Wales v Australia - Looking For The 14peat - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wales v Australia – Looking For The 14peat

Wales v Australia – Looking For The 14peat

Yes, the Wallabies have beaten Wales the last 13 times they’ve played them. But, through that run of 13 wins the Wallabies have never come off a run of poor games like they’ve racked up this year. And for the first time, the Wallabies are ranked well below the Welsh. And that, frankly, makes this a very intriguing test match.

What Winning Streak?

Australia has won 13 straight and 26 tests from 28 since 1991! In that time both countries have had a similar status in world rugby so what is the secret sauce that has kept the Aussies just in front of the Leek eaters?

None of those games means quite as much as this one in terms of the 2019 world cup with Wales and Australia looking for bragging rights ahead of banging heads in pool D of the tournament. If Australia wins it could damage the Welsh ego beyond short-term repair and could almost ensure us a quarter-final spot. If wales get up it would embolden them to go on to bigger things and we could end up in an arm wrestle with Fiji for second place in our pool.

History will weigh heavily on both sides but, both teams chances in the world cup could pivot on this game.

The Teams

Wales

1 Nicky Smith
2 Ken Owens
3 Tomas Francis
4 Adam Beard
5 Alun Wyn Jones (c)
6 Dan Lydiate
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Ross Moriarty
9 Gareth Davies
10 Gareth Anscombe
11 Josh Adams
12 Hadleigh Parkes
13 Jonathan Davies
14 George North
15 Leigh Halfpenny

Replacements:
16 Elliot Dee
17 Rob Evans
18 Dillon Lewis
19 Cory Hill
20 Ellis Jenkins
21 Tomos Williams
22 Dan Biggar
23 Liam Williams

Australia

1. Scott Sio (52 Tests)
2. Tolu Latu (10 Tests)
3. Allan Alaalatoa (30 Tests)
4. Izack Rodda (14 Tests)
5. Adam Coleman (28 Tests)
6. Jack Dempsey (7 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (88 Tests)
8. David Pocock (75 Tests)
9. Will Genia (97 Tests)
10. Bernard Foley (65 Tests)
11. Sefa Naivalu (8 Tests)
12. Kurtley Beale (81 Tests)
13. Samu Kerevi (22 Tests)
14. Israel Folau (70 Tests)
15. Dane Haylett-Petty (28 Tests)

Replacements:
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (86 Tests)
17. Sekope Kepu (100 Tests)
18. Taniela Tupou (9 Tests)
19. Rob Simmons (91 Tests)
20. Ned Hanigan (18 Tests)
21. Nick Phipps (70 Tests)
22. Matt To’omua (39 Tests)
23. Jack Maddocks (5 Tests)

 The Last Word

I’d love to predict an Australian win here but I think it’s just too close to call and Wales would probably be favourites.

18-12 to Wales.

  • Nutta

    Thanks Shane.

    The Bhoyos have some solid talent in that side and their set piece is pretty good from recollection.

    Our lads desperately need to just play a rounded game or two. We’ve had so many wildly up & down performances that there is no inner confidence. Just knuckle the fk down and play a solid game to ‘shake the sillies out’ (yes I have kids). If we play some solid, dependable footy without individual brain explosions or trying to score the ‘best try in the universe’ off every bloody possession then we will go a long way to both winning this match and the tour itself.

    • Greg

      “If we play some solid, dependable footy without individual brain
      explosions or trying to score the ‘best try in the universe’ off every
      bloody possession then we will go a long way to both winning this match
      and the tour itself.”

      This has been the frustration for years. We don’t achieve what we reasonably can. It is not about effort it is about

      1. basic skills
      2. strategy and

      3. decision making.

      Go gold!

      • Brumby Runner

        and 4. opposition too good.

        • Greg

          if we fix 1-3 then 4 is what it is. I am very comfortable when 4 is the major issue.

      • Ed

        Should we be surprised about 1-3?
        Our record in SR during this RWC cycle is another reference to indicate our overall playing stock for the Wallabies is poor.
        In every previous RWC cycle, one of our sides has played in a SR final during those four years. Next year is our last chance to keep that record continuing.

