Wallabies get it done against Manu Samoa - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wallabies get it done against Manu Samoa

Wallabies get it done against Manu Samoa

The Wallabies have finalised their World Cup preparations with a 34-15 win against Manu Samoa at Parramatta. It was not the Wallabies best display in their last hit out before the World Cup but they avoided the same result of 2011 and it could easily have been a bigger margin if they took more of their chances. The Wallabies were made to work hard for the final margin of 19 points with two late tries masking a scratchy display with Manu Samoa within reach at seven points during the second half.

Despite the mixed performance, there were some impressive displays across the board with Jack Dempsey having a strong game with some strong carries cutting through the Samoan line, aided by an equally cutting haircut. David Pocock was impressive in his first competitive match since March and played 58 minutes and got through without any affects from his calf injury. Marika Koroibete caused havoc with his strong running seemingly beating defenders with ease and scored a try and racked up 139 running metres.

The Match

It took a while for the game to get going but the Wallabies put the opposition on notice with a strong scrum early on and took advantage of a lineout error from the Samoans in their own 22 before Adam Coleman opened the scoring after seven minutes.

The Samoans worked hard for field position but gave it away too easily on half way and it took a mesmerising run from Marika Koroibete down the left wing as he evaded 3 defenders and two support players to run rings around the defence to score the Wallabies second try.

The visitors took their time to find some rhythm and thought they had scored to debutant Michael Alaalatoa but his try was ruled out as David Pocock was cleared out past the ruck. But an earlier penalty advantage allowed Tusi Pisi to make up for an earlier miss and make it 10-3.

Straight off the restart the Samoans undid their good work as they fumbled the restart and Matt Toomua grubbered ahead for Adam Ashley-Cooper to regather and score. Bernard Foley seemed to have left his kicking boots in the sheds as he missed his third shot at goal.

The Wallabies were employing a width game that had the Samoan defenders stretched on both sides of the field and the handling of the loose forwards in particular out wide made room for the fourth try of the half to Lukhan Salakaia-Loto. Foley finally landed a conversion to make it 22-3.

Embed from Getty Images

It was a different story for the Wallabies scrum in the second half as they found themselves on the backfoot on a number of occasions. Former Melbourne Rebel Paul Alo-Emile made a real difference when he came on and his impact saw the Samoans score their first try to replacement scrum half Dwayne Polataivo and that seemed to give the visitors a lift in confidence.

The Wallabies display got a bit loose with dropped balls, errant passes and other mistakes starting to creep in that would not have impressed Michael Cheika. That pressure allowed the Samoans to get back into the game with Polataivo scoring his second and reduce the margin to seven with 20 minutes to go to ensure a nervy last quarter of the game.

The Wallabies sealed the win in the final 10 minutes with two tries with Dane Haylett-Petty calming the nerve of Wallabies supporters with a converted try and after the final siren Matt Toomua scored the Wallabies sixth try of the night to make the scoreline a more respectable 34-15.



The Game Changer

The Wallabies skipped out to a 22-3 lead but during the second half they were pressured into mistakes to allow the opposition back into the game and it wasn’t until Haylett-Petty’s try with ten minutes to go to that ensured the win.


The G&GR MOTM

There were some mixed performances from the Wallabies but Jack Dempsey gets the nod. We know what Dempsey is capable of hasn’t been able to get back to that level after injuries but now he’s injury free, hopefully he can get back there.


The Details

Score & Scorers

WALLABIES 34
Tries: Coleman, Koroibete, Ashley-Cooper, Salakaia-Loto, Haylett-Petty, Toomua
Conversions: Foley 2
MANU SAMOA 15
Tries: Polataivo 2
Conversions: Pisi
Penalties: Pisi

Cards

Nil

  • Greg

    Thanks for the quick write-up Steve.

    Indeed it was not the best display. We won and we seem to have got by without any significant injuries. Congrats to the boys.

    Pocock played well and is looking set for the world cup I think. No sign of any fitness issues… at least nothing that a few sand-hill runs won’t fix.

    The defence was pretty ferocious by both sides. I need to watch the replay but gosh, I think tackles from blue that involved arms and/or did not grab the opposition player by the head were the exception.

