Wallabies complete Italian job - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies complete Italian job

Wallabies complete Italian job

The Wallabies have got their tour back on track with a hard fought 26-7 win over Italy in Padova. A double to Marika Koroibete and tries to Taniela Tupou and a late score from Willa Genia sealed the result with the final scoreline looking comfortable but it was anything but that in the first half.

A determined Italian defence and some questionable refereeing decisions made the Wallabies work hard before they opened the scoring after 30 minutes and did enough throughout the game to keep the hosts at bay.

The Match

Both sides were full of running in the opening five minutes with the Italians going closest to scoring to number 8 Braam Steyn but the Wallabies were saved by his foot going into touch and the covering defence after former Western Force player Jayden Hayward sliced through a gap in the leadup.

There was much talk about the non taking of shots at penalty goal after last weeks match and when the Wallabies worked into kicking range on the back of three penalties, there was little hesitation in taking the shot but Matt Toomua’s attempt from 40 metres out was just wide.

There was a contentious decision after 13 minutes after referee Pascal Gauzere ruled out an Italian try for offside after Jake Gordon threw an intercept to his counterpart Tito Tebaldi with replays suggesting it a harsh call. But it was another warning shot to the Wallabies attack that was struggling for territory and looking out of sorts in patches in the opening 15 minutes.

They could have taken the lead shortly after but knocked the ball on near the tryline and a resulting penalty from the scrum gave Italy an easy out. If not for the brilliance of David Pocock in earning a ruck penalty five metres out, Italy could have opened the scoring.

The Wallabies attack finally clicked into gear on the 30th minute mark with a try to Marika Koroibete, in for the injured Jordan Petaia, after some good work from Samu Kerevi who the Italian’s had trouble getting to ground with his strength. Adam Ashley-Cooper and David Pocock were also involved in the play and Poocck could have scored himself but handed off to Koroibete to score under the posts.

This seemed to give the Wallabies a badly needed shot of confidence and five minutes later Koroibete had his second try, this time over on the right wing as the backline looked to have finally got on the same page with their attack. Toomua’s second conversion gave the Wallabies a 14-0 lead into the break after one last chance from the Italian’s following a penalty came to nothing.

Embed from Getty Images

The Wallabies started the second half well and added another try after just three minutes with Taniela Tupou starting and finishing a try that involved some outrageous handling by the big man as he offloaded with one hand to Dempsey and then got the ball back for the try, via numerous looks from the TMO.

The good work from the Wallabies was undone by a lapse in concentration with a loose pass from Foley going to ground and winger Mattia Bellini collected the ball and ran to the line to make it 21-7.

Around the 50 minute mark the Wallabies started to make a number of changes with some tactical and some injury enforced, including Pocock going off with what appeared to be a head knock alongside Coleman also leaving the field and this seemed to halt their momentum with Italy with all the ball and territory.

With Italy on attack, the Wallabies went down to 14 men around the 60-minute mark, with Scott Sio receiving a yellow card for a deliberate knock down near his own tryline.

He would have been relieved to see Italy unable to take advantage of his absence with their lineout unable to execute three lineouts with Izack Rodda proving the difference as went about disrupting the Italian lineout by himself.

Israel Folau had a chance to put the result beyond doubt as he collected an intercept and set sail for the line from deep in his own 22 but was run down by the chasing Italian defence and then was followed by a handling error to let the Italians off the hook.

With only minutes remaining, Will Genia sealed the result with the Wallabies fourth try. Some great work from Adam Ashley-Cooper as he found a gap gave the Wallabies great field position in the Italian 22 and Genia dived over from close range to give the Wallabies a little bit of confidence as they head to Twickenham to face England next week.

The Game Changer

The 10 minutes when Sio was in the bin. The defence stepped up and Izack Rodda’s lineout burgling in that period was crucial.


Samu Kerevi – Even though Koroibete scored a double, the Wallabies wouldn’t have been in a position to do so without Kerevi’s strength in contact to get over the gain line. 13 runs for 98 metres and 8 defenders beaten was a very good outing.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: Koroibete 2, Tupou, Genia
Conversions: Toomua 3
Tries: Bellini
Conversions: Allan


59 mins – Sio – Yellow

  • Die Hard

    Kind of relieved. Kind of happy.

    Nah. Actually disappointed they won.

