Wallabies Attack Opportunities and Selection Gambles - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies Attack Opportunities and Selection Gambles

Wallabies Attack Opportunities and Selection Gambles
... and he's away!

… and he’s away!

The Wallabies fought valiantly in the first test against the Lions and did a brilliant job to get as close as they did to winning the match. Despite this, they’re going to have to improve again because I expect the Lions will.

Last week on one of our podcasts I nominated a large number of selection gambles I thought Robbie Deans had taken going into the first test. A couple of those gambles I spoke about included two players so there were actually eleven selection gambles in my opinion. Which of those gambles paid off?

  1. Ben Alexander at tighthead. Fortunately the Lions scrum was de-powered from what it could have been with a third choice loosehead in Alex Corbiesiero and apart from one scrum in particular where he was on roller skates, Alexander coped quite well. I’ll comment further on the set piece battle tomorrow but once the Lions and Wallabies reserve props came on the Wallabies got on top. The gamble with Alexander was neutral – neither a win or a loss;
  2. Wycliff Palu and whether he could make an impact given doubts about his knee injury and lack of real form prior to that injury. He worked hard in the first 15 minutes with 6 of his 9 tackles in the match, 3 of his 8 runs and 1 of his 7 first in ruck involvements coming in that period. In the rest of the first half he made 1 tackle, was first into 1 ruck and made no runs! In the first 15 minutes of the second half he made 1 of his 7 tackles in the match, was first into the ruck 5 of 7 times in the match and made 3 of his 8 runs. For the remaining 25 minutes in the match he made 1 tackle, was first into 2 rucks and made 2 runs. Performing for the first 15 minutes in each half was not what the Wallabies needed so that gamble was a loss;
  3. Cuthbert carves it

    Cuthbert carves it

    Michael Hooper starting over Liam Gill. Hooper had a quiet match when playing in the forwards – he was not really a factor at the breakdown. When Gill came on he was also quieter than expected. Deans has reacted by bringing George Smith into the squad at the earliest opportunity – this gamble was neither a win or a loss;

  4. Having an out and out lock on the bench in Rob Simmons rather than someone who could cover #6 and lock such as Hugh McMeniman or Peter Kimlin. This gamble was a loss as once Gill had to go on there was no player left to replace Palu and that was something the Wallabies really needed;
  5. Two effective rookies at #10 and #12. The gamble with James O’Connor at #10 was a loss. I haven’t changed my opinion on his suitability for the flyhalf role but as I said last week he needs to play there consistently to learn about decision making and game management before being thrust into the role for the Wallabies. In the video below you’ll see where he could have done better;
  6. Two effective rookies at #10 and #12. The gamble with a first test rookie in Christian Lealiifano was a loss I suppose but no-one could have predicted what happened with his injury. It was absolutely nothing to do with being a rookie and Deans should not bear any criticism for that selection based on what happened so I’ll call that one neutral;
  7. Israel Folau’s inexperience on the wing. This gamble was a big win with Folau showing his talent doesn’t limit him to one position;
  8. Digby Ioane’s fitness and lack of match time. This was a loss as Ioane had no impact on the match;
  9. Kurtley Beale’s inclusion in the squad. Beale showed why he deserved a spot in the squad based on his capabilities so that was a win;
  10. Whether Beale should start over Berrick Barnes at fullback. Deans gambled that Barnes could provide stability and be the third playmaker from fullback. Even before he went off injured Barnes proved that gamble to be a loss;
  11. Pat McCabe’s injury history and lack of playing time. The gamble was a loss although Deans would have been assured by medical staff that there was no issue with McCabe’s neck prior to selecting him. It was another piece of rotten luck for McCabe and the Wallabies.

As I said last week my main concern with selections was the large number of gambles Deans had taken with his selections. I think you’re always going to take four or five gambles in any team and you won’t win them all. Of the eleven gambles listed above I only see two wins for Deans – Beale and Folau!



