Wallabies make hard work of win over Fiji - Green and Gold Rugby
Wallabies

Wallabies make hard work of win over Fiji

Wallabies make hard work of win over Fiji

The Wallabies made hard work of it but have come away 39-21 winners over Fiji in their opening World Cup game in Sapporo. The Wallabies trailed 14-12 at half time against a very confident Fiji side but the injection of Will Genia after 50 minutes inspired a dramatic turnaround as they outscored Fiji 25 points to seven in the second half.

A double to Tolu Latu and tries to Michael Hooper, Reece Hodge, Marika Koribete and Samu Kerevi saw the Wallabies claim a bonus point but they certainly didn’t have it their way during the first half where Fiji’s defensive pressure and expansive play had the Wallabies under the pump.

Fiji seemingly toyed with the Wallabies defence as they racked up the missed tackles and turnovers won also allowed them to put the Wallabies on the back foot with the loose trio of Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato and Viliame Mata causing headaches for the Wallabies.

There were some positives for the Wallabies with David Pocock able to complete the full 80 minutes unscathed and the Wallabies scrum was very impressive and won a number of relieving penalties to get themselves out of trouble.

The Match

It was a nervy start from Fiji with a clearing kick charged down in the opening minute but they were able to settle and opened the scoring with a fifth minute penalty goal to Ben Volavola after Nic White was caught with the ball in his own 22.

That gave the Fijian’s the confidence they needed and allowed them to display their dangerous wide game and the Wallabies were caught in transition after some poor kicks and Peceli Yato linked up with Josua Tuisova down the right wing and Yato backed up to score the opening try for an 8-0 lead after as many minutes.

The Wallabies didn’t panic too much and tightened their game up and used the scrum as a way to earn some penalties to get them down the field. An attacking scrum in the Fiji 22 gave them another launch play and it was Wallabies captain Michael Hooper who burrowed over for the opening Wallabies try and Christian Lealiifano’s conversion made it 8-7 after 19 minutes.

The Fijian defence was putting pressure on the Wallabies with some big hits pressuring them into turnovers with Nic White not helped with protection at the back of the breakdown and this allowed Volavola to land his second penalty goal for a 11-7 lead.

The loose play of the Wallabies was playing right into the Fijian’s hands and the defence was having a real battle with Reece Hodge and James O’Connor in particular feeling the sting of the Fijian ball runners as they were being swatted away like flies.

A high shot from Izack Rodda gave Volavola another shot at penalty goal and he had his third penalty goal after 30 minutes to make 14-7.

On the back of a high shot penalty of their own the Wallabies made their way into the Fiji 22 and with some patient build up by the forwards, they drew in their opponents and that allowed some space out wide for Reece Hodge to score in the right corner. It was a well-earned try after the battering he’d received in the opening half on defence to leave the score at 14-12 at the break.

Embed from Getty Images

The Wallabies start to the second half wasn’t what coach Michael Cheika would have wanted as a backline move just in the Fiji half broke down with a loose ball swooped on by Fijian outside centre Waisea Nayacalevu and he outran the defence to score under the posts and the conversion made it 21-12.

The lineout of the Wallabies started to falter with two lineouts not secured with a poor lift and pick off by the Fijians nullifying any advantage the Wallabies had in an attempt to get back into the game.

Reece Hodge took over the kicking duties and his easy shot at penalty goal reduced the margin to six as the changes started to happen for the Wallabies with Will Genia on to add some much needed experience.

His box kick into touch gave the Wallabies good field position to setup and a number of penalties the Wallabies way in their own 22 incurred a warning for Fiji and then it was fourth time lucky as Tolu Latu rolled it over for the Wallabies third try .

That try seemed to spark the Wallabies and after a trademark run from Marika Koroibete down the left wing, the Wallabies were on the front foot in the Fijian half to put their opponents under pressure.

After Ben O’Keefe had earlier warned Fiji, they infringed again and it was Levani Botia who copped a ten minute rest and from the resulting lineout,Latu had bagged his double and suddenly made rolling mauls fashionable again.

With the Wallabies realising keeping it tight was paying dividends, they sucked in the defenders with patient play and Samu Kerevi was the next to get on the try scorers list and make it 17 points in about 20 minutes.

The Wallabies weren’t done there with Dane Haylett-Petty showing brilliant hands in a backline play and send Koroibete over to cap off a good week for him after signing a contract extension with Rugby Australia and the Melbourne Rebels as the Wallabies rounded out the 18 point win.

There would be plenty for Michael Cheika to digest during the review as the Wallabies look forward to playing Wales next week with a few selections up for grabs after a strong showing from the bench.



The Game Changer

Will Genia came on around the 50 minute mark and made an immediate impact as his composure and experience the Wallabies reduced their deficit from five points to a winning margin of 18 in his 30 minutes on the field.


The G&GR MOTM

It was a tough decision in the end as the Wallabies took their time to get into the game and eventually grind down their opponents. Samu Kerevi had a fantastic game against a strong defensive side with 17 runs for 73 metres and 10 defenders beaten. A shout to Marika Koroibete with a strong game with a try and 128 metres from 8 runs.


The Details

Score & Scorers

WALLABIES 39
Tries: Latu 2, Hooper, Hodge, Kerevi, Koroibete
Conversions: Lealiifano, Toomua 2
Penalties: Hodge
FIJI 21
Tries: Yato, Nayacalevu
Conversions: Volavola
Penalties: Volavola 3

Cards

61 mins – Botia (Fiji) – Yellow

  • Greg

    Thanks for the quick write-up Steve.

    That was an interesting, and probably pretty predictable, game. Fiji went off like a bomb and showed some great skills. Their tackling was brutal with many gold players rag-dolled. I was not entirely convinced there were arms in a few of those tackles. That said, the effect of the tackles decreased as the game progressed. This was in part, I think, due to white fatigue…. but also to some improvements from gold varying their running lines.

    Overall, I thought Australia did reasonably well holding on to the ball. They were definitely flustered at one stage but calmed it down – perhaps when Genia came on – and then started to pull away from Fiji. Hopefully that is the settler and they can hold composure next game.

    Line kicking was good. Need to do better with our goal kicking.

    • Fatflanker

      Yep. Fiji well coached, with their European players back, plenty of time to prepare and specifically targeting the Wallabies for the upset. Not surprising they got out to an initial lead. Thought they’d do better in the scrum but their line-out brilliant.

