Wallabies Player Ratings Bledisloe I - Green and Gold Rugby
All Blacks

Wallabies Player Ratings Bledisloe I

Wallabies Player Ratings Bledisloe I

Starters

1. Scott Sio

_Scott_Sio rwcScrum was ‘okay’ but Sio was quiet elsewhere, except for when he gave away two uncharacteristic penalties. 5 run for 11m, 5 tackles and 1 missed. 4

2. Stephen Moore

_Stephen_MooreThe captain is going down with his shit ship. 3 missed tackles and 6 made, 2 runs behind the advantage line. Also needs to shoulder some of the blame for our below par line-out, but his throwing wasn’t terrible. He also rushed off a player he was marking to double teamed a winger to make an All Black try look even softer. 3

3. Sekope Kepu

_Sekope_KepuScrummed well, but only touched the ball in general play twice… Also fell off 3 tackles, however did complete 9. 4

4. Kane Douglas

Kane_DouglasThe lineout was shocking. He made very little impact with his running game (6 runs for 5m), missed 3 tackles, completed 10. 4

5. Rob Simmons

_Rob_SimmonsThe guy picked for his lineout expertise failed miserably, unless he was actually trying to throw to Read. 5 runs for 2 meters. Missed 1 tackle, completed 11. 3

6. Ben McCalman

He was brought in to ‘balance’ the backrow which for some reason caused Hooper to be the third line-out option… missed 4 tackles (10 made) and his 6 runs provided 0 meters. 3

7. Michael Hooper

_Michael_Hooper-214/14 tackles, gave away a couple of penalties. Operating a little too wide on attack, we desperately need his go forward in tight as you can see with the run metres above. 5

8. David Pocock

_David_Pocock13/17 tackling. Wasn’t at his best at the breakdown but the few steals he created was wasted by his team mates. The pass to Phipps for our only try needed to be on the money and was. 5

9. Will Genia

Will_GeniaAfter 5 months off this was a good start. Made 11/14 tackles, mostly in that difficult covering sweeper position. Passing was crisp and looked good when chancing himself. Seems to have added handy off-loads to his repertoire or has last night erased the 2011 reds from my memory. 5

10. Bernard Foley

_Bernard_FoleyWhere do we start… Fell off four tackles, general kicking game was incredibly poor, resulting in a try to the other team. Looked like he’d never played against rush defence before. To top it off missed a get-able consolation conversion.  2

11. Dane Haylett-Petty

When the other team has an overlap, the winger takes the winger and you rely on the cover defence to eventually get the inside players. To top off some poor defensive decision making he also missed 4 tackles. Our best tactical kicker going into the game was not used in our exit strategies. 2

12. Matt Giteau

Matt_GiteauHe may have gotten injured early but still managed to miss a touch finder and a tackle while he was still able-bodied. 2 (Tell your story hobbling pal)

13. Tevita Kuridrani

_Tevita_KuridraniSeems to have already been made the scapegoat, however he did make 17/17 tackles. Unfortunately he was pants on attack, dropped a ball on one of our more promising moves which directly lead to a try. He also couldn’t link up with anyone attacking on the fringes and when we did win a line-out he dropped the ball again. 4

14. Adam Ashley-Cooper

_Adam_Ashley-CooperFrom SMH – Solid as usual and worked hard. *Bonus point for telling it like it is at half time: “They’re all over us”. 6

He missed 3 tackles and in his 7 runs didn’t manage to bust one. He did pass the ball once, so should I give him a bonus point? NO! 4 

15. Israel Folau

_Israel_FolauBusted 4 tackles and made 2 offloads. The only player to look remotely dangerous with ball in hand, other than Phipps of course. 5


Finishers

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau

Line-out was better as was the scrum, but only missed a tackle (didn’t successfully make one) and again, his one run was for no metres. 4

17. James Slipper

Came on and off for blood. Made 3/3 tackles and a couple of metres gained each run and didn’t throw an intercept pass. Probably benefits from what looks like an error free game on paper.

18. Allan Ala’alatoa

Our best pick and drive forward… who debuted on the side of the scrum that he is less familiar with against the All Blacks, whilst getting spanked. 6

19. Dean Mumm

I was initially death riding Mumm, hoping it would be the last time we see him in the Wallabies, but now I want him to start in lock… Fixed the lineout and provided some much needed go forward and linking play in tight. 6

20. Scott Fardy

Did not play long enough to rate. No Rating

21. Nick Phipps

6/6 tackles, 2 line-breaks and a try, not bad for the replacement scrum half playing on the wing. 7 GAGR MOTM

22. Matt Toomua

Concussed almost immediately after coming on. No rating

23. Rob Horne

So the guy has had issues with this elbow and plays a Bledisloe without it being taped up. No Rating

 THE PATENTED G&GR RATINGS GUIDE:

10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Outstanding performance: Man of the match shoo-in
8 – Excellent all-round game
7 – Good game with a few sparkles
6 – Solid performance
5 – Average – ho hum
4 – Below par
3 – Had a bad game
2 – Tell your story walking pal
1 – A complete joke

Wallabies Player Ratings Bledisloe I

  • Tim

    what would everyones team be?

    • Hitcho

      Eastwood 1st with the addition of Poey, Folau & Ala Alatoa!

    • Julesie Bolwell

      After the garbage that we just saw yesterday:

      1. Slipper
      2. TPN
      3. AlaAlaAla
      4. Mum
      5. Coleman
      6. Fardy
      7. McMahon
      8. Pocock
      9. Genia
      10. Cooper
      11. DHP (Give him another chance)
      12. Hodge
      13. Kerevi
      14. Mitchell
      15. Folau

      16. Hanson
      17. Sio
      18. Robertson
      19. Douglas
      20. Timani
      21. Hooper
      22. Phipps
      23. Foley

      Thats the best i can think of and i dunno if i like it or not but faaaark I just dont want anything to resemble to way they played yesterday and also i’d like to have Foley come on and steady the ship with Cooper working magic in the first 50 (not the other way around which is way riskier in the last 30 with Cooper often being hot n cold)

      • Sammy Salsa

        1. Sio
        2. TPN
        3. Ala’alatoa
        4. Arnold
        5. Coleman
        6. Fardy
        7. Pocock (C)
        8. Timani
        9. Genia
        10. Cooper
        11. Mitchell
        12. Kerevi
        13. Folau
        14. AAC (VC)
        15. DHP

        16. Latu
        17. Slipper
        18. Kepu
        19. Douglas
        20. Hooper
        21. Powell
        22. Foley
        23. Hodge

    • Henry Dissmissinya

      1.Slipper
      2. TPN
      3. Alawhateva
      4.Douglas (give him a chance, i reckon he’ll come good)
      5. Coleman
      6. Lopeti Timani/Fardy (depending on game time)
      7. Hooper
      8. Pocock
      9.Genia
      10. Foley
      11. Hodge
      12. Folau
      13. Kerevi
      14. AAC/Mitchell (would love smokin joe but hey)
      15. DHP if he can play like he debuted

      16. Sio/Kepu
      17. Hanson (Or bloode Ready/Roach if your feelin risky)
      18. Robertson
      19. Fardy/lopeti Timani (whoever is not in the starting team)
      20. Skelton
      21. Phipps
      22. Foley
      23. AAC/Mitchell (again whoever isn’t starting)

      • Henry Dissmissinya

        I mean Cooper, not Foley starting.