    Maybe not!

    Ah God. I really don’t care anymore. Only two hours till ABs and Ireland. Lifes ok after all

  • skip

    England were shit against & we weren’t that good Italy. England will be better but we won’t.

  • Ads

    Coleman, Foley and Ainsley were poor. Hooper’s defence was good. Hope Pocock is ok. I’d give Gordon Toomua another go.

    • Geoffro

      Foley was worst on the park , i dearly hope he is benched for England. Surely Toomua has enough recent experience of the English style of play to merit his retention.Have a sneaking suspicion we may see AAC at 13 for that match after today

      • David Creagh

        Benched? Dropped completely….

        • Geoffro

          Agree but you know that won’t happen.

        • Greg

          At least he was hooked. If Toomua was pulled off again, I think he might have gone straight to the airport to fly home.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Who wouldn’t. There’s only so much rubbish you can handle. …

  • Parker

    ABs ve Ireland. Fabulous rugby. Brilliant result. Why I love this game and why Oz rugby is such a pain in my heart.

    • Geoffro

      It’s funny isn’t it that one of our few wins this year was over the Irish (albeit an underdone side) but I’m grateful we’re not facing them on this tour.

      • Parker

        No doubt they’d exact some severe revenge if we were, because we just haven’t been able to come close the intensity and effectiveness of that first game of the series against the new world number 1.

  • NickAJW

    It was a relief for me to see a player who isnt pocock or Genia do nothing stupid the whole time they were on the park…

    The frustrating thing is that that was AAC…. Guess experience when standards mattered more than attitude counts for something.

    • Simon

      His game seems to have matured too. He looked like a well rounded outside back. Amazing what a couple of years away from the clutches of Australian rugby’s coaching structures can do.

      • Brumby Runner

        I think too that a probable loss of pace has caused him to develop other areas of his game. But, whatever, it was a preety good performance, and not one I was expecting.

        • Simon

          Same. That kick for touch right on the 22 was a gem.
          His pace appeared to hold up better than I expected too. He may not be international winger pace but he wasn’t exactly slow, especially by the standards of our backs.

    • Who?

      But he wasn’t completely solid. His first touch was a knock on off a high ball without significant pressure…

  • Straith

    That 2nd wallabies try where Toomua throws the cut out pass to korobeite, who passes to AAC, and then back to korobeite to score.
    That try is exactly what happens when your 10 plays eyes up rugby and what we have missed for the better half of 4 years with Foley.

    I guarantee if Foley was faced with this situation he would either run it or pass to Folau every time. It’s finally refreshing to see a 10 that knows how to play 10 and makes decisions based of whats in front of him.


      Yes but he was still there taking legitimate opportunities and turning them into useless possession.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Foley’s got a new trick – passing to no one at all.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure Gold DB. Pure Gold.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        It’s sad that it’s not actually a new trick of his…….

  • David Creagh

    Firstly I am grateful for the win. Long time between drinks. It is now time to put the win into perspective. This was Italy not SA, not England, not the All Blacks and frankly the scoreboard flattered the Wallabies. IMO the Italians were robbed of one try (the intercept off Gordon) and the Wallabies gifted one (Thor’s try involved an obstruction prevented an Italian defender getting a shot on him).

    Foley did what a number of us predicted, crab across the field and rob the outside backs of space to operate in. He also kicked poorly and went into first receiver more than I would have liked. His lack of accuracy also cost us the one try the Italians scored.

    Folau made a number of mistakes in attack but in fairness this was caused by Foley robbing of space and time to move. I was disappointed with his pace and the fact that he was hunted down by Italian cover defence despite having a fair head start. I actually even saw him make a tackle, albeit from behind, I think that means he has made 20 in a six year career then.

    Lineout was good-ish. Rodda and Coleman were both effective around the park but we went back to the old ways with friend Simmons when Coleman went off. Scrum was poor but I suspect that was largely a referee that had pre-conceived ideas at scrum time. Pocock was fantastic as always and Hooper had a strong game.

    I was pleased for Jake Gordon, I thought he had a good game and surely must overtake Phipps as the Number 2 halfback against the Poms (just asking the question as to why Joe Powell has not received the same opportunity). Kerevi was extremely strong in the carry and made some good tackles which gave the Wallabies some excellent front foot ball that Toomua was able to exploit well. Koribetti got two tries but I am yet to be convinced of his international credentials. AAC was solid and demonstrated his class as a player.

