TT5 AU (Formerly known as the Tuesday Top 5) - Green and Gold Rugby
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TT5 AU (Formerly known as the Tuesday Top 5)

TT5 AU (Formerly known as the Tuesday Top 5)

Welcome! With our fancy name change we bring you a whole new era of the TT5 Au.

Well, no, not really. Its just the same old garbage with a fancy new name. But doesn’t it make us sound so much more professional, cutting edge and impressive?

Anyway, this week we look at the Good, Bad and Ugly’s from the weekend, bathe in the wonder that is victory over the All Blacks and check out what the stats say about it then have a bit of a more in depth look at the match, discuss some NRC action, check in with our Southern Hemisphere mates in NZ and SA and throw in some highlights from the NRC and Wallabies.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Good – I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this one, people really aren’t talking about it all that much … but WE BEAT THE ALL BLACKS!!! Finally (It’s only taken 805 days!).

Bad – I’ll be honest, this is just a personal hate of mine, but I’m sure some of you might agree. It drives me mental whenever commentators go into the “Team A has only ever lost x number of times when they have been leading at half time and each of those times it has been when the sky is green and the other team is wearing tutus” sort of rubbish. Unless the exact same teams are playing each other, with the same players, same subs and the same coach on the same field, then the stats about going on to win after leading at half time don’t really mean a lot. It happens in all sports, but geez did Marto rant on about it on Saturday. In the long run, who really remembers who was in front at half time?

Ugly – This week, possibly making up for a lack of ugly in recent weeks, there are 2 things I have in the category. “What?” I hear you say … we beat the All Blacks. How can there possibly be anything ugly? Well I’m sorry dear GAGR’s, but there are.

Ugly 1 – Seeing Rob Simmons being stretchered off, and the concern on all the medics that were with him on the field. Thank goodness it wasn’t anything serious, but it’s never pretty seeing a player leave the field like that.

Ugly 2 – The goal kicking of Bernard “The Ice Man” Foley. “Ice Man”, so called for his ability to slot goals under pressure, has been way off with the boot; in the past 2 matches he has missed 7 out of 13 attempts at goal. It will be interesting to see how Quade plays for the Baa Baa’s, with Hodge out kicking Foley in general play and at goal, if Cooper proves himself then Foley might be in trouble … nah, who am I kidding. That’s just never going to happen.

Bernard Foley spots a gap.

Bernard Foley spots a gap.

 

Bledisloe #3 – By the numbers

Now that the dust has settled and we have all calmed down a little, let’s take a look at what the numbers from the third Bledisloe on Saturday night tell us.

Aus V NZ attack statsAus V NZ defence statsAus V NZ comparison stats

Well, I guess firstly the most noticeable area of difference for the Wallabies was defence. They made a series high 90% of their tackles. That and the number of defenders beaten, which goes along with the All Blacks worst tackle percentage of the entire Rugby Championship.

In fact, the All Blacks played a very un-All Black game. Their run metres were well under half of their next lowest from the Rugby Championship (537m in Bledisloe 2), their next lowest number of defenders beaten was 29 (against South Africa) and it was fewer tries than they had scored in any match of the Rugby Championship. They looked disjointed, like a team who didn’t really know what each other were doing, while the Wallabies were the opposite.

Is this because the Wallabies played so well that the All Blacks were unable to play their usual style of game? Or were there other factors in play?

 

So where does that win leave us?

It was an impressive effort from the men in Gold, no doubt about it. They tackled out of their skin and were hot in attack. Does this now mean that we are suddenly back up amongst the top in the world, ready to beat the Northern teams on the Spring Tour? I saw some very enthusiastic pundits on social media (those same ones who wanted to get rid of everyone, coaches, players, anyone associated with the Wallabies after the Scottish game) talking up the performance to the point where they had us all but winning the next World Cup and absolutely certain that the Bledisloe was ours next year. After all, we had just beaten the number one team in the world.

Samu Kerevi and Tevita Kuridrani celebrate a win

Samu Kerevi and Tevita Kuridrani celebrate a win

Well, about that. Yes, we beat them and we played well doing it. But it was the first time we had beaten them since the 8th of August 2015, 805 days. That’s a hell of a long time. Not as long as the time before that though, which was on the 27th of August 2011, a whopping 1,442 days. In that time there were 2 draws, but I’m only looking at wins. So in reality, we need to be beating them more than once every 2-3 years before we start to get excited about bringing the cup home at last. Especially with only 742 days until the World Cup final!

