Wallabies v All Blacks Player Ratings
Rugby

Wallabies vs All Blacks Player Ratings – Bledisloe 2

Wallabies vs All Blacks Player Ratings – Bledisloe 2

The task of handing out player ratings after copping a flogging is hardly much fun. Few of the Wallabies impressed and the Bledisloe Cup is lost for another year. The All Blacks found the form that went missing in Sydney and the Wallabies simply had no answers. A horror period whilst playing with 14 men put the game out of touch early in the second half. It was hard going for Wallabies and Wallaby fans alike.

Here are the ratings.


1. Scott Sio

Scott Sio_tn
Was hit and miss at scrum time earning a penalty but giving away a couple. Kept up a pretty solid workrate through the game. 5

2. Stephen Moore


Got one lineout throw wrong although that’s about the extent that the lineout woes can be blamed on Squeaky. He was our top tackler and had a stronger game than last week in Sydney. Unfortunately he couldn’t stop his side from falling apart when down a man as the floodgates opened. 6

3. Sekope Kepu


Dominated Tony Woodcock in the scrum and had some solid moments around the park. Had a good workrate through his 60 odd minutes on the park and made seven tackles, missing none. 6


4. Will Skelton


Big Will had a couple of solid runs and strong ruck involvements but he needs to throw his bulk around more often. There’s physicality but it needs to be in the form of more strong tackles and destroying breakdowns. 5

5. James Horwill


Big Kev had another strong game. Whether asked to play tight or lose head lock he gets the job done. Had excellent ruck involvements and made ten tackles. Got caught out not getting across fast enough to close the line on the initial bust for Dane Coles’ try. 7

6. Scott Fardy


Scott Fardy had the highest workrate of the Aussie forwards but was less involved with ball in hand compared to Sydney. Had one lineout steal but also lost one of our own with an error. We needed this sort of workrate from more of the pack. 7


7. Michael Hooper


A tough night in the office for Michael Hooper. He copped a head knock in the first half and whilst he toiled hard, he struggled to put his stamp on the game. 5

8. Wycliff Palu


Was our leading tackler in the first half. Everyone expects more from Big Cliffy but he was one of our best forwards in the first half. Pocock is clearly a better option at 8 but expect to see Cliff playing when the Pooper isn’t starting. 6

9. Nic White


Couldn’t produce enough of the fast service the Wallabies need to play their game. Whilst all our halfbacks have issues, expect to see White reverting to his bench role. Worked hard but needs to clear the ball faster when it becomes available. 5


10. Quade Cooper


It was hit and miss for Quade at Eden Park. Had some nice touches combined with a couple of errors in the first half. His yellow card early in the second half when a try was certain was a killer for the Wallabies. The wheels fell off in the ensuing 10 minutes and Cooper didn’t return to the field. Real issues for the Wallabies trying to settle on their fly half. 4

11. Adam Ashley-Cooper


A Dane Coles swerve caused him to lose his footing as Coles sprinted away to score the opening try. Missed a couple of tackles but was one of our only backs to threaten. Diffused plenty of threatening situations. 5

12. Matt Toomua


Matty T couldn’t reproduce the outstanding form he showed in Sydney. Made two terrible kicks early in the second half which both resulted in tries to the All Blacks. It was an uncharacteristically poor game from Toomua and the first blemish in what has been a tremendous season so far. Will be competing fiercely with Giteau for the 12 jersey but needs to erase the poor decisions if he wants to stay in the starting side. 3


13. Tevita Kuridrani


A pretty quiet night for Tevita. Was worked hard in defence all night and contributed at the breakdown. Unfortunately opportunities in attack were few and far between. 5

14. Henry Speight


Whilst this was probably the best game of Henry’s fledgling Wallaby career he didn’t really get the opportunity to show his flair in attack. Defended solidly but struggled to get into the game. 5

15. Israel Folau


Despite a couple of errors, Folau did a sterling job under the high ball for the Wallabies. Whilst our kicking was hopeless, the All Blacks produced contestable kicks on a consistent basis. Folau managed to defuse most of them and he’ll surely face much of this at the RWC. 7 G&GR Man of the Match.

