Bloemming heck - Wallabies and Boks play out another draw - Green and Gold Rugby
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Bloemming heck – Wallabies and Boks play out another draw

Bloemming heck – Wallabies and Boks play out another draw

Both the Wallabies and Boks entered the match relieved they weren’t facing the All Blacks again.  It’s been a while since the Aussies have won in Bloemfontein and a win would take an improved performance from the last time these teams played a few weeks ago. In the end the teams would play out yet another draw, following their one in Perth. It was a fantastic test match with some heroic performances by both teams.

The 1st Half:

It was a strong start for the Boks has they held on to the ball for the first two mins and nine phases from the kick off, making plenty of territory but more impressively maintaining possession. It was clear that altitude was having a big factor on the kicking game early – even Bernard Foley’s kicks going 50m plus.

Despite the Springbok possession advantage, the first try of the game went to the Wallabies from a scrum inside the 22m, which wasn’t the most solid.  Will Genia passed to Foley who sent it back on the inside to Izzy Folau to score his 11th try of the year – a new wallaby record. 7-0

The Boks had a clear game plan to take it wide but  the Wallaby defense covered well with Koroibete defending well  on the flank, Reece Hodge doing a lot in the middle and Sean McMahon very busy.

Back to back penalties against the Aussies saw the Boks put the pressure on. Both times they turned down shots for goal to  look for a try of their own.  While the Aussies defended the lineout well, the Boks picked and they drove and they recycled and eventually they scored through  through their tight head prop, Ruan Dreyer. 7-7

Pretty much from the kick-off the Boks went on the attack again as the Wallabies opened up.  As happens so often it was only a Michael Hooper turnover and forced penalty that saved the day.

The visitors hit the lead soon after when Bernard Foley kicked a penalty following a high tackle. 10-7.

When Jack Dempsey was penalised not longer after, for a  questionable deliberate knock down, the Boks drew level. 10 all.

Again it looked like the Boks could score as they offloaded well, but a brilliantly timed Beale intercept enabled an Aussie counter with Genia finding space and kicking ahead for Izzy. Folau couldn’t match Courtnall Skosan on the chase and a 22m drop out was forced. The pressure was there though and a Boks collapsed scrum in front of the posts followed and allowed Foley a chance to extend the lead further. 13-10

Folau was in the game again, but this time he was penalised for a high tackle (actually grabbing Dillyn Leyds by his top knot).  It was a deserved penalty but one that could have easily have been reversed as Eben Etzebeth  overreacted ridiculously in chasing down Folau.

From the resulting lineout, another penalty  was awarded for tackling the man in the air at the lineout.  The Boks were looking to score a try in the shadows of half time but the throw was long, the Aussies recovered and Hodge kicked for the first time all match.

At the break the Wallabies could be happy given the Boks dominated possession, the Aussies had looked more dangerous and defended very well against some pretty average Bok attack. Could they sustain it in the 2nd half with lungs burning?

The 2nd Half:

The ineffective Bok attack int the first half finally clicked in the second when Jan Serfontein crossed early. It came from space found out wide as Hodge held off a tackle and Kurtley Beale was bumped off by Siya Kolisi.  Kolisi found Leyds out wide who threw it back to Jan to score  the try and the Boks took the lead, 13-17.

The Aussies bounced back soon after when Bernard Foley made a great break, through Kolisi, on the back of a powerful Sio run. Foley was able to thread a beautiful pass to Koroibete to run and score in his run on debut. 20-17

But the Wallabies became complacent as the Boks again scored. The Wallabies softened in defense leading to a somewhat soft try to Courtnall Skosan. 20-24

The Aussies were being run ragged as the Boks raised their intensity in attack with their off-loading causing real problems for the Aussies.

The Wallabies were able to hold them on and regain their composure after the manic start to the half. They fought their way down the field and from a lineout began to attack the Bok line. They drew a penalty advantage  where Genia and Beale too the ball wide for Koroibete to score his 2nd . 27-24

Lukhan Tui came on for his test debut as replacements were brought on by both coaches. Starting players were clearly feeling the effect of altitude and the high pace of the game.

So fast was it that the Boks finally relented and took a shot at goal from about 50m out, with the angle.  The kick was good by Jantjies and the score was equal again with 10  minutes to go.

As players struggled to keep up with play Beale looked to have made the most of it with a brilliant counter attack only to struggle to find support. It eventually came through Moore and Genia went wide to Foley who found an exhausted Sean McMahon who looked away but was brought down from behind and dropped the ball.

Then it was South Africa’s turn to attack and, again, they looked away only for Koroibete to put in a tremendous tackle. Unfortunately he was penalised for what could have been a number of reasons but regardless it resulted in Jantjies having a shot from 5m from the sideline with minutes to go, to win the game.  A clearly exhausted Jantjies sent the ball wide and it was game on for the last two minutes.

McMahon chased the 22m kick strongly, but it was Hooper who put in a massive tackle and turnover which gave Australia one last chance.  They spread the pill and a charge up field by Allan Alaalatoa looked to give Australia an outside chance, but a fumble at the ruck base by Nick Phipps gave the ball back to the Boks. They tried to run it out but dual knock ons soon would seal the match and the 2nd draw between these two sides this season.


The Game Changer

No stand out here as it was a draw but the 2nd half start by the Boks certainly raised the intensity of the game.  

The G&GR MOTM

Sean McMahon and Michael Hooper were brilliant for the Wallabies, but I will give it to Hooper for his ability to bring out the big plays when needed. The guy is a freak.

Player  watch

Koroibete had a fantastic starting debut with two well taken tries and some excellent defense.  He may have been caught out a couple of times, but he made a strong case for a regular starting spot. Reece Hodge had probably his best game of the year with Tatau Polotau-Nau very busy. It must be noted that Ned Hanigan was excellent from the bench. The Boks were well served by both dangerous centres, Jan Serfontein, and Jesse Kriel, as well as their flanker Francois Louw.