Deans then gambled further during the match by moving Hooper to #12 and Alex Cuthbert’s try was a direct result of another gamble lost.

Now Deans has brought in three extra players to the squad – Ben Tapuai who Deans has recently claimed is out of form, Jesse Mogg who’s never played a test and George Smith who won’t have played in six weeks. How many of those selections are gambles?

By not bringing a specialist #10 into the squad Deans has signalled that he’s going to gamble again this week with either O’Connor or Beale in that position. Deans has come out in support of O’Connor saying

James was a big part of working us back into the position to win that game and I don’t think you should take that lightly because it doesn’t happen easily against an experienced combination like the Lions. His first hit-out was pretty effective.

Warren Gatland had this to say about the Wallabies attack in the first test

We didn’t feel that there was a massive attacking threat from them. The threat was one try scored from a quick tap and another scored from a turnover, so [we need to be] aware of that and keep our patience defensively.

Whilst that statement from Gatland is probably accurate, the Wallabies had plenty of opportunities and I think the lack of threats was really because they didn’t take advantage of enough of them. They could have done so much better in attack as you’ll see in the video below.

Tomorrow I’ll give you my analysis of the set piece performance from the Wallabies.

  • Piggy

    The positioning of the wingers clearly shows that they had a plan of getting outside the Lions, Digby and Izzy spent more time on the white line than Charlie Sheen. You can only think that Lilo was going to run the attack, either that, or JOC ignored the game plan they’d been working on all week.

  • Jay

    Folau did a really good job to always position himself hugging the sideline so the space was on to go wide. I wonder what it would have been like if lealiifano didn’t get injured so we could have had a good distribution player for our outside backs.

  • confused brethren

    I’m still astounded by Dingo’s quote on JOC’s performance, never has there been a clearer indication of how inept this guy is at a national level.

    • seandking

      My take is that Deans comment was pretty well qualified “had *something* to do with getting back in the game and deserves credit for that *I suppose* or words similar. Thats not a compliment.

      • Scott Allen

        The quote in the article above is his latest on JOC – after the match he did say “I suppose” but has now upgraded that to “was pretty effective”.

    • Bearfact

      I did not see that “James was a big part of working us back into the position to win that game” and I was watching with interest. I’d like to hear Deans explain that.

    • Alan Grouse

      JOC could be good at 10 at some stage but in a must win game of a Lions series now is NOT the time to be blooding players in new positions.

      He was not impressive at all in the first game and thats a shame as
      a) his inexperience in managing the attack handicapped the side and
      b) he is one of our most dynamic and dangerous players and the responsibility at 10 looked to stifle him

      I think to benefit him and the team JOC should be put in another position altogether and give 10 to Beale or IMO Toomua, in fact im pretty shocked that he hasnt been called up yet. Deans is not going give QC a call unless there are more serious injuries so why not give it to the next best option?

      • PiratesRugby

        Toomua started the Super season well but played poorly against the Lions. Brand Bieber had a terrible game.

        • Alan Grouse


          did you even watch the game? Toomua put in a great performance against the Lions!

        • Slim 293

          What the hell are you talking about?!

          Toomua was fantastic against the Lions…

        • the ardent b’stard

          did you watch the game Toomua had against the Lions at all???? – that was one of real control, and THAT is what playing 10 is all about

        • josh123

          Nice trolling my friend, got 3 people to bite on that one.

      • old laurentian

        Hard to understand why Toomua has not been called up. At the very least he is a specialist 10. He lacks the flair of QC of course, but looks like a pretty sound package to me.

    • Westo

      What’s Gatland talking about, the second Oz try was after at least 4 or 5 phases after the turnover. The threat was from quick right to left passing, a ruck, quick left to right passing and brilliance from Mowen and Folou,

      Credit where credit is due GATLAND.