  • Spank

    Kangaroos v All Blacks – only way to go. At least all their backline and a couple of their forwards who bust through tacklers.

    Less seriously, The Reds must be wondering what they can do with Moore as reserve finisher. Can’t see him making their run-on team and maybe not even on the bench.

    I gather the second half of the game was better. Not game to watch the second spell. The ABs don’t let up and would win 500 nil if they could so I figure the Wallabies must have improved. The myth of Simmons being needed to ‘call the line out’ should be gone – hopefully for good! Leave both him and Moore out of the squad entirely.

  • Who?

    Pocock made 6 turnovers and gets a five..? Simmons makes more tackles than Douglas in half the game time, whilst missing fewer, yet rates lower?! I don’t care about the lineout being a farce during his time – that’s on the moron who picked only two jumpers against a team with four genuine options (Whitelock/Retallick/Read/Kaino). To say that Mumm fixed the lineout is inaccurate – it was Fardy who fixed it. After all, with Mumm running it, we still had a lineout where we threw it to the front, only to be outjumped!!!
    I’d say Genia deserves another point, but am very pleased to have Phipps as Aussie GAGR MOTM on the wing. He played well there, scoring the try and saving another.

    • Seb V

      Their seems to be an assumption Douglas is some aggressive hard nosed lock in the Brad Throne style. But he really hasn’t lived up to that perception at all. I think he had a couple aggressive games for the Tahs in 2014, and one in the RWC15 last year with the rest being just as ineffective as Simmons. Our locks are a real issue.

    • Dave

      If I can be brutal, our skipper is one of our leading weak links. Moore looks ineffectual, unconvincing, and past his prime. Foley is a disaster at 10….just so totally lacking X factor status for a 5/8. That QLD guy Ready should be given a guernsey at hooker, and Cooper, or even Debreseney (forgive spelling) should run 10. Our backline future lies in the likes of Kerevi. How Dane Heylett-Pety was picked as a Wallaby after trashing a hotel room in J’Burg is beyond me, but maybe that’s an indication of the lack of culture the ARU expects from our country’s representatives.

  • Bulldog Sing

    I just feel sorry for the 25 Dads who had to watch their sons get pumped like that.

    • Julesie Bolwell

      haha gold!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Or partners who now have to coddle them for the next week

  • Vosges

    Moore & Simmons require a negative 4.

  • kp

    IMH – Front row cannot stay the way it is – We have enough good front rowers to replace them and maybe starting the finishers might be logical.

    Re the second row and back row – McCalman, Simmons and…Hooper to either go or be benched!!! We need domination at the tackle and the breakdown (Hooper makes tackles but they aren’t dominating ones). Bring in Dean Mumm, Sean McMahon and Scott Fardy. I have always thought Hooper would be better against a tired defence.

    The backline, where do you start? Phipps played really well as a replacement winger even if he lacked a bit of speed. And Folau and Genia were good as well.

    But that was it and realistically we need changes.

    Kerevi to outside centre, Morahan onto a wing, then we still need an inside centre and a flyhalf (I cannot bring myself to mention ‘his’ name but are there any other options).

    Thoughts?

    • Seb V

      Hooper usually is the main man who makes dominate tackles. Refer to last years Rugby Championship. He had a poor game last night. But I agree with the overall point of your comment, we need domination at the tackle and breakdown. The current locks, McCalman, don’t seem to be capable of doing this, and never have. Moore is the same at the moment. Might need to make a fair few changes unfortunately.

    • Simon

      Hodge to 12. Unfortunately there are no realistic options at 10 except Foley, Cooper and possibly Giteau if fit. Poor old Lilo obviously isn’t available.

      The only other 10s at Super level are McIntyre for the Reds, Deb for the Rebels and Jono Lance for the Force. Of those only Lance is even remotely in the picture, and he spent most of the Super season injured.

    • Haz

      ‘We need domination at the tackle and breakdown’

      ‘Bring in dean mumm’

    • kp

      Ordinarily Haz, I might consider your comment about Mumm as an astute observation. But credit where it is due, Mumm actually played well on Saturday – it caught me off guard. I think you are just falling into old habits in slamming him.

  • A Fan

    The same as with the dismal display at the Olympics I blame the mining boom.

    A great proportion of potential star athletes chose to take a guaranteed $150k a year to drive a truck during their athletic primes.

    Couple with this the fact that Australia has one of the most competitive sporting environments With rugby, cricket, AFL, league all after the same athletes whereas NZ, South Africa it is their major sport and England & France have a larger population to draw on, got to question whether it will improve

    • Nick Gregory

      I think the only athletes that would settle for driving trucks would be Rugby league players.

      FYI the popularity of soccer in South Africa outweighs Rugby something like 4:1

    • Fatflanker

      Love the mining boom theory – probably something in that although I reckon 2/3 of the jobs are filled by the Kiwi mafia anyway. The ‘union is 100th least popular football in Australia’ is getting a bit tired though. We’ve got more registered players than NZ, even if most of them are fat old bastards like me.

      • Kevino

        Don’t blame the fat old bastards, we have more registered Kiwi’s playing in Australia than there are in NZ.

  • Qualify

    Folau should play 13. Haylett-Petty at the back and Michell in the wing. Bring in Timani for McCalman. Fardy and Coleman as your lock combination.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I can see that happening but I think it’s a mistake. He won’t necessarily get any more space – Kuridrani didn’t get any – and he won’t be available to catch the kicks so I don’t think you’ll get anything positive out of the move. His distribution skills aren’t good enough at this level and I’m not sure he understands the defensive requirements of centre so he may actually make things worse.
      He was your best player in the day so why would you change that?

