Wallabies named. Deans pleads insanity - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Wallabies named. Deans pleads insanity

Wallabies named. Deans pleads insanity

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.  If that’s the case then Robbie should be looking over his shoulder for the men in white coats.  In the end, the Aussie selectors have been left with little choice but to stick with the same front row as last week for Saturday’s 2nd test against England.

Ben Daley and Saia Faingaa, from the Reds, will once again team up with Salesi Ma’afu, from the Brumbies, as they attempt the impossible – preventing the Wallaby scrum form being steam rolled.  It is a difficult argument to support for anyone that saw the absolute mauling received by our rookie trio against their unheralded English counterparts.

Even if you didn’t see the game, you couldn’t have missed the countless column inches it generated. Even our own site had article after article after article after article asking the questions and then trying to find the answers.

I suspect the same guys have been stuck with for two reasons. (1) they are the last men standing and (2) combination. The second point is probably more relevant than the first as it was blatantly obvious that it was what we lacked last weekend.  Salesi was going that way, Dales this way, Sharpie was down, Mummy was up and the back rowers were doing anything but scrummaging.  If we don’t see any improvement in this aspect alone we should be saying “Adios” to Pato Noriega and “How much do you want?” to Axel Foley.

The changes to the rest of the team are minimal and to be expected.

Will Genia reclaims his starting spot, after watching last week’s game from the bench. This is unfortunate for Luke Burgess, who was excellent last week, but perhaps a necessity given that Genia’s slicker service will be needed from a back peddling scrum.

Adam Ashley-Cooper comes back from injury via the bench, replacing Peter Hynes, after James O’Connor’s excellent recent form.

Matt Giteau is straight back into the starting line-up for Berrick Barnes. This may be due to Gits’s greater experience or his superior goal kicking game. Or it may be because ol’ Sookface got caught up in all the hype surrounding the Soccer World Cup and insisted on booting the ball down field every time he got in on Tuesday night for the Barbarians.

The Wallaby team in full is:

# Player Team
15 James O’Connor Force
14 Drew Mitchell Waratahs
13 Rob Horne Waratahs
12 Matt Giteau Brumbies
11 Digby Ioane Reds
10 Quade Cooper Reds
9 Will Genia Reds
8 Richard Brown Force
7 David Pocock Force
6 Rocky Elsom [c] Brumbies
5 Nathan Sharpe Force
4 Dean Mumm Waratahs
3 Salesi Ma’afu Brumbies
2 Saia Faingaa Reds
1 Ben Daley Reds
16 Huia Edmonds Brumbies
17 James Slipper Reds
18 Mark Chisholm Brumbies
19 Matt Hodgson Force
20 Luke Burgess Waratahs
21 Berrick Barnes Waratahs
22 Adam Ashley-Cooper Brumbies

The test will be played at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium and kick off is 8pm (AEST) on Saturday night!

  • I wonder what kind of difference Tatafu would have made (let’s not mention _why_ he’s not playing this match).

    Hoping for a better scrum this week. It’s possible, but unfortunately not probable.

    • Westo

      I no srummaging expert, but when have you seen a Australian scrum to be decimated two weeks in a row.

      I feel that the humiliation of last week, the learning curve, the faith given by the heirachy and last but not least all 5+3 working together, will present a much more aligned unit. Sure we will go back on occassion, but it will be vastly improved.

      Geeze I hope I am right.

  • GC

    Chis for Mumm was the only member of the starting 15 I’d have different to Robbie. He still should be fired though.

    • dbla

      one year out from the world cup? That makes sense…

      • Patrick

        didn’t we try that one before?

  • Fair go on Noriega, he turned an average scrum into one of dominance by the end of last year. Shame the next fellas through haven’t had a lot of experience, but they’ll come good.

    • Batmann

      I think a lot of that was the work Foley did before he left + the work he continued to do with the guys from the Waratahs.

      Now you’ve taken out the top guys and discarded guys like Baxter, you get to see whether Noriega is worth it.

      If the scrum doesn’t improve this week, you have to question his work + Deans decision to not call for reinforcements.

