Wallabies hold on to beat the Baa Baas - Green and Gold Rugby
Wallabies

Wallabies hold on to beat the Baa Baas

Wallabies hold on to beat the Baa Baas

The Wallabies made hard work of it but they have held on for a 31-28 win over the Barbarians in Sydney this afternoon. Duncan Paia’aua scored a brace while starting at 10 for the Wallabies but the win comes at a high cost though with Lukhan Tui and Jack Dempsey limping off with injuries that will more than likely rule them out of the Spring Tour.

The match was played in warm conditions with both side trying to respect the concept of traditional Barbarian games although the memo may not have made it to the officials room with two yellow cards late in the game against the Barbarians halting any chance of a famous victory.

The Match

The Wallabies had all the ball in the opening ten minutes on the back of five penalties dished out by referee Brendon Pickerill against the Barbarians. After opting for a series scrums in the 22, Duncan Paia’aua strolled through some pedestrian defence to open the scoring.

There was nothing pedestrian about Wycliff Palu’s defence though after being a late call up for Jacques Potgieter and he smashed Jordan Uelese with a trademark hit in a throwback to his Waratahs days.

The Barbarians finally got their chance to throw it around and made some good metres out wide. They managed to get some penalties of their own and came up with an old school Barbarians move with Taniela Tupou crossing the line but it was pulled back because of the old ‘footy up the jumper’ trick.

Wallabies experimental back line.

Wallabies experimental back line.

They wouldn’t have to wait too much longer as Queensland Reds hooker Andrew Ready spun out of contact with Samu Kerevi and Lukhan Tui to score. Quade Cooper converted to make it 7-5.

It was back-to-back-to-back tries with three in five minutes for the Barbarians with Taqele Naiyaravoro getting over the line first with some razzle dazzle handling skills from Tim Nanai-Wiliiams in the lead up.

Tom Banks got his name on the try scorers list as Naiyaravoro made a break down the right wing after Kerevi attempted to intercept, and with Cooper’s third conversion it was 21-5 after 30 minutes.

Just on half time, the Wallabies reduced the margin with Henry Speight finding some room in the Barbarians defensive line after being set up by Kerevi and Paia’aua’s conversion made it 21-12.

Henry Speight

Henry Speight

The second half started with the Wallabies on attack but not able to get through a determined Barbarians defence. It took 15 minutes for the next score with Jack Dempsey, who started at open side flanker, handling a number of times before scoring the Wallabies third try to make it 21-17.

There were some strong displays from the bench including Ben Maccalman and Stephen Moore and that lead to the Wallabies getting back in front in the 62nd minute with Paiau’aua scoring under the posts for his second of the match after replacement Curtis Rona found open space off a nice Lopeti Timani short ball.

The lead changed hands again shortly after with Naiyaravoro bagging his second after Tom Banks collected a Quade Cooper kick in behind the Wallabies defence and a simple draw and pass saw the big man with an easy run to the line.

But that would be the end of his contribution as he copped a yellow card in the 70th minute for a deliberate knock down with the Wallabies on attack in the 22.

The Barbarians task got even harder as they went down to 13 men with Cooper following Naiyaravoro to the naughty chair after high shot on Israel Folau and the 2 man advantage was too much to hold out as the Wallabies rolled over a maul the resulting penalty with Moore awarded the five pointer. Paia’aua converted to make it 31-28 with much ‘advice’ heading the referees way as to how Barbarians games work.

The Spring Tour squad will be announced tomorrow with a few players putting their names in the mix including Ben McCalman with a nice cameo off the bench but there won’t be Lukhan Tui amongst those names as he suffered a hamstring injury that will reportedly rule him out for 4-5 weeks. Jack Dempsey could also be in doubt after hobbling off late in the match with what appeared a serious leg injury.



The Game Changer

The two yellow cards late in the game ruined the contest that would have most likely seen the Barbarians hold onto a famous win.


The G&GR MOTM

Jack Dempsey played well at openside and even scored a try himself before having to limp off the field late in the match. A strong cameo from Ben McCalman off the bench was worthy of a mention as was the double from Taqele Naiyaravoro.