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau


With Stephen Moore as the Wallaby captain, Tatafu’s minutes are likely to be limited most weeks. His workrate is good but needs to improve the accuracy of his involvements. 5

17. James Slipper


Tackled well off the bench and scrummaged well. Whilst we’d love to see more of Slips with ball in hand he’s doing a solid job off the bench. 6

18. Greg Holmes


There’s no doubt Holmes is contributing to a better Wallaby scrum in 2015 which continued in Auckland. With touches in attack rare, he’ll be disappointed he made a handling error. 5

19. Dean Mumm


Mumm improved things slightly at the lineout but was barely more involved than Skelton. Not nearly as good as his efforts in the last two tests. 4

20. Kane Douglas


Received a reasonable amount of time in his return to test rugby but failed to make an impact. Would seem very unlikely to go to the RWC unless Rob Simmons fails to recover. 3

21. David Pocock


Played a bit over half the game but couldn’t produce the same impact he has previously. Plenty of tackles and heavy involvement at the breakdown had Pocock amongst our best but that wasn’t enough to make a lasting impression on the match. 6

22. Matt Giteau,


Gits entered the fray after Cooper’s yellow card but spent much of the next 10 minutes standing in his own in goal waiting for Dan Carter to kick a conversion. Failed to have much impact on the game but don’t be surprised if he returns to being Cheika’s first choice 12. 5

23. Kurtley Beale


Played the last 20 or so minutes once Cooper’s yellow card expired. Made a couple of strong tackles which hopefully is the start of a new attitude in defence. Didn’t get much of a chance on attack. 5

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

So am I on the money?

  • Robbo_76

    Tough game indeed Will but I think you’ve done pretty well across the board. Only suggestions from me would be 4 for Speight because he didn’t get involved enough, 5 for Moore because I think he didn’t contribute enough with his running game (which has been quiet this year) and 4 for AAC because he was made some errors, but that vote down might be because I expect so much from him

  • Who?

    So, an average score across the team of 5.2… Might be slightly high for a team that just lost by 28 points? Thinking mainly in the pack… For example, if Mumm was ‘barely more involved than Skelton,’ why did Skelton get a higher mark? Hooper’s played some brilliant footy recently, but that wasn’t a 5 on the weekend (he had a head knock, and was well nullified by the ABs), certainly not by his own standards. Not complaining about his effort (or anyone else’s effort). Palu tackled heaps, but he didn’t get across the gain line well enough. And our outside backs didn’t defend that well, either…
    That said, no howlers in there. I don’t think anyone’s off by more than a point, and that point’s as likely to be me thinking that, overall, we weren’t great.

    • Braveheart81

      5 is “average – ho hum” according to our ratings scale. A team that plays like that against the All Blacks in New Zealand gets flogged.

    • Seb V

      We average 5.2 and the AB’s would average 7-8 at home ground. Seems fair to me especially being down a man for 10mins.

  • Madflyhalf

    IMO no one deserves a 7.
    Even Folau&BigKev are barely a 6,5
    Sio 5
    Moore 5.5 ok but failed to tell the ref Woodcock angling in 2 times and escaped without penalties, instead of Sio
    Kepu 6 good game with few sparkles
    Skelton 4 – wanna see more ruck work
    Horwill 6.5 Always present
    Fardy 5 – sometimes he disappears
    Hooper 5 – unnoticed
    Palu 5 – you can give him 6 for his first 30-35′ then disappeared
    White 4 – slow and bad decision
    Cooper 5 – didn’t do anything particulary bad while playing. Yellow Card deserved though. A mistake, but no more.
    Ashley-Cooper 5.5 – 1 stupid error (rushing too much)
    Toomua 3 – I’m a big fan of Toomua. Sorry for his worst performance ever seen. Always kicked the ball, always kicked it badly and without a sense
    Kuridrani 4 – Invisible
    Speight 4 – Invisible
    Folau 6.5 – After 30′ Marshall was screaming “Why the ABs are kicking to Folau??” and I was screaming “Why we DON’T???!”- Only consistent threat to ABs defence
    TPN 4.5
    Slipper 6 – 2 good runs, remembered me the 2014 Slipper
    Holmes 5.5
    Douglas 4 – more mongrel in his 13′ than Skelton’s last 2 games
    Mumm 5
    Pocock 6
    Giteau 4 – attacked too deep, even deeper than Cooper
    Beale 5 – he really tried to do something. Failing, but tried.

