Hong Kong Phooey - bugger all changes to Wallabies - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Hong Kong Phooey – bugger all changes to Wallabies

Hong Kong Phooey – bugger all changes to Wallabies

Robbie Deans has steered clear of any dramatic changes to his Wallaby side to take on the All Blacks in yet another Bledisloe dead rubber this weekend. There are two solitary changes to the team that were run down by the All Blacks in their last encounter.  Drew Mitchell, who missed the Sydney test with a bum hammy, returns for the grossly unlucky Lachie Turner (who won the Wallaby Player’s Player award in that last Bledisloe). In the pack big, bouncy Benny Alexander reclaims the Wallaby “3” jersey he last wore in Cardiff last November.

Benny has them licked!

Alexander was at loose head prop for the very first test of this year, against Fiji, when suffered a bad knee ligament injury. A few club games towards the end of the season was enough to see him back in Wallaby contention come squad selection time. It would seem he’s now down enough to take the place of Brumby’s team mate, Salesi Ma’afu, who was one of only three players to start in every Wallaby test this year. Ma’afu drops out of the squad completely with James Slipper preferred on the bench due to his greater ability to cover both sides of the scrum.

The team to face New Zealand this Saturday night is:

15 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs); 14 James O’Connor (Force); 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies); 12 Matt Giteau (Brumbies); 11 Drew Mitchell (Waratahs); 10 Quade Cooper (Reds); Will Genia (Reds); 8 Ben McCalman (Force); 7 David Pocock (Force); 6 Rockey Elsom [c] (Brumbies); 5 Nathan Sharpe (Force); 4 Mark Chisholm (Brumbies); 3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies); 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies); 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).

Reserves: 16 Saia Faingaa (Reds); 17 James Slipper (Reds); 18 Dean Mumm (Waratahs); 19 Richard Brown (Force); 20 Luke Burgess (Waratahs); 21 Berrick Barnes (Waratahs); 22 Lachlan Turner (Waratahs).

Deans avoided the opportunity to make any other changes to his side, despite opportunities to. Reds speedster Rodney Davies spent a fair amount of time training with the test team this week, but misses out on the squad all together. It means that if Deans is to blood him in a test this tour, it will be on the much heavier grounds of Europe. Conditions that don’t necessarily play to Davies’ strength.

Now don’t get me wrong, Mitchell was superb for the Waratahs this year. But his form for the Wallabies has been up and down more than Rodney Blake at an all you can eat buffet. His ability to play an absolute corker one match and follow it with a piece of tripe the next is matched only by his inconsistency during the actual match. As per the Melbourne Bledisloe earlier this year, he can be Drewster the Rooster one minute and a crappy old feather duster the next. To be fair, however, he aint Robinson Crusoe in this area for the Wallabies. It’s a team, or backline, filled with what you might describe as enigmatic players. Those that win you, or cost you, a game in any given moment.

Now I am all for these types of players in the team. Quade Cooper? Looooove ‘em! Like a brother….But, I think we can only handle so many in a team at one time. A back three of Gilbert, JOC and Shmoo gives me the willies in its fragility. I’d love to see it balanced out with a more resolute and dependable player. A Rob Egerton or Marty Roebuck if you will. Lachie Turner did this in the Sydney test. Peter Hynes has done it in the past for the Wallabies. Rodney Davies did it for the Reds this year.

Be..the ball..nananananananananana.....

This team also seems to suggest that Matt Giteau is nigh on untouchable in the Wallaby jumper (if only he played that way). Despite an almost complete inability to impose himself on a game, missing CRUCIAL kicks again and again and seemingly lacking any combination with anyone in this Wallaby team, Gits remains. For anyone that saw Berrick Barnes’s performances for Sydney University, with ball in hand and from foot, it isa disappointing decision.  Previously goal kicking seemed the one thing that could keep Giteau in the team, but the way Barnes kicked for Uni (and indeed Kurtley has for the Wallabies), this should no longer be the enough. Let’s not forget that this time last year, Berrick was the vice-captain of this Wallabies team.

If there was one further opportunity for Deans to make changes it was in the second row.   Mark Chisholm seems to once again be playing the role of fill-in at lock for the Wallabies. For someone so big, strong, fast and skillfull his Wallaby career has been somewhat disappointing (albeit as disappointing as it is for someone to represent their country on more than 50 occasions). He came close to missing the tour through injury, and personally I wish he did.

Let me make it clear I mean no ill-harm to big Chiz – certainly not in person, but we all know he’s just holding the position down for Horwill and possibly even Vickerman. So why not give some one else the chance to play in this test which, in the scheme of things, is far from the most important test of the decade. Young Rob Simmons or Kane Douglas (who for some reason was overlooked for this touring squad) would’ve been much better options for this game.

Looks like Tarzan, plays like...

Ok I know, I know. I hear ya’. “It’s still a test match Reg. It’s still a bloody Bledisloe Cup match!” I know that. Maybe it’s because it bloody doesn’t feel like one tucked away over there in Hong Kong where about 25,000 people are set to attend. When was the last time a damn Bledisloe Cup match drew that small a crowd? It’d have to be back in the amatuer days at Ballymore wouldn’t it? Or….perhaps it was 12 months ago in the last one of these. I’ll have to get one of our interns to look into it for us.

Regardless, the match to me was an opportunity to try something new. Something different to what hasn’t worked for us in the last 10 tests the All Blacks have beaten us. I mean it was less than 12 months to go before our World Cup win of 1991 that coach Bob Dwyer was picking a rookie lock in John Eales alongside two of the most unlikely looking rugby players, the aforementioned Roebuck and Egerton, as the final pieces in his Championship puzzle. Likewise Rod McQueen was moving fullbacks to flyhalf to get the right answers for his 1999 win.

With the 2011 RWC fast approaching this is our last chance to mix it up a little, try something different and take a risk. Instead we’re rewarding the same players who couldn’t do it for us in the past.

Rather amazingly there are only three Waratahs in the starting XV (with another four on the bench) which seems at odds with where they finished in the Super 14 this year. Albeit Rob Horne and Tatafu Polata-Nau are unavailable through injury. Six Brumbies in the starting side (including half the pack) demonstrates their continued prominence in the Wallaby make-up whilst the Force have four starters with another on the bench, leaving the Reds with only two starters and two on the bench.

