Wallabies Player Ratings Bledisloe II - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wallabies Player Ratings Bledisloe II

Wallabies Player Ratings Bledisloe II


1. Scott Sio_Scott_Sio rwc

Good enough in the scrum, not good enough elsewhere, caught the AIG on the ref mic saying [paraphrased] ‘target his dodgy elbow’, but he slammed them in the next scrum. 4

2. Stephen Moore_Stephen_Moore

Brought intensity and a game plan, but wasn’t even allowed to speak with the referee. His lineout throwing has suffered terribly and what does it take for him to put on headgear?  3

3. Sekope Kepu_Sekope_Kepu

Dumb penalties were not made up for – we were hot on attack!. 3

4. Kane DouglasKane_Douglas

The first time Douglas has really gone MIA… I really hope this isn’t a trend. Only 6 tackles and 2 runs. 4

5. Adam Coleman

Topped the tackles and missed only one, busted one tackle himself, but unfortunately made one big error and was off for 10mins. Not his fault Mumm replaced Fardy though. 6

6. Scott Fardy

Looked set for a redemption match only to be hooked too early. Pushed the boundary of the ruck with mixed results and was extremely busy, he knew he was destined for more when he was taken off. 5

7. Michael Hooper_Michael_Hooper-2

6/9 tackles only, OK running game but ineffective elsewhere. The worst game I’ve seen Hooper play, he’s too good a player not to find a spot for him, even if that is the bench. 3

8. David Pocock_David_Pocock

10/11 tackling. Penalised out of the ruck, but his linking play and his hands have improved. I wish he wasn’t the one in charge of trapping the ball at the back of a scrum. 5

9. Will GeniaWill_Genia

Didn’t miss on D, passing not as crisp as last week but serviceable, running game was still there with 2 clean breaks off his own bat. His amazing run in the 2nd half was reminiscent of the 2011 Reds win over the Saders. Still getting those offloads away, which I haven’t ever noticed before. 7 G&GR Man of the Match

10. Quade Cooper

Tackled (7/10) better than Bernard and is certainly in better form with his tactical kicking. One linebreak created back on the inside with Folau was a highlight, but these were too few and far between. Worth persisting with.  5

11. Dane Haylett-Petty

Another 5 missed tackles this week, though he still had to make 9. His best involvements are when he finds himself in fullback, I would switch him with Folau. 3

12. Bernard Foley_Bernard_Foley

Haven’t seen him attempt 11 tackles before, for good reason, as he missed 4 of them… His place kicking was quite good, but he’s out of form and looks to be lacking a little acceleration. Why does Foley kick for touch when QC or DHP are noticeably better than him? 3

13. Samu Kerevi

Running game was there but not as prolific on D as the man he replaced in the starting game. A kick error at the start of the game was hard to get over, but he had his moments. 4

14. Adam Ashley-Cooper_Adam_Ashley-Cooper

Channeled Gits from last week. Made an error, missed a tackle and got knocked out. 2 

15. Israel Folau_Israel_Folau

Still our best attacking weapon and graceful under the high ball. A lack of tactical kicking or even a short kicking game is undermining his supreme agility and power by making him predictable. 6


16. Tatafu Polota-Nau

Line-out throwing improved, TPN deserves a start as our line-out is our glaringly obvious weak point. 6

17. James Slipper

A solid outing, four positive runs and a 5/5 clip tackling, in his 28 mins. Not knocking down the door to start but thankfully we have the loosehead depth, because we haven’t always.