    Anyway… a win is a win. Congrats.

  • Timbo

    So why do people bang on about banks?

    There was maybe 3 runs he made off the back of others work that got us down the field but that was it.

    I don’t get it

    • UTG

      Yeah, I think we saw why the selectors don’t consider him a guaranteed starter like so many of the armchair experts do…

      • joy

        Age discrimination. Outrageous.

    • Patrick

      Did he drop the ball fielding a kick?

      • Timbo

        In the few games where he has started, there have been highballs that have gone to ground.
        But I guess when the pass mark for a fullback is not offending 2% of the population, then we can give banks a distiction

        • Seb V

          To be fair he’s usually good in this area. Judging from Brumbies games. If comparing to our first choice Beale who does the same thing but more frequent. Not that I’m an advocate for Banks starting after that game, but IMO Banks is better under the high ball then Beale, or even DHP who dropped a fairly easy on this game too. He definitely needs to do more on attack though to ever be considered starting.

    • Huw Tindall

      I’m if similar view. Lots of potential but just that. Needs to dominate at Super season to really stand up. Great pace and running lines but not a world class 15 yet.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Agree. Good positioning and defence but nothing on attack. Mind you with the shit distribution from Foley and AAC maybe he didn’t get the chances he would with JOC and Kerevi

      • Brumby Runner

        Koroibete could easily have passed to him when he was running rings around the Pumas’ outside defenders and he’d have had a clear run to the line. But Marika did what Marika does and scored anyway.

        • Timbo

          Banks over ran him putting himself into an offside so Marika had no choice but to do it himself

        • Seb V

          Nah Koro had his chance to pass but didn’t… but following that I had no idea what Banks was doing running all over the shop in front of him.

        • Brumby Runner

          Banks didn’t so much run in front of Marika, as Marika actually ran behind Banks, twice. Had the pass been made at the first instance, there would have been no need for the headless chook impression and either one of Banks or Marika would have scored by running a fast, direct line.

    • Tim

      Watch his brumbies games. He didn’t have a good game but its difficult as nobody in back-line did. Koroibete did what any normal winger does use his pace to score tries when people put him in space.

      • Timbo

        Agreed Foley was inadequate at 10 and merely shuffled the bal with the occasional second touch but banks as fullback can and should inject himself and with Fanga, of all people, he started to but far too late into the game. Even Folau was occasionally standing a second receiver rather than being on the edge.
        If we could clone the backs coach for Manu Samoa and make him 25 again, we’d be set

        • Who?

          He ran a few inside ball lines from Genia, too. I didn’t think it was a bad performance – he was solid, covered everything off consistently.

      • Seb V

        He made some poor errors with the few chances he did have. Missing that kick for touch an example. He needs to lift a level. I expect more from him against especially against a team like Samoa (no offence to them).

        • Who?

          He shouldn’t have missed that kick, but I say it was karma. That was a rubbish penalty! Should never have been given.
          .
          Fascinating that we ran a game against Samoa with a ‘Kiwi’ ref, who was actually capped at fullback by Samoa!

    • Seb V

      I was one who banged on about Banks. Solid at the back, runs great lines, great kicker, lots of pace….. But after that game I am sorely disappointed and proven wrong. I still think he’s a solid player but needs to get involved more.

      • Who?

        He did nothing wrong last night, and was playing outside Foley, who didn’t do that much right… Foley last night was Giteau against Samoa in 2011 – nowhere near strong enough a 10 to guide around the team. If you look back at the SA game, Banks ran off Arnold, and Arnold ran off Banks. They knew how the other would run. Last night, Banks managed to get a few inside balls on his runs back over the ruck (which was an improvement), but he got nothing of any value from Foley, Toomua was busy trying to fix Foley’s mistakes, AAC’s passing game has been dramatically surpassed by Koroibete and has always been bettered by DHP… It was a backline of strangers, no combination at all.

    • AllyOz

      i am unsure of his hair cut. He plays OK.

  • joy

    Given this was our 2nd 15 including 5 sayonaras, I thought is was a good performance. This team clearly demonstrated the benefit of the conditioning and training program including the runs up and down those fictitious sand hills in New Caledonia. Self preservation clocked on in the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half but it’s encouraging that the reserves were able to reverse the trend.