  • Neil

    I think Turner has been hard done by, but it looks like Deans is playing by statistics again. Lets hope it works…

  • Robson

    Given the men now at his disposal it was a disappointing set of choices from Deans who obviously looks at test matches as a series of mathematical averages. Keep the same team and sooner of later you will win one, but don’t muck it up by trying someone or something new or different; except maybe playing a non winger in a position where there are at least two brilliant (and clued up wingers) available.

    JO’C should be on the bench not holding on to a run on spot which could be better occupied by a genuine winger. Don’t get me wrong, in young James O’Connor I am a believer, but not on the wing. Yes he’s scored a couple of great opportunistic tries as a winger, but he also contributed to the winning try being scored against the WBs by the ABs in Sydney through sheer lack of winger nous. I find it immensely depressing that Deans persists with playing this young star out of position when he should be nurturing him for the spost which really suit his talent. In a way I think Deans is making a monkey out of little Jimmy O’Connor in the same way as a stupid parent spoils a talented child.

    It will be very interesting to see how Ben Alexander goes against the myth. I think the shortage of recent top level game time just might see big Ben in a spot of bother early on. However, I think he is a class act and, recent game time or not, I’m much happier seeing him run on than Ma’afu. I’m also rapt to see McCalman being given the callup ahead of Dick Brown.

    I think it is a shame not to blood Van the Man because this guy will leave his guts on the park for the team and that’s the style of player which wins big test matches. Pity Robbie Deans doesn’t see it the same way.

    Overall though I think the WBs will take this one and if they don’t it will be because of one or other of Deans inexplicable selection decicions.

    • Richo

      I agree about JOC, but it’s the Giteau selection that bothers me more. I can understand giving a player of long-standing a few games to get back into form, but Giteau hasn’t played well in a very long time. When you have someone like Barnes in great touch it doesn’t make any sense to keep the Talisman in the run-on. Put the guy on the bench and let’s see if that motivates him into some form.

    • Joe

      Overall, JOC is a more well-rounded player than Rod Davies or Lachie Turner but on Saturday JOC is playing wing and Davies and Turner are much better wingers than JOC. What a disappointing selection by Robbie Deans. While we have gotten a bit better over the course of the Tri-Nations we are still not at the level where we can consistently win the games we should be winning. It was only four months ago that we lost to England at home. If we still are having fuck ups like that next year we can easily lose our group match against Ireland and that would be the last four years completely wasted and they only memories we’ll have will be images of Robbie Deans in the coaches box looking befuttled.

    • Funk

      Agree completely on Van, with the other two (Mumm and chis), trying but not really stepping up it really is time to give someone else a shot, and it’s not like giving Van a shot would be like throwing in a 20yr old rookie, he’s got a old enough head on those shoulders to bring some good experience into the squad (even though he’s a rookie).
      I also think that Higgers has probably also deserved a shot, i’d run him off the bench and drop Brown, the Farva’s comment about Brown as impact…???? I think I’d rather Higgers with some enthusiasm, 112kgs and his speed as an impact over Brown’s lack of impact we’ve seen all year!

    • realist

      I agree with you. Strong defence is a must have if we are to beat the All Blacks. We have too many flakey players particularly in the backs. I hope the rugby league Kangaroos are playing this weekend as it would be nice to watch the Aussies win for a change.

  • g man

    No maafu first time all year. he didnt even make the bench. at last robbie deans has put a competitve front row on the field. now to get rid of richard brown and dean mum and replace with van the man and higgers. and youd have the best team fielded all year apart forom a few injures first choice players susrtained along the way. australia to win by 8

    • Farva

      Brown as an impact player is very useful. He has a high workrate but struggled in the run on team as he didnt match his opposition in the physicality stakes. Higgers has yet to have a shot at international rugby. And while I hope he does this tour, the Bledisloe is not the place for it. Ditto for Van. Remember that S14 form doesnt necessarily translate into international form.

      The only change I would have would be Barnes for Giteau.

      • BloodRed

        S14 form doesn’t tranlate into test form? Maybe not but club rugby form is even less likely to. Barnes was dreadful in the S14 with a wallaby half back inside him and 4 wallabies outside. The only form he has shown was for Sydney Uni and that is as far removed from a Bledisloe cup as my rocking chair in front of the telly.

    • Slipper is better at playing both sides of the scrum so has the jump on Salesi.

      But I hope we don’t see much more of Ma’afu in the Wallaby jumper.

  • Bullrush

    Hmmmmm…. no Salesi or Ma’afu in the front row…… it’s already a better looking team by about 25%

    • Robson

      A hundred per cent in my view.

    • tim

      salesi ma’afu is one person

  • Farva

    The problem with dropping JOC is that he hasnt actually done anything wrong. And neither has Schmoo (if you ignore red cards). Turner did well in his appearance, and that has at least got him on the bench. But how could you realistically drop either Beiber or Schmoo?

    On the plus side, this is a debate I enjoy having, which of 4 quality outside backs do we fit into the 2 run on spots, and bench, and who misses out? Instead of which below-average back do we thing will do the least damage.

    • Andrew

      JOC hasn’t done anything wrong? The guy’s positional play has been dreadful in defence. Forget Giteau’s kicking in the Tri nations this year, JOC has been left in the dust by his opposite number and even Richie McCaw in defence and has let in a number of tries. He ain’t a international winger and shouldn’t be selected there. I’d pick him ahead of Giteau but on the bench and slot Barnes into IC.

  • Nick

    Great article. Very enjoyable read and very true.

  • Andrew

    Dick Brown and Mumm on the bench?! What the f*ck?! What is Higginbotham, Humphries, Hodgson or even McCutheon doing? Grow some balls Dean and start selecting guys who have clearly demonstrated they deserve a crack!

    Disapointing I was hooping at least one of Higgers, Davies or Humphries would be injected just to add some something different

    • redbull

      Could not agree more! I hear Reg’s concerns about the flighty back three but if we can’t win the ball on the ground then it doesn’t matter who wears the double figure jerseys. Chisholm can hold a scrum but is totally missing in open play. He, along with Mumm and Brown have had their shots (more than enough shots). Try someone different!

      • yeah, I’m not so concerned about Beale as he has really come along in leaps and bounds this year. But he is still prone to the odd mistake (see: Gilbert). I just like someone a bit more rock steady in our back crew. Beale, Turner and JOC/Mitchell/Davies works better for me.