    • Braveheart81

      We don’t give out half marks.

    • Mike

      “Moore 5.5 ok but failed to tell the ref Woodcock angling in 2 times and escaped without penalties, instead of Sio”

      That is also Sio’s job to tell the ref about such things.

      Watch Benn Robinson in games – he is always in the ref’s ear if his opponent is doing something dodgy. Not yapping like a half back, but just drawing it to the ref’s attention. A couple of times this season he has won penalties that way, notably against Jannie who was binding on the arm. After the tip-off from BR, the ref caught him at it and the penalty followed, from which we scored.

  • bad ass

    Cooper should be hammered for the yellow, but why do some continue to blame him for the team falling apart whilst he was off? That is the teams fault, period. It seems any reason to lay the boot into Cooper more is good enough, and is quite unfair I think. White playing better than Cooper? No way. Cooper’s last ditch tackle on a player that others missed could have been better on the very short, and ducking Smith. However, White was too scared to put his body in front of Nonu near that scrum, which led to a try. I like him, but that was pathetic. He can’t help himself and must box kick too, when a kicker was in the pocket and ready, and despite being heavily punished for it in the past.

    • Jimmy T

      I think 5 for Hooper and 6 for Pocock is fair. I mean the collective force of 2 guys going up against the great man is always a tough assignment.

      • bad ass

        What do you mean? It was 2 on 2. Hooper and Pocock v McCaw and the referee.

        • Jimmy T

          You mean Nigel Owens just like Craig Joubert or Richie just smarter than everyone?

        • bad ass

          Come now Jimmy, surely I’m not the first person you have heard accuse him of getting a free ride from the referees?

        • Jimmy T

          You implying highly ranked international referee’s adopt 2 different standards — one for Richie McCaw and one for everyone else?

        • bad ass

          Imagine if Hooper appeared on all fours in a bright yellow jersey, on the all blacks side of the ruck slowing the ball down. Probably would be a yellow card.

        • Jimmy T

          Very possible. After all Michael Hooper has received 4 yellow cards in his 42 tests versus the 2 only McCaw has received in his 142 tests. Highlights to me just how knowledgeable McCaw is at playing the position. Probably also highlights how revered he’d be in Australia if he in fact wore the green and gold Wallaby jersey.

        • bad ass

          Swap the jersey colors, and I think the outcome would be different.

        • Jimmy T

          He’s the most complete rugby player we’ve all seen in our lifetime my friend. I doubt that.

    • Who?

      To be fair to White, on that tackle on Nonu, I think he expected Nonu to keep coming straight, and was looking to make a passive tackle on him (let’s be honest, a 70-something kg scrummie isn’t going to put a dominant hit on a 108kg 12 at full flight), but Nonu stepped him. You could see White was filthy with himself after the miss, punching the dirt. The reality is that he did well to get across – Smith threw a good wide pass, Carter took the first defender wider, White covered about 12-15m to miss that tackle. Where was the 12..?

      • bad ass

        I don’t know Mr Who. A 70 kg half knows the only way to stop a 108kg Maori back in full flight in that position is to get his body in front of the player and latch on with both hands using the body to “trip” or slow him down. Think Alfie Langer, that’s a standard (small) scrum half technique. The other way is to get low and drive the shoulder from in front but he wasn’t in position for that. Coming from the side and slapping with the hands and pretending to get “stepped” is piss poor for a half. He was expecting someone else to get him.
        Ps. You can’t tackle if you are scared.

        • Who?