    Demsey was impressive but I felt Na Covulaca (followed by the vastly improved HP) deserved the gong. The forwards were up to it. Uelese showed he is far from Useless. Tupou should join him when he is on the field to balance the front row. The performances of Kepu, Pocock, Ashley-Cooper and To’omua should placate critics (I’m a critic of Pocock). And the forwards demonstrated they can function as backs by launching flyer Colman into the corner. In my view the Wallaby try of the year.

    The performance was a clear step up for me.

    • Greg

      Joy, out of interest…. what is your criticism of Pocock?

      • joy

        Given his injury record I thought he’d breakdown.

    • Huw Tindall

      Like this Joy. I’m between you and BLL in my reading. Long thread under his post but in with you, all things considered, not bad.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Evening GAGR’s. Well I must have watched that looking through another lens to others out there. I thought that was dog shit bad. Yes that wasn’t our starting 15, but there was a hell of a lot of our starting 23 there and that was not a result I call encouraging. My points in no particular order:
    – Great to see Poey back. Fuck that man is a machine at the breakdown. A lot of good cleaning out work. Not as many pilfers as normal, but hey it was good. My starting 7 for sure.
    – Scrum was ok in the first half then went AWOL in the second. Don’t know what is going on there.
    – Hope Coleman isn’t too badly hurt he was looking above average.
    – Foley was poor. Not only his kicking but his orchestration of attack was its usual non-existant self, defence was average too. CLL for sure. In fact I would bring another 10 into the squad and drop Foley completely.
    – Genia looked pretty good for a man that got rag dolled pretty hard in the first 15. Infact the Samoan tackles were pretty hard the whole match.
    – Still a lot of dropsies and pushed passes rather than recycling. Lack of rugby nouse there.
    – Marika is looking better and better every game.
    – DHP has to be in the back line for the ball in hand kicking and high balls that Beale cant take. Beale to be a bench impact player.
    Overall a pretty inconsistent game. We should have put at least 25 more points on the board but didn’t.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Huw Tindall

      Evening mate. My reading of the game was in between you and Joy’s comments below.

      Mixed feelings. First half solid and composed. Second half lost the plot for 20 mins before finishing strongly. Marika, Dempsey, Kepu, DHP all a ✔️. Poey not injured and cleaning out well to secure good attacking ball. 6 tries. Defensive line-out a good weapon. Just the shaky scrum second half a concern. Tupou helped when he came on there. Overall a 5/10 which I’ll take form the B team after a 10 days getting flogged.

      Scrum was interesting. For that period in second half before we change our front row Samoa had the advantage which was a big turnaround from the first half where the Wallabies destroyed them. Hopefully just down to tired legs after big training week. Chek should have changed the front row earlier perhaps.

      Looking back on the second half momentum seemed to waiver a bit when Coleman went off with that hand injury leaving Luke Jones and Simmons which isn’t my idea of a hard hitting second row! I’ll Coleman to my list of played well. Good enforcing and a meat pie for keeping width. Part of good line-out too. Simmons a bit anonymous but credit for defense and running the line-out plus being an 80 minute player.

      Foley was average overall but a few good touches and support lines. Off night with the boot which should be his strong point. CLL easy first choice 10 right now.

      Was actually impressed with Phipps when he came on bringing energy from the bench and setting up the last try with the out of the back of the hand pass to Banks into space then the perfect flat pass to Toomua for the final score. Personally think he is the next best half for RWC if the Wallabies need to bring one in.

      So yeah overall not amazing but key to get some game time for the guys outside the match day 23. Given that and no major injuries I’ll give this a pass mark. Bring on Fiji in 2 weeks time!

      • Ads

        Agree. Thought Phipps was better than Genia.

        • Seb V

          Agreed, normally I’m pretty vocal about Phipps not being included in the squad. But he was noticeably better then Genia, much quicker to clear the ball and passing was crisp (for a change).

        • Ads

          Yep agree. He normally brings speed, but he also had pretty good accuracy last night.