      • Simon

        Andrew and Redbull I completely agree with you. Mumm and Brown are 3rd choices these days. Why on earth would keep dead weight like them on the bench when you have Humphries to play with and the talent of Hodgson back to full fitness? What is Hodgson doing sipping tea with the sponsors when he should be finally getting his chance to smash some Kiwis like he did all Super 14? It makes no sense Deans. I’m not sure what Brown has on Deans but it must be good for him to keep him around. Brown was adequate at Super 14 but didn’t even make it into their own top 10 for players of the year and has proven not to have the mental capacity to keep up with international rugby. A preceived ideal body type does not make up for playing ability, work rate and talent for the modern game. Give Hodgson the run he deserves and give Humphries a chance to mungrel his way into international rugby.

  • Disco

    A back three of Gilbert, JOC and Shmoo gives me the willies in its fragility

    Agreed Reg.

    Although Gilbert is certainly becoming more consistent & reliable I would have preferred Turner to start ahead of Mitchell.

    Let’s hope Barnes get’s on with about 25 minutes to play.

    • The Rant

      Speaking of fragility – Look at AAC!

      If he gets injured. This entire backline will be thrown into confusion. No outside centre on the bench – noone in the team who has even tried that position at S14 level to my knowledge. So´you have to put barnes or turner there or what?

      Little dissapointed for Higgers/Van (why keep mumm – surely dropping someone out ofr the run-on is a sign they might not be much better off the bench) and also Turner. Agree with all comments here regarding JOC – not a winger, much better on the bench but was never going to be dropped after 4 tries in the last 3 games and we all knew it.

      I know we are facing 11 defeats to the blacks and thats fkd – but we play them a lot now, 4 times a year. I’m sure there were times we would have lost a lot more to them if we didn’t play just once/twice a year as we used to.

      That said – bring on the Spring Rugby!!!!

  • Groucho

    I don’t see the need for changes, personally. I agree that Barnes should get the nod over Giteau, but Deans is building combinations.

    Despite the 3-0 scoreline, we’re actually within an inch of a good AB team, and on the right trajectory. I expect to see some good results this tour.

    • Garry

      Groucho,

      are you working for the NZRU, helping Dingo keep his position?

      Because otherwise I am bewildered by your thoughts.

      Groucho? Hmmmm….? Are you John Hart? or Fitzpatick?

      • Groucho

        Even though we’ve been missing a half dozen of our top players for most of the year (Alexander, Nau, Horwill, Palu, Ioane, Hynes are the main ones) we’ve still showed great promise. How about we bring those back before we start making wholesale changes?

        A lot of the anti-Deans sentiment is from embittered Reds fans who want to see Higginbotham in place of Brown and even McCalman, and both Fingers on the field. However, all those players need development, and the dirt-track team is where it’s at.

        The only real challenges should be Barnes for Giteau and any of the established wingers for Bieber, but this is where Deans is putting in work as a coach: continuing to develop our midfield combination in the case of Giteau and development in the case of Bieber.

        No, I’m not in Deans employ. This is a good team and it is going to get much better with the addition of Nau, Horwill, Palu and Ioane to the run-on team. So I’m just a rugby fan with a considered opinion and a dislike of dumb soundbites. :)

        • Garry

          “we’ve still showed great promise”… debatable. We seem like a huge oil tanker with out a rudder. There have been +’s and -‘s, but the trajectory for this potential is way too low.

          “missing a half dozen of our top players”
          Yes we could wait until players return, but why? Problem/potential. Any credible coach with the talent in the wings would have been using/rotating them. Players will get injured, and who’s to say not re-injured in the first round of the RWC, or before.

          “embittered Reds fans”
          I’m not from QLD, but I’m very tempted to buy a membership this year.

          “players need development”
          Yes, in the international arena. if not against the AB’s, certainly could have been used earlier this year.

          “The only real challenges should be Barnes for Giteau’
          Our scrum is a mess, and some of those players don’t deserved to be warming the bench.

          No Dingo didn’t shit in my mail box, but lets call a spade a spade. He’s decision making is not international class, and (my 2 cents) it’s at the root of our dilemmas. Perhaps he needs more “development”?

        • Funk

          Agree Garry, some one in this forum has mentioned that players super rugby form doesn’t necessarily equate to international form, I think same must go for coaches, I still haven’t seen too many internation class decisions from Dingo?

    • Richo

      The combination of Cooper and Giteau has had all winter to build and hasn’t gotten close. Giteau is not only the odd man out in the combo, he’s not playing well individually.

      • Groucho

        I’m not a big Giteau fan, but if he was playing as badly as the fans insist then he would not have the confidence of his coach and teammates, as evidenced by his result in the Eales medal.

        The truth is we have only a limited idea of what goes on on the field. But of course will never admit it.

        If you asked half the bozos on this thread what their team would be, you’d get twenty different teams, and each bozo would complain how stupid the other 19 teams are.

  • Hawko

    This is not a one-off test against New Zealand, it is the beginning of a seven match tour over five weeks. So, although there might be calls to play someone just to see how he goes, this is not the time because this match will set the tone for the whole tour (for good or ill). If we win, or if we lose by a little or if we get smashed the tone will be set. So when you’re playing the number one team in the world you don’t experiment. That’s for later and it will be interesting to see who gets selected for the easier tests upcoming. This team is supposedly Deans top selection barring injuries, so lets evaluate it on that basis:

    Deans wants a broken-field runner and playmaker on one wing. I don’t know why, we might have made a few tries from it but we have let in plenty in return because JOC does not position himself like a winger should. So JOC gets another cap at 14. Its wrong but you can see Deans thinking. Turner should get the job for two reasons – he is a genuine winger and defensively he is very good under the high ball. He provides stability to Kurtley and Drew’s occasional brainsnaps.

    Giteau is another broken-field runner who is being mysteriously selected. His running has dislocated the outside backs – for every good thing he does, and there have been occasional moments, the men outside him have been constantly hurt by the lines he has run and the timing of his passes. He cannot kick under pressure. Giteau is an individualist, a backline needs a team player at 12. Barnes fits this bill perfectly and kicks penalties well under pressure. He would be a better choice.

    The pack is probably the best we can put on the park given Horwill, TPN and Palu are injured. The team is Brumbies rich only because of these injuries, but those three walk back in next year.

    I would have chosen Hodgson before Brown, given that Mumm is on the bench and could play 6 or 8 if a tall ballrunner was needed, depending on the state of the game. After Pocock, Hodgson is our best 7 by a long way and he does remarkably well at 6 given his size. Him constantly being overlooked is inexplicable.

    Davies, Simmons, Barnes, Higginbottom and Hodgson will all get chances later in the tour, hopefully not just in the midweek games. Five tests in 29 days is too much for everyone and all the top 15 picked this week should get rotated at least once over the period with the Wales and Ireland games the prime candidates. We should not put our number one team out against Ireland as they are in our pool in the WC.

