Review: Wallabies v. British & Irish Lions – Second Test

Shane Sullivan June 29, 2013 214

No GravatarThe Wallabies only had a couple of muddy tags between heartache and victory last week. Heartache won the day! The Lions lost players in Key positions while the Wallabies have a re-jigged backline. Who’s cuisine will reign supreme? You along with the Iron Chef are about to find out.

The Match366_DSC_6794_2013_06_29_2646

The Lions started the game at express pace! The roar of their fans echoed off the closed roof of Etihad Stadium urging their team forward. And forward they went. Trampling the Wallabies with no let-up for the first 10 minutes. Despite their dominance and four kickable penalties the Lions were only 3-0 up.

Finally the Wallabies had a little possession. The Lions scrum was put under extreme pressure by Ben Alexander resulting in two converted penalties for Christian Leali’ifano. Mako Vunapola looked very shaky at every scrum until he suddenly found his feet. The Lions scrum came back to parity and later won a couple of penalties of their own.

In the 25th minute Benn Robinson was penalised for releasing his bind in the scrum. His battle with Adam Jones had been a highlight of the match so far but Jones won this one and Halfpenny slotted the penalty to even the score. Then Ben Alexander added his own penalty for popping and the Lions took the lead 6-9 off Leigh Halfpenny’s boot.

The lead was short lived as Dan Lydiate was caught way offside and Leali’ifano scraped the right upright to even the score. Right on half time Ben Mowen was caught not releasing the player in a tackle and the kick was enough to give the Lions a 12-9 lead at half time.

The match was dominated by very good defence. There were no line breaks in the first half and the Lions in particular struggled to get over the gain line. The effort and enterprise was exceptional from both sides.

366_DSC_6854_2013_06_29_2703The second half opened up with both teams trying to run the ball. Unfortunately the ball handling did not match the intention, though the open play was very entertaining. It was a shock in the 62nd minute when the Lions moved the score out to 9-15 with yet another scrum penalty. The replacement prop Dan Cole seemed to use his hand to push off the ground but the result was three points to the Lions anyway.

The Lions seemed to be in control of the game with the Wallabies giving up possession constantly through knock-ons and poor touchline management. Despite that they managed to work their way into the Lions 22 metre zone with eight minutes to go. The Lions were caught offside virtually in front of the posts but James Horwill elected to take a scrum five metres out. Three minutes and 15 phases later Adam Ashley-Cooper scored one of his typically barging tries on the left flank. Christian Leali’ifano calmly slotted the conversion and the Wallabies were one point in the lead with three minutes left.

The Wallabies secured the ball from the kick off and set up a ruck just outside the 22 metre line. Will Genia fired the ball back to James O’Connor for the clearance kick but amazingly O’Connor kicked the ball out on the full. Surely after another game in which he had little impact and struggled to direct play, this is the end of the experiment of O’Connor as a flyhalf.366_DSC_6778_2013_06_29_2630

The Lions set up a lineout 10 metres from the Wallabies line but the execution was not perfect. The ball missed its target and landed in the hands of Liam Gill. This was the crucial turning point of the match. The Wallabies won a penalty and hoofed the ball down field to what seemed like the safety of the Lions half.

With two seconds to go the Lions managed to win a penalty deep in their own half and had no other option than to run the ball. They worked the ball up to the half way line and again the Wallabies gave away a penalty and the Lions decided to go for the shot at goal. It was a long kick for Leigh Halfpenny just over 50 metres out and about 15 metres in from touch. As usual Halfpenny was on line but this time the kick just fell short. The Wallabies won this match by the barest of margins and with no time on the clock. The 2013 Lions series is going to a decider in Sydney and that is what matters.

 367_DSC_7055_2013_06_29_2903

The Game Changer

I could opt for James Horwill‘s decision to not kick for goal. Or Adam Ashley-Cooper’s try. Or Christian Leali’ifano’s calm kick under pressure to put the Wallabies in the lead. It could easily have been James O’Connor’s silly kick with moments to go. But my game changer was Liam Gill‘s pilfer on the Lions’ attacking lineout. The Lions went from being hard on attack only needing a penalty to win to being in their own half trying to regain possession in seconds.

The G&GR MOTM

It’s hard to pick one player out from either side. Only because I’m forced to I’m going to pick Will Genia as the man of the match. He was exceptional at his own job and once again did his part covering for the lack of a flyhalf.

Wallaby watch

Michael Hooper was everywhere but just doesn’t seem to be heavy enough to have any effect at the breakdown. James O’Connor… Where do you start? Too deep, goes missing, shovel sideways and is not a threat.


The Details

Crowd: 56771

Score & Scorers

Australia: 16
Tries: Adam Ashley-Cooper 1
Conversions: Christian Lealiifano 1
Penalties: Christian Lealiifano 3

British & Irish Lions: 15
Tries: 0
Conversions: Leigh Halfpenny 5
Penalties: 0

Cards & citings

None

Photos compliments of Tim Anger. 

Discussion

  • mxyzptlk

    Commence complaining.

  • cantab

    Deans for PM!

    • Parker

      Of NZ. Send him back.

  • Jenkss

    2 things:
    1) Robbie Deans should go and get himself a lottery ticket because right now he is the luckiest bloke in Australia.
    2) James O’Connor is not a test quality 10. That was clearly evident once again tonight.

    • Parker

      Two things are certain: Disappointing Deans will retain his position and he will persist with JOC at 5/8.

      • Tim

        Yeah, I think he’ll persist with JOC – maybe JOC and KB will go to bed on time this week. Deans: I’m not so sure that it’s certain that he is staying after all this, I have to believe his days are numbered regardless.

        • Bazzar

          Maybe JOC planned to run sideways all night until the last 10 minutes and then to kick it out on the full after a pass back into the 22. It’s the sort of thing that sounds like a good idea at 2am in Burger King.

        • Tim

          yeah.. crazy. I don’t like or want JOC in 5/8 but I can’t see Deans admitting that he has made a mistake. As for the night out: you wouldn’t see Sally Pearson up at 4am scoffing down burgers 5 days before the Olympics – so it’s mind blowing when these highly paid professional rugby players make these decisions. Great lesson for up and coming young players – I told my 11yo that KB and JOC would play like crap tonight, you simply can’t make up for that lack of sleep (or change in sleeping patterns). Amazing.

        • Kiwi

          I hope to fuck Deans is gone..

        • Parker

          He can get all the sleep possible, but that won’t change the glaring fact that he’s not even the fourth best 5/8 in the country.

      • bill

        Deans is screwed, If he staysafter the EOYT we might as well give up on union in Aus because the ARU will have.

    • st saens

      That’s 3 things Jenkss. Agree with you on all three.

    • JeremyBC

      I love it how when the Wobblies lose it Deans fault and when they win – it had nothing to do with him and he’s still shit.

      Here’s the thing – yes the selection isn’t perfect and aussies could improve in some areas.