        • Greg

          His first two passes didn’t go to the players….

      • Brisneyland Local

        Very good point about Cheika and the bench. I dont think he has ever used the bench well. Front row should have changed earlier. Whats the point of giving JOC 7 mins at the end. Me a normal Phipps detractor willl say Phipps was good for the time he was on. But Genia should have been taken off earlier.
        Have re-watched the game this morning and upgraded my assessment from dog shit bad to just bad.

        • Keith Butler

          My thoughts exactly. 7 mins to get clattered and miss the RWC. Pointless and bad use of the bench, again.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Do he even understand the concept of what it is there for?

      • idiot savant

        Good coaching by the Samoan team I thought. They really came out with much improved line speed in the second half which we took a while to adjust to. Thats where a running five eighth like Foley can be a problem. Toomua was important during that 20 minutes when the Samoans had their tails in the air.

    • Who?

      Second half scrum, I reckon PAE made a huge difference there. First scrum he was on, Tupou messed up, but every scrum he was on, PAE managed to drop his opposing LHP’s shoulder, leading to either a collapse or sufficient instability that he was able to drive through.
      .
      Agree on Foley… His defence is improved this year, but his passing and option taking was horrible, before you consider his goal kicking. Normally he relies on Beale at 12, tonight Toomua filled that responsibility (and did it well).

      • idiot savant

        The scrum where they scored PAE turned in sideways to bring the scrum down. He should have been penalised for not keeping the scrum straight. In fact he did it nearly every scrum. He was pulling down and turning in. Good on him for getting away with it. He sure has some strength.

        • Who?

          To be fair to PAE, on that try-scoring scrum, Tupou had gone miles forward first, which turned both the front rows. He did very well to control his LHP, then drive into an advantageous position.
          From what I’ve learned, it seems that half the art of playing THP is the art of controlling the LHP. Ensuring they’re not comfortable, not able to drive under you, not able to drive around you, not able to lift you. So you’re trying to pin them down, whilst not being seen to collapse the scrum. PAE wasn’t turning in any more than we were, and he was definitely pinning the LHP down, but the LHP wasn’t on the ground, so therefore he wasn’t collapsing. It was a very good performance.
          Crazy to think he could’ve worn gold. So, we’ve got Kepu, 7A’s, Tupou, with options for players like the Talakai brothers, Ruan Smith… And we’ve overlooked both of Samoa’s THP’s from last night (6A’s and PAE). Who could’ve predicted that even five years ago – that we’d have that many reasonable (if not excellent) options at THP?!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. I just dont know why our scrum can rock for 40 then goes to custard. No consistency.

    • sambo6

      Yep…after 15mins of watching Foley…my brain went “ahhh…I remember this shit”…and I got that knot of anger and frustration I usually have when watching the wallabies the last 4 years (which had gone away since the Perth game)

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep.Hence why Hoss calls him Spanners:
        “Everytime he touches the balls my nuts tighten!”

    • I’m not going as far as dog-shit bad but it was a poor performance, agreed.

      There were some second or even third choice players, granted, but overall it was a huge drop-off in standard and having watched the AB stuff Tonga immediately before (it played at like 3am here, so I recorded it and watched it first) the difference in the two games was chalk and cheese.

      My thoughts – Agree about Poey, Foley, Coleman, Koroibete. I’m still picking White over Genia personally, but agree with what you’ve written.

      I think what we saw illustrates Cheika’s craziness about the 15 shirt. OK Samoa didn’t threaten with high kicks in the same way NZ and the NH sides will but he looked solid there. He doesn’t look like a massive attacking threat but is that lack of experience at this level? I appreciate other people will have other ideas but I want a 15 who defuses the high kicks and makes the tackles. I don’t mind if that’s a shared duty, as the AB’s play, or you do a pendulum or any of these other fancy modern arrangements, ultimately they need to be solid in defence FIRST. Injecting great attacking lines is a wonderful extra and can be built up off others rather than being the primary line breaker if you have those players – which this current squad does.

      I think Dempsey also looked decent, although I’m not picking him at 8 over Naisarani. I’m thinking, if I had my druthers, I might go Dempsey, Poey, Naisarani against Fiji and Wales as my starting back row.