    • Patrick

      Don’t think there were any arms in Reece Hodge’s last line of defense block on their 7 either…

      We got at least as lucky as they did with the referees in my view for the first half.

      • Graeme

        We got a lot luckier than them with the reffing. Between Hodge not getting a yellow (or red) to our meter forward passes and meter not straight lineout throw ins, we got away with a lot.

        • Patrick

          Not sure about that. First, to be clear, if a tier 1 country had cynically killed so many plays by going off their feet or not rolling away etc, I’d have expected at least 2 yellow cards.

          Second, I agree about Hodge but I only saw one pass where I think we were lucky, I did think the other one left the hands backward. And the line outs that were really not straight were not contested in the air so I don’t think it is a problem if it isn’t straight.

        • Brumby Runner

          The uncontested crooked lineout throws are only ok, ie can be let go, at NRC level Patrick. Not straight at test level is not straight and should (must) be pulled up every time.

  • Huw Tindall

    Fiji tight 5 were crap. Wallabies tight 5 immense. That was the main difference plus Genia’s calm direction in the second half. Only changes for Wales would be start Genia and DHP. White had an off night and Beale never really got into it. Also if Poey ever throws a quick line-out 20 metre pass from our 5 metre line his GOAT status is rescinded.

    • Patrick

      Beale was as bad as many of us think he is and didn’t pull of any of those tricks that are supposed to justify his place, DHP did way more in half the time. I’d definitely swap them.

      Less sure about White and Genia, Genia is maybe higher impact off the bench and White might thrive better against Wales.

      • Steve

        Yeah, super hard to compare White vs Genia as they were swapped right at the point Fiji started to fade badly. Not sure how much is cause or effect.

        • Sevenwithasixonmyback

          Genia appeared to slow the dispatch from the base. I don’t know if that was tactical or just his normal game.
          There was seemingly more thought there when he came on. Could have been an illusion. Wallabies certainly lifted from his run-on though.

        • Who?

          White didn’t have much choice with his timing – there was no protection. That improved as Genia came on.

        • Who?

          Totally agree. Also around the time Naisarani was swapped for LSL, and we started to protect our own breakdown. White had absolutely no protection for the vast majority of the match.

        • Mike Thompson

          Yes, I thought Genia benifited greatly from the intorduction of LSL and Coleman and the same time as the Fijians started to fade.

      • Huw Tindall

        Fair point re Genia’s timing but straight away he kicked well for territory and pinned Fiji in their half. White is meant to have the great kicking game so let’s see it!

        Beale had no clangers but nothing special. Some simple through the hands passes to get it wide but wasn’t really challenged under the high ball or in D. Very quiet game. He did get pilfered once or twice but not his fault the Wallabies forwards weren’t there to secure the ball. DHP a better runner in traffic so I’d start him at 15 assuming Hodge is suspended for his shoulder.

        • Patrick

          His few kicks were positively bad.

      • Graeme

        I think White is quite over-rated. The only part of his game is better than Genia’s is his kicking game. And tonight he got master-classed in kicking when Genia came on.

        Also, there is no way we are going to win a kicking dual against Wales, so White out.

        • AllyOz

          Well I think Genia’s running game has only improved since White has been introduced to the squad and has forced Will to compete for his spot. He was badly out of form by the end of the super rugby season and not taking the line on at all I thought. At the very least, White’s introduction has brought that about.

      • Who?

        Beale’s first two involvements were a kick that didn’t find touch and a pass that did find touch. He didn’t have a great game.

        • Mike Thompson

          Beale had a poor game. Again. It is completely mistifing that he is selected in frount of HP.

          But when, recently, has he had a genuinely good game when starting? He’s become a journeyman at super-rugby level, much less international level.

          Just to be fair: recently, when he came off the bench he actually did have genuine impact (and that was a surprise to me). But equally, the week after, when he started, the Kiwis targetted him with box kicks and he completely failed.

        • Nutta

          I have to back you on that. In the first 20min he had 6 involvements that were bloody disastrous. If it were anyone else they would have been hooked at 25min.

      • Brumby Runner

        On a “horses for courses” basis, Nic would be expected to be more familiar with the style of play from Wales where he has apparently been outstanding in his time in Britain.

        • Patrick

          Yes agree

      • Although I picked White, his game was stifled by having forwards (and depending on your POV a ref) who stuffed up the breakdown. Everything was slow and laborious, he couldn’t run and couldn’t get a pass away without being under pressure. OK, slight exaggeration, but broadly true. Not sure Genia would have fared much better, but he played with a pack that was playing better and gave him more time.

        If the forwards play smarter, White’s superior box kicking ought to give him the edge at 9 to start against Wales but with Cheika, who knows?

    • Sevenwithasixonmyback

      Worst play of the match. ANY match. Snorted my beer.
      Cheika was more gob-smacked than he normally is – though this time his gob-smackedness was worthy.
      Pocock has been away for a little while, though. Perhaps forgotten the little things. Like don’t be STUPID.

      • Bobas

        If that quick line out had hit any other inside centre in world rugby then it would be a different story. Samu plays 12 like a fencer, thrusts and decides the next move, amazing skill provided his initial bump works, in this case it didn’t. Could you imagine a 4 on 2 with Giteau getting that ball, Foley, Quade, Sam Norton-Night even Folau Fainga’a would have flung that for the 2 on 1.

        • Sevenwithasixonmyback

          Yeah, but didn’t see MG on the paddock. And we don’t have any recognised and trusted Centre/Wing combination that might have you try anything like that.
          It was a messy and downright risky play that luckily didn’t end in 7 white points when gold should have been looking for composure.
          And FF has a young and angry head that seeks discipline. I thought Poey already had Zen. Back to the farm…

        • Duvstar

          Well there goes the $10 I bet five years back on never seeing or hearing Sam Norton-Knight’s name again.

        • juswal

          That wasn’t a great bet. Even if it worked, you could only collect your winnings after you died.

        • Duvstar

          Bet you’re fun at parties

        • Who?

          I also half wondered if he was trying to move the play on quickly after Hodge’s illegal shoulder on Yato… Suspect Reece might be having a few weeks off for that, terrible call from the TMO to say it wasn’t illegal.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Do you mean we might have two wingers on the field? Welcome back to RWC, AAC – this is something like your fifth, innit?

        • Who?