      Either way, i can see us being pushed around the rest of the season by the Boks and AB’s.

  • BTW RugbyReg, your articles have got nothing on the analytical brilliance of RugbyNoddy. ;-)

    • RugbyReg

      gimme time. I’m just new around here and they guy was a legend!

  • Alfie

    I’m happy with this side. It’s what I would have chosen.

    I think Dean’s knows we can beat England again despite our front row short comings. We have a very good record in Sydney agaisnt all teams. I think Perth was the danger game for the Wallabies as our record their is not great. The ABs struggle to beat us in Sydney and Saffas basically never do. I don’t think this pom outfit is anywhere near as strong as those sides.

    Who cares if the scrum struggles as long as we win? Also remember Ireland’s scrum is one of the weakest in world rugby, although their lineout is very strong and they have a great backrow. I also believe Daley and Slipper have what it takes to become very good international props, they just need time and experiance to develop. Plus they won’t get within cooey of the startiing XV once Robbo and Alexander are back. Ma’afu is a pretender. So we would have given our 2nd string front rowers some invaluable experiance against qulaity opposition and still won the games. I don’t going back to Baxter and Dunning for games we’ll probably win anyway is very forward thinking.

    I really like that backline. With the exception of perhaps AAC forcing his way into the starting XV at fullback or 13 this is our best backline.

    I don’t rate Barnes in attack and I think Gits is almost past his prime. For a left field selection how about O’Connor to 12 and AAC to fullback. Maybe our midfield defence would be to weak with Cooper and JOC at 10 & 12 but boy would the atatck be dangerous with a Genia, Cooper, JOC combo. I guess we can still play this arrangement with JOC at 15.

    An exiting team. We will be a threat to anyone if we can ever get our best 15 on the park.

    Wallabies by 15+

    • Robson

      I really like the idea of J’OC at 12. I’m hoping that a time will come very shortly when he will have to be tried there because he has got the goods to be an amazing inside centre. I hope Rob Horne can get some ball this time around. But I’m stoked that Genia and Cooper will pair up in an international for the first time.

      There was no option but to go with the same front row, but look for an early exit by Maafu if he doesn’t produce the goods. However, I would liked to have seen Simmons in at lock, but he’s not even on the bench. His day will come though.

      So I’m staying loyal to Robbie by a bit more than a thread which was my position this morning. If he had played Luke Burgess again I would have been spitting tacks.

      No more scrums on our goal line please.

    • Who Needs Melon

      I like the idea of JOC at 12 too… but not yet – we need to keep some experience in the team.

      I think JOC has bulked up a bit since he first appeared while losing none of his zip and will end up being ‘the next Horan’ we’ve all been praying for.

      Beale is another that might challenge for that role. Healthy competition.

    • wannabprop

      I care… Just as I hate to see a Wallaby team kick the ball away or generally fluff around in attack (but still win), I don’t want to a test team shoved into the turf either. I came away from that test with mixed feelings – a win, but potentially an international laughing stock all over again. Agree with Batmann above – this game will show whether Noriega has more nous than telling the troups to ‘smash em’ and if he’s just been fortunate to get on the end of work done by Foley. I also think it’s a shame to see test matches used as a virtual ‘development’ games for the WC. Inevitable I suppose, but we might as well start calling them ‘friendlies’. Here’s hoping the backline (and backrow) continue to compensate for non-test worthy (yet) frontrow – they’ll need to.

  • Timmy Horan

    “They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.”

    The same logic could be applied to Baxter and Dunning. They’ve been tried and failed many times in the past.

    I think Daley and the Slipper have the natural talent to develop into quality front rowers who can in the future push the Big Bens for starting jerseys. They just need opportunity, experience and time. Deans is giving them these things against a side that we will beat anyway.

    Short term pain for long term gain. Its for this forsight and the ability to back his judgement against the short term focus of the mob that Robbie Deans was part of 6 Super 14 Premierships and we’re all just bloggers.

    Don’t worry fellas. The scrum will struggle but we’ll beat the Poms in Sydney, no sweat. Daley and Slipper in time will become top notch front rowers and we’ll all say I told you so.