    • Geoffro

      I saw it mostly the same way except for Coleman who I thought was poor.Had the opportunity to really stamp his authority against an average opposition and never really marked up.Rodda was far better.

      • Brumby Runner

        Yep, Colemn was poor again and was outplayed by an ordinary Rob Simmons when he came on. Rodda was MOTM to me. Had a massive game.

        • Mike Thompson

          Yeah, i agree about Rodda. He’s got a good engine, lots of involvements and he hits the game hard.

          I’m surprised to see negative comments about Coleman, I had the feeling he was pretty good. I’ll have to have another look at the game.

        • Huw Tindall

          Agree it was Rodda’s best game in Green and Gold yet I reckon. 3 lineout steals. A ton of metres in tight and decent defensive shift. Coleman really off the boil. None of the ball skills of a Itoje or Retalick and not totally dominate with carries and defence, although he is serviceable.


      It’s a disgrace how much impact having Foley in as PLAYMAKER just continually chokes any opportunities for our world class backs. It’s an absolute JOKE.

      • Bakkies

        Who is world class in that Wallabies back line.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          His form has deteriorated considerably, but I would say that last year Folau would have had made a world 15.

          There aren’t a huge number of great centres running around right now either. Goodhue, Jones and Ringrose are good 13s, but Davies is the only real standout 13, and I think TK compares similarly to the former 3.

          In terms of inside centres, again, there aren’t a huge number of great ones, and I think that if Kerevi was played there consistently he would not be outclassed by New Zealand’s first choice (an out of form SBW), South Africa’s first choice (de Allende), England’s (Farrell), etc. I also think that in a very good Irish backline 12 is their weakest position, although Henshaw and Aki both do their jobs. George Ford said that Toomua is the best 12 he has ever played with.

          There are a lot of great outside backs right now: Hogg, Liam Williams, Ioane, Ben Smith, Barrett. However, based on super rugby form (it is all I can compare with right now) I don’t see that Banks is necessarily hugely outclassed in skill, probably only in experience.

          In terms of halfbacks Murray is the world’s best at present, but I’d say Genia would be the next tier down with the Perenaras and Smiths and Youngs and Webbs of the world.

          If world class means someone who would at least arguably make a world 15 or a world 23 there are a few.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      The Italian 9 appeared to be in-field of the 15 m line when the ball was batted back off the top of the lineout.

      You are allowed to run behind your own player. Pocock was in a legitimate position and didn’t move while the Italian ran into him and gave him a hug. No offence there.

  • Simon

    At kickoff there was a great little vignette of everything wrong with Cheika’s stereotypically stupid game plans. Wallabies get the ball and there are two powerful forward runs that get well over the advantage line and send the defence scurrying back. What to do?

    a) quick pick and go to keep the momentum up and keep them backpedalling
    b) push it wide to the backs and let Kerevi or Folau try their luck
    c) pass it back deep for an ineffective up-and-under for a net gain of about 10 metres and turn over possession on halfway

    The Wallabies of course went with c.

    I’m done, this is the first time I’ve ever hoped the Soap Dodgers blow us off the park. Come on, get that chariot swinging nice and low.

  • Greg

    Congrats to gold for the win.

    A few thoughts…..

    1. We disrespected the pill. There were too many times where we knocked on and would have been punished by a team with stronger counter attack.
    2. That said… we did not push passes as much as we have previously. That is a positive.
    3. Jake did OK but needs more game time. A lot of his passes were high.
    4. 2cows has beautiful gentle hands and watches the games. He has to be 10 next week.
    5. I was not a fan of 2dads selection but he was very solid. When he chased back to recover a ball in the corner he slowed right down (maybe it was as fast as he could go) and just protected the ball.

    6. some imo aimless kicking down the middle. Part of it was territory while we had the yellow but we would have been punished by another team.
    7. Sio is important to the scrum.
    8. A couple of times the ref spoke to blue 2 after giving them a penalty. I thought he was going to reverse. Not sure what that was about. Otherwise didn’t notice the ref much (tick).
    9. What were the penalty stats. It seemed there were many blue penalties at the breakdown.
    10. Spanners was hooked and didn’t seem to contribute anything much. Is that time?