        • Geoffro

          Reckon the Brumbies are the only realistic chance of featuring at the very pointy end next year.How many of them in this matchday 23.- 3 The playing stocks are poor but so are the selections.

    • Huw Tindall

      It’s the pushed passes that do it for me. Red hot in attack after a line break and someone puts in an absolute speculator that would make dot com companies look like a wise investment option and it’s scrum to the opposition. A little more patience in attack please. Take the tackle and setup a ruck. Opposition will be on the back foot 99% of the time as they’ll be rushing back to setup the defensive line again so perfect for Genia/Foley/Beale.

      • Geoffro

        I’ve gotcha for sure,another instance of getting away from the basics of setting up a solid platform,it’s like they’ve been watching too many highlight reels of magical offloads from the likes of SBW and Quade and most of the time their supports aren’t expecting it anyway.Another thing that pisses me off though is Genia missing quite often on quick recycled ball.Don’t know if he’s buggered from his workload or what but screaming out in frustration for someone to get in there to clear the ball does me head in

        • Huw Tindall

          That’s particularly galling and then the players who are there just form a shitty ineffective ruck/block over the ball and we lose momentum. Pick it up and have a run yourself or look for a short pass. Don’t have to send a 15 metre bullet from the base of a ruck!

        • Who?

          I don’t like it when players go for impossible offloads, but I like it even less when ‘support’ players act surprised when the ball comes at them. I’ve got no problem with them dropping the ball if it’s a bullet thrown from a metre away, as Naivalu dropped a Foley hard ball thrown from a metre away last game (just no intelligence in that pass, could’ve been a hand off! Or a pop pass. So unsympathetic), but if you’re running in support and don’t have your hands up, the drop is on you, not the passer.

      • Nutta

        Mate I’m tired of talking about it. One day they will wake up and Kick & Chase will laud the brilliance of the Mitchell Inner Scrotum.

  • Singapore Sling

    It’s not a bad side considering the idiot who selected it. For me Simmons starts or is left out as he doesn’t provide any real impact off the bench, Hanigan ppppffffttt. If the price of Cheika’s sacking was a loss I’d go straight to church and light a candle for it. Sadly that’s not the case and we’re stuck with this petulant lemon until the end of the RWC. Maybe I’ll still light the candle and pray Cheika forgets to put on his pants before he goes to the game.

    • Damo

      “Hanigan and Simmons off the bench. Shit that’s scary”. Said no opposition player ever.

      • laurence king

        We could do a Pooper type thingo with them, -imo shananigans

  • Ant

    It spins me out that Pocock has 75 caps, while Hooper has 88 (and Beale 81). Pocock feels like so much more of a veteran and leader. (I guess it would be different if he didn’t take the year off etc. but still.)

    • Andy

      2 years of injuries too. Don’t think Hooper has ever been majorly injured

      • Ant

        True. Hooper is incredibly resilient.

      • Brumby Runner

        Do we forget so readily his torn hammy that kept him out of quite a few SR games this year and saw him back in the Wallabies far too soon to have recovered?

        • Andy

          Didn’t forget. But it’s not a season long injury. Regardless of whether he came back early or not.

          Remember, not everyone needs to remind everyone in every single post how bad a job Cheika is doing and how they don’t like Hooper. Sometimes, we can talk about certain facts that exclude those 2 narratives

    • Twoilms

      For all the shit Hooper cops (rightly or wrongly, not trying to bring that debate back up) he really is a phenomenal player. He’s still only 27, rarely misses even a minute of either Test or Super Rugby and could easily go on to become the most capped Wallaby in history.

      Not bad for a player half the country thinks shouldn’t even be in the team.

      • disqus_NMX

        You’re basically arguing that because he has been picked for so many tests, he is therefore a really good player, and therefore justifies that he should have been picked for all those tests. Deeply flawed logic.

        • Twoilms

          No i’m not. I’m saying that despite the controversial nature of his caps he’s still a phenomenal player.

          Plus, even if he was playing from the bench which is where people seem to want him he’d have roughly the same number of caps.