18. Allan Ala’alatoa

Has done everything that was asked of him, however didn’t quite bring the pick and drive game that he showed last week. 5

19. Dean Mumm

Played longer than a half and only touched the ball once in general play, Fardy’s face when he was subbed for him said it all. 4

20. Will Skelton

Regardless of the Fox Sports ratings saying he had no runs, he actually trucked it up four times, but they weren’t memorable. 5

21. Nick Phipps

Played 12 minutes when the game wasn’t really in the balance, thought he might have replaced AAC. No rating

22. Tevita Kuridrani

Played 12 minutes when the game wasn’t really in the balance. No rating

23. Reece Hodge

Came on 5 before half time and slotted a monster penalty to give us all hope (some of the Kiwis even cheered the length of it ;), could have been better on defence but all in all a solid debut. 6


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 II

  • Nutta

    Thanks for the effort Bobas

    Congratulations to the AIB’s. A class outfit playing great rugby Mr Franks notwithstanding

    Our front-rowers are lazy in general play. They are not getting through the work. Not tolerable. Further, Squeak is under-throwing chronically atm. I reckon he isn’t using his legs to get carry/length so he’s dropping short. FFS what does it take for Toby & Tatts to get run-ons?

    Locks are worrying me. Dougy is still clearly lacking his pre-knee-injury impact. I’m no Wobbly, but I am a pretty determined guy and it took me 12mths to really recover from a reco. So is that simply time to get back on top? Do we have that luxury? Coleman is worth persisting with and I want to see Arnold in the mix.

    Loosies have shown that Poet must play 7. Either Fardy or Mumm at 6 (depending on the refs reaction to Fardy honestly) and we FKN BADLY need a hard-running 8. Is that Timani? Hoops to the bench.

    Gins is better then Phipps atm but Phipps has discovered a running game suddenly…

    Neither QC or Foley impresses but who else is standing up? If Foley would play up flat I would let him play the opening 50min and then let QC crack at tiring defences. But will Foley play flat?

    The centres need to be Folau at 12 and K’drani at 13. Why? Folau is wasted at 15. He needs to get more ball so move him to the centres where that will happen. He’s 6ft whatever and +100kg with great acceleration so he will handle it no problems. And K’drani is needed to defend at 13. Kerevi to bench.

    Back 3 should be Hodge, DHP at 15 (imo his D misses are poor reads playing on the wing. Let him play FB where he is best) and I still say give Kellaway a crack.

    • Pedro

      I kind of feel like folau is under utilised because we don’t enough ball. I think Foley would be a very useful off the bench, fairly compete player i think he could play 9-15 in a pinch. QC should start in ten based on his kicking alone for mine, Kerevidrani in the centres for fun and the future. Great insight as always nutta.

      • Nutta

        I want to believe in QC as a player. Yes his kick game was so much better and he plays flatter and moves well but then when we need a simple draw & pass hands to chance a try he throws some fkn triple cut-out soy latte that no one fkn needed and spoilt the chance. Does my fkn head in.

        • Pedro

          For sure it’s Russian roulette with Quade, but with injuries and recent results it’s time to either reap the benefits or give him enough rope.

        • Spank

          AND he is 100% better than Foley!

        • jamie

          I don’t recall him doing that on Saturday? But yes, his long passing game is fantastic: he just needs to know when to do it. I recall Bledisloe 3 in 2013 to AAC it worked beautifully. 3:00 (also check out the try saver(s) at 2:00 by him)


          This was one of his best games

        • Nutta

          Mid to late in the 2nd half I think. Just needed hands and we were a crack down the short side. But no. There was the flash cut out and so the D just slid over and snuffed it. Ce sera sera.

        • Joy

          I wouldn’t trust our outside backs to put it through hands either. They’d either drop it, pass it to the next man’s inside shoulder or truck it up. We wont see the best of Quade with this side. No go forward, no running into space, no backing up, no genuine pace = no options for Quade. As for attack coach, leave it to Quade. McKenzie did.

        • CoachOfTheYear

          Seems to be defending pretty well in that video.

        • Willem Labuschagne

          Cooper was magnificent in a losing team in that test. Showed how well he and Genia can combine. As far as I can see, while that partnership is available we can tick the 9 and 10 boxes and worry about the deep questions of who to play at 8 and 12.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I actually thought he played well. My only complaint is that when he’s on the wing in D he’s actually more exposed than at 10. At least at 10 he has the chance of a Loosie helping him out

        • Nutta

          That’s part of why I want an Izzy or Godwin or even a Mitch Inman at 12. Between them and Fardy/Poey/Ginea then Foley or QC can be covered

      • Spank

        Folau, Kerevi and Hodge as the centres in the squad running outside Cooper and Genia. Kurindrani to stay in the bigger squad though as a back-up

  • Qualify

    Big concern is the player’s defence. Not as much the structure but rather players falling off tackles and being fended off to easily. Foley and DHP are prime suspects. You miss one tackle against the ABs and its almost certainly a try. Drop Foley and DHP.