      • Qualify

        Because clearly Dane is a liability at wing (out of position) and is a better kicker than Falou from the back. All I’m saying is give Folau a chance at 13. Don’t think it can go any worse from here. He is the best fullback because he was played there. He can be the best 13 as well. And sure, Kuridrani didnt have spave BUT his form has been off of late and there are no excuses for those passes he dropped. Just poor.

        • blueboy11

          Agreed, DHP was excellent in the England series, but got exposed as a 15 playing out of position against a side who attack wide far better than any other. Even when playing 13 for the Tahs, Folau would move back to 15 to return kicks when the opponent had the ball, so you won’t lose that entirely from his game. In attack, he’s run in those outside centre channels for years, so the idea that doing that with 13 on his back rather than 15 is so kind of seismic shift is missing the point.

        • Who?

          DHP was, for mine, often caught out of position, playing 15 against England. My solution would be to swap them… DHP to 15, Folau to 14. Removes pressure on Folau’s kicking, keeps him in the backfield for high balls, allows him to roam a bit on attack, and counter from the back.

        • blueboy11

          Would work in a similar way for sure, but again, Folau stayed in the backfield for high balls when playing 13 for the Tahs, it would just require AAC to cover him at centre like Carraro did for the Tahs.

          Obviously though, no solution is perfect, but I just think, given what Kuridrani looked like in attack and DHP looked like in defence, moving Folau to 13, DHP to 15 and bringing Mitchell onto the wing is the best solution the Wallabies currently have.

        • Willem Labuschagne

          Agree with your backline: 15 DHP, 14 Mitchell, 13 Folau, 12 ?, 11 AAC, 10 Foley or Cooper, 9 Genia.

          Giteau is the right 12 but that leg didn’t look good, so would Cheika throw young Hodge in at the deep end?

          Contrary to most of the comments, I have a lot of respect for the forwards in the Wallaby team as far as their individual abilities are concerned. But there is something wrong with their collective performance of the basics, not just in the set pieces but also when they need to provide support on attack and coordinate in defence. Somehow Cheika’s stress on aggression has made them play like individuals.

          As far as balance at 6, 7, 8 are concerned it amazes me that Sean McMahon isn’t considered an integral part of the puzzle. But just shuffling individuals isn’t the answer. All the basics need collective cohesion, and Cheika’s obsession with ‘mongrel’ undermines that cohesion. That can change.

        • blueboy11

          I think Hodge is the best option currently available, given the injury and illness issues affecting Toomua, Gits and Lealiifano. Obviously you’d prefer his first start to come under slightly better circumstances, but equally, Hansen gave Sopoaga his first cap away to SA last season, and he performed very well, so it can work (though Hodge is even more green than Sopoaga was then).

          As for the forwards, it seems Moore and Simmons are getting it the most, which is understandable in some sense, given the complete disintegration of the lineout. Simmons in particular I have an issue with, I just think in open play there are four or five better options available. I get that he is good for the lineout (generally…), and entrusting someone without much experience to run a lineout against the ABs is an enormous risk, but in my opinion he isn’t dominant to the point that it outweighs his overall inefficacy in open play.

        • Qualify

          Big fan of Cheika BUT he keeps talking about mongrel but then he picks Mumm and McCalman instead of McMahon and Timani. Doesn’t make sense. NO team in the world fears Fardy Mumm Simmons or McCalman.

        • Who?

          But then, once again, and without any good reason, you’re creating hybrid positions. Why can’t we accept that there’s a reason why positions have developed the way they have, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel? Why does Folau have to wear 13 on his back so he can attack where he would naturally anyway, but creating a situation where someone else has to adapt? Why can’t we just accept there are kpi’s for each position, and put the players in the position where they fit those kpi’s..? And, if you did that, Folau would be on the wing. As was Ioane, as was Tuqiri, as was Roff, as was Campese.

        • blueboy11

          Because the game is constantly evolving, positional roles are constantly changing and players constantly change, both generation to generation and throughout a career.

          Just look at the ABs, Read is hardly a conventional 8, Coles looks more of a centre in attack than a hooker etc. Sure, it takes some moving about and flexibility, but if Folau were picked at 13, and AAC retained on the wing, it isn’t much of a stretch for a guy who got 100+ caps at centre to shift in in defence and allow Folau to drop back for any high kicks. Again, obviously there are issues with that solution, just as their are with any other, I just think it’s the best one the Wallabies currently have available to them.

        • Who?

          Ok, I’ll look a the ABs. Eighthman is a position that has long had two schools of thought. One is the tight game played by Vermuelen. The other is the rangey game played by Read. That’s not a change, nor is he unique. How many times did Sergio Parisse catch deep quicks for Italy?
          Coles is extremely fast for a hooker. But his pace doesn’t change hit tight defence, his scrummaging, his lineout, his breakdown work. It’s just a bonus. Similarly, even Lomu wasn’t a change for the sake of change, it was a change because he could cover most of the roles of a winger.
          I don’t think AAC should be in the side. He did little last night. I don’t see why you’d play Folau in one position on defence, and then a different one on attack, when his strengths suit leaving him in a single position.
          Especially when you have the option of playing Kerevi at 13.
          I would consider it differently if you were to say that someone was covering all the kpi’s for the role, AND bringing something extra, like Coles’ pace, but you’re not. Not with this arrangement.

        • Haz

          Disagree. 8 has always been played by two sets of players. The wide ranging, skilful Read and Parisses vs the battering rams of Vunipola and Picamoles.

          Coles is good in attack but that is, as Matt would say, a case of gravy being added after the meat and potatoes are alread on the plate. His technical work is impeccable.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fair enough to give him a chance although I personally didn’t think he excelled there with the Waratahs and a test arena is a big step up. DHP could fill in but then who are your wingers?

    • A80

      I think he’s better at fullback but coming in at centre of attacking play as he has done at club level.

      • Qualify

        This idea that you have to reshuffle the backline in attack and defense during the game makes no sense to mine and is probably the reason you alway get belted on turnover ball and conversely cant do anything WITH turnover ball. The most frustrating and weakest wallaby performance I’ve ever seen. Pocock made so many pilfers only to have some mumbling idiot give the ball back to the All blacks and have them score tries. Seems all other teams bar the wallabies thrive on turnover ball!

        • A80

          Its not really my idea just an observation that I saw him doing that for the Tahs and that it seemed to work. I still think he’s one of the best at running the ball back so I’d prefer him there than at 13 but I don’t watch him as often as I you lot do.

        • Qualify

          Unfortunately you have a weak lineout and Folau’s exits aren’t that great. Which is why you need someone at the back who can kick it into the shithouse. Think the wallabies have to get the basics right first.