The Details

Score & Scorers

Australia: 27 
Tries: Israel Folau (11th),Marika Koroibete (46th, 57th)
Conversions: Bernard Foley (12th, 47th, 58th)
Penalties: Bernard Foley (23rd, 34th,)

South Africa: 27
Tries: Ruan Dreyer (18th), Jan Serfontein (43rd), Courtnall Skosan (49th)
Conversions: Elton Jantjies (19th, 44th, 50th)
Penalties: Elton Jantjies (26th, 70th)

Cards

Nil.

  • Max Raine

    what a test. aussies deserved the win and are finding good form

    • sambo6

      i thought a draw was a good reflection of the game.both sides created chances, but didnt have the skill and accuracy to finish. i think current world rankings are slightly off ( nz, eng, sa, ire aus)….ireland should be 3 and sa and aus next…..thats a decent relfection….

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Ireland lost to Wales and Scotland this year. There isn’t much separating Aus, SA snd Ireland.

        • sambo6

          yeah, fair point. they were up and down in the 6n. but their up is higher than our up i feel. anyway, we’ll see on autum (or spring of youre in oz) tour

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, I’ll agree their up is definitely higher. Wins over England, the All Blacks, Aus in the last 12 months definitely prove that.

          I still think that all three teams are in with a decent shot at being a clear third in the next 12 months.

        • Gegonago

          Comparing wins in isolation to another rarely means anything.

      • Kevino

        The draw is enough for Ireland to move back to 3rd.

    • Gegonago

      Sort of? That pack is genuinely bad. The bench options are worse.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Uelese and Latu are fine backups, Cheika just needs to drop Moore.

        Arnold and Coleman are obviously the best locking pair, Cheika just needs to get over himself and keep selecting them.

        Timani isn’t a great international 8, but he does an okay job. Cheika needs to get over his fascinating with selecting shit passengers in the back-row and get Timani in there. At least he offers some impact.

      • McWarren

        Plenty of depth at 9, and at 10 we’ve still got Cooper, Lance or Stewart, all better players than Foley.

        • Gegonago

          >we’ve still got Cooper, Lance or Stewart

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVMib1T4T4

        • McWarren

          Mate there better than Foley, if Foley gets injured our lack of depth would be an improvement. So yes very serious.

        • McWarren

          Doesn’t Spidey win in the end??

        • Gegonago

          nahh he only lasted a few games before getting replaced

        • first time long time

          That’s because he had Foley at inside centre

    • Johann Coetzee

      deserved? care to motivate that without bias?

  • Gottsy

    Not saying I’m a super coach, but nearly every time I saw a substitution my heart sank.
    Also, I don’t want to be a hooper hater (because he did some really good things), but I really feel like his desperate efforts could be negated if we had at least 1 back rower that could influence the ruck.
    Also, unfortunately KB chose this game to have a shocker in defense

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Our pack at the end of the match was

      Robertson, Moore, Ala’alatoa, Simmons, Tui, Hanigna, Hooper, McMahon.

      Now, Ala’alatoa and Hooper are top players. McMahon is very good if not an eighthman and even Moore had a decent spell last night. But Jesus Christ, that forward pack would be weak by Super Rugby standards.

    • sambo6

      if poey or gill were playing they wold have owned that breakdown today….all too loose and imprecise from both sides

  • adastra32

    So there’s nothing to separate the WBs and SA – as they fight it out to be less than 50 points a game behind NZ.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      The set piece separated us. Showed the Wallabies’ attack and scramble defence must have been good given how many first up tackles we missed, and the fact we lost the set piece battle.

    • juswal

      Piss off, kiwi troll

      • onlinesideline

        he/she/it/bot – is right though.

        • juswal

          No it’s not. Aus vs SA was a contest in its own right and NZ isn’t relevant to the result.

        • adastra32

          That’s amusing on at least two counts. First, trolling does not base itself on statements of fact, which onlinesideline states. Second, I ain’t a bot/she/it…or Kiwi.

          Winning is a habit – and at the moment the WBs don’t have it. Don’t care how ‘improved’ or ‘attractive’ they are. They still managed to just draw with SA. So win. Win ‘ugly’ if necessary. But win. Then build on that.

  • Gus

    Great game played with plenty of skill and passion by both sides. Seems severe to mention it but the 3 pointer declined in the first half for what turned out to be a poorly executed corner kick possibly cost us but let’s face it if we were offered a draw at the start of the game we’d have taken it.

    I like our direction of travel. Although we didn’t win that was a strong performance across 80 mins and all facets. Cheika and his team have really brought them on this season. Fitness, skills, decision making and structures starting to look promising. Tough trip to Argentina now but then it’s off to Europe for some interesting games.

    Sad to see so many empty seats. SANZAAR take note.

    • Tommy Brady

      You mean like all those empty seats when the Wallabies played Fiji, Scotland and Italy in Australia in the non SANZAAR test matches in June?

      • Gus

        Clearly professional rugby in Australia is suffering whether it’s a SANZAAR competition or otherwise but it’s undeniable that SR and the Championship make the weather in the Southern Hemisphere. Absent the Lions or maybe an England tour these are the dominant competitions. As things stand we need SANZAAR to create competions that engage the wider Southern Hemisphere public. They ought to be held accountable.

        • Tommy Brady

          There is some validity to your point Gus but surely the greatest accountability lies with players and coaches producing teams that are correctly conditioned, appropriately skilled and are properly competitive. Teams that make fans want to pay their money and go through the turnstiles to watch them. We have seen far too few of them in 2017. Fan appetite for average rugby is only so large. Crowd attendances for many of these games is showing it.

        • Brumby Runner

          To be honest, I don’t think the Wallabies are far off putting together a whole game of attractive attack as they are improving in their general skills like ball handling, running lines, running support for the ball carrier, off-loading and passing in front of the runner.

        • Andy

          They are fairly good to watch but they are so inconsistent in some areas.

        • Tommy Brady

          Once again the 3rd test match against the All Blacks ahead of an EOYT shapes as a very important match for the Wallabies. They must put a complete performance together and give meaningful evidence that skill levels are elevating. What a pity it has taken until the last home test match of the year to raise any hopes.

    • Who?

