some work to do.

      • Greg

        A bit like the old joke……

        “What do you call 15 kiwis watching the rwc final on tv?”

        “The all blacks”

        OK…. perhaps it has dated a bit…..

    • Human

      If the red goes to Farrell for more of his ‘tackles’, I will accept it.

  • onlinesideline

    LIKELY WALLABIES TEAM: Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Will Genia, Isi Naisarani, Michael Hooper (c), David Pocock, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Allan Alaalatoa, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio

    Reserves: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Matt To’omua, James O’Connor

    If THIS is the team I have renewed hope. Im all for this. Take a ticket re Jordan skeptics. You either got or you dont. This is how you win big. You punt on young raw talent IMO. Been wanging on about this for months. No Kepu, DHP, AAC, Foley – good !

    I would have started White though, burrowing around ruck against the Poms – thats dissappointing but otherwise very happy. Guys this is a good team selection !!! – maybe not a good team YET but with the right players selected at least we have a chance on a good day

    Shy of Banks instead of Beale and Dempsey instead of LSL I think this is the best team we could have put together – just an opinion. With White, JOC, Thor, 2cows, Slips – there is some awesome finishers !!

    If we win and Jordan plays well, it will be the backline platform for a semi and final assault.

    • Greg

      KB seems a risk to me tbh. That said…. he is not training yet so maybe cannot play.

      • onlinesideline

        I agree, think we all agree. Actually TBH it wouldnt bother me to have DHP under the high ball in all honesty. Maybe he’s not be a match winner but at least it wouldnt invite the Poms to gary owen us all day. With Beale there and knowing Eddie he would be licking his lips.

        • ozrugbynut

          Agree, though DHP has had his wobbles as well, but a more secure option. I think we will be garryowened regardless. Bit of a surprise to me White not starting, Genia getting slow at the rucks. Would like to gave seen TK in the side, but not sure how.

        • Bernie Chan

          Our ruck ball has been too slow…Sanchez (and White…) has to be quicker to get to the ruck and needs to release the ball faster so the defence has less time to re-align.

        • ozrugbynut

          id love it if the refs policed the offside line, as the defence, particularly against wales was right up on Genia and its a sure fire way to unsettle him and affect our rhythm. Without doubt England will rush the D and have us stand deeper but I would like us to play fairly flat to draw attention to the offside line. might be risk for another intercept pass, but thats why I would start White..he doesnt F around, just clears the ball. Also, he actually gets involved in the ruck on occasion and snipes.. Genia often stands back waiting for the pigs when he really needs to get his hands dirty..

        • Brumby Runner

          That has long been my criticism of Will G. But I reckon I’ve seen him hit the back of under-manned rucks to secure the ball on at least three or four occasions at the RWC. He seems to have improved in this respect lately – probably reading the posts here on GAGR.

          I do agree, though, that Nic White generally provides faster ball than Will.

        • Mica

          TK at 13 and JP on the wing

    • Bernie Chan

      Cheika has read the tea leaves…and come up with a team for the QFs. Jones will have Farrell raining bombs on Beale (he hasn’t even passed the concussion protocols yet…). Someone will have to do a lot of covering for Beale in defence, and I hope he doesn’t go sideways again with ball in hand. Finally Tupou gets a chance on a solid bench. I think Dempsey and DHP can consider themselves unlucky…Cheika has again shown he is a fan of LSL (he’d better produce more than he has does thus far in gold…) and I thought DHP did really well when he’s played (diffused the bombs, beat defenders running the ball back…).

      • Patrick

        DHP played better with every touch than Beale’s best moments so far.

    • Human

      I agree except for Beale…he has not been good for a while now. Who plays FB if Beale is poor again and is pulled early. Playing Beale at 15 is living in the past.

      • Hoss

        JOC

        • Human

          Yes, he can. Has he done it recently? Petaia also at a pinch.

        • Hoss

          Not sure, but with his new Zen calmness, he straightens the attack, good under the Garry Owen, can kick and step and put players in holes – he can also marshall the D from back field – i am entirely comfortable with it. For all Gilbert brings he is still and always will be equally a liability in many aspects. So DHP at 15 and JOC on pine – go for it.

        • onlinesideline

          Mate your sound like you’re only a “dencorub” away from lacing up and running on yourself.

        • Hoss

          If it wasn’t for a serious lack of ability, an aversion to training, lethargy of effort, inept skills, lack of motivation i could’ve been a ………

          What are you still doing up, or are you like that backpacker guy from 2000-odd years back and risen again ??

