Waratahs help extend NZ teams' undefeated run over Aussie teams to 38 - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Waratahs help extend NZ teams’ undefeated run over Aussie teams to 38

Waratahs help extend NZ teams’ undefeated run over Aussie teams to 38

Frustrated would be the word to best describe the emotions of Waratahs fans as they watched their side squander countless opportunities to as they failed to end the win streak of New Zealand teams over Australian sides.

First Half

The Waratahs went on attack in the first couple of minutes and made the unusual decision to opt for a shot at goal when awarded a penalty 30 metres out and 5 metres in from the sideline. The Tahs have generally chosen to kick for the corner when awarded a non-trivial shot at goal but this time they took the shot. Foley pushed it wide of the near post and the scores reminded nil-all.

In the seventh minute, a well placed kick from the Blues stayed just inside the touchline as Israel Folau fielded it inside his 22. With little support the clear option was to kick but he opted for a long pass which went to Foley on the bounce and under pressure who passed again to Beale out wider. Beale had no option but to take the tackle and the only viable option at this point was to hold onto the ball and give away a penalty. The ball squirted out onto the Blues side of the breakdown and Reiko Ioane strolled over to score the first try. 7-nil and the Tahs found themselves behind for the remainder of the match.

Only a few minutes later the Blues scooped up a loose ball and Ioane looked set to run 80 metres to score but a determined Cam Clark never gave up the chase. Only metres from the try line he finally caught his man and pulled down Ioane from behind. With the presence of mind to place his hand on the tackled player, Clark prevented the try as Ioane was penalised for getting up without releasing the ball. An unbelievable try saving effort.

When the points were on offer the Blues took them and a penalty goal to Perofeta a few minutes later made it 10-nil.

A strong attacking raid from the Waratahs and Folau created an overlap for Cam Clark who charged towards the corner only to have his progress stopped by a careless high tackle from Blues backrower Dalton Papali’i. Referee Jaco Peyper consulted with George Ayoub but they decided that whilst a yellow card it wasn’t a penalty try. The Tahs kicked for the corner and managed to execute the maul and Damien Fitzpatrick crashed over to make it 10-7.

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Four minutes later and a player down, Stephen Perofeta stepped through the line to make a half break and offloaded. Matt Duffie linked up with his winger Tamua Manu who scored in the corner. 15-7. The Waratahs struck straight back. Folau fielded the short kick off, a raid down the right edge was stopped just short of the line but it was a case of Sekope on the spot who picked up the ball at the breakdown and crashed over in the corner. Foley added the extras and it was 15-14. A further penalty goal to the Blues had them leading 18-14 at the break.

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Second Half

The story of the season for the Waratahs so far has been a lack of composure and patience on attack and that continued in the first twenty minutes of the second half. Lots of possession and territory only led to dropped balls and breakdown errors as they failed to capitalise on promising opportunities. Too often they were too lateral spreading the ball from side to side despite little forward progress. Meanwhile discipline problems presented the Blues with a couple of shots at goal and the lead was extended to 24-14. The Waratahs finally worked out that a simple game plan of making the advantage line through the forwards and then looking to spread the ball wide is the way to make headway against a good defence. A few well executed phases saw them advance downfield before Beale went through a gap, offloaded to Hooper who popped up in support and ran away to score. At 24-21 with a few minutes left the Tahs were in the hunt.

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A couple of sustained attacking raids were frustrated by solid Blues defence and each time possession broke down. Paddy Ryan carried too high into contact and was held up in the maul. With two minutes remaining the Tahs were peppering the Blues try line and thought they had penalty advantage. A cross field kick from Beale to Folau was too long and the ball went into touch. Unfortunately it had only been a knock-on advantage and it looked like the game was over. The Blues presented the Tahs with one final possession after the siren but a dropped ball signalled full time.

The Blues emerged victors 24-21 in what was a fairly error riddled game. The Waratahs were their own worst enemies and couldn’t convert a significant territory and possession advantage into a win.

The Game Changer

Cam Clark’s extraordinary try saving tackle on Reiko Ioane. Whilst they still lost the game this play kept the Waratahs in it.

The G&GR MOTM

Stephen Perofeta made a few critical plays for the Blues and his goal kicking ultimately got the Blues home despite scoring one less try.