    • Smith

      We need speed on the wing, not DHP

      • Who?

      • Qualify

        Agreed. What happened to Nyavouro?! And I see Speight is also back

  • Smith

    Foley must go, he is hopeless. 9 Genia, 10 QC, 12 Reece Hodge, 13 Tev or Samu.

    • Only if Genia speeds up his delivery from the base and stops forcing players to jump for the ball. I’d rather play Joe Powell and instruct him to play with urgency. The only thing urgent about Genia’s play at the base of the ruck these days is flapping his arms at the ref, and (thankfully) his sniping.

      • Gottsy

        Or Frisby

    • Seb V

      12. Toomua – if he stops knocking himself out, which is a real worry

      • Mart

        The ease with which he is getting knocked out these days is a real worry.
        It may unfortunately be time for a career change.

        • Seb V

          Yes, its getting a worry isn’t it. He needs to take a good 12 months off rugby all together. Great player though

  • Farthing

    I don’t get why the wallabies use Will Skelton like they do. Basically he stands first receiver and if there looks to be an attacking opportunity the ball goes to the backs and he runs decoy.
    Sometimes he gets it and links with the backs, he does this better than any other forward and has the best pass of all the forwards by some distance. But still this doesn’t use his size.
    Sometimes there is nothing on. Defenders everywhere. Then and only the Skelton gets to run. Into 3 blokes who stop him pretty easy.

    The guy is huge! If only he could run off the fly half’s inside shoulder or some situation with a slight bit of deception. He could be a weapon instead of a last resort.

    Also move Foley to fullback.

    • Henry Dissmissinya

      Totally agree with Skelton comments. He needs to be used more tactically.

  • Genia did some good things but his passing was poor, forcing players to jump several times to catch his short passes, including a dreadful hospital pass to Hooper, and he was as slow as molasses off the back of the breakdown, often taking two steps sideways then passing. He’ll never be Aaron Smith, but should be forced to take a look at Faf de Klerk, who does everything with urgency. If a halfback has time to flap his arms at the referee then he simply has too much time on his hands. Unfortunately, he’s still our best choice at halfback, although it’s hard to see how he was better than Folau on the night. We’ve become spoiled by Folau.

    Overall, I think these ratings are far too low. Those are the numbers when you get humped by a lower-ranked team, rather than beaten by the world’s best team on the top of their game, especially given the inconsistent refereeing. If our players were really that bad, then the AIGs would’ve put a hundred on us. The score might also have looked quite different if Poite had seen Franks trying to pull Douglas’s eyes out in the run-up to the AIG’s first try. Then, undoubtedly, the player ratings would have been higher, even if their performances were exactly the same. We’ll get a better perspective when we and the AIGs play the other teams. Then this result might not look like 3s and 4s any more.

  • Classic

    Moore is the inattentive man’s scapegoat.

    He smashed and pilfered Coles, threw one shit line out (the other of ours we lost had nothing to die with poor throwing). He got through work and never went missing. He was making cover tackles ffs.

    If you hold him responsible for not bribing poite, then perhaps a 3 would be deserved. Otherwise, he was a 6.

    Easy to blame a hooker for a dysfunctional line out.

    • Bobas

      For mine his throws were constantly short. Couple that with his inability to communicate with referees and his refusal to put headgear to the detriment of our team and you have yourself a 3. Regardless of his cover D.

      Considering other ratings 3 isn’t a scapegoat anyway.

    • Nutta

      No I’m not holding him personally responsible. But he has had a real issue under-throwing for a while now. He is not helped by having a lack of options and the speed of lift has been really poor. But he has been under throwing for the last half dozen games I have seen him in. It will pass. He is too professional for it not to. But can we carry it whilst he re-finds the mojo?