      If you want to complain about missing an opportunity, what about Hanigan’s penalty at the death? If not penalized, then it’s play on and Genia scores! The ref didn’t have a great game by any means, but I did actually appreciate his attempts to bring some sanity to the scrum. He had a rough time educating the Saffas on the means of the engagement (no contact on bind, no push on set), and correctly penalized them the second time they pushed early (which Jackson (I think?) only gave as a FK the second time last game). The penalty where Hanigan unbound, he rightly didn’t award a penalty to SA as the team going forward as the scrum collapsed for two reasons:
      1. The ball was coming out, and
      2. They didn’t go forward – they walked around.
      If that second point weren’t true, then he wouldn’t have pinged Hanigan for a rarely-penalized offence. And if Hanigan had been more bound, Genia’s try would’ve stood, and… Maybe…..?
      But I think a draw was a very fair result for a rather entertaining test.

      • Bert

        If you watch that moment over, Hanigan was bound when he kicked the ball.

        • Who?

          I just did, gotta say, the ref’s in a much better position to judge that than we are. He’d also called Hanigan to stay bound 2 seconds before Hanigan unbound fully (a hand isn’t a bind) and kicked the ball. Hanigan had the right to kick the ball, and to unbind, as it was out. But the earlier ref’s call had him offside, and he hadn’t managed to get himself onside in the ref’s mind.
          That said, if you look at Hooper, he’s about 5m away from his lock and 2m away from the scrum at that moment (75:09), so Hanigan wasn’t the only unbound (Australian) flanker. He was just the one in the ref’s eyeline.
          As I said, it’d be rough to blame Hanigan for us failing to win, it’s just one of those 50-50 things. He actually did well to get a boot to the ball! And imagine the uproar if it went the other way – if a perceived dominant home scrum (which it wasn’t – they clearly walked around) had a ‘clearly unbound flanker’ (because the ref had told him to stay bound) kick a ball from the halfback’s hands and the opposition then scored the match winner..?

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    The game just reaffirmed that Kurtley Beale is not an international level centre. Some of the ways he was beaten in defence were embarrassing. Kolisi just bumping him off was painful to watch.

    In attack, once again Beale’s best moment came from running the ball back when he had space. Not when running the ball in tight from the 12 spot.

    The forward pack is just still so bad. Was Dempsey actually playing? The only time I saw him was when he committed the intentional knock on and conceded the penalty. Rodda is nowhere near as good as Arnold and Sean McMahon is not a number 8.

    Robertson, Hanigan, Tui and Simmons were invisible. Moore played well in his cameo, but come on, why wasn’t that Uelese.

    The only time our forward pack has looked good since the RWC was when we had Coleman and Arnold as the locking pair, and with Timani at 8. We need to get back to this if we want to compete in the forwards.

    1. Sio, 2. TPN, 3. Kepu, 4. Arnold, 5. Coleman, 6. Fardy (I’m dreaming)/Higgers (dreaming)/RHP (injured)/Simmons/Tui, 7. Hooper, 8. Timani; 16. anyone but Robertson, 17. Uelese, 18. Ala’alatoa, 19. Rodda, 20. McMahon

    • sambo6

      mate, i dislike beale as much as the next guy…..but blind freddy can see he’s the most dangerous player in that backline, save folau. the sa commentators gave him mom ffs….

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’d say he might even be more dangerous than Folau at present.

        That doesn’t make him a centre, however. He was, and shall always be, an outside back.

        • sambo6

          ill pay that

        • Jacopo Ruspi

          is there any possibility toomua is getting back before the world cup? he is having a hell of a season with leicester

        • onlinesideline

          Karmichael, Beale, Hodge ( when DHP fit) are all 12s. We need a backup 13 who can defend like TK in case he gets injured. Kerevi is a major worry in that dept.

        • Who?

          Beale is only a 12 if you require your 12 to be a ball player. But he can be a ball player at 15, in the ‘Fly Back’ manner that JOC played for the Force, and that Beale also played to such brilliant effect for the Wallabies in 2010 (including, if I recall correctly, the last time we played in Bloemfontein, a night when he earned the nickname ‘Gilbert’, and slotted a huge penalty to win it for us).
          I’d rather have TK at 13, Samu at 12, and Beale behind them inserting himself into the attack wherever he sees opportunity. TK and Samu could, with a strong 10 using them well, be Nonu and Smith. I believe they have that much upside, and they have the same skillsets (the compact, powerful runner at 12, the rangey, pacier, defensive master at 13).
          If you’re worried about 13, Perese played really well there for Qld Country last NRC. I know he’s been on the wing all this year, but he has history further infield, and I’m sure he’d love another shot. That’s without thinking about other guys who are doing well there this NRC Season.

        • Brumby Runner

          Add Kerevi to the list of competitors for the 12 spot. That is where he plays best.

        • Jacopo Ruspi

          Kerevi is absolutely a worry in defense. Has cheik ever played hodge at 12?

        • Simon

          I’m okay with Beale at 12. He is obviously not a good defender but I don’t think he’s going to see enough ball in the back three unless he’s at fullback, and I’m not convinced he’s enough of a net gain there to offset Folau shifting to wing.
          I feel the same about Beale as I do about Hooper. They don’t really fit into any clearly defined role, but they’re too good not to be there. The challenge for the coaches is to choose the right mix of players and tactics to balance the team. Which they have been struggling to do, particularly with Hooper.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Folau is essentially playing on the wing anyway. He hasn’t played as a fullback at all this year.

          Nick Bishop had an article over on the other site where he covers it. DHP was essentially playing as fullback until injured, and now it varies between Folau, Beale, Foley and Hodge.

          As Drew Mitchell said on kick and chase, Folau plays more like a roving wing Campese style than he does a fullback.

  • Steve

    Some thoughts from me:
    – Overall a good game from the Wals. But for a few silly errors we would have had the game.

    – Scrums were good throughout, save for one where we were back-pedaled. Sio faced up well with the SA tighthead.

    – Agree Hooper had a good game, although his captaincy continues to worry me. He turned down a kickable penalty (admittedly it was Foley who stuffed the kick) but more importantly was obviously getting on the referee’s nerves early on, which may have come back to bite us with the Etzebeth dust-up. Either way, not good captaincy.

