Wallabies v England First Test Player Ratings - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies v England First Test Player Ratings

Wallabies v England First Test Player Ratings

Wallabies vs England First Test Player Ratings

Despite scoring the opening two tries, the Wallabies’ discipline was poor throughout the match and Eddie Jones’ English team drew first blood in the three test series. Whilst the backline looked good, there were too many errors and our forward pack got outplayed both at set piece and around the park.

Here are the ratings.

1. Scott Sio

Had possibly his most difficult game in gold. Was outplayed by Dan Cole at scrum time and gave away multiple penalties before a yellow card meant his last ten minutes were on the naughty chair before he was replaced. 3

2. Stephen Moore

Couldn’t reproduce his strong running game from Super Rugby and didn’t have much influence around the field. Lineout was fine whilst he was on but the scrum struggled. A poor decision to go for the corner down 26-13 with half an hour to go. 5

3. Greg Holmes

Was solid at scrum time and in general play. Got penalised twice which was less than ideal. 5

4. Rory Arnold

A couple of good early touches were outweighed by an error and a couple of penalties. A somewhat mixed debut although the signs are positive for the future. 4

5. Rob Simmons

Didn’t too much right or wrong before he was injured after 20 odd minutes. The Wallabies will be hoping his injury isn’t serious. 5

6. Scott Fardy

Fards found himself on the wrong side of Romain Poite far too often last night. In giving away four penalties, Fardy was the poster child of Australia’s poor discipline. His abrasive style means playing on the edge of the laws but he got it wrong last night. 4

7. Michael Hooper

Topped the Wallabies tackle count, had the most run metres amongst the forwards and scored two tries out wide. Was the best of our players. 8 G&GR Man of the Match

8. David Pocock

Couldn’t get close to the impact he had at the breakdown against England in the World Cup but was certainly still one of our better players and was effective through the match. We’ll miss him for the rest of the series. 7

9. Nick Phipps

Had a strong game and his endurance was certainly tested by Australia’s love of spreading the ball. One of our best. 7

10. Bernard Foley

An excellent game in general play and played a key part in much of our backline attack. Left his kicking boots at home unfortunately which made life tougher for the Wallabies. Couldn’t haul in a wayward pass from Izzy which resulted in a try to England. 6

11. Rob Horne

Rob Horne was solid in attack and defence until he was concussed just inside half an hour. Failed the test and didn’t return. 5

12. Samu Kerevi

All in all it was a pretty solid debut from Samu. Probably needed to chance his arm more in attack and utilise his speed and physicality. That confidence will come though. Ran well all night but couldn’t clean up the error from a terrible Folau pass. 6

13. Tevita Kuridrani

A good game from Tevita. Was strong in attack and scored a try to give the Wallabies a sniff near the end. Would love to see him busting a few more tackles like he has over the last two years. 7

14. Dane Haylett-Petty

Was the best of the four debutants last night and one of the Wallabies best. General play kicking was excellent finding turf often and topped the run metres. Missed three tackles but made an absolute pearler on Marlon Yarde to save a try. 7

15. Israel Folau

So consistent for the Wallabies. Folau was again one of our best with an excellent attacking display which included a try. Faultless under the high ball but a terrible pass around our 22 sparked a string of errors and resulted in an England try. 7

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau

Improved our scrum when he came on but his lineout throwing was average losing one lineout and providing us with some scrappy ball. 5

17. James Slipper

Should have replaced Scott Sio earlier. He sured up our scrum and was solid around the field. Expect him to start next week. 6

18. Sekope Kepu

Didn’t have a lot of impact around the field but did the job at scrum time. Great to see him back in Australia. With Greg Holmes we have two outstanding tight head props. 6

19. James Horwill

Was called on far earlier than planned when Rob Simmons went off injured. A strong performance by Big Kev who was effective in everything he did. Could see himself starting next weekend. 7

20. Dean Mumm

Had some good moments and stole a lineout. The early injury to Simmons meant it was fortunate we had two locks on the bench. 6

21. Sean McMahon

Was injected in the game with 12 minutes to go with the Wallabies down two converted tries. Tried hard to get involved in attack and ran hard but his chances were limited. 5

22. Christian Leali’ifano,/h3>

Christian Leali’ifano

Wouldn’t have expected to find himself on the field within half an hour. Joining the team so late showed and Lilo struggled to impart his influence on the game. 5

23. Nick Frisby

Earned his first test cap in the final two minutes. Didn’t put a foot wrong but didn’t get much opportunity to show his wares. NR


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

So am I on the money?


  • TheMountain

    Is Horne’s concussion ruling him out next week? we’re having an absolute shitter with injuries

    • Braveheart81

      They won’t know yet. It will depend how he goes over the next day or so with the return to play protocol.

      • Seb V

        I thought new concussion rules meant you automatically miss a week?