      • Really?

        I particularly liked the ONE tackle he made in a 40 point hiding, how do you do that from fullback – AGAIN!!!
        Man is a master at being in the wrong place and avoiding defending.

    • Henry Dissmissinya

      what about Folau at 12, Kerevi at 13,

      folau gets more ball, and he draws people for kerevi to bust through, or the other way around…I just want to see folau and kerevi in the centres!

      • Qualify

        Could work even better. Despite what Spiro says Folau is a great distributor as well. His offloads almost always finds the player. With the lines Kerevi runs coupled with a great pass to him… you wont be able to stop him.

  • Seb V

    Phipps is such a great player when he isn’t required to pass.

    • First time long time

      Why don’t we make Phipps our starting openside flanker, move Hooper to 8 and Pocock to 6!
      Please forward to Cheika … Actually don’t, he might consider it ; )

  • Ruck_Me_Ragged

    Some of the ratings are an embarrassment – which tend to fit in quite well with the performance last night.
    Kuridrani: Scapegoat? Well, I don’t buy that entirely but what is undeniable is his inability to catch the ball when it’s passed to him. He was rubbish last night – a 3 at best.
    However, I don’t think it’s fair to rate the backs at all behind such a diabolically bad forward pack.
    Hooper: I know he’s much loved on these pages but so what – this bloke is part of the problem, not part of the solution.Gets on 5 on the strength of 14 tackles and getting penalized? Really? He’s ability to be ineffectual is peerless. Considering the weight of possession the other mob had it’s a wonder his tackle count is so low. He should have been moved to inside centre when the body count started mounting .- may as well, he was standing there anyway – with Pocock to 7 (where he should be) Fardy to 6 (with apologies to him for mucking him about) and, as you’ve quite rightly pointed out above, Dean Mumm to 8.
    Foley: 2. Come on. As above … the pack was slaughtered. It’s very hard to rate the backs.
    How about rating the Coach, his dud selections and dud game plan? Eddie Jones, way back in 2003 showed that 2 opensides in the one team (even as ineffectual as Hooper is) can’t cut it. What have we learned since then?

    • fatman

      At last I’m not the only to see Hoopers flaws

  • Rebels3

    I don’t particularly like it when tackling % are used, because I’m not sure what level people on here have played but it is not the most important indication of a players defensive capabilities. Re-alignment, spacing and line speed are the most important. A great defender will miss tackles if his inside or outside player isolates him or does not get off their line. I want to see dominant tackles behind the advantage line, testing the ball players skills to execute under pressure. The kiwis are masters of this, their greatest attribute is their defensive ability to continually get off their line, placing immense pressure on ball runners, getting teams to play behind the advantage line. We seem to spread and wait for contact, however they create the contact by getting off their line.

    One of our biggest issues is that our 3, actually 4 best forwards all play the one position (hooper, Pocock, McMahon and Gil).

    With the lineout, it staggers me how many teams lack simple variation. I’m calling for some throws to 1. Keep the kiwi jumpers grounded in potential anticipation for the easy throw, even a throw beyond the last jumper eliminating the need for a contest, it will basically be placed on our own execution. On saying this I am not actually too fussed when it comes to the set piece atm, there is no point picking for a strong set piece if the rest of the game suffers. I want players that run hard, hit hard, get off the line hard and try hard. The rest can be worked on from here.

    Please, please, please, stop picking human pillows pretending to be forwards.

    Let’s start picking the players that the opposition would rather not us pick. Instead of picking for a safety first attitude.

    My team going forward

    Slipper – not much between Sio and slipper, one is slightly better come set piece the other around the field. We actually have two int quality players in this spot. Iv gone for slipper due to leadership qualities

    Ready – he’s got skills, prob the best 2 in aus around the ruck and he’s young. Set piece? Well QLD actually had a good one all year. TPN is a great impact sub.

    Kepu – is our only int quality 3, looks like he is struggling with the pace after a year in France. I’m confident he will get back to where he was. Robertson as his replacement

    Coleman – he’s aggressive and athletic. So basically very unwallaby second row like. He’s young and has some skills, officially the only second rower in the mix with an ability to run on the ball.

    Douglas – well he’s basically the best of the rest. Best way to describe him is if I had to go to war and my choices were out of carter, Simmons, Douglas, mumm and Skelton if pick Douglas every day of the week.

    Timani – he hits hard, runs hard and has an offload. So basically not the prototype forward we have been developing for the past 15years.

    Hooper – despite what some tinted glasses people have, he is Australia’s best forward. He tackles hard, has amazing line speed, runs hard, best support forward in Australia and he’s still very young. Basically a kiwi type player but in an average team and a little on the small size.

    McMahon (c) – watch the 3rd test v the English. He’s as tough and as hard of a player we have in Australia. Oh and actually supplies go forward. He’s also the best super rugby captain we have. So let’s make him captain and keep this backrow for the next 5-7years.

    Genia – played fairly decent last night behind a pack that won’t be able to walk for the next week. Only 9 we have that can pass at a high level.

    Cooper – yep, quade. Foley was shocking last night, prob the worst 10 performance iv seen for a wallaby in my 30+ years. His kicking game is better, passing better, goal kicking as good. We need someone to create space.

    Hodge – versatile with a knack for scoring a try. He’s also got guts ands some skills. I like AAC but when compared to hodge I don’t see that much difference so might as well get some caps into someone for the future.

    Toomua – he’s a damn good player. I like the way he gets off his line and trys to put pressure on the opposition players, if only those inside and outside him showed the same desperation, so sometimes this leads to him missing tackles due to beinf isolated. I genuinely believe if he played for a kiwi team he’d be a world class player. His ball skills aren’t 5/8 quality but good for a 12, he’s got size and uses his shoulder in tackles

    Kerevi – I swear the boks and kiwis must be loving that we persist with kurindrani at 13. Don’t get me wrong kurindrani is a good player but atm he looks slow, unmotivated and unfit. Kerevi wins collisions, has some nice hands, an actual offload (shock horror a wallaby have an offload) and puts abit of fear into the opposition defense.

    Folau – nothing else needs to be said, only on the wing because we have good full backs and terrible wing depth.

    DHP – didn’t have a good game last night but he’s a good player. Will actually offer a kicking game from full back. Also a better distributor than Folau.