      • Ted

        Agree. I think the Lions tries were far softer. Some very weak defence for Cuthbert’s try. North’s try was a great solo effort, but it came from a terrible Barnes kick, no real chase, and poor defence from Barnes (it was a great side step from North, but why was Barnes running 100 miles an hour at him rather than getting into a good position?)

  • Jenkss

    First up, excellent video. Summed up the match perfectly.

    I honestly can’t believe that comment from Deans. JOC was almost hopeless at 10.

    I remember 1 single solitary time he nearly made a break… when Beale gave him an inside pass as he hit the line with pace (playing like McCabe normally does in 12) and even then Beale played the role of 10 in that move. I think he may have even lost the ball or turned it over when he was tackled there as well.

    Beale loves to hold the ball doesn’t he. Loves to try and be “that guy” the one who wins the match all on his own. Doesn’t seem like a huge team player at the moment.

    I’m a big Reds and Cooper supporter so I would love to see him in the side for the second or third tests. But knowing Deans he would probably make some other terrible choice then blame the entire loss on Cooper. I think he’s our best chance at a victory in the series. IF Deans won’t swallow his pride then could he please call on Toomua. He made more of an impact with the Brumbies than JOC did in the entire test.

    Barnes was poor, even before he went off. First touch of the match, ball goes to Barnes and he makes a poor kick. I put my head in my hands and remembered why we played such poor rugby at the end of last year. RUN THE BALL!
    Then later he kicked the ball straight down North’s throat which lead to him charging up field and Barnes missing a tackle before North scored. Handed them a try instead of RUNNING THE BALL back like we saw the Reds do so amazingly well against the Lions 2 weeks ago (that game was by far the most entertaining game of rugby I can remember since 2011).

    I guess if we do end up losing that would be the end of Deans though right? He couldn’t possibly survive a series loss could he?

    Scott should coach the Wallabies given that kind of analysis. Do you think Deans put nearly that much thought into it?

    • Warren G

      Quade’s cut out pass can come in handy

      • Yin Yang

        And the fact he is a flyhalf

    • old laurentian

      Jenkss – good point about the Reds game, and their ability to counter attack effectively when QC and Diggers drop back. Maybe it should be Izzy at 15? That might make the Lions think twice about kicking it away (although I thought their kicking game in attack was much better than the Wallabies)

    • Parker

      Despite poor performances over the past several years, the ARU still saw fit to extend the contract of Dipsh*t Deans. So why do you think a series loss to the Lions would mean the end of DD?

      • Jenkss

        Oh I truely hope so, I thought that after the WC he’d be shown the door but he survived. I was actually hoping that Wales would beat us so at the end of last year (I know I shouldn’t root against the Wallabies but such is my displeasure at Deans) but he survived.
        If we lose this series I see no way he can stay on. Longest serving and least successful Wallabies coach ever.

        Imagine if Deans was coaching the All Blacks, he’d have been booted from the job LONG before now. I bet they’re sitting back laughing at how lucky they were he didn’t get the ABs job.

        McKenzie and QRU have basically set it up so that McKenzie can step straight into the Wallabies position. He’s brought in an excellent succession plan and is hopefully ensuring both the continued success of the Reds and (I hope) future success with the Wallabies. I just hope that they’ve had some quiet words on the side from the ARU that Deans’ time is up otherwise I fear all that work will have been for nothing.

    • Stin

      He does love to be ‘that guy’. Wonder if it stems from shining SOOO brightly so young. Maybe he was encouraged at Joeys etc to be ‘that guy’ and hasn’t developed enough of a team attitude. Where as someone like Foley who perhaps isnt quite as naturally gifted has had to work on his game as more of a team player.

      • Ian

        It is hard to be a team player when the coach will step up to the microphone and throw his players under a bus.

    • fogey

      yes Jenkss I was mulling over the North try and the reds attack initiated by QC came to mind. with QC at the back to direct the counter the Reds swung into attack form their 20 metre and almost came up with a try. For the Reds not the opposition. ho hum we are not likely to see that happen with dingo as coach and selector.