          AAC’s no winger – he didn’t play a single game there this year for the Tahs. He’s our fifth choice 13. :-P

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          That’s what I’m alluding to. He would play wing for the Wallabies, having spent all season at 13 for the ‘Tahs.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Bang on Huw. It was the tight 5 that won this game

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      Huw, that’s why I think the Georgia v Fiji match is an underrated thriller waiting to happen. The Lelos live for the scrum.

      • Patrick

        Sadly I’m not sure that’s going to be enough to make up for the damage Fiji are likely to do everywhere else.

    • AllyOz

      Poey made a couple of uncharacteristic, panicky moves. The lineout throw and at least one other that escapes me at the moment. I was very surprised but I guess, when it means as much as this does in your rugby career, and you know its your last chance, then strange things happen. Genia made a real difference. Also, I have been, well not so much critical of LSL but thinking he is being used wrong but I thought he made a real impact when he came on. I was expecting Pocock to go off for him but it was Isi instead. I would like to see them try an 8 Isi, 6 LSL, 7 Pocock/Hooper at least against one of the tier 2 teams as I think it might be the better formulation for at least some of the semis and it would give us the flexibility to try a different approach but have the dual opensides available if required.

      • I think they’re tried to have Hooper carry on playing a traditional 7 and Pocock play a 6. Which is the wrong way round, and not how the Pooper worked either. Then sometimes (rightly or not) Pocock would see Hooper wasn’t there, and revert to playing 7…

        I’m not sure that’s the right way round really. Pocock is a world class 7, but I don’t think he plays at test level in the other positions. Hooper’s not really super-great at any of them, but he’s a good enough athlete that he can get by at most, at least if his height isn’t an issue. The team would be better served if they swapped their shirt numbers and roles.

  • Greg

    @KRL
    Can you explain how the white player that strolled around the back of our maul and tackled the player carrying the ball was on side? Did the ref assert that the gold player was unbound? Even then white was already standing next to him.

    • Mica

      See the problem here is you thinking o’keefe is a competent ref. He made a number of questionable calls. The ruck was inconsistently reffed with entry from all angles. Supporting body weight was optional and only sometimes was penalised. Hope we don’t get him again and I dare say Fijian supporters will say the same thing.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I agree on the ruck entry. However I will say it’s been consistent for all games. The referees are allowing a really loose call on this. I guess it’ll be something the good teams take advantage of

        • Greg

          :-)
          The ABs *always* take advantage of it

        • Patrick

          Let’s see if South Africa let them, they didn’t the last few games.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absofriggenlutely

      • Andy

        He is an club ref at best. The kiwis have far better officials not at the tournament

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I need to look at it again. Something like that is usually a timing issue and O’Keefe obviously thought he got it right. It all depends on the ruling as to when the ball is out.

  • UTG

    Yet again, Hooper stands up and shows why he is always first picked.

    • Patrick

      Mate, he’s an awesome player and I would probably always pick him and always leave him on for 80 but I don’t think he should be captain. Even in this match Pocock and White both handled the ref better than him.

      Is that fair enough?

      • UTG

        LOL, on what metric did those two manage the ref better than him? I hardly think a player who was penalised at least four times, for at best very marginal breakdown infringements, can be said to have handled the ref well…

        Hooper’s choice of kicking for goal and going for the corner was spot on everytime. He led from the front when no one else looked like they were trying in the first half. You could hear him telling the troops exactly how they were going to get back into the game before Hodge kicked the penalty to bring it back to 21-15. The boys didn’t miss a beat from there. I don’t know what else you could possibly want from a captain.

        • Patrick

          I agree he leads from the front, and tonight that seemed to work. But in many other games he has failed to change anything when it didn’t.

          Probably isn’t worth wasting time disagreeing on this! :)

        • Brumby Runner

          IIRC off a beautiful little inside pass by Lealiifano. Is that the one you mean?

        • Huw Tindall

          Fox posted a clip of Hooper telling the Fiji captain who had a pop after a penalty that we’re going to kick the penalty then get back your half and go ahead. Exactly what happened.

        • Brumby Runner

          I thought the comment was directed at the Wallabies runner who brought the kicking tee out. It probably would have been out of place being directed at the opposition. Keep your powder dry. Whatever, it was the correct decision and a good forecast of what was to come.

        • Who?

          Did you see Cheika’s post match complaint? “Even in the first minutes, before Pocock had entered a ruck, all three refs were talking about him!” Cheik clearly thinks that Pocock was being targeted by the refs.
          .
          But Hooper had a good game, and his calls on posts or lineout were on the money today.

        • UTG

          He was definitely being targeted but after he’d conceded the first two penalties he needed to adjust his game plan. We can’t really afford to be giving so many cheap penalties away to the better teams. I expect him to come off the bench next week and a return to LSL-Hooper-Naisarani

        • Who?

          If there was a game to play LSL-Hooper-Naisarani, it was Fiji. Not Wales, who are more likely to deploy their own Pooper-equivalent. We can’t afford the lack of pace provided by LSL in that game.
          .
          I don’t see why he needed to adjust his game plan when he was being penalized for clearly legal turnovers. I think that it’s right that the focus was questioned, because the turnovers he got were far more legal than the majority of turnovers that were paid by the refs in Super Rugby this year. Always on his feet, always beat the ruck.

        • UTG

          LSL will be there to bolster the lineout against Wales. Wales aren’t NZ, I don’t think the pace of the game will be too much for him.

          If you keep getting penalised it doesn’t really matter whether it is legal or not, don’t do it, it’s costing the team. At scrum time you often have to change the way you’re scrummaging even if you’re being unfairly penalised as the result of some illegal tactics from the opposition. You’ve got to play the whistle, especially if you’re up against a sharp-shooter and your own goal-kicking is woeful.

        • Brumby Runner

          Poey was targeted. Penalised for infringements that others were allowed to get away with all game.

    • Max Graham

      Another blinder! Sensational player and looks to have improved a lot as a captain.

    • AllyOz

      Stood up by running low and hard (ie not standing up)

  • Jcr

    I’ve seen enough to think the Wallabies could go deep into this tournament. They adapted and I was wondering will they , or will it turn to shit . They did , and I think as a team they can absorb individual discrepancies more than I’ve seen in the last 4 years or so .

    • Steve

      I do give them credit for surviving the early blast but not more than that.

      I’m not sure how much was adaptation vs the Fijians tiring (the normal pattern when playing the PI nations vs Tier 1 nations being that they dole out a hammering for 40-50 mins before their fitness and discipline slowly get on top of them).

      But Fiji played very very well tonight and greatly improved.

