Wallabies Player Ratings - Wales - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies Player Ratings – Wales – Rugby World Cup 2019

Wallabies Player Ratings – Wales – Rugby World Cup 2019

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1. Scott Sio

Immense. Made massive metres running with the ball, made 6/6 tackles and dominated in a scrum. 7

2. Tolu Latu

Like Sio, made impressive metres, 7/7 tackles and was part of a dominant scrum – lineout too. 7

3. Allan Ala’alatoa

Just like Sio,, but made a few more metres and 2 more tackles. Another impressive showing from the Brumbies duo. 7

4. Izack Rodda

Had a decent game, making just under 10% of the Wallabies tackles (9/95). Part of an impressive lineout that won everything and stole 2. 7


5. Rory Arnold

Ditto Rodda, but he made more tackles 11/11. Solid game. 6

6. David Pocock

Not sure why the Pooper was picked. Wales knew how to handle his pilfering (he only made 1). In other aspects, played alright, making 10/12 tackles. 5


7. Michael Hooper (c)

Another big game from the captain, although one big mark against his captaincy for taking the points instead of going for the try. Arced up at Poite for being shithouse, led by example, and for some reason whingers think he should have got a yellow for tackling bigger.  6

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8. Isi Naisarani 

Got held up a few times running with the ball, and wasn’t as impactful as in previous games. Made 5/8 tackles but a fair few run metres (38). Still the best 8 by far which will save him. Was taken off for LSL, but tactically should have stayed on and Pocock go off. 5

9. Will Genia

When the Wallabies started gaining ground, he put in a good performance. Marks off for chucking that ball that was intercepted after Wales had earlier picked off two passes. Your wise in your old years Genia, change the gameplan if its not working. 6

10. Bernard Foley

Absolute poo. Only made 10 passes in 45 minutes and missed 2/6 of his tackles. Not sure why he was picked ahead of Toomua, who already showed his was the better flyhalf in the Samoa game (which Foley also started). Should be commended for his kick that lead to the try but Toomua dominated this game. 3

11. Marika Koroibete

Solid game from the winger, who found it harder than usual to break tackles and defenders in this game. First winger on the teamsheet by far now. 6

12. Samu Kerevi

It’s harder to Krush in international rugby than Super, but Kerevi doesn’t seem to understand that. Should have passed or offloaded many times, but instead tried to beat them all. Maybe a victim of the poor gameplan, but with his skill he should have had more of an impact on this game than he did. Still his stats are amazing – 90 metres, 2 clean breaks, 6 defenders beaten, 6/6 tackles and get this – 0 passes all game.  6

13. James O’ Connor

Had a decent game in attack, not running many metres but beating defenders and – get this Samu – passing. He passed 11 times and made 12 metres. However his defence let him down, making 4/6 tackles. 6

14. Adam Ashley=Cooper

Amidst all the hooting and hollering about his age and favouritism, did his job ably before being replaced by Beale. Took his try to become a bloke to score in 4 RWCs. Made less metres than the front row.  5

15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Assured at the back of the field, and offered some great kicks. Again not sure why he wasn’t a favoured touch finder, or clearance kicker. Able under the high ball, making his way back from his horror performance against South Africa. 7


16. Jordan Uelese

Came on at 65th minute, continued the set piece domination. 5

17. James Slipper

Did ok. Came on at the 62nd minute. 5

18. Sekope Kepu

Ditto the above. Was ruled offside randomly. 5

19. Adam Coleman

He’s a great player on his day, but every time he comes on he doesn’t really have an impact like White or Genia does. Always worried he’ll bash someone and get binned. 5

20. Lukhan Salakai-Loto

Should have started to be perfectly honest, due to the balance he brings to the backrow. Able substitute and he is making his name known as a Wallaby. 5

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21. Nic White

Great performance off the bench, didn’t change the game but definitely changed the playstyle and gave the Welsh something else to think about. Made 26m – 10 more than Genia – in his 28 minutes. 6


22. Matt Toomua

Came on, controlled the game. Fantastic and should start the next game – even if Leali’ifano is fit. 8 – G&GR MOTM

23. Kurtley Beale

Crabbed and threw a wonky pass to LSL when he should have just run straight. Didn’t pop up in attack and carve up a tired Wales but maybe that’s because he was a victim of the gameplan. 5


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

Player Ratings – Australia vs Ireland

  • sambo6

    I blame Cheika completely and totally for this loss.

    On one hand, Wales have been planning for this game for 2 years (since the draw was announced), and bring a settled side

    And on the other, you have the wallabies selecting a backline that’s never played together as a unit before today. As a result, in attack we looked stuttering and disjointed. And MOST CRUCIALLY, it has taken the coach 4 years and 44 minutes to realise what we all already knew about Bernard Foley…..

    I know the forward exchanges are vital, bit it’s no coincidence that as soon as Foley got hooked, we looked a different side.

    But after the first half, the mountain was too high…..

    • Jason

      I blame Cheika completely and totally for this loss.

      100% that game was lost once the Wallabies announced their team. We completely changed our flyhalf, to a fly half who hadn’t even been on the bench! And left our first choice fly half out of the 12.

      • BigNickHartman

        CL looked puffed against Fiji, I think its totally fair they ruled him out as exhausted. Absolutely unsure why they went with Foley at 10 for this game though

        • Patrick

          Agree I think Lilo took an early knock and didn’t really recover.

          Also agree that Foley didn’t deserve to be in Japan let alone picked.

        • Hoss

          Why did you drink during the game mate ? If I send you $50 via EFT, could you get me a bottle.

        • BigNickHartman

          Nothing, can’t drink as I’m recovering from glandular fever. I could give you some of that if you’d like…

  • Jason

    Can’t agree more with LSL brining that balance we need to the back row. I think on Pocock he hasn’t been as effective on the ball but he brings a lot of other things, the panic and overcommitment to the ruck he forces is invaluable. The other thing to keep in mind is he is really good at settling the forward runners, he never fails to make the gain line, he honestly isn’t a very good ball runner but he always makes a few meters and is a very safe pair of hands with the ball.