        • Braveheart81

          No. Often they do because they don’t pass the first step early enough but it’s certainly possible to play the next weekend. If it wasn’t a heavy concussion with a player who hasn’t had a lot of them then there’s a reasonable chance he’ll be alright. Everyone reacts differently though.

        • brumby runner

          But was it a heavy concussion? He seemed to really not know where he was for a good couple of minutes after taking the knock. I’ll be surprised and fearful if he takes the field next weekend.

        • Braveheart81

          It involves following the Graduated Return to Play programme. It is the gold standard in professional sport and is now followed by many sporting codes. It takes as little or as long to complete as symptoms direct.

          I have no idea whether Horne will pass the steps early enough in the week that he will be available for selection on Thursday. If he does there is no reason not to select him.

  • Davo

    Fardy’s discipline problems are not isolated. It seems to be a constant issue for him whether playing for Wallabies or Brumbies. When the opposition has a kicker like Farrell, maybe it’s time to consider alternatives.

    • TheMountain

      That’s pretty ridiculous, Fardy is a stalwart and we don’t have any feasible alternatives, especially now Pocock is out of the picture. If you think Mumm would do a better job you’ve got rocks in your head. Holloway could be considered in time, he just needs to start his beard growing

      • Watto

        Dave Dennis the answer.

        • Parker

          Only if the question is “Whom do you not need in this team?”.

      • McWarren

        I think Fardy needs to stay, but justifying it because he is a ‘stalwart’ is ridiculous.

        • TheMountain

          There is no-one to replace him with the qualities that he brings, need I elaborate? We have no other breakdown heavy forwards now Pocock is out of the picture. Especially legitimate lineout options. unless you prefer Dean Mumm.

        • McWarren

          I said I’d keep Fardy, but being a ‘stalwart’ shouldn’t guarantee you your
          position in the team. I think we have better options than Mumm available,
          Timani, Jones, Cottrell?? But I wouldn’t pick them ahead of Fardy. My only criticism
          of Fardy is his lack of ball carrying impact. But that wouldn’t be a problem if
          we had a ball carrying no. 8.

    • jamie

      Fardy’s discipline problems are isolated. Considering his physicality and his role it’s expected for him to give away a penalty a game: 4 is highly unusual

    • Seb V

      Disagree Davo. 1 per game from Fardy is expected – which is high in itself. But 4 is unusually high and a big disappointment from him.

  • Tim

    I would have like lealiifano kicking when he came on or even moved to inside centre and pushed samu to the wing, overall i don’t think we played badly just didn’t use our brains. We literally gave them all their points.

    • Gegonago

      > We literally gave them all their points.

      thats LITERALLY how Saracens having been beating teams for years now

      its hardly a suprise with the core of the team and coaches coming from them

      • Tim

        18 points from penalty’s and poor pass from Izzy which gave another 7 points away. It was like the Wallabies were hosting a Oprah Winfrey show giving away points

        • Gegonago

          You are being serious arent you?

          genuinely disappointed. I thought this site would have greater knowledge than generic facebook posts

        • MM


    • Bart Crisp

      You know what they say – you never beat the Australians, you just score more points than they do

  • A80

    First time I have seen your rating system and just want to say its really good to see a realistic one. Fed up of seeing players just doing their basic jobs given 6 and 7s and MotMs given automatic 10s. Think they’re generally spot on but Foleys is generous. Even as an England fan I know it’s not all about kicking goals but its a very important part of the equation and 50% is poor in anyones book.

    • jamie

      I’ve only ever seen 2 10’s given out on this website that I can remember… Foley vs England in 2015 and Pocock vs RSA in THAT semi final (when it literally was Poey vs the boks)

      • Bobas

        Kimlin for the Brums against the BaIL in ’13 too. GaGr 10’s are given out less than once a year.

        • Nutta

          One of the best efforts I ever saw.

        • Callum

          Did Corbisiero get one in the 3rd test that year too?

      • Haz

        I remember watching that game at school and thinking that Pocock won it for you. A genuine 10/10 performance, dragged you through (along with McCabe was it?)

        • Nutta

          Yes it bloody well was Pat Mac which a few hacks may do well to remember.

        • first time long time

          Disagreeing with you is not the definition of a hack.

        • Nutta

          Apologies. I should clarify I consider myself no better than a hack. I pretty much consider all the denizens of these pages as hacks – in the same BA Baracus thought everyone “fools”.

        • first time long time

          Fair play

        • jamie

          It truly was Pocock vs the springboks. Something like 8 penalties forced?

    • Braveheart81

      I took a point off for Foley’s goal kicking. 3/6 was not good enough but 2 were from the sideline. Realistically he’s one kick away from an average performance and two away from a good one. If the kicks were easier then getting only 3/6 would probably cost more than a point.

      • A80

        True but so were over half of Farrells kicks and his only miss was by a gnats as it came back off the post. I appreciate what Foley brings but these days you have to have an 80% kicker don’t you? Being 10 points down early is bad but there’s a mental boost for the opposition if you leave 4 points out there.