    • ForceFan

      The numbers speak for themselves:
      Dan Coles (70 minutes):
      + 9 carries for 47m (4CB, 6DB, 1OL) (10 for 33m in Bled 1)

      + 4 Tackles/1 missed
      + 11 Ruck Involvements (8 Attack/3 Defence)
      + 2 Penalties
      + 2 Handling Errors

      Steven Moore (57 minutes)
      + 3 carries for 1m (0CB, 0DB, 0OL) (2 for 0m in Bled 1)

      + 3 Tackles/2 missed (6/3 in Bled 1)

      + 6 Ruck Involvements (3A/3D)
      + 2 Penalties.
      The only thing that Moore smashed was his head on Coles’ sprigs.
      TPN (25 mins)
      + 3 carries for 5m (0CB, 0DB, 0OL)
      + 2 Tackles/0 missed
      + 4 Ruck Involvements (3A/1D)

      Time to start developing the Wallabies Hookers for the 2019RWC.

      • Seb V

        Ready looks pretty damn good too, should be somewhere in the squad

      • JT

        Any chance you’re working on the breakdown info for the pack, ForceFan? Have really come to appreciate the cold numbers! Interested to see Kane Douglas’ work rate in tight compared to the rest of the pack and how the two front rows compare.

        • ForceFan

          Data is available on the Forum Match Discussion for Bled 2.

      • TommyM

        As a Force and Rebels fan, I thought Andrew Ready was clearly the best Australian hooker this year. Has all the skills as well as real aggression and size

  • jay-c

    Moore has started the last few years because of a superior throwing and leadership, both which are now lacking= replace with tpn
    Foley has been unbelievably poor, pop gun kicking is simply unacceptable at this level. Lets see hodge start at 12
    Haylet-petty- why is everyone making excuses for him? he has been targeted and missed way too many tackles the last two tests. I had high hopes he’d be rugby’s Hussy- but he’s not.

    • Liz

      Agreed. Although if AAC is ok for the next game i’d play him at 12 and pop Hodge on the wing. Dunno if throwing him in to start at 12 might be a bit much to soon. AAC has the defense and experience at 12.

      • RedSheep1989

        Or even AAC at fullback?

        • Liz

          Definitely. But I wouldn’t like to see Folau on the wing. He wouldn’t get enough ball. Guess you could give him a go at 12? Then pop Hodge on the wing. Drop DHP all together. The bloke cant tackle to save himself.

        • RedSheep1989

          Yep. DHP has had a fair crack but hasn’t been good enough. Not bad but not great either. Could always play Mitchell at fullback even?

        • Liz

          Dunno if he would be good enough under the high ball. Plus, i’m thinking he’s a bit out of touch considering Cheika hasn’t used him yet. I think he had a groin injury?

  • jamie

    Next week: Please lol. This week I don’t think we were that bad, but we just made a couple of errors at critical times

    Slipper, TPN, Kepu
    Douglas Coleman
    Fardy Pocock (captain: self-explanatory), Timani

    Genia Cooper
    AAC Hodge Kerevi Folau

    Hansen, Sio, Alaatoa, Mumm, Hooper, Phipps, Foley, TK or Mitchell.

    Good Kicking options in the spine (10,12,15), super boot at 12. 4 lineout options.

    Genuine line benders in Timani and Coleman. A 7 that plays as a 7. Breakdown pests in 6&7. Hard, tall, athletic locks.

    A hooker that throws at the apex of the jumpers lift, not their shoulders.

    A flat playing 10 with 2 hard running centres, while your second playmaker is still a 12. Folau to drop back (as most wings do) for the high ball.

    Tell us Moore is injured. Just drop him.
    He’s lost some serious form and his reputation with refs is in tatters:
    potentially irreversible.

    • Qualify

      I like this team. I aslo think Pocock should be captain but only because the refs might like him more.