The Details

Score & Scorers

WALLABIES 31
Tries: Paia’aua 2, Speight, Dempsey, Moore
Conversions: Paia’aua 3
BARBARIANS 28
Tries: Naiyaravoro 2, Ready, Banks
Conversions: Cooper 4

Cards

70 mins – Naiyaravoro (Barbarians) – Yellow
71 mins – Cooper (Barbarians) – Yellow

Photos by Peter Mitchell

If you have a spare 20 minutes, you can watch Alan Jones giving his appraisal of the match and all things rugby in general in the post match presser.

  • Adrian

    Helped chances = Timani, McCalman, Cooper, Duncan P, Naiyaravo, Jones (available?), Palu ( I guess retired….but I’d have him), Tupou
    Hurt chances = Tui (injured), Dempsey (injured), Kerevi (missed tackles)

    I’m not keen on matches where there is nothing up for grabs except injuries

    • Phil Kcraig

      Nah entertaining game and provides money for ARU coffers

      • Fatflanker

        Looks like they made about a buck-fifty based on the empty seats – honestly could RA not have made a better effort to promote attendance and generate an atmosphere worthy of a Barbarians game? Pissssss-poor effort.

        • Pedro

          They stacked everyone into one side of the ground so it looked worse than it was. Also the event wasn’t run by the ARU, so any monetary loss was the contractor’s.

        • McWarren

          What so need for the ARU to promote it or show pofessional courtesy to the opposition? If that’s there attitude then no wonder there broke.

        • Pedro

          I was only putting some extra detail on FF’s post. I think you might have replied to the wrong post.

        • McWarren

          Pedro, i took your comment about who ran it to be a reason why the ARU shouldn’t put any effort in. Sorry mate my bad if that’s not what you were implying.

          As an aside I enjoyed the game itself just not all the Jones politics around it.

        • Who?

          They made $1.6 Million according to Jones in the presser. And didn’t bother to ring up the BaaBaas leadership, or really do much to promote the game. It was the Alan Jones Barbarians TM because he was the one promoting it…

    • Greg

      Overall, I thought Cooper was sound, A lot of big backs and forwards taking straight up the middle were hard to tackle and entertaining to watch. both 9s had trouble passing in front of teh player; lots fo stopping/jumping/reching back form teh receivers. I didn’t think Hunt did much.

  • Pedro

    Thanks for the write up. You could hear Matt Rowley and Michael Cheika scream in unison when Cooper went high: “that’s why you’re not playing for the wallabies!”. The first yellow I thought was very harsh though.

    • Greg

      I thought there was a deliberate knock on at the other end by, I think, Dempsey. I was thinking yellow…. the ref thought scrum.

      • Pedro

        It was definitely the more cynical of the two offenses.

      • FucktardStorm

        There’s no such fucking thing as a deliberate knock on. Most ridiculous rule in the book. If you go for an intercept, but only tip it with your fingers and knock it on, you get sent from the field for 10 mins. Infuriating way to ruin a game.

        • Who?

          Sure. But… That wasn’t Naiyaravoro’s infringement. And Dempsey’s two knock downs, I’ve seen George Smith carded multiple times over the years for exactly that (usually in Gold). I’m glad Dempsey wasn’t carded, but I don’t see how that was a lesser infringement than scoring a try with a ball up the jumper…

        • Aron

          Dempsey got penalised for a knock-down (on) in South Africa. Result was 3 points

      • idiot savant

        Yes! TN should’ve been penalised for offside, nothing more as he very nearly did intercept it. Dempsey on the other hand deliberately and cynically offended. The camera cut to him looking at the ref and you could see by his expression that he knew he had infringed and was hoping to get away with it! What an incompetent referee!

    • first time long time

      Yet he was as good or better than anything Foley has dished up this year.
      It’s as though you are looking to find a reason to say I told you so he’s not good enough.

      • Pedro

        Is it? Or am I referencing something you didn’t pick up on?

        • first time long time

          Perhaps? You may be too cryptic for me Pedro? ; )

  • Greg

    I thought getting Mr Jones involved as coach was great.

    I have no time at all for his bullying bombast on the radio…. but as a coach, he was positive, enthusiastic, a great media presence and the boys in the team were positive about it as well.