        • Braveheart81

          Goal kicking is only part of what his job is during the game. If too many points are allocated to the goal kicking does Foley get a 10 if he kicks 6 from 6 or a 1 if he’d kicked 0 from 6?

          It’s not really possible to score a player within our criteria (or any ratings system really) if you devote too many points directly to one aspect of the game.

          Most would agree that Foley had a good game in general but kicked pretty poorly.

        • A80

          Its always going to be a debate as to what the weighting is of kicking versus ability to get the team moving is if the fly half does both. England are playing our form fly half out of position precisely for the perception that Ford is a better play-maker and the reality that he isn’t good enough to be given the responsibility for kicking. Whether the “blocking ” try was or wasn’t the fact is Kuridrani should have put Folau through for a walk in and then ultimately the loss would have been down to Auz picking a 50% kicker. With International games often quite tight that seemed a poor call by Cheika not to have a better option although to be fair I am not aware if you have one. Despite the All Blacks prodigiously gifted fly halves both their first and second choices are very ordinary from the spot. If you consider over the last England coaches rein England were down to a 4 point losing margin on average then the difference between an 80% kicker and a sub 60% is quite possibly the difference between winning and losing. I am surprised how little we targeted Foley too which I would expect to change for the next test.

        • Wiremu

          It’s rubbish to suggest Foley had a good game and deserved his 6. What did he do besides kick the damn ball down someone’s throat after the forwards had worked like hell to give It to him. Maybe it was team tactics but for me give him a 4.

      • Train Without A Station

        Yes but with 6 kicks in total 1 and 2 kicks makes a huge difference to his percentage.

        But you can’t say, oh he kicked 25% but it’s not too bad because if he kicked 1 or 2 more it would be a good percentage. Because he didn’t kick them. The sample size for the weekend just so happened to be poor.

  • Raytah

    Pretty fair ratings I reckon…

    – DHP looked great, Kerevi showed glimpses, Arnold was average.
    – Sio’s issues at scrum time were a shame because on re-watching the game he had good impact around the field. Holmes was good but Kepu should start next game.
    – Will be unpopular but I’d like to see Coleman and Carter/Skelton start next game because we got massively outpointed in this game by the pom locks. Can’t believe Rob Simmons has so many test caps. Everything he does lacks impact and I havn’t seen the bloke put a decent hit on in his entire career. Picking Horwill/Simmons/Mumm is settling for mediocrity. With MacCalman likely to come into the back row for Pocock, Skelton might be a good chance to make the 23.

    • jamie

      Carter/SKelton have even less impact around the field mate…

      • TheMountain

        Uh, criticise Skelton on many fronts, but I think you’re a bit misplaced on that one…

        • jamie

          Oh please. Every time he carries he’s jogging and gets taken down easily, usually by one player, with another on top ready to pounce on the ball.

        • TheMountain

          Exactly, because Gibson doesn’t use him well. He’s a weapon when Cheika has him wound up, see chiefs game.
          He’s just fallen into the habit of flopping into rucks and knowing he won’t lose contact even when jogging. Get him past that and he’ll be dangerous especially with the heated atmosphere we’re seeing now, I reckon Cheika can easily.

        • Keith Butler

          Not the player for the fast paced game that the Aussie’s want to play. Bench player at most.

        • TheMountain

          Depends if he plays to his form, or he plays to his potential really. I think Cheik will definitely consider him to counter that rolling maul. we gave away far too many penalties off that play

        • Who?

          Also depends on the ref. When the ref’s going to penalize a player for successfully sacking the maul, it doesn’t matter who you’ve picked or what you do – the ref’s clearly decided the maul is uncontestable.

        • first time long time

          Lets pick on form

        • TheMountain

          Guess we’ll just play without second rowers on Saturday then…

      • Raytah

        Impact in tackle and ball carry are Skelton’s strengths – mobility, acceleration, workrate, lineout are part of his array of shortcomings. It’s a long list and Skelton is by no means a perfect solution but his ball carry is stronger than every other lock and with two jumping options in the back row likely to be selected it might be worth making the concession. Carter is also far from perfect and his form this year has been pretty average but I am of the view that he is a slightly better option than Horwill, and quite a lot better than Simmons and Mumm. Coleman is better than all of them!

  • jamie

    I think I’d rather have seen Kuridrani at 12 and kerevi at 13. Kuridrani is better in tight spaces and kerevi looked cramped. Would’ve loved to have seen him wind up in the 13 channel.

    Definitely need a 5/3 bench next week

    Fardy (Will need to play as a fetcher, let McCalman do the grunt work)


    TPN (Though he plays better than Squeak)
    Gill or McMahon

    • TheMountain

      Yeah, that’s basically what I thought. not sure why you’d want Kurindrani and Kerevi swapped though. There seems to be this myth that Samu is a 13. He played most of his footy at 12 until Graham decided he knew better. Should we really be abiding by Richard Grahams status quo??