    • Marcus50

      Good post. Agree with pretty much all of the suggestions here

    • Seb V

      Toomua for Hodge. He’s already a great 12 might as well use him. Hodge on the bench, no need to start a rookie so early.

      • jamie

        Toomua is jetting off at the end of the year. We’ve already lost the Bledisloe and we’re not going to win or come runners up in TRC. May as well blood a new team. Timani and hodge will be regulars come 2019

        • Seb V

          Fair call, would really like to drop DHP though, can’t keep a player who misses do many tackles that directly lead to tries.

        • CoachOfTheYear

          True. I like him but does seem to get get run around a bit.

        • Spank

          Agree. No point persisting with Toomua, keep Hodge or Kerevi inside with Cooper at 5/8 (for now) and Falou at outside centre. Haylett – Petty to full back where he always plays well. Moore to NRC and Pocock to 7 AND CAPTAIN. Like Coleman also. Great to see an aggressive lock again although he has to cool it just a little.

  • Seb V

    Not sure why so many gave /Hooper points in the 3-2-1’s. Think he has a bit of a cult following, as well as an anti-Hooper cult following, This was not one of his good games.

    • Braveheart81

      He missed some tackles (too many: like a lot of our players) and certainly was down on his best form but he ran the ball hard and more effectively than any of our other forwards. It’s a real issue that our forwards are making no run metres. According to ESPNscrum Hooper had 28m and the next best Wallaby forward was Pocock with 6.

      I thought Hooper was one of our better players, not our equal worst forward.

      • Klaus

        Openside flankers don’t miss 3 tackles. However if they keep shooting out of the line they will. It must be a tactic because we did It all night. If it is get rid of it. It’s FN stupid.

        • Haz

          Or perhaps if everyone else joined him then the defence would actually be semi decent.

        • Rebels3

          Agreed haz.

          Hooper is first in kick chance, first in support, first off the line, I’m sure if counted over a year first in tackles, first in hit ups, first in breaks by forwards, first in trys by forwards, first in meters gained by forwards, prob second in pilfers.

          But he’s obviously the problem.

      • Seb V

        Fair call Braveheart, i guess there weren’t a lot of players to choose from. Still don’t think he deserved 3 point by some posters.

  • Seb V

    Didn’t Douglas go MIA last week too?

    • ForceFan

      I’m not a big fan of KD but he had the highest Ruck Involvements for both teams in Bled 2 and the 2nd highest in Bled 1 (equal with Whitelock and Read and only out-rucked by Pocock). He is a strong supporter of the Wallabies ball carriers and generally out-rucks our Front Rowers on Defence Rucks.

      His 6/0 tackles in Bled 2 was better than Hooper’s 6/3.
      His 10/3 tackles in Bled 1 was a fair effort.
      However, he doesn’t appear to be a strong line out option and not a great ball carrier.

      But I’d hardly call his efforts MIA.

      The Wallabies have bigger problems than Kane Douglas.

  • Seb V

    Also, what did Hodge do besides his kick? Absolutely nothing. Not that it was a great game for a winger but I will not get on board the hype-train until I see more of him. Great penalty kick though.

    • jamie

      He didn’t stand out. He made his tackles, he hit rucks, and his clearance kicks actually went into touch (same CAN’T be said for Foley). In a game like that, that’s all you can ask from a debutante winger.

      • Seb V

        His one clearance kick that i can remember found about 15metres and went off the side of his boot. He’s has great potential but last game was ineffectual besides his goal kick. People see what they want to see I guess. I think he will be a good Test player but last game was average at best.

    • Liz

      I’d play him on the wing over DHP at this point. At least he can tackle.

      • Seb V

        I’d do the same.