    But the more interesting point is I think Hooper’s captaincy is now starting to hurt the Wallabies, his treatment of the referee (even if you assume Poite was blatantly wrong) was disgraceful and is leading to referees hating to ref our games. He’s continuing to do this thing where he walks away from the referee, especially when he hears his name he always scurries away from the referee until finally being forced to come to the referee — like it’s some kind of power play. He’s not been making the best decisions with our penalties of late too. But he’s just not really an inspiration he’s actually a bad influence and we’re continuing the trend set by the ageing Moore of the Wallabies just being a team you hate reffing because they are just a pack of whingers!

    It breaks my heart to see two very able alternative captains in David Pocock and Samu Kerevi being ignored for the anointed one because of LOYALTY. We desperately need new coaching, we desperately need new team leadership, nothing is going to change before the end of this World Cup (bar Hooper being injured or suspended before a Quarter Final).

    • laurence king

      I think you’re wrong about Hooper’s captaincy. To be honest, the referee probably agreed with him but had to go with the protocols. Hooper played well, as did Pocock. They weren’t our problem.

      • Who?

        I’ve long criticised Hooper’s captaincy, but I agree – he’s not a problem. He’s grown up, grown into the role, and was polite, respectful and fair with the ref tonight.

        • Patrick

          My view exactly. I suspect Pocock is naturally better than him at it but that is not so much the point.

        • Greg

          I can just imaging the conversation “F### me roman, Romaine/sir, do you have any idea what the problem was with that?”

          edited to add “je ne sais quoi.” with Gallic shrug.

    • From NooZealand

      Hooper being injured or suspended I hope not although I tend to agree with your comment in general.

      • Jason

        That’s the only way we see Hooper not being the Wallabies Captain. There is ZERO chance of Cheika appointing anyone else captain.

        • UTG

          Can you nominate specifically the moments that Hooper’s captaincy hurt us?

        • From NooZealand

          Understand Jason your point, Simply I do not like to see players (ABs or Wallabies) injured, but I see / concur with your opinion.

  • Patrick

    I would send Foley home and probably Beale as well. We could have a second winger and a reserve FB like all the other teams, with AAC staying as reserve outer back, how cool would that be?

  • Bobas

    Maybe Cheika just likes players that don’t pass

  • Pedro

    I thought koro was worth another point for his run back rather than dot it over the line in the first half. Looked dangerous in general.

  • NickAJW

    I disagree on Pocock. I thought he played very well- his presence alone forced Wales to overcommit to rucks, I think the stats showed one pilfer, but I think he caused at least another penalty and caused a welsh knockon in the ruck by getting hands all over it. His hit and offload for DHP’s try was also brilliant.

    That being said, I take the argument that eckon him and Hooper leads to a bit of an unbalanced back row. Thw usual issue highlighted is the lineout, and we had the beating of Wales(regarded as one of the best) there today.

    Think all the others are pretty fair, Arnold getting less than Rodda aside, which seems weird if he was the same but made more tackles?

    All in all doesn’t take the shit off a first half performance which handed Wales the game.

    • Although Pocock might not have a great game stats wise, I think he made a real nuisance of himself. Given he’s in the blindside role, more or less, I thought he had a decent game (although it looks like they’re playing left and right flanker at scrum time?)

      I’m honestly at a loss about what the best back-row is for the G&G right now. I think I’d pick Dempsey, Pocock, Naisarani, personally – although Hooper has looked pretty decent since they’ve shouted at him to play like a proper 7. But against (presumably) England, I think the Pooper will really struggle as it’s too unbalanced.

      • Haz

        Interested to hear that. There’s a general consensus that the G&G back row we’d least like to play against is Naisarani with Hooper and Pocock.

        In fact part of the excitement about Curry and Underhill is that ‘we can play two 7’s like Pooper’.

        • I’m not sure what’s going on with the Pooper, I think they’ve asked Poey to play more like a 6 (which doesn’t suit him) and he’s more effective when he forgets that and we try with two 7’s. But four years ago, their relative youth and speed could make up for a lot. Now, not so much. They need a proper 6, or a huge ball carrier at 8, which Naisarani just isn’t yet, much though I like him.

          Curry and Underhill work well in tandem, not quite sure I’ve worked out how they sort it, and for all I don’t rate Billy Vunipola as the all-round 8, I reckon he’s probably the best in the world at carrying the ball… So their balance isn’t quite as badly off, or so it seems to date.

        • Haz

          Part of it might be needing a bit more from the front 5 – especially the second rows. For me there’s a pretty big gulf between Rodda/Arnold/Coleman and the teams you’re typically playing against (SA, NZ, Eng).

          I agree that the balance is off, however for me I don’t see the alternatives. There’s doesn’t seem to be the kind of players needed at 6 especially so it’s the best of a bad situation.

          Curry and Underhill is slightly weird as Underhill is being played at 7 although for me he’s more of a 6. Very destructive tackler whereas curry seems better as a link. Both strong at the breakdown (finally – it’s good to have some players like that on the flanks..)

          Re Billy suggest you watch a little closer. Very very good link play and his breakdown work is strong as well. So dangerous as you need to commit several players to stopping him which makes space elsewhere and he’s more than capable of getting the ball there.

        • I’m not saying Billy is terrible at 8 but, for me, he’s genuinely world class in only that one aspect and a solid test quality player in the other aspects of the role. If you compare that to Read, Faletau, the Parese of 4 years ago they are, or were right up there in multiple aspects of the skills you want.

          Billy would walk into a number of test sides, those three would (have) walked into just about any. That’s the difference for me. It’s a high standard but not an unfair one, I don’t think?

        • Haz

          Fair enough if being read or Parisse is the benchmark I guess!

          It might be worth acknowledging he’s a different style of 8 though. How about if he stays fit and England goes well i’ll come back at you doubling down that he’s in the top top tier ;)

        • I think that’s the thing isn’t it. If you’re going to claim top tier, you have to be looking at Read, Parisse etc. Would you pick Vunipola over them if you had a world XV to play France say and could genuinely pick anyone?

          I freely acknowledge that hard yards he runs, he’s the best in the world. And like I said before, he’s test quality all round. But Number 8 is such a multi-faceted role, that you need to stand out in more than one role to be up in that top tier for my money.

        • Who?

          I’m not sure you’re right on that consensus. I’m happy with Pocock/Hooper/Naisarani. I don’t think they’re to blame for the performances.