      Yarde had enough trouble with DHP, he would be in some serious strife if Taqele came thundering down his flank like something out of Mad Max. we would just have to compensate for his inability to defend against chip kicks etc.
      I would think Skelton would be useful if you’re not worried about 2 opensides in the lineout. If he’s in form he could be very effective.

      • jamie

        As I said, watching kerevi all season he’s much better in open space when he has that extra few metres to accelerate and prepare for the hits.

        • Hammer

          Kerevi is a 13 all day long

        • TheMountain

          Refer 2 comments up ^^

        • muffy

          Maybe so, but it is at 13 that he has been leading the stats in Super rugby. He is, for my money, a great 13 and I would suggest better than Tevita

        • TheMountain

          I’d pick an old dog for a hard road on this one, Kerevi on the bench if we’re married to 13. If not, I think he did well at 12 with limited opportunities. It could still work well if Foley picked up his act distributing.
          The 2 fumbles he had were other players fuck ups: Foley dropped Folau’s pass and Samu couldn’t regather, then DHP tried too hard to offload on a half brak and threw it at Kerevi’s head.

      • Marc

        Would KHunt be of any use?

        • TheMountain

          We won’t know until we see it i guess, I haven’t been that impressed so far although he’s been solid enough this season. I just think Hodge is our future

        • McWarren

          I think Hodge has to at least be on the bench this week. I’d even like to see him start at 12, though thats harsh on Kerevi who I thought was solid.

      • Gegonago

        Almost certainly Nowell will start a head of Yarde next week

        He’s a much better defensive/ attacking player but wasnt fully fit supposedly

        • TheMountain

          Does it even matter when you’re squaring up to a steam engine made of anvils?

        • Gegonago

          That same steam engine thats been donning an invisibility cloak for entire matches all season over one of our form backs?

          Yup completely, gladly have Nowell instead of him.

        • TheMountain

          The steam engine being this:

    • Simon

      Yeah, Benny Mac is my preference for 8 now too. With Pocock out it will be interesting to see if Cheika calls Gill into the squad. Not that he’d get a game regardless.

      I just hope to God Cheika doesn’t choose to start Palu at 8.

    • first time long time

      Gill to start.
      With all the talk about balance in the backrow… Fardy Hooper Mcalman doesn’t have it

  • Train Without A Station

    I think 7 is a bit high from Izzy considering one of his errors resulted in a try and another was a contributing factor in a try.

    I think the ratings are generally spot on otherwise though. I think despite less flash Kuridrani was stronger than Kerevi because he did the toughest work and still got on the front foot.

    • Ryphon

      Agreed. He was solid in attack but those inaccuracies in defence were very costly. Thought Dane was an 8 too. Solid game.

      • Train Without A Station

        I thought DHP was good in many ways but you can’t unite him missing 3 out of 4 tackles.

        Very happy with him in the side though. Exactly the type of winger we need and well deserved selection.

        • Haz

          DHP very good. I would seriously consider moving him to fullback and having Folau on the wing. Folau is an excellent strike runner but has too many deficiencies in defense – most notably positioning and tactical kicking.

        • Braveheart81

          DHP missed 3 of 4 tackles. I find it unbelievable that people are suggesting that Folau moves to the wing where he’d be involved less.

        • Train Without A Station

          Why would he be involved less?

          When Ioane moved to 13 he was involved less. On the wing he was involved as much as he wanted.

          But I wouldn’t make any backline changes. 4 tries went through the backline. The focus should be on limiting England points.

        • Ryphon

          Didn’t realise it was so high. Usually he’s a bit more clinical in defence. Yikes.

    • Hugh Cavill

      See your point TWAS, but man he was great with ball in hand. Every time he runs at the line you can hear the sound of Englishmen’s sphincters tightening right around the world.

      He was easily our most threatening runner, and set up three of our four tries. Not to mention his work under the high ball.

      • Train Without A Station

        He wasn’t that great this game. Kerevi for example had more meters per run than Folau, despite Folau returning kicks which accumulates more meters.

        He wasn’t poor by any stretch and was certainly threatening at times.

        • MM

          Kerevi is always looking for an offload opportunity, he’s scanning left and right and in the tackle he invariably moves the ball to an offload position – there is a second play maker instinct there but maybe its been coached out. He is really worth persisting with but needs runners looking for him.

        • John Tynan

          Good observation.

      • Keith Butler

        Izzy is a great player no doubt about it but in nearly every game I’ve seen him play whether it’s for the Tahs or the Aussie’s when he has the ball in his hands the defenders get a case of the yips and seem to stand off instead of hitting him, giving him extra time to make a move or pass. The late great Welsh centre Ray Gravell, who was as hard as nails, said ” I like to get is a tackle even if it is late”. Maybe a few rib ticklers would play on Izzy’s mind.