    Bench

    TPN – runs at those tired players
    Sio – like for like with slipper
    Robertson – young and promising
    Fardy – good cover for 4/5/6, an actually dean mumm style player but 40x better
    Second row ? – just not mumm, carter or Simmons, all who I’m convinced if you cut them open would bleed cotton wool or feathers.
    Pocock – needs to be in the side, great player but I think the game is moving on from his skill set atm. Could easily be playing 7 or 8
    Beale – good cover for all backline positions, can create something from nothing
    Frisby – I rate him

    Long post but need to get my rant out.

    • Fatflanker

      Mate you’ve got a decent kicker there at fullback…sure you know what you’re doing?

      • Rebels3

        Obviously not. Haha

    • A80

      “On saying this I am not actually too fussed when it comes to the set piece atm, there is no point picking for a strong set piece if the rest of the game suffers.”
      In a nutshell the issue with Auz International rugby. You didn’t care for decades that your scrum couldn’t compete now you have given up on your lineout too? Without parity or close to Auz simply won’t beat other teams of a similar overall quality. It’s inexcusable to weaken your lineout to the extent that Cheika did. You deny yourself a whole host of tactical options because you can’t be guaranteed (or close to) getting your own ball from the lineout and stand no chance of disrupting the oppositions. Lineout is far more important than scrum as set piece and if you’ve given up on that you’ll soon be knocking around with teams in the second tier.

      • Rebels3

        Don’t get me wrong I value the set piece but the issue we have is that those in Australia that are good come the set piece cannot perform around the field at international standard and vise versa the ones that can offer around the field aren’t good come set piece. So we have two options, go for great around the field where 90% of the game is played or strengthen the set piece where 10% of the game is played. I tell you what if I had a choice between both id rather play with someone who can do the tier 1 level skills (catch, pass and run) at a high level before the 2nd tier skills (scrum, line out and kick). Ultimately id love both and it should be both. Infact it shouldn’t even be a discussion at this level, but sadly in Australian rugby it is. I’d rather play with someone who is going to charge at the line and bend it or belt someone in a tackle with a weak set piece than someone who is awesome come set piece but just ends up dropping the ball, gets belted in a tackle or is basically one dimensional. All that set piece ball will mean nothing.

        The kiwis must be just full of confidence knowing they are going to be not physically challenged and then belt the opposition into submission against a one dimensional opposition.

        • Qualify

          Simmons comes to mind immediately and I have NO idea why he is rated so highly in Australia. He brings NOTHING in skills and general play. Probably has the weakest reaction time and defensive reads of all int. locks. Coleman and Arnold need a go!

        • Who?

          He’s not rated highly in Australia, other than by our props, who like the change of having someone pushing them. And by coaches who want to run a decent lineout (which, if you look at his history, doesn’t include Cheika). And then you can look at his attacking ruck figures…
          If you look on G&GR, all you see is posts exactly like yours – saying he’s a powder puff. But he is, by workrate and by kpis of his position, clearly our best lock.

        • Seb V

          @Who? Except Carter had a better workrate then him in Test 2 England and line-out ran smoother. Carter isn’t even our best lock so how on earth is Simmons? People see his 50+ caps and automatically think he’s a great test player. He is average at best.

        • Who?

          That was by far Carter’s best Test, in terms of workrate. The lineout ran smoother because the Pooper wasn’t on the field (Pocock had a broken face). Though he’s not usually that far off. But of course, he’s another who’s consistently labelled as a powder puff (without consideration for workrate).

        • Qualify

          Who and Seb… Simmons and Carter are cut from the exact same cloth!! And they have been allowed to play for far too long. How damnwell difficult can it be too teach a lock how to jump?! Really?! I get Skelton because he is bloody heavy but when Cheika picks Carter, Simmons or Horwill based on their supposed “lineout specialty” I want to start doing backflips! They bring NOTHING to general play. Sure they probably have ruck attendance but do they move bodies?! Yes maybe they make tackles but do they tackle players behind the advantage line and/or move them backwards? I honestly believe Coleman and Arnold are the way forward.

        • Who?

          Yet you’re advocating for the retention of Douglas..? I want Coleman, I want Arnold, but that’s two. We need three. And while they’re green, you need a more experienced lock starting with them. That’s Simmons.
          And talking NOTHING in general play? That’s Skelton. Late to most rucks he attends, draws defenders but doesn’t run onto the ball with any vim or venom, doesn’t push as hard in the scrum as Simmons.
          Simmons isn’t picked for his ‘lineout specialty’, it’s his set piece work (which includes scrums) and his work securing the attacking breakdown (something he does far better than most of our other forwards – and, in that capacity, if you’re early enough, you don’t have to shift bodies, you have to avoid being shifted).
          But I’m guessing you wouldn’t have picked Matfield, either (given Simmons is a much tighter player than Victor was)…

        • Rebels3

          Let’s not compare matfield and Simmons. It’s chalk and cheese. Matfield was highly skilled with ball in hand with an offload to boot. Also potentially the greatest lineout exponent of all time.

        • Who?

          It’s not chalk and cheese. It’s the same role. I’m not saying Simmons is the same standard, but he’s playing the same role. Which is the Whitelock role. As opposed to Douglas, who’s supposed to be playing the Bakkies Botha or Brodie Retallick role.
          That said, Matfield wasn’t known for his scrum prowess, whereas Simmons is highly regarded for that…

        • First time long time

          Why not compare them? If Matfield is the best of all time (lineout) that’s exactly what we should do.
          It doesn’t mean anyone thinks they are equal in every way.
          Sure the lineout was poor on Sat but what wasn’t?
          We got suckered into playing like the ABs instead of trying to draw them in tight and bash them early to see what opportunities would open up later. That game was lost before the players had a chance or the ability to adjust

        • Who?

          I actually think we were the other way. We tried to suck them in tight by heavily contesting every breakdown. But they still cleared the ball, and when they did, they realized there was no one left to defend the width, because we were contesting the breakdown so heavily. We needed to be more intelligent in how heavily we committed to the breakdown…
          That’s arguably also supported by McCalman’s selection, given all the press around it, although I don’t see how McCalman can be considered to be as big a pest at the defensive breakdown as Fardy.
          And the lineout on Saturday, I’m adamant that calling Hooper first up was Cheika’s bright idea… In an attempt to prove that there was more to defending the lineout than just sticking Whitelock in front of Simmons, Retallick in front of Douglas, and having Read and Kaino cover behind them (because there was no other viable jumping option).
          The lineout was lost before the game began, when Cheika decided to select two jumpers to contest against four. And that was shown up by our complete refusal to kick for the safety of touch. Which created the first try against us, and forced our forwards (who were never going to keep up with the ABs fitness level – four weeks of camp notwithstanding) to play long periods without a break.