        • Brumby Runner

          Have seen it repeated many times in respect of Rob Simmons.

      • Ant

        Agreed. He’s an incredible athlete. Personally think Pocock is on a different level, though they do have very different skill-sets. I’d put one of them on the bench – which one depending on the opposition.

        • John Tynan

          That’s the part for me – an incredible athlete, just not an incredible international no.7.

        • Geoffro

          Who would be your no 8 if Hoops was benched ? assuming you’d pick Poey at 7

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate, I’d say incredible athlete rather than player. I think even people like me who wouldn’t pick him in the team do acknowledge his efforts, athleticism, energy and dedication. IT just seems to be focussed wrong and he doesn’t appear willing to learn or change.

        • Twoilms

          Meh, your standards are off the charts. Hes clearly a very good player, even if he isnt quite McCaw or Pocock.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Good rather than very good and my main issue is that he has never addressed his obvious deficiencies. That will always hold him back

        • Twoilms

          So what are these deficiencies anyway?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fair enough mate for me they are; can’t kick – pretty important for a 15 and even a wing, can’t pass to the right and his timing for passes to the left isn’t brilliant, doesn’t know where to be or when withthe change of play during a game, very poor defence both in positioning and technique. He is a very good athlete, great at receiving kicks and in attack when he gets the ball in space but in my mind he’s overall play is poor, and my real bitch, hasn’t got better over the last 5 years.

        • Who?

          Wrong set of deficiencies KRL – he’s asked about Hooper, not Folau. So, I’m thinking, not effective at breakdown, too easily shifted. Tackle completion stats not great. But I’ll leave it for you to give your personal reasons…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fuck! sorry team a bad day at the office and I really stuffed this up.

          So now I’ve smashed Folau without being asked I’ll answer the right question.

          TBH my biggest problem with Hooper is that I just don’t understand what his role is. He doesn’t dominate in tackles or carries like Savea, Cane or other 7’s around the world. Not saying he doesn’t make ground or tackle but the only time he makes ground is when he’s given the ball in space and in most cases if it had been a proper centre or wing getting the ball they probably would have made more. He misses a lot of tackles he should get and even when he does tackle he doesn’t dominate them.
          He very rarely pilfers – mainly because Pocock is doing that instead of being an 8, and I’m just not sure of his role.
          I love Hooper’s enthusiasm, energiser bunny work rate around the field and his giving 100% of what he has, I just don’t know that it’s actually achieving much on the field.
          I think he’s a terrible captain. He hasn’t learnt to deal with referees properly, he makes poor decisions on field for when to take the points and when not to, he doesn’t seem to know how to fire the team up and he doesn’t seem too understand the tactical issues and be able to react to them.

        • Happyman

          Agree KRL and PS Twoilms he is a long way short of Pocock McKaw or Smith

  • Singapore Sling

    Nutta, agreed. An uncomplicated game plan, Bosch it up the middle followed by catch draw and pass. Never launch an attack from your own 22 unless half the opposition are receiving medical attention and kick for territory. Club rugby 101.

    • Adrian

      Spot on for strategy Singapore.

      What’s more, it is the only strategy Cheika is any good at

  • juswal

    Good work, Sully.

    I can’t believe there’s only one Jones in their 23. Talk about an unbalanced team.

    • Yowie

      Hopefully the combination of Davies & Davies (with Williams & Williams as impact players off the bench) will make up for the late withdrawal of Thomas, Thomas & Thomas.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure Gold.

    • Pedro

      Haha so that’s why he’s the captain.

  • SuckerForRed

    Comments in no particular order:
    The front row, both starting & bench, make me nervous for some reason. Just don’t know if the combinations are right.
    What has happened with Rory Arnold? Is he injured? Having said that, don’t mind Coleman and Rodda as a pairing. Rodda just needs to be a little less overwhelmed by the occasions, and he should be there by now with 14 caps.
    Think the back line is quite good considering. Only change I would make is swap Beale & To’omua.
    The less said about the back row and reserve half back the better.
    Didn’t realise that Maddocks had 5 caps to his name….
    Has the burden of not having beaten the Wallabies become a self-fulfilling prophecy for the Welsh?