    Always remember SK Warne’s test match debut.He got 1-150 odd and Ravi Shastri destroyed him. Imagine what we would have lost if we had a knee jerk reaction and dumped him after one game and brought back a solid old timer like Peter Sleep.

  • Zuriel14

    Is Rob Horne worth it?

    • I reckon so. As an armchair expert I rate him quite highly.

      • Homer J

        I think he is just a victim of the way the team is currently operating. He provides a great decoy so Ioane can go gangbusters outside or while Cooper uses his deft passing on the inside. His defence is great and when he gets a chance he runs with pace and keeps driving through his opposite man. Good ruck man as well.
        Just needs a play or two to be called for him which maybe Gits will do where Barnes didn’t.

    • Timmy Horan

      I think yes. He owned Conrad Smith in ‘Tahs v Wellington. Just needs a big, break out performance in a test match for his confidence. I think he’s very talented and skillful and a great competitor and has great pace.

      Mind you AAC will apply the blow torch for the 13 jersey if the keep JOC at fullback.

      • Groucho

        I think AAC may be welded onto the wing if Britney keeps improving, and perhaps no bad thing either. I think AAC is a natural winger, not a 13, especially now that we have some natural distributors in Horne and Chambers. Digby is the one who needs to be looking over his shoulder.

        • Jimmy

          Digby needs to be looking over his shoulder? At what? All the defenders he has stepped and pummeled into the ground on his way to scoring between the uprights? Well yes, I’d definitely agree with you there.

        • Timmy Horan

          True. Digby has a real problem with his hands. He’s also not that solid under the high ball and lets face it, in the big test matches that’s 90% of what wingers do.

        • Guns

          Digby is one of our geratest threats, particularly given his links with Genia and Cooper – he feeds off them instinctively and i reckon will run off Genia alot more this weekend.

          His biggest problem is his guns are too big to form a proper catching position. So true, England could be tempted to float a few more his way – they just better hope he doesnt catch it….

        • andy g

          does anyone watch what digby does of loose rucks, he is the only back that can pick the ball up of a quick ruck and make meters. Often he is make more meters then his forwards. Yes he did drop a couple of balls last week, but he made up for it when he was running the ball, he has an natural ability to get over the advantage line.. And you could see the fear in the english side every time he touched the ball

    • backstalls

      Rob Horne is my prediction to have a terrific game on Sat. With the English having to mark Cooper, Genia, Giteau et al so strongly Horne could slip through the cracks

    • D

      I think the problem with Rob Horne’s game last weekend is that he didn’t get himself involved enough in the game. He just seemed to disapeer on the field. So did Diggers in the 2nd half. All he needs to do is to inject himself into the game some more by looking for work and he will make a big impact.

      The only changes I would make to Robbie’s 22 is I would have Slipper running on after his impact last week and since we are trying to get some guys some experience, I would drop Sookface and give A Faingaa a crack. If Sookface deserves a jersey, Fingers deserves a jersey too. He shit all over Sookface’s S14 season.

      • Graeme

        It always annoys me when people talk about wingers (or in this case horne at outside center) getting or not getting involved. FFS, as an outside back, your involvement is pretty much limited to the amount of ball you receive from the inside backs, and there’s very little you can do about it. You can come into the line to get more ball – which really just means playing out of position and displacing someone else, but otherwise nothing. Wingers and outside backs don’t get involved. They just react to balls getting kicked or passed in their direction.

        • D

          With this logic that you presenting, it makes it too obivious to where the ball is going to go after a ruck, maul and set play. Don’t you think that by bringing players “out of position” (which in my opinion is a term that is null and void in the modern game) keeps the opposition guessing on what is going to happen next.

          Let’s take your thoughts to the next level. Rocky Elsom scored a try on the weekend whilst playing out of position on the right wing. Should his try be disallowed? Further more maybe he should have been penalized or yellow carded as he was a forward playing in the backline. Cooper should also not drop back into the wing or fullback position to recieve kick returns. That should be a red card as the opposition knows he is a weak tackler and they could gain valuable meters by running through him all day!!!!