    I hope Pocock is fine. Perhaps a head knock. It will be a travesty if he retires early courtesy of the attacks by NZ on his neck.

    • Huw Tindall

      Excellent points. Ref was fine and the disallowed Italian try was 100% correct. The 9 was outside the 15m line and thus not part of the lineout requiring him to be 10m behind the lineout which he wasn’t. Not even Usain bolt could cover 15m in 1.5 seconds from a standing start.

  • Old_Laurentian

    And AAC made that last run after being put in a very difficult position. Classy all through the game.

    • Huw Tindall

      I’ve said it above but if all the players had AAC’s rugby nous and timing they’d be a force. He showed enough pace chasing down kicks and in support play to show he still has enough to mix it. Good defensive reads and support play to boot. In the right place in defence all the time as well. Yes it’s sad we haven’t developed better players but talent and training doesn’t make up for 115 odd Test caps. I’d find a spot for him next week. 13 or 14. If 13 Kerevi to 12. Beale on Bench.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        And perhaps another player that has great attacking rugby nous. In the playmaker role.. .. .

        • Huw Tindall

          If QC is the best Aussie 10 in Super Rugby next year then I’m all for bringing him in. I’m just want to see it first. He has been dicked around this year and our lack of central contracting and general administrative malaise hasn’t helped but I want a look at him first.

  • Mike Thompson

    Can we please not have Beale in the squad at all any more? What does he even bring these days other than some headless chook dancing across the field – it is just not international class play.

    How about we ogranise our play around the talent we actually have available. Tomooha at 10 and then two ball carrying, line breaking centers. Forget the two playmakers tactics because we don’t have two play-makers at the moment.

    I write this knowing that next week we’ll see Foley and Beale picked again.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Beale is a brilliant finisher off the bench – the role he performed so well in 2015.

      I ask though, what does Foley offer?

      • Who?

        I agree, but he’s just so far from form… He seriously needs a break, needs to relax, lose some of the pressure he’s carrying.
        EDIT: He as in Beale, not Foley.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, I’d b okay with dropping him from he 23 altogether and give him a break (he looks so anxious all the time at present), but I do see an upside with him if he can sort out his form.

  • Andy

    Considering how poor the opposition were this was a really bad performance. They should be scoring 50 points against Italy.

    Folau just looks disinterested. Some of his Hail Mary offloads were just pathetic. A player who cares doesn’t throw that shit, honestly. And Foley? fuck me that was horrible.

    Top performers for me were Pocock, Rodda, Thor, AAC and Toomua.

    About Foley, Folau and Beale though….. I think all are good players with known deficiencies. The main being executing under pressure which all seem incapable of improving on. But they have been good at the tahs together and this season was no exception. They were very dangerous in combination. Get them into the Wallabies set up and that disappears. This tells me the team is poorly run. If you pick these 3 you need to play to their strengths and have an attacking game plan that is based around them. It’s a score more points than the opposition mentality with speed of play without focusing too much on defence. Granted, this has never really worked at international level for any team.

    Right now, they all play but out of their customary positions at a different speed of play and they just can’t adapt. They all look lost.

    The coaches just need to pick a team and style that suits these 3 (knowing the likely outcomes) or not pick them at all.


      Not sure what Tahs team your watching….. . although Beale had his best season at Super lvl. …. Foley had a terrible year….. .proven by his woeful defensive stats and lack of offensive stats to boot.

      • Andy

        The one I watched every game this year. He wasn’t great but he was better than last season. Having Beale back and a more competant pack definitely helped. But yes, kicking and defence were still average-poor

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yep and I watch EVERY game from all Super teams. And Foley would struggle to make the bench on almost all teams bar maybe the Reds, Blues and maybe the Stormers. And the stats back that too. Although the Reds seem happy with a 100% defensive playmaker so Foley probably wouldn’t fit in there either. The point is that he’s a “playmaker”. His woeful vision was on display again yesterday against another rugby “minnow”……and he still couldn’t pull things together. He created NOTHING all game. He was more harmful to a cohesive attack then anything. Beale is a whole different story.. …

        • Andy

          Agree to disagree

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Feel free to disagree but ignoring facts and years of poor performances would make it highly probable ur still wrong

        • Andy

          Chill bud

      • Ed

        Beale had worse defensive stats than Foley in SR this year. They were both in the top 10 for average missed tackles a game.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Beale was at least defending at 12 rather than out in the back three like Foley.