  • Can’t quite agree with the rating for Foley. I think he’s damn good, and last night was tough, but his kicking has to be better in a test.

  • Tight Five

    I think the scores for the reserve bench or supposed “finishers” are generous. Most merely replaced guys who were injured or having poor games — added little in the last 20 minutes when the game was still there for the taking. This is where we are vulnerable against the top sides who keep coming at you for 80 minutes.

    • Braveheart81

      The bench scored between 5 – average and one 7 – good game which was Horwill who played a lot of the game and was our best lock. The replacement props got 6 because they settled our scrum and stopped giving away penalties.

  • Mattyjinoz

    Is it just me or does the Micheal Hooper stats read as No. 8. not a no.7. Most tackles and most metres gained. Think he had a brilliant game but cant recall a turnover at the breakdown. Be interesting how Cheika manages this next weekend with Pocock out for the series. Pocock allows Hooper to play that game as the scavenger. So agree with his rating in general but challenge it as a true 7.

    • Haz

      It’s all about the balance in the back row. Fardy is a traditional 6 but Pocock and Hooper share the 7 and 8 work between them and it’s hugely effective.

      • Hugely? How did it go against a tradional english back row. Haskell dominated.

        • SuckerForRed

          Haskell was allowed to dominate because the English were not releasing the tackled player. The difference in interpretation of this particular law were highlighted extremely well in this particular area of the game. In the first half I struggle to find a “clear release” as is required in Super Rugby. I think that the Wallabies then struggled to adapt. someone should have been in Poey & Hooper’s ear telling them to forget about showing the release that they have been doing so much in SR and just go for the ball.

        • Oh I agree with you 100% on that (not sure there were so many examples of the release) but I am not sure that was the point you made first. Pooper hugely effective? Not sure about that.

        • Haz

          It completely took England apart the last time they played against them, and whilst it seems that they weren’t very effective last weekend, it is likely that their presence heavily shaped the England game plan and limited what was possible. It’s not always the impact you can see on the pitch.

        • Phil

          Haskell also dominated because he got away with being offside.How someone in red headgear wasn’t penalised by either ref or AR is beyond me.It stood out like the proverbial dog’s testicles.Good luck to him that he got away with it though.He might become the new Ritchie!

        • SuckerForRed

          And this is also where the interpretations appear to have clashed – That particular incident Haskell was the tackler. Old/NH interpretation – he was fine & had all rights to the ball. Not off side.
          New/SH interpretation – Off side because he has to release the player, return to his feet and ‘re-enter’ the ruck from on side & through the gate.
          Which way was it meant to have been enforced? Who knows, but if it was the later then Potie needs a talking to. If it was the former the Wallabies need a talking to.

  • Nutta

    I was disappointed for the Wobblies last night. Not angry, just disappointed.

    Sio was suckered. Credit to Cole for getting away with it. But it was poor coaching as even my wife (God loves a patient woman) said “They need to sub him now or the ref will” and hey presto…

    Lineout was very poor which irritates me as we used to be quite innovative there.

    I’m generally a Foley fan but you either play up & flat with simple options (to compensate for a lack of time) or you play deeper with multiple, complex options to get to the outside. But he did neither – he played deep but with simple options! Aarrrgghhh! Play flatter, slide in maggots to sit the defenders back and for fks sake call more men in motion to make defenders have to make a choice.

    And as for gifting 8 or 9 penalties in kicking range against a Filth side, well be careful what you ask for Boys ‘cos you just might get it.

    The Filth didn’t win. We lost. We gave up the adv line, we gave up the contact zone, we played deeper than Philby and we gave them too many gift 3pters.

    But the nice bit is that it is all quite fixable.

    • Callum

      I hope Green and Gold modifiers take a look at some of these comments. Rugby is supposed to be above being a sore loser and insulting anothers nationality, race or background. Grow up, you are embarrassing yourselves and your countrymen.

  • Jack

    Might have to take another look but based on how I felt about it last night it seems to me that too much is being made of Izzy’s pass, and not enough about Foley’s inability to catch it. Even on the replay I remember thinking he should have pulled that in pretty comfortably.

    Happy with the ratings though. DHP is an exciting prospect. Best general play kicking from a Wallaby in some time. Agreed that Sio should’ve been rested earlier, Poite just wasn’t seeing things his way.

    • Braveheart81

      It was a terrible pass followed by an error from Foley to drop it and then another error by Kerevi not to clean it up. Took three mistakes to gift the try.

    • sideshow

      It wasn’t just a terrible pass, it was a terrible option. Foley had a player thundering down on him, and Izzy had time and space to just run it in broken play with two other backs outside him to work with. I don’t understand this current fashion of ALWAYS passing the ball to the player inside you when you receive a kick. In some few cases it is a good option, but if you’re going to run it, then just bloody run it, don’t pass it backwards and give the opposition more time to make up the space! Can anyone explain to me this current infatuation with always passing it to another player before running it when receiving a kick in open space?! It’s completely beyond me.