      • Jenkss

        Think back to the kick off last week, Genia went for it, Barnes took it straight out of his hands and booted it immediately into touch.

        I’d be very surprised if Genia had kicked it. I expected him to take it and take off running or pass inside. Nope. Kicked away possession, why even request the kick off only to kick it straight back.

        From the first 10seconds of the game I was worried.

        I had hoped they’d learnt something from the Reds game, I was hoping that they would run it back, but unfortunately it was not to be.

  • HardenUp

    I vote that Scott gives James a call and becomes his mentor!!!!!!!!!!!!! great vid!

    • Mart

      Or becomes Robbies mentor

  • Piggy

    Perhaps Lang Park officials were counting JOC as not turning up, hence only 52,499 people went to the game…

    In other news somebody else didn’t turn up…

    @iainpayten Warrant issued for Digby Ioane’s arrest after failure to appear in Melbourne court for alleged unlawful assault on March 9.

    • Jimmydubs

      Are we becoming Mungos?

  • Lewis

    Who would you start at 10 next week Scott? Also, interesting to see that our attack strategy is becoming “Get it to Folau” much like the All Blacks had “Get it to Lomu”. Shows the calibre of the player, I hope he isn’t lost to rugby next year.

    • Scott Allen

      Given who’s in the squad it’s got to be JOC or Beale.

      I’d start JOC as I think Beale’s even less of a #10.

      • bill


        • Scott Allen

          Shouldn’t move the best #9 in the world to cover other problems.

          Besides that would mean starting Phipps at #9 and that would not be good!

        • the ardent b’stard

          Thanks for the analysis Scott – very good and helpful as always.
          One thing it does raise, and it felt like it during the game, but more obvious in your Vids.
          In taking the ‘playmaker’ role Genia drifts a lot sideways, both looking for runners or the two step before he passes.
          This takes up a lot of space for those outside him and allows the defence a free 2/3 metre start in getting off their defensive line.
          Compare this to an Aaron Smith who, at his best, just fires it at pace from the base leaving his outsides all the space to play
          Would appreciate your thoughts.
          And I do agree he is the best 9 going round, but is he trying to do too much?

        • Scott Allen

          There is a place for both methods and I believe they should be varied during the game so the defence can’t get into a rhythm.

          Taking those steps can cause defenders to hesitate long enough to open up some space for the forward runner. Then if you switch to fast, direct ball after a period you can catch defenders out. Then switch back again to keep the defence guessing.

          Just let the forwards know at the injury break before you switch so they are on the same page!

        • old laurentian

          Genia can fire it at pace when he wants to, we have seen that at the Reds. The sideways movement is a tactic which may work better with a 10 that plays flatter then JOC did, and who runs better lines. (No names, no pack drill)

        • bill

          lol. Phipps….makes a better winger at times. How about Beale at 9 and Genia 10? I’d agree about not moving Genia but I agree more that JOC has demonstrated he needs a decent apprenticeship at 10 not Robbies happy wishes. I’ve got my doubts he can be a10 even then.

      • stevo

        Crabbing across field is one of those key traits you listed the other day, right?

  • kp

    JOC not a 5/8, but he still needs to be in the starting team. Mogg is a good inclusion. Barnes is too likely to be injured every time he plays to be still picked. I would try Beale at flyhalf for 2nd test, otherwise Quade Cooper.
    Also, anyone who suffered concussion during the game should be rested for a month – this is common sense when you consider they have bruised their brain.

    I would also include Morahan into that playing squad.
    That said, I actually think the wallabies outplayed the lions, it is just they out kicked us. A good game to be at and the lions supporters were great characters.

  • kinlaw_62

    Moving Ben Mowen to 8 and bringing in George Smith to partner Hooper looks pretty tasty for Melbourne, seeing as Palu’s not making much of a contribution… MMM and Gill doing the bench!?