          Alfie Langer was a dirty little tripper. The technique is to wrap the legs with the arms.
          However… Ma’a feinted to his right, which drew White, and then powered through. White ended up in a position we describe as ‘sitting on the toilet’. Weight over his heels, not his toes. And if you sit on the toilet you’re not going to make a tackle. People don’t come to you when you sit on the toilet, they run away.
          For mine, the bigger questions are about the defensive alignment. The ABs had 2 to the right of the scrum, 4 to the left. So, why did the Wallabies start with 3 on each side? That’s why Toomua was screaming across the field to smack Ma’a in the shoulder as he dotted down – Toomua had been on the wrong side.
          Meanwhile, DC had TK defending on him, with Giteau outside. Giteau’s hips had turned in to DC – he wasn’t expecting TK to tackle DC. So if the ball had gone to the outside, then the odds are that Smith would’ve done the same thing to him that Nonu did to White. The issue wasn’t ‘just’ a one on one tackle, it was the whole alignment, asking the 70kg scrumhalf to cover his opponent and the 12.

    • That makes no sense.

      A guy get’s himself sent off (for the same thing he did in the last test he played FFS) against the All Blacks at the crunch point of a match and he doesn’t carry any responsibility for what happens when he’s left his team a man down?

      WTF are you smoking?

      • bad ass

        He does carry responsibility for the yellow, but not for the team collapsing like they did whilst he was off. There have been plenty of yellows this series. I’ve never seen a player blamed so much for what happens whilst off the field. Pass the joint around please Matt. There are 10 of us smoking that.

        • If it shouldn’t make a difference to a team, what point is a yellow card as a sanction then anyway?

          The point is that it does put your team under a lot of pressure (not to mention the penalty try he’s just given away which has just taken the points difference to two tries).

        • bad ass

          Fair point Matt, and agreed, it puts allot of pressure on the team. The team should be better though. Note all of those tries came from missed tackles. Aaron Smith didn’t get the same condemnation as Cooper for his yellow the week prior, nor did Phipps or our prop, or Jackpot in the Waratahs final, which was a very similar situation. I’m glad Cooper made the tackle (not the way he did it) in contrast to letting him stride in across the line, like others in the Wallabies did that day. For the record, I thought jackpots try saving tackle on the line in the Waratahs final was ok and also harshly dealt with. I accept some unintentional bias.

        • Braveheart81

          I’d argue that Aaron Smith’s high tackle shut down a potential try scoring break. Quade Cooper’s happened at a moment when the try was going to be scored anyway.

          Of course he needed to make an attempt at a tackle. It didn’t need to be high though.

        • Viking

          Actually that’s incorrect, it would have been a try anyway so you can’t claim the points from the penalty try as Cooper’s fault.

        • How do you know that? Smith was held up over the line anyway. If Cooper had hit him around the ball, who knows what might have happened.

          Even if I don’t don’t count this try though, we still shipped a bunch after he was binned

        • Viking

          In Cooper’s defence I think that’s what he was trying to do (but didn’t), and if he hadn’t attempted it, it would have been a try under the posts anyway, so that’s why I don’t count the penalty try against his ledger.

          But agreeing with you, the other two while he was in the bin he would have to take some responsibility for…

  • SuckerForRed

    One thing that has impressed me from Giteau’s return is his defensive placement. At one point in Cooper’s absence he made a tackle on one side of the field. Got up pressured the passing all the way to the other side & made another tackle. Not sure his efforts made for a better score than 5 but he sure was a shining light in an otherwise horrid night.

  • Seb V

    Pretty fair ratings. I would have thought some of the forwards would be marked down more but I guess most of the damage was done when we were down 14 men and they just couldn’t cope.

    • Braveheart81

      I thought our backs were where most of the dramas were. Two terrible kicks from Toomua that led to Cooper’s yellow and two tries. Toomua made a defensive misread on Nonu’s first try and then White missed Nonu on his second try.

      • Seb V

        The backs made errors but you can’t blame them for getting ridiculously slow ball, most of that lies with the forwards. Likewise the AB’s getting fast ball. The backs play their part with rucks but the majority of the impact should be with the forwards. They were equally bad if you ask me.

  • Garry

    Last week the No.9 is criticisied for clearing the ball to quickly, rather than being patient. This week a different no.9 criticised for being to slow at clearing.