      I’ll hold my hyperbole until next week I think.

      • Huw Tindall

        The Fijians aren’t unfit. They all play professional rugby in top tier comps. Georgia and Uruguay etc will get gassed in the last 20, not Fiji. Discipline an issue though. Like the Drua in their first year if NRC carded themselves off the park.

  • Ads

    Geez if foley played as crap as CLL the sky would fall in. White average too. Forwards did well.

    • Steve

      Wouldn’t say CLL was poor at any point? He did what he needed to, he was on the receiving end of a lot of the aggression which was always going to happen to our 10 but made his passes when the tries were on.

      Agree on White, he looked pretty flustered and has a better head than that, needed to recompose but allowed the harrying round the ruck to throw him off.

      Yep, forwards pulled it together after an unsteady start.

      • Ads

        4 runs for 7 metres, 1 turnover conceded, 1 tackle and 3 missed tackles.

        That’s pretty poor to me. Don’t get me wrong I like the bloke but he played poorly tonight.

        • Patrick

          He seemed to get hit early and not fully recover. I am not actually sure he will feature against Wales but hopefully he pulls up well enough.

        • Ads

          Yeah that would explain it. Hope he is ok and recovers well. His story is an inspiration.

        • AllyOz

          I thought he slipped a couple of nice balls when playing to the line, pretty quiet otherwise but under a fair amount of pressure from some decent loose forwards. I thought their 7 was outstanding.

      • Andy

        He was poor steve. But I still back him for the start.

        He really looked flustered to me. But he’s a fighter and he will come good just sticking to the basics

      • Brumby Runner

        That first big hit on Christian certainly unsettled him. He wasn’t as sharp as usual after that. But I thought Matt Toomua was really cool, calm and collected in the 10 spot later in the game. One of the better 10 performances for the Wallabies this year.

        • AllyOz

          I think probably Matt Toomua also got a little better service. Genia cleaned up the ruck (or the forwards offered him better protection) and wasn’t quite as panicked in his delivery.

  • Patrick

    That was, frankly, a relief. Gee that long line out was a great play.

    Chieka’s use of the bench was excellent, really well done.

    Hodge did much more than I expected, I’d (slightly reluctantly) write his name in for Wales already.

    Beale did even less, I’d definitely drop him to 23 if not 24.

    Lilo got hit hard early I’d see how he pulls up but might want to seriously think about starting Toomua against Wales or at least being ready to bring him on very early.

    Genia was good but maybe a better style of game for him than White? But he’s a great player to bring off the bench and I’d keep it that way for Wales.

    I’d leave the piggies but ask a whole lot more of them in game management and organization.

    • Patrick

      If Hodge is available that is, he could miss a few matches on review I think.

      • Greg

        You could be right.

        If that is cited then I think there should be a few others in the game.

        • Patrick

          No that was the worst. He didn’t even lift an arm from what I saw and was 5 metres out.

        • Graeme

          He wrapped with his left arm, but it was his right shoulder that hit the head with his right arm by his waist. It was obviously not intentional, he was trying to tackle with his left shoulder and missed. But that would stil be yellow card worthy.

        • laurence king

          I think the player was stepping inside of Hodge slightly who was also off balance at the contact.

        • joy

          Deliberately stepped into him and led with the head. It’s a national pastime.

        • Who?

          If that’s an acceptable method of tackling – jumping at someone’s head – then it’s time to completely re-evaluate how we teach tackling. I can assure you, that method was nothing like what’s taught by RA’s own documentation (eyes on thighs, toe to toe, cheek to cheek).

        • Geoffro

          Farrell may be interested to see if he gets away with it

        • joy

          The player stepped into him. They were doing it all day.

        • It’s been cited… now a case of wait and see.

    • Huw Tindall

      After being a Human speed bump early on Hodge came back really well. Bagged his meat pie and was superb kicking for touch. TMO reviewed the shoulder during the match and said fine. See what happens post match. Only get cited for red card worthy offences.

  • Duvstar

    God that wasn’t fun.

    Am trying not to dwell on it too much though, the Fijians were always going to come out flying in the first game of the tournament against us. But still, we looked very shaky for 50 minutes.

    Am also trying to reserve judgement on White and Lilo, it wasn’t their type of game at all.

    But Beale I can’t really look past, he was dreadful. Didn’t beat the first man once, ran into trouble constantly, shovelled shit when he clearly didn’t want to get hit. He needs to be coming off the bench. I’d be putting DHP at FB for Wales.

    Forwards stood up well at the set piece but we didn’t give the backs/White any kind of protection in that first half.

    Still, onwards! Could have been far worse

    • Patrick

      He kicked well – straight to Semi Radradra!

    • laurence king

      Beale caught a high ball with a Fijian bearing down on him, so at least one tick.

  • UTG

    What else does Tolu Latu have to do to get at least a mention for MOTM? Kerevi was good but fell off a couple of tackles and bombed at least one try when he should have shifted it. Front-rowers have been facing MOTM discrimination for too long.

    • Sevenwithasixonmyback

      Definitely.
      Tolly had a top game.
      Out on the Wing when he felt like it.
      Bustling at the breakdown.
      Not one crooked Line-out throw.
      Should have stayed on for 80.
      Wanted to stay on for 80.

      • Max Graham

        Disagree with the 80 min call. Uelese came on and didn’t miss a beat. The scrum’s lack of dominance coincided with Coleman replacing Arnold. Coleman’s last start against Samoa was a game where the scrum struggled at times. My bet is that he’s a Sharpie at scrum time; however poor ol’ Al Baxter isn’t here to wear the blame.

        • Who?

          Interesting call Max – I’ll have to pay more attention to where Coleman’s packing…..
          Worth noting, Nick Bishop seems to think Latu’s a massive liability in the scrum. Not sure I’ve seen enough to make me think that at this point, but he’s probably watched more tapes of Latu than we have.

        • Max Graham

          I don’t have stats to back me up, but the Tahs scrum certainly sucked when he wasn’t on. Wobs scrum dominated today when he was on and stopped eating Fiji when he was off. I would have bet that he’s the strongest scrummaging hooker in the country; however wouldn’t want to bet much if Nick Bishop has some stats.

        • Who?

          Yeah, I didn’t think Latu was terrible in the scrum. I wasn’t sure he was our best, but I didn’t think he was terrible, and that’s Nick’s very strongly held position. I’m not sure what Nick’s seen, but I’m paying a bit more attention to it.
          Just like I’ll now start watching how Coleman’s side goes, thanks to your thoughts. :-)

      • Who?