  • ForceFan

    The 5 is too kind to Skelton as his efforts were below average – ho-hum.
    In his 18 minutes:
    + 4 carries for 1m (0CB, 0DB, 0OL)
    + 0 LOW
    + 2 Tackles (0 missed)
    + 1 Handling Error
    + 6 Ruck Involvements (4A/2D)

  • skip

    I was initially wrong about the pooper and i commented that test rugby doesn’t support two open sides. We tried it with Waugh & Smith and it was exposed in the same way the pooper is being now, so i feel it is time to ditch it. We cannot beat NZ without line bending forwards & quick ball and we just do not have either atm. Until we pick a 6 / 8 combo of specialist players who smash the gain line in attack and defense we will continue to struggle this way. We have 3.5 seasons till RWC and the failure to be fixing this glaring flaw now leaves me speachless. It probably also means dropping the skipper. TPN adds some real impact each time he’s on.

    Doing that (bending the line) will also solve a big part of our other major issue – a flawed line out due to having limited jumpers. In bled 1 we went with 2 and they were marked out of the game, sat was much the same. We will not beat tier one nations without this.

    We can fart about with the backline all we want but until they are fed quick, front football it just won’t matter.

    Added to our woes is the poor ball handling compared to NZ. Were we not playing them so frequently i could understand this being a shock. As we do, it should not be and i assume the new skills coach has a remit to fix this.

    Every team we play for the rest this year, including Wales, Ireland, England & Scotland will play us with a real belief they can beat us and for food reason. They have each beaten us recently or given NZ a harder time than we did. Unless there is a radical shift, i can see us winning maybe 2 tests this year, home against Argentina and away to Scotland. And niether will be pretty.

    I am getting behind the Wallabies by being realistic. End rant.

  • Marcus50

    Stephen Moore does not need to question every refereeing decision. No wonder the refs tell him to go away. Being captain is clearly affecting his game badly. He was dreadful in both games against the all blacks. I doubt he could hit the ocean from a boat when it comes to line out throwing. He simply needs to concentrate on his game and lead by example rather than spend the whole game whining to the referees.

    How did the raters get to 6 for Adam Coleman. 10 minutes in the bin for a brain fart which was just one of a number of stupid attempts to takeout players. The Wallabies need blokes to concentrate on playing rugby rather then the stupid shit Coleman was getting up to.

    • Grant

      Agree re Coleman, he niggled and niggled, was warned and sent off. The AB’s appealed to his ego and beat him, they’ll do that again unless he mentally toughens up and focuses on the footy not the players. An easy fix for him with the right guidance though.

  • USARugger

    Douglas was low on tackles/runs because he was doing the ruck work for the entire tight five.

  • Grant

    The first 6 minutes were great, just need to extend it out. 3 for Hooper is harsh, I reckon he adds more than you think, take him out and you’ll notice the difference. I’m not a big QC fan, but think he is worth persisting with, he adds something that could create a try – just need to up his defensive game.

    • Klaus

      I don’t think we will notice a difference. I would actually like to see a Wallaby team without Hooper to see how it goes.

      • Grant

        I like him but only one way to tell, leave him out, he might benefit from a break. We wondered what the AB’s would be like without McCaw, Carter et al, now we know.

  • Gavin

    If players put in a performance in line with those ratings the score would have been 300-0.

  • Gavin

    QC’s rating says it all…

    “Tackled (7/10) better than Bernard”
    Did you see his missed tackles? Embarrassing. Did you see how many times he put himself in a position not to tackle? He’s an imposter at professional level.

    The ratings are nonsensical.

    • John Tynan

      You’re trying hard, I’ll give you credit for that.

      • Gavin

        Yes, unfortunately i do try hard by basing posts on the game of rugby. I wish you guys would do the same

    • Seb V

      Hate to hear what you think of DHP’s missed tackles then…

    • Bobas


  • Peter G Williams

    So should we be calling the WB’s the Qantas’s…?

  • strabene

    For next time Folau at 13. Kuridrani and Kerevi are so slow to attack the oppnent line!

  • Mitch T Gray

    Geez, quite scary that James Slipper who I don’t rate at all (seen him drop too many very catchable balls & spill the pill when tackled) is on equal first with a score of 6 in the player ratings.

  • Vern

    Phark me!

    I’ve been in UK and frankly that report card says one thing to me! Replace the lot ( with a few exceptions) with the mighty Shoremen. They were all blood and thunder v Sydney Uni.

