Wallabies: Mission Tri Nations - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wallabies: Mission Tri Nations

Wallabies: Mission Tri Nations

Sitting in the bar of the hotel in Auckland after Bledisloe 1, I bumped into James Horwill as the team was heading out for a quick dinner before jumping straight on the plane to Africa.

Needless to say he was gutted, and not just because they had missed out on a golden opportunity to stick a psychological blow on the Kiwis. The overwhelming feeling I got was that they were acknowledging the disappointment of the result, but seeing the chance for redemption in the form of some silverware. Kev stated that the team was still in a strong position to claim the Tri Nations, so I thought in the spirit of moving on, just how well are we placed? So let’s take a look.

The Tri Nations trophy would be a massive ‘deposit in belief’ for the ‘One Team’ as they move into the delivery stage of ‘this unique group’s’ journey. With all three teams having played two matches each we are exactly halfway through, and it appears New Zealand is in the box seat. The Kiwis have banked 9 points from two wins and one bonus point for scoring four tries against the Springboks. They’ve played both their matches at home, though travel rarely bothers them.

Speaking of the Springboks, they have started on the road, and given the training camp injuries most of their frontline squad have been on recovered from, they should be much stronger at home. With no wins and no bonus points, they are sitting on the bottom of the table with 0 points.

So that leaves the Wallabies in between. While their position on the log is probably indicative of the season so far, it feels like a major dent has been put in our expectations. They have played one home game, the 39–13 bonus point win over the South African development touring team, and one away, the 14–30 Eden Park disaster. So far they have 5 points only from the Sydney Test. The table looks like this:

Current Tri Nations Table 2011

Team Played Won Drawn lost For Against Bonus Points
New Zealand 2 2 0 0 70 21 1 9
Australia 2 1 0 1 53 50 1 5
South Africa 2 0 0 2 27 79 0 0

While it goes without saying we would prefer to be sitting a place higher on the table, we have these coming fixtures in which to set things right:

Kings Park Stadium, Durban

Saturday, 13 August: South Africa v. Australia – Durban

After a typically bruising Bledisloe encounter at fortress Eden Park, the Wallabies were given no time to dwell as they walked out of the change rooms and onto a plane. How well they cope with this schedule will go a long way to deciding this match. There is little doubt they will be out to silence the growing chorus of criticism of the team, in particular the ever-expanding coaching team, with a solid victory in the Republic. Out to stop them, and prove he was right to leave 21 players home to train and rest recover, will be Pieter de Villiers and his A team. Though they will be well rested, they may be a little short of match fitness compared to the battle-hardened Australians. They may have some issues with combinations, though the players coming into the team are all seasoned professionals, so this should not be too big an effect.

Dream Result: This is going to be a tough ask, but I think it is doable. We tend to have an easier time against the South Africans, and their lack of recent rugby will allow us to bag the win. We need the bonus point.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Saturday, 20 August: South Africa v. New Zealand – Port Elizabeth

Best case scenario: the Springboks, with a game under their belt for their combinations and smarting from their drubbing at the hands of the Wallabies, will come out and beat the Kiwis convincingly enough to deny them even a loser’s bonus point. Couple this with the talk that Carter and Richie will be sitting this one out in favour of a quick flight direct to Brisbane, and things look good for this result.

Dream Result: The Springboks to upset the New Zealanders and deny them a bonus point

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday, 27 August: Australia v. New Zealand – Brisbane

If everything has gone to plan to here, the Wallabies will be on top of the standings at this point. The Kiwis will be under a new pressure, fighting to keep the cup they earned back from the South Africans just last year. The big differences from the last time the Wallabies took on The Darkness will be that the Wallabies will be recovered from their trip from the republic and it is in our fortress. Suncorp Stadium has been the happiest of hunting grounds for the good guys, and though we are yet to defeat New Zealand there, I think — to borrow the Reds’ catchphrase — this is OUR time. Coming into this match the Wallabies are on 10 points, the Kiwis on 9. The Tri Nations is ours to lose.

Dream Result: You don’t really need to be told do you? You know what it is.