      But 3-4 years ago if you’d said to me (a kiwi) that the Wobblies scrum and lineout would get parity (or arguably best) the Lions I’d have had a laugh.

      If you’d suggested that the Aussies could defend with that fortitude and muscle up at the front where a test match is really won, I’d have had a laugh also.

      For the first time in years I can see an Aussie side forming where the AB’s wont’t be able to win the game simply by relying on dominance at the set piece, the breakdown and the physical exchanges.

      So while I do think its time for the Aussies to get an Aussie coach, at least Deans has contributed exactly what I think you guys wanted to learn from a Cantabrian – a good defence, set piece, kicking game etc. Cause that’s how we play our rugby and it wasn’t a secret, you knew what you were getting !

      Not saying Henry or Hansen wouldn’t have been better Cantabrians but hey, they were employed elsewhere – there’s only so many of us to go around.

      • http://landoftheunit.wordpress.com/ Sully

        What the hell are we paying Andrew Blades, Totally Tony and Nathan sharpe for when Robbie Deans has done all the work to toughen us up up front, We need to get him involved in the backs as well. He’d sort them out quick smart

      • Who?

        We had the best defense in the world for years under Muggles, losing games by less than we should have done. Our scrum peaked, I believe, in 2008, in Foley’s third – and final – year as forwards coach. Our lineout has traditionally – until the Deans era – been a strength against the ABs. And how can you say we’ve got a decent kicking game? The best kick JOC put in all night was the one in the 78th minute, when he – wrongly – put it out on the full. Beale looked like he was shanking them all night. Deans has no credit for Lealiifano’s goal kicking, it’s his second Test.

        One of the things for which I do give credit to Deans is selecting when to flood and when to hold off at the breakdown. We lost the breakdown last night, but I think we’ve done better after his tenure. Whether that was him or an assistant, I don’t know.
        I don’t know how we ended up with the worst of the Cantabrians…

  • Alan Grouse

    Fucking atrocious match. The handling errors were unacceptable. It took till the 70th minute before we looked threatening in attack. Simmons? an utter joke, bring in MMM. Still dont think JOC @ 10 is working, we looked rubbish offensively

    Though im delighted, absolutely delighted that we snuck it. 1st test, we deserved it, they won it. 2nd test, they deserved it, we won it. Nerves are shot

    Roll on sydney!!! They will be rattled to have come so close and lose it, we have the momentum now!

    • Parker

      Killing before MMM.

      • Alan Grouse

        both are fine lineout operators and id gladly take either over Simmons.

        • Timbo

          And both can play 2nd row, 6 and 8. Simmons in a muppet

        • bill

          Is, rubbish comment. In, awesome even if sharing a little too much
          ! :)

        • Timbo

          Shush you ;) I stand by my comments. Simmons in a muppet as he is probably into that kind of thing.

        • bill

          makes you wonder why our troll NH friends can’t agree to disagree instead of exhibiting the whole born to rule thing.

        • Matt James

          While Simmons was ordinary and I agree he should be replaced he was not much worse than Douglas, who lost the ball in the worst possible moments. Bring in Pyle, MMM or Kimlin for Simmons. They should also shift Mowen to 8 and play Palu off the bench as an impact player. This lets them bring in either Gill, Smith or one of the blokes I metioned before.

    • Dave

      Why do you think they deserved to win tonight? They played as badly as we did.

      • Alan Grouse

        Stats could prove me wrong but i thought they had alot more territory and felt they looked alot more threatening with the ball then we did.
        Cant help but think if Lilo hadnt been injured we would have claimed the series by now

        • Stin

          Yet, whilst it was effective, they put up high ball after high ball – played little rugby. Defended extremely well. I thought we played more rugby. But the skills were terrible. Was Kane Douglas trying to offload every time he went into contact. No surprise that after 15 phases we scored. Patience.

        • Dave

          Looking at the stats this morning it looks as if the WBs had the better game. (Although stats tell us only so much) The WBs had most of the territory, possession, more runs, more run meters, fewer missed tackles (although they made fewer overall tackles), more time in opp 22 and line breaks (albeit just the 1). On the other hand they did give away more penalties and turn the ball over more. And I have to say on the face of it we did make more “silly” decisions, JOC’s out on the full clearance being one. But I thought other than their rolling mauls the lions didn’t look much like breaching our line. Passionate defence won the day in the end. But mind, in spite of the stats I have to watch the game again in the cool light of day.

        • Alan Grouse

          No Dave your 100% correct, the stats clearly showed the Wallabies had the better of the game, without a doubt the better of the 2nd half. I guess a very poor first 40 and us trailing 15-9 till the death made me more critical of the team than i should. No doubt the errors were shocking but on second viewing the Lions were equally as bad

  • cantab

    Jesus, the wallabies won, lets get happy!

    • bazzar

      If I wanted to be happy I wouldn’t follow the Waratahs.

    • bill

      if only by the length of Robbie’s….

  • misplacedcanuck

    mixed feelings. happy for a win, but as the old saying goes “you are only as good as your last match”. based on that logic the majority should lay down their gold jerseys and not let the gate hit them on the way out.

  • Pottsy

    Honest question: What does Deans see in O’Connor that makes him think he’s(O’Connor) a first 5/8?…

    • MightyMoth

      Yes, very odd. A lot of the team here at GaGR have tried to put themselves in that position of how his mind works and nailed it. Not a place I’d like to put myself in. How to think like a riddling weirdo?

    • bill

      to some extent what we see is a result of Deans coaching
      him to be a 5/8 rather thann his potential. The last two tests he’s stood deep and often behind a screen/decoy pod. How that gels with Deans public utterances to Cooper to take the ball into contact and square the defence? Watching Cooper take the ball to the line is fun for me but maybe Deans wanted Cooper injured prior to the test series?

      • Who?

        And people thought Barnes stood too deep at 10…

  • Ave

    You guys are such a bunch of flamers on that kid O’Connor.. Give the guy a break. He sets up AAC for a try, and created something with Folau down the line. It was a tight game, not much space, and lots of pressure.

    I think he was better than Sexton tonight anyway.

    And cut the : “he’s a winger ! he should be on the wing” crap. He played 10/12 at shool, 12/15 for the Force, 10/12/15 at teh Rebels. Played his first games of S14 as a 12.

    I can’t hear anymore “he belongs to the wing”.

    He belongs to either 10, either to 12 with Quade Cooper inside him.

    END OF STORY.

    • Timbo

      So did two things. Doesn’t make him a 10. Drew Mitchell Did more against Easts today at first receiver. He is well deserving of a Wallaby jersey but not at 10. Cooper isn’t the answer either. Toomua should be at 10.

    • Merrow

      No he’s shit and maybe belongs on the bench. He just happened to be the person that passed the ball to AAC. Could’ve been anyone.

      • bill

        O’Conner made one telling pass on attack and did fuck all apart from being a sea anchor on our attack. Cooper may lose you the game, he may screw up trying things but he’ll at least give you a chance. This is just absurd. O’Connor if he was being responsible should put his hand up and say he isn’t ready for the position because he’s killing us.