      • Graeme

        Based on the last two games Hooper has been our best player, I’m not sure why he was rated 6/10 today, he played one of his best games, and was an 8 verging on 9. If Pocock starts it is at the expense of LSL, which I don’t think anyone would disagree with.

        • I think Hooper has looked good, as I said, but Pocock is looking uncharacteristically poor because he’s playing more like a 6 and it doesn’t suit him. Add to that the not really that contentious idea that I think Poey is a better 7 than Hooper and, the last two games notwithstanding, I’d start with Pocock in the 7 shirt by preference.

          LSL, although I said I thought we were stuck with him thanks to Cheika’s matchday selection policy, has still failed to impress until the last 20, although he’s not had the chance so much recently. Dempsey at least looked the part from the start against Samoa. Ok “only” Samoa, but it’s also the only game he’s been given.

          They’re not just random picks, although I appreciate not everyone will agree with them.

        • Graeme

          I think a bit too much importance is placed on the number on the back. Outside of the scrum, where the 6 and 8 roles are set by their position in the scrum formation, I doubt that Pocock changes his play based on the number on his back. I don’t think he thinks, I’m not playing 7, better not try to snaffle that, or I’m playing 8, better make my runs more bollocking.

          The risk in Pooper, or Hoocockarani is that it means one less jumper in the line out. But our line out seems to be functioning extremely well despite only having 3 jumpers.

        • While I kind of have some sympathy for that POV about the numbers there’s a batch of roles that the back row are typically expected to perform and, generally, they fit together nicely because of the demands of different body shapes and skills.

          A 6 does more than run in heavy traffic, they tend to hit rucks second and move the pile more, whereas a 7 tends to get their first and attack the ball. You can certainly find examples when that’s not the case, but more often than not breakdowns happen that way round. To my mind, and when I’ve looked, we’re seeing that, Poey is hanging off a little, letting Hoope rattack the ball, while he attacks the pile. He’s not great at that, the Wallabies do far better when he attacks the ball, and when Hooper wasn’t there of Pocock forgot and went for the ball, he looked far more effective.

          While I agree the lineout has looked good with a short back row that might be a bit of luck. Wales went for a small, mobile back row to counter the Pooper, knowing they’d be weaker in the lineout. I don’t know the Fijians well enough to say, but their back row didn’t seem all that tall either. It could change against the others… we’ll have to see.

        • Graeme

          I don’t think David Pocock changes his body shape depending on whether he plays 6, 7 or 8. And when playing 6 I don’t think he hesitates to allow the number 7 first pickings when foraging.

          You are one of the most knowledgeable commentors on G&GR, so I don’t want to cross you. But I will disagree and say David Pocock plays exactly the same whatever number is on his back.

        • I’m really not saying he changes body shape. I’m saying the roles for the back row that classically go together for a 6 and lumped together like that because that body shape suits them and someone like Pocock who plays 7 has a different body because he performs a different set of roles. If you want a really clear example, look at McCaw and Collins. While they may not be popular examples, they we undoubtedly great exponents of their respective positions but rather different in physique. There are, undoubtedly, counter-examples because rugby is a bit like that, but as a generalisation it works pretty well.

          This is the internet, and I’m supposed to shoot you now. However, I don’t mind polite disagreements. I haven’t read the team selection news yet, but if Pocock is in the 6 shirt, can I ask you to have a look? He does still get involved in rucks and attack the ball more like a 7 than a 6, but to my mind it’s appreciably less often than it was last year. He often seems, to me, to pause a step and look for a clean out which I don’t really remember him ever doing. (I’m sure he did, but it’s not how I think of him playing.) It’s a relatively small shift, he’s near the end of his career and he’s got a lot of habits to give up, maybe 20% or so, but it is there I think, and it impacts his effectiveness – at least I think that’s what is going on.

    • Who?

      Completely agree. I thought the Pooper was excellent today – both of them. I thought Hooper’s captaincy was excellent in the circumstances, even in the presser, where he was miles more composed, coherent and gracious than Cheika. And Pocock’s ref management was superb – he was an absolute pest, slowed Welsh ball, and it was only excellent discipline by the Welsh pack at the breakdown that prevented him turning over a lot of ball. Wales have two opensides themselves, we had to counter, and it was a great contest let down only by a slow start, requiring adaptation to the numbers Wales were throwing into the breakdown. Thankfully, we reacted faster today than against Fiji, but with each half starting with a Welsh droppie and a final margin of four, that’s the game…

      • UTG

        I agree, I was a bit surprised at some of the comments post game (from someone like Kafe) saying that we needed a bigger carrier wide. We made so many metres up the middle and when we did go wide the backs were making plenty of metres. Especially odd given Kafe spent most of the first half saying we needed to play short given the rush defence 3 out from the ruck (which I agreed with him about).

  • Greg

    Thanks Nick.

    So, so , so…. what to say…

    AAC did a job. For an old guy, (although not compared to us) he was tenacious and even when stepped managed to hang on for the tackle.

    It is not personal, but Foley didn’t seem to be present at all. Was it him who threw the pass to no-one in our 22? Was it BLL that was playing Foley Bingo drinking games? He could be legless for a while.

    Kerevi did some great work and could have passed more (well at al) but at least he wasn’t throwing hail marys. Korobeti likewise.

    The offensive penalty on Kerevi was just that…. offensive. Was that only the work of the TMO?

    I thought the forwards did a good job but were let down by a lack of imagination in the game management.

    We had the talent to win that game. We didn’t have the selections or the game plan. Very disappointed.

    • Who?

      Think it was BLL – good thing Foley got hooked at 44 minutes!
      And yes – the TMO owns the Kerevi call. He brought it up, he told Poite what he thought and advised the decision.

  • juswal

    Was it Toomua who took the late penalty punt and failed to find touch? When we had one raid left in the tank? Minus 8 for that. Not close to Test quality, not professional, not even club grade standard.

    • Hoss

      What’s the go with that rule now ? I thought once the ball crosses the ‘plain of touch’ or some such it was out? The guy knocked it back in from row 3c and it was play on.???

      • Adrian

        Na, changed rule a few years ago Hoss, and current rule explicitly describes what happened as being ok

        • Are you sure? The World Rugby laws site details a hand off as being with the flat of the palm still…

        • NickAJW

          Think his response was to the original comment from Hoss about keeping the ball in after crossing the plane.