      • Jcr

        Agree. Just watching it again as I was suffering the DT’s last night . Banks is short of a run but when you just watch for him he’s pretty hard to fault . Really good work rate . I would probably have Salaki locking if your going to run the Pooper.

        • Who?

          It was nice to see both the halves use Banks’ predilection for the inside ball running back against the ruck. We didn’t see it used at all in his previous appearances in Gold this year, and he’s been extremely effective running that line for the Brums.
          .
          And Phipps’ last two passes as a Wallaby… One to set free Banks, and then one from the next breakdown to send across Toomua, I hope he never gets another game in Gold. Because those are two of the best passes he’s thrown in his entire career, and what better way to finish your career than with some of the best work you’ve ever done?

        • Brumby Runner

          Contrast with his first two passes last night. The first over Foley’s head which he had to reach up for, and the second behind the hip which he had to reach behind to take. of the runner

        • Greg

          I noticed the first two rather than the last two. Unfair I guess.

        • Who?

          I thought it took more than just the first two for him to find his range…
          But that’s part of it – I can’t imagine him throwing two better consecutive passes. Once you’ve done that, you may as well leave while you’re ahead.

        • I’m not really a fan of either the Pooper or LSL. But I’m not actually picking the team, so we’ll see what Cheika does…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I am not normally a Dempsey fan but he was pretty solid. I think he is a great bench option now.

        • idiot savant

          I thought watching that game that Cheika might well choose Dempsey as the reserve open side ahead of Pocock. He’s strong over the ball and offers more inside run metres in attack. Thats probably a heresy but Ive never had the impression Cheik is all that fussed about Pocock.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah normallly I would agree. I wonder if this is the main point of influence the other slectors have had. Pococks cleaning out last night was superior.

        • disqus_NMX

          It was Pocock’s first game in 6 months, how high are your expectations?! I mean come on, he’s a living legend, there’s no way he’s not going to get a lot of game time if fit.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I think you’re right about how Cheika sees him. He’s now got other options at 6&8 that fit his mongrel tag so I’m not expecting to see a lot of Pocock

        • HK Red

          Have been thinking the same, Cheika doesn’t feel he needs Pocock, or would prefer he wasn’t available. To him I reckon it just creates unnecessary noise each time he overlooks one of the worlds best 7s, to instead play an inside-back.

        • As I’ve just said about LSL in another reply, perhaps the quality of the opposition flattered him. But I thought he looked better and would go better at 6 than LSL against better opposition. Not going to happen though.

      • joy

        Lotto was no shrinking violet. He made 7/7 tackles, scored a try, 11 runs for 45m, 2 defenders beaten, a clean break and no handling errors. Cheika wont drop him.

        • He dropped I think it was three passes too, or dropped two and was stripped once might be closer to the mark.

          I think LSL had his bad game – but it was against Samoa. With the greatest of respect to Samoa, someone playing in the GAG should look good against them. I’m more worried about how he’ll look against Fiji, Wales, and assuming we go well enough against them, whoever we meet in the QF.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      TBH mate I call it insipid more than anything. Some ok performances but I’m not sure anything was gained from the game apart from Pocock’s comeback. No combinations to try out or settle, a run against an opposition who were very poor defensively, farewell to some long serving players and a run for players who won’t be in Japan.

      I don’t think anything can actually be taken from this game that will have any meaning in a couple of weeks.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Good points KRL. Also a 16k crowd is pretty dissapointing. About as dissapointing as the Wallabies performance. Do we think they are linked? ;-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I just don’t think the game had any interest. It wasn’t preparation for Japan because there were so many players not going in the team. The Wallabies were always going to win and it just comes across as RA saying “here spend some of your hard earned money on this game”

        • disqus_NMX

          Yep, when I saw Foley was at 10, I didn’t even bother to watch the game on TV, let alone pay good money to see it live.

        • AllyOz

          apart from farewells for Pocock, TPN et al I didn’t see much value in it but I think it had value for Samoa and for the development of rugby in Oceania. So that’s not a bad thing.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          yeah that’s true and if that was all it got then it wasn’t a total loss

        • Who?