  • Tim

    Lopeti Timani i thought played really well i would love to see him given a chance by Cheika. Should be our next 10 after he set up the break for our final try! Naiyaravo looked to be playing 13 and was outstanding. Disappointing injuries

  • Andy

    McCalman looked the goods. Also thought Depsey was terrific before getting injured. What a find he has been. Plenty of average performances though.

    Hope Tui is ok for the tour. And if this game has proven that Hanigan isn’t ready for this level, I have no idea what will. He was outplayed by every backrower on the park including the subs

    • Brumby Runner

      Hanigan is the Rob Simmons in waiting. His only real skill looks to be taking the ball in the lineout. Rob has prospered on just that one skill now for many years.

      • Alister Smith

        It’s others opinion rather than mine but apparent Ben is a decent scrummager – would be a much better player if he could work out the difference between strong aggressive play and senseless spiteful crap

        • Brumby Runner

          Yeah, and that’s exactly what the Simmons’ supporters have been saying all along, but how one player can have his efforts in the scrum distinguished from the whole is a mystery to me,

        • McWarren

          I think maybe the coaches ask the props and hooker who is pushing the hardest, after some deliberation the front row respond ‘Simmo definitely, yeah it’s Simmo, Simmo’. Mystery solved!!

        • Alister Smith

          If you are watching and you are Mario Ledesma you can tell who is working and who isn’t. Certainly as McWarren says the props can tell, they can tell in the training sessions, some scrum machines even have gauges to check what weight is coming through each side and you can see visually who has good posture/height/structure and also from the scrum itself if it wheels a particular way. I think some people think that scrummaging is a front row thing only but a good lock, particularly a good tight-head lock can be incredibly important – well both locks are perhaps equally important I guess but I always found that tighthead side more challenging or demanding as you are potentially facing more weight coming through on your tighthead prop and its just the two of you in the tight against 3 of them. I don’t know if Simmons is one of those good locks or not. I have never really looked closely enough and generally the tv doesn’t capture that battle particularly well and I don’t get to see him training. Anyway even if we think he’s rubbish we are probably stuck with him for a bit longer yet.

      • idiot savant

        Actually I was thinking during the game that Hanigan is a lock, not a 6. And as you say like Simmons, a nice guy and work rate player not a mongrel, but reasonable at set piece.

  • joy

    Naiyaravoro yellow was for repeat offsides not the knockdown. Cooper was trying to strip the ball and got a head instead.

    • Who?

      Thing was, he wasn’t necessarily offside… He took a step forward after Powell got his hands on the ball, and that’s where he took the pass. He was one step ahead of the 5m line, which was the offside line…
      Cooper was trying to avoid Paia’aua, who ran an obstruction line.
      But the ref had already allowed a try off a turnover from the Wallabies all offside, and a few other ridiculous calls by then. It was just following his pattern. And if Jones had cleared the ‘up the jumper’ move with the ref before the game, as claimed in the presser, and if the call was ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’, then I’d argue the BaaBaas were robbed…

    • Number 12

      Good point – noticed Cooper also had stripped the ball twice previously for what were in effect two turnovers! Would be lauded if he was a 7 that got 2 turnovers….

  • Brumby Runner

    I don’t agree with Dempsey as MOTM. the whole back row for the Baa Baas was superior to the Wallabies’ backrow, with Cliff Palu and Naisarani both outstanding.

    Kerevi again confirmed he is not a test quality No 13. Naiyaravoro had a field day directly opposite him.

    Phipps was very ordinary. Some poor passing mixed in with a performance that added virtually nothing to the Wallabies’ cause.

    Hunt was disappointing. Tried hard but had liitle impact. Meakes was out of his depth.

    All of the Baa Baas’ locks outplayed their Wallaby counterparts. Sad about Tui though.

    • Who?

      Dempsey did arguably play the best ‘traditional 7′ game we’ve seen in a Gold jersey this year, though. That said, at least the first of his penalties for not releasing was clearly off his feet.
      I think it’s really hard to judge Hunt when he had two un-Cheika players at 10 and 12.
      Horrible to see Dempsey and Tui injured.