      • MM

        I too am baffled by it. Its not such a recent thing either. maybe there are some studies to show that it causes the defense to spread??

      • McWarren

        I think the theory is, every other team has a poor chasing game like ours spin it wide to space as quickly as possible. But doesn’t work well if a full width kick chase is employed. Also whats the point of passing when the receiving player is in the process of turning around or just starting to excellerate?
        What we need is wingers and fb who are confident kickers. Currently teams know we are going to run it or put in an average kick.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Maybe I am being too simplistic here, but Foley’s inaccuracy with the boot was a significant factor that cant be over looked.
    His kicking was shiteful, and that is being polite. CLL can kick why wasn’t the kicking duties removed from Foley and handed to him.

    • TheMountain

      Have you seen Lilo’s kicking form this season? You may as well hand kicking duties to Squeak…

      • brumby runner

        Untrue – had one shocker against I think the Crusaders, but otherwise has been at or near the top of successful Aussie kickers.

    • Braveheart81

      I took a point off for his kicking. He kicked 3/6 which was a poor effort. Two of those were right on the sideline though so difficult kicks.

      • Who?

        What about general play kicking and decision making? Not finding touch with a penalty, which was compounded by Folau’s kick directly to touch outside his 22? Not finding touch with penalties – especially penalties near the sideline – is unforgiveable.
        He also copped it from Burke all night in commentary (notable because Burke’s a Foley fan – “The 10 has to boss the ball.”), we struggled massively on exiting our own 22, and he passed the ball inside our own in goal rather than just kicking the hide off it. No way that was an above average game for Foley.

    • first time long time

      Not too mention his kicking out of hand barely has the length of a turgid cock….. too low brow?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Nope. I screamed at the telly something similar!

  • Haz

    Bang on I think.

    Genuinely can’t think of any I disagree with.

  • brumby runner

    Pretty much agree with the relativities of the ratings, but think you are much too harsh on the starting tight five. The backrow scored 7s across it while they were arguably just as comprehensively beaten at the breakdown as the tight five were in the scrums. The highest rating for the tight five was 5, while the lowest for the replacement forwards was 5. There was not that much of a difference between the starters and the finishers.

    I think the starting forwards, tight five and back row, were very harshly dealt with by the ref, and were in truth better than the ratings they have been given.

  • Sideshow

    You are the filth, you soap dodging white walker ;)

  • May i throw a cat amongst the pigeons and suggest that while Hooper’s contribution was valuable, his opposite number was left to dominate the ruck. It was widely discussed in the lead up that the english back row were big, mobile and aggressive. Should he have spent more time over the ball in a more traditional 7 role against a tradional and dominant opposing 7? I was constantly hoping for him to get over the ball and disrupt play. I am thinking mcmohan or hodgaon would have more to offer v the aggression of the poms. Anyone think? Otherwise, I’ll just get back in my box.

    • Keith Butler

      I thought the idea of the Pooper (and I could well be wrong) was to have a 7 at every breakdown either trying to get a turnover or slowing the ball down. Saw perfect examples last year against the ABs I think, with Hooper making the tackle and Pocock winning the ball. Didn’t see any of that Saturday’s game but Hooper doing a lot of roving which led to his well taken tries. Will be interesting to see if Cheika reverts to a more conventional back row with someone like McCalman at 8.

    • harro

      I think the idea is that Pocock plays that traditional pilfering role despite wearing 8. Hooper makes the tackle and Pocock is immediately on the ball.

      • fair call and I am sure that is the plan. what is your opinion on selection now Pocock is out? Should they reassess with a traditional openside? not sure mccalman, palu et al could offer the same pressure at the ruck that pocock would. will it still work?

        • harro

          It’s a good question. Hooper played at 7 while Pocock was out for a long time with injury, and Cheika had no problem playing Hooper at the Waratahs where there was no one in the back row like Pocock. So they may just replace Pocock with McCalman or Palu. Fardy is decent over the ball and so they may rely on him to do more work in that area. The other 7 in the sqaud, McMahon, plays a game closer to Hooper than to Pocock, so if they wanted an out and out 7 they’d need to call in Gill or Hodgson.

    • MM

      Always Hooper’s fault. Check his match stats, he’s plenty busy. The best of the poms steals were by Iotje, a second rower. Where the fexk were the rest of the team for steals and slowing the ball ffs. Hooper is a great midfield defender and that’s the role Cheika wants from him. There’s 7 other forwards to do the friggin pilfering and slowing. Have a shot at them.