    You’d definitely know what you’d get for 80mins.

    No coincidence that a Kiwi coached them.

    Oh and in the subject of the Shute Shield I think I speak on behalf of all real rugby supporters by saying bravo to Norths. It was a great game. I’m more a leauguey myself but phark me if Norths weren’t outstanding.

    Now if only we can call them the Bears.

  • Nutta

    Ah, so by that rationale if a pig had a better personality he would cease to be a filthy animal… Sorry. Obscure reference to a memorable circular argument. I agree with your point.

  • The problem is, he’s not managing the game either. Managing the game by a halfback directing forward runners like chess pieces is how rugby was played 5-6 years ago. Managing it by running sideways for two steps was *never* how winning rugby was played, George Gregan notwithstanding. Now it’s about urgency and speed of clearance. A slow pass simply results in a forward runner being hit, as happened repeatedly on Saturday. And Genia’s passes, when he does eventually throw them, are no more accurate than Phipps’s. Even Quade had to stop to catch balls directed at his head. And the aerial hospital pass to Hooper was a nightmare, for which Phipps would’ve been absolutely pilloried.

    Modern attacking rugby is all about speed from the base. All three of the other 4N nations have players who are urgent *and* accurate from the breakdown. Last night Argentina had the ball in the hands of the centres when Genia would have still been thinking about it, and Phipps would accidentally have thrown the ball to Folau. Genia and Phipps are *both* not up to it. If Genia can be, then fine. Otherwise, time to blood someone new at 9, with strict instructions to do one thing: pass fast from the base of the ruck, like Aaaron Smith and Faf de Klerk do.

    If a halfback has time to flap their arms at the ref, then their hands are in the wrong place. They should be in the ruck, getting the ball out, to deny the defence time to set. Aaron Smith never appeals hot on attack: he gets the ball clear. I don’t think I’ve seen de Klerk appeal, ever. They’re too busy doing their halfback job.

  • Pedro

    He’d have to be much more charming than that Arnold off green acres.

  • jamie

    He needs to learn how to do any of that first. There’s nothing to utilise as it stands. We can’t have an 8 that doesn’t hit the line hard. Id rather be tackled by Skelton than most of the wallaby team, despite his size (McMahon, Pocock or TPN would be the ones I least wish to be tackled by)

  • Keith Butler

    You are kidding right? Making him the slowest, non jumping 8 in rugby history.

  • Tip

    It’s everyone’s fault bar his own that Skelton can’t get himself into a nice position and run onto the ball

  • CoachOfTheYear

    The place to learn basic skills and developing endurance is at club level, not in Tests. He is way off the pace and seems to be getting worse.

  • Grant

    I’d say the great 8’s get themselves in the space to be utilised.

  • John Tynan

    Groucho, I don’t disagree with any of that, but the things I see him doing when he’s waving his arms about and flapping is organising the setup and positioning the forward runners – the things they should be doing automatically because they understand their patterns of play. I don’t understand what’s missing (especially after 5 weeks) but the forwards either don’t understand the game plan or are too unfit to execute it or just relapse into some default mode that is just get to the breakdown and lean on it.

  • Seb V

    Urgency and speed of clearance is all well and good when your forwards, and even backs for that matter accurately hit rucks and provide at least some-what clean ball. Never happens for us against NZ.

  • Klaus

    Could’the disagree more. This whole idea a 9 should pass from the base every time is flawed. If a 9 picks up the ball and takes two steps he will take in the pillar and number 1 most times. Genia hasn’t passed to ground once, Phipps is a genius at it. Smith also doesn’t stop waving his arms around if there is a player anywhere bears his side of the ruck, that comment isn’t accurate. Genia has to because the AB’s will always fall to the wrong side if we are hot on attack.

  • Farthing

    He is obviously standing where he is told to. Often he runs that line as a decoy in set back line moves.

  • Willem Labuschagne

    Don’t understand their patterns of play … Good point! We’re criticising the abilities of players when in fact they haven’t been given clear organisation.

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.

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