    – Foley, still with the dumb errors that cost the team. The dead kick from the penalty and the direct kick out from the 22 both cost points. Not good enough.

    – the starting front row, McMahon, both wingers all played well. Beale good moments on attack, embarrassing moments on defence.

  • sambo6

    im so surprised, i actually enjoyed watching the wallabies today. i yelled at the television for the first time this year……

    • Gus

      Me to. The dog left the room at one stage…

      • onlinesideline

        Dog – “best leave him alone when he gets like this – Im gonna take a leak”

  • Bobas

    I disagree that Hannigan was good off the bench. He still can’t ruck, he was OK elsewhere though.
    Simmo was straight out awful, hit by a kickoff…

    I would have left Dempsey, Coleman, Genia and Beale on retrospectively.

    A mistake with the 6-2 bench having Phipps and Kerevi cover the entire backline. Kerevi only covers one position and Phipps really only covers the wing well.

    • sambo6

      yeah…question…why take beale off with 7 to go?

      why take genia off with 5 to go?

      im sure both have the fitness to last

      • Garry

        The breakout he made a minute before coming off, he was struggling to reach full pace. He was spent.

        • onlinesideline

          he was spent, but the other players were spenter.

        • follower

          I don’t think that was the reason for Beale’s slow jog after the initial like break, he was purposely slowing down to wait for support to arrive so that he wouldn’t get isolated. I thought it was quite clever.

        • Greg

          absolutely….. he stopped and waited for support. You see it a lot in the leaguies but not much in rugby. Balls to the wall doesn’t always do the job.

        • onlinesideline

          Im suprised he didnt go for the chip and chase

        • Missing Link

          or cheeky drop goal

        • Missing Link

          you are right, he was waiting for support, but he was also blowing

      • onlinesideline

        exactly, Beale IMO around the 70th min was sensing that the Boks were totally f…ked, ( as were the Wallabies ) but he was having a crack trying to link up with our Fjian Flyers, and I thought with 7- 8 mins to go he was going to try and counter and run it up the middle a couple more times. Even though he was gasping you could see exactly what he was thinking. Thats his go to game winning trick .. Cheika’s a mystery sometimes. Subs take a few mins to warm up to tempo of game anyhow, no matter what, so either sub Beale at 65th min or not at all.

      • Adrian

        Beale and Genia were tightening up in their running. I could see, though commentators didn’t mention it.

        Fatigued muscles can be torn

      • Missing Link

        Beale was wrecked after he made that break near the end. He’s an awesome player and had a massive game, but we have to remember Beale and Genia are 7 years older than when we beat NZ in Hong Kong, and O’Connor still hasn’t grown up :P

  • Pedro

    Both teams could feel aggrieved and had opportunities to win but a draw was a fair reflection of the game. It wasn’t a stalemate though, both teams kept swinging until the end. Shit result but entertaining game.

  • Miss Rugby

    I really wish Cheika would just shut up about the reffing after games we don’t win. Yes, there were some poor calls, but even if the ref had called a 100% correct game, not made a single error etc Beale still would have missed the tackle that led to a try and Foley still would have missed touch that could have potentially given us a try. thats a potential 14 points our own players may have cost us.

    • Bernie Chan

      And…take the friggin points! Kick the penalty goals…this is Test rugby, not NRC…

    • Who?

      If the ref had a perfect game, he’d have noticed that two of our tries came off clearly forward passes. :-0
      I’m often one to criticise the ref (and I do below), but he had no bearing on the result tonight. He was ordinary in general play (quite good in the scrum though!), but he was generally very even-handed.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Concour. I said I thought his mistakes were even on both teams. Neither team won or lost on the ref. It was all down to both teams mistakes.

      • John Miller

        Agreed. For all Cheik’s theatrical puffing, Foley’s inside ball for Falou’s try was a foot forward and the ref missed a heap of other stuff around the ground, and from both sides. I’m slightly surprised the touchies failed to raise their flags more often this match.

        Falou’s hair pull was clumsy and stupid. Cheika’s press conference was flat out embarrassing, and his insistence that, what was plain for all the to see, never happened is either the worst ever attempt at the Jedi Mind Trick, or a straight lie. Either way, pull your head in Michael!

    • Aron

      Occasionally international refs read the G&GR review after the Aussie match they have just adjudicated.
      Not every attempt at an intercept that fails is a deliberate knock on. Just saying.

    • Alister Smith

      Yes it’s time to learn some humility and lead by example on that. The Wallabies didn’t draw because of refs errors (in fact they may well have held on to a draw because of them). I am not as critical as many others of Cheika as a coach but on this point particularly he is achieving nothing and settling a poor example for his team and for other coaches and junior players.

  • juswal

    That match was enjoyable. All the tries were good and the midfield action was willing. Why didn’t the Wallabies win? It wasn’t any single error or decision; the problem was in defence, where the space left on the edges allowed the Boks to get into the Wallabies half. The Boks would have struggled to get into scoring position without that avenue.

  • Pclifto

    Is Rory Arnold injured or was he dropped completely from the 23?

    If the latter, Cheika is bonkers.

    Can we please please please put Simmons out to pasture, the guy is useless unless we need to give away a stupid penalty – he’s world class at that….

    • Brumby Runner

      Not useless but very ineffective and always has been.

  • kp

    “As happens so often it was only a Michael Hooper turnover and forced penalty that saved the day.” Really Reg? You wrote great review but Hooper getting a turnover is like spotting Migaloo, it’s not that common.

    • You should have watched the game. There was about three of them.

      • first time long time

        And good on him, I thought it was one of his better games of late. But that should be par for the course… he is an open side flanker.
        That’s what he needs to do every game, unfortunately it’s the first time this year

    • Who?

      Migaloo?! Perfect example, given he showed up on the way back to Antarctica this year. First time ever! Because Hooper making two key turnovers as he did this game is about that rare.
      That said, they were pretty key turnovers, and the one at the death showed just how much he didn’t want to lose or even draw that game… So credit to him.