        • Adrian

          Yes, referring to the ball that was flicked back into play by someone in the air. Dally M has the wording

        • Ah, sorry, my bad. Yeah, that bit was fine.

      • Dally M

        This is the only possibility:

        The ball is not in touch or touch-in-goal if:

        A player jumps from the playing area and knocks (or catches and releases) the ball back into the playing area, before landing in touch or touch-in-goal, regardless of whether the ball reached the plane of touch.

        Not sure that happened, but who the fuck knows anymore when you get penalised for running the ball back….

        • 66Monkey66

          Forearm to throat has never been legal – handoff/fend is open palm and arm straight.

        • Dally M

          It was to the chest.

          Even Romain conceded that.

        • UTG

          Don’t bother mate, look at the Welsh dragon in the profile photo. He’s come here with the sole intention to bait Wallaby supporters.

        • Who?

          It was to the chest, but slid up to the throat. So, technically contact to the throat.
          However, no consideration was given to the fact that the tackler was, by that point, starting to fall. And we’re to give consideration to a falling player. I can see the penalty, but I wouldn’t have blown it.
          Just relieved that it wasn’t a YC, and that Hooper’s bump on Biggar wasn’t a YC (was hardly worth a penalty – unavoidable contact, with a slight bump added).

        • Greg

          Acknowledging that the old days of rugby are long gone, and needed to go, I think that we are going to far the other way at the moment. We are going to start to see more play-acting to try and milk penalties.

        • Who?

          I’m not sure we’re yet seeing more play acting (not nearly so much as Los Pumas dealt out a few years ago – thinking Sanchez, etc), but some of these replays are ridiculous. Because that sort of thing happens regularly without scrutiny. It’s just when a TMO or director decides to go hunting through the footage and finds something like this that it’s an issue. Because they miss plenty of other stuff.

        • Greg

          yeah…. but pushing someone off when in contact? Really?

          If he elbowed him in the face, punched him, kneed him in the nuts….. but pushing him off after the tackle with your free arm?

          I think the ref said it was to the chest didn’t he?

        • Custard Taht

          I saw it as a throat to the forearm

      • Mica

        They (WR) changed the rules a couple of years ago. Plane of touch doesn’t exist anymore. If you jump from the field of play and knock it in field before you land, it’s in play.

      • Steve

        Law 19 has always been pretty unclear Hoss, but you are correct for a long time that was the interpretation.

        I believe it was changed publicly 2-3 years back and now as long as the player jumps from within the field it’s deemed ok.

        The players are all now familiar with the new interpretation so it’s a simple missed touch for Toomua

    • Patrick

      That’s slightly harsh. Definitely a critical error but 1) at least it was an error of ambition and not of simple cluelessness, and 2) given all he did until then to bring us into the match, we can reasonably imagine that we wouldn’t have been depending on the last kick of the game if he’d started.

    • Who?

      Gotta be fair with that one – the kick curled back, it was 3+m into touch, and a huge effort from the Welsh winger to knock it back in.
      Reality is we shouldn’t have been that far behind. How do you start a match by simply not bothering to secure the first ruck, getting shoved off the ball and conceding a droppie?!

      • juswal

        We’ve seen the failed kick to touch so often over the years . . . it’s one of the reasons why QC is called ‘flakey’ and Foley is rightly ridiculed. It’s a simple skill that can and should be executed accurately, especially in critical moments.

        Other countries’ Test teams don’t stuff that challenge. Any other five-eighth from a Tier 1 squad (except maybe Elton Jantjies) would have kicked well in that moment.

        • Brumby Runner

          Unfortunate that Tom Banks is playing NRC instead of being available for the Wallabies. He is by some margin the best touch finder in the country.

        • RedAnt

          Yeah I’m with Who on this one… It was effectively our last chance and Toomua was trying to give us the best field position possible – it was just a puff of breeze, a couple of millimetres and extraordinary skill on the Welsh winger’s part away from being a perfect kick.

        • juswal

          Fair enough. As it turned out, we got the ball back with s minute to go—and spilled it in a tackle.

          The teams who don’t stuff those crucial moments will get to play semi-finals.

        • RedAnt

          Agreed. And while Toomua was unlucky with that kick, he was clearly going for just a bit too much!

        • Who?

          But minus eight..? Seriously? You can knock a point off, but eight is ridiculous, when it was a fine margin going for maximum distance chasing the game.
          And it seriously underrates just how well the Welsh winger did. That’s a game-winning level of moment there. How often does that happen? It was a fantastic execution of an extremely difficult skill.

        • juswal

          OK! Not minus 8, seriously.

          Nonetheless. The match was winnable, up to that moment. And then it wasn’t. It was one of those “you had one job” moments and the job did not get done.

          I’ve seen too many failed kicks for touch from blokes in gold. I want to never see another. Will our kickers practise and perfect this skill that they should have mastered as teenagers? Will our alleged skills coaches raise the standards?

          Dunno. Let’s just hope something changes before the next RWC.

  • Hoss

    Good evening.

    It would be easy, lazy and overlooking inherent deficiencies in Wallaby selections and game play to blame the referee and officials. So, let’s go. Fucking cock sucking French fuckwit.

    Now that’s done I would like to thank Spanners for his contribution to Australian Rugby and for playing his last test match. Also, when we get Rory Arnold back on the field we will be much improved. I am also going to forward JOC’s E-harmony profile to Samu Kerevi so he feels more comfortable passing it to someone he has met online. Samu meet JOC, now how bout popping the pill to him?

    Matt To’omua to start remainder with Lilo on bench. Sanchez gets the Georgie Gregan encouragement award for the ‘skip step’ that puts all the Welsh D onside. Gotta admit if that same intercept try was called back against us I’d be dirty for an eternity. Having said that it should never have been as it all stemmed form the decision against Kerevi whilst in possession. If that’s a penalty than the rest of the tournaments a write-off.

    Poor selections, aged starting XV, a 10 that 4% of the wider public votes for, a French ref and a reasonable opposition. What could possibly go wrong……….oh wait a minute, every fucking thing.

    Go Fiji.

    • I didn’t get an angle on the TV coverage here where you can see Davis start his run AND Genia pick the ball up. However, by the time you can see Davis, he’s taken one step past the back foot, just possibly two, and Genia has picked the ball up, turned and taken two steps. If that’s clearly offside, I’m stunned.