          The fact of the matter is, Horne is a great runner of the ball as is Mitchell. Mitchell injects himself into the game by coming “out of position” rather than standing on the sideline waiting for the ball to come to him. When he does this, he has a massive impact on the game. These guys need to be getting the ball anywhere from 2nd to the 10th faze to split defences and score tries.

      • Graeme

        I’m not sure I agree with you there. Rocky’s a back-rower, he’s suppose to be where-ever the ball is on the field. It’s not really comparable. Although I’ve seen plenty of Props and 2nd rowers lolling around on the wings, getting in the way, which is probably a better example.

        As far as Mitchell, I honestly can’t remember ever seeing him receive the ball when playing as a wing in any other position than as a wing, and always from an inside back or from an opposition kick. You may be thinking of him playing as a fullback where he has a lot more flexibility in positioning and injecting himself into the attack.

        • D

          It’s quite obvious that we are watching completely different game then. Mitchell comes off the wing all the time.

          For Rocky’s try, the play was on the left side of the field for fucks sake and Rocky was playing on the right wing and scored. How in the hell do you call that following “where-ever the ball is on the field”? The ball came to him from the opposite side of the field. If Rocky is on the wing, where is Mitchell supposed to go? Sit on the bench? Maybe just sit on the ground?

          I would love for you to spell out what each individual players role is in a game along with what they aren’t supposed to do. You really have me intrigued now.

          While your at it, explain why Rob Horne can’t come in and look for work? And if he can’t come in and look for work, why can George Smith go into first receiver for the backline from a line out? Isn’t that the fly half’s role. Isn’t the role of a forward to be in rucks, mauls, scrums and line outs.

          By the way, Mitchell has come off the wing and acted as scrum half as well. Maybe SANZAR should suspend him for a week.

  • Thomas

    although I think Horne is a great player, I’d put AAC at outside and Hynes onto the bench and I’d move Skipper into tight head and Ma’afu to bench

    • ForceFan17

      What a dilemma. JOC would be brilliant at 12 but he won’t drop gits. He played well enough at 15 but IMO AAC is the best 15 at the moment. Unfortunately AAC is the worst 13 because I can’t remember him passing the ball for about 3 seasons. JOC is too good to be coming off the bench for the last 10-15 minutes in big games.

    • BackStalls

      Rob Horne could have a terrific game this Sat. With the English probably looking to mark Genia, Cooper and Giteau (and really the rest of the backline) I think they may underestimate Horne and he could slip through the cracks a la Burgess last week.

      • Patrick

        let’s face it, we can talk about what we have to improve (forever!) but look at the Poms – as it stands they will have to double-team 9-15 just to stop the leaks.

        Unfortunately they can do this by scrumming with just their front-row and using the rest as extra (slow fat) backs.

  • Bobas

    I like the idea of having AAC on the bench and injecting him around the 55min mark for Horne or whoever is buggered.

    I think because of coaches worrying about keeping subs for injuries they really don’t use their subs well.

    That’s the one thing I like about andy friend, knows when he has an impact player and lets them do the job they do best, ie. replacing Moore with Edmunds every 60min mark.

    Lets hope deans brings on his subs around that time, because all of them could easily be named in the starting 15. Who cares if we end up a player down, its bound to happen with our scrum anyway. (even burgess this week was unlucky to be displaced)

  • JJJ

    The difference between this match and the last one is that the ref will reach for the yellow card a lot sooner with the scrums if the Wallabies can’t get clear parity. Owens was widely criticized for being too lenient on the Aussie scrum by the English media, and any ref who values upward mobility will be wary of crossing that lot.

    My guess is that we’ll be playing 20mins with 14 players.

    • reds fan

      maybe we shoudl aim to have both props yellow carded and we can go to uncontested scrums. easy fix.

    • Batmann

      And the English media wouldn’t be biased would they? The scrum was all they had. Why wouldn’t they want to talk up like they had been hard done by.