        • first time long time

          I agree whole heartedly that intelligence has not been high on the list in our approach to games of recent.
          We do have to be smarter in our commitment to the breakdown.
          Its almost like the rigid application of the “game plan”. Someone has said lets make them commit to the breakdown so we put too many numbers in indiscriminately.
          I guess what i’m after is more dominant gang tackles in tight and targeted coordinated and aggressive disruption of the their ball not just having more people stand around picking naval lint.
          What is it with our “fitness” issue? Can anyone explain? apart from not playing for a month is there any excuse for these guys not being in peak shape?

        • Rebels3

          Fair enough. I’m happy to look at other opinions. So some good insight. However we need to stop looking at stats in Australia. Ruck involvements don’t indicate effectiveness. A tackle is no longer just a tackle, it needs to be dominant. The same as ruck involvements they need to be aggressive and lead to clean outs.

        • Who?

          I think stats are pretty important at the moment. The missed tackle stat is much more important than the dominant tackle stat. I’d rather have passive tackles made than dominant tackles missed!!! And whilst we’re talking about dominant tackles, that’s why Douglas supposedly gets a good wrap. His tackle completion rate was 77%. Simmons was 92%…
          And I’m more interested in the arrival time at a ruck than anything else. Because if you’re first to the ruck, you don’t have to clean out. The other team has to clean you out. It’s easier to maintain parity and the status quo than to drive someone else backwards.

        • Jshindmarsh@westnet.com.au

          Arnold is not up to it.Simmons presence weather you like it or not is a must.Check the performance of Australia’s best super rugby pack.When Slipper and Simmons are on together they are at their best.That is scrum and line out.Aus lost their two best props when some idiot let Holmes go early.The same goes for Gill who is Aus best all round 7

        • A80

          If the difference in quality between those that have skills around the field and those that are quality at the set piece is so large then I could see that. I just struggle with the idea of a player like Fardy who even not on top form contributes a huge amount but is essential at lineout is dropped. Again its because of the seeming obsession for Pooper which worked brilliantly a couple of times in an important game (including against England) but most decent teams (including England) can counter with better ruck discipline, clearing and not using isolated runners. All of a sudden it shines a spotlight on what the Pooper combination doesn’t do.
          I largely agree that the scrum is of less importance especially as the refereeing of it makes it a total lottery but the lineout is vital. Upwards of thirty instances to effect gameplay on set moves between both sides normally. Not only that but a good defensive lineout will deny the opposition tactical kicking options. It really is important even if it means sacrifices elsewhere.

    • jamie

      Swap Pocock for hooper and you have a side. Hooper’s ruck involvements are just not good enough. His defensive work is great but we have backs to tackle backs.

      • Smith

        What if we chuck Quade at 10, Kerevi at 12, and Mcmahon at 13 (he has speed and power), and Hooper at 14(he’s got speed as well) and he has stopped Savea before). Then we can have Pocock at 7, a proper jumping 8 and a jumping 6 which helps the line out.

        • jamie

          No way. Backs and forwards are completely different. Even Kerevi struggles to defend the 13 channel.

        • Smith

          Well, we need those 3 blokes in there cos they are are best players, and we can’t have them all in the pack because our line out is already in shit. At the very least lets keep Hooper on the wing- for him its just a change of jersey, he plays there usually anyway.

      • Rebels3

        Pocock is an asset to any team. So I’m happy to see him switch into the team as well.

    • Pclifto

      Like this team. Good call McMahon for captain.

    • Willem Labuschagne

      Very good points raised, especially about Ready as a possible starting hooker. Liked the fact that you didn’t trash all the forwards reflexively.

      I have only one serious disagreement. In this test, Pocock was by far the best Wallaby forward. How can you leave him on the bench? I actually think that the trio of Hooper, Pocock, and McMahon were developing nicely against England and that Fardy is rated too highly by people who mistake his constant niggle for influence on the game.

      And I have one minor disagreement, which is with your emphasis. You are looking at the individuals who make up the team, but the main problem is that they are playing as individuals. Why was the scrum so much stronger at the RWC? Not because different individuals were playing. All tight phases are about collective cohesion — that’s what makes them tight.

      • Rebels3

        Good points, I’m happy to see Pocock start as well. And a McMahon, hooper, Pocock back three would be great. I guess I was thinking of the lineout a little bit and weakening our scrum. But good points.

      • Henry Dissmissinya

        our line out is shit enough as it is, we need at least one jumper in the back row, i agree with you its a lethal combination but our line out has priority at this point

    • Brisneyland Local

      R3, really like the cut of your jib!
      The only difference i would make is to have Pocock on intially and then bring Hoopers speed on in the last 20-30.

      • Rebels3

        Good point you have made there.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have my moments.
          I think alcoholics call it a blinding moment of clarity!

        • Rebels3

          Haha

        • Brisneyland Local

          Fuck I made someone laugh. Best show my wife that. She reckons I have no sense of humour at all!

        • Mica

          2 now…………. :)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Might have to give up my day job and become a rugby comedian! Say did you hear the one about the Warratahs players that stayed out late at night drinking on an overseas tour????????? ha ha

      • Jshindmarsh@westnet.com.au

        That would be a easte of player we already have 18 playing against 23 just to fit in Cheikas favourites

      • SuckerForRed

        And also that would effectively give you someone who can cover 6, 7 & the centres…….. #DidISayThat

        • Who?

          I’d have sent Fardy out and moved Hooper to 12 when Horne was injured… Just to have options with a fresh back in the second half. Phipps did well, but we were lucky not to need another back, lucky Genia played for the full 80.
          It also, just incidentally, would’ve fixed the lineout (given Fardy’s inclusion was the biggest improvement in the lineout all night), and added to our defence.

    • Haz

      Two international quality loose heads in Sio and Slipper?

    • Tim

      I love the team you have chosen! But in saying that it wont happen Kerevi wont go 13 Reece wont go 11 and coleman and Timani wont join the starting squad! But 100% agree with you!

    • McWarren

      Mate Hooper?? I’ve forced my self to watch that game again twice now. Please do the same if you want to persist with Hooper at the side of our scrum. The game has not moved on from Pocock skill set, the f..king australian coach won’t play him in the position for which he is universally accepted as being the best in the world. I really just don’t get the Hooper love, I just don’t.
      Couldn’t agree more with Quade being in the team, you know the Kiwi’s hate him. Thats enough reason for me to have him start every game. Kiwi’s also hated John Eales, Stirling Mortlock, Phil Kearns and David Campese. I wonder why??