      • First time long time

        Relax mate, it was just a subjective observation. Not Hooper’s fault no, that’s the game he plays but is it what we need? that’s another question altogether.
        I think Hooper would be awesome coming off the bench.
        Get Gill in there

      • Yeah, as I said, it is hard to say that he was not an important influence for the Aussies but you miss my point. Did you read my post? IMO Aus needed to win the ruck against such an aggressive England side. Yes, as you obviously pointed out and I eluded to, his tackling stats were great, but what I was asking was, is he the right sort of 7 Australia needs against the England pack? I did not suggest it was Hooper’s fault at all. Get your knickers out of the twist. I would suggest if fault is to be laid, it would be the selectors. If Hooper is tackling outside the first channel, then what was the purpose to have a defensive midfield. I would say Hooper’s defence in the first channel was good but still as a whole too loose and not because of Hooper. (He did, however, let Haskell skip down the side of the ruck untouched leading to the final eng try). Hooper ran twice in three phases on the wing to score. Where was the winger to do his job and why should Hooper play wing when the priority should be supporting the ruck? good on him for scoring but Haskell was the key for Eng and I cannot say that hooper’s game supports shutting Haskell down.

        • Braveheart81

          Australia won 94% of their ruck ball compared to England’s 88%.

        • that is a fair stat but if you look at the other stats, you will also see that England had a lot fewer runs. I have not seen the number of rucks but the runs numbers would suggest that Australia had to work much harder at the ruck for less reward. 6% difference when Australia ran 112 times isn’t a lot when England only ran 68. The Wallabies may not have been as efficient. A genuine pilferer would have made England work harder?

        • first time long time

          those stats mean fk all… they generated penalties at the breakdown which directly lead to points and were a complete nuisance slowing us down apart from the first 20 odd minutes.

        • Braveheart81

          Out of England’s six penalty goals, none came from penalties we conceded at the breakdown on our own ball (i.e. not releasing).

          3 were defensive breakdown penalties, one was a scrum penalty, one collapsing the maul and one offside.

          I agree that England were better than us at the breakdown but most of the penalties we gave away that resulted in points were discipline issues not because we were getting turned over on our own ball at the breakdown.

        • first time long time

          Ok the problem is still there, hear me on this….. in the first 25 minutes Pocock got 2 turnovers and generated 2 penalties at breakdown (just watched it again last night), he also gave away 1 dubious penalty at breakdown leading to 3 points.

          Hooper gave away 1 penalty at the breakdown leading to 3 points.

          Without speaking for others, I think the concern is that without Pocock on the field if Hooper plays his natural game we will have a very limited presence at the breakdown and we were beaten there reasonably convincingly last weekend.

          Just to be clear this is not a Hooper character assassination.

        • Braveheart81

          Without doubt we will miss Pocock and he is certainly the most influential player at the breakdown in world rugby.

          I disagree that we got beaten convincingly at the breakdown. Statistics don’t support that. We had an overwhelming advantage in territory and possession.

          Depending on who we replace Pocock with, Hooper’s role may change. If we pick a more traditional 8 then Hooper will certainly need to spend more time competing at the breakdown. If we picked Gill for example, then that would presumably be Gill’s primary role. If we started McMahon as well as Hooper they would probably both need to spend more time contesting the breakdown as neither are as good as Pocock.

          It was certainly no accident that Hooper featured on that right edge a lot. It’s where he is stationed when we have the ball. Likewise Fardy is more on the left side of the field.

          When we have possession, cleaning out and securing our ball falls to whoever is closest. We don’t play a game where the 7 chases attacking breakdowns like the halfback trying to secure the ball (few sides do these days). Clearing out is everyone’s responsibility and why we play our forwards in something of a zone attack where they each have certain areas they are responsible for.

        • first time long time

          This is not new, it is always the closest players responsibility to clear out / secure the ball and always has been. BUT you are going to struggle if you don’t have someone who is constantly hunting the ball.

          I get that it it was a plan to have these guys on the flank in attack but I think we got exposed.

          Also your stats re points from penalties don’t tell the whole story as is the problem with relying on them.
          Vunipolo generated first penalty of 2nd half, kick hits post and we have trouble clearing our 22, converted try to Yarde 90 seconds later.

          As good a player as Hooper is, I think he would serve us best off the bench. This doesn’t mean he is no good, it is a 23 man game, and I reckon he would be lethal fresh in the last 25 – 30 min

        • Haz

          The penalties generated at the breakdown were mainly generated when England had the ball, not Aus. Not sure how criticising Hooper’s actions when Aus had the ball has any relation to this.

        • first time long time

          Again mate, not hanging anyone out to dry here, just think we will need to take a different tact without Pocock there.
          And I don’t think the way Hooper is playing will be what we need, we do have wingers to score those tries.
          Pretty sure Hooper won’t take any notice or offence at my thoughts so you probably don’t need to either.

        • McWarren

          Mate you learn pretty quickly on this site that if you question Michael Hooper in any way shape or form you are not considered worthy of comment. He is untouchable!!

        • Haz

          As you yourself noted above, England played a big mobile back row and a pretty damn big and mobile second row and loosehead. Part of their play is big carries which you need to defend. That’s why Hooper is wanted in the midfield stopping those carries getting over the gainline with aggressive linespeed and hits.