      • John Miller

        Hooper’s tackle and turnover at the death was about as good as you’ll ever see. Awesome work. The one in the first half, however, should have been a penalty. He was completely off his feet, playing the ball on the ground and it happened right in front of the ref. Rookie ref error.

        Generally, Hooper made some great plays and ran all day. But gee he got dominated in collisions. Brushed aside and bumped off by Serfontein, Etzebeth and Marx, twice. Absolutely nailed by Kitshoff and easily stepped by Kriel. As barely containable Fox Sports commentators were gladly bellowing “oh, wonderful hands Michael Hooper” the replay showed he’d clearly knocked the ball on (another miss by the refs), queue stony silence in the commentary box. Two penalties against (offside and lying around at the ruck) cancelled out the two penalties won (only one of which was actually legal) and several turned down kickable penalties becomes a continuing leadership / strategy question mark as well (seriously, can our flyhalf be called “The Iceman” when he only ever seems to choose penalties within the 40 from with not a tramline in sight?)

        Genia was my MoM. Crisp, fast service, great decision making, good tactical kicking and kept Phipps off the pitch for 85 minutes.

        • Brumby Runner

          A little bit harsh on Foley’s goal kicking JM.Certainly, he is limited in his length but he has been putting over some good goals from the sideline lately. I do agree that he hasn’t earnt the tag “Iceman” yet and won’t until he can kick the Wallabies to a win in a close game v the ABs. He seems to have a mental issue when playing against the NZers.

        • John Miller

          Possibly right BR. I’d still like to see kickable penalties within 45 taken though. Foley’s percentage would be worse, but we’d also accumulate more points on the whole. Out of hand kicking still remains a major weakness for our flyhalf. Good to see Hodge taking a few touch finders (finally!) Was it -another – Foley moss that prompted this or part of the original plan I wonder?

        • Who?

          Mental issues against Kiwis?! Surely not – surely that’s something reserved for QC. :-P

        • Aron

          An in-form Will is having an enormous impact on the fortunes of our team.

        • Who?

          I was with you on the first turnover live. And I thought Marx was a bit harshly done by in comparison later in that half.

        • John Miller

          Marx and Louw both treated fairly harshly by comparison. Wallabies got the rub of the green in this aspect.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well GAGR’s what can I say, but I found that game equally enjoyable and frustrating at the same time. BL’s points in no particular order:
    – A much improved effort by the Wallabies overall, but still some glaring errors there that cost us the game.
    – Our rush defence was good in the first half pressuring the bokkies.
    – Our slipping off and missing tackles is costing us games now. It really is not improving. The SA’s clean breaks and offloads certainly helped them significantly as well.
    In the second half the Bokkies were offloading at will, whilst some of these were intercepted, the Wallabies then went on to cough the ball up or get isolated so we werent able to make points off the benefit.
    – Foley again has moments of great play followed by moments of shite. It really is hot and cold, and is a weakness in our line up.
    – Beale was fantastic in attack, but embarrising in defence. I think full back would be a better option. But is a great attacking weapon.
    – Our tactical kicking improved in the second half and it became evident that players other than Foley can and actually were being allowed to kick. Farkin about time.
    – Hooper had some really great moments, but lacked captaincy skills in his decision making, and the way he addressed the ref. In fact it was borderline rude. He has to grow up and do better. He slipped of a missed a few key tackles as well.
    – Our scrum, except for one, held pretty well.
    – Our line out was ok as well.
    – Genia had a reasonable game.
    – There was plenty of loose ball at the break down, and if Pocock or Gill was on board we would have gotten a lot more turnovers.
    – Cheika needs to shut the fuck up about the umpires after the game, he looks like a total tool everytime he mouths off. The umpiring decisions were equally as bad for both teams so over all fair. It was not the umpiring that cost us the game.

    Overall an improvement. And for the first time in a while I was really motivated about this game. Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Garry

      Great points. And a potential Saffer YC on Beale taken in the air as he attempted (and spilt) a high ball in the first quarter.
      Question. Is taken out in the air (safety) still an offence depending on whether you catch it cleanly?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Good catch there Garry. Missed that one. Taken out in the air is a penalty as a starting point. depending how they land is the variable for yellow card.

      • Taken out in the air is a penalty, but if there is a collision where the ref feels they are both fairly competing for the ball, it’s not.

        I missed the start of the match, so I think I missed the incident you’re talking about but if they’re both at about the same height, they’re both looking at the ball and they both have a decent chance to catch it, then referees tend to view that as “fair competition” and not blow the whistle for it. But you have to have all of those three things going for you. Note that you don’t have to actually touch the ball, if the other guy makes a better attempt but you have a decent chance at catching the ball, you’re OK.

        The penalty is for taking the player in the air, not for contacting the player in the air. While it’s not quite the same as a lineout, if the jumpers touch each other as they go for the ball, no problem, it’s hooking the other player’s arm, tackling him in the air and so on that draws the penalty – you’re stopping him playing the ball and/or acting dangerously. It’s a similar philosophy that applies to jumpers, although the escalation is steeper.

        • Garry

          Incident from memory, Beale lept uncontested, missed the catch, and was hit before landing. It happened at full speed, and the focus became on who was securing the loose ball. Seems the ref missed the possible YC early in the match.

          Where are the next Aussie international grade referees. Surely they can make similar mistakes?

        • Who?

          Gardiner doesn’t make those mistakes…
          Agree he missed the ball – it was called advantage knock on live, but he just plain missed it.

    • Bernie Chan

      Heard it mentioned that the Boks starting TH prop is their SIXTH choice TH…is that true Boks fans? Are the others injured or ineligible due to playing overseas…? Kind of scary if it is true as it shows up our lack of depth by comparison…

      • Brisneyland Local

        yep i emember hearing the same thing. Also remember hearing Gordon Bray take the piss out of Nick Phipps for the boot throwing incident. Bloody hilarious when even Gordon Bray is taking the piss out of you!

        • Bernie Chan

          Didn’t one of the Wallas toss a Bokke boot this game…Foley…? Must the “insult” thing…you know, toss the footwear to show contempt for someone…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Didnt see it. BUt Phipps has a track record of being a dickhead like that.