        He threw a few pies, but O’Keeffe wasn’t interested in policing that tonight.

        • AllyOz

          one of the Fiji hookers early throws was basically putting it in his own jumpers hadns so yes, agree it wasn’t a focus for the refs

    • Bobas

      I tend to agree, but these reviews are written without revision or re watch and sometimes you are looking at stats to back up your own opinion, wait ’til the player ratings come then you can have a better crack.

      • Patrick

        I’m pretty sure he didn’t rewatch it unless it was on 15x speed!

      • UTG

        Yep, I wasn’t trying to be critical of Steve and the team, just saying I thought Latu had a great game and front-rowers often get overlooked for MOTM performances, even by writing teams that have the benefit of hindsight and a number of writers.

    • Seb V

      Agreed, Kerevi’s poor distribution was exposed this game. He continues to ignore overlaps and runs himself, or throws a terrible pass into touch.

    • Graeme

      I don’t know that he really deserved it. A few bad throws in the line out, including a couple that were a meter not straight but didn’t get called. That’s his bread and butter.

      • Sevenwithasixonmyback

        Tolly’s notorious for his “NOT STRAIGHT SIR” throws and today he didn’t get called once.
        There were some dubious Fiji throws, too.
        Assistant Referees had a bit of an afternoon off.

        • Patrick

          Can you call it not straight if it isn’t contested?

        • Max Graham

          Yep.

      • UTG

        The lineout problems were resolved when Naisarani got hooked and LSL came on. I’m not going to criticise a guy for something wasn’t called, the best pilferers are always doing something half illegal, you play to the whistle.

    • Huw Tindall

      Agree the front rowers union should lodge a complaint. The tight 5 kept the Wallabies in that first half and then set the platform for the second half dominance.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I agree. The tight 5 won this game for the Wallabies. I agree with Latu as MOTM

    • Max Graham

      He won the MOM on the coverage I was watching. He is getting better by the game. Uelese was good when he came on too!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      MOTM discrimination – love it!

  • Graeme

    It was probably partly down to Fijian fatigue, but there was daylight between Genia and White’s performances. When Genia decides to turn up he changes games, and he did that tonight. Fast delivery and always hitting the right man instead of the obvious man, like White was, that Fiji were lining up to king-hit.

    • Max Graham

      Not sure it was just Genia. Toomua coming on coincided with the attack being more direct and not just wide balls to the wing. Reckon he’s our best 10 at the moment.

      • Graeme

        I don’t think there’s much between our number 10’s. Lea or Toomua are both pretty similar in being serviceable and good defenders. When Genia came on he pretty much took over the play making role.

        • Max Graham

          Perhaps in talent there is little between them, but it doesn’t mean they play the game each week. Also, I wound say that Lilo is a good defender but Toomua has the ability to mince people.

        • Brumby Runner

          I saw two, there amy have been more, tackles by Toomua that caused the runner to lose control of the ball. Very effective defender.

        • joy

          Lealiifano missed 3 of 5 tackles while Toomua missed one of six albeit they’d lost their sting later in the game.

    • joy

      The White for Genia switch was tried years ago. Same result under pressure.

  • Bobas

    Beale had a crocker and I would be picking DHP for the rest of the tournament if I were coach. And I don’t like DHP.

    • Pedro

      I agree and I don’t like bobas

    • Max Graham

      I agree.

    • joy

      In defence of Beale, he did make all of zero tackles. Haylett-Petty is a must for Wales.

      • AllyOz

        Not sure I would want you as my counsel on the basis of that comment if I was facing the death penalty joy ;)

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Thanks Steve. I’m glad everyone else appeared to be watching the same match as me. A couple of things to add. I thought the subs (apart from Genia) might have been held off a bit longer, as the starters had clicked by then and the subs would really put the squeeze on with only a few minutes on the park. Also, I was proud of the defensive effort at the death – took me back to Twickers against Wales in ’15.

    A quick shout out to the Japanese organisers for using a gong as the time bell. Caught a replay of the opening ceremony and was impressed, although disappointed there was no homage to the ‘game show’ tradition. I thought a few guys being dragged by their feet across gravel in Sumo jocks might have added something. Perhaps they’re saving it for the Olympics. Nice work by the Brave Blossoms too, although I thought the Russian Bears played above expectations.

    • laurence king

      I do remember a Japanese game show where participants sat naked on large blocks of ice

    • joy

      A gong! Here’s me thinking it was a recorded fart.
      Anthems were terrible. A Japanese children’s choir would be a nice touch. The rest was terrific.

  • Huw Tindall

    Lots of negativity here but if it wasn’t for the second half intercept the Wallabies win that with a demolition scoreline. Came away with a bonus point win and a tough hit out testing them physically and mentally with no injuries. Piggies were class and when we played tight there was gain line for days. I’d argue this is the perfect game to get ready for Wales. If I was Wales I’d be worried about Fiji now! Even more pressure next week!

    • Max Graham

      That’s how I see it.

    • Patrick

      Yes Wales will be worried about Fiji, definitely

    • Hoss

      Spot on Huw. We never panicked, changed up our game plan on the go. Hooper lead well, the forwards were good and our bench was terrific and Fiji are not a bad side. All up a good result and we are now eyes wide open.

      On a separate note Ben Okeefe is complete shit. Angus Gardner was even worse and Garces must be French for ‘Owens’ he was farking diabolical.

      • ballymoreburning

        this is my real concern for the tournament. the quality of reffing is of such a poor standard that the knockout stages will be marred by a series of howlers. how do you even decide who is deserving (the rationalisation we use when we presuppose that the mistakes even out) when a ref just decides to reinterpret the rules on the fly (okeefe at the breakdown, Gardiner with the offside line in almost every phase of the second half). Ledesma went off in the presser, and rightfully so.

        • Hoss

          Let the best team win whomever that may be but let’s pray to the Rugby gods it’s not decided by the penguins.

          The first four outings by referees have been pathetic. Owens was a condescending incompetent oaf. Okeefe is simply not to club standard, let alone world standard. Gilbert should thank Gus Gardner, as Gus was the worst Aussie at the cup today and Garces was comical.

          How Gardner didn’t ping a Frog at some point and even the last play of the game – take your pick, playing the ball off your feet, taking out the 9, entering the ruck offside or knock-on – FFS Gus, grow a set.