          It was more important to get a good crowd to Randwick than to travel all the way out back to Parramatta. :-P

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I really dont get that. I work directly opposite that stadium. Through work we had the construction engineers take us for a tour of the stadium before it was commissioned, and it was fantastic. Really impressive set up. It is about a 900m walk from Parra train station. So a fair walk but not to far. I reckon it helps dissapate the crowd before the board. Unlike Olympic stadium where you all pile out onto the train at the same time.

      • Geoffro

        I took a little.Foley showed there was no reason for him to usurp Lilo,DHP isn’t completely shot- though he’s a fullback,not a winger,AAC is still capable of holding the line,Simmo ran a nice lineout,somebody in the coaching setup has been doing a good job with Marika and I reckon Willie G is getting to be a bit of a lazy bastard.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but when you look at how poor Samoa was; agree with Foley, DHP & AAC will both he walked over by good teams as both are too slow. Simon I actually do agree with, Marika meh! nothing we don’t already know against people who don’t tackle. The big teams will look after him ok. Willie G agree

        • Brumby Runner

          AAC missed a couple (at least) of reasonably easy tackles. He will be a liability if he gets game time in the RWC.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree. I just don’t get some of the love for him here. I went back and watched him specifically as I’d recorded the game and honestly I thought he was average at best

        • Zippo

          The controversial RWC selections:
          – AAC: tackle success rate @ 40%
          – Foley: tackle success rate @ 66%
          – Dempsey: tackle success rate @ 66%

        • Brumby Runner

          Very telling stats Zippo. Some others must have been covering for them.

    • idiot savant

      You are right about the pushed passes. We will be punished against better sides. DHP flicked one off the ground back to Banks when we were attacking just on half time and I thought why? Banks was preparing to secure the ruck and dropped it and recycling wouldve been the far better option. There was a bit of that last night.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I counted at least 6 times we pushed passes and either lost possession or had no positive outcome, when recycling would have been the far better option. We dont have to score on every phase.

      • Seb V

        Not only last night, but last 5 years.

    • Keith Butler

      I fearlessly predict a back row of Hooper, Naisarini and LSL.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. I am worried about that too! But Poey has to start. If Hooper wont do the cleaning out work it has to be Pocock. especially against fiji. Another big fast team.

        • Keith Butler

          Whilst not at the same level as Poey in turning over ball, I have to admit that in the last couple of tests Hoops has be far more committed at the breakdown.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep far more committed, but he is not big enough or strong enough to be really effective at the breakdown compared to poey!

        • Greg

          “Hooper meets Fijian side-step” (i.e. no side-step) is not a pretty thought. Commitment won’t do the job. You have to have the size as well. p = mv.

        • Keith Butler

          True. Which is why Poey is like a rock and subject to all sorts of illegal activities to move him.

        • Damo

          And, in spite of their unstructured rugby reputation, Fiji will be a lot more accurate and organised than Samoa across the paddock. And watching some of the other warm up games over the weekend, powerful and fast 6,7,8 combinations will prove to big weapons at the WC. In that respect I just can’t help feeling we are taking a knife to the gun fight. I hope I’m wrong.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I agree with you!

  • Anyone got a link to a recorded stream on Youtube etc? can’t for the life of me see where it was played in US – certainly not ESPN or Florugby. would love to watch a replay.

  • idiot savant

    I was impressed with how we muscled up and our defence was pretty good for the most part. All the forwards tackled well and took on the big bodies. Pocock was no more than solid and gave no reason for inclusion in the starting side against Fiji. Our starting front row worked hard. It was a physical encounter and the tempo went up in the second half. LSL was strong and Dempsey had his moments. Save for the scrum where Paul Alo Emille got away with boring in, our forwards dominated them which is a very encouraging sign. Simmons murdered their line out and our clean out work at the breakdown was good. Wright did not look out of place at that level in his cameo.

    In the backs I thought that was one of the best games Ive seen Toomua play at test level. He was our most creative back and his physicality in both defence and attack was excellent. Foley appears to have aged a bit. He did not provide great direction to the attack and kicked poorly out of hand and off the tee. But he will be better for the run. It would be hard to justify him making the side for Fiji. DHP showed again he is a good footballer. Shame he is so slow. But on that performance he might just have done enough to replace Hodge for Fiji.