        • onlinesideline

          its called ……. ((((( INSOMNIA ))))) and its doing my head in.

        • Hoss

          That’s just cruel.

          I email you a copy of my latest book ‘Wallaby 32. A RWC 19 Diary from a Non-Playing Wallaby’

          Critics rave

        • Yowie

          Only two more chapters to write:-
          (a) QF against England
          (b) recriminations and renewal for RWC 2023

        • Brumby Runner

          Nah – too easy. JOC to No 13, Petaia to wing and Hodge to 15.

  • Hoss

    What odds SF1 Aus V Ireland. SF2 Japan v France…………..

    • onlinesideline

      SF2 totally possible …. in fact IMO likely and would even go as far as saying if it is Japan v France I would definitely pick Japan again.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Pffft Ireland won’t beat the ABs mate. I’m sure there are millions all around the world hoping they will but no chance

      • onlinesideline

        you said Scotland would beat Japan. Remember, Argentina were a push over away from beating them and we beat them and Ieland know they are capable. With the Irish crowd ….. dont be too sure mate…. the other matches were tests, this is knockout rugby on global stage …. big equaliser !

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I underestimated Japan in that game. Mate I know on the day any of these teams can win against any other. Absolutely Ireland could win, I’m just confident the ABs won’t let them this time

        • laurence king

          I personally have an order of possibilities: Australia win and NZ lose but if England win, then NZ to win. SDs get no favours

      • Hoss

        I reckon they could beat the Nearlies, but they’ll never beat Nigel……….

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Maaaaate, you’re sounding like some of these whining ex players from the NH. Spent their career losing to the ABs and now trying to pull them down on line to try and make up for it

        • Hoss

          I stand by my proud record of never having lost a game against the Nearlies……..

      • Missing Link

        Probably right KRL but anyone can beat anyone at this stage of the tournament.

      • Greg

        ^^^ Just framing this for later.

    • juswal

      Ireland vs NZ should be a close contest. Ireland, more than anyone else over recent years, have shown how to choke NZ out of a match. While they (Ireland) weren’t able to outplay all their Six Nations opposition this year, they’re still going to smother NZ. They question is whether they’ll do it for 60 minutes or for the full 80.

      This is how the quarters and semi-finals are going to play out. No team has the potential to beat all the others but some have the power to take out certain opposition.

      • Hoss

        All true. Nothing matters now but the respective 80 minutes for each team this weekend. On paper they look 4 cracking contests.

    • Very long I imagine. I don’t know what the bookies say, but in my personal odds, I reckon Japan have a fighting chance. France and Australia are long odds. Ireland need a miracle.

      Slightly more long-form – if Japan get a good start and can keep the tempo really high, they can run the Boks around and they threaten their composure. While they’re loads better this year, I reckon the “Erasmus way”, which is only 2 years old, could crack under those conditions, and one of those poor matches like SA losing to Italy last year comes out, Japan win. That’s a lot of things going right, but it’s mostly around a good start for Japan.

      France… Wales and France know the Dragons have the beating of them under a lot of conditions, including when the French jumped out to a big lead and the Welsh clawed them back, but a massive, solid 80 from the French at their best will see them home. We haven’t seen that in a while though.

      Australia… all those streaks are made to be broken, and there are two up here. One is the recent history of Eng v Aus the other is Aus performances in RWCs. Personally I think the former will continue and we’ll see the end of the AssClown – there is a silver lining – but you never know.

      Ireland… 2 years ago, Ireland had the beating of the AB as we all know. But this team has gone from experienced veterans to old. England, Wales and others have shown how to beat them as a tier 1 nation. Heck, the AB could play against Ireland closer to how Japan beat them too. Farrell might coach a defence that largely stymies the AB offence – the Boks did that for 70 minutes though and still lost handily. If Ireland can really keep the AB down for 80 and produce one last big performance, then it’s possible, anything is possible, but I feel this one is clutching at straws. It’s more “keep it close and hope the referee makes a call that wins it for us.”

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan.
    Interesting posts today. I wonder how close that team will be to the one picked. I’m not sure throwing Patiai into the cauldron like this game for his first start at 13 is a good idea, it’s almost like the hype of “give it to Patiai” is the new “give it to Folau” which I don’t think will work. England (Jones) are too canny for that to work.

    Great to Samu step up and play so well. I wonder if the conversation he had with McKeller was along the lines of “just wait until next year mate, he’ll be gone by then”

    Not so sure of Kata, he didn’t get a gig with a NZ team because he was too good. Happy to give him the benefit of the doubt but definitely a wait and see for me.