  • Spook

    It’s obvious the author of this article watches very little rugby. Barnes should get selected because he played well for Sydney uni in the most lop sided of tournaments? Unfortunately barnes never plays well for oz. Gits does which is why he has placed first and second in the John Eales medal over 2 years as voted by the players who know a lot more about performance than the writers on this site.

    • gits does fuck all and is at best a psychological crutch for the young backline around him.

      • Has he learnt to kick yet? Single handley lost the the last game against the AB’s… CHOKER

    • Spook, you’re obviously entitled to your opinion, regardless of how wrong it is.

      Git’s has offered nothing this year. In fact the best the Wallaby backline has looked has been when Berrick and Quade played together v the Poms.

      You can continue supporting Gits who has now cost us a win v Scotland for the first time in ages, a win v England at home for the first time since 2003 and countless other matches.

      Time to move on I am afraid. Don’t fall for popularity contests.

    • Funk

      Spook you obviously didn’t watch the 1sr england game where Barnes had a great game? and as for gits playing well for oz, the only time I see him playing well is when we are playing, Fiji, or Italy!

  • bones

    My two cents worth.

    Deans wants to put out his experienced side against the Blacks. However if they lose or play poorly this weekend, some experienced heads will roll for the rest of the tour, and newer guys will get their chance, probably from here to the WC.

    This is last chance saloon then for Gits & Chisholm, probably also Mumm if his impact off the bench is poor. Mafu already gone.

    WC prediction: RD will start with Cooper at 10, Beale at 15 with a good defensive 12 (could even be AAC). Then in last 20 mins, open the game up by bringing Hot Rod on, O’Connor to 15, Beale to 10 and Cooper to 12, the starting 12 coming off. I suspect that Ella got in Robbie’s ear in the Sydney camp and told him that Beale was the natural 10, better even than Cooper. Could be completely wrong of course!!

    • Groucho

      bones, I think I’d have Cooper at 10 and Beale at 12 but I like your line of thinking.

      Cooper’s long pass is central to Deans’ gameplan.

      With Cooper at 10 and Beale at 12 we have two highly distinctive styles at our disposal.

      Gits’ sideways running skills will help him find a seat in the stands.

      • Garry

        Wouldn’t it have been great to have the 12 months back so that we could find out the right combinations? I’d like to see Cooper run with a few of these possibilities outside him, with time under their belt to gel. Perhaps Beale as a second flyhalf outside QC could have been a revelation (he could have even kept the weight on).

        That’s the sort of vision that we’re talking about Dingo. Is it a case of too late she cried?

    • Andrew

      cooper/beale combo will be exciting in attack but my grandmother would walk through the holes in the defensive line

  • Morten

    simmer down spook.

  • Brando

    If they were picking on form as they preached in the lead up, then sook would be 12. Turner should be pissed.

  • Sorry RR, not sure I agree about Shmoo vs Turner, or especially Davies.

    I thought Shmoo was one of our most dangerous running backs and would surely have one of the biggest tackle bust rates amongst our backs. The Melbourne AB test was a horror show for him with the red card, but that was down to shithouse assistant refereering and a swan dive from Sir Richie. In the current game, attack outweighs defence.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do like Lakky, but he hasn’t been as much of a ‘live wire’ as shmoo. I love Rocket Rod’s pace, but he’s barely played a S14 season and has been injured for ever. He’s also not exactly a safe defensive option by your criteria. Why would he rock into the squad?

    • it wasn’t just the Melbourne test Gags. Think back to the Pretoria test too where we blew them away in the first half only to let big Vic set up a soft try just before the break. The 2nd half would be vital and who scored first would determine so much of the game. Genia darts blind and there’s room for the Wallabies. A perfect pass and Drewie drops it. No pressure and room in front to go all the way. The rest his history.

      His handling v Ireland was also poor.

      Take a look at his G&GR match ratings on wiki http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/forum/showwiki/Drew+Mitchell

      6 – 9 – 4 – 3 – 8 – 3 – 6 – 7 – 7 . Too inconsistent for someone with so much potential and that’s the story of his career. I thought his tah form was a turning point as he was consistently brilliant. Not on the international stage though – another Joe Roff pehaps.

      • The Rant

        Another joe roff?

        My memory is obviously a bit different there – but Roff is up on a whole other level above Schmoo.

    • Jay

      It was more down to shit for brains on his part and/or shit captaincy and coaching in not drilling the warning into the heads of the players.

  • dobduff11

    I want Gits to get back to this form, IMO gits on form is better than barnes on form
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xal75y_matt-giteau_sport

    • vidiot

      Sure, Giteau in form would be a different bird. Sadly we haven’t seen that this year.

      When he was on song he was great at breaking a semi-stretched defensive line, but for a host of reasons – poor form, slow ball/slow to get set too deep at first receiver, better defence targeting him – he has gone no where near that effectiveness this year.

      Barnes is a better second five, and Giteau’s strength – line break – just isn’t happening for him this year anywhere near enough.

      • Far be it from me to get in the way of the Giteau lynch mob ;) but I thought

        a) he got better through the 3Ns – I few Saffa commentators thought he should have taken MoM in Bloem

        b) I’ve never been blown away by Barnes’ ability to attack the line – he definitely wasn’t doing it for Uni in the final for example, shipped the ball on ASAP in almost all cases, it was Burgess who was threatening the most

        • vidiot

          All true!

          I reckon Barnes distributes better – he commits defenders and passes at the advantage line. We saw that nice inside ball in Bloemfontein to get Shmoo over.

          Gits’ strength is breaking the line himself, but it just hasn’t worked so well this year. Better with Cooper back, for some reason that guy is a magnet for the defense….

          I saw the Saffer ratings at rugby365 too, and grew less interested when they couldn’t tell the difference between Gilbert and Genia.

  • Seb V

    Predictions: ABs once again target JOC’s wing. Dan Carter putting in a few High Balls, Cos lets face it when you look at our back 3 whos good with the high ball? MItchell and JOC are pretty average and Beale is one of the worst. AAC and Hynes’ defense will be missed on the wing. You can get away with this weakness against other teams but not against the ABs.

    I would have swapped Turner for JOC. Against the ABs you need solid players and if you havent noticed the ABs always target JOC (high ball for corey jane, McCaw off the scrum straight to JOCs wing – both led to tries).