    Not sure I agree with the vid though. A lot of that space out wide looks great on an aerial shot but in practice the defence will cover that last 10-15m to the man on the touchline.

    • Alan Grouse

      2 sevens? I’d have gill, hooper or smith to start with another one of them supporting from the bench. Mowen at 8, MMM at 6 and Kimlin on the bench. Douglas and Horwill remain in the locks

      • kinlaw_62

        An option definitely… But the Lions didn’t challenge the lineout throw much in Brisbane so maybe you can afford to create a spot for Smith’s unique talents at 6 and increase turnover potential.

    • Scott Allen

      Definitely not suggesting you’d get a line break or try from every one of those opportunities.

      But if you have a crack at five or six of them and you get three line breaks you may get an extra try.

      Even more importantly you pressure the opposition defence and force them to start defending those wide spaces, which opens up space elsewhere.

      • kinlaw_62

        I agree that’s the upside to it Scott. The downside is that wide rucks can be very difficult to protect and present the opposition with blue chip turnover ball. The All Blacks have targeted these situations defensively for 2 or 3 years now, so a balance has to kept…

        • Scott Allen

          Yes, with All Blacks defensive system a) this space doesn’t exist and b) is riskier because of the way they use forwards spread much wider across the field.

          These opportunities are unique to Lions system.

        • kinlaw_62

          I don’t agree that they are unique Scott. The Springboks have been defending for years with their wings up and turned in….

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGJ-dfT_FMo at 3:50 and 31:05 during the game

          France will in some situations also cut an attacker loose on the far side-line too….

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpQfRqgPTGw at 7:05 and 20:00

          It’s quite common for international defences to leave this space as a kind of bait for the attack, then close it down quickly and attack the ball-carrier.

    • Patrick

      Yes, they did a great job when Folau did get the ball.

  • Gleech

    I’m not a Quade Cooper fan by any means but what this video showed me is that we need somebody who has an accurate long passing game and that is exactly what cooper can do, either he needs to get picked or JOC needs to learn this quickly and think more like a 10. If neither of these things happen, and I can’t see either on the horizon, Beale needs to play 10 for the 2nd test with Folau at fullback so that he can control the highball and counter attack better than Barnes when Sexton and his great kicking game puts us under pressure.

  • Dally M

    Gee, if only we had 9/10 combination that could identify those spaces on the run…..just saying…..

    Where is Robbie criticising the poor decision making, turnovers & missed tackles after this game? Seems that only applies to 1 player in the country.

    • Rex Munday

      Team should be:
      JOC (holding my nose)
      Ioane (if not in jail)

      • Patrick

        Why not Mitchell instead of Ioane?

      • Bruce Ross

        “Ioane (if not in jail)”

        Unfunny cheap shot that doesn’t belong on a site like this.

        • Rex Munday

          Why is it a cheap shot? The guy didn’t turn up to a court hearing. You’d think that, with all the minders and managers at his disposal, he’d manage to turn up to court on a set hearing date.

          I’m completely serious. He might stay out of jail because he’s Digby Ioane. Pretty much any other citizen would be in line for a night or two at the pleasure of Her Majesty for contempt.

        • Digbysnewlawyer

          While I agree with almost everything you said, you don’t go to jail for contempt for missing the first return date of a minor assault.

  • Rex Munday

    About right Scott. The big mistake I saw was having such an inflexible player like McCabe on the bench. So when CL went down and McCabe came on, the entire gameplan had to change. We had yet another howler from Deans in that he could’ve brought on Beale at 15 and shifted Barnes to 12. It would’ve resulted in less disruption to the backline.

  • Dally M

    I think the scariest thing is that you identified the spaces where we could attack the Lions weeks ago, then Link & Cheika showed how to do it with the limited personnel they had at their disposal & dumbass Deans couldn’t even copy that.