    • Matt James

      I think he only gets away at 10 because Beale and Lealifano helped play the role of first receiver, last week it was Genia. He is a good player but still heavily reliant on others while at 10.

    • Wilson

      No you cut the “O’connor is great at 10″ crap. He was piss poor tonight, wouldn’t complain about him playing 12 but to play 5/8 at test level you can’t just have a crack every now and then at club level and expect to perform.

      • WW

        No, not 12 either. We need to get the ball out to the wingers!

    • http://landoftheunit.wordpress.com/ Sully

      He didn’t set up AAC he shovelled the bll sideways to him the same as he did all night! Was that the first time he touched the ball in the fifteen phases before the try?

      • JimmyC

        Disagree. It was the first time he actually went forward and threw the pass out and in front. Don’t let te rest of his shit game fog your memory.

      • Nicholas Hawkins

        No handled four times and rucked three times

      • sph45

        He drew two defenders before putting AAC through a hole. He’s awful in that position, but he did his job in that instance.

      • Roland Chan

        He drew 2 players by taking the ball to the line, even if it was a bit sideways. Definitely not just a shovel.

    • Kiwi

      Mate you must accept mediocrity in your life cause he is mediocre. If he was good I would say yes. But JOC had another shocker. You have to add the percentages up. He failed, to be a winning team you have to consistently do the little things right. He did not. Yes he is better at 12 but then he can’t kick like LL. So what do you do with him. JOC is not professional enough me. Good enough is not excellence in the Wallaby outfit. JOC said during the week it wasn’t his fault we lost the game. Yet he did not do any kicking training. If you are fuckin serious about being a Wallaby 10 then YOU train. He is not serious. Out at 4 in the morning eating hamburgers . Stuff him. So what next put him on the wing?? Then where do you put Izzy. Hooper was dominated by Wharbuton tonight, he had no effect on the game. Ben Mowen had a cracker again, he should be at eight. Gill in at 6 and Smith at 7 with hooper on the bench. Douglas coughed up the pill ?? How many times.
      Deans is like Rudd… he just refuses to die.

      • MightyMoth

        I would say Quade Cooper is like Rudd. Everyone wants him there from the public but the “faceless men” (Deans) won’t accept a win with him at control.

        • bill

          Cooper is not like Rudd. If you want a t shirt that helps you survive a zombie apocalypse ala Bill Murray circa Zombieland, stick on a collingwood t shirt, stick on a kevin 07 t shirt, stick on an easter island statue tshirt and call it Robbie, whatever you do don’t stick on a Cooper tshirt because you will never fit in!

        • MightyMoth

          Wish Cooper had a gold tshirt with a 10 on it tonight!

      • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

        Agree with Kiwi & others. I’m sorry but JOC was poor at 10 and that kick out on the full – after the ball was passed back into our 22 – summed up his night.

        To be frank, watching him at 10 steer the team around feels like being a passenger when my Mother-in-Law is behind the wheel. It’s exciting…but for all the wrong reasons.

    • sph45

      you can’t just say ‘end of story’ ’cause you think it is.

      I don’t know that many are suggesting O’Connor might not be a 5/8 in the future; some very good rugby brains have publicly said so. What is clear though is that he doesn’t have the experience in that position – at any level (unless you count schoolboys) – to justify his inclusion in that crucial position in a once in a generation test series. I think that most observers are suggesting it is just not the time for him to be learning his trade there.
      His inability to release the outside backs is a genuine concern. He stands very deep and doesn’t yet have the organizational skills to manage the team.

      The other disappointing thing about O’Connor’s position in these games is that he can be such a destructive runner as an outside back himself. By playing 5/8 he is put in a position where he gets to show off his weaknesses and we get none of the benefits of his strengths.

      Anyway, I guess you’ve taken your ball and gone home by now…

      • Ave

        No, i came back to read some reactons to what i wrote.. Yours is interesting and makes sense. Of course it’s a lot for him to cary on his shoulder not having a lot of experience and all.

        So think about the pressure he’s got : if the wallabies lose the series, ALL the fingers will deservedly point at him, and his international career will be seriously jeopardize. Basically he’s playing his career here.I don’t think he will let us down next week, and he was already better this time around.

        And to bounce off what you said, I don’t think passing the ball or kicking or distributing are weaknesses of his. As for running out wide being his greatest talent, im not sure about that either. He’s actually a top notch runner in heavy traffic in the mid channel and that’s probably what gave him the edge over Toomua in the selection. Now he has to repeat what he does regularly at S15 level against Lions.

        As for the first game, I really do think Genia, while absolutely brilliant, did not make enough effort to find james, as if he did not have full confidence in him. When the 10 touches 4 balls off a ruck, the issue lies also with the halfback. Im sorry to say this because Genia’s the best halfback in the world.

        • Tony Dun

          A bit tough to blame Will G for JoC’s game isn’t it?

        • Who?

          When we coach our kids, we tell them not to pass the ball to people who don’t want it. When they run coaching courses, they tell halfbacks not to deliver the ball until the 10 calls for it. That’s often the cause of slow ball, and it’s absolutely the reason why Genia didn’t hit JOC more often.
          And to be fair, JOC’s got a history of the same sort of lack of involvement at the Rebels. He tried to impose himself more this game, but he did it by running the ball, not organizing and distributing. But running the ball is the lowest priority in selection of a 10.

    • The Other Dave

      He was a liability tonight.

      END OF STORY.

  • zinzan

    I don’t think another coach would make a difference in a game like that (yes i’m a Kiwi). Those bunnies did everything possible to lose that game, lose ball in contact, stupid kicking away of possession putting your team under immediate pressure, not giving Falou hardly any ball (ball hogs), HOW the hell did they win that game?? Don’t get me wrong I am a firm Wallabies supporter against any team other than the ABs but JEEEEZ wept! Get another ist 5 stick James somewhere else. GIVE Falou more ball!!

    • Bazzar

      Deans has been coach since 2008, it’s hard to see how this isn’t on Deans.

      • zinzan

        So what you are saying is a coach at this level needs teach a player how to hang on to the ball? In saying that I think it’s high time you did change the coach, just don’t expect to suddenly become world beaters.

        • Bazzar

          No I’m saying he needs to hire a specialist attack coach.

        • Kiwi

          He needs to piss off back to NZ’d with his fart brain ideas. Playing people out of position, out of form and without match fitness. Play the form players ie LFG, ( Liam Fukin Gill), George Smith, and giving a real specialist 5/8th a go.

    • Alan Grouse

      JOC’s management just isnt up to scratch… yet. Now is not the time to experiment and hope he clicks, Deans placing him there is another in the long line of blunders from him.

      It should be QC or my preference Tomane (yeah he has no experience at test level but either did Lilo before tonight and he did very good). Move JOC to the wing or somewhere else in the backline where he can cause mayhem

      • Stevo

        You mean Toomua?