  • Joe Blow

    It’s a fairly predictable lineup from Deans that should do well against the Blacks.
    If we do win then all augers well for the future with the returns of TPN, Horwill/Vickerman and Palu to strengthen the pack considerably.
    I agree Turner should have retained a spot, albeit on the other wing. Shmoo has been the standout wing for Oz this year and there is no surprise with him returning straight into the 15.
    JOC on the bench to cover the back 3 and to use in the last quarter as an impact player would have been nice as would Higgers warming the pine in place of Brown.
    Chis is lucky to retain his place and despite being a Matt Giteau fan I agree it is time for him to show the goods or be replaced by Barnes as starting 12 for the rest of the tour.
    Go the Wallabies!!!

  • Langthorne

    I generally agree that matches against the ABs are not the time for experimentation BUT when certain players or combinations aren’t working there isn’t much to lose, but there is much to gain.

    Obviously, the squad can’t be changed now, so I’m only considering players already selected in the squad.

    I would be tempted to bring in Van Humphries to partner Sharpe – he is long in the tooth, and untried at this level, but at the same time he doesn’t have a string of average performances and losses to the ABs either.

    Hodgson deserves a run on from the bench.

    We can’t afford to have too many soft cocks in the backs either, nor guys playing in less than ideal positions for their talents. For that reason I would retain Turner (awesome in the last match, and the whole S14) on one wing, with Mitchell (most penetrative runner in the team) on the other. JO’C is an ideal bench player. Davies hasn’t shown enough yet for me. Giteau Vs Barnes is pretty close really, the only reason to switch them is to shake up Giteau and the team in general.

    Elsom has not done very well as captain, although his play has improved over the international season. How to handle this situation is one of the big challenges for RD – Elsom plays with plenty of heart, so his committment cannot be questioned, it is just that he seems to lack the requisite finesse for dealing with the referee.

    Slipper on the bench is probably the best option considering the squad, but it is far from ideal.

    • Groucho

      The reason Van doesn’t have a string of losses against the New Zealand Rugby Team is that he hasn’t been selected in the last ten games against them. Indeed in any international games, ever. I don’t think it can be regarded as a positive. Van has a lot of heart, and a great line in cunt rolling, but only limited ability. He is on tour to offer leadership to the dirt-trackers.

    • Simon

      Elsom plays with heart, that is the size of a bloody chicken heart. He spent the first half of the international season watching. His stats are woeful. Certainly he has imrpoved but that was not bloody hard. Both Brown and Rocky were passengers, in fact I’d say they had the best seats in the house to WATCH the first 5 games. Shocking. Heart my ass. He is a lazy bastard that I once thought was worth the hype. Hype does not do the work. I understand that playing next to a player like Pocock is hard as he will show up many a man. But Rocky is committed to Rocky and that’s it. I’d love to see him dropped all together. Sure the seats are not as good as the one he currently has but I think it is all he deserves. Go back overseas Rocky. You are a rubbish captain and a lazy player. Past your prime and not worth the dime.

      • Holty74

        What a load of rubbish Simon!

  • Robson

    The Gits v Barnes debate is intrigueing. There is one observation I have made, however, and that is Gits still tends to run across field whereas Barnes (from what I remember of his WB performances – now a distant memory) runs a more direct line at the defence from set play. He is therefore a more dangerous option than Gits because the opposition can’t cram him towards the touchline. Instead they are not sure what is going to happen from the players inside him or outside him. It opens up a lot of options for other players like Coops and the blind side winger or the fullback. Gits running from set play is very predictable uless there is a built in strategy with a planned move.

  • jase

    i dont feel comfortable with the idea that slipper is the only prop on the bench- alexander hasnt played a test since june i think and it seems risky to expect one prop to play the whole game- especially considering the game is in hong kong> an injury early will cripple us
    i like joc on the wing- i think he’ll become the next shane williams there and since having a player like barnes on the bench is painful enough theres no point havining another quality player warming the bench> best try have the best players on the park>
    i too would have liked van to partner sharp- chisolm jus isnt the player his build suggests he could be- barnstorming runs- bonecrushing defence- a fuckin biffo -something c’mon!
    and how hodgeson was not picked as cover for the backrow over brown? hes better in every backrow position?

  • Pedro

    Everyone seems to forget that barnes played with cooper at the reds and they were rubbish. Barnes goes to the tahs and all of a sudden the reds are title contenders. Of course this was a maturing cooper, but lots of people said they just aren’t good together. I wish gits was forming better combos with cooper, I just don’t think barnes would and due to obvious defensive frailties gits and barnes are the only options for 12.

    • Hawko

      You obviously missed seeing the first test against England, the one where our backline was totally dominant and the Pommes didn’t know what hit them.

    • Pedro

      I do miss that, much like Gits and clutch goal kicks.

  • RedsHappy

    RR – an excellent commentary, full of accurate insights, IMO.

    A dimension not touched upon but, I would argue, of equal validity, is to compare and contrast the entire Wallabies and ABs’ coaching infrastructure as we face BC IV.

    With the ABs, we have Henry, Hansen, Smith, plus a mental skills coach and various other specialists including, without doubt, an exceptional physical conditioning group that has made the ABs the premier Test team in terms of 80 mins of enduring ‘right kind’ of stamina.

    Unarguably, over at Wallaby land we have a form of novelty merged with (panic-driven?) chaos: (a) Graham has been quietly shunted off to the Force in its off-season (if he was anything approaching the top talent he was made out to be in early 2009, no way would he be departing a key EOYT tour just pre-RWC, he’d be too crucial to success), (b) Blake has been shoed-in as defence coach on an emergency basis and is wholly unproven at this level or internationally, (c) the supposed new kicking coach turns out to be part-time/sporadic at best and is apparently instructing the immovable icon and the other kickers in HKG via the internet from RSA, (d) there is no mental skills coach, (e) Bruce Ross has raised very valid questions as to the appropriateness of the Wallabies’ physical conditioning strategies (most notably vs the ABs) and (f) the ARU has inserted the ‘dark horse’ of Nucifora as ‘assistance to Deans’ (which must in part be code for material ARU concerns over the coaching group as it has been to date).

    The very best that can said of the Wallabies’ group is that new skills and thinking might emerge from (b) and (f). The results from 2010’s Tests surely highlight the absolute need for such. The darker worry is that this coaching group is fragmented, unbonded, and wholly untried as a unit, and is manifestly (as yet) no proven match for the AB’s core trio. This inevitably unflattering comparison goes to the heart of Wallabies’ coaching deficiencies – whatever one’s opinions re Deans, it can hardly be argued that the Support Coaches in Williams and Graham have delivered little obvious value in 2009 and 2010. And the absence of a consistent, capable kicking coach over this period _ when combined with the 4 Tests the immovable icon has lost us in the last 12 months through unstable pressure kicking – well, it speaks for itself.