    • Brisneyland Local

      Unlike you SFR. I think you need to say MORE about the back row and the Bovine sprinkler.

      • SuckerForRed

        Perhaps I should have said – There is no point saying anything about the back row and the reserve half back as I would be just going over previous statements and boring you all to tears?

        • Brisneyland Local

          No Never! You know we love flogging a dead horse.
          So much so, that we have written into the Horse’s Job Description, that they are to be dead, and endure multiple floggings!

        • Human

          Sadism, necrophilia and beastiality….sounds like a typical family Christmas.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’d have To’omua at 10, Kerevi at 12 and look at Banks for the 13. Throw Beale to 15 at left right out or at the 15 if you really need to keep him.

      • Who?

        Petaia at 13, but otherwise, hard to argue.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Actually yes. Good move

  • Brisneyland Local

    Hey GAGR’s. Great write up Sully, again thanks you are a Trooper!
    Our selections are better than expected. If Latu gets another card or multiple ingringements which is highly likely, we are farked! All of the Taffs are going to be going to ring his bell because they all know he is a wanker and will respond accordingly.
    If Genia gets hurt we are screwed. I think Foley will be shut down.
    Our scrum should hold. Hannigan and Simmons off the bench will do nothing.
    Welsh by 5. Unless there is a YC. Then welsh by 12.

    • Geoffro

      Latu has surely been told and Foley only needs to be solid I don’t think the opposing inside backs are world beaters,with his experience he should be able to manage that.Same with Genia.I have a feeling in my waters that Beale is going to step up with Toomua breathing down his neck.Bit of a worry that Coleman and Dempsey aren’t fully match fit and Hannigan has to be too involved.Simmo is OK at this level but Hannigan is just out of his depth. Wallabies by 5-10

      • Brisneyland Local

        I wish I shared your confidence.

        • Geoffro

          I’ve always been a good confidence man……now can I interest you in that little bit of real estate I have for sale on Benelong Point.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nah, not into real estate after I bought that block of Swamp land

      • Ed

        Their outside centre is considered one of the best in the world. They also have a handy back, Liam Williams, on their bench. Those backs of ours that we consider world beaters are in the attacking parts of their game but are not in defence or game awareness, as Adrian referred to above.
        Dunno about this game – if we click, we should win. BUT we have been so inconsistent for the past year and Wales are improving, so I would not be surprised if they win.

        • Geoffro

          I did say inside backs,if Foley and Beale were responsible for marking up on the likes of Davies and Williams,yeah they’d be in trouble,G.Davies,Anscombe and Parkes not so much.As it is Spanners will be mostly out back on the d which will pose a risk with Wales kicking game though he did do extraordinarily well in getting back and diffusing what looked like a certain try a couple weeks ago against AB’s.

        • Ed

          Sorry Geoffro, I missed the “inside”.
          Interesting comment by Morgan Turinui on twitter where he thinks Wales have a chance to attack the seam between Beale and Kerevi as Morgan sees Samu as “an out and out 12 defensively”.

  • Adrian

    Thanks Shane.

    Bookies have Wales by 2.5, so your 6 is in the ballpark.

    We aren’t favourites, and HAVE to win.

    That’s why I think the most talented of our guys have been picked, as distinct from the hard workers, the guys in form or the guys who deserve it.

    It’s not easy, any which way.

    Our most talented guys are only talented in a few things, but not in others….eg the attackers can’t tackle, and the tacklers can’t attack etc

    Our hard workers only work hard on some days but not on others (exception Pocock I guess)

    The guys in form are only sometimes in form, and usually not from one week to the next.

    The guys who deserve it are hard to pin down,..but only one cigarette paper is required to write their names…and the game isn’t played on paper.

    I think he’s going for broke, and I say about time.

    He has to have a game plan to match the players picked.

    Given Cheika is only any good at ONE gameplan, even though he thinks he knows several, the game plan has to be:

    Sio, Alaalatoa, Latu, Coleman up the guts, interchanging passes and backed up by backrow and inside backs,
    THEN
    Occasionally use backline, with inside switches to Izzy
    Tackle when not in pispossess.