      • They’ve lost two this championship season, and one (at least) to France. They only have to have a couple playing in Europe and decide to keep Kitshoff as a reserve rather than a starter for some reason for it to be true. So it’s possible.

        South Africa is usually pretty blessed for quality props and hookers, well all their forwards.

    • idiot savant

      I think Beale played full back for periods last night and Folau played on the right wing.

      • Brumby Runner

        And both Hodge and Koroibete spent time on each of the wings, and sometimes together on one.

        I am not a fan.

      • Brisneyland Local

        HArd to know where they are playing. Their positions change dependant on each play.

    • I was going to say how bad a game I thought Keefe had, until I watched the Argentina v NZ game. I find I don’t mind a ref who is definitely a bit lax on yellow cards but gives penalties and is a bit lax on forward passes but is even-handed about it as much as I mind a ref who seems to have a different law book!

      While Beale had a poor game in defence, his teammates didn’t do him any favours, for the try where he got run over, someone (11 I think) was clearly in shot and just started to pull up instead of carrying on chasing the ball carrier and his supporting players. Really, even if you’re sure Beale’s going to make the tackle, what school of entering the ruck did he go to?

      And while it was an entertaining game, it looked like a game that neither side wanted, or perhaps were able is a better way to describe it, to win. Australia’s attack looked largely potent, but SA’s defence largely bent but didn’t break. They’d get players isolated, or force a turnover or a mistake, or just make a huge tackle and reform the line after the slow ball that resulted. The Wallabies’ defence looked porous, I was going to say amazingly – and for any other test side I would, but for the Wallabies this RC season, I’m going to say “porous again” instead – but the Bokke couldn’t keep hold of the ball to save their lives. Sometimes that was good point defence, but far more often it was a dropped pass or something silly like that. It really felt like two teams where their strengths were up against each other and their weaknesses were up against each other.

      If either of them fixes their woes, they’ll improve a lot and for quality players, remembering how to catch and throw passes is usually easier…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Eloise, fantastic view point. Your desription is worded so well, and covers all the pointmy rambling coffee with home made croissants write wishes it was!
        Tip of the hat!

        • *blushes* thanks.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Good writing skills is an artform. It shoould be recognised.

      • Alister Smith

        Not sure if everyone here will agree but it looks to me that the defensive structure (or players adherence to it) is improving but individual tackling skills or commitment to tackling on an individual basis still has some way to go. The players are trusting each other more so they aren’t getting caught out of position as often as they were earlier but their ability to complete their tackles needs to improve. Definitely a more exciting game to watch – each side had their opportunities to win but neither were efficient enough – either in handling or tackling – to close out the opposition. So to me it now looks as if there is less wrong with the strategy both attack and defence but still a lot of improvement in individual skills. The fact that we are remaining in games to the last minute and not drifting as much as we were earlier in the year suggests to me that our fitness has improved and that is now keeping us in games rather than costing us them and is possibly also improving adherence to the overall strategy (particularly defensive structures). The ref made a few blues but we were as much a beneficiary of them as negatively impacted. At some times I found myself watching and thinking, if we made that error against the All Blacks they would have scored (and the same in reverse) but the Boks lacked the clinical efficiency of the All Blacks (and the same was true in reverse). Can’t wait for the Pumas and then the All Blacks again – hopefully we will continue to improve.

        • I’m not sure if the defensive strategy has changed or the players understand it better or a bit of both but I agree it’s better than it was in Bledisloe 1 and I think it was better this week than 3 weeks ago against the Bokke last time (it’s hard to judge comparing this week to the match against the Pumas because it was so different).

          I don’t think the strategy is right yet though. Or, perhaps more accurately, there might be a good strategy that the players fail to execute well under prolonged or very high pressure (when SA kept the ball, they looked to rip the defence to shreds, when the counter-attacked well, Argentina for the first half exerted pressure and made it break down too, lets forget the NZ matches, the strategy wasn’t embedded well).

          Some of that is individual skills. Beale, after a good couple of games, seemingly forgot how to tackle. Since he obviously can, and we’ve seen it recently, I’m going to suggest the SA players have analysed his technique and know how to burst through better than anyone else or time their hand-offs better for some reason. Both the AB and the Pumas players tend to be looking for the offload, the SA players seem to be looking to run through him and that might be the difference but I’m really not a tackling coach so I don’t know.

          So I think both sides need to improve – overall tackling technique and buy in to the strategy when you’re tired, scrambling madly in defence and/or defending the 25th phase. I think it’s too early to judge the strategy fairly because the players don’t seem to be doing those things well yet OR the strategy isn’t there to cope with those things.

        • Alister Smith

          I am also not quite convinced about the strategy – it was never my strong point as a coach but it looks like a compressed, rushing defensive line – it is a bit “heart in the mouth” from a spectator point of view as you can see that gap on the outside and are fearful they will get around the edge but with weaker teams the additional time pressure and the temptation to spread wide without going forward causes errors – and perhaps it is also meant to counteract the extra ball play from the NZ forwards (and Argentina also). We seem to be doing less of the sending a quick man forward out of the line to cut off play (Hooper does it for the Waratahs a bit). Any strategy will be compromised if the individually tackling technique (or committment) is compromised. I think the Northern Hemisphere tour will tell us some more. Not sure if we will be tested by Argentina and no one (apart from the Lions) has managed to shut down NZ this year…but maybe it will all come together in Bledisloe III :)

    • joy

      Leyds should be yellow carded for that haircut.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep my 10yo daughter said it was a red card!

  • Greg

    So overall, disappointed that we did not win. we had the opportunities but so did the saffas.

    issues
    – slipping off tackles
    – no pilfering 7
    – penalty kick dead in goal
    – coach that needs to focus on thanking the opposition and the refs for the game and then talks about where we will improve.

    BUT… how good is to to be talking about the areas where we could improve rather than just being shattered that we did nothing right!

    Well done boys. Good luck.

    • Brumby Runner

      I am sure we’re beginning to see the benefit of Mick Byrne’s involvement in a general improvement in skills.