    We’ll know a lot more come Saturday evening.

    • Robson

      I just discovered this arvo that my sister in law lives right next door to the parents of Robbie Deans video analyst. I would be interested to know how much notice of the analysis Deans takes. I think I will have to dig a bit further.

      Anyway Reds Happy you are right the WB coaching group appear to be a rather disparate bunch, but I think this was a factor Deans deliberately allowed to happen three years ago because he prefers to pull all the levers himself. I think the infusion of David Nucifora into the formula is a pretty good indication that the ARU don’t want him to be the sole lever puller any longer.

  • Bullrush

    Gits or Batnes….does it matter? Honestly, when have either of them ever really been a threat to the ABs. I stated before that I think Giteau has been a fantastic player in the past…against anyone except the All Balcks. Is Barnes any different?

    With the All Blacks being close to their top team available (eg. Carter in for Cruden and Kaino in for Vito), I don’t know that the Wallabies will be much better than they were in Brisbane. If they lost by 1 point again then I think that could almost be regarded as a good result for them.

    The weak link for me in the ABs is Cowan. He’s passionate and a real fighter but I think Weepu is step above him at Test level.

  • El Dommo

    Nice point Noddy about the backline being able to win or lose a game in a moment. I agree wholeheartedly that in some of the backline posiitons you need that explosive, turn a match element, but it has to be tempered with consistent fundamentally sound type players. Cooper off set by Barnes at 12, Portley and JOC off set by a Hynes or Turner. Instead there is a confidence player at 10, a player who for all his effort is still erratic one set piece to the next, and a back three that though are labelled electric and game-changers can’t consistently provide the team with the wide punch, or enveloping defence required

    I would add the forward pack was starting to look that way too, although this week it seems Dingo has chosen wisely….consistent FR with Ben, Benn and Squeak. The lock pairing is a little more stable too….Mumm, Chis and co similar to Drew in the way they can look like veterans one week and no talent ass clowns the next.
    Of course with Pocock and Elsom there is no question….if not world XV at least on the bench. but the consistency of players in the 3N’s was evidently a bit of a problem

  • Timbo

    reading the post about the possibility of AAC being injured and the WBs having no-one to fill that position, If Higgers was on the bench i’d say he could fill that 13 role pretty well. It would be good to see him dragging Nonu around the park.

    I’m with most tho.
    JOC on the bench for Lakky T, Gits should only play 40min and if he’s doing bugger all, bring on Barnes early. Piss off Brown. He’s had his chances. As much as i like Mumm he’s been crap the last few tests and Chis need to pick up his act in open play.

    I hope we win.

  • Bobas

    The main problem will again be the use of the bench.

    As far as i’m concerned Slipper, Burgo, Barnes, Mumm, Brown and S.Faingaa are wasted bench positions if they’re not used for over 20mins.

    Maafu, Higginbotham, Hodgeson and Davies should be there, if deans is gonna persist with his less than 10min bench tactics. These players all are quick for there respective positions and have a high work rate.

    If Deans wants to have a bench that is only used for a small amount a time he can afford to be more creative with it. i.e, taking the reserve halfback out and having Barnes, Turner and Davies there. Gits can play 9 respectivly if something happens to Genia.

    In saying that its a decent bench if the players are gonna get their minutes, but one can argue that this not happening is why we let the allblacks in to steal last game, fresh legs would have held on.

    I just hope he gets the most out of our new found ‘depth’.

  • Bullrush

    Great last note…

    “I just hope he gets the most out of our new found ‘depth’”

    To have someone playing a certain number of Tests, doesn’t automatically equate to having ‘depth’. For example, just because Ma’afu or Fa’ainga play 20-odd games for the Wallabies doesn’t equate to depth in the hooker or prop positions. It just means they have played 20 Tests and could just as likely get rolled in the 21st Test as they may have in the last 20.

    Depth is actually having real contenders for the positions in question who you can trust to perform at a competent level or better.

  • KingofDubai

    Gits is due for a good game and has been out of sorts for a while. Good form would make a huge difference to the backs and teams performance. Happy with JOC on the wing but I do have concerns about our back 3. Muliaina is just miles ahead in that role and would be excited to match up against Beale. Id feel so much better if AAC was at 15, who I thnk will be the starting 15 in 2011 NZ.

    Dont know if anyone has stood next to big Chiz but fhhhark me he is a monster but NEEDS TO DELIVER. Big hits, carries and ruck work the guy needs to make an impact. If he deosnt shine this Northern Hemisphere tour then it’ll be a shame because Douglas would have benefited. Chiz I dont think is athletic/ creative enough around the field he needs a MOM performance to convince Wallabies supporters.

    Burke wrote a great article this morning and mentioned that Gregan would talk about “executing plays with precision”. limit the mistakes and we’ll score tries. Limit the mistakes and we’ll starve the AB’s of ball…. and effectively win this test.

  • Gnostic

    RR have you been reading my posts on the forum. Roebuck and Edgerton. Last week I posted that I wanted to see a return to a balanced back line with a Specialist Winger, Winger/Fullback and Specialist 15 eg. 1991 Roebuck, Campo and Edgerton or 1999 Burke, Roff and Tune.

    JOC is neither specialist winger or fullback. He is being corrupted and ruined into a “utility”.

    Agree pretty much whole heartedly with the article, and it is what I have been saying about Deans and Co since the 3N last year. Unfortunately it is now too late to do anything about it. Deans has been as much a victim in this because he has not recived the pressure required to make him change from the ruinous path he was on with the rediculous selections, non-sue of the bench etc etc.

    Do not forget that prior to his successful run as S14 coach were he was gifted with a magnificent provincial squad with virtually no weaknesses in the 30 and a system built and perfected before him, he was a controversial ABs back coach pilloried by ABs supporters for very strange and somewhat unfathomable selections (Cullen over Umaga at 13 for example). This has recurred with him at the Wallabies. Lack of any real critical feedback and press until recently has done him no favours.

    As for those who continue to sprout the continual improvement line, it has only been since the 1st game in SA this year that the Wallabies has played with any discernible game plan. Is it any real surprise that with a structure and a game plan (apart from the rubbish of PWIFOY) that success has seemed closer than at any time in the last three years?