  • Wallaby Legion

    I find that loses to England are always the hardest to swallow. I feel like they have a conservative approach to Rugby, which is the counter to our often expansive attempts at play. The downside of our approach is that when we get it right they’re not going to stop us. But when we don’t get it right they will inevitably come away with the win.

    Which makes this the toughest loss to bear. It felt like a game we could and should have won. England played consistent and deserved their win because we couldn’t string together what we needed to in order to come away with it. I hate admitting that because I hate the English Rugby Union team. But, on reflection, it’s probably more this feeling I have after a loss to them that is really what I hate.

  • Old weary

    This will not go down will on this site, but I don’t think Hooper is the next coming.

    I think he is a great player, fantastic with ball in hand, tough as nails and will never doubt his dedication to the jersey, BUT I do have a problem with a 7 running to the wing every time we are in attack. Yes he can finish well, very well, but I get a pain in my side when we are having players isolated and ball turned over, when we have two 7’s out there that should be moving quick to support these isolated breaks – not heading to the wing.

    I appreciate this may be at the directive of chek, but don’t like it.

    • we have wingers to finish. I am not sure I am comfortable with a winger pilfering. good darts Old Weary.

    • Nutta

      No argument from me. We saw him try the same tactic vs the Frogs (but hey, a blind Eskimo in a wheelchair would have worked against that Frog Mob). And we saw it last year vs the AIB and we saw how well that went (not). The tactic puts too much pressure on your middle 6 to cover everything else and it allows an opposition to get away with playing slug backrowers (which they did)

    • Haz

      Definitely will be at the directive of Cheika.

      For me I think that Fardy was just as guilty as it, but on the other wing. However he was far less effective (and therefore far less noticeable) and so I think he is escaping criticism. Not to mention the 4 penalties he gave away.

      In my opinion, Hooper was not the weak link in the backrow.

    • John

      Hooper Topped tackle count, made more tight meters than any forward, try saving tackle on the England 7 and scored two tries. We lost by penalty count and some poor skill execution e.g. pass to Foley…

      I think Michael Hooper is the only player who can be man of the match, score 2 tries and people still think he is the problem.

      Look at Poeys contribution for contrast… 1 turnover and 1 penalty, don’t know his tackle count.

  • Ted

    Shame you were not able to do it in your home World Cup…still burns doesn’t it…

  • Nutta

    Yes. You are The Filth. Always have been. Always will be. In terms of losing to The Filth, I could hide behind the fact there are more registered rugby players in London then in Oz & NZ combined so the fact we are even competitive is magical, but I won’t. Instead I will wish you well, encourage you to keep hiring antipodean coaches to teach you ball skills and tactics, find lads from towns like Brisbane, Auckland and Sydney to be your key players and keep generally looking to us to teach you about a game you invented.

  • McWarren

    I watched this game from the back of a busy bar with an annoying friend who felt compelled to make a call on every single action of the game. So I was a bit distracted. But for what it is worth, I think we expected to win by running them ragged, we expected our backrow to dominate and we expected Foley to kick 100%. When these didn’t happen we had little to fall back on, especially when decisions started going against us.
    Re next week, I have made no secret of my preference for Gill over Hooper, but I hope we don’t play them together like the Pooper. It doesn’t work, we’ve been found out guys. Its great seeing Hooper score wingers tries, but whats the point if we are being dominated at ruck time? I know this is an important series and I never want to lose to anyone especially our English friends, but wouldn’t it be good to see how, I don’t know, McCalman and Gill went? An agressive No. 8 and a ball winning No. 7. McMahon and Hooper to be brought on at the 55 minute mark?

    • Braveheart81

      Australia won 94% of our ruck ball which was better than England’s 88%. We just had twice as much ball so the impression was we were getting smashed at the breakdown.

      Our forwards clearly play a zone type game when we have possession meaning they are each responsible for different areas of the field. Fardy was on the left edge, Hooper on the right. It wasn’t like Haskell was the only player damaging us at the breakdown. If anything, Itoje caused more issues. It’s up to whoever is the first and second to arrive to make an effective cleanout.

      • McWarren

        Sorry BH but I’m not really sure of the point in your first paragraph.
        Yes our forwards play a zone type of game, nothing new there most teams do. But we still end up with isolated players who get turned over?

  • mark conley

    England certainly deserved their victory; our back row comprehensively overwhelmed by the English. ‘Shackle draggers’ had to look that one up but it was justified considering the previous posts

  • Vern

    Not into calling the Poms the Filth. Just the Poms will do. I’m not going to get personal and puerile – that’s poor.

    Poms took there chances and played to the whistle. That’s all you’ve gotta do. So plaudits to them however much it hurts.

    Of course I do hope we smash you in the second test.


Too much sport is never enough. Go the Waratahs!

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