Wallaby Watch

Aside from a silly penalty, Sekope Kepu was strong throughout and bagged himself a clever try. Foley and Beale created plenty of opportunities in attack but were often shaky in defence.
With Will Genia injured the 9 and 21 jerseys for the Wallabies are wide open. Jake Gordon didn’t have his best game but Nick Phipps looked good off the bench. Both could feature in the Wallabies 23 come June.

The Details

Scores and Scorers


Waratahs 21

Trys: D Fitzpatrick, S Kepu, M Hooper

Conversions: B Foley – 3


Blues 24

Trys: R Ioane, T Manu

Conversions: S Perofeta – 1
Penalties: S Perofeta – 4

Cards and Citations

D Papali’I (Blues) Yellow Card

 

Crowd: TBA

  • Dally M

    Typical poor ball security from the Waratah’s cost them that match because the Blues did nothing special to win it.

    And another inconsistent performance from Peyper as well.

    So frustrating to watch on both accounts.

  • Bert

    How deflating… while I am proud of the commitment the tahs put in, it’s just so frustrating watch them (or any Australian team) play. They seem to miss their strengths – like not including TN in any backline moves in the first half – or even using him as a dummy runner (surely two defenders are going to him line up). Also, as good as IF is, can we leave him on the wing and bring Hegarty back, the defence feels way more capable with his poistioning.
    Finally, there just doesn’t seem to be enough considered attacking thought on display. This should come from the 5/8 or 9. But it feels like the team plays to a plan. Which has no bearing to the moment they’re in.

    • RobC

      Tahs so far, are the only team who have an efficient attack regime and arrives in the D zone quickly

      Their problem is efficiently scoring tries. They are getting better at it. Especially when compared to the game v Lions! :D

  • Brumby Runner

    To be pedantic, Cam Clark did not execute a try saving tackle. His chase was top notch and his tackle brought Rieko to the ground. Whether he had a hand on Reiko or not after that, the try was butchered by Reiko by not releasing the ball to return to his feet. Had he done so, the try would have been awarded despite the excellent work from Clark.

    Kepu had a moment of quick thinking brilliance that earned him his try. Apart from that, he was just run of the mill around the ground and certainly did not cause the Tahs’ scrum to be able to match the Blues’ one.

    Phipps did very little after coming on. Absolutely creamed by Akira in one of his many runs. So were others (including Michael Hooper who had a miserable night with missed tackles) but his defense is often cited as concession to his woeful passing game.

    Tahs were awful against the lowest ranking NZ side, but will still be good enough to top our under-performing conference.

    • Ed

      Kepu could have a tough battle next week with reports that Joe Moody could be returning to the Saders after playing 60 minutes with his club side yesterday.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Kepu was scrummaging with Fitzpatrick and Robertson. The scrum essentially holding its own on the Waratahs’ feeds was a good result given that, I think. And I think Tahs fans can thank Kepu. He and Tupou must be the tightheads come June.

        • RobC

          thought the Tahs scrummaged well. Except one time they lost concentration

    • Richard Patterson

      I would suggest Reiko Ioane should be crushed for ignoring an unmarked Caleb Clarke to his left. Sadly these are the skills you don’t master, or the awareness you don’t always develop at age-group level when you always run over everyone. His brother needs to make it a Special Project if he even wants to consider himself an All Black.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Reiko shouldn’t be playing in the centres yet though. He is probably the best winger in the world, being played out of position in the centres.

  • Gun

    Nice to see a genuine home crowd (at a super rugby game or a test) rather than the usual expat suspects.
    Perhaps all games should be played at regional grounds till (if) the game recovers. It was probably the biggest crowd of the season (bar the twigster’s team) and seemed to fit the ground well.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep was a huge crowd in WA for the WF vs Fijian’s.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Ba-Boom!

    • RugbyM

      I’d be keen. A packed regional (read: smaller) stadium is heaps better than 20% at the SFS or Oylmpic.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Pretty average performance by both teams to be honest. Just that on the day the Waratahs were slightly worse. Don’t rate Reiko Ioane as a 12 at all I could take him as a 13 but he’s wasted at 12. The decision making of the Blues is quite poor and they are still pushing too many passes when they need to hold them. Palu was good but Perofeta needs to work on how he makes decisions.
    Gordon did not have his best day but he was under immense pressure and wasn’t getting a lot of protection. Not sure how many meters Beale made but if you count his crabbing across the field it would be at least tripled. He either needs to run straight or pass to someone else who does otherwise all he does is cramp his outside players. Folau was pretty good although kept very quiet at times and still gets out of position in defence. I was pleased to see one good kick so hopefully this is something he’s been working on as it was always one of his weaknesses. The inability of the Waratahs to support a person who makes a break is just heartbreaking and they need to work on this.

    • Ed

      KRL,

      I have only watched the highlights but your thoughts on Folau’s performance are not as effusive as those on Foxsports:
      “Everything Folau did on Saturday night turned to gold…
      “…Folau’s performance was the most complete by an Australian player in Super Rugby this year.”

      https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/super-rugby/israel-folau-goes-agonisingly-close-to-matchwinning-try-for-waratahs/news-story/9848978f88f9a16e72393ab627d1c3dd

      His decision to pass, poorly, to Foley helped place the side under pressure near their goal line and it was dumb. Can anyone in the backline from Foley out to Folau pass left to right accurately? The Highlanders were smashed in Durban, but Ben Smith’s pass left-to-right for a late try was a ripper.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I thought he played well. Great catches, some good running and at least one good kick but he ran out of support and doesn’t protect the ball well in a tackle, he also was absent a few times in defence so while he was good I wouldn’t agree everything he did turned to gold. Mind you compared to some of the others in the team it probably looked like that. Sports commentators love going on about his work on attack and with the ball but they always overlook anything else like his poor positioning (still) in defence. Personally I still think he’s a better winger than a 15. While I thought the trick of having him run in and take some short kickoffs is not a bad option it can be overplayed and you run the risk of no one at the back if he doesn’t secure the ball, or loses it in a tackle/ruck.

        • Hoss

          Me too – Gordon gets more wraps than i believe he should.The pace of the game, the break down clearance, speed of attack and all other halfback KPI’s improve under phipps. I reckon Gordon gets alot of wraps on here simply because hes not Phipps (i do understand that)

        • metalisticpain

          The thing is though, he’s adequate. Ok doing the job due to injuries. Aussie team players can’t do their primary job let alone a 2nd or 3rd.

  • Adrian

    Not that bad by NSW I thought,….and a cracking game.
    3 tries to 2 isn’t bad.
    Patience and composer correctly highlighted by Will in write-up.
    Still, the way the Tahs play, stuff-ups are likely,.. and with the cattle they have, it is the only way to play.
    Blues are probably 7th best team in comp,…and Tahs about 8th best at the moment,…or vice versa.
    I think Gordon looked exhausted, which is understandable, given the pace of the game.

    I wouldn’t (won’t) slag the coach or Beale, they did their best.

    I can certainly see the Tahs winning games like this, including ones against higher ranked NZ teams,…..BUT

    I think Latu does really need to come in to the 23 for his range of skills. Fitz hasn’t been bad, and provides extra leadership, but Latu provides variety.

    I’d also put Shambeckler Vui on bench instead of Ryan.

    I hope Dempsey is back soon, but the back row is functioning.

    All in all,…..jUST more practice at high speed might be what’s needed.

    Well done Tahs

    • fatman

      And this is exactly the reason why Australian rugby is in the predicament it is. We need to stop sugar coating these performances. You can polish a turd but it’s still a turd. I must say I do love the fact that your’e trying to look for the positives but isn’t it about time we called a spade a fucking shovel. That performance by the Waratahs was woeful at best. We have a 15 who ticks about one kpi for a 15, he’s good under a high ball, other than that Izzys performance was crap. His defensive reads of the game are terrible, his kicking is nearly non-existent which is why he chose to pass under pressure & therefore transfer the pressure to someone else etc which ultimately lead to a Blues try. His passing is also sub-par. Foley and Beale did nothing all night except crab across field & throw shithouse passes. Hooper missed countless tackles, had zero impact at the breakdown & is in charge of a team that made very questionable decisions. Naiyaravoro has no right to be allowed anywhere near a super rugby team, he lacks all the basic fundamental skills of a winger. I could go on but it is exhausting thinking about this rubbish we trot out week after week.

      • Adrian

        Understandable frustration, but they wouldn’t have won any games if they were that bad

        • fatman

          I don’t think beating other pissweak Aussie sides counts. And yes they were that bad. I went & watched an U16’s game today & the standard was better.

    • Ed

      Adrian,

      I know you will always look for the positives in the performances of the Australian sides.
      You noted the lack of patience and composure – there were over 500 Wallabies caps in the Tahs squad last night. Surely that should be enough to keep their heads when things become tough. When it works, great, but there needs to be a plan B when their risky strategy struggles.

      The mountain becomes a wee higher for them next week.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        The mental chasm between the Aussies and Kiwi teams is so big.

        The reason why Australian Super Rugby teams have had so many extremely close losses to Kiwis during this period is the same reason why the Blues have had so, so many close losses to New Zealand teams since rd 1 2016.

        Nothing can overcome this mental chasm and lack of self-belief except for getting lucky and winning some of the close ones. Aussie teams walk out onto the pitch expecting to lose now.

        • Ed

          The Blues have lost 15 in a row against NZ sides? It may be a mental chasm for them and us.
          One of the poor results for us is for every bonus point loss our sides have, there are two bonus point wins for our NZ opposition.
          The record from round one, 2016:
          Played 58:
          Won 3, drawn 1, lost 54.
          We have gained 13 bonus points for losing by <=7, of which the Blues were the opponents in seven of those games.
          The NZ sides have achieved 30 bonus point wins in that time.

          On another topic, our U20 Wallabies lost to NZ last night 43-28, where we scored the last two tries. It will take time for the proposed new structure for our youth to filter through.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yep, Blues lack that mental edge in the Kiwi derbies. They still have it against us though.

          Did you see the match? I saw Hansen scored, although I am interested that he’s still playing fullback when the Brumbies see him as a flyhalf as far as I am aware. I would have thought you’d want him at 10 outside of Lonergan for the U20s. Is that an indication of where he sits i the flyhalf pecking order, or is it politics?

        • formerflanker

          They expect to lose because we have a “how to lose” coach on board now.

        • Brumby Runner

          Isn’t he/she a coach for the Executive rather than the players?

      • Alister Smith

        Yes that was it for me. I have seen Foley and Beale take control of games and settle things down where they needed to be or not passed on unnecessary pressure. But It seemed like from the opening whistle they were playing as if they were 10 behind with 5 to go. Also a bit disappointed in quality of passing and catching. Certainly a very very quick game and players would have been exhausted, particularly as there were a number of knock-ons and turnovers where play continued with a set-piece to rest at but isn’t it possible if the strategy is proving just a little beyond the skill and fitness level to just wind it back a bit. Its admirable to challenge but the level of the challenge looks beyond them. I know a lot on here are critical of Hannigan but the young man does a lot of work around the field. But yes I agree that the effectiveness of a lot of it might be qa little questionable.

        • Gun

          I thought Hannigan was good last night.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Surely this puts an end to Gibson’s experiment of playing a light, quick pack with a high work-rate but low impact. It is clearly designed to play the Kiwi way of every player from 1-15 being able to move the ball quickly, and run quickly,

    It worked against the Australian sides. But it came up against by far the worst New Zealand side and lost. There’s no point in competing for the Aus conference, it is meaningless. We need to try and beat the Kiwis. Latu and some of the bulkier props have to come into contention.

    Hegarty also needs to come back at either 12 or 15, with Beale occupying the other spot. Folau to the right wing. He’s more dangerous in space, so put him in the position where he will be given the most attacking ball in space.

    If Phipps is in the Wallaby 23 in June then I am done with Cheika. Back Gordon or Powell as Genia’s understudy. They’re the future, Phipps is not, he has proven time and again his decision making is not up to Test rugby.

  • Richard Patterson

    Thank you for the write-up.

    Just me – or did 3 things in this game sum up the current state of rugby in Australia? People looking for examples of the gulf that seemingly has emerged with neighbouring New Zealand need to look no further.

    1. Watch the lead up to the Reiko Ioane try. Israel Folau executes a dreadful pass to Bernard Foley who recovers it and then executes an equally dreadful pass to Kurtley Beale. Waratahs capitulate, Blues pounce – Ioane scores. 3 experienced Wallaby backs combine for a disgraceful display of basic skills execution — at the wrong end of the field.

    2. Watch the Waratahs in that very late 20 phase build-up. Watch how many passes out of the hand that were simply poor in their fundamental delivery. Passes that the moment required to be “right on the money” – but were not! Too often the receiving player had to check his momentum to reach up, down or back. The fractional loss of time (and extra concentration) required to complete the catch (and/or next movement) meant on many occasions the moment was lost, the pressure was eased and the Blues defence was allowed to hold.

    3. Watch the Blues defence in that last 4 minutes. A poor side with nothing to play for this season — but they kept working hard, kept making their tackles, kept turning up to defend a lead they had worked hard to achieve. That is mental toughness. That is physical resilience. That is dealing with adversity under pressure. The young Reds side are showing pride in their defence — see it from any of the other Australian sides? Too often I see individuals and/or teams start well – but then fold under the intensity of the pressure (watch the Rebels Friday night).

    Maybe these guys are working hard on the training tracks to address these shortcomings. My problem is I don’t see evidence of it on match days. What I see is a bunch of guys comfortable in their place in life. A bunch of guys feeling no pressure about being dropped, losing their professional contract — or feeling answerable to a fan base who are quite entitled to demand more. I see sad faces after a loss. I do not see guys shellshocked — and with a steely determination to ensure these horrific emotions are never felt again.

    Final word though belongs to the event itself. Brookvale Oval looked fantastic! It looked intense and vocal. Credit to those who played a part trying to get the home team over the line. They were let down!

    • Gun

      I’m sure Rob Simmons is a top bloke but he must surely be the canary in the coal mine. He can run a line out but is not SR standard in any other area of his game. Yet there is no one to replace him to the extent that he has been let go from one sub par team and been employed by the premier franchise in the Oz comp. And he is not alone. I think we need to go back to three teams, a Rebels Brums merge. As 2020 rolls around propose an extension/modification of Twig Series Rugger that includes the Kiwis. If they don’t want to play, and this may be a better option anyway, sink SR, have a national club comp with two tiers and a relegation system as well as a draft, father/son/daughter rules, play at regional grounds, get a free to air deal as well as pay tv and start again.

  • RugbyM

    A bit of back to under-5s “this-is-a-rugby-ball” type training might not go amiss amongst all the Aussie teams. Forget everything we know (or think we know about rugby) and just go back to “we pass the ball backwards to go forwards. It also helps if we pass it to blokes wearing the same jersey as you”

  • Hoss

    A walk around a local reserve watching my little guys hold reptiles and feed the roos and calmeness has returned to my life and prevented a stroke through exhorbitant blood pressure.

    But, then there’s the NSW Waratahs. (bile rising, fist clenching….easy now)

    I cant offer anything new, no insight, observation, gut-feel, sense, vibe or fact that i havent contributed before and that is my whole point. Just what has changed under Mr Gibson & Mr Hooper from last year to this ?

    Macca – i owe you an apology. You and i have always (good natured) agreed to dsagree re Hooper. Last night i saw the Hooper you have wrote of for 18 months. Ineffective, horrendous defense, quick to a breakdown – sure, totally ineffective at said break down – yesssirrreee bob. Leadership – none to speak of, galvanising the team – no chance, best 7 in Australia – sure, after my 93 yo Grandfather with arthrisitis, a dodgey hip, fading eyseight and some guy called Pocock, oh, with daylight second and our next best 7’s forced off-shore through a severe case of myopia.

    Foley – i simply do not know where to begin or end, suffice to say i chided a Banana-bender last week for suggesting Hamish Stewart should be in the June series – well, i reckon he (Stewart) has to be (he wont, by the way,as the Gold side has only 2 training sessions prior to the first Paddies Test so the Lebanese Silk trader will stick within his comfort zone of also-rans, but he(stewart) is the form 10 in Oz at present, actually he is the ONLY 10 in form in Oz – Hawera, Deborah somebody and Foley – if