      Kearns needs to remember that someone small, with good acceleration whose role is to fly out of the defensive line and go for intercepts will be ahead of the rest of them.

      To’omua was head and shoulders better than Foley. Not sure I’d pick him over a fit Lilo, but he was better against Fiji too.

      Got to disagree about the Kerevi contact – hand offs with the flat of the palm, not the forearm. If he’d just kept it wrapped around the ball, he’d have got away with it, but he lifted it up into the tackler, makes it look like a league “fend” and that is illegal.

      Got to hope Cheika smells the cooking and makes some smart selections… otherwise quick exit in the QF beckons. Wait… Cheika and smart selections. We’re doomed, doomed I tell you!

      • Andy

        Offside comes into contention as soon as the ball is out. Not when the halfback touches it. On that basis I thought it was a marginal offside. But in saying that Genia’s Pass was terrible. Was easy pickings.

        • That’s why I said “picked the ball up, turned and took two steps.” If the other 9 can’t run 1 maybe 2 steps in the same time… there’s something weird going on.

          Now, I didn’t see both together, so it could have been slightly offside, happy to accept that, but given the explosion I’ve seen reported from Kearns about 2 metres offside? Not so much.

      • Who?

        I agree with all of that Eloise, except the Kerevi call. I agree that you don’t fend with the forearm, however, that wasn’t leading with a forearm, it was a push with the forearm which didn’t go high until the player started to fall. The falling player should’ve been a consideration, and I wouldn’t have penalized for it.

        • I think it’s a fend as soon as you make contact with the forearm. 9.24 says the ball carrier is allowed to hand-off an opponent provided excessive force is not used. Sanction: Penalty. Height doesn’t matter. The hand-off is explained in the glossary as an open palm. Elsewhere you’ve got stuff about contact to the head and neck under 9.11 and 9.12 for general dangerous play.

          So I think Poite was right, calling it a push rather than a fend doesn’t change it from being a not-legal contact, sanction penalty. The fact it was to chest and then rode up later leaves it as a penalty, if the first contact had been higher, Koroibete would have been looking at a card.

          It’s only ok if his arm had been wrapped around the ball and there’s no pushing movement against the tackler, i.e. no separation from the ball.

        • Pedro

          The “fend” comes after the collision meaning there could be no meaningful weight behind it. To me his arm simply drifted forwards with the initial momentum while the body has been stopped. It’s a terrible call, which sets a poor precedent.

          I also wonder if Dan Biggar’s no arms effort on kerevi will be looked at again. I mean it concussed the tackler but that’s not any defense.

        • Still doesn’t matter about the weight. It’s like contact above the shoulders, not using the palm makes it a penalty, same as any hit above the shoulders starts there.

          Biggar’s hit – doubt it. While I think it’s wrong there’s currently a double-standard on no-arms tackles along the side lines and they rarely get penalties when they should. Biggar’s I’d like to see in slow motion from behind – his left hand is close to being in front of his shoulder in the angle I’ve got in slow motion which makes it a shoulder first tackle while attempting to wrap the arms and so legal by the framework – he hasn’t tucked his arm back to hit shoulder first. So, question mark about if it should have been a penalty in the angles I can get.

          However, he won’t get cited, because it’s clearly not a red card offence even if it should have been a penalty. Citing only kicks in for a straight RC offence, not even for two YC or a missed second YC that would obviously lead to a RC during the game.

        • Pedro

          I’m not saying that the laws don’t support the call, I just think the ref should apply better discretion when applying them.

        • Fair enough. I disagree but I can see and respect that point of view.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Sorry mate I disagree. He lifts his arm into the neck before the tackle. I don’t think there was any intent apart from a fend but it still is not legal

        • Pedro

          How would this be judged these days?


        • Who?

          Given it’s leading with an elbow, given Poite around that time gave a YC to Bismarck du Plessis for exactly that (against NZ – the second YC in the match where he broke Dan Carter), it’s still at least a YC. As it should’ve been there (look at the angle of the arm relative to the shoulder! That’s the best indicator reffing juniors whether they’re deliberately or accidentally fending to the face – which is illegal in U12’s and below). But that’s leading with an elbow, it’s pretty well striking, as opposed to pushing someone off already in the contact. His upper arm is pointing up, his forearm is horizontal or pointing down. Very different to what Kerevi did, which was post contact, his elbow was down, his forearm was up…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree 100% Eloise and I’ve penalised players for this whenever I’ve seen it. I think the issue is that it hasn’t been penalised previously and that creates so much angst.

          While there will always be the odd thing a referee and spectators will see differently I think the referees here have let too much go; entering from the side, going off the feet in a ruck, off side etc that when they do pick up on things it comes across as picking on one team and not the other

        • I guess these days, with players looking to either go to ground and place the ball or offload in and around the tackle we also see a lot less of the fence and the hand off. I remember Carter doing it regularly and I have seen it since, but it seems uncommon whereas when I was a kid it was definitely part of every wingers’ repertoire. Makes seeing the laws around it less common too.

        • Graeme

          And, to be honest, Kerevi hit his neck and head at the same time as he hit the chest. We were lucky that Poite ruled pragmatically rather than by the letter of the law.

        • mark conley

          whoooa, no way from my armchair … they played it enough, definitely not

        • Who?

          As Poite pointed out, no open palm, it’s not a fend/hand off. So 9.24 doesn’t apply. And ‘excessive force’ is very rarely used – not even for open palms to the face (or, remembering Schalk Burger and Matt Giteau, even fingers to the eyes!). 9.11 and 9.12 are more relevant, especially general dangerous play.
          The only reason it’s ‘non-legal’ contact is the fact it rode up. He didn’t lead with a stiff forearm – contact involving the ball carrier and an opponent is generally legal unless it’s specifically banned. So it’s just general high contact. And high contact is supposed to be mitigated for a falling player. There was no high contact until the tackler started falling. So I don’t believe it should’ve been a penalty.

        • I’d have to rewatch and listen carefully but I think you’ve got the essence of 9.24 and what Poite said wrong. 9.24 says you’re only allowed to ward off a tackler with an open palm, which Kerevi didn’t. Hence a penalty. Only a penalty because contact to the chest before sliding up to the neck/throat; straight to the neck and we’d have seen a card. At least that’s what I understood him to say.