          They’re both atrocious defenders though. As bad as Quade in defence, but nothing on him in terms of attacking or kicking.

        • Brisneyland Local

          After the NRC, Quade isn’t that bad at defending. Dont get me wrong, he is not a good defender. BUt in the last 12 months he is no where near as bad as Fucking Foley and BEale!

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Everyone doesn’t know what they’re talking about re Quades defense ability and impact. Just because his technique is diffetent(a technique mind you that more and more smaller players are adapting too) that does not mean he’s a bad defender.
          First if all he’s a great talker. ….he organizer the defensive line very well. Always has. His technique stops/slows the player and he stays on his feet. Very valuable in case there is turn over ball. This valuable asset is highlighted at the Reds with Hamish Stewart often vying g David Piccolo as a world class scrumager….leaving him out of position defensively, structural and no chance for counter attack opportunities as hes tied up. As for the STATISTICS…. …well his last season of super rugby his stats were among the best backs. ….better then Foley. But the big one was there was an article in I think 2015 or 2016 that investigated all players defensive stats from the whole Rugby Championship. QUADE Cooper was from memory 3rd best of all players. . .not just backs or halves. The headline was he had a better tackle success ratio then Ritchie Mccaw. And so far this year, all be it club footy. .. he was lauded as defended exceptionaly well. Far too many people listen to the haters and or key board warriors and jump on the lazy unschooled hate train. Very lazy and doesn’t help one bit in helping get our most sucsessfull PLAYMAKER in many years back into the picture.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He still goes too high with his arms, and doesn’t get a shoulder in. His technique is strictly worse than someone like Toomu’s in my opinion (although it does often lead to strips).

          However, I agree he’s nowhere near as bad as some say. He’ll never be a defensive rock, but he tries his hardest and his defence has improved out of sight to his of 2010-11 as a result.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Problem is neither are in the team for defense…… and Foley is supposed to be a specialist PLAYMAKER. …. and is faaar from that. He’s not even a competent backbone link player. ……no wonder Folou is disintetested

    • Huw Tindall

      Winning margins in last years 6 nations against Italy were 30, 36, 17, 14, 2 with average of 20 and averaging 2 tries per match.

      Wallabies winning margin was 19 and only one try against. Statistically speaking then we aren’t that far off or Italy aren’t totally sh!te.

      • Andy

        interesting. Probably a reflection of where we are. Middle of the pack

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah I think so. Not where we want to be and arguably should be better with a more well rounded and experienced coaching setup. It’s been a sh!te year as a Wallabies fan and I think we have a tendency to just pile in with criticism as we have (had!) such high expectations. I’m guilty of it as well. Remotes through the TV and expletive laden chat in whatsapp forums.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’m not sure those 3 are still good players based on this years performance. Personally I think they were no more than ok during the Super season and all three have gone downhill since.

      All 3 should go back and learn to enjoy their rugby again

      • Patrick

        Maybe Cheika needs to go back to learn to enjoy his coaching again…

        • Kiwi rugby lover


      • Andy

        Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying world class but from an Australian perspective they were much better this year than last and were a big reason the Tahs topped the conference. Beale’s inclusion helped and a better pack performance helped.

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    So what did I learn today?
    1. Foley isn’t a 12. Ok, I already knew that, but probably not as well as QC knew it.
    2. Gordon isn’t the messiah, and should not be anointed as Sanchez’s successor just yet. Slow, inaccurate passes, we might as well have played Phipps. Genia is so far ahead of our next best scrummies.
    3. Hooper can play a traditional 7 role if he applies himself instead of buzzing around aimlessly.
    4. Leaving BPA at home has raised his rating, as the three hookers on this tour have all been poor.
    5. Folau is a lazy player.Ok, I already knew that too.
    6. Thor is a beast-in-waiting – let’s advance him patiently.
    7. The ref helped us out a lot – we are lucky to be rated as highly as we are.
    8. Italy are rubbish, and that’s all we could do to them? They even contrived to make Two Dads look half competent.
    9. Yes, he has occasional errors in him, but Kerevi is a golden asset.
    10. This team is a shadow of the 2015 RWC side, and the blame lies squarely with the head coach and sole selector.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Gordon and Powell are both better than Phipps. Even if Gordon’s pass isn’t much better both he and Powell make better decisions, and Powell’s passing is better than Phipps.