        • Alan Grouse

          my bad, edited

        • Max Brammer

          CL to 10, Izzy to 12, JOC to wing

        • Bairdy

          … and Genia to 13, Phipps to wing

        • Max Brammer

          Nah, I appreciate the point although getting JOC to the wing or bench is 1 of the few times when I reckon playing out of position is justified. The lesser of 2 wrongs

      • Jake

        Toomua is an excellent defensive player, but he would have exactly the same problem as JOC did tonight; that being that both are excellent in contact (although JOC much more so than Toomua) and their first instinct is to run it in the first sign of traffic, so they dont get the ball out to the wings where we have a blockbuster backline being squandered.

    • Who?

      Another coach would’ve made a huge difference in a game like that, because he wouldn’t have picked JOC at 10!

    • the ardent b’stard

      That many errors against SA and the ABs means you come second.
      Looked a lot smoother with LLF in the backline I thought but most of the movement too deep to commit defenders, thus no space gets created out wide.

  • WW

    Only thing JOC has is: he hasn’t openly criticised Robbie…. Certainly not because he is any good at playing at number 10

  • beeza

    Woooooo!!!!!!!

  • AALion

    From a Lions point of view, centre is where our problem going forward is at. Very little drive going forward from BOD and Davies. BOD has sadly had his day. I hope Jamie Roberts is fit for the third test, and at the very least put Manu Tuilagi on the bench!! Proud of Mako Vunipola, was great in the loose tonight and had the mental capacity to come back from an edgy start in the scrum. Bring on Sydney.

    • Canuckruck

      That was impressive of Vunipola to hang in there and turn his form around.
      I would have loved to see a rampaging Tuilagi out there at 60 mins.

    • http://landoftheunit.wordpress.com/ Sully

      It may be a little early to write BOD off.

      • Who?

        BOD’s shown more this tour than Davies. Davies is at 12, the attack’s not going past him effectively. BOD made Tuilagi look great at 12 (yes, it was against the Force, but the point is that they worked together), and he’s worked well with Roberts before. Davies… I haven’t seen enough from him to warrant him being there. And yes, I’ve watched all the seemingly endless games we’ve played against Wales the last couple of years. One good game against the Tahs isn’t enough.

    • Dave

      A bit of credit to the WBs defence as well, if you don’t mind. Forced the Lions into errors (and vice versa of course). A big body wouldn’t have necessarily remedied that. Both defences were immense.

    • AJ

      Vunipola boring in at an angle is not “hanging in there”. Should’ve been penalised off the park. I wonder what the IRB will make of his cynical elbow to AAC’s head?

      • Canuckruck

        Boring in is “hanging in there” when he doesn’t get penalized for it. That was one of the ugliest first 20 minutes i’ve seen in a while. I was screaming for Gatland to pull him. Turned out all right for the big guy in the end. England might be getting some good development on the back of the Lions…..

      • josh123

        I thought you had to drive straight in a scrum, not bore in. Thank you craig joubert for clarifying that props are meant to drive right into the side of the opposite props head like vunipola did every scrum after the 20th minute.

  • Bok fan

    Wow, that was exciting. Well done Wallabies! I’m nervous about the IRB appeal…I hope Horwill will be free to play next week.

    • Alan Grouse

      I cant see anything other than him being handed a suspension. Why would they call a second hearing?

      They simply found the outcome of the first unacceptable and are determined to see him found guilty. Its a fucking joke

      • Bazzar

        Vunipolo should join him for the elbow into AAC’s face.

        • http://landoftheunit.wordpress.com/ Sully

          It looked bad didn’t it!

        • DaveL

          Nothing in that I reckon.

        • bill

          Vuna? Chnanging his line yes, accidental yes…and given his vision was unimpeded you might make a place for intent unlike Horwills action But that would be rough

        • Anthony David

          If it was accidental, you would have expected Vunipolo to have hit AAC with his upper arm. Instead, he stuck out his elbow.

    • Bairdy

      #JusticeForHorwill #FreeKev

  • bill

    Liam F’ng Gill!!!

    • http://landoftheunit.wordpress.com/ Sully

      And that is how he should be addressed from this day forward!

      • Jenkss

        Forever more, Liam F’ing Gill

        • Dave

          A new t-shirt maybe?

        • GB

          Yeah, LFG for short…

        • Stin

          Just use the other gagr t shirt, but change the wallaby’s head to a photo of Liam gill.

      • bill

        …or if HG and Roy, the one armed bandit!

    • Alan Grouse

      The Justin Harrison moment for this series. Have a feeling his steal will be replayed for years to come

      JOC should be buying him more than a drink for that turnover

      • drewprint

        Chuck in a burger and fries and make it a BK meal deal.

    • Garry

      I thought his entry off the bench was 10 minutes too late. With the Lions receiving ruck steals and penalties, that was the time. I was screaming Dean’s laced obscenities at the screen. Revisiting your old ways Robbie?

      • bill

        Yup. Huge game from Warbs. Lydiate changed the dynamic as well, haven’t really had a good look at him before but I can see why the mancrush for him is out there. I expect they’ll start hibberd next game to up their scrum. So they lose a terrier at the breakdown but gain another big body to bludgeon us with. Even so I’d start Gill for his accuracy. Bring Hooper on between 35 and 45 for Palu. I’d absolutely draft in Quirk to 6 n Mowen to 8 but it won’t happen. But the idea of Mowen, Smith and Hooper or Gill ticks my boxes as well.

      • Yin Yang

        mate, I was almost crying. The man drives me completely insane.

  • Dave

    Awesome. Just think, if Beale kicked his goals last week the series would be wrapped up. It works that way doesn’t it?
    So excited for next week. And so glad it won’t be a dead rubber. I hope the IRB see sense and let Horwill play. He was immense.

    • Bok fan

      If Horwill gets suspended, who will be captain? Moore? Do you think it’d be a big disruption for the Wallabies?

      • Wilson

        Genia will be, after that I’d like to see Mowen take it, he knows how to handle a ref

        • WW

          Unfortunately Will will be overloaded if he has to run the back line and captain the team! Sure as hell James cannot organise the back line or even himself (at times).

        • Stin

          Mowen is a star!

        • Nutta

          Yep. Happy to say “been saying it for a while”. Massive loss to the Tarts, strong lineout work, hard-as-fuk over the ball, doesn’t piss off refs and just grinds on. A great No6 just waiting on the chance to prove it. Please don’t play him at 8.

        • Stin

          The whole scrum went pear when Simmons came on and Mow moved to the back. In my completely unknowledgeable opinion, I think that was more the problem and than changing front row. Loss if Palu’s weight wouldn’t have helped.

      • Bairdy

        Genia is the captain anyway, though not officially. He makes most of the decisions, like the scrum for the try.

  • Dougall

    Other than a few schoolboy errors, O’Connor had a decent game tonight. He ran hard in contact, setup AAC for the match winner and gave some great ball to Folau.

    Still, I believe he his time on the wing for the Wallabies has been to most beneficial.
    That take from Gill off the lineout was sensational, a Justin Harrison moment.