        • Human

          He was never going to ping the Frogs in that position. Pumas were robbed.

        • AllyOz

          I struggled with the high tackle call, which I think was on JOC, who may have gone in high but ended up 4 metres back on his arse. Maybe he was pinging the other tackler. I assume that was why JOC had a bemused grin afterwards (though it might have just been laughing at himself for being bounced). I have got to say that, I am constantly surprised by the change in his approach. I was a critic and can hold a grudge better than most but he seems to have genuinely changed.

          Both he and Melbourne Storms Will Chamber’s both have those funny little moustacheless beards though…

        • Human

          Rodda was pinged in that instance…draping an arm over the shoulder

        • AllyOz

          Makes sense then, although those drape tackles don’t really seem all that harmful but the rule is the rule.

      • UTG

        People have spent thousands of dollars travelling to Japan to watch this RWC and Ben O’Keefe, with the best seat in the house, spends most of his time not even looking. Sickening.

      • Andy

        Mate. Seriously the worst ref in international rugby. No idea how he progressed to super rugby let alone Internationals.

        I knew it was going to be one of those days when he let the Fiji loose enter the side of the ruck for a pilfer right in front of his eyes (about the 5th minute). And he was bad all around. Just has no idea what is going on.

        • Hoss

          Obviously I am just extrapolating, but after 4 games it almost seems the instructions to the penguins are to ignore the breakdowns and just make it up on the run – it doesn’t bode well for the cup and it’s day 1. Somebodies teams are going to get seriously burnt by the penguins, Ledesma has EVERY right to blow up deluxe

        • Keith Butler

          Don’t disagree. Reffing the breakdown is a total shambles. The Fijians were pinged a lot more that the G&G who offended just as much. Time to wave a few cards around to make the contest more even,but it will never happen.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yep I agree. I’d like to see it ruled stricter as I think the slack rulings now are going to cause bigger issues later in the tournament

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Jesus mate, you’ve got a bit of a hard on for the referees. While I agree they seem to have been instructed to not be pedantic on their rulings, I thought they have at least been consistent with both sides.
        For all the bitching, I think those bitching are conveniently ignoring the times their teams were given the same leeway.
        I personally would like to see the referees be stricter on side entries, staying on your feet and binding into clean outs rather than charging but I think regardless of that it has been consistent for both sides

        • Hoss

          Perhaps I’m a tad harsh mate but I saw zero consistency in the 4 games at all. Applications of the laws weren’t consistent by the same ref, in the same game and we saw what it did – The FISMS was robbed.

          Three of four better teams won so in that regard justice stands, but these blatantly wrong calls and just sheer incompetence / bias must stop. These decisions can’t be looked at in isolation either every wrong call has a massive knock-on effect to momentum in a game and ultimately to the result.

          I get a ref will make a wrong call here and there will miss a few things because of the volume of data they are trying to process at any one time and are fallible no issues there it’s part of the fabric of the game, no team or player is perfect, why should a ref be any different. BUT when they start to deliberately ignore, arbitrary apply or simply give sides the inside rail run then that’s a whole separate issue and IMO that’s what I have seen thus far.

          Owens – typical for him – ‘leave it 6, leave it 6, (6’picks up the pill) – play on turnover good’
          O’Keefe – ‘not sure what just happened, so I will ignore or guess’
          Gardner ‘France this is your last warning, any more infringements down here (inside 22) and…..’ well Gus ‘and’ what……
          Garces – he’s best Schultz from Hogan’s Hero’s impersonation on repeated ruck infringements ‘I know ’nussing’

          If the refs are consistent, that would be a start but I haven’t even seen that so far.

        • Richard Patterson

          I do think Hoss, to me the standout feature has been the deterioration in legal antics being displayed by loose forwards at the breakdown at this World Cup. Given this is the first tournament since 1999 to not feature Richie McCaw I guess the whole thing had a high degree of inevitability to it. Thoughts?

        • Keith Butler

          Many, many posters on GAGR have been saying this for ages. Side entry, not supporting body weight, illegal clear outs beyond the ball. You name it. Refs chose to ignore these infringements because of the perception that they are preventing the game flowing, an argument that is complete and utter bollocks. If they started showing a few cards we might see a change. Persistent infringements after warnings, send the bloody captain off. Chances of this happening, Buckley’s and none.

        • Andy

          Did Pocock get the rub of the green? Pinged 4 times. 3 of them were utter bollocks.

          First turnover of the game was straight in the side by Fiji loosey. Completely let go.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I’m not sure all the blame can go on Richie. He was probably better than anyone else at going to the line of the law but everyone does it

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fair enough. I’m seeing it differently but I guess we’ll see as the tournament progresses. TBH I think they all let too much go and that’ll make it harder as the tournament goes on and they start tightening up a bit. I’d prefer to set the bar high at the start and ease off rather than have it loose and then try and bring it back

        • Brumby Runner

          KRL, O’Keefe was consistent in penalising David Pocock at ruck time, but it seemed to me that he let a lot go otherwise that was just as, or moreso, illegal as Poey’s infractions.

        • AllyOz

          It’s called the reverse McCaw

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I didn’t see it that way but you may be right. I just think the referees in all the games let a lot go that would normally be picked up. I thought it was pretty consistent for both sides but I do get that is subjective

        • Richard Patterson

          Well said KRL.

        • Human

          It has been consistent. I agree entirely with being stricter on side entry, etc while not being pedantic. All games so far have been good to watch.

      • Richard Patterson

        We are not going to have a World Cup dominated by criticism of every referee or officiating crew are we Hoss? Surely as a group here we are smarter than that. Surely there are a lot of positives to be focusing commentary on.

        God forbid, surely we don’t want to go down the same route as the NRL. Notice how every week there, they devote disproportionate amounts of time bashing their referees, bashing their Bunker system, bashing their judiciary system. Then some clown stands up and says the referees have lost confidence! No farking shit!!

        There is so much good that is going to emerge from this Rugby World Cup. I think spending more time talking up the skills on display, the closeness of the matches and the performance of 2nd tier nations like Fiji feels a whole lot more worthwhile than bashing referees. Leave that shit to the morons who follow low skill sports. We are better than that.

        • Hoss

          Salient points Dick and I absolutely want to be talking of the skill, athleticism and skill of the play.
          However it is incumbent on the officials to allow said discussions with a matching level of performance. And therein lies the rub.