        • Who?

          I don’t think that’s the interpretation. I think what he was saying referencing the fending law is that you’re fine to fend to the face with an open hand, however being a forearm means that law doesn’t apply.
          However, it’s not saying it’s illegal to push someone off by other means. Rugby’s not specific. League has more specific laws around a few things which I think should be penalizable. For example Etzebeth and others have taken to jumping into the contact, being aware that it’s illegal to tackle someone in the air. They’re trying to force referees into a corner, which is unfair, as they’re the ones placing themselves in danger.
          League actually dealt with this a hundred years ago – one of the Sydney stars took to hurdling tacklers. Jumping people who were standing upright. It was realized that was a dangerous technique, and it was banned before WW1. The NFL’s looking into this. A Lions receiver was carried off today after needlessly jumping into contact. He landed on his shoulder and then hit his head – it wasn’t clear which injury was the greater problem.
          Another example is that it’s illegal to raise your knees going into contact. We see this happen a lot – Kerevi’s guilty of it, Julian Savea was an absolute master at it. He’d go into contact with his knees raised, shoulders forward, arms down elbows out, making it impossible to wrap on him. Very dangerous for tacklers!
          Another example is that it’s illegal to raise your knees going into contact. We see this happen a lot – Kerevi’s guilty of it, Julian Savea was an absolute master at it. He’d go into contact with his knees raised, shoulders forward, arms down elbows out, making it impossible to wrap on him. Very dangerous for tacklers!
          These aren’t specifically banned in Rugby. A ref could use 9.11, but it’s not consistent, it’s not backed by precedent. So whilst Poite has every right to do what he did, the explanation is poor, and given we’re referencing high contact, all forms of high contact bar shoulder charges have the mitigating factor of a falling player. That mitigating factor wasn’t considered. Given the only complaint from Poite was that there was contact with the throat, the omission of mitigating factor of the player falling is significant. Very significant. If we let people off the hook for trying to tackle high when a player falls, why wouldn’t that apply when a ball carrier’s trying to bump a tackler off?

      • Geoffro

        The worst thing and the real WTF question was that it wasnt reviewed AT ALL.We never even saw a proper angle to make an assessment

        • While as a spectator I have all the sympathy in the world for that, Davies is well known for his intercept tries up here, and the whole officiating crew was NH. You would hope they keep half an eye on him specifically and the offside line because they know he’d going to do that – he tried three times in this match so it was clearly a well scouted tactic.

          And if whoever is keeping an eye on Davies is happy, they’re not going to refer the decision and we don’t get a replay, sadly.

    • Geoffro

      Afraid its all on the coach / selectors.As you say,did they not learn from matches leading into this that 1.Foley is way past it 2.Genia is the finishing half 3.Kerevi needs to pass the ball occasionally just for starters.Maybe less work on the set piece in training (weve got that down pat) and ramp up in the other basics.Having said that we were only one good personal performance away from winning I reckon.If any one of Pocock,Genia,Kerevi,Korobeite or even Spanners had been on their games we take it

    • OnTheBurst

      Hard to disagree with much of that Hoss. Foley was diabolical and surely has played his last game in gold.

      I’d still go for LiLo to start with Toomua off the bench as I think it’s difficult the other way around and Toomua can cover more positions.

      I actually think we should have the daggers out for Ben Skeen more than Poite, who in many ways controlled the game well. Skeen on the other hand is a total halfwit, I have watched countless games that were ruined by this idiot.

    • Custard Taht

      I would go with a backline of

      9. White 10. CLL 11. Marika 12. Toomua 13. TK 14.JOC 15. DHP

      It gives JOC the ability to insert himself when he wants, and you have the old brumby connections, so no need to worry about building combinations.

      Call me delusional, but if Cheika and the selectors pull their heads out their arses, the Wallabies can still go far. Is it now more difficult, yep, but this team is good, and being let down by the coach.

      • Hoss

        I am equally delusional Taht. I said to a fellow Gagger today to be world champs you have to beat the best anyway and if that’s in a QF, SF or Final then so be it so who and when you meet is largely irrelevant. With all due respect your not going to get an armchair run into a final and even if you did you would be fodder anyway. So we still control our destiny. This game up I would like to see white at 9, Two-Cows at 10, MariKa at 11, JOC at 12, Kurindrani at 13, Pataia at 14 and Sauce at 15. With Sanchez, LILO and Gilbert on the pine. I would also like to see a loose trio of 6 FKA/Dempsey 7 Pocock, 8 Naisarani. Certainly not suggesting Kerevi and Hooper are dropped per se. but I reckon we need to look at Plan B options for this game. Sadly does anybody know who are best XV are ??? The revelation that the half changes were planned before the tournament is staggering.

        • Adrian

          Similar, with 6:2 bench.
          9. White
          10. Toomoua
          11. Korebette
          12. Kerevi
          13. O’Connor
          14. Petaia
          15. DHP
          22 Genia, 23 Beale
          For set piece moves in 2nd half, Kerevi on right wing, Petaia at fullback and Beale at 12. Do switch passes and dummy runs from 12 involving the back 3.
          After scoring, back to normal positions with Beale fullback.

          Salakai Lotto to start, with Coleman, Pocock, Dempsey on 6:2 bench. Salakai Lotto and Naisarani to smash it up from the opening whistle, and be fucked after 50

        • Hoss

          Just loaded the http://www.yourwallabysquad.com site mate for the Uruguay match. Select away.

        • Custard Taht

          Don’t mind that backline either and your other selections. We need some more speed out wide and regardless of where he moves, JOC is being wasted at 13.
          The good thing is, we have two games with which to imbed some changes, if the coach and selectors are bold enough.

          I have to say, the speed/tempo at which the Wallabies are playing and the tournament in general is being played at, is right up QCs alley. I think we missed a trick leaving him behind. Not necessarily to start, but to finish.

          If it is not the kiwis, whoever wins Bill, will need to go through them. And apart from them, the only team that concerns me is England, and that is a coach v coach thing.

          It will be interesting to see how the team responds to this loss.

        • Hoss

          Just loaded up the http://www.yourwallabysquad.com site for the Uruguay match mate. Go your hardest.