    The more Mowen plays, the more the jersey becomes part of his skin, what an athlete.

    Deans needs to sort his bench out asap, that was the biggest problem tonight.

    Horne an intensity raiser? No. Simmons? No.
    Tapuai or Cummins? Yes. Cooper? Yes. HMM? Yes.

    Scrum was solid tonight, especially the first 40.

    Great to get the win, what a matchup it is for next weekend!

    • Jenkss

      JOC hardly “set up” the try for AAC. He made one pass wide to a 3 on 2 situation. He messed up plenty more opportunities than that.

      Not to mention that kick out on the full from inside the 22 when it was passed back. That very nearly lost us the game. Only a HUGE effort from Gill saved us there.
      Imagine what everyone would be saying if Cooper did that. I mean messing up a kick off in a WC semi final is bad. But JOC nearly lost us a Lions series. I bet we won’t hear nearly the same about that as we did about Coopers kickoff.

      Folau didn’t get nearly enough ball and not nearly early enough. There were chances to get it wide and KB/JOC held onto it, got tackled, spilled the ball or gave it late with no space left.

      You are absolutely right about Mowen, taking his chance in both hands and running with it. Top game from him.

      • Dougall

        He double pumped and drew in Davies off his man, setting the gap for AAC. That was my interpretation anyway

        Would have loved to have seen more ball to Folau, more kicks to his side aswell when we were close to their line.

        • Jenkss

          I just watched it again then. You’re right he kind of did the double pump.

          I put the try down more to a defensive lapse from Davies than awesome play by JOC though. Davies was never fooled he was just sloooooow moving across then put on a pretty average tackle.

        • Dougall

          Yeah and that is a fair enough statement.

          What did you make of the bench? I thought Horne not coming on was Deans’s way of saying I’ve made a mistake.

          He wouldn’t have added anything speical, and that’s what you need for games like this, not just players for filling injuries and giving guys a break.

          You need players that influence and bring something special to the table with 20 to go.

          Hugh MM, George Smith, Gill, Taps and even Cummins, Mogg could have been brilliant but we will have to wait another week to see if that is the case.

        • Jenkss

          I don’t think I saw Horne once after he came on the field. Did
          he do anything at all?
          When you say “Deans’ way of saying he made a mistake” what do you mean exactly? A selection error? Poor play on someones part?

          Simmons wasn’t great again.

          I’m disappointed that Mogg didn’t get a shot. I was partly expecting a reshuffle of the backline at some point, maybe 60 mins in. Beale into 10 and Mogg to 15. Someone going off. I was hoping that he would get a run.

        • Dougall

          I don’t think he made it on?

          I mean it was a poor selection, Horne offers nothing off the bench as well as others in the squad can.

          He is a replacement player at best, not a player that is tactically put on the bench to offer something come 30 or 20 minutes to go if you catch my drift.

          Deans should have gone with someone like Cummins or Taps who would actually make a solid impact off the bench and inject some creativity and power into the backline

        • Jenkss

          I know exactly what you mean about using the bench wisely and having impact players, not just someone there as injury cover. You are 100% right about that. Quality played who wil actually change the game and offer something different are what’s needed on the bench.

          I thought I heard commentary announce Rob Horne as a replacement for ___ right near the end of the match. I may have been wrong though.

        • Dougall

          Ah fair enough, classic that we didn’t notice him though

        • Pivo

          Horne came on for two-dads with little time left on the clock. Missed a tackle. Good impact… Another great dingo deans selection

        • Who?

          The pass to AAC is the sort of play I expect a second playmaker to provide. And JOC’s fine in that role – from 15, or 12. But he doesn’t have the game management to work at 10, and demanding he spend his time organizing and distributing wastes his brilliant footwork, which has produced nothing at all this year.

    • sph45

      Um, it’s test rugby. If ‘school’- boy errors are a problem, he shouldn’t be there.

      Furthermore, when did he give Folau decent ball?

    • bill

      O’Connor was pretty much a non entity again, I saw him do two perfect short balls this year for tries , so yes to potential, but both were for the rebels.

    • Dingo is a Dick

      You are blind… Is that you Mr Deans?

      • Dougall

        Sorry to disappoint but I’m just a supporter with his head on straight looking for some positives.

      • Parker

        With regard to your name, dicks are useful.

  • JimmyC

    Missing Person – James O’Connor – Last seen running out on Eithad Stadium

    • Bazzar

      We all saw him kick that ball out on the full in the 79th minute, which is the difference between him and QC, QC would make similar mistakes but out of overambition with an otherwise perfect kick. JOC does it out of sleep deprivation.

      • WW

        Yes, and QC is still being blamed for losing the RWC at the age of 23! JOC well, he’ll still play well according to Robbie and line up against the Lions next week. With not even a rap across the knuckles for being out at 4am on a school night…. Our selectors are not capable of selecting on form (or rather) Robbie is not capable of selecting on form, only whether players toe the party line!!!

        • Jenkss

          Exactly what I said in another comment thread above.

          Cooper is still being blamed for a kick out on the full at the start of a match 2 years ago.

          JOC nearly cost us the Lions series (that’s once in every TWELVE years) by making an absolutely basic error kicking out on the full after being passed back in the 22.

          Genia was perfectly within his rights to give him a spray. But will we hear anything about it from Deans? Nope, I bet “James had a strong game, he did what we wanted” will be his comment.

    • old laurentian

      Receiving way to deep for most of the game.

    • Gottsy

      I know it’s useless to say but I just can’t help but think about what cooper could have been able to do with that back line, playing behind a forward pack that was actually going forward. Sigh.

  • Canuckruck

    Hopefully JOC watches the film of himself taking the ball flat, threatening the line, fixing the defence, and giving AAC the chance to run that great line for the try….

    • mxyzptlk

      Do you think JOC would miss a chance to watch film of himself?

      • Ave

        And that’s what it comes down to, flamers showing their true colors. You just hate the guy. His attitude. “His brand”. It has less and less to do with his rugby, more and more with his character. And you’re not the only one on this website like that obviously.

        • mxyzptlk

          Easy, tiger.

        • sph45

          Settle down Ave. The ‘Brand’ is ridiculous. But he’s young, so that’s ok. Don’t you agree though that it would be nice to see him develop some humility? He blamed his forwards last week for a lack of clean ball… It wasn’t true and isn’t very cool.

          Most don’t want him gone – they just want him playing in the position that suits him.

        • The Other Dave

          No, Kiwi got it spot on in a comment elsewehere on this page. This clown is out until 4am in the week between British Lions tests, after not showing up to the team announcement before RWC2011. In the first test he blames the pigs and Will Genia (arguably our best player on the park) for not getting clean ball, but when he does get the ball he runs it sideways and denies his outside backs space to do their thing, and worse, then has one of those forwards who supposedly cost him front foot ball save his arse after a monumental cockup that nearly cost us the series. His kicking for goal in the first test left a hell of a lot to be desired, he missed more set shots than Beale last weekend. This is unprofessional, and it has a very strong correlation to his lack of on-field aptitude.