      • Sevenwithasixonmyback

        Hunt’s kicking game was dreadful.
        Two penalty sideline attempts failed miserably. That alone made his day ordinary at best.
        The Barbarians’ scrum was solid against a well drilled Gold pack.
        With Sam Carter off the field in the opening minutes for blood-bin, Matty Philip stood right up and showed why he will be a starting Wallaby soon.
        Cooper’s above the shoulders on Folau deserved the cheese but the earlier playing the ball yellow was simple ref arrogance/ignorance/interference.
        Lots to cheer about. Lots of experimental stuff. Some failures. Some successes. Ref too involved across the park.
        A cracking game of high level Club Rugby, played in good spirit. Small crowd enjoyed every minute.

    • idiot savant

      I agree there are other candidates for MOM including Naisarani and Jones (the BaBas pack really held their own) but I think that without Dempsey’s constant aggressive on ball presence the Babas would have won, so in terms of game influence Im happy to go with him. However, if the ref was consistent he would’ve been sent off for repeated cynical infringements! I think we will really miss him and hopes he makes a complete recovery.

  • Adrian

    Based on today and RC, my 34 are:

    Hunt, Banks
    Korebette, Speight
    Kurdrani, Kerevi
    Beale, Paia’aua
    Hodge, Naiyaravo
    Foley, Cooper
    Genia, Phipps, Powell
    McMahon, Timani
    Hooper, Wright
    McCalman, Hanigan
    Coleman, Simmons
    Arnold, Tui (if out Douglas & Phillip in that order)
    Kepu, Alaalatoa, Tupou
    TPN, Uelese, Moore
    Sio, Robertson, Faulkner

    • Brumby Runner

      What, no Folau. No chance.

      And Moore has retired from test rugby, hasn’t he?

      Despitre his excellent game yesterday, I’d be loathe to include Naiyarovoro as he has been less than impressive in his previous outings for the Wallabies. He does look like he would thrive at 13 rather than on the wing, however. Rona put in a good showing when he came on yesterday and may be pushing for a wing spot.

      I really think Duncan P will also make the squad, probably at Quade’s expense.

      • Adrian

        Folau taking 3 months off. Moore finishing at end of year

    • idiot savant

      Pretty good Adrian. I think Cooper shot himself with another brain fart. (It wasn’t a YC but why so high? Why?) Duncan P did enough and it would take injuries to both Foley and Beale for him to get any game time, so its a development ride.

      On any rational assessment you would have to say Hanigan and Kerevi have not performed to the standard required but for various reasons, I think you’re right they will both go.

      I was impressed with the Babas scrum. Thought Cowan and Ready scrummaged well. So maybe Cowan for Faulkner? I thought Ready shaded Ulysees but Im beginning to wonder if Cheka thinks he and Latu are too small.

      • Adrian

        I thought Cooper ok, but YC gave an excuse not to have him. In any case he’d be 3rd string 5/8 behind Foley and Beale. Despite where he played him, I have a hunch that Cheika might see Pea’aea as a back up 12 to Beale,….to be used if Foley was injured and Beale played 5/8. For that reason he’d need a bench 5/8, and I reckon it could be Cooper. We’ll find out today I guess.

        Shame about Kerevi, but I think he’ll fix his defence in due course. Also shame that Latu is injured, if that’s really what’s going on. I actually think it’s not the full story.

        Lock stock are bare, despite them looking great 3 weeks ago. Despite everything, I’d have Hannigan there to cover lock and 6. Locks will be ok by WC, and Skelton will probably be in the mix too

        • idiot savant

          It’d be great to have Skelton back and fit. I thought Hanigan proved he is a lock yesterday, not a 6. Like Simmons tho, he’s had a mongrel bypass.

          Watching Faiua Sautea in the NRC, I wouldn’t guarantee Kerevi a spot in the Reds centres next year. He really does need intensive training in defence.

          Surely Cheka will keep Cooper interested (if not in the squad). Injuries to Foley and Beale could change everything. DP is a long way off being ready to suit up at 10 in a Bledisloe or RWC.

        • Who?

          I thought Hanigan showed Saturday that he’s still lacking a lot of bulk… The scrum was shunted when he moved to lock. Seriously, the kid looks like my 13 year old nephew. He should’ve been left home for a summer in the gym – he’s never going to reach his potential if he can’t get time to develop physically.

        • idiot savant

          Yeah he and Andrew Ready should swap diets…

        • Who?