    Furthermore to those who decry the injury toll, the players you hold forth as the saviour when they return were all on deck last year for 7 (SEVEN) losses from 14. We are no better or worse this year without them, in fact I would say in the last three games our mode of play has been better but the same old coaching defects of selection and bench use have caused at least two losses.

    Lastly the loss to Scotland and draw against Ireland last year were totally predictable. They were predictable because the play of the Wallabies was dire and showed no improvement all year. I predicted the loss (but thought it would be against England). The fact that they played well against a woeful Wales was no consolation.

    To tomorrows game, with Ma’afu gone there is some hope but I feel Alexander has been rushed back too early and fear we will see that effect. How Chisholm continues to get selected is a mystery as is Giteau (the John Eales medal was cheapened by Giteau winning it and coming second this year).

    Cannot see a Wallabies victory – I would love to but an objective weighing of the strengths and weaknesses of the 25 (including coaches) means a victory to the ABs by 10+.

  • Thomas

    holy shit why does Hynes keep getting overlooked!!! He’s had an awesome Super 14 seasons

    • realist

      Hynes had an outstanding Super 14 and worked very well with Genia, Cooper and the Reds wingers. Much of the Reds attack started with Hynes running the ball from fullback. His defence is solid and he is good at fielding high kicks. Could the plan be to let the Kiwis keep beating us and we lull them into a false sense of security and then steal the RWC from them next year?.

      • Groucho

        Hynes has been injured. This is the first game he has been available for since the start of the international season. Pay attention, people.

  • Damo

    What is a specialist winger if it’s not someone that has creativity, the ability to beat a man and knows how to find the try line. JOC has this.

    What is more important than out and out speed, given the style of rugby the Wallabies are playing, is elusive running from open play. If every time the opposition kicks we are going to run it back and if we are going to run from our own 22 we will need more than speed and bulk from our wingers. They will have to be visionary – that is why JOC is in the team.

    What is a problem is JOC defensive positioning. But whereas vision and creative running cannot be taught defensive positioning can. It may take time but there is absolutely no reason why JOC can’t learn this. We know he can tackle – he dumped Victor Matfield.

    In time this will be seen as an inspired move. Not quite as inspired as moving a fullback to flyhalf but it will be up there. It is essential for the style of rugby we are trying to play to have creativity in all back three positions.

    • Robson

      There is a lot of sense in what you are saying Damo, and as a wing / centre converted to the front row at the tender age of 21, I think, as you say, that a player can be taught the positional complexities of a winger”s position.

      But it requires a global type of vision to learn how the shifts of the game are likely to affect the flanks on both sides of the field. I’m not saying that J’OC hasn’t got this, but it will take him time to learn. So one would have to argue a couple of points here. Firstly is a test match the right place to learn it and secondly why would you want to manufacture something different from a player whose instinctive skills are much better suited to other positions? Steve Larkham went from fullback to flyhalf in a seamless transition. So he was a natural for both positions. O’Connor has already shown that his transition is not happening smoothly despite a couple of opporunistic tries.

      If Deans is not careful the excitement talent of James O”Connor as a five eighth with a rare skill set is going to be lost to the WBs because he’s been buggered around with too much.

      • Groucho

        No talent has ever been ‘lost’ in that way.

  • Joe Blow

    Gnostic, a year in sport is a long time and this Wallaby side is considerably better than the one that toured Europe this time last year.
    They are more experienced and the depth is there in most positions. We are now ranked 2 in the world behind a very good AB side.
    We may or may not beat the Blacks tomorrow but either way there has been much progress made this year.
    Deans and his Wallabies are finally showing tangible signs that they will be legitimate contenders at the RWC next year. I seriously had my doubts that they could be before the Tri Nations.
    This tour will really set them up for 2011 if they go well. Trash talk about Deans methods and selections is laughable at this stage. At most there could be 2 reasonable changes made to the starting 15 he has chosen for tomorrow, and neither of those would make much difference at all..
    Everyone has their opinions but no matter what happens between now and then Deans will be our coach come RWC 2011 and the bulk of this touring squad will make up his squad then, bar the few returning from injury that will only improve the Wallabies chances.
    As for Giteau, the players and coaching staff seem to think he contributes more than most to the cause. I reckon they would know.
    Time to get behind them and stop bitching and whining about every selection and decision made.
    Go the Mighty Wallabies!!!

    • Joe Blow

      better *stronger

  • Lee

    Why does it feel like every other eve before a WB-AB test match? I’m sick of this feeling but I cant deny that it just feels like we are going to have another craparse Sunday because we will yet again fall short tonight…
    I hate this feeling….when will we have the confidence to feel like we even have a chance….Bloody hell do we have to wait until a world cup to have the so called chockers drop a game…this is just ridiculous….what in hell makes them so different to us?
    I’ll have to pull another sickie on Monday to avoid the kiwis at work…arrrhhhhhh!!!!

    • Robson

      Well Lee I’m pretty confident of a Wallaby win tonight in Honkers.

  • KingofDubai

    Agree that this side is stronger than last years EOYT. There is DEFINATELY evidence of an upward trend.

    There are just so many haters out there with all things Wallaby and all things Deans. We are trying to be the best team of the world, and are currently second, biting at the heals of a fharking good AB’s side- theyre saying one of the GOAT. Why all the doom and gloom?

    We woudnt be doubting Deans if:

    Giteau had kicked a couple more goals.
    If a couple of refereeing decisions had gone our way.

    That equates to 4 wins right there (or thereabouts).

  • Gnostic

    To those who hold up the World 2 ranking, That just shows you how poor that system is. The Wallabies lost to England this year and Scotland last year if you have forgotten. They weren’t close losses in terms of performance. They were owned.

    The other point is that the Wallabies have taken 2nd place by default on the back of how poor the Bok were this year. They fell a long long way from last year, and the Wallabies still managed to lose to them from a pretty unassailable position.

    I judge on actual performance and it would be nice to see other do the same instead of swallowing the “their improving” line and reciting the points from various articles as proof.

    Go back and watch all the tests this year if you can stomach them. Yes there were improvements as the year went on such as Ma’afu, but when you come from such as low base there is now way but up.

    The easiest way to see the lack of coaching applied to this team is look at the games prior to the First test in SA and then look at the games since that date. Prior to there was no discernable game plan and little structure. Post – there has been structure in attack and a much greater degree of planning. Why the massive change? SImply because I believe along with a few others that Deans has been tapped on the shoulder. The totally inexplicable selections of Chisholm, Brown, Giteau and JOC regardless of actual performance is further compounded by the ineptitude of not using the bench in the last 25 to 30 minutes resulting in teams over-running the Wallabies. If the coaching staff didn’t select players they had enough belief in to make a difference at the tail of a game how did they expect them to cover in the event of an injury.