      More to the point if we coach those two they’re likely to improve. We can’t really say that about Phipps, a guy who has played under some supremely talented coaches and who has played 60 tests.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep and neither Gordon or Powell are Bovine Sprinklers

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies


      • Brumby Runner

        It is not a popular view with many Wallabies supporters but I still rate Powell as the best of the No 9 contenders because he seems to have a far better vision of the game than any of the others. It shits me when the No 9 plays by rote without any consideration of the strengths and weaknesses in the opposition defensive line when clearing the ball from the back of a ruck. Only Powell seems to take notice of the defense and makes his decision of where to aim the attack accordingly. Even better than Sanchez in that regard. And, as you say, he has a better passing game than any of the others.

        Gordon’s main attribute is his pace and willingness to back up line breaks. That is the skill area I think should come off the bench with about 20 minutes to go when defenses are tiring.

    • Huw Tindall

      Good points Dingo but I differ on 7 and 8.

      7 – if you’re referring to the disallowed try the ref didn’t help us. The Italian 9 was outside the 15m line and thus not part of the lineout so was offside when the lineout finished (ball passed off the top). He needed to be 10m behind to lineout to be onside – he wasn’t.
      8 – If the other players in the team had the game smarts and timing of AAC they’d be outstanding. Pretty much a faultless performance and didn’t look like he’d missed a day in the green and gold. Great timing with defensive rushes, good support play and offloads and a searing run right at the end to get the momentum before Genia’s try (would have like to have seen Genia pass to AAC of that last ruck rather than go himself. 2 on 1 overlap and AAC was backing up maybe 2 phases after his break). Yes it’s sad we haven’t developed someone better but in this team right now they are dying for someone with his experience and leadership. I’d honestly put him in at 13 or 14 next week (Kerevi to 12 if at 13).

      Also get some positives beyond Kerevi such as:
      – Defence good again with only an against the run of play try. With ball in hand the Italian’s looked like going backwards more often than forwards.
      – Rodda arguably best game in gold ever. 3+ lineout steals and a truck load of metres. Easily outshone Coleman.
      – Dempsey slowly getting back into the swing of things (plenty more touches and work in D this week).

      • Who?

        Rodda stole a heap of lineouts, but they were pies… I always talk on here about the need for loop in a hooker’s throw. Even Knuckles has come out this week and said that our hookers need to go away and develop some loop in their throws – to throw ‘up’ rather than long. It’s a major improvement I saw in Best’s throwing in last night’s game. The Italian throws that Rodda stole were all thrown far too flat, and were therefore very easy to steal. There was no effort to get them over the jumper at 2 for their jumpers further back.

        • Huw Tindall

          Yes against a better lineout Rodda probably isn’t stealing 3 in 10 mins but a good effort nonetheless.

    • Who?

      The ref helped us, but he also cost us. I don’t think he reffed the scrum well at all – Italy were the team dropping the scrum, constantly hinging on their own feed.

    • Dud Roodt

      To say that AAC isn’t a competent rugby player might be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. He has faults, but his lack of competency certainly isn’t one of them.


    FOLEY MUST GO!!! This is getting embarasing….

  • Hoss

    How far have we fallen that a win against the Pasta lovers is generally seen as a ‘relief’ on these pages.

    Didn’t see the game and have no desire to watch it from reading the descriptions on here.

    Seems like we are all eating at the Segall Buffet again – servings of dogs vomit masquerading as culinary delights.

    Even a poor Soap Dodgers will slaughter us next week – 12 more months of that shit-eating grin from Dr Evil.

    Caught the highlights of the Limerick Lovers v the Nearlies – even I got goosebumps.

    • Who?

      Odd tangent time – pasta lovers. It’s crazy to think that most of the food we consider ‘Italian’ arrived after the sack of Rome, and mostly after the Crusades! Pasta comes from the Far East (credit to Mr Polo and his mates), Pizza’s a regional tradition but anything with tomato in it is thanks to Mr Columbus (given tomato is from America). Even things like Gnocchi is post-Columbian exchange (so the same goes for Ireland and the stereotypes about the Irish and potatoes – that only happened in the last 400 years, and was peasant food under English oppression. During the potato famine, Ireland supplied incredible amounts of grain to England, exported for profit by the English nobility who owned the land).