    Is it because he thinks he knows better or that if he does it a different way he will get more credit? Fuck knows,but it’s well past it’s expiry date!

    • josh123

      He’s like the kid in the class who copies off the smartest kid in the class and still manages to fail.

  • RedsHappy

    Scott, excellent piece, two comments:

    One, I’ve posted it multiple times, but the extraordinary fact that the Wallabies management under Deans has NEVER appointed a recognised, top-drawer designated backs/attack coach is in large part responsible for the backine delinquencies you have so carefully presented in the video. That’s what poor or no specialist coaching in such a crucial area yields: ill-co-ordinated and ‘one out’ back line play where instead successful ensemble backline moves and tactics require intense training and rehearsal and the full execution confidence of the entire backs team. (Anyone wanting to see powerful examples of very well-coached backline play, have a study of the Chiefs’ attack in 2012 and 2013 under W Smith, also the ABs’ back coach).

    Placing a totally inexperienced Test 10 such as JO’C in that position in a high pressure Test only exacerbates the absence of the required specialist coaching.

    Two, I always observe: when Deans alters his planned mode of play – as he did pre RWC 2011 and just now vs the Lions – he takes far too long to turn that altered mode into consistently well-executed attack patterns for most of 80 in a manner that can win big matches. Think v Ireland RWC, think Test 1 v BIL. Think picking QC to play a constrained, conservative RWC game plan, think picking a player – JO’C – at 10 who has no proven long pass left and right at 10 when the required attack patterns call for well and fast executed plays to rapidly attack the wide channels revealed as a ‘exposed zones of opportunity’ in the 2013 BIL.

  • Gnostic

    Do you think Scott that the play of JOC was consistent with the overall thrust of the game plan. Ie the actions were conservative and no outright attacking. The ball was kept close and possession was retained. They were forever looking for the conservative break and didn’t attack with ball in hand past the 12 channel.

    If we consider Barnes’ shocking kicks, one after the other they were never attacking kicks, or even designed to allow pressure to be brought to bare on the receiver, they were kick it long and defend as has been the case for the past 18 months.

    At the game on Saturday I thought we saw a changed game plan, but on revision you were right on the money, nothing changed, but the execution was much better from the forwards and they were working hard to support the one out carriers so they didn’t get turned over. It was a huge effort from many highly talented and dedicated players. They did well to get the result they did.

    • Scott Allen

      I’m wondering whether the fact that Folau and Ioane stayed on the touch line most of the night indicates they had planned to use the width?

      With Lealiifano going down immediately maybe JOC combined with McCabe just couldn’t come to grips with following through on the plan.

      If this was the plan makes you wonder why Beale didn’t replace Lealiifano with Barnes moving up to 12. Would have helped keep the wide plan alive?

      • Dally M

        Didn’t Beale play at 12 for a season at the Waratah’s under McKenzie?

      • bill

        useing the wide guys as decoys to keep the defence getting too compact and too quick on the linespeed? It looked like Genia was the only one with the vision to use them.
        I was thinking Beale to 10 before you pointed out the crabbing. Now it looks like we are….

      • Nick

        Changing topics Scott: I haven’t covered all of the forums since Sat so I’m not sure if it’s already been comprehensively discussed, but I reckon our goal-kicking ineptitude needs some serious attention. Perhaps you can discuss in the podcast this week? The fact that we haven’t had a consistent kicker since Matt Burke (when Saffas, Kiwis and home nations have) is massive. I hope it’s not being ignored as an expression of classic “oh we just care about running rugby” idiocy? I think it’s one of the biggest things Dingo needs to answer for because it’s the difference between winning and losing.

        • Scott Allen

          There’s a good thread running in the forum on this specific topic including an article by Sir Clive Woodward talking about the Wallaby kicking.