    • joy

      HP’s stats are impressive. A try, 14 runs, 74m, 9 defenders beaten, 3 clean breaks, 2 of 2 tackles and a single handling error.

      Banks seemed nervous which showed up in his kicks for touch. Still he beat 7 defenders, 2 clean breaks, 11 runs for 99m and made all of his 4 tackles. Dropped the ball twice.

      The other surprise for me was Genia who ran 12 times!

      These are good improvements.

      • idiot savant

        Yeah DHP is a frustrating player. Always does good things and occasionally strange things. A. bit like Beale. If DHP had pace he would be an automatic selection. Good point about Banks nerves. I thought the same about his line kicks. He is the best kicker for touch in Australia but not last night.

      • Human

        A single handling error? Did you count the one where he was too slow to even get a hand on Toomua’s great pass, or the one where he hurled it off the ground at Banks coming in to clean out?
        I thought DHP was ordinary last night…not alone either.
        Simmons was good, DEMPSEY and LSL also.

        • joy

          Take it up with the statisticians.

    • Geoffro

      Toomua’s passing game was on point in the first half and most international class wings would have taken the try that DHP bombed off one early in the game.I reckon Korobeite is hands down the most improved player in this squad and Poey should still be one of the first picked,a solid match after so much time off and after all the hype and expectation is good enough for me (His post match interview was fairly circumspect eh? probably still emotionally bombed out over the death of that monster Mugabe) All in all I reckon it was a pretty scratchy team effort and I saw not much of the cohesion which was on display from our other main WC rivals this weekend (bar the poms who were also average) Banks didn’t do his claims much good either,my fullbacks would be DHP or O’Connor with Beale off the bench.Foley-meh,he had his chance and was still stale.I think Samoa played with a lot of heart and congrats to them

      • idiot savant

        I agree about Poey. Its his first game in a long time. Still think he will come off the bench against Fiji.

  • adastra32

    Looking in from the outside, the WBs started well but failed to develop. Most of Somoa’s game was pretty basic stuff. Not much more to say.

  • Hoss

    Morning all,

    Don’t know what brand of half-time oranges were consumed but I wouldn’t use them again, they stuffed us for the second half.

    I would start off by saying – by crikey they look fit. To a man they looked fantastic and played with a real intensity, pace and clarity for the first 40 and looked good-ish but left 2-3 try’s out there

    Two-Dads had a really good game, Sour Mash was strong, Sanchez good in the first 40 and the arrival of white has improved his running. Brian looked as if he’d never been away. I don’t think Sauce has any right to a gold jersey, but that’s just me, but overall the boys will be better for the run, a few loyal soldiers farewelled and now on the plane to Nipponville.

    Selections will be interesting I tip the Pooper will be back especially as ISI is a good jumping option and defence will win the Cup so Poey has to start.

    I will relaunch the GAGR voting site each week before a cup game so we can select the Gold side we reckon will run out each week and compare v the real deal, should be bit of fun.

    Roll on September 20!

    • Brisneyland Local

      Hey Big Fella. Cant wait for your voting piece to be up! I have already told Mrs BL to expect fuck all from me over the next month! Her response “So whats changed!”

      • Hoss

        Gold mate. Me too.

        • Keith Butler

          Ditto. My spot on the couch has a big reserved sign on it. Just need to set up the lines to my kegs of beer.

    • Keith Butler

      Remind me Hoss, who is Sour Mash? All in all a very average performance epitomised by Spanners. Score line flattered us a bit as I thought Samoa were better in the 2nd half.

      • Hoss

        ‘JD’ – Dempsey. thought for 40 minutes we looked very sharp and happy to remember it was basically our 2.5 string side.

        • AllyOz

          that’s one of those second generation nicknames, where you have to get the first clue and then the second before you understand it.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Really! Wow! You saw a different game from me mate. I guess I may have been expecting too much but I thought not winning by 50 was almost a loss.
      Looking forward to the picking site

      • Hoss

        I am not too despondent over the outing. In the XXIII we had RWC non-squad members, those who hadn’t seen much game time during RC and some back from injury layoffs. All in all the whole group will be better for the hit-out and it also may have consolidated some of the selectors thinking re a few positions – Spanners v Lilo, Dempsey v FKA, white v sanchez.