So there you go Kevvy, the hard work has been done. You just need to get Rocky and the Boys out there and actually make it happen. You can thank me later.

What do you reckon? Doable? Dreaming? Done?

  • oziinnz

    ITS OUR TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! STARTING THIS SATURDAY AGAINST THE BOKS!!!! SMASH EM BOYS!!!!!!!!!!! :))

  • Kunte

    My guess, is that the game will be a 2 point game +/- 2

  • Conor

    Nah, got a bad feeling.

    • Swat

      Glad you’re not O’Connor

  • Justo

    Maybe dreaming but then again maybe doable!!
    What it comes down to is…. Dingo and if he is serious with his selections, can he persist with what he has at the moment instead of making some key positional changes and getting some results. He continues to say he’s waiting for key personnel to come back….well they’ll be coming back under done and not in form and really is that what we hope for.
    If he sticks with what he has and says they need to develop, well it’s a bit late for that with only 2 games left before the RWC. He needs to make some key changes now and get some mongrel happening or we could be onlookers again at the Quarters or even Semis.
    Interesting to see what side he names this week.
    Here’s Hoping for a good result on the weekend.

  • Lance Free

    More than just dreamin’….hallucinating!

  • The Rant

    Other scenarios

    SA win both home games: Wallabies need to drag a losing bonus point/4 tries and hope the blacks stay put on 9 (points dif not our friends) – Play-off in Brisvegas

    Wallabies Lose/ NZ Win – we still tump the shit out of them in brisvegas – go into cup on a high

    NZ and OZ win – OZ- no matter what happens with bonus points – its a playoff in brisvegas and we smack them like a 3 iron to a canetoad.

    We beat SA, lose to NZ – leaves us feeling very underdone and the selfdoubt will be huge.
    We lose to SA and NZ – Goodbye Deans (best case scenario:)

  • Duncher

    We did win our last game at Kings Park if I’m not mistaken

  • Inkosi

    This ones as good as in the bag! We’ll roll the boks without much prob, mainly in the last 20 when their lack of game time over the past 6/7 weeks catches up with them!

    Can’t trust the AB to stick to the script though!! Even with Carter & McCaw going fishing, and the boks with a game under their belt they’ll prob still roll over and the AB will take it!

    • Garry

      I’m thinking that the NZ’s without those two trumps will be a different side altogether…and if they dare to, which they will need to for the WC, then their underbelly will be exposed. Then the Shaky Isles will be rumbling again with fears of ‘choke’.

      I doubt the ‘ three monkeys’ will rest them at this stage. Henry has already said that McCheat needs more game time. He may bench Cartier (‘bling!’) at the 60 min mark, after it’s done and dusted, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t start.

  • murph

    Feel sorry for Kev. He’s reliving the nightmare of the Reds. There’ll need to be a complete disaster and coup before the cause of this mess are shown the door

    • reds fan

      Too true!! Every position starting with a “C” needs to go! CEO, Coach, Captain…

      • Dogman

        And “Centres”

  • Red baby, RED

    can you put the strikethrough for the words “Rock and” in the second last sentence…

  • Jay

    “The Tri Nations trophy would be a massive ‘deposit in belief’ for the ‘One Team’ as they move into the delivery stage of ‘this unique group’s’ journey.”

    Uh oh, I’m sure all New Zealanders remember the last time a team with Robbie Deans involved was on a journey…

  • Robson

    Depends on the casualty list after Durban. If the team is still intact I think it is d–o–a–b—l-e, but my fingers needed a lot of persuasion to type that word. Heart was there, mind was labouring.

  • Goldie

    There was a lot of hype about “now is the time” to beat NZ at Eden park but as we all know, it wasn’t really the time. Now I’m hearing the reason Oz are going to win this one is that the SA’s are short of a gallop. We have to be on our game & not rely on the others not being ready. As silly as PDV appears, he won’t have missed what occured on Saturday & rest assured, Will & Quade will not get a lot of opportunity with good ball. I still think they can do it, but this one could go either way. If they don’t win, it’s 2 weeks stewing over the loss and that could be dangerous mentally for the boys.