  • The Rant

    Of all the gambles, putting hooper at 12 was the biggest and stupiest.
    12 and 13 are just about the most technically difficult positions to defend in and the Lions knew it and first chance ran a simple move that targetted and confused hooper. Not Hoopers fault, these guys are professionals. I bet O’Driscall was the man smart enough to call the move.
    If you need to put a forward in the backlin put them on the wing. AAC could have played 12 and Ioane 13.
    So with barnes’ ‘tactical kick’ and Hoopers backline virgin status, 2 Deans gambles resulted in the only Lions tries…

    • Patrick

      Yes it was. I would have put Phibbs at halfback, Genia at 10 (where he already was) O’Connor at 12. Or what you said.

    • Ktrain

      While I completely accept it was not an ideal scenario, and granted moving everyone one spot in and flinging a forward on the wing may have been prudent, hooper has played a fair bit of footy at inside centre with marlins in Shute shield. Obviously a monumental step up from Shute shield to playing against BOD, however this may have guided the reasoning, at least put someone somewhere they had experience. Sub optimal but somewhat justifiable.

    • Ted

      I’d put Robinson at 12 before putting Phipps on the field.

  • Basos

    Scott. Great stuff. Why are you not the Wallaby coach?????????
    Does Deans give such a video breakdown or does he breakdown. What does Ewan do ???

  • theduke

    Remember the story of New Zealand fly-halfs at the last world cup.

    They had a horrendous injury toll. They eventually had to play the final with their fourth or fifth choice fly-half.

    Did they take the Deans approach and pick people out of position or who lacked game time?



    Consider who the kiwis picked at fly half and compare to the Aussies supposedly not good enough to make the squad…

    • Mart

      That’s a great point. Fly half is not a position to be gambling with or playing people out of position in. But then again I’d say that about most positions. Picking a provincial 10/12 reserve as your first choice 15 probably isn’t a great move either.

  • Basos

    How about a view of the BIL attack?
    It is easy to see “space” but it is more difficult to know what to do with it.
    Will I get isolated and turn over the ball and/or, who is there for support if I knock it on ? Comfort factor — probably the biggest psychological problem. When in doubt do not shout. If it were that easy then it should be a rout — never!

    • Pasty Pom

      I tend to agree with Basos, its space but can be risky to attack. Norths try was from a poor kick which was probably looking at all those empty acres. Similarly one dropped pass and lions are away. Deans seems to be a bit risk averse so perhaps JOC being a bit unfairly hammered?

      Have to say got to feel sorry for Hooper. A guy who was a v good centre / coach sat next to me said doesnt matter how good he is “he will trot out turn around and think, ohh, this is a lot of space, where’s me mates, ref I think I might be agoraphobic!” Why the Lions didnt target his channel for the rest of the game I will never know.

      Scott is there any thought of a bit of analysis on the reffing of breakdown? NOT the BOD stuff which I am sick to death of, as it happens I think he was on his feet etc and its different to how the provincial games have been reffed, regardless thats how the guy was blowing the whistle so deal with it. There just seemed to be a lot going on where we got pinged and aus got a warning (hands off, roll away) in similar situations.

      Be nice to have a more balanced view with a bit of video.

      • Scott Allen

        I am going to include some video on that later in the week for both teams.

  • beeza

    Good analysis although I think the fetchers from both sides were relatively quiet because of the strange reffing of the breakdown…

  • Basos

    Any one play chess? Take you on with analysis. Bishop decides Knight is dark and Queen is King. Rook swoops down and takes out Pawn. Pawns decide to sacrifice self– hole out wide. Knight Intercepts and goes for it — but Bishop Intercepts and is a Loner — try!!!!!!! BIL

  • Basos

    E=mc2. Where is the Higgs Boson? In hindsight, the analysis does not take into account – mass, time, space or speed of thought. All variables. For F****** sake, run and play what is in front of you — get rid of the ball or get a moulded boot in your head or up your arse. Paralysis by analysis is not how to play.