        In the bigger picture no one will remember the game once RWC kicks off. It was what it was, a chance to blow out cobwebs, have a look at others in match situations and for some on the peripheries to have a run

        I said above it was nearly our XV 2.5 side so some perspective required.i still have us as definite semi finalists and and ounce of luck a finalist.

    • AllyOz

      Sauce is not a winger. He tries his guts out but he just gives up so much pace to genuine fast men. I think he is a good solid fullback option but he seems to be 3 or 4th option there.

  • joy

    If Pocock had made 4 turnovers he’d be deified. Simmons turns over 4 lineouts and is vilified. Go figure.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I thought Simmons had one of his better games last night. Great line out work

    • Brisneyland Local

      I thought Simmons had one of his better games. He was even useful around the ruck. And only one silly penalty that I saw. Seemed like he was playing for his position.

      • Who?

        The penalty for not rolling away? I thought that was harsh (as was one against Samoa where the tackler was lying underneath Foley, the ball carrier, who wasn’t in any way impeded from releasing/playing the ball).

        • Brisneyland Local

          Not sure it was that one. I will rewatch and find it. Might be victimising simmons for someone elses fopah!

        • Greg

          That is a much more intuitive spelling of faux pas!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep, and I didnt run spell check before posting. Bugger.

    • Tim

      Simmons did well! in the line-out but apart from that was unnoticeable

    • Brumby Runner

      Coleman won a couple against the throw. Are you sure Rob won all four you give him credit for?

      • Keith Butler

        Found it difficult to see, must be due to the headgear but both had decent games.

    • Gipetto

      One minute Coleman is the messiah, then it’s Arnold. Simmons is king. There is a pact amongst commentators never to mention his name.

      • Arnold is number 1 for sure.

        • Gipetto

          We’ll see if stays uninjured for the whole World Cup campaign.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Steve. Bit of a meh! game all round I thought. The only thing that really came out of it was Pocock getting through without injury. No one who hadn’t been picked for any of the other games or the RWC squad did anything to prove Cheika wrong. Some actually proved his selections correct TBH. I also didn’t think anyone in the squad put their hands up to be a starting 23 in the big games either. Maybe Coleman and Toomua.
    I’m still not sure what the purpose of the game was. It didn’t do anything for the RWC squad as there weren’t really any combos getting time together, Samoa were quite poor so those who did play quite well didn’t really confirm anything we don’t already know and TBH not winning by 50 points meant it really was quite a poor showing

    • Who?

      It gave a farewell Test to four or five Tahs (Kepu, Taf, AAC, Phipps, Foley?), it was the only Test in Sydney this year, and it meant more gate takings. It was only our third home Test this year, normally we’d have seven…

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah I get that and in some ways I can see it being ok. I just think it did nothing for RWC preparation and could have been used a lot better

  • I guess we can take heart that this was not our A team. Fortunately their line out was poor as was our scrum was Paolo Alo Emile came on. HE was awesome as Bob Dwyer predicted some many years ago. I was also impressed with their ability to stop what appeared to be certain tries by our outside backs.

    ONTO other matters, can’t work out how the World Rankings are calculated – Irelend loses by 40 plus points against England but beats Wales by a few points and is rocketed to number 1 in the world. Still is Australia can’t wind the World Cup, I sincerely hope Ireland does.

  • LED

    For me the most telling thing from Saturdays game is the comparison with the All Blacks / Tonga match. Samoa and Tonga are basically neck and neck in world rankings (Tonga 15th/ Samoa 16th). Yet the scores read:

    ABs vs Tonga: 92-7
    WBs vs Samoa 34-15.

    Worse attack, worse defence. Even if you say our first choice XV would’ve added another 14 points and conceded none extra, its a stark difference in result. If anyone wants a clear read on our chances to win “Bill”, that stat above says its Sweet Fanny Adams.

Samoa
@steve_l15

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

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