          Pay that! :-D

      • onlinesideline

        I’m with you Idiot. I dont think QC had a stellar peformance. He seems to have lost that youthful speed and jetshoes that young dudes like Duncan P remind us all, that young dudes have. Sadly as much as I like certain parts of Quades game, I think he’s way down Cheikas list.

        • idiot savant

          Until the brain fart, I liked his game. He was a general without appearing to overplay his hand or try to do too much. His decisions were good and his timing excellent given an unfamiliar half back who often had to delay passes due to the interference.

        • Who?

          Exactly. The question about a 10 is how much ball the guys outside him see, and how many blokes he puts through holes. Quade distributed well, and the guys out wide had all the pill that was available. He didn’t pull out all the fancy tricks of 2010/11, but he defended in the front line. He showed why he played at the back in 2011 – the Reds lacked a counterattacking 15, and he added value back there. Whereas over the weekend, he had Nanai-Williams back there, with all the creativity one could need.
          That said, I don’t know that Cheika will ever pick him again, but I don’t see that he’ll leave the Reds again. I wouldn’t be surprised if his time in Toulon burned him.

        • idiot savant

          It will be interesting to see how the Thorn / Cooper relationship will work at the Reds next year. Given how brilliantly Stewart has set aight the QC backs, it would be hard to imagine him not getting some game time.

          I think Kerevi’s position is probably also up for review given what a premium Thorn sets on tackling and just how good Chris F-S has been in the 13 jumper for QC.

  • Bobas

    it is unfathomable to think that the referee knew before the game that they were going to try the up the jumper play, so he said he needed to see the player in front of all others tap it, so they did. Then he ruled unsportsmanlike behaviour when it worked…

    • idiot savant

      Yes! Not sure who was the most unsportsmanlike. The players or the ref.

  • onlinesideline

    the existence of this game considering what the rugby calender asks of these players is idiotic. To play a gruelling SR comp with lots of travel and then same for RC with travel and then EOYT with even more travel. They are being treated like cattle and when that happens injuries happen.

    My main grip is the nature of the contest. After being soooo ON a week before, its only natural you wont be AS ON in this baabaas match. Why is that important. Here is my speil.
    When you are ON, like really on, you enter into collisions / breakdowns a different specimen to a friendly like yesterdays. You stretch during the week with more intensity, you do mobility drills with more mental connection with your body in anticipation for massive collisions. You brace yourself for a whole different and more intense experience and thus the mind makes decisions on the field to protect and survive but thrive as well. When 7 days later you drop your guard disaster happens. And it happened to 2 of our best.

    Why am I pissed. Because the ARU spends money developing the game so we can blood and develop top test teams. Thats what supporters hope for and rejoice in when it happens. We were all looking forward to continued development of the team in UK and now its comprimised again for what ? The NRC was comprimised, the baabaa game is a joke ( big hits dont make it a quality game) and was ruined by a idiot ref, and now the EOYT has been really soured. How you expect players to front up after a mongrel Bledisloe and play this, risk injury before EOYT is beyond me. This baabaaa concept was for rugby in the days when the rugby calender was a patch on todays coupled with the fact that today the sport is professional and it cost time and energy to blood and develop players.

    These 2 players, Tui and Dempsey should never have happend.

    CAN the barbarians concept

    • McWarren

      Good game though

      • onlinesideline

        if you had a choice of not having that game v having Tui and Dempsey fit and touring, what would you take ?

        • McWarren

          well I don’t believe in cotton woolling players. I would have liked to see more 1st teamers playing a BaaBaa’s style of game and have their eyes opened to the possibilities when a ball is kept alive and the player plays what’s in front of him/her.

          I think Tui and Dempsey would be just as likely to get injured against Japan having just had, what, 3 weeks without a run.

          I understand your frustrations but I still support the institution that is the Barbarians. In the last year I’ve heard people call for the end to the Lions, the Haka and the BaaBaa’s. Three things very unique to Rugby (I know the Haka is performed by all kiwi teams but I know it from rugby). Take those things away and for me the game becomes poorer.

          This blinding desire under the guise of professionalism too forget what made Rugby great in the first place is what has led to these baron years for Oz rugby.

          So yeah it’s sad for the two players concerned but if that game showed anything it was the depth in Aussie rugby. Nasairani for Dempsey and Carter for Tui.