    • McKenzie for PM

      Dingo….is that you??

  • Deans, the Gillard of rugby!

    Deans will pick
    9 genia
    10 joc
    11 Digby
    12 lilo
    13 AAC
    14 izzy
    15 Beale

    Phipps, taps and mogg to cover

  • Bobas

    Has anyone asked Stephen Larkham to please play on Saturday night in Melbourne? It’s worth a shot…

  • Steve

    I agree with you Scott that there is plenty of room for improvement in the Wallabies attack. What I don’t know is if the wallabies will actually be able to improve.

    In your footage you go out of your way to say that the wallabies biggest flaw is decision making and game management. I can’t see that improving markedly over one week, especially given the flaws in the lions defensive system have been well known for weeks so its not like they learnt anything new on Saturday.

    Also I thought a lot of the wallabies go forward came from superhuman efforts from Genia and Folau that I’m not sure you can expect week in week out. If each had done half as much they still would have been great but on Saturday they were something else. I’m hoping they keep it up but I wouldn’t blame either for a bit of a drop off in the 2nd test.

  • lionswallabies

    Scott, comprehensive and informative…. so very succint and with clarity..

  • Robson

    Mmm. Lots of question marks over selections and rightly so, but you can’t win a test match when you turn the pill over as many times as the Wallabies did. In my humblest of opinions the selection gambles might not have got us out of jail, but the number of unforced turnovers at the breakdown certainly made sure that we stayed there. Either way there is a lot of work for the coach to do, but he hasn’t done it in five years so there is really no reason to expect that he will do it now.

  • Rugby_Union

    “North scores a 60 meter try. Do we want to watch it? No.”
    Cut scene.

  • RedAnt

    Thanks for the analysis, Scott. What really pisses me off is that, by and large, the forwards got the job done. The backs, due primarily to poor game management from JOC, did not. QC has become ‘the man that lost us the World Cup’ (which I don’t really agree with) yet in the big games he was invariable playing behind a pack going nowhere or backwards. JOC is having excuses made for him – even that McCabe replaced Lealifino – when he clearly let the team down despite playing behind a pack often going forward. Not that it’s entirely his fault. He shouldn’t have been selected there. One last thing: you criticise Beale for crabbing and not passing, but what he did bring was game management. Almost as soon as he came on he took charge and the attack looked a lot, lot better. But I agree, he’s not a great first five either. It seems though, JOC and Beale are now our only options in the squad. Gulp.

  • Mart

    Another entertaining informative analysis Scott.
    At 1min 30seconds, I dare say Quade Cooper would’ve just hit Digby with a cut ball.

  • mxyzptlk

    One problem the Lions have had all tour is reacting to the quick tap. Genia used it effectively here, and we should expect to see it again — especially if Genia’s being marked by Phillips and not Youngs.

    From the first part of the analysis, it seemed that the problem was with JOC and Beale looking for the line break themselves rather than how a line break could be best achieved. Is that an ego thing, lack of experience, hoping for a little glory and a highlight reel run against the Lions? Because it’s not working. The Wallabies might have Phillips number, but if the Lions can count on very little passing from the Wallabies backline, they won’t need to worry so much about empty space in behind.

    Anybody have any insight on why Andrew Sheridan never got a call? You’d think the loosehead that kept the #2 Lions loosehead on the bench all club season deserved some consideration, and he wasn’t busy.

  • baz bridge

    joc had possibly the worst no. 10 performance I have ever personally seen in a wallaby jersey. over the last 20 odd years. Pat Howard was dodgy against the AB’s in 93 and Scotty Bowen struggled at test level but past that I have to seriously scratch my head to conceive or a worse wallaby out half…..

  • Ian

    “Do we want to watch it? – No!” Love it Scott – as usual a great analysis.


Scott is one of our regular contributors from the old days of G&GR. He has experience coaching Premier Grade with two clubs in Brisbane.

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