    Perhaps the 9/10 combo needs to be switched. Cooper to take advantage of Phipps quick clearances, Foley needs time to get into position, that White will compliment?

    BTW, not much in these ratings about losing our lineout throws. That was a big factor. Throwers, jumpers, lifters, callers?

    • Funk

      I don’t think any one was criticised for quick balls out, it was the wayward passes that got criticised. good quick ball is what we need but the pass still has to hit the man. Phipps has improved from his Deans days, but he still has those games where he sprays the passes all over the place.

      • Who?

        One of the wayward passes almost hit Gits in the face (Gits wasn’t ready), one was desperately trying to find a runner when there wasn’t one close enough. They were either related to the pass being too soon – before there was a receiver – or the receiver being too distant/deep, making it harder to hit the target.

    • Patrick

      Agree entirely. Phipps with Cooper, White with Toomua, and pray that Genia can work his way back into the mix.

      My problem with Foley was that he was not that he got some loose passes but that he wasn’t able to create anything even with the fast ball that he did get.

      If I had been Cheika I think my only change for last week would have been Toomua for Foley.

  • Nutta

    Thanks Will. Hard to be objective after such a game.

  • brumby runner

    Good effort in trying circumstances. I would change a couple but won’t quibble.

    The comment I find concerning though is the one where we should expect to see Cliff Palu playing when the Pooper isn’t. From my point of view, the considerable issues we had at the lineout early on should mean that we don’t see Skelton and Palu on at the same time. While Cliff did take a lineout in that time, the options were so limited that the ABs were able to take control.

    Fairly clearly imo we need to have three proper lineout jumpers on the ground at any one time. In that case, then as we mostly seem to agree that Skelton and the Pooper also can’t be on together, I see Ben McCalman as the option for No 8 whenever Skelton is on the park. And that should only happen if Pocock is not playing No 8 as first choice.

    So, if Cliff makes the RWC squad, I think he can only be in the side if Skelton is not. If Will Skelton is on the bench, Pocock should be No 8. When Will is on the ground, McCalman should be No 8. I am not convinced that Will’s work load or impact on the game is sufficient to warrant such restrictions on other players. Really needs to be thought through very carefully by Cheika.

    • Braveheart81

      I agree and I wouldn’t start Skelton and Palu in the same game. Our lineout calling and execution needs to improve though. Almost all our lineout losses were purely through our own execution errors rather than getting the ball stolen.

  • Rich

    I thought Horwill deserved a seven, thought he was outstanding. I know AAC made an error or two but the rest of the backline placed him under tremendous pressure, would have him up one point. Mumm missed one of the worst tackles I have seen, would have him down a point and off the plane to England, was a pathetic attempt.
    Same with White, that ‘tackle’ on Nonu should have him scoring a maximum of three.
    I’m a huge Toomua fan but anything over two for him is pretty high, that’s the worst game I have seen from a proven and reliable talent in years.
    I’d take a point off him and give it Gits – his defensive positioning and workrate this year is phenomenal.
    Him, Folau and AAC should be first backs picked every week. Now second backs picked…..well that’s a harder question.

  • Liam

    The biggest dilemma to emerge from these last 2 test matches is the one we all feared. Who plays 9, 10 & 12? Nic White dug the Wallabies out of a Nick Phipps created hole in Sydney, but we saw White’s limitations in full view on Saturday night. Ditto Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley at 10. Ditto Matt Toomua and Kurtley Beale at 12. The Wallabies know they have to play Giteau somewhere but is it 10 or 12 (and back-up 9?). Whichever spot Giteau fills only solves 50% of the potential problem. If Giteau does play 10, that effectively means he must kick goals too. Surely White cannot be picked for his goal-kicking capability alone. Feels unsettling going into the World Cup.

  • Langthorne

    A pretty fair assessment I’d say.

    Maybe a little harsh on TPN (who we would do well to see more of) and Douglas (not saying he was awesome, more “average” 5)

  • Train Without A Station

    Quade’s yellow puts him down to a 4. Probably a 5-6 before that.