        • Richard Patterson

          I 100% agree Hoss and totally get your points…. However, it is also incumbent on front row forwards to keep every scrum up so there are not needless resets. For defensive lines to be back behind the hind most feet so attacking teams have more time and space, for players to not slow ruck ball down, not fake an injury to kill momentum, or challenge for the ball in the air in a careless manner. The game has its blights and it will never be perfect. No player is perfect. No coach is perfect. No referee will ever be perfect.

          What I want to do is talk up the skills and athleticism of the players on display. The ingenuity of many coaching staffs. The spirit games are being played in, the stadiums the matches are being played, and the atmosphere at many of the games. What I have seen in the 4 games to date has been brilliant. Hopefully all that combines to convince young kids and young parents to get involved in the sport. Sponsors to support it. Media companies to cover it. Everyone in Australia quite rightly addresses the very competitive nature of the sporting landscape and the challenges rugby has to compete against sports with a deeper legacy and bigger reach. This World Cup, played in a favourable timezone and featuring multiple really good players and sides is Rugby’s chance to promote itself.

          Let’s leave referee bashing to those knuckleheads in rugby league. Right now, they’re doing a great job of damaging their sport — at the biggest time of their painful, laborious season. We are smarter here to not make those same mistakes.

        • AllyOz

          Hoss is a number 8 Richard, always had too much time on his hands “cover defending” and “injecting himself into the backline” which allow him to develop skills in referee analysis. ;)

        • AllyOz

          Hoss is a number 8 Richard, always had too much time on his hands “cover defending” and “injecting himself into the backline” which allow him to develop skills in referee analysis. ;)

        • Hoss

          I never got one call wrong either

        • I thought Garces was atrocious. He was even handedly bad rather than biased IMO but he seems to think ‘the ball has been hooked’ is the same as ‘is at the number 8’s feet’ and won’t blow up for the scrum going down. He has no understanding of what constitutes a completed tackle. He got the big call about whether du Toit was offside or not right then blew the “contact in the air at the lineout” when the SA lifters threw their lock across the line dangerously badly wrong. Gardner was also poor, particularly at the breakdown.

          I don’t think the others I’ve seen were terrible, definitely mistakes but occasional ones that come from being human and having to make a load of mistakes.

          While I’ve seen some good (and some bad) rugby, I’m just worried we’ve seen too many poorly refereed matches and there are going to be critical matches decided by a bad decision or three. We expect the quality of the players to improve, but we shouldn’t have to expect the quality of the referees to improve… at the moment I am!

    • idiot savant

      Right on Huw. It was the most mature performance I have seen from a Wallaby side in a long time. They absorbed the pressure, patiently built their phases and put the foot down when fatigue started to take the edge off the Fiji physicality. I think we were fortunate that their number 7 was taken off. He is a beast and first class nuisance. But at last we appear to be a side with good temperament. Good signs.

    • Not sure Wales saw anything to frighten them from Fiji Fiji are dangerous when they can play wild rugby in the chaotic spaces, but succumb when there’s well structured phase play and good set piece play.

      Given Wales won the 6N on a super resilient defence and perform all the set pieces at least adequately to beat out England there’s not a lot there to scare them in beating Fiji.

      The bigger question mark will be, given the way Fiji stuffed up the Wallabies at the breakdown until they got tired, and Wales are much fitter, can the Welsh do that, plus defend better and beat the Wallabies for a second time straight? There’s definitely a blueprint for doing it out there and Gatland and Edwards have the potential to be able to build on that to frustrate the Wallabies.

  • Custard Taht

    One down, six to go. Wasn’t exactly pretty, but the Wallabies beat what was in front of them….bank it and on to Wales.

    • Pedro

      it’s what was needed.

  • Pedro

    Fiji got the rub of the green in the first half, Australia played steadily and won through their tight five. Decent hit out, set piece was good.

  • Greg

    @krl

    From a process point of view…. if something is reviewed in game by the TMO, can it be re-reviewed by the TMO after the game?

    • Patrick

      Yes

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    The Fiji 7 (Yato) was having a monster of a game and when he came off for HIA the Flyers lost some menace.

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    The Fiji 7 (Yato) was having a monster of a game and when he came off for HIA the Flyers lost some menace.

    • Who?

      Think Reece might be having a few games off…..
      He certainly should’ve had some time – at least 10 minutes, if not 55 – sitting on the bench…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Who. If it was a red should it have been a penalty try as well. From my.memory it was very close to the try line.

        • Who?

          It was close, but White was also tackling from behind, so there’s argument that the try wouldn’t have been scored if Hodge wasn’t there. But a fair point to raise!

  • laurence king

    I think that we did OK. A couple of days ago, Adrian and Huw said that the game was ours if we played it tight and that’s more or less how it turned out. I hope Hodge doesn’t get rubbed out, it was an awkward sort of contact with no intent to go high imo, but that apparently doesn’t matter these days, so here’s hoping.
    Gee, some of those Fijians are good to watch aren’t they? It was a tough affair and I think that that is just what we needed to get started. Beale did have a bad day, much like a nail can have a bad day

    • Max Graham

      Hodge has to get weeks for that.

      • laurence king

        I don’t know Max, it happened very quickly. Hodge was coming across the Fijian player who was stepping inside. Hodge had his left hand on the player who ran into Hodge, in a sense. the force of the contact came more from the ball-carrier than Hodge I feel, (how do you do a shoulder charge if you’re not the one doing the charging?) So, you may be correct in that he could get weeks for it, or equally Hodge may get of without a caution.

        • Patrick

          If it had been a kiwi blocking an Aussie I’d have called it a red and penalty try.

          I didn’t get a great view on the feed here but it looked atrocious on the one I got.

        • Greg

          If it had been a kiwi blocking an Aussie, OKeefe would have sent off the gold player for attacking the kiwi with their head. We know this….

        • laurence king

          I think that the whole thing was awkward but accidental. Hodge was coming left to right across the face of the Fijian who stepped fractionally inside. White was also tackling the player at the same time. Looked bad but I don’t think that Hodge has a case to answer

        • Patrick

          That version would suit me fine, hopefully you are right

        • laurence king

          Yeh, who knows how they’ll see it

        • Who?

          He wasn’t falling into the contact, so there’s no mitigating factor for high contact. Stepping sideways doesn’t decide whether or not you’re making high contact.

        • I haven’t seen the whole game yet, it was in the ungodly hours and we had a day out with friends planned because they’re rude and don’t watch rugby, and there was a good forecast.