        • Jenkss

          I agree 100% with that comment. Unprofessional and he should know better. Age is no excuse given how long he’s been on the professional stage now.

  • bill

    Ok. Well done Wallabies. Just piss off Deans, getting 60% of the formula right and THEN playing russian roullette with a semi automatic handgun by selecting a green 5/8 ….amazingly, still lines you up in the incredibly stupid category, not the incredibly lucky category.
    Much, much better from the Lions tonight. They need to lose Youngs though or get him to throw straight. Us? Gill in for Hooper. Quirk to 6, Mowen to 8,MMM covering 6 and lock. Cooper to 5/8. Deans can go to the media, he has no place selecting and developing our best and brightest. If he wants to groom people…well that’s just anti social.

  • Stevo

    Mowen was a beast tonight.

    • Wilson

      Played so well Palu decided he didn’t need to contribute

      • matt james

        Palu makes me so angry, so much potential yet does so little.

        • Groucho Jones

          That’s just wrong. Palu’s immense in the tight.

        • Geor

          This man. Knows rugby.

        • Garry

          Never has a man so big done so little (internationally), and our Coach keeps selecting him, even rushing him back.

    • mxyzptlk

      Fuck’s sake you’re on fire. Right now there are 62 comments, and a full third of them are yours.

    • Alan Grouse

      Some of his lineout takes were superb, the most improved player in Oz? another outstanding display, others around him need to step it up to his level

  • Drew Ascough

    Palu went missing again tonight.

  • GB

    Makes a difference when you have bloke who can kick, LLF great effort! An AAC in the hand is worth 2 Amigos in a burger joint and Liam Farken Gill, you little ANZAC!

    • MightyMoth

      Best comment ever!

  • AJ

    Palu was an absolute waste of space. He spend about 20 seconds at the side of one of the mauls with his hand on a Wallabies defender’s back. Moral support is just about all he has to offer to the team.

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned North’s brutal strength in picking up and carrying Izzy. Incredible athlete!

    • mxyzptlk

      Oh, this?

      • MM

        I bet Folau gets cited for a high tackle……… followed by a spear tackle. He could be out for life. F$#&*^% POMS!!!! Such bad losers.

        • Who?

          Gold! Now watch all the Brits come in and not realize how far your tongue is in your cheek. :-)

        • mxyzptlk

          If it goes to the ARU, he won’t get in any trouble.

          But I don’t think he did anything wrong, except it looked a bit more like a league grapple-tackle — have to see it again.

        • AM

          or should North get cited as Izzy;s head as he has been lifted so his head is well below his shoulders!!!!!!!!!!

      • Bairdy

        “Do you even lift Izzy?!”

    • MightyMoth

      Didn’t work out too well for old Georgie though did it?

      • mxyzptlk

        He got up.

      • AJ

        True. Even as a one-eyed Wallabies supporter though, I can’t help but be impressed by that.

        • MightyMoth

          Agreed, good to see him get up, Although I think Izzy has it all over Big George in all facets of the game.

  • Zac

    If o Connor is picked at flyhalf again I’m only supporting Scotland – not his fault just a liability in that position

  • Russ the Muss

    I’ll be the first to flame Joubert. He decided who won every set-piece, not the players. He’s not nearly as good as the iRB think – all he does is award penalties to whichever team is going forward (never mind why they’re going forward).

    I thought the Wobs played better last week than this. But the Lions will be shitting themselves now, which is good news for us. Surely we can beat Wales B?

  • Stin

    Looking forward to Scott explaining what the f)$k was going on at scrum time.

    • http://landoftheunit.wordpress.com/ Sully

      Me too!

      • Who?

        I’d love to hear a ref explain how a team can pop their heads whilst going forward and still win a penalty. Sure, they’re going forward, but they’ve disengaged the scrum. To me, that’s a penalty the other way, or, arguably more fairly, just a reset. It’s an honest question.
        Tonight the ball came out the Wallabies’ side (kicked forward by Hibbard), the Lions were advancing, Hibbard stood up, and we were pinged. I’ve no idea why – there was no clarification, and all our guys still had their heads in the scrum.
        Fair enough if you stand up or go to ground while retreating – that’s a clear penalty. But if a team’s skating backwards yet still trying to scrummage (i.e. staying straight and level and (mostly) bound), why penalize them? It’s not against the laws of the game to lose ground, but it is against the laws to hinge, pop up, bore in, have hands on the ground. All of which we saw tonight from the Lions.

        • Russ the Muss

          “It’s not against the laws of the game to lose ground, but it is against the laws to hinge, pop up, bore in, have hands on the ground.” Absolutely agree. Joubert thinks his job is to give a penalty to whichever team is going forward at every set piece. Those maul penalties were very harsh as well. We were going backwards, but I didn’t see anyone deliberately pull down the maul.

        • ben

          Has there ever been a game involving an aus team where you dont have a go at the ref. Have you taken up my challenge and reffed a game yet. Otherwise change the channel pleeeeeease.

        • Who?

          That wasn’t a go at the ref (though I’m happy to admit I’m not a fan of Joubert – much prefer Barnes or Walsh), it was a genuine question. A question about common practise by all refs. I can understand the logic – the logic being that you reward the dominant side, which is generally the side going forwards. But if the scrum’s gone backwards, it’s starting to splinter on both sides, and there’s nothing clear to penalize, should it just be play on? Or have I missed a law? I don’t think it should be a penalty against the dominant side, even though they’ve popped. But my read – at the moment – is that it probably should be, even though that would be illogical.

          When I said there was no clarification on the one scrum penalty tonight, I mean I didn’t see a clear signal or hear a reason for the penalty from Joubert. Commentators like to talk over refs. And the comment about hinging, popping up, boring in, and hands on the ground? It seems to me that at the elite level, hands on the ground and boring are rarely policed anymore. I think I’ve seen one scrum this year with a penalty for hands on the ground. I’m not complaining – that’s consistent enforcement. Boring’s something that I think should be policed more, given it’s a safety issue, but ever since the NZ/Italy game in 2009 where Castro started boring in to counter the AB’s equally shady tactics, it’s been highly prevalent (i.e. more than previously, where it existed, just not as blatantly and constantly). Joubert did penalize the Lions for it last night. Popping? I think he got it the wrong way round once, but he policed it. Hinging? Again, well policed.

          I don’t think Joubert did a particularly bad job at the scrum. I don’t agree with everything he did, but I don’t see it’s worth complaining about or that it was too uneven. But I’d love a genuine answer to my genuine question.

  • billI

    I’ve seen Folau have some pretty remarkable moments of ambition and athletic endeavour in state of origin and this year but that little intercept and tackle break tonight were…cometh the hour the cometh the man. Glad he’s on my team, wouldn’t mind if North was on my team either. ….I guess the next barba’s game vs the ABs or Boks just had theirselection discussion curtailed by two.