      • Jshindmarsh@westnet.com.au

        I agree with you 100% Do you see Hansen picking 7’s just to get them in team He makes the hard decisions.Play Pocock at 7 and a dedicated 6 and 8 and we may get somewhere

    • Rob Malcolm

      I seriously think Hooper would be a great inside centre for the next game given injury situation. Gets Pooey back to 7, allows McMahon on at 8, and Fardy to 6 (and back to a lineout option).

      • first time long tiime

        Hooper was forced informally into the centres due to injuries for a decent part of a game a few years ago (?against the lions) and he was an abject failure and still would be.
        At the moment Hooper is all over the field in all sorts of positions and not taking responsibility for any of them.
        I’m sure that is what Cheika wants but it is not working and yet he blinded persists.
        He plays a good game of league, just happens to be on a rugby field.

        • Rob Malcolm

          “informally due to injuries” isn’t exactly a trial is it? Big difference when you give someone the run-on spot and train there.

          Our defence was abysmal, in close and out wide. Too slow, too soft.

          “not taking responsibility” is solved by giving Hooper one responsibility: aggressive defence at IC. He has the best smash defence in the team, and we need to change the way the ABs play. Barrett needs to be put under maximum pressure and if you have Pocock (from 7), McMahon (from 8) and Hooper from IC taking care of the inside channels you change their game.

          We have 3 (+ Gill) world-class 7s in a squad with only one other world class player (Folau). To have only 1 or 2 on the pitch and expecting to win against the ABs is mad. We need to harness all their potential, all the time!

        • first time long itme

          IMO he would be average to poor at centre, just like he is an average to poor winger and largely ineffective in breakdown work as a flanker.
          Good hard runner and defender but unfortunately like a lot of others in the team isn’t at top form there either.

        • Who?

          I’m still not convinced that he was a failure in that Lions game. He wasn’t to blame for the try widely ascribed to his failings. I put that try on the guy outside him who didn’t come up with the rush defence that Hooper was with. Because the guys inside rushed up.
          Yes, that’s me defending Hooper (doesn’t always happen).

        • first time long time

          my criticism of Hooper doesn’t mean I think he is to blame for everything.
          But a test centre he is far from.
          IMO at test level, he is an impact player off the bench and I think he would be very effective at it.

  • Considering the rest of the team’s effort, i thought genia was almost best for them. Fardy needed many more minutes. Dead wrong re:tevita. In some seriously bad form and has nothing to offer.

  • Adrian

    I think that Cheika had a plan when he started, but ditched it when Larkham came on board. It stayed ditched as we did better in WC than expected.

    I like Cheika, and want Cheika to be Cheika.

    I want big brutal forwards and talented backs that play flat, and break the line.

    In his heart of hearts, I reckon he’d pick:
    Folau, Kurandrani, Kerrevi, Cooper, AAC, Foley, Genia/Phipps, Houston, Hooper, Timnani, Coleman, Skelton, Kepu, TPN, Sio. Bench Latu, Alaalatoa, Robertson, Douglas, Arnold, Pocock, Genia/Phipps, Hodge

    Win collisions, offload, run onto ball, smash their mauls, flat backline. Don’t kick if you don’t know how to kick. Drop Moore

    • Willem Labuschagne

      Urk … Pocock on the bench? You must be joking.

  • A80

    Odd ratings but Cheika needs a kick up the bum for such an obviously stupid call on the backrow selection. Against England you struggled at the lineout with two decent options in Simmons and Fardy. Cheikas solution, take out one of those options and also probably your hardest working back-rower (on the England tour) … genius.
    I was really upbeat for you for this test. I thought players like Genia, Giteau/Toomua and AAC had the potential to allow you to play your more natural wider game. I also expected the team that came out to show some semblance of having learnt lessons from the games against England. You came up against a brilliant All Blacks team but that’s no excuse for just how bad that was. Anyone who thinks Phipps is the answer at scrumhalf needs to drink less but stick him on the wing by all means. Foley showed yet again he’s not an International flyhalf. I expect Auz to bounce back but am really surprised at how little seems to have been done to address obvious problems that Englands summer tour highlighted.

  • Nutta

    My 2 cents:

    Sio gets dropped. FFS bring Toby to 1, Sio to bench and Slipper out.

    I have huge man-love for Squeak. But the Capt didn’t play well and has larger responsibilities. He’s out until he proves he is back in. TPN in and Ready to the bench.

    Kepu stays. Just. And prob only because Alalalalalalatoa isn’t ready yet and Holmes is gone.

    Simmons – Gooohhhnnnn. Anyone else will do. Even fkn Ahn Do. Give me Coleman or Arnold.

    Dougey stays. Just.

    Hooper – Gooohhhnnnn. Either it’s Hoops or the coaches idiotic use of him but he’s ineffective as is. We have the best No7 in world rugby so let’s play him at 8 yeh? Fk me.

    Poey to 7. Welcome back to 6 Fardy or get a smasher like Timani. Let Big Dog, Leroy or that Qld kid play 8.

    Gins stays.

    Foley, Foley, Foley… Two tagged kicks leading to tries and a fumbled pass to another try and still playing too deep. I’m done. The problem is that we don’t have a bloody answer there esp if Too’s is out. It will prob be QC by default but I ain’t excited by that.

    Centres need to be considered as a package. If Too’s is fit the he is 10. That means (I reckon) Godwin to 12 & Folau to 13. Kerevi is unlucky and whilst K’drani doesn’t miss tackles he has hands like feet atm.

    Leave Two-Dads on one wing, put Sauce to FB and I would be tempted to put Kellaway on the other wing (gotta try SOMEONE)

    • Who?

      Nutta, how do you keep Dougie when he made fewer tackles than Simmons in half the time, and missed more..? The run stats for both are nothing to shout about – Dougie again running about half as often as Simmo (5 in 40 for Simmons, 6 in 80 for Dougie), but getting a little more distance each time. Combine that with Dougie’s lineout being abysmal (how do you excuse he and Mumm running that lineout at 70 minutes, when they allowed the ABs to creep 5m past the mark back to our 22, telegraphed the move, and then let Retallick get up in front – at the very front of the lineout?!), and his scrum not (according to the reports I have) being at the same level as Simmons…
      I just don’t get why Simmons gets a bad wrap whilst Douglas and others get a good one. I’d have started with Simmons and Coleman last night, with Arnold on the bench. Very keen to see Coleman developed, Mr Dwyer was correct in spruiking him on this website those three years ago.