    To win, Pocock and Latu need to pinch their balls, Genia needs to get to rucks quickly, Izzy has to remain interested, and Kepu and Co play like their lives depend on it. Latu has to forget that Amoriki Maffi is his cousin, and just play.

    It’s all possible.

    PS. I’m glad AAC and Hannigan aren’t starters, and that AAC isn’t a finisher either.

    Death or Glory

    • idiot savant

      Agree with this Adrian. I think our starting forward pack is superior everywhere but the line out so we can win this. The backs just have to not fuck it up.

      • Adrian

        Thanks idiot
        Yes, we just have to get on with it in a straightforward way

  • Bobas

    apart from Kepu and Tupou our bench stinks.

    Folau F did nothing wrong to be dropped out of the 23, except the ultimate cheika sin of not being a tah or playing for an overseas team.

    • Geoffro

      Toomua and Maddocks are probably about as good as what we’ve got starting and Taf is not a bad reserve hooker but Phipps ,Hanigan and Simmons I agree.Don’t know what Fainga’a did wrong but he was involved with Cheika and the tahs early on his career so don’t think that’s it

      • Bobas

        I agree they’re starting alternatives, but not form finishers.
        I just would love for someone to put their hand up like Banks and then actually get picked…

        Don’t get me started on DHP, the losingest player who has ever graced Australian rugby.

        And at a time that our props are literally strongest ever!

  • Ed

    So that has been settled. The Pooper is not a problem for our lineout as the captain is one of our best jumpers. The coach has spoken!! Below is courtesy of Newscorpse:

    Wales locking duo Alun Wyn Jones and 203cm Adam Beard will pile enormous pressure on Aus­tralia’s lineout, but if it crumbles again, Cheika won’t see a breakup of Pooper as the solution.

    “It’s got nothing to do with the lineout issue; any issue you’re saying with the lineout has got nothing to do with having those two lads there together,” Cheika said.

    “Hooper is probably one of the best jumpers we’ve got in the team. He’s fast, he’s quite light, he’s usually getting lifted by two tall guys. So that is definitely not an issue. He’s more than capable of winning quality lineout ball with the players we have in that formation.”

    • Who?

      It’s funny how we’re seeing more and more ‘juniors’ tactics at the top level isn’t it? Beauden Barrett is NZ’s chief ball runner. Normally you see that at U13’s, not at seniors, where the 10’s job is to distribute. Hooper’s job is to be a lineout jumper, because we’re lifting the light blokes, rather than lifting the tall guys. Again, a U13’s tactic… Bizarre.
      Oh, and shifting your poor tacklers to the wing? U13’s tactic.

      • Ed

        I can understand Barrett being the chief ball runner due to his acceleration and pace more than our shortest forward being one of our main lineout jumpers.
        I see Cheika’s comments as a way to defend his Pooper policy and that if push came to shove, Hooper would remain at #7.
        With our backline defence, I would only rate Sefa as defensively sound. Grey’s system is confusing yet the selector does not help him either.

    • sambo6

      Fuck, this really shits me to tears. The utter dross that comes out of cheika mouth.

      What’s wrong with saying that he knows it does weaken our lineout, but on balance he prefers the other things the pooper brings to the team….we might not agree wit him, but at least you are confident he recognises the drawbacks. Instead we have this constant nastiness if anyone ever dares question his choices.

      The most galling thing about comments like this, is I feel like he is treating the fans/journos/anyone not in the inner sanctum like fucking idiots that just ‘don’t understand’….

  • dru

    16 to 19 our closing scrum should dominate. Line out ? Don’t kick the pill out and get Folau and DHP RUNNING it back.

    Wallabies are in a shit place right now – from a fan perspective. But I’m thinking 3xW wouldn’t be as odd as some are thinking on this tour.

    Of course the opposite could also be true.

    WBs are in with a shot here.

  • Stin

    Where oh where can I watch this game? Fox TV guide has nothing. CHANNEL 10 guide has nothing.

    • Who?

      SBS. Or BEIN if you’ve got cable.

Rugby
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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