    I think AAC is probably a 4 though. Made some big defensive errors and his own offload over the sideline too.

    I think Moore should be a 5 at best. Poor line out and not overly involved outside tackling.

    I agree with your comments on Palu but the fact he can only play at that intensity for 40 minutes surely should be held against him a little (maybe 1 point down).

    • Braveheart81

      I thought only one of the lineout losses was Moore’s fault. He got 6 for his workrate and a decent scrum.

      Hard to mark Palu down on that. Everyone knew he was playing 40 minutes and Pocock would come on at half time. I marked him on that basis. His substitution seemed purely tactical.

      • Seb V

        At worst @Braveheart81 your ratings are arguably off by 1 point by some posters, So you did a good job. Certainly better then whoever gave Phipps a 6 last time round.

  • Ruck_Me_Ragged

    It was a complete disgrace to change a winning team for this game. You don’t run selection trials against the ABs. You just don’t. It’s disrespectful to the fans, the players & the opposition.

    And what did we actually learn? As for the team itself was it really a good idea to pick 2 lumbering oafs (Skelton / Palu) in the pack at the one time combined with a ruck absent open side? Quades new tackling technique certainly sees him grassing blokes but the sound of a whistle being blown directly afterwards is certainly cause for concern. Combine that with the fact that he still needs to be hidden on the wing & one wonders whether it’s all worth it. (I’m just being polite there. I actually know the answer).

    The only forwards guaranteed of a starting jumper should be Sio (Slipper is injured), Moore, Kepu, Horwill, Fardy & Pocock.

    • jamie

      You seem to forget there’s a World Cup coming up…

    • Braveheart81

      Palu was close to our best forward in the first half.

      Cheika has his 10 defending either at hooker on defensive lineouts or at the back in general play regardless of who it is. If you haven’t noticed this by now you’re not paying much attention. It has nothing to do with Cooper.

    • GoooGo

      For goodness sake, a disgrace? Come on, we all know what Cheika was trying to achieve in this game. It’s preparing for the World.

  • Sam

    Wow , the opposition score 5 tries, run for over 600m, make 18 clean breaks and the Man of the Match is an guy that didn’t make a single tackle – Fardy MOM for mine

    • Braveheart81

      Fardy was certainly in my top 3. Folau ran for over half our total run metres and was very good under lots of contested high balls. As from the ratings, Fardy, Horwill and Folau were our three best players and it wasn’t an obvious choice who should be MOTM.

    • Patrick

      I think a lot of people take for granted Folau’s role under high balls. He is so damned good NZ basically had a strategy of trying to injure him, which hopefully in a world cup environment will see them get red carded.

      Imagine if he had dropped or knocked on, let alone lost outright, even two of those.

      • Sam

        Dropped one and got turned over after catching one, straight after the Nz first try

        • Patrick

          The turnover wasn’t so much his fault, but the one drop I had forgotten.

  • Brendan Hume

    off night for the forward reserves – first one this year for the Wallabies. Front Row did well, locks and Pocock made nowhere near the same impact as previous matches.

    Thought TK missed one or more crucial tackles. He has seemed off and probably needs to look for the ball when the attack is static a’la Kerevi, if only to get into the game more.

  • Tim Wellings

    What about Nigel Owens – where does he rate and what is his record in charge of the Wallabies?

    • Braveheart81

      I thought he had an excellent game. I’d say he’s the best referee in World Rugby right now. Look for him getting the RWC final or at least one of the semi-finals.

      • If you call missing Conrad Smith’s yellow card offence for interfering with a player in the air excellent I beg to disagree. It was a bad miss for a very dangerous incident. The offside line was marginal at best all night (both sides, maybe if the offside line wasn’t so badly policed NZ wouldn’t kick away possession like they did and we’d see more rugby) and the rucks were a dogfight.

        If Owens’ game is what the adjudicators think is excellent then we are in for a pretty boring kick-fest in the RWC.

        • Braveheart81

          At the time I was furious that it wasn’t given a yellow card. On watching the replay last night, Owens states that AAC didn’t come down in a dangerous position so it was only a penalty. On that basis I can live with the decision.