    The scrums and especially the line outs are working well. Now if they can only retain possession and not lose it so much in tackles, and the backs actually do something with it we may see a good game

    • Mica

      Expect lineout effectiveness to go down with the pooper

      • Who?

        Did you read Nick Bishop’s article this week? He’s expecting us to dominate the lineout, continuing the pattern from the pool matches.

        • Mica

          No I didn’t – Damn commitments getting in the way of my free time.
          I shall seek it out now – thanks for the tip Who.

      • John Tynan

        Good article by Nick Bishop elsewhere on the-site-that-dare-not-speak-its-name yesterday. Poms have their own Pooper (the Undercurrent? A Curryhill? ) and we’ve got Naisarani as a third option vs trying to throw a Vunipola up.

        • Mica

          Good point JT – looking at Underhill and Curry I would have sworn they were appreciably taller (but they’re not). Maybe it is just because Pocock is so wide. :)

        • I didn’t read the article, but I don’t remember seeing the English lineout break a sweat… Not quite so sanguine.

        • Patrick

          No, me neither, they have basically got 4 years together and we have 1.5?

    • Who?

      Agree on Petaia. He may be a 100 cap Wallaby, an all time great. But first start at 13 for the Wallabies – and only what, half a dozen (or fewer) starts outside Kerevi at 13? So much for combinations and security. And setting people up for a win.

      • Hoss

        Bring it on i say – ‘he who hesitates is lost’

        • Yowie

          Is that the Police Bomb Squad motto?

      • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

        Petaia could be exactly the big, athletic body we need opposite Tuilagi, who once again has the soap-dodging media creaming their jeans.

        Then again, Kuridrani could also have done the job.

        I guess Jordy is a potential point-of-difference player, who just might put the frighteners up the Poms enough to give us a chance. And we have precious few of those types.

        • Keith Butler

          As an unbiased SD, Tuilagi is looking the best he has in years. Still not the complete package but getting their. Some of the decoy lines he’s been running to draw in defenders have been first class.

        • Missing Link

          Tuilagi scares me. If we can contain England’s front row and Itoje, put pressure on Farrell and contain Tuilagi we have a small chance of winning.

        • Not give loose ball to their back three and, assuming KB (not @disqus_GEk7TCl13b:disqus, Beale) is at 15 not drop a bomb or 10 too…

        • Missing Link

          He’s not the Petaia, he’s a very naughty boy

    • laurence king

      Petaia could be good to go though, definitely adds more than O’Connor (though I like O’Connor) does in terms of thrust. Potential to give the Poms nightmares.

      • onlinesideline

        I think Eddie has gone from inwardly confident (read cocky) to Shit …. SHIT.

        • laurence king

          I do like Petaia in the side and with him outside a Kerevi who is looking to pass that would give opposition cause to worry.

        • AllyOz

          I can see him screaming at his assistant. Get me all the videos of Persia from 2019 SR. But we did they’ll say, that one full game and the first 5 minutes of the second. He’s probably got them trawling through Hospitals Cup games now and stuff from the Australian Schoolboys 2 years ago

        • onlinesideline

          Yeah well he should dig out some video of how not to keep your head down when behind the posts waiting for the conversion – coz it gonnaaa happen alot with this guy laced up. My tip he will go over for 2 or more tries ! – You heard it here AllyOZ – screenshot it.

      • Miss Rugby

        But to do that Kerevi actually has to pass him the ball – something he doesn’t do much of no matter who is starting outside him. That’s why TK looked good when he played 13 without Kerevi. He actually had the ball in hand. When Kerevi plays 13 rarely gets the ball.

        • laurence king

          Yes, everything you say is true, however, if they do go with that combination then Petaia is maybe a better choice than OC. My preferred option would be Toomua at 12, Kuridrani at 13 and Petaia and Koriebete on the wings. Petaia has played with Kerevi so hopefully there is some combination and trust between the two already

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bang on there MR

        • onlinesideline

          maybe JOC will sub off Kerevi at some point and play12 with Jordan outside him ….. that could be interesting.

      • If he’s between Kerevi and Koroibete, do you really need another line breaking centre? Or are you better served with more of a play maker? Someone who isn’t necessarily a tactical kicker, but is putting the players into space nicely, straightening the running lines, making the passes to the right players and so on?

        For me, JOC takes the ball he gets and puts the players around him into those holes. He might end up with horrid looking stats personally (one of the banes of lazy stats) but he makes other players look better and the team do better over all. Not saying Petaia can’t do that but not sure he will do as well.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bang on Eloise

      • Custard Taht

        But what JOC lacks in thrust, he makes up in penetration.