          However, that Hodge hit was on the news, and it looks like a red to me. Shoulder to the head. Some force. Red card suggests, some weeks being banned…

          I’ve seen bits of other games around visitors and better times. I have to say there’s fucktonne of terrible decisions around. I watched the start of SA v NZ and in the first 10 minutes I was swearing at Garces. I’d lost count of how many just wrong decisions he’d made. I don’t think he was biased, he was even-handedly wrong, but he was just terrible.

      • Human

        I disagree.
        Hodge attempts a front on ball and all tackle, his arms are involved both left and right. Yato drops his height to bump Hodge and his jaw seems to hit Hodge’s shoulder with a possible clash of heads. If that tackle is illegal, the game is screwed…play touch. Particularly given the number of times in all games that players had their heads and necks grabbed in tackles with no action by the referees.

      • Human

        Pocock’s tackle at the line out at the start of the second half was not a lot different except that Pocock flattened the ball carrier and there was no injury. Similarly JOC’s attempt on 14 was high but he was thrown off like a doll before Rodda was pinged for draping an arm over a shoulder….plenty of those were ignored.

    • Who?

      I couldn’t believe how lateral we were with some of our early play. Our backs throughout the whole match didn’t really gel at all – pretty concerning, given they’ve just spent a month together training.

    • Huw Tindall

      The game plan to beat Fiji is blindingly obvious and you could see Chek getting worked up. 100% he didn’t say go out there and do shit kicks and loose passes. Chek is all about possession and big ball runners in close. Sortedd that out about 35 mins in and then drove home in the second half.

    • Brumby Runner

      LK, intent should never come into consideration. It requires the officials and/or the judiciary to get inside the offenders mind and that’s just not possible.

  • sambo6

    May I offer a different perspective…….for various reasons too long to list here I haven’t yet watched the game. I will at some stage, but am not able to today.

    Of course I couldnt help myself from finding out the result. So with the benefit of not having seen the game I would say this….

    We all said that Fiji were a dangerous side, and a real banana skin match..BUT….we were still heavy favourites, and never do that well when we are, So was there really anyone out there that didn’t expect an ‘unconvincing’ win?? As I was loading up GAGR to see the result, I thought to myself, I bet we won, but punters aren’t happy with it…..and so it is.

    The wallabies are inconsistent, that’s not gonna change, and by the sounds of it, we were true to form, but won the game…..I’ll take that.

    Of course later when I do get to watch it I reserve the right return here and rage hellfire at at our performance:)

  • Greg

    Does anyone have any info on what the oz coach was on about saying that the refs were all talking about Pocock?

  • Larry Jorgensen

    If Beale does start again he must be instructed to not tuck his jersey into his shorts.

    • AllyOz

      OK I’m not the only one who thought something looked weird about that…

  • onlinesideline

    do our new shorts have sequins in them ? They sparkle !!
    Did Ralene Castle hire a very camp uniform designer to get back at Izzy ?
    Bizarre stuff – anyhow they work, well played boys.

    For more in depth game analysis … errr .. read below

    • AllyOz

      that is some sort of stick plastic stuff they put on shorts these days. I bought a pair on the clearance table from the Brisbane club I support, the mighty GPS Old Boys and it has it on. I suspect it has something to do with rubbing your hands on to keep them dry or non-slip to improve the contact in the tackle. I also suspect that it was something developed by the marketing section rather than the lab so that they could sell their shorts for an extra five buck and wouldn’t make 0.0001% of a difference but it would be likely to suck in the RA board, and then every other rugby club who is trying to keep up with the Jones’ (not just Eddie in this case)

      Maybe someone who is still playing can help us out on the function of this substance

    • Human

      Many teams seem to have them.
      Beale needs to go up a few sizes.

  • Greg

    Hodge will be cited or not and things will then follow their course. If he is cited then I suggest Owen Farrel withdraw now and save the hassle with the cards and judiciary.

    but….

    I thought the Fijians didn’t use their arms much in tackles. The rag-doll tackles were all shoulders into the body. arms? not so much. It was brutal. Did anyone else see the same? Illegal? Don’t know… but a different tecnique to what is normally seen.

    When 7 went off, I actually thought it was because he had been leading with his head into offensive tackles.

  • AllyOz

    We can normally be accused here of being overly negative on the Wallabies but, just looking through the comments here, I am just wondering if we have our rose (or G & G) coloured glasses on. We were behind at half time and deservedly so in my view and after they scored the intercept I genuinely thought we would lose. Fiji were definitely under pressure when they gave away the penalties that resulted in the Yellow but we scored 14 points (or two tries cant remember if we kicked them) while he was off. The difference was 18 in the end so the points scored during that time were period were crucial.

    I still feel that we would have won, but I think it was very short of a confident opener. I also thought it ironic that two of our strongest performances were from Korobeite and Kerevi who could have been in that Fiji side.

    Having said that I remember the first (I think it was the first) game of the 1991 World Cup when we were rattled by a huge defensive effort from Western Samoa (as they were then). We won that 9 – 3 but went on to win so I don’t discount that we can go on from here. Also, during that campaign Wales lost to Western Samoa and became the first host nation to bow out of a World Cup in the Pool stage – if Fiji can maintain a little bit more discipline and keep their full compliment on the field for the 80 minutes they will be very hard to beat.

    Sorry to be Normie Negative but we all got carried away with ourselves after giving the 14 man Kiwi side a hiding in Perth and we all remember what happened against them in the next game. This, IMO, tells us nothing about what comes next.

    • UTG

      Nah, the difference wasn’t the YC. The difference was we reverted to playing up the middle 25-30 minutes through the first half and immediately got pay. We were then hot on attack late in the half before White dropped it and we may well have gone into the break with the lead. Apart from the intercept try it was all one way traffic before the YC.

      The ABs are incredibly good at switching up their gameplan and blowing the opposition out of the park in matches that are relatively even contests for the first 30-50 minutes. Very happy to see a Wallaby team with multiple gameplans that can be implemented and executed on the run.

  • Cunning Linguist

    I felt that, in the first half, the Wallies were very sub-par and reminded me of watching my nephew’s U11’s team playing against Sunnybank where the boys were all scared of the physically larger Polynesian boys. Second half was a lot better.
    My prediction: Wallies don’t make it past the quarter finals (i really hope i’m wrong on that). I also think Fiji will give Wales a scare, hopefully (although unlikely) beat them too.

Wallabies
@steve_l15

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

More in Wallabies