          I actually expect a wider spread of votes from GAGR’s for this one. Be very interesting.

        • Custard Taht

          I will pick who I would want, not who I think Cheika will pick….cause that is depressing, especially when it comes true!

          Great job on that btw, awesome stuff.

  • Adrian

    It wasn’t a bad performance at all.

    Within 4 points of team that was #1 in the world only a month ago.

    Scored more tries than them!

    Some very good performances by some, ok by others and poor by Foley.

    I thought Genia was also poor-ish and pacing himself.


    If you want to be angry, and are already angry, then nothing will change your mind!

    • Greg

      Agreed. We lost :-(

    • Andy

      Agree. I thought it was actually a very good game. And I reckon we were the better team. We just made some bad decisions, our 5/8 was an enormous liability in the first half and Wales played very smart, especially in the last 15 minutes.

    • The lineout was definitely on top. The scrum, despite Cheika’s comments, seemed largely dominant too, and got the better of the whistle as well.

      I think it was that old classic “game of two halves” Wales were definitely better overall in the first half, Australia were better in the second half. Not sure if the gap was a fair reflection in the end, but Wales put that Grand Slam winning defence and those 12 turnovers to good use and it turned the game for them at a lot of critical moments.

      • Who?

        It’s typical Cheika – we copped one scrum penalty (a correct call from the AR – Sio took that first one down), then dominated the rest of the game and were rewarded. I didn’t think Poite had a bad night……

        • Nor did I. A couple of off moments but nothing screamingly bad and not enough to make me feel it was more than human error.

      • Adrian

        True Eloise

    • Custard Taht

      Yep, it was not bad overall. The 1st 20mins was pretty hard to watch, however, for all their dominance, Wales had fark all to show for it, until the intercept try, and that is what sunk us.

      • Adrian

        Agree Custard

  • UTG

    Well I’ll put my hand up as someone who defended the Foley selection midweek and say he had a fucking shocker. Actually felt pretty bad for him, there was one time he went to pass the ball as the halfback and it just doddled along the ground. He’s not only playing poorly but the pressure has got to him.

    I don’t know though, I thought we were alright for the most part. I certainly don’t think Wales will be winning the WC, their attack really is poor and they won’t get the same rub of the green from the referee nor will different opposition let them off the hook as much. The biggest winners this weekend were Hansen and the ABs, the only team that looks to be able to challenge them are England at this point.

    • Patrick

      He’s not only playing poorly but the pressure has got to him.

      I actually thought this too. Unlike you I don’t think he is capable of being a top-ten team five-eigth, but I agree that whatever he is really capable of we are not seeing at the moment (and his last game was like that too iirc).

      So I will go back to blaming Cheika for picking him far too easily far too long so that now that he is under pressure for his spot he does not know how to deal with it, so we can keep disagreeing ;)

    • Graeme

      Prior to this year and especially this game, I’ve been with you. He’s always had a substandard kicking game but made up for that with his running and passing game. I think this year age has caught up with him, and his running game is no longer on the cards. This also means his passing game has become predictable. Without a kicking game he is not at international level.

      • UTG

        He was exceptionally bad yesterday. When he started against South Africa earlier in the year he was “meh” but didn’t have a string of howlers. As you say, I wasn’t expecting anything from his kicking game but if he’d been able to distribute solidly we may have gotten away with him with Lilo out, sadly not the case.

        MT played very well but I’d still be tempted to stick with Christian starting. I’m not sure MT would have the same success when the game is tighter in the opening 40 and his real strength is taking it to the line when it’s wide open.

      • Brumby Runner

        Foley’s running game has deteriorated, maybe through age, or injury? But otherwise, his passing, kicking and general inability to set the attack is as poor as it’s always been. He has never been the full package at 10, and this is why so many Wallaby fans have been so critical of him over so many years.

  • Brumby Runner

    Cannot agree with the comparison of Pocock and Hooper. Hooper again had a very strong game, but Poey was better imo. The backrow needs to be LSL, Poey, Naisarani for the big games with Dempsey on the bench. If Poey is injured, then Hooper comes straight back in.

    Similarly, Arnold was the better of two very good locks.

    • Haz

      I’ve not seen anything from LSL to think of starting him over Hooper.

    • Graeme

      Against both Fiji and Wales, Pocock has been very good and Hooper has been great. You don’t ever drop your best player.

    • Graeme

      Against both Fiji and Wales, Pocock has been very good and Hooper has been great. You don’t ever drop your best player.

  • Andy

    Taking emotion out of the result I thought it was a really good game and the Wallabies were the better team for the majority. It was just a few key plays in the game that went against us due to poor execution or a lack of concentration. Key moments:

    Kick off. 3 points within the first 40’seconds

    Wales 1st try – poor discipline and caught us napping

    Wales second try- terrible execution and dumb play (regardless of potential offside)

    Kepu offside that lead to 3 points at the end.

    • Onside

      What advantage does Kepu bring over Tupou?
      This was the type of game where the Wallabies could have used his vigour and agro especially in attack

    • Human

      That was poor from Kepu but he did not affect the play and the ref had been ignoring those all night.

  • Greg

    Has Kerevi been cited for the tackle that led to Biggar’s concussion?

    • Human

      I expect that he and Hooper will be cited.
      Given the precedent, Adams should get 3 weeks for the hit on Naisarani and Biggar the same for the no arms hit on Kerevi that stopped the try…but will not be cited.

  • Patrick

    I am not that good a rugby observer but frankly if Toomua had not been so much day to Foley’s night I would have thought about Arnold or Latu for man of the match, and probably Latu.

    We dominated the lineouts, were overall better in the scrums and he was a beast around the field.

    • Hoss

      Latu got my vote – he was terrific. I actually thought Lurch was poor.

  • Canuckruck

    As a third party observer is was a great game to watch. My two favourite non-Canada teams in the same pool is painful though in Wales and Wallabies.

    I’ve been saying it forever, but the Wallabies are not going to win with Foley. But then as a Canadian, with the way we’ve been playing and selecting, i should just STFU.

    Most telling is not getting any passes out of your inside centre? Crazy.

    • Hoss

      Welcome to life as a Wallabies fan comrade.

  • Steve

    Not for the first time, I just can’t fathom what Cheika was thinking with that halves selection.