        • Yowie

          He lacks a bit of size too.

        • laurence king

          They even have stats on things like that? That’s invasive

        • Yowie

          Of course. How else can they prove that Rugby Union is “a game for all shapes and sizes”?

        • Yowie

          Of course. How else can they prove that Rugby Union is “a game for all shapes and sizes”?

        • laurence king

          This is a rugby site, we don’t tolerate vulgarity here sir

    • onlinesideline

      But Folau was never a union full back from the get go and any rugby person new it. He was and remained a player best suited to wing in NRL.
      Jordan is a rugby player with good basic rugby skills and then some.
      Cant compare in my book.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I’m with you on the reality of Folau but the hype was always there

  • onlinesideline

    What Richard Tombs said on GGR podcast was so spot on about how Japan recycle quickly after taking the hit, instead of trying to drive through a brick wall that gets them nowhere and gives opposition time to disrupt and slow down play. He said we should be thinking about doing this to unlock backs instead of obsessing over brute force leg drives that get us nowhere. (WE ARE NOT GOOD AT IT ANYHOW )

    Basically he’s suggesting we play like we played years ago.

    • laurence king

      Yeh heard that, and had a lot of interesting things to say, basically thought that a lot of stuff Cheika does leaves him baffled

      • He’s not the only one baffled by Cheika!

        • laurence king

          Butt Cheiks are baffles

    • Brumby Runner

      We do have some very good players who use leg drive to gain good extra metres in contact – McMahon and Samu. Unfortunately neither is there.

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    In a desperate attempt to distract myself from thinking about the potential carnage this weekend, I’ve looked up the dictionary definition of “skeen” – and I think it all checks out.

    The Collins version says that it means “Himalayan Ibex”. So it’s a weird goat, sitting up high, butting in and bleating about everything. Tick (or should that be “chick”?).

    Then there’s the Urban Dictionary. It says that it’s a slang term, equivalent to “I see”, used mostly by gangster types. Yep – Guess who sees friggin’ everything, real or imaginary, and then commits daylight robbery against our teams and our game, all out of self-interest? Tick.

    • AllyOz

      Perhaps you’ll have to change your nickname to A Goat Stole My World Cup

  • Keith Butler

    Just seen the England team:

    Vunipola
    George
    Sinckler
    Itoje
    Lawes
    Curry
    Vunipola
    Underhill
    Youngs
    Farrell
    May
    Tuilagi
    Slade
    Watson
    Daley

    Mako to get carded. England scrum goes backwards with Lawes at lock. Farrell kicks what ball we get away. Australia stroll into semis.

    • Human

      No Ford?

      • Keith Butler

        Big mistake imo. On the pine.

        • Human

          I’m happy at that, though would be more so if Ford was in the stands. Jones seems to be instructing Farrell, et al to seek a red card.
          Also no Kruis – could be advantage Wobs to start.
          Has EJ lost his mojo? Looking to defend?

        • Keith Butler

          Another mistake in dropping Kruis. A no nonsense lock partnered up with Itoje and George at Saracens. Why break up a line out unit, makes no sense. Lawes is a weaker scrummager imo. I think you’re right. EJ is relying on strong defence and a kick chase. What a waste when you have a back three with afterburners that may see very little pill.

      • Hoss

        Bench

        • Human

          Big call by EJ. Nothing subtle about it.

        • Hoss

          For mine always been questions over Tuilagi’s D as well. Likes to run, but suspect back on the inside, though i will give credit where its due, he looks fitter than previously.

      • Missing Link

        needed a ground up rebuild after Bathurst last weekend

    • Hoss

      I’d be saying to Latu aim low on Billy Vunipola and test that knee, legally of course, but go in hard and go in low

      • Keith Butler

        Latu and legal a non sequitur.

        • Hoss

          I can live with that……

          I think the Poms have erred with Farrell at 10.

        • Keith Butler

          Correct. Just like Cheika, for the big ones, EJ picks on form – not. Farrell is not having a good RWC. Ford is the form 10. The SDs are history. Time to give my G&G polo an airing for the semis.

        • Hoss

          What sort of lunatic coach changes his 10,12 & 13 on the eve of a RWC QF !! Oh wait, never mind, forget i said anything.

        • Keith Butler

          Eddie and Michael, like two peas from a Randwick pod. I despair. Am getting in extra supplies of amber nectar to both commiserate and celebrate the result.

        • Patrick

          If we really do pick Beale and a debutant at 13, you can leave the G&G gear in the shed.