      • Nutta

        Because even after +50 tests Simmons hasn’t made the spot his. Enough.

        • Who?

          How has Dougie done that, though? His meat and potatoes are undercooked (i.e. his set piece isn’t strong enough), his workrate around the field is poor.
          I’m not arguing to keep out Coleman or Arnold – I want both in the 23… Just think that Douglas isn’t the lock to partner them while they get their feet – Simmons is better for that. Both in the lineout and the scrum (he’s our best scrummaging lock).

  • Brisneyland Local

    The only players I consider giving any rating that is in the positive scale, Genia I give a 4.5, Pocock a 5, Amazingly Frisby a 5 (wow who would have thought he would as a Winger, but he worked hard) maybe being a 9 isnt his forte.
    Dean Mumm as well, what amazed me about him ( and generally I dont rate him highly at all, was the leadership he showed in the huddles, all the others were gobsmacked and he was telling it like it was and giving the boys what I can only assume was the good oil).
    The rest Blew dog! PArticularly Foley and Kurandrani! Dont care how many tackles he made! He was just crap!

  • Qualify

    1. Sio
    2. TPN
    3. Kepu
    4. Coleman
    5. Arnold/Fardy
    6. McMahon/Hooper
    7. Pocock
    8. Timani
    9. Genia
    10. Foley/Cooper
    11. Mitchell
    12. Hodge
    13. Folau
    14. AAC
    15. DHP

    After last night it might be worth letting go of the experience argument.

  • Suddenly AFL interests me.

  • Kumar

    We lack mongrel in our team and don’t have enough ticker to challenge the All Blacks , is my reckoning.

  • McWarren

    Gee, sticking with the experience really worked well didn’t it? Maybe next time? And the time after that and the time after that and the time after that and……….

  • Jshindmarsh@westnet.com.au

    Why blame Simmons for line out he is under instruction to justify Cheikas selections there was also some poor throwing.If Mumm must be in team let us play him at 8 and Fardy 6 with Pocock at 7

  • Rob Malcolm

    Assuming Toomua is out, here’s a team for next week:
    1 Sio
    2 TPN (Drop Moore: sadly out of form)
    3 Allaatoa (Kepu is only good for 20 mins now)
    4 Coleman (Lineout needs fixing)
    5 Arnold (as above)
    6 Fardy (as above)
    7 Pocock (let the dog out)
    8 McMahon (as above)
    9 Genia
    10 Cooper (Drop Foley: sadly out of form. Tell Cooper: time for redemption)
    11 AAC
    12 Hooper (Defence = offence)
    13 Kerevi (Expect Cooper cut-outs onto your chest all night mate)
    14 Mitchell
    15 Folau

    16 Ready
    17 Slipper
    18 Kepu
    19 Simmons
    20 McCalman
    21 Phipps
    22 DHP
    23 Hodge

    A few explanations:
    1. The loss was the worst I have seen. Out of form players need to be dropped/benched: Moore, Foley, Kuridrani, Kepu, Simmons
    2. Lineout gamble was a fail. Need 3 good jumpers, so in come Coleman, Arnold and Fardy
    3. Defence was abysmal. Inside channel sets the tone, so let’s make a statement: when Barrett looks up he sees Hooper, Pocock and McMahon.
    4. Time for Quade to have a shot at redemption. Stand flat. Pass or take on the line, no bullshit kicking. Plenty of ball to Kerevi and Folau.

    • sampro

      Actually wouldn’t mind rolling those dice.

    • Kevino

      Can you not find at least one wing in there 20s? Two 32 year old wingers and Hooper at 12 is my issues with this side.

      • Joy

        Hooper is durable, a good defender and a survivor. That’s a good start! Can’t wait for the whinges about him spending too much time at the breakdown.

  • Bay35Pablo

    Couldn’t rate Fardy? Didn’t he come on for McCalman with about 20 to go and we seemed to tighten up a lot (probably because we had some combos finally, being Fardy with Pocock, and Phipps with Foley)? Or did the peanut on the big screen mess that up too? I may have got confused as I was too busy chewing on the seat in front of me, and restraining myself from killing the Kiwi pensioners in front of me crowing every 2.5 seconds. And having a Twitter war with ANZ Stadium about the beer queues (trying to distract myself from the massacre in front of me).

    • Who?

      You’re right, Fardy came on, and he helped our lineout, too.
      But the Phipps/Foley combo didn’t happen – Phipps played wing the entire second half, Genia played 9. And Phipps/Foley as a combo doesn’t always work. Playing together doesn’t always mean playing well together. Look at last year’s Sydney Bledisloe, where Foley got deeper and deeper until Phipps couldn’t reach him with a pass anymore.

    • Bobas

      You’re right, he played a minute longer than TPN… I thought he came on with 10 to go… probably contributed some of his work to Mumm. Retrospectively would give them both a 5.

  • joy

    Before proceeding beware – babies and bathwater everywhere.

  • Clubber Lang

    I can’t agree Genia’s passing was ‘crisp’. Standing behind the goals it was clear that Aaron Smith’s bullet passing was one major difference. The velocity and length of Aaron Smith’s pass was something to behold. He was getting twice the distance as Genias’ who continues the two steps before passing softly which puts pressure on his team-mates far too often.
    I would argue that the best player in the world at the moment is Aaron Smith who does not get the credit he deserves.
    Also the comments regarding Foley are appalling. Apart from the charge down he did his job well. Just citing defenbsive stats tells less than half a story, a player that makes a tackle often does fall off and that rates as a miss. I saw him miss 1 tackle of significance and the rest were insignificant.
    to mention Hooper attacking out wide as a criticism when that is his role in the side is disingenuous.
    And Pocock was phenomenal yet again at the breakdown!
    Also Douglas’ work rate, covering space off the ball etc was also something to admire which doesn’t get mentioned in stats.
    That game was lost because DHP is not a test winger, because Genia only ever puts pressure on his pass-recipients, Kuridrani is pedestrian at outside centre, and Moore can’t throw.

  • Garry

    Cheka had 4 weeks training ( and one England dead rubber) with the squad where he could have introduced Cooper to our backline, but he kept Foley, even though the signs have been there for sometime.By now those big Fijian centres could be happily running into holes with Cooper flatballs on their chests. Instead, Cheks will throw him in the caldron (again) next week, with no time to accustomise to the backline. Cheka is cunning, (but wise? Not so sure).

All Blacks

Brumbies supporter now living in Melbourne. Rugby and Larkham fan ever since he de beered de Beer. Never shy of controversy because when I say it it's cute.

More in All Blacks