    I don’t know why Genia managed a 6 here – Slow and ponderous, couple of passes to no one and the intercept.

    Foley looked exactly as good as we all knew he would, what was Cheik seeing that we weren’t?

    I suspect he feels out of his comfort zone when not picking his old favourites, and resorts to type when the pressure is on – despite knowing how unsuccessful it’s been.

    Does he just like not winning or what?

    • Human

      I thought that Genia was good at times and very poor at others. My pet hates with him include the two-step before passing; gaffing about when the ball is available just waiting for the opposition to counter ruck; and failing to arrive at the breakdown…a couple of times he just was not even in the picture so the ball just sat there until a forward picked it up of Foley dribbled it along the ground.

  • LED

    I’ve given up watching. Just makes me so angry – both the Wallabies, their coach and the officiating. This is the first WC I’ll only look at on replay so I can decide if it’s worth my time first.

    • Custard Taht

      I had to go for a walk at half time to calm down.
      I cleared the decks, dogs disappeared, wife and sister-in-law, all gone.

  • Custard Taht

    Well, congrats Wales on the win.

    1. Wales were who we thought they were and we let them off the hook. They are not going to win the world cup.
    2. Forwards were let down by the Foley and Genia, and massively by Cheika.
    3. Foley and Genia were in a race to the bottom, playing anything you can fuck up, I can fuck up better, I can fuck up anything better than you.
    4. The so called “clearing” kicks from Foley, only acheived clearing the space for the Welsh to run it back through broken field. A Genia box kick goes further.
    5. JOC is wasted at 13, cannot inject himself in the game enough. Shift him to wing for Uruguay and Georgia, with DHP , Marika and JOC as the back 3 for the rest of cup.
    6. Bring in TK at 13, start CLL at 10 and Toomua at 12. For all that Kerevi does good, he chokes the backline and spills the pill.
    7. That game was there for us to win, the 1st 20mins lost us that game. Poor ball security, aimless fucking kicking and stupid penalties, like late off the ball tackles.

    • Keith Butler

      Bold call at point 6. Thought he was the new Izzy as in “give the ball to Samu”. JOC might as well not been at 13 given the number of passes he had from his 12. A big fat 0 if it’s to be believed. We may whinge about the Kerevi incident but Hooper is lucky not to have been YC’d and there were other instances of taking Welsh players out off the ball that were missed. Both sides equally hard done by. Poite can take some of the can but Ben Skeen the TMO was the main culprit imo.

      • Custard Taht

        I think we can do better than give it to Kerevi ball, it gains metres but not much else.

        Yep, I thought Hooper was getting a yellow, stupid shit from your captain.

        Agreed, I thought the TMO was the problem. It genuinely looked at times that Poite had no idea what the TMO was asking him to look at.

      • Ed

        It’s true that both teams had calls go against them. It was just a normal rugby game by refereeing standards. While champion nations lift when the going gets tough (in this WC window: ABs, Eng, Wales, Sth Africa), the Australians led by their incompetent, unprofessional coach crumble and make excuses.

        I would have been pretty annoyed at the final scrum call which saw Aust loosehead boreing in and collapsing the scrum only to have the penalty go the other way.

        • UTG

          Hope you made similar comments following Ireland’s loss and Schmidt having a go at Gardner in his post match interview.

      • Brumby Runner

        The Kerevi/JOC combination is simply not working. I said the same thing after the Fiji game, and suggested the problem might actually be Kerevi. After this game, I am sure that is the situation.

        I’d like to see JOC moved to 12 with TK back where he belongs at 13. It would bring a different dynamic to the backline attack. Not so many line breaks and metres gained by one player but perhaps more control and ball movement which could lead to better outcomes.

        Back three then would be DHP at 15 with Koroibete and Kerevi on the wings.

        • Keith Butler

          Dead right BR. Don’t know about Kerevi on the wing though. At least he wouldn’t have to pass to often. I find it increasingly difficult to listen to Cheika. It’s like listening to a politician. Doesn’t appear to take any responsibility for poor selection or game management just “nothing to see here, it was the officials fault”.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Lol and no Kerevi…… the best centre in the world!

    • Brumby Runner

      Point 2. Am I being too naive to hope that it’s the last time the Foley apologists will cart out the old chestnut that he is only poor because he plays behind a losing pack?

      • Custard Taht

        Nope, I think the apologists having left…certainly can’t use the he is the best option because he plays mistake free rugby.

        • Greg

          I feel very bad for the guy. He looked destroyed. Why was he put in that position?

        • Custard Taht

          Yep, it was not fair on him at all. A victim of a “Clever” coaching decision.

        • Yowie

          Can we give any credit for attempted deception? Eg “It’s the last thing the opposition or fans, or rational people generally would expect”

        • Custard Taht

          No, cause the reason no one would expect it, is because it was fucking stupid, but not so fucking stupid, it might actually work.

        • Who?

          Because Cheika trusts him.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Stats NEVER backed that rubbish anyway….

  • Graeme

    I think we’ve found our winning game plan.

    Let’s start Spanners / Foley again in our next major match (against England). But pull him after one minute so our team can look good and go to the next level with 79 minutes to go next time.

    • Yowie

      Could we shoehorn a head-injury type collision into that plan? Might milk 3 points or a card AND get a free substitution.

      Of course, it’s a bit hard to plan that sort of collision now with “all bets off” the attacker/defender onus.


    I’d give Foley a 1. A complete joke. Along with some abysmal reffing Foley literally playmaked us out of the game while he was on. 100% not surprised….. Called it and am embarrassed it’s this bad! Where the hell is QUADE you stupid RA Muppet’s!
    Toomua ISNT EVEN A 10. He’s a good allround centre and backs cover. Not a serious option at 10. Unbelievable!

  • Human

    So, Pocock rates the same as Beale, Coleman and the replacement front row?
    I must be missing something. Both Beale and Kepu should be at home with the slippers on…like a Foley, they were good 4 years ago but are not now.
    Pocock, Naisarani and Rodda were immense. Rodda was the only player trying to charge the second droppy.
    I have long criticised Hooper but have swung around to seeing his value. He has been very good. Ditto, Latu.

    Can anyone explain why Kerevi carried the pill in his right arm when trying to bump Biggar? Is that to negate the law interpretation around aggressive carries?


Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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