        • onlinesideline

          I support tradition too but within reason. (luv the haka and lions). Risking injury in spite of upcoming tests, which are hugely important 18 months out of RWC for the sake of the baabaas tradition is effectively equating the importance of this tradition with the match against the Poms. For me that doesnt add up. The reason baabaa matches were worth risking injury wise in the past was because of the drastically smaller playing year calender. If someone got injured at the season ending baabaa match it was no big deal. But having these guys work their tail off, peaking for a UK tour, ready to go, then get risked for this ? – NOW a week before plane takes off – well we have to disagree on this.

          Re ur comment on likelihood of getting in Japan too – disagree too. Not having a run for 3 weeks doesnt increase chance of injury. It refreshes you. Backing up after Bled into an unstructured enviroment is a disaster waiting to happen. Test footy is very structured, while the hits were test footy intensity yesterday, there was no structure and ppls minds were half in it.

        • McWarren

          Mate their minds were fully into it. Name me player there not wanting to be on that pitch.

          So you want to wrap all our possibles and probables in cotton wool 18 months out from the RWC? That’s insane. This test against the Japanese is going to be as unstructured and free flowing as the baba’s game. What happens when Foley gets hurt this weekend? Should we ban all tests on the way to Europe. Cheika started an almost completely new team, it was trial run. They could have played an internal game this week and still succumbed to injuries.

          So your saying test rugby is safer because it is more structured. Well your probably right and that will explain why I’m bored shitless with.

        • Bernie Chan

          Injuries also happen in training a lot…in all sports, especially ones that involve heavy contact. Part-and-parcel of the game…agree we can’t “cotton wool” players..

        • onlinesideline

          you miss my point – cotton wool certain players 1 week before touring not because of the RWC. I was saying the upcoming tests in UK were important 18 months out of RWC.

          Japan test will be a structured game, way more than baabaas. It still a test.

        • onlinesideline

          We knew about Nasairani before Saturday and Carter we know about too. It revelealed nada mate.

  • Well that was fun and will no doubt have put a few players back on the radar. There’s obviously more depth out there than I might have been giving credit for up until the recent victory over the All Blacks.

  • adastra32

    It is interesting that on the basis of one (not serious, invitational) game, that players are being talked up/down so avidly.

  • first time long time

    And as an aside, it’s great to see Jarryd Hayne fulfill his life long dream of playing for Fiji in the Rugby league World Cup

  • McWarren

    And we have no depth at 10??

  • McWarren

    At one point when the new guy Wright came on the camera focused on him and Hanigan walking to a lineout and I thought I was watching a GPS first XV game. Both are currently way too small to play back row at international level.

    Wallaby backrow got shown up again as light weight an ineffectual.

    If Quade doesn’t go on the tour then I know it is a personality clash with Cheika. He is light years ahead of Foley in every aspect of the game.

    • Sevenwithasixonmyback

      As a fan of BF, though not necessarily of him in a Gold 10 jumper, I certainly agree that Quade is a more exciting prospect as the key backline decision-maker. Quade showed instinctive ability in every play (though his silly Benji Marshall hop/skip step hasta go) and that floated cross-field try assist was a ripper. BF couldn’t do that in a pink fit, let alone just pull it out of his ass. Quade was a quiet captain yesterday but a top 10 and has to go on the northern tour. The competition might make BF step up…
      Liam Wright would have been in la-la land yesterday. Good on him. Played okay, too. Hanigan shouldn’t be there. Not dogged enough (and looks like a schoolboy).

    • Bernie Chan

      Quade not touring…hard to understand Cheika, Tui has been selected (and I think he is a big, though raw, talent…looking forward to see him develop under Thorn and the Reds…) despite a hamstring strain that will prevent him from playing until at least game(s) 3 and 4. Even if Tui overcomes his injury…how could he be fit enough to play Test rugby? Seems some ‘desperate’ decisions were made due to injuries to Dempsey, Rodda and Tui. But one flyhalf…?

      • McWarren

        According to the master coach he has 3 flyhalves, Foley, Beale and Hodge. It look me a bloody deja vu nightmare with coaches in this country. Completely undervalue the a positions intricacies and try and show horn someone into an unnatural position. How many England and Kiwi 10’s have been wingers and fullbacks taught too play ten at test level?