      • Huw Tindall

        Love a bit of trivia. Arguably my favourite post this week Who! Don’t just come to GAGR for rugby chat!

    • Brumby Runner

      Reminiscent of the unbridled optimism expressed widely here after the come from behind win v the Argies. But same old, same old the next game when we came up against a better opposition. I expect the same next week v England, but I have to say some of the play against Italy was far better than I’ve seen from the Wallabies for some time – especially in defense. And some individual performances were outstanding.

      If Toomua is retained at 10, Kerevi moved to 12, AAC in at 13, and if Rodda can reproduce the form he showed this week, and if Poey is fit to take his place (at 7), then there will be some little hope for a half decent game against the soap dodgers.

    • Like you, I didn’t see the game.

      But it is a relief – Italy v Australia is a game that 3 years ago it would have been unthinkable for Australia to lose. Even Australia’s C team, sorry Italy. With the results this year, the lack of a game plan, the poor defence and the lack lustre attack, if Italy turned up there was that niggle of doubt.

      A backline full of players out of position, putting Mr “can’t tackle” Foley at 12 for example, which would seem to sabotage the Wobs in both defence and attack… could have been the mark of death. Bringing back AAC from tier 2 rugby… that could have been a big step up in his, with the best will in the world, old for test rugby legs. And so on. Plus he’d be covering for his brilliant inside defender…

      It all worked out though. Hard to say how much of that was the Wobs being good and Italy being poor from what I’m reading here.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Steve,

    Well it was a smaller win than I expected and I think there are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed. I think getting carried away with beating Italy would be a mistake and next week is going to be so much harder. Still some good play and like a lot here I need to apologise to AAC. Yes it was only Italy but he played well.

    Still want to see a back line of
    9 – Genia
    10 – Toomua (Foley needs a holiday)
    11 – Naivalu
    12 – Kerevi (Beale needs a holiday)
    13 – Petaia (AAC if he’s still injured and AAC as a reserve)
    14 – Koroibete (Folau needs a holiday but would have him on the bench maybe)
    15 – Banks

    Gordon, DHP, Folau (I actually think that Gordon or Genia would be better at 10 than Foley at the moment)

    And as hard as it is to say Congratulations Ireland, you absolutely deserved that win. Much higher intensity and desire than the ABs. Looking forward to pay back next September sometime.

    • Brisneyland Local

      That is the backline I would choose. And maybe after the Super season with good play perhaps a different 10.

    • Hoss

      If I may go full pessimist for a moment and put on the future goggles.

      Two-cows arrives late in SE campaign so has limited time to mount claims at 10. Even if Stalin lights it up at the Frebels and I mean REALLY lights it up, Segall won’t even look at him.

      So I summise we will arrive at Kill Bill with Spanners as first choice, little known Polish player, ‘Fuckedifiknow’ as second and the Latvian born ‘Whothefuckknows’ as third.

      But – in defence of Mr Segall, we have only had 4 years to sort it out.

      • Who?

        Curious Hoss – Stalin? I know who you mean, just wondering how you got there.
        Do you think Mr Segal just can’t find the recipe..? Bit sad if that’s true – he was a cook, wasn’t he? I could be wrong – it’s a little before my time… Just a little.
        Do you reckon we could go a new nickname for AAC, too? Can’t think of the last time I saw a Wallaby with that much grey hair…

        • Hoss

          Unpopular Red.

        • onlinesideline

          brilliant – lololol

        • Who?

          Ok, see it now. Except one managed to rule his nation for 22 years and is best known as a mass murderer, the other was exiled. That said, I can see similarities in guile and vision.

    • Adrian

      Not bad KRL.
      I’d have the preacher at 15 and Banks at 23.
      I’d hope that Toomua can get a flat pass to Kerevi on the fly and running in 13 channel somehow.
      That’s the main disadvantage of Kerevi at 12, but I’d go with it

      • Who?