    • joy

      Hooper did pilfer two, one critical.

  • idiot savant

    These sides are fairly evenly matched. I thought given how much ball they had in the first half our forwards did a pretty reasonable job in defence. Their backs surprised me, perhaps stinging from their incompetent display against the ABs. Leyds made a huge difference. He is a smart footballer and good tackler. He brings that JOC like inside playmaker ability to the flank. Cronje made a difference too and their centres really lifted.

    Hooper played like a real 7, followed the ball through the middle of the ground, and what a difference it makes when he plays like this. I thought Demspey was much better than Hanigan has been, he has so much more physical presence in contact. McMahon was a beast in the line outs. I have thought for years, that we should have someone be lifted at no 2 on every opposition throw regardless. It works, he stole and spoiled.

    Folau looked like he played most of the game on the right wing. And looked dangerous. Beale dropped a high ball playing at the back – his old problem. I was surprised they didn’t bomb him more often after that. Not his best game. Some missed tackles were costly.

    And we kicked in general play for territory! Imagine that. If we hadn’t I think we would’ve lost. So well done to the coaches for making Hooper play tight, kicking for territory, focussing on the cleanout, jumping at 2, scrumming ok, and for more physical selections. Although we didn’t win, I thought our coaching was much smarter.

    • Brumby Runner

      Isn’t it a shame that all of those improvements have been written about here for many months but it has taken until this game to see any evidence that the coaches have seen the issues we all have.

      • Who?

        What’s even more concerning is that, once we come off the veldt, we’ll probably forget those things…

      • idiot savant

        If I agreed with you I’d attract criticism from the Cheka cult followers that I was being unpatriotic. Which I am not. As a humble lover of the game who pays money to see it, Im just happy to see our boys go well and get more competitive. I like the growth Im seeing. I look forward to the selections, development of skills, and game plans that will threaten NZ and England.

  • onlinesideline

    did anyone notice after a couple of Tui cleanouts, the bokkes look up and say
    “who the f..k is this guy “?
    he seems to have some good physical no f..king around presence in contact area

      • onlinesideline

        yessss mate exactly !

        • Greg

          Beautiful to see isn’t it. the Saffa (6?) actually has his left hand on the ground = penalty if he is trying to get the ball.

        • onlinesideline

          I think we just found our new Cliffy Palu. Welcome aboard Tui and keep it coming.

        • Darrin Briggs

          Yep run him at 6

        • ozrugbynut

          Reckon he could play 8 though? Not sure about his fitness, game sense etc but he looks like has athleticim and a good frame for him to bolster the scrum, balance the back row, be a good carrying option and even be a jumper? Id like to see it. As much as i rate mcmahon, his performances tend to be more impactful in the second half so use him as a finisher. Our scrum is still too much of a liability too.

    • Alister Smith

      In the past (when i was still capable of doing this but at a much lower level) I would have been penalised in this situation for coming off my feet. He enters through the gate from an onside position and cleans out the opposition player but then loses his feet and in the past that has been a penalty (??)

      • Mica

        No it’s fine. He loses his feet as a result of the Marx getting shunted backwards. i.e. when he hits Marx he’s on his feet and Marx losing his feet means that Tui loses his feet with momentum. Think of pushing against a wall and then the wall collapses (you’re not going to keep your feet). This happens all the time at rucks all the time and is fine (noting that both he and Marx are now out of play).
        You get penalised if you dive off your feet into the ruck, although if you make a good contact with the opposition and clean them out effectively, you may get away with it. If you miss your opponent or bounce off them it’s pretty obvious and will likely result in a penalty.

        • Alister Smith

          good explanation, thanks

        • Mica

          Welcome :)

  • Greg

    There has been some discussion about waht appears to be an enormous forward pass at the end that led to the hands in the ruck penalty. I am guessing it actually came of Hodge. He throws his hands up and could well have played it back, then to be picked up by Sth Africa. ie all fine.

    • Brumby Runner

      In the play immediately leading up to that ruck, the ball certainly came off Hodge. But a few minutes beforehand as the Bokke were attacking down their left flank there was an occasion where the ball went at least 5m forwards. I didn’t see if it had been touched by a Wallaby and there was no replay of the incident. It did look very sus.

      • Who?

        Wasn’t the only one. Ref was pretty ordinary both ways in general play. Folau’s try and Marika’s second try were both forward passes by Foley. Foley running sideways, passing to player in front of himself. But it balanced out, because Phipps and Taf both got done for knock ons when they threw passes backwards along the ground. Doesn’t make it a good reffing display, but also shows consistency and that he didn’t have any impact on the result.

        • Greg

          The ref was the ref and didn’t change the result but some scope for improvements. forward passes and knock ons should get a lot of support from the touch judges.

          I was shocked when the ball coming of the hand of the sth african fielding a kick in his 22 wasn’t called a s knock on. The family shared my shock as I discussed the decision loudly at about 3am!

        • Who?

          Exactly – he didn’t change the result. Managed the scrum very well, I thought, but lots of improvement available.
          I wasn’t surprised at the lack of call on that particular knock on – that’s a call you only get against you if you’re the visiting team!

        • Andy

          First one was marginal/flat. Second one was fine. Definitely not forward in my eyes.

        • Who?

          Go back and check again. Foley was running horizontal, along the 22 when he passed to Folau, who took the ball 1m inside the 22.
          The pass to Koroibete, he was 5m behind the 5m line, running dead sideways, and Koroibete took the ball 2m off the 5m line.
          Also appreciated Burke’s call of the ‘fantastic’ pass he gave to Koroibete for his first, which was on Koroibete’s inside shoulder, forcing him to turn infield and slow slightly, giving him a tougher run to the line.
          It’s ok – it didn’t change the result for them to be called back, and it was all even handed from the ref. But that doesn’t mean that they weren’t forward, or that he missed them. :-)

  • Greg

    In the last couple of the shove comes on in the shove in the scrum has come on the “bind” call. IMO this has led to unstable scrums and some consequent mess.The refs have talked about it but not done much about it.