    The default setting of optimism is still in me as an Oz Sports person but that doesn’t stop me questions and criticising such basic coaching lapses.

  • rugbyfreak

    “His form has been up and down more than Rodney Blake at an all you can eat buffet” hahahaha love it !!

    • Hawko

      Its a great line, but that’s all it is. Mitchell has been one of our best this year, S14 AND TESTS, he has been more consistent than most and is our most dangerous runner in space. Totally under-rated by the Wallaby fan posters unfortunately.

  • Robson

    “The easiest way to see the lack of coaching applied to this team is look at the games prior to the First test in SA and then look at the games since that date. Prior to there was no discernable game plan and little structure. Post – there has been structure in attack and a much greater degree of planning. Why the massive change?”

    Well Robbie may have been tapped on the shoulder (kicked under the table more likely), but would you also believe the infusion of some rugby nous in the back line by ……. David Nucifora?

    I think Nucifora has had a lot to do with this team since the first test in the Republic this year. Since then the backline has got a very Brumbies come Blues look about it when on attack from the set piece. Nucifora is a pretty clued up guy even if a lot of players on both sides of the Tasman get pissed off with him.

    On another note Buck (the legend) Shelford said in his column today that the WBs were very unlucky not to win the Sydney test and but for McCaw’s illegal try would have done so. I had to rub my eyes and read it again. If Buck has noticed the way McCaw came off the scrum before it had ended and is also prepared to publicly comment on it, then maybe, just maybe, the referee’s panel has too.

    Then Buck goes and ruins it by saying that the ABs will win tonight and that a big score is possible. I liked it his first comment better. However, I think Big Buck is wrong and there could be a landslide the other way. I certainly think the Wallabies will win.

    • RedsHappy

      Robson:

      You could well be right re Nucifora; I touched on him from a different angle in my post above.

      There can be no doubt that something did change within the Wallabies play in that recent sequence of SA games; significantly increased and judicious use of the bench was one notable upgrade in coaching skill, and, as Gnostic has observed, coincidentally or otherwise, these changes come just as, for the the first time in 2.5 years, negative media and commentary heat re RD’s ability really was building.

      It’s obvious Nucifora has been injected (and Graham despatched to the provinces) by the ARU as their private concerns mounted. And ‘anybody but Graham’ will do me for starters when it comes to backline structures, game ploys, etc and general backs coaching. Graham was a disaster over his 2 seasons, in that backline capability, cunning, defence, structure, combinations, not one key attribute you expect to see improve via top class coaching, actually did notably improve, except perhaps sporadically only as we sew in England 1 this year in Perth. By England 2, it had all vaporised again, and these gross inconsistencies are the very telling signs.

      If Blake has nailed -or at least improved – the obvious weaknesses in Wallaby core defence (just see Austin’s excellent stats on successful tackle %s etc to be reminded of same), and Nucifora has started to really work our talented backs into better structures and communication in play, then that just could be the reason for a win tonight. Never underestimate the importance of excellence in Support or Assistant coaches in top flight football, whatever the code, the senior coach cannot and will not succeed without requisite depth in the whole coaching infrastructure.

  • Groucho

    There are too many negative Wallaby fans, who unless we are not number one, insist we are shit.

    And it is not just that they say we are less good than the New Zealand Rugby Team. Instead they bandy around terms like “rubbish” and “pea hearted” and “useless”.

    Unless the player-units deliver, they are derided.

    It is peppered throughout this thread, and it really pisses me off.

    It is the worst kind of fair-weather fanboi preciousness.

    • Gnostic

      Then there are people like you Grouch who try to write some of us off as Fair-weather fans etc when all we really do is critically analyse the games and offer something to balance your faithful “they are getting better” lines when real analysis shows that is a furphy.

      I do not and never have derided a player and used terms such as you have “quoted” and have seen very few do so. I will not personally attack a player but I will criticise their play and make assessments based on that.

      I find it highly amusing that you and others cannot seem to counternance anything negative about either the team or coaching. DId you post/say this sort of tripe during the final years of Eddie Jones tenure, or Greg Smith’s?

      • Groucho

        You’re not one of the retards who call us shit, Gnostic.

        I’m all for criticism. It is the only way to improve.

  • rugbyfreak

    I would like to see JOC and/or Faingaa have a run at 12 on this tour.To me Giteau does not have a game that compliments the undoubted playmaking abilities of QC.I thought Cooper and Faingaa were the outstanding pairing in Super 14 this year and definitely should be given a shot at some stage.If QC is to remain as our 10 (who else is better?) ,as Im sure he will, then Im afraid Gits is on borrowed time – he really needs to find some form STARTING TONIGHT!.
    I would be happy to be proved wrong.
    Its great to see so many other guys spending a ridiculous ammount of time thinking about rugby (79 comments wow!!- I wonder what the record is?) , what would we do without it?

  • Dougs

    Great article. Didn’t agree with absolutely everything but the theme was right (we’re again picking proven failures) and certainly a few young tyros deserve their go.

    I agree re why isn’t there room for Hodgson (Force player of the year), Higgers, Davies, Turner, Hynes etc. Players who play with heart and toughness when a lot of Wallabies don’t (I’m looking at you Gits, Ma’afu, Chiz, Brown).

    Perhaps if we didn’t pick such soft, inconsistent players we wouldn’t get such soft, inconsistent performances. This’ll be our 11th defeat in a row…fark.

  • KingofDubai

    ” The Wallabies lost to England this year and Scotland last year if you have forgotten. They weren’t close losses in terms of performance. They were owned.”

    hhhmmm, Scotland beat us 9-8, England beat us 21- 20. Is that really being “owned”? Both down to a couple of missed 3 pointers and we wouldnt be having this chat if theyd sailed through the uprights.

    Look, im not making excuses but can you see how close we are to getting results? The rub of the green is what we need and we had that in SA with Beale’s kick thank F*ck. We deserve ALOT more of it and the AB’s days are numbered in that area.. their luck is due to run out very soon. Nothing lasts good or bad.

    Wallabies to come out on top. I’m a believer!

    • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

      Well mate your faith has been rewarded with a well overdue win against a pretty decent All Black outfit.

      26-24 so it was close. Nothing in it really. Having said that I’ll take a win over the AB’s anyday. Maybe this will release the pressure value at the Wallabies and allow them to settle.

More in ACT Brumbies