        Moving Kerevi to 12 and AAC to 13 solves AAC’s greatest problem – his declining pace. He’s always had an understanding of the game, I even saw him throw a long pass last night. But you want gas in your backline. Kerevi’s slower than I’d like at 13, but gets away with it. AAC is a better defensive organizer and defender there than Kerevi, and I don’t see why Kerevi at 12 in attack is an issue. Toomua can throw a good long ball, and Kerevi can continue to break tackles at 12.
        Then the question, next year, is whether AAC’s good enough to retain 13 with the return of TK, who I rate an even better defensive coordinator (because he’s been the only thing holding our defensive backline together under Grey), who’s bigger and stronger in attack (when he sees the ball).

    • Who?

      Read was pure class in his post match interview.
      I’ve not seen a team match the ABs for fitness and intensity for years. That was incredible… What a great week to have received my Irish passport. :-)
      Agree with much of what you say, though I wasn’t as impressed by AAC…

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I’m still waiting for my Aussie one. Been going through the process for about 3 years.

        AAC was better than expected, certainly not saying he should play against England

    • Gottsy

      I really like that back line KRL, please send it to Cheika!

      And commiserations on the loss- what a game though. Both teams can hold their heads high after that

  • Gottsy

    Thanks for the write up Steve. I think the score line flatters us, and we were lucky that try was disallowed, as I think it would have given Italy a massive confidence boost, and probably would have resulted in us making more mistakes by chasing the game as we tend to do.
    I’m at odds for this weekend, I desperately want to beat England, but at the same time, something has to be done about the fact that every time we run out on the field it looks like the first time we’ve ever played together.

    • Huw Tindall

      The 9 was offside. He was outside the 15m mark and not back 10 when the lineout completed.

      • Gottsy

        Yeah I agree! Just saying we were lucky that they didn’t score legitimately

        • Huw Tindall

          Ah fair enough mate. Most comments seen to have been intimating it was legitimate.

  • Who?

    Much Foley hate on here. Something that’s not been clearly noted that frustrated me was how often he – and others (thinking Koroibete in particular) overran Kerevi when supporting. Kerevi would make a halfbreak and look to either offload or take the tackle, but everyone was already alongside him. No one was behind to take a pop pass or clean over, forcing the desperate offload, which the support had often overrun. Which meant they had to go back and collect it, meaning lost momentum and a chance for the Italian defence to realign. It’s basic, basic rugby to know how to support a ball carrier, and when you’ve got such a threatening ball runner, there’s no excuse for not supporting well!

  • Mart

    Again the baffling rugby knockdown rule creeps in….. Consistency please

  • Cunning Linguist

    Lack of skills, execution and quality decision-making under pressure is the problem. And the rot starts at the top!

  • Nutta

    Hello Folks

    Bloody hell we were lucky to get that win. Therefore in the grander picture I think, al a making the last Bill Final, that win is actually unlucky for us.

    Tito’s effort was a try. Tupo’s effort was obstruction. And I cannot even bring myself to comment of a one-handed, backward looping runaround by someone wearing a No3 so I’ll leave that there.

    Ainsley got owned. I hope he is better for the experience. What is it with Aussie first-timer props and the Ities? Slipper got owned on his debut vs the Dagoes too.

    Rodda did lot’s of good work.

    I thought Dempsey’s work in the ‘unseen’ was pretty good. I wish Folau would stop throwing speculators. And I thought the Hooper/Dempsey/Samu combo was actually fairly effective (bugger me).

    Beale reinforced why he is a bench player to come on at 55-60min and run at tiring defences.

    • Who?

      Nutta, I’ve noted elsewhere about the poor support lines around Kerevi. Some of his offloads were, like Folau’s, to no one. I wonder if Folau’s impossible offloads aren’t influenced by the terrible support lines our backs are running? Because he knows that, if he dies with the ball, there’s no one following behind him for an easier pop pass, or to blow over and secure the breakdown?
      That doesn’t excuse the passes, but maybe it explains them…


Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

More in Wallabies

  • Friday’s Rugby News

    Friday’s Rugby News sees Dan McKellar hopes for the future, WR upping their offer! Uelese found dark...

  • Friday’s Rugby News

    Friday’s Rugby News sees fake news, Kuridrani rested, a World Cup bid, and a shakeup for the...

  • Friday’s Rugby News

    Friday’s Days Rugby News sees a curtain raiser, Junior Wallabies named, Sunwolves axed, Scott Johnson talks sense....

  • Thursday’s Rugby News

    Lest We Forget. ANZAC Days Rugby News sees Scott Johnson fronting the media, McReight named Captain, Uelese...