Now let’s play a little game … ‘What if … ?’

What if Folau was out injured? We will get a taste of this during the Spring Tour when he is having a break. We have some quality back-ups, but are they the type of players who would be breaking try scoring records nearly every year?

What if Coleman (our best lock) was forced to miss games? How would our lineout be affected? Or our defence?

What if Foley was injured and couldn’t play? (after the weekend some might not see that as such a bad thing) With Cooper seemingly not in Cheika’s sights, who is our next no. 10? Would they be ready to jump right in?

What if Sio or Kepu were out? Would Robertson be ready to start if needed?

Any one of those things might not have a huge impact, we can shuffle players like Beale around, but if all were to happen at once it could make things difficult. Similar to playing without a Ben Smith, Retalick, Barrett and Moody (all of whom were missing on Saturday, but played the first 2 Bledisloe matches).

In no way am I trying to diminish the fact that we beat the All Blacks. We did, we played well and it’s something that not many teams can do. The Wallabies finally looked like a team rather than a bunch of individuals. We now need to build on that, keep the continuity with players, positions and tactics and start making winning a regular occurrence. Then, just maybe, the Wallabies will be worthy of being tagged favourites.

 

NRC Wrap – or how to lose a game in 4 easy steps

Step 1. Give away 18 penalties to 5.
Step 2. Give away 3 Yellow cards to 1.
Step 3. Concede 22 turnovers to 10, most of them when on the verge of scoring.
Step 4. Let the other team have 59% possession.

Sounds like a recipe to get absolutely thrashed, doesn’t it? So how the hell did Qld Country only win by 7 points. One converted try was the difference and to be honest Country had everything possible going for them, other than home ground advantage. Majority of possession, huge penalty count difference, the Drua’s very poor handling … yet the Drua still could have tied the game after the siren … if not for a knock on. There were some other things that went the way of Country, for example I thought that their 2nd try was more than a little suspect (did he drop the ball?) and there was some questionable refereeing – he became a lot more pedantic about where a quick tap could be taken from a scrum in the second half – but they didn’t help themselves with decisions such as kicking back to the Fijians while they had a 2-man advantage.

A lot of people are saying how impressed they were with Qld Country, but I believe they will have to play a lot better than that if they meet Fiji again in the finals.

Chris Feaui-Sautia looking for support.

Chris Feaui-Sautia looking for support.

Speaking of finals, there’s only 1 week to go and finals spots are still up in the air. Brisbane City and NSW Country Eagles are equal on 18 points in 4th position, and wouldn’t you know it, they play each other this week. The Spirit have a very slim chance of making the finals if they get a bonus point win over Qld Country, and if the Drua lose to the Rays. The Vikings have sealed a spot in the finals, a win over the Rams could take them to top spot depending on the Qld Country results. If Qld Country win, top spot is theirs and all the home finals that go along with it.

But honestly, after this weekend’s results anything could happen!

2017-Brisbane-City-v-Greater-Sydney-Rams-12

Mitre 10 and Currie Cup Finals

It’s down to the very pointy end of the season for our Southern mates and their Provincial competitions.

Across the ditch, the Mitre 10 Cup finals are this weekend.

In the Premiership, defending Champions Canterbury will take on Tasman. A try in the last 5 minutes of their Semi Final against North Harbour sealed the 35-34 win for Canterbury, taking them to their ninth final in ten years. In the other Semi, Tasman, in a replay of last year’s Semi Final, defeated Taranaki at home by a single point, 30-29.

Match Details: 28 Oct AMI Stadium, Christchurch, 19:35 PM Local (17:35 AEDT, 19:35 on Fox Sports 503 – not live)

In the Championship, ex-Rebel Jackson Garden-Bachop and ex-Waratah Sam Lousi helped Wellington roar into the Final with a dominant win over Northland. They will face Bay of Plenty who defeated Otago, largely due to some brilliant attack by their back three.

Match Details: 27 Oct Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 19:35 PM Local (17:35 AEDT, Live on Fox Sports 503)

Meanwhile, The Currie Cup also has its final this weekend, when Western Province will travel to Durban to take on the Sharks. In their Semi Final, Western Province defeated the Golden Lions 19-5. The Sharks, who have been dominant all season and finished well clear on top of the ladder, beat the Blue Bulls in their Semi, 37-27.