        I’m hoping he starts Hanigan against England.

        • Bernie Chan

          Cheika has continued to baffle me like a politician. Was disappointed to see the Coach (and who was that other bloke beside him anyway?) “blow up” in reaction to a nothing tackle…As an ‘aside’, I also thought the Ref was pretty poor, especially for the occasion (Barbarians rugby and such…). Eddie Jones hopes Hanigan starts against ENG…!

  • idiot savant

    What is it with kiwi referees and the culture that is producing them? Fraser, Williams and Pickerill, the leading lights of the next generation of kiwi refs having come up through their development systems are openly arrogant and disdainful of players on field and exceptionally quick to hand out yellow cards.

    Who on earth appointed Pickerill to this match? Either Pickerill was not briefed about the history of Barbarian rugby or he chose to treat its history with contempt. Right from the get go, he was intent on stoppages. Rather than allow play to go on when Palu took a player out off the ball and at the next stoppage, speak to him and the captains and say he doesn’t want people taken out who they arent near the ball, he chose to penalise. A real case in point about his lack of match and man management skills and understanding / contempt of / for the traditions of Barbarian rugby.

  • BigNickHartman

    This Jones fella has an amazing ability to yammer on and on, as if no one is listening

  • idiot savant

    Good scoring Adrian. Some interesting selections. Cheka obviously thought performances in the Babas game irrelevant. A message to the hierarchy perhaps?

    Answers some questions. Duncan P is not going to be 10 (or 12) under Cheka. Perhaps Maddocks is pencilled in for a conversion to 10? Enever over Staniforth is backing Larkham’s judgement. Banks and Nabuli are at the end of a very long back 3 queue so that makes sense. And persevering with Meakes, Kerevi, and Hanigan preserves the cohort that is working in the Wallabies favour.

    • Adrian

      Duncan could be a 12 with Cheika one day IMO, but probably not a 10.

      With Duncan and Quade it’s all about that flatness that Cheika requires. They don’t have it

      • idiot savant

        I am still flummoxed by Cheka’s plan to build depth at 10. I’m fine with it not being Duncan P. But I would like it to be somebody. At this stage no one is getting any minutes at test level in that position. The All Blacks don’t do that. The English don’t do that. What happens if Foley gets injured during the pool stages of the RWC? Beale will just magically become a great 5/8 despite never having played a competitive minute at any level in the position for the last couple of years? Its weird. And I don’t believe that Beale can play flat at 10. He needs space. But how will anyone know?

        • Adrian

          Yes, well it is odd, but that goes with the guy….who trusts his intuition more than I do.

          I think that he thinks Beale can do it, and perhaps they have done a lot in training.

          I think that if someone appears of the right style he’ll elevate him. That could be Mack Mason, but who knows? Even Hunt, especially when Folau is back.

          I’ve always thought it, but more and more Cheika is evolving towards the wider playmaker (12). Not so much a second 5/8, as the main 5/8, standing in the 12 slot, …and playing flat.

          I thought Duncan P played ok as a flat 10, I still think Cheika sees him as an eventual 12, with Beale-like skills.

          For now though, Meakes is the second (to Hunt) back-up 12, wholly and solely because he can play flat.

          I think Cheika is finally doing things his way, and it’s working. We have to remember, that as a coach he’s not much good at playing other styles

        • idiot savant

          Im sure Beale has done it in training but that isn’t the same as having a bunch of All Blacks running at you in a test match. Cooper used to play flatter until the RWC in NZ where his confidence was destroyed by shooters. The same fate awaits Beale. And Im already worried about him playing 15 under the high ball on the spring tour. (I think Hunt will play 12). No other coach of a national side would leave his back up 10 to chance.

          And I don’t think you can stand flat at 12 and be a playmaker. At best you can be a flat footed crash baller (like Meakes). To be a playmaker at 12 you have to stand deep and be a second line option. Then (with space) you can run outside or back inside or straight or pass (or kick which Cheka won’t allow). You can’t do all that standing flat at 12 in test rugby.

    • Adrian

      I think the lock selections are good, and good news re Tui….so far anyway.
      I was impressed by McCalman’s game, but have never seen him do much in tests

Wallabies
@steve_l15

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

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