  • servo

    Hooper might have been everywhere but in my eyes he was ineffective. If Big Kev is out next week then I reckon Gill or George should be 7, Mowen move to 8, Kimlin in 6, MM with Douglas.

    • http://landoftheunit.wordpress.com/ Sully

      My thoughts as well.

    • Jeff

      Yeah, that sounds perfect to me.

    • Seb V

      Hooper is a little energiser bunny, but what we need is physicality at the breakdown and into contact. Pocock is sorely missed. Bring in Smith. Don’t get me wrong Hooper has a bright future, but pick your best available players and at this time its Smith.

      • Alan Grouse

        I just rewatched the game there and Hooper is outstanding in his work ethic. Absolutely the first to arrive at every ruck – bar the ones he is at the bottom of!

        Dare i say it but maybe Gill will have to be sacrificed for Smith..? I think George out of the three available will be more likely to get the turnovers and boss the breakdown, plus his experience will be invaluable.

        • subfreq

          …or Smith at 8 and Hooper stays. Palu again a passenger for large sections of the game.

        • Tony Dun

          Agree about Hooper’s energy and commitment, but despite his heart, fails to make the physical impact I think. Smith to 7, keep Gill on bench, Hooper a spectator.

  • Mark

    Jesus fucking Christ Robbie pick an actual 5/8! For fucks sake this series would be wrapped up by now. Swallow your pride and pick QC or Toomua you dunce!

    • The Rant

      agree
      i reckon foley would be slicing this lions midfield wide open

  • Jeff

    Nail-biting finish but not a great game. Pretty dull actually until Australia upped the tempo midway through the second half (Watch it with the sound off – it was the Lions supporters who created all the atmosphere, not the rugby). I was worried at the start of the series that the Lions would win 3 v 0 without actually scoring a try and it came down to kicking again. It was scrum, penalty, kick at goal, scrum, penalty, kick at goal and so on. I’m the type of fan that likes to see running rugby. (Aside: Why are scrum penalties straight arms and usually worth three points? Let’s face it, it is a lottery. Why should one guy who is simply better at cheating than the other earn his side three points when it is so hard to get five. I feel the ref just guesses (yes, I’m a forward). That’s not three points! They should go back to the bent arm system).

    Defence is 50% of rugby and it was certainly a defensive game with both sides excellent in defense…to the detriment of attacking rugby…but I guess that’s the way it goes. Both sides should be proud of their defense.

    I didn’t think the Lions offered much in attack. Their main point of attack was the up and under and they caused a lot of problems with that. I would hardly rate it as a skill though. There are so many advantages for the guy running forward that when the defender takes it I am always amazed. They did it well though and the Aussies suck at it. They always put in a poor chase.

    O’Connor still looks a bit (a lot?) lost and I would move him for the last test but can’t see Robbie doing that. He’s too stubborn or stupid for his own good and we may pay dearly for it. I can’t see why Toomua woldn’t do a good job. Other debutantes in Lealiifano and Izzy have done very well. Genia had to overplay his hand and made a few bad mistakes in that second half because his standoff was creating nothing.

    I would also bring in George Smith. Hooper tried hard but was outgunned by Warburton and lost a few balls. Hooper or Gill on the bench is a tough one. Gill may have clinched the game with his line out heroics but I think (?) it may have been him who was penalised for no release right at the death to give the Lions a chance. I thought that was pretty ordinary that the Aussies couldn’t close out the last minute in possession. The Lions dominated the rucks and mauls. Australia only tried a rolling maul once (?) and were pushed into touch.

    Poor handling all round by the Aussies with Beale & Moore two of the worse.

    I would still consider Kimlin or MMM to start or at least to replace Simmons.

    Very happy we won but too stressful a finish.

    • The Other Dave

      Mate, what would become of Northern Hemisphere rugby if you couldn’t kick goals from scrum infringements?

    • Who?

      It was Gill who was caught not releasing at the death, but to be fair it’s hard to place the ball when you’ve got Mako Vunipola prone across you. He wasn’t going to find it easy to get out of there, either, with Fat Cat pinning him down.

  • Seb V

    “Michael Hooper was everywhere but just doesn’t seem to be heavy enough to have any effect at the breakdown”. Perfectly said……This is why I feel he is over-rated at Test Level. He gets too much praise. I get scared of a turn over every-time he runs into heavy traffic. Pocock is still number 1. Smith number 2. Hooper and Gill great players and amazing prospects but still need to be more physical/dominate.

    • servo

      Gill and Hooper, two different contrasts. Hooper is more mobile but gets bumped out because of his size. Gill attacks the breakdown at every chance although he does tend to get penalised quite a bit. Hooper isn’t over rated, he’s done some amazing stuff at test level and even gotten us out of some sticky situations. I think he’s been chosen incorrectly for this game. Especially against a very defensive and quick forward pack that comes around the corner quickly he just doesn’t have the size to compete. Gill’s weight probably offers more at the breakdown and in scrums against the Lions.

  • Davy

    JOC you have to give him credit…his hair always look nice.
    Not sure i can take another one of those, more “squeaky bum time” for Robbie.

  • Seb V

    Agree JOC should be moved. He did set-up AAC’s try with a nicely timed pass, I would bet Deans is going to use that as justification to keep him at 10 for the last Test. Beale, Lealifano, Toomua, Cooper all better options.

  • Lambar Odelmeyer

    Rugby is the loser tonight, anyone with a casual interest in the game is scarred for life after watching a battle of poor execution. Thank Christ the roof was closed, would hate to have seen some of the players trying to hold the ball with a bit of moisture in the air.

  • billI

    how shit were the Lions supporters booing Horwill after the whistle tonight? Give us your money,fuck off home and don’t come back for the next tour we can do without you or your money.

    • AALion

      I’m sorry but the Lions supporters destroyed the Wallaby supporters tonight. And I really don’t see your problem in booing a player they think (know) stamped on AWJ’s head. It turns out Aussie fans like you are the pathetic ones.

      • Muffy

        Well done for destroying the WBs supporters, I am sure you get a participation trophy each.

        Since when has being a loudmouth been a point of pride?

        • Nutta

          Totally agree. I like the BIL supporters because we take lots of money off them. But as for claiming some pride over being boorish muffin-topped social degenerates away on a piss-trip without the wife & kids, well that’s the soccer coming out in them hard & strong – and that just begs to be loved as much as the West Sydney Wankers Wandering thru Parramatta and scaring little kids in Maccas… and in terms of trying to kick-off the Horwill The Menace argument, go and have a look at yourself (St Martin, Grewcock et al). No team is ever clean & pure in these chats so don’t claim martyr status when no-one has a right to

      • Jimmy

        Lets hope your prop get cited for elbowing AAC in the head then shall we?

      • bill

        While I have some sympathy for your opinion they were still, in the words of one of our racing drivers “..a pack of arseholes”. And fooled by the confected outrage of their own media.

      • MM

        Willie Wonka has a question for you.