Match Details: 28 Oct, Kings Park Stadium, Durban, 16:00 Local (29 Oct 1:00am AEDT, Live on Fox Sports 505 from 00:30)

Highlights from the rugby action on the weekend

  • idiot savant

    Hey if the ARU can rebrand, why not? Good to see its the same old garbage because after all, thats the point of a rebrand. Love your work. Theres a job in management for you…

  • idiot savant

    MST, surely you’re not accusing us ‘enthusiastic pundits’ of being fickle? That we lost faith after 7 consecutive losses to the ABs, 4 consecutive losses to England, and losses to South Africa, Ireland and Scotland? How could we? We should’ve known that this was all part of a grand ingenious plan, and that Cheka and his coaches had planned to have a watertight and brilliantly structured defence system, a balanced back row that played tight against top tier teams, and a license to kick the ball in general play. I think it was the French soccer team captain who once said that he learned more in defeat than he ever did in victory. Us enthusiastic pundits should’ve known those losses were intentional, all designed to get us to where we are now. Parce mihi Pater, peccavi. Im gonna join the queue for the cordial…

  • Pearcewreck
    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Gold mate

  • juswal

    TT5 Au, now with cup-holders and smartphone integration. It’s the best TT5 on the road today.

    I’m glad you mentioned Greg Martin because my annoyance with his antics on Saturday night hasn’t eased. The guy is infatuated with NZ’s wings and could not control his ejaculations when ‘Why-sarky!’ (they’re on first-name terms, apparently) and ‘It’s not Rieko, it’s FREAK-O Ioane!’ scored tries.

    There’s nothing freakish about unmarked wings taking a pass and going through space to cross the try-line. It’s their job. Similarly, SBW’s off-load to enable Ioane’s try wasn’t a miracle. It’s what a 12 does: draw the tackler and let ball go. It’s good to see it done well but it’s not sexual. Unfortunately, for Martin the black shirt is an overwhelming stimulant.

    I’m switching to Channel 10’s broadcast next time. Gordon Bray is demented, but his heart is with the gold shirt.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I still think our commentators are as bad or worse. What is it with these guys who think their job is to promote themselves instead of just saying what is happening on the field

      • Alister Smith

        I would rather listen to Andrew Mehrtens then Greg Martin…in fact I would rather turn the sound off and just watch the pictures. When I lived in Brisbane he was on Breakfast Radio as well…he is about as funny as syphilis and easily as painful …a real FIGJAM…I have put off getting Foxtel almost solely because I couldn’t justify paying for a product that had his commentary. He might be a good bloke in real life i dont know but he wrecks it for me and I will happily stick with Gordon.

        • Jasper Sapien.

          In America, they trialled a thing where they showed the match without any commentary at all. Just the sounds of the crowd and the players. Viewership went up, and it became far more pleasant to watch, but they stopped it after complaints from… the commentators.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Would be good to hear the ref too. I often turn the sound off because of the commentators, but find myself turning it back on again to hear the ref.

      • ReinFORCE

        I genuinely love the kiwi commentators – funny bastads and very fair

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah funny how we see them differently isn’t it

    • McWarren

      I was having similar thoughts about Gordon Bray. He said and did everything but assume the position in front of Keiran Read.

      • juswal

        Dammit. Bring back Chris Handy!

        • McWarren

          Go you good thing

  • Simon Powell

    If Bernard Foley cant kick a goal and has to hide on the wing in defense. Why is he being selected?

    I think he needs a change of nickname too – how about Mississippi- he sure does seem to Miss a lot.

    • Alister Smith

      the Mud Man – what happens when the ice melts

      • Alister Smith

        However one thing for Foley…he got up after being flattened by the no. 18 … i doubt i would have been walking. So he has some courage.

        • Simon Powell

          I have seen him make some great tackles. I do not understand why the defensive pattern is such that he needs to hide away on the wing.

          Wallabies should be selected on their abilities in both attack AND defense. Not on which Super Rugby side they play for.

        • McWarren

          Apparently there are no alternatives. I can’t for the life of me see why he is picked. If we truly have no alternative ready then we take two youngsters to Europe and throw them in the deep end. We beat the ABs carrying Foley surely we can beat Japan, Scotland, Wales and D blights carrying a youngster? Foley is as good/bad as he will ever be, at least a youngster has the possibility of developing into a world class 10.

          For the record I don’t buy the no other option shite spread by others.

        • Simon Powell

          This will sound crazy – but there were 3 Australian Super Rugby sides that performed better than the Waratahs in the 2017 Season.

          Surely that must mean that there 3 non Waratah 10s that can steer their teams around the paddock quite successfully. Perhaps one or more of them could fit in to the Wallabies jersey.