        • Steve

          Braveheart that justification actually makes me fume.

          Just because he didn’t come down in a dangerous position, doesn’t mean he *couldn’t* have done as a result of that dangerous play.

          That kind of play needs to be strongly discouraged, you can’t only card a player when someone breaks their neck.

        • Marcus

          What really makes me fume is that based on the way the Wallabies were standing up to the All Blacks onslaught, we all know that if Owens had carded Conrad Smith, it would have been the catalyst for the Wallabies to score 29 unanswered points to win the game. I mean all those awful basic handling errors would have stopped, all those poor missed tackles would have vanished, the hiding at the breakdown would have levelled up and the Wallabies might have actually played with some guts instead of scared puppies in a storm.

          After all, this is the “new-look” Wallabies right? The one’s who tried convincing us everything had changed. New culture, new resolve. On Saturday night they were embarrassing. Don’t try convincing yourself it was anything else. With, or without some meaningless yellow card to Conrad Smith.

        • Who?

          I don’t think anyone, anywhere on here, has said that the ABs wouldn’t have won, or that they weren’t worthy winners… Just the same way you can say someone had an off game in a winning team. Or a great game in a losing team. A ref can have an off game without it deciding the game.

        • SuckerForRed

          Have a read of this – http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=9 Explains both the QC Yellow card & the “non-yellow” of Conrad Smith.

          I AM NOT saying I agree with it. I am pretty much the same as you that we have to be careful not to react to the outcome rather than incident. People can, and have been, significantly injured in perfectly legal tackles and others have walked away from some mighty dangerous play.

          I AM SAYING that if you want to rail against someone direct your venom at World Rugby.

    • Just blame the ref

      Probably the same as Craig Joubert who is equally as highly ranked as Nigel Owens – except by Wallaby fans. Funny that!!

    • ihatenigelowenswithapashion

      Nigel Owens is a biased officious peace of sheet.

      • ihatenigelowenswithapashion

        Mark Reason, NZ journalist, had this to say…

        The third influence was Nigel Owens. Australia have every right to complain about his performance. Twice in the opening half an hour Conrad Smith played the catcher when he was in the air. The absence of a yellow card beggared belief.

        On Saturday Retallick and Woodcock assaulted players with cheap shots. In the lead-up to the turnover that led to the All Blacks opening try, Read pulled Will Skelton down and out of a driving maul on one side and Richie McCaw lifted Wycliff Palu’s leg on the other side, the same offence for which Romain Poite yellow carded Rob Simmons a few months ago. Not even a penalty.

        Regretfully I have to accuse Owens of unintentional bias. When McCaw asked for clarification of a decision, Owens said, “I’ll have a look at the next one, okay.” When Moore asked, he was told, “Back you go.” Aaron Smith queried a decision and Owens apologised that there was nothing he could do about it. Moments later Moore wondered and was again told, “Off you go.” Tone.

        The All Blacks are quite good enough without the ref.

        • JabbaTheHutt

          FYI Mark Reason is not a New Zealander, he is an Englishman, and has a strong history of writing articles with bias against the All Blacks. He is pure click bait for the mad and hungry All Blacks fans.

          The first part of his article I agree with. But using the words “assault” is a massive cop out (and unprofessional journalism), and there were a bunch of incidents caused by Wallabies that were missed too, yet Mr Reason did not mention those…

  • Funk

    Last year it took TK a few games to hit his straps…hopefully he will hit his stride in the WC…

  • Billy G

    … and jump!!! Huge pressure on the lineout with big Will on the field.

  • Patrick

    F*** me if they are holding him back he should just drop his hips and push them as hard as he possibly can just on the bottom rib with the base of his palm. The replay will make clear they were holding him and he should at the least seriously wind the bastards.

  • Braveheart81

    Our lineout didn’t really improve in the second half though. Most of our lineout losses were due to our own errors. Moore had one bad throw, Fardy knocked one on, Mumm got caught in the maul once, Horwill dropped one cold when uncontested 5m out from the All Blacks line which led to a huge break downfield.

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