      A lot of penalties we copped, should have been against them for not binding and brining the scrum down, but Owens was always on the other side of the scum & the assistant ref was blind & mute unless it was the French guy who couldn’t shut up rambling about nothing important.

  • Homer J

    Maafu and Slipper to go down injured in the first twenty (after one or both has been yellow carded). Deans then banking on uncontested scrums where he can play Edmunds at prop and use his awesome running game.
    From that point on Wallabies will score 40 points.
    The NSW state of origin team will then try and buy the entire squad having seen how they can play without actually having to use a scrum as a contest.

  • Pete the Parrot

    The oldest back is 28 and the forwards are going to learn with experience. RWC2011 is looking pretty good.

    • andy g

      i agree glad to see robbie stick to youth policy young players like fiannga just need a chance to improve demotion will not fix the problem give the guys a chance i dont mind losing to ENGLAND to give these guys experience however i dont want to lose to NEW ZEALAND OR SOUTH AFRICA. I hope the boys can improve

  • CliffyTahTah

    Youngs in for Care, and Lawes in for Shaw, but that is it! Suprising!!

    England: Ben Foden, Mark Cueto, Mike Tindall, Shontayne Hape, Chris Ashton, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, Tim Payne, Steve Thompson, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, Tom Palmer, Tom Croft, Lewis Moody (capt), Nick Easter. Res: George Chuter, David Wilson, Simon Shaw, James Haskell, Danny Care, Jonny Wilkinson, Delon Armitage.

  • Salad Fingers

    Just a quick whinge. Can the teams be named from 1-15 and not 15-1 like it is presently. makes for shit reading.

    Other than that, I need to do a poo.

    oh yeah and good article.

    • Noddy

      nup. I always write my teams from fullback to front row. Call it saving the best until last. But that’s how they line up on the field, fullback at the back and props at the front so that’s how I’ll keep doing it.

    • Brax


      • Brax

        Isn’t that how it’s always been done?

  • Joe_Mac

    Whether you like AAC, JOC or KB at 15. Or if you think Gits should make way for JOC at 12, what i love is that we have such awesome depth in the backline!
    We have so many dynamic backs with incredible versatility, many of which are the best in the world in these positions.

    Im not sure whether Robbie Deans has played a big hand in developing such depth or whether it is luck but I cant remember us having so much talent across the park.

    Now we just need this gun front row from the world under 20’s to grow up real fast and the 2011 + 2015 World Cups will be ours!

    • Homer J

      Half those Gen y kids will bugger off after the world cup and chase the money in France and Japan.
      I can’t see Ioane lasting to 2015 as he almost ditched Qld last year, AAC will be gone, Gits will go, Schmooooo chases every dollar he can.
      I reckon Genia and Horne (baring injury) are the best bets to be there in 2015.
      Ourn props should be good by then though. However it will take that long to dig themselves out of the ANZ Stadium turf after Saturday.

      • andy g

        well at the end of the day there will be new youthful players making the ranks i have seen alot of talent at the irb junior world cup.

      • Timmy Horan

        There is a British Lions tour of Australia between the 2011-2015 World Cups. This will ne a once in a career opportunity and will prevent an exodus.

        Also Europe is in serious trouble economically. Will the money be there to keep spending big on foreign rugby players?

    • dbla

      I’m not trying to kill your buzz or anything I’m just wondering who these many backline players are that you think are the best in the world in their spots… I can only think of one.

      • Joe_Mac

        All I am saying is that JOC, AAC, Ioane, Schmoo, Beale(almost) are all world class outside backs.
        Barnes, Giteau, Cooper are all world class 10/12’s (JOC also potential as an incredible 12).
        I can’t think of any backline in the world that has that much depth and talent.

        • dbla

          my bad thought you meant they were no. 1 in the world in their respective positions.

  • Spook

    Some people with poor memories on this site. People were ridiculing Deans 12 months ago for selecting Alexander,
    playing him at tight head and for also not selecting Baxter. By the end of the season, I didn’t hear any of those people admit Deans got it right and they were so wrong. Is history repeating itself? One must remember that Alexander hadn’t even played that many S14 games at that time.