    Has there been a change of interpretation?

    • Who?

      I don’t believe so. But I completely agree that’s the reason why the scrums are unstable. And the Bokke are terrible for it (ABs are much more disciplined, Pumas somewhere between). Shoulders must be separate (i.e. clear gap) on ‘Bind’. Contact on ‘Set’. No shove – at all – until the ball enters, as the ball entering is the commencement of the scrum. That’s reinforced by the ref (correctly, according to the engagement sequence introduced back in 2013) free kicking then penalizing the Bokke for pushing early (i.e. before the ball was in).
      I actually thought he reffed the scrum pretty well…

  • Adrian

    I thought a good game really.

    I think that everyone who did good work had a few blunders as well,…but that happens.

    Those who are regularly criticised here fall into the above category, so I won’t name them.

    Commitment good, fitness good, tactics good, execution pretty good.

    Rodda and Dempsey looked ok, but made errors based on inexperience, as did Korebette,…but Korebette looked good as a finisher.

    Tui did a good offload that I saw.

    I’m happy, given SA were favourites.

    I’d still pick Timani v Argentina, and Uelese

    • idiot savant

      I notice Timani (along with Arnold and Peresi) is being sent home to play NRC and won’t be going to Mendoza. I agree Ulysees should be the second hooker in Mendoza.

      • Adrian

        Saw that idiot.
        Yes, I hope Uelese is restored, and yes, saw the Timani stuff. I suppose it makes sense. The guy needs to play, and I hope he is in mix v NZ in Bled 3. Same for Arnold

  • Hoss

    Evening Gaggers

    Glass half full analysis

    We didn’t lose
    Piggies went well
    Foley hasn’t missed a kick
    Hoops & Macca sensational
    Sio strong
    TAF – real solid
    Hodge kicking was sensational
    Subs added impetus – The Saffa’s were actually looking for Tui at the ruck to avoid being hammered – there’s our starting 6 in the next game

    Glass half empty analysis

    We didn’t win
    Foley’s general play kicks were shite
    Still haven’t found a 6 to make it ‘their own’ (although Demspey was ok)
    We have only been beaten by a better team once (Sydney) – the others we found ways to lose or French kiss the sister (draw)
    Phipps passing – his pass from the ruck after the siren with us balls deep went STRAIGHT into the ground – he didnt even get the pass off the deck WTF (having said that – no way its a knock-on)

    Fair result all round and an improvement on what ive seen since June.

    If we can prevent our numerous attempts art continuos euthanasia i see good times ahead

    Collective team score = 7.

  • McWarren

    Yes it was an enjoyable game too watch, but we could have won that game hands down if we had a clever, accurate and well honed kicking game. It’s a game at altitude ffs if ever there was a case for kicking for the corners and taking the three it’s when your a team accused by your coach of being unfit, you are playing at altitude and the opposition seem intent on running everything. Add to that your 10 can kick the shit out of the ball from inside his 22 for the far corners without any fear of the ball giing dead.

    Why wasn’t Hodge doing clearing kicks? Can one journalist please ask our head coach that question?

    I thought Koroibete was our best on field followed by Coleman and Tevita. I also thought Genia and Beale looked like they are starting to click as an attacking combo. Dempsey was more of a presence than Hanigan, though I still get a feeling of him being slightly small, I want my 6 to put the fear of God into an attacker. Hooper is an amazing athlete and did some good 7 work last night. I’d like to see him stop rushing out of the defensive line and he still gets bumped off too easily.

    • Missing Link

      Agree with everything, I don’t always like Hooper rushing but he did it right on the 80 minute mark and smashed a springbok player resulting in the turnover before we stuffed it up and it ended in a draw.

  • Andy

    Really good game to watch. Both teams gave it 150% so not overly aggrieved with the result as it was fair.

    Beale was more hot than cold but some of his defence was disappointing. Aside from the 2 disaster kicks from Foley in the first half he was superb. Looks like Hodge did all the kicks for touch in the second half. I hope that was coaching team finally making a call on the matter.

    Thought Dempsey got a low score considering. He impressed more than I thought he would. A lot more physical than Hanigan. Liked Tui when he came on. Think he can play 6 as well.

    Off the bench, Simmons was f…. useless. Has been doing ok lately but was terrible when he came on. Phipps as well. First pass straight to the lasses, second to the head. Then a 2 breakdowns later knocks it on under pressure. Really sick of seeing him in the team every week when he cannot get the fundamentals of his game right.

  • Ad-O

    We played well in an entertaining game, especially when attacking from 1st phase. Can’t turn your nose up at getting a result on the High Veldt.

  • Johann Coetzee

    Great game to watch, but that ref had a shocker. So many blatant forward passes missed from both sides, see-saw 50-50 calls, or just missing blatant infringements (again from both sides). At least both sides benefited equally off that blindness.
    Draw is a good reflection of what went on in the game, however, in my mind the boks should have won this (non-qualified opinion).

  • Brisneyland Local

    Just replayed the Cheika press conference, and to be honest boys and girls, he no longer comes across as passionate. He comes across as an ocean going variety of knob. This is not the behaviour we want or expect from our national coach. His blowing up over the Izzy Folau hair pull, was just an embarrassment. Pulling the collar is bad enough and a penalty, but then dragging him down by his hair, is a yellow card full stop.

    To defend the indefensible, just appalling!
    The example he is putting out there for all Australian rugby coaches is an utter disgrace. Grow up or resign Cheika!

  • Harbo

    I have come to the conclusion that regardless of if we win by 50, draw or lose by 50 as long as Cheika is coaching the team everything about the wallabies will irritate me and I’ll never truly enjoy their matches. It makes me so bloody sad that one bloke can ruin my favourite thing in the world.

    • sambo6

      agreed. seems like win, lose or draw, he’ll find someone else to blame (usually the officials) for any of the team’s shortcomings (his latest in denying that izzy pulled that bloke’s hair is a special one)….How is that meant to create a culture of taking responsibility within the team?

      • Harbo

        On top of all that he has completely devalued what it means to get a gold jersey. Wonder who will debut next week…

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@RugbyReg

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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