      • Parker

        Congratulations twat! You belong to the winning cheerleading squad. But on the park, where it really counts, your boys were beaten. Read it and weep.

  • Vinnie Gorham

    haha anyone watching tdf the aussie green orica bus got stuck under the finish line banner LOL

  • Vinnie Gorham

    i just dont get it. 3 fly halfs in the team: beale, joc, lealifanno. and then 3 fullbacks. Beale Joc and Folau. WTF get it sorted robbie

  • Billy Bob Vanderwaal

    The good: Lilo’s kicking – 100%, AAC’s try, Wallaby scrum, Gill’s lineout, Genia, Mowen, Horwill,
    The bad: Wallabies field position, Palu – who?, Wallaby counter maul
    & the ugly: JOC at 10

  • Drongo

    A bit lucky to be honest, but a bit unlucky to lose the first one. So will take it. Great to be in a pub surrounded by Poms. Awesome to watch a 10 min pre match expo on how northern hem. scrums/ forward play is superior… Made for some very quiet game commentary! Get that up you, you slave traders!

    • Drongo

      Mowen, Llf, hooper, Douglass, AAC players of Brilliant! JOC – game management was non existent. Exposed. Time at 10 is up. Ditto Dingo. Times up son. Do the honourable thing… Fall on ur sword.

  • Duvstar

    Hooper really struggled but would be a dream off the bench with his greater speed and against more lackadaisical defenders. Think Gill should start at 7 next week.

    Palu and JOC really should lose their places for next week

    • Duvstar

      Realised reading that back that it was a bit harsh on Hooper’s performance. He played his heart out, but he was at his most effectual from about 60 minutes onwards. I’d love to see him with even more energy from the bench after about 55 minutes, think he’d be awesome.

  • bill

    stats Lions 60 carries 148 m. Wallabies 140 carries 418?m. I’m not surprised by the m per carry for either team but that 148m, I thought the Lions were better than that.

  • Garry

    Here’s another take worth reading on the front row battle…..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2013/jun/29/lions-tactics-board-gatland-vunipola

    • Stivo

      I think that Gatland didn’t want to put grant on because of what happened against the Brumbies. His back line there was thrown together at the bar a couple of days prior, kind of like 5th grade subbies… and look what happened. I think he was scared to throw on a guy who has just joined the touring party, and everything falls apart around him not knowing the patterns and having no combination with any of the pack at all. I think he was using the devil he knows theory.

  • THE OPENSIDE

    I think the Lions threw everything at us tonight and will be a little concerned that they didn’t wrap up the series. They have been playing together for a while now and look to have peaked. The Wallabies on the other hand won this match playing badly and obviously have a lot more improvement in them having only played together twice. A do or die home final with George Smith hopefully starting and I think we will take the series next weekend. Nice to finally see the Wallabies in a half decent jersey too… now all they need to do is bring that “yellow” back to “gold”.

  • Spectator

    The one time in the game Kurtley hit the line as a 10 with O’Connor outside him the Lion’s were finally opend up & it lead to points. O’Connor played really well, but he did not control the game, particularly tactically, for the Wallabies. Wallabies still lacked tactical vision at fly-half as opposed to the Lions.

    Internationally currently, (unless he is inside Barnes), he is just too much of a ‘live wire’ for a test 10. When he’s connected, he’s dynamite, otherwise, to me, he’s got the look of a ‘live wire’ spraying around at 10 somewhat. Taking nothing away from Leali’ifani who was good & also looks like a good potential 10 in player mix, but it was Beale inserting himself as 10 (who showed just what a collected 10 he can be when inside McCabe against the carnage of Bok game last year) which swung the momentum that one time it happened. O’Connor played very good but as 10 he currently is not a tactical game shaper, at 10 to me, he looks like a complete natural as a ‘type’ of 12 & the try, involved O’Connor doing a natural 12 instinct play when outside space was there, going to the line, drawing the man and linking the 13 into it at pace.

    If Wallabies had been opening up Lions all day, would have taken the penalty and backed themselves to do the same again in the right part of the field but as turned out, was the right decision due to some luck, Lion’s not handling the pressure and a great forward effort to retain possession of the ball but there was some desperation to it. I’m not much of a forward tech, but they were great as a unit, & also i’d probably give MoM to captain Horwill. I thought both teams were very good as team units, & it is a fair reflection for the tests to be one all, with little separating the teams going into the decider. Very good rugby.

    My hypothetical inside mid combo thinking would be, with no particular ranking of preferred 10 except perhaps for first one, as depend on what game approach is being taken with 12 listed for most part in order of preference, of different game attributes that i reckon are optimum:

    Beale – O’Connor/ Leali’ifano -Barnes

    Leali’fano – O’Connor

    O’Connor – Barnes

    Toomau – McCabe/Horne

    Cooper – Barnes/Leali’ifano

    Barnes cops flack, but he has helped significantly to win many games for the Wallabies, as he did turn it for Tahs against a very good Brumbies just a few weeks back, & i’d say the recent bomb, had about the weight to the kick that would have been right on mark if was taken in the 10 or 12 position in a backline, which is where Barnes has most familiarity, especially after not alot of recent game time.

  • Stivo

    Smith has to come in. We lacked physicality at the breakdown, and he will bring that. Hooper may have been everywhere on the field, but he was not effective in attack or defense at the tackle area. It was not that he was willing, he just didn’t have the presence. Perhaps he lacks 10kg or his body position is lacking against a big lions pack.

  • bill

    Tried to post this a day ago but it didn’t stick. Kudos to George North for apologising for his finger wag in the first test.

  • old laurentian

    Having had a day to think about it (being half way between Australia and UK), neither side played as well as they could, but despite all the technicalities, the Wallabies just wanted the win more. In everything they did, including the errors and pushed passes, they had that insatiable thirst for a win. Horwill’s emotion at the final whistle was raw, naked and beautiful. I was watching with few (knowledgeable) Lions supporters, and that really hit home. I watched the Wallabies in Paris last year and was embarrassed. This time I was so proud. Well done boys – never mind rankings, the Wallabies brand just took a big step up.

  • KArdross

    Shame on the ARU for selling out on our boys! – what other country would pack a stadium 90% full of opposition supporters? Go the Wallabies in game three if – your union won’t support you we bloody well will…..

    • Who?

      I don’t believe they did that deliberately (nor do I believe it was 90% – it just sounded that way). They did sell a lot of tickets to Australian residents (only). But I’m sure that a good number at the game were expats (they were in Brissie – most of the many red shirts round me were expats), and I’m sure there were some people who bought them for their friends/family overseas.

      It’s a tough question, getting that balance right. I’m sure the ARU would love to see a sea of Gold encompassing a puddle of Red, but it’s not easy to do that without appearing hostile and too discriminating. After all, it’s a money spinner for the ARU and the host cities (if not necessarily the host unions), and they’ve got to make their money.

      • Parker

        Maybe not that many Aussies wanted to see JOC at 5/8 and dean’s mangled selections.

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