        • Who?

          Hmm… The leading team had a Kiwi 10. The second place team had a Saffa 10, covering for a recovering Aussie. The third place team had an Aussie 10, but Cheika doesn’t like him. So, not really any other options. Apparently……….

        • Simon Powell

          So the selection of the national team is based on a personality contest?

        • Who?

          I didn’t say that. I pointed out that, whilst people say there’s other options out there who should be considered above the 10 who led his team to second last on the table, that may not be true. Not when 1.5 of the teams were led by players who aren’t eligible, the half team is completed by a 10 who wasn’t able to press his case with good form due to injury (Lance), and the other team has a 10 that the national coach has seen in camp a lot, but hasn’t selected. SO, for whatever reasons, Cheika’s selections prove that he doesn’t ‘like’ the bloke. What that means exactly I haven’t specified, and neither has Cheika. It could be personality. There’s plenty on here who claim there are whispers indicating that’s a possibility. It could be game style. It could be anything.
          And honestly, a personality contest? That might be better than selection based on provincial biases, which many have long prosecuted (how many Tahs played last weekend..?).

        • Simon Powell

          Thank you – you were able to say that a hell of a lot better than I could.

        • Who?

          Just throw a heap of words at it – eventually, those millions of monkeys at keyboards on the internet will create the works of Shakespeare! :-P It’s what I do!!! :-D
          But thanks. :-)

        • Alister Smith

          It’s possible that the 10 would be hidden in defence regardless of how well he defends. Cheika is a league fan and its common to hide the playmakers in defence in league because (1) they’re generally smaller so its more difficult for them to make a dominant tackle (2) if the opposition directs all the attack into their channel they end up using a lot of energy in defence and that can limit their acting capability. Where league and union are a little different is that it is more difficult for the playmakers to have “minders” like Thurston has Scott Bowen and Darren Lockyer had Thaiday. Unless you have the defence of an Andrew Johns then you are probably going to want to minimise your 10’s defensive workload and maybe even if you do have Andrew Johns. Where it gets a bit worrying is where you are then trying to hide your inside centre and perhaps your fullback as well. Neither of our options at 10 QC or Foley are particularly strong defenders but both have made good strong tackles

        • McWarren

          I think the big difference between league and union is the number of tackles. Even hidden in the wing a league 10 is a good chance of making more tackles than the top tackler in rugby. Secondly the chances of turnover ball and quick counter attack in league is less likely than in Union, so hiding a 10 and 12 in Union can limit your counter attacking options.

          Why is it that the smallest guy on the field, the 9 generally, isn’t hidden in defence. He has to make his first up tackles? For me that’s why it’s never been okay for any of Foley/Cooper/Beale to be tolerated as bad tacklers but good attackers.

        • Number 12

          Actually Mc the 9 is often either used as a sweeper or pressuring the 10 in a drifting defence (whee they rarely need to tackle the 10). For all the bias often shown on this forum, McKenzie moved QC to the backfield in defence to orchestrate the counter attack which he invariably did very effectively. To perhaps vary from Alister’s league analogy which I think is reasonably valid – in Gridiron you’ll never see a quarterback (the most important player in the offence) leave himself open to injury by attempting to tackle in a turnover…. If we can change our philosophy in how our 7 plays (not being first to the breakdown) perhaps we can also change how we use our 10……

        • McWarren

          N12 the 9 has multiple roles in defence, but to complete them successfully he must be able to tackle, he certainly isn’t hidden. I agreed with Mckenzie moving QC to fullback for counter attack, but it worked because the Reds were armed and prepared to counter attack, they had serious speed and strike power that gave QC options. Hiding Foley and Beale because they can’t tackle is different to playing Cooper at FB in anticipation of counter attacks or more often kicking close returns. But QC or Foley still need to be capable of tackling, you can’t hide forever. Every player must meet at least a certain standard in defence. Using Gridion and League analogies are imo like comparing apples with oranges. How often are Qtr Backs required to defend? Sometimes not even once a game. A rugby player needs to be far more multi skilled than a gridion player and dare I say a leagie.

        • McWarren

          Why change the playing philosophy of one position so that we can pick players who can’t defend. For me the basics of any player include tackling. Leave our 7, or should I say go back to a 7 who attacks the ruck and tackles all night. A 7 who can turn the ball over to provide attacking opportunities for our 10?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Valid point. That was a smash and a half

    • RugbyReg

      no alternative

      • Simon Powell

        Waratahs only have 1 number 10?