      • Greg

        [with your arms please]

        • Hoss

          optional. Sinckler got away with it a game or two back and nary a whisper was said

      • UK news is saying “recovered from an ankle injury” that’s a really low tackle!

        • Hoss

          It’s all connected

    • Why Mako? Sinckler is more likely card bait than Mako. It’s a really mobile pack. Either he’s picking for a kick chase or he doesn’t rate the Wallabies’ scrum. I think it’s a mistake, but we’ll see.

      I guess I understand wanting Slade out there, and Tuilagi, and shifting Tuilagi to 12 to match up against Kerevi makes sense. I think I’d have kept Ford though, he’s looked good at 10. I wonder how the hook will operate if this isn’t working to get Ford out there – we know Eddie has done it in the past after 20 minutes or so.

      • Keith Butler

        Mako short of game time and scrum technique still leaves a bit to be desired. Sinckler on the other hand operates on a short fuse. Seems solid in the tight but there for his carrying ability. I would have started Marler, whose overall game has improved. Thanks to Adam Jones at Quins for mentoring both him and Sinckler. I would have preferred Ford at 10 but that would have meant finding a place for Farrell at 12. Heaven forbid that you’d drop your captain. Toss up between Slade and Joseph for the 13 slot. Both quality players. Young’s still a concern for me as he blows hot and cold. Like our back three. Daley better under the high ball. Watson and May have pace to burn but will they see any ball. Hope Wales make it to the semis. All the games will be tough though.

        • Patrick

          There’s a lot to be said for dropping your captain, though.

  • Greg

    I am bracing for the team announcement with spanners and gilbert.

    • Human

      That could be called, ‘self flagellation’.

  • laurence king

    Is the team announcement delayed? Maybe over Beale’s condition?

  • Keith Butler

    Now that Eddie has named his team maybe Cheika will change his?

    • Yowie

      What are you suggesting? That Cheika will break with prior form and adapt his team & tactics to a particular upcoming game?

      • Keith Butler

        Heaven forbid that that would happen.

        • Yowie

          Not for his last game anyway.

  • Patrick

    So reading the comments, all the rumours are that Cheika is going to go down in flames. We’ll either win one for the ages or get absolutely rooted. I have to say I feel bad to be like this but I’m definitely hoping Beale is just a smokescreen, and we at least pick DHP.

    Same for Petaia – sometimes common sense is underrated, and common sense says you don’t pick someone to play their first ever test at 13 in a QF against a team that has flogged you like a dead horse for 5 games in a row. If Petaia really is at 13, hopefully luck shines on us and we win, otherwise, fingers crossed that he doesn’t get mentally scarred by the experience.

    • laurence king

      I think Petaia would be fine, doesn’t appear to be a fellow to let the game get to him.

  • laurence king

    Wallabies to play England

    1. Scott Sio (62 Tests)

    2. Tolu Latu (18 Tests)

    3. Allan Alaalatoa (36 Tests)

    4. Izack Rodda (24 Tests)

    5. Rory Arnold (25 Tests)

    6. David Pocock (82 Tests)

    7. Michael Hooper (c) (98 Tests)

    8. Isi Naisarani (7 Tests)

    9. Will Genia (109 Tests)

    10. Christian Lealiifano (25 Tests)

    11. Marika Koroibete (27 Tests)

    12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (32 Tests)

    13. Jordan Petaia (2 Tests)

    14. Reece Hodge (38 Tests)

    15. Kurtley Beale (91 Tests)

    Reserves

    16. Jordan Uelese (8 Tests)

    17. James Slipper (95 Tests)

    18. Taniela Tupou (18 Tests)

    19. Adam Coleman (37 Tests)

    20. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (20 Tests)

    21. Nic White (30 Tests)

    22. Matt To’omua (51 Tests)

    23. James O’Connor (51 Tests)

    • Human

      Given the England team, I may have preferred Toomua at 12 with Kerevi coming on to terrorise Ford later in the game, when LiLo comes off. Still, this is not a bad team, though Beale is yesterday’s man.
      Be nice if they wear the Indigenous strip.

      • Greg

        There is talent there. Can they play the game that they want to? I really hope so.

        Spanners is being rested for the semi.

        Beale.. I hope he is well and back on his feet by, say, Sunday.

        • Human

          Ah, that is inspired thinking…no doubt scheduled before they left Sydney.

      • laurence king

        Still we are not playing the ABs,

    • donktec

      hallmark of the MC era, will always be remembered for baffling selections each game. why oh why! oh well, going to watch the game anyways and ya get what ya gets.

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

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