    • Batmann

      Yes, but our scrum never got dished up the way it did last Saturday & the rest of the team had plenty of brain fart moments to ensure attention was spread across the whole team.

      Also 12 months ago Baxter was getting penalised for just being the Fuse, this year has probably been the best in a long while and he deserved a spot in the squad on form alone.

      Is it so bad, to have a few old heads mixed in with the young pups. Could they not pass on experience even if they were only to be used in case of emergencies like this?

      • Timmy Horan

        He slill goes down on the engagement more then any prop I’ve ever seen.

        I’ve had enough of seeing his ridiculous tough guy face he makes before scrums and then seeing him get kiss the turf over and over and over again.

        Ma’afu is ordinairy. Slipper and Daley will be good I reckon.

  • Pedro


    • I doubt it. Spook delivered 3 coherent sentences you could understand.

  • armatt

    slipper for ma’afu. our scrums across baa baa and Wobs matches have been dramatically stronger with Slipper.

  • Joe_Mac

    Remember Al Baxters last test? I remember halfway through Deans pulled him and he hasn’t had a look at test level since. I predict the same fate for ma’afu after the first couple of scrum penalties this weekend

    • Batmann

      Deans had no choice. The Fuse was getting penalised every scrum no matter what he did.

      I forget who that ref was, but he ended Baxter’s representative career.

    • Chiraag

      and hopefully he’ll be replaced in the squad by Fairbrother

    • Chiraag

      and hopefully it’ll for deans to bring Fairbrother into the squad.

  • Ben

    Lets focus on this backline…..WOW..easily the best in International rugby, with depth at every position. This is going to be an amazing time for Australian rugby….if we can just hold up the front row we will destroy the blacks and boks and lets face it they are the only other teams we need to worry about

    • JJJ

      I dunno about “easily the best”. The ABs have a pretty spectacular backline, aside from scrumhalf. And the Boks will have a great one too, aside from fullback.

    • Batmann

      Depends if we hang on the ball or not.

      Over the games played so far, we have coughed up a lot of possession whilst on attack & the teams we have played thus far have had NFI when they picked it up.

      The Kiwi’s & Saffa’s do not have that problem. If we spill the pill, they will punish us.

      The Poms will be bamboozled this weekend as they won’t know who to try and shut down with Genia, Quade, Gits, Diggers + the rest of the backline all threatening.

    • Timmy Horan

      Big call.

      None of our players have ever dominated a big tri-nations or world cup game.

      Seriously what big games have any of our backs even won? Apart from Gits none of them have won a Super 14. They’ve never won the Bledisloe or Tri-Nations or WC. You can’t be the best in the world as an individual player untill you’ve won big trophies.

      Plus if I where picking and international backline my first two selected would be Dan Carter and Corey Jane.

      • Robson

        I think it’s good enthusiasm on Ben’s part, but it’s just not too realistic at this stage. There is talent there for sure, but not really tested yet.

  • Joe Blow

    Should be fascinating rugby once again this weekend.
    Will the front row have come along this week and put up better resistance? We hope. Removing Shaw de-powers their scrum somewhat.
    Giteaus first instinct is to run so we may have a few more opportunities for our backs. Sookface kicks first and asks questions later.
    Basically we need to retain possession, run the pasty fatties around from the get go and just keep coming at them with ball in hand.
    Oh…..and don’t drop the friggin footy!

    • Joe Mac

      As much as sookface plays offence like Tim Cahill, his defence is top notch. England have a big centre pairing, im a little worried about Giteau’s tackling… Justified?

  • mudskipper

    welcome back Genia and Giteau… Inside backs will be a handful… and I’m sure teh Frontrow will be greatly improved. If teh backs drop teh ball less the forwards will scrummage little… :)

  • Graeme

    I have to say, our back line future is looking pretty good. How many teams could put AAC and barnes on the bench, and not even include Beale or Hynes in the team sheet.

    • Robson

      With some teams they might not even make the bench!!

      • Joe Mac

        like who?

More in ACT Brumbies