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Nice wrap mate and as usual some great points. I actually enjoyed this game especially seeing such desire in the wallabies. Without a doubt they wanted this more and it showed in the stats and the final score. While being disappointed in the AB’s losing, I won’t take anything away from the Wallabies, they absolutely deserved the win. It goes to show that the difference between the top 4 or 5 teams isn’t that much and any team can win on the day.
    I just want to see this continue on the Northern tour coming up. That would really be good.

  • Maulalltheway

    2 rucks in a row Sam Cane has TJ directly behind him, Second one he spills the beans, game over. Interesting tactics there.

  • formerflanker

    Fully agree with the rant against convoluted statistics. We are going down the boring cricket commentary pathway.
    It just shows how little the commentators trust their own expertise to give a running commentary on the game before them.

  • Waz_dog

    Fair crack MTS – how about giving credit where credit is due. QC are the only (and first as history will show) team that have won over in Fiji – an accomplishment that no other has achieved.

    Winning is a habit and it doesn’t matter whether if it’s an ugly win or not. The lads picked up the Horan-Little Shield to boot. How about cutting down a different tall poppy.

    Hopefully the two standout teams QC and Vikings are slugging it out in the finals.

    • RugbyReg

      and not bad without Duncan Paia’aua there who has been their kingpin all season.

      Izzy Perese out too.

      • Waz_dog

        Yep – there’s a lot to be said about the culture and attitude with QC at the moment. Everyone’s bought into the role they need to play when they’ve been asked to play it. Everyone’s raving about our backline but the forwards are laying a fantastic platform – defense is really physical in the middle of the park and teams are struggling to get parity there.

        I’m just miffed – the last three weeks everyone’s been saying that QC aren’t the real deal until this games gets played. We go over and play the top of the table on their home soil, get the chocolates and still there’s jest at the win…

        • Brumby Runner

          Very similar to some comments by some notable GAGR personalities that the Vikings haven’t shown they are the real deal because they have flogged lesser sides.

          The indications are that both QC and the Vikings have been the strongest sides this year and it will be an injustice if either fail to make the final.

        • Waz_dog

          100% – Vikings and QC know what’s at stake with top spot for the taking. Fourth place isn’t going to be a chump either, so the semis are shaping up nicely.

  • Patrick

    I want a McMahon highlights clip from Saturday, sick of seeing all these fancy passes clogging up the highlights!

    • Bobas

      best Game against NZ since Morty in ’03 IMO.

  • skip

    Like you say and as I’ve said, I’ll revisit at the end of the tour and then right after the final whistle in the first test against NZ next year to see if we’ve really turned a corner.

    If the pattern is as it’s been for some years now – namely a spring tour with some good results as well as a stumbling close win/another fucking loss to Scotland and being beaten up by the poms and then us getting whacked by NZ next June, then we can shut the book on whether there’s been real change.

    But, credit must be placed where it’s due. The June tests were dire and Bled 1 was as bad as i’ve ever seen. The entire team have clearly taken a hard look at themselves and really fronted up and it’s been very pleasing to see. I think more needs to be said about the last 5 minutes as they had shut up shop, were trying to keep it tight and play down the clock and in the end conceded a penalty. I was screaming for them to attack and keep playing the same systems or get it off the park 10m from NZ’s line. We got lucky there.

    What I’m really hoping is if it becomes part of the team to say “we always need to improve” so we don’t end up with the same pattern that’s kept the Bledisloe trophy on the wrong side of the ditch for so long.

    Finally. I thought Barnes had a great game. He bottled that NZ scrum that the Wallabies destroyed as he’d called “use it”, they didn’t and we got it and it denied a legit try in my view that I think would’ve been allowed if he wanted to leave Eden park alive. That aside, I could see the kiwis not getting away with the crap they so often do (offside clear outs, sneaky blocks and so forth). Some of my mates hate him for such pedantry. I reckon he’s not as intimidated by the black top sponsored by a crooked finance institution as he’s supposed to be.

    I note S B Williams’ objection to advertising banks as been overcome, coincidentally now that he doesn’t need to inject himself into the headlines after a period away from the limelight. Alas, I ramble.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate have faith. This can continue through the northern tour

  • Jack Mallick

    Great to see the title joke but the ARU name change still ranks a mention as ugly number three

  • Who?

    TT5 Gold, hey? Nice when you get stuff like that – country code and atomic name for the element that names the colour lining up…

  • Patrick

    We actually were mostly missing Pocock and to a lesser extent Fardy

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

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