  • Pete

    It is doable, BUT I am not sure that I want the Wallabies to win. Would another loss finally get it into Robbies head that there needs to be major change in team personnel?

  • wannabprop

    I’m dreamin’… that Samo starts at 8, Higgers at 6, A. Fainga’a gets a run at 12, Rocky gets a ‘rest’, McCalman out of the 22.

    Boks kick off straight to Cooper – he puts it high, and straight down du Preez’zzzz throat. But Fingers leads a great chase, smashes dP – Pocock pilfers and scoops pil to Higgers, who outruns the cover and scores under the posts. JOC converts the easy kick – confidence back. Du Preez now running sideways, and crowds the backline towards touch for the rest of the match. Samo appears everywhere – dominant tackles, lineout steals, and bends or breaks the defencive line continually. Dingo seen to mouth ‘why didn’t we put ‘im in before…’ in the coach’s box. Wallas score 4 more trys – 2 from set moves off scrum and lineout – 2 from turnovers to Pocock. Boks also thumped at the set piece (3 scrum penalties and 4 lineout steals). Boks looking bashed and beaten as leave the field – calls for coach to sacked within an hour of the debacle.

    The next week, a fired up Bokke put the ABs to the sword – back ups to Carter and McCaw seriously exposed. Boks win 3 penalties to 1. Talk in Kiwi press no back up for M & C.

    Stage is set for Suncorp blockbuster. Samo and Higgers heard slapping each other in dressing room – Horvill rips door off its hinges as Wallas charge into corridor. Weepu and Williams seen arguing about which Haka to use. Finally the kick off – straight to Cooper… and I wake up.

    • Goldie

      Yep …. Dreaming I think

      But not a nightmare

  • ozabroad

    Why does Deans not pick them. They won the bloody comp didnt they. Look at the AB’s pack last week and the Reds had success ova all those blokes. It must have shitted Horwill and Simmons off knowing that they can beat those blokes, but only if they had their Reds teamates around

  • pants

    Was i dreaming (or nightmaring) when I read that Deans is bring Rob Horne into the side? Please wake me up.

  • jeff

    stocker…

  • Can only just speak again now

    Well, how were the Wallabies ever going to capitalise on the Red’s momentum when they had 2/3rds of the run-on side from other states. Well, 3 games later and all that momentum has gone forever. Looking forward, can we please please please contest the breakdowns this week coach? Please coach can we?

  • Gallagher

    Mtawirra – Rhino
    Smit – Hippo
    Steenkamp – Elephant
    Matfield – Giraffe
    Botha – Giraffe
    Brussow – Buffalo
    Rossouw – Buffalo
    Spies – Buffalo
    Pienaar – Hyeena
    Steyn – Warthog
    Peterson – Ostrich
    Fourie – Lion
    DeVilliers – Leopard
    Habana – Cheetah
    Steyn – Wild Dog

    Surely fifteen Wallabies can clean up this circus act!!

  • Steve-o

    I reckon its simple – the problem the Wallabies have is just a lack of power and intensity. Samoa made that obvious, the All Blacks knew it and used it and cleaned house. Even though there is a fair bit of talent in the squad, that doesn’t really help if you’re getting a physical beating. Ioane, Horwill and Moore can bring it, and Genia can hold his own. Pocock is good player but I’ve never seen him tackle even as close as hard as McCaw or Reid or Kaino. Who are other teams scared of? None of them.

    The concerning thing is The Boks and Poms will have seen this too – as if they needed reminding!! Turn up with physical intensity and it doesn’t matter how many no-look passes Cooper can make or how good your break dancing is, you’ll get smashed. The Boks probably have less talent now, but if they rip your head off how useful are a nippy pair of feet?!

  • Jumpers

    Just watched da Boks/Oz cream puffs play, wat a @s crap game an from cheaters James O an queer Cooper! My 5yrs rteam could beat da @ outta both, da Boks looked like tired old hags an da cream puffs like queer Kangaroos ha! ha! ha!

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@mrtimms

Steve Timms, He likes watching the odd game of Rugby, occasionally writes about it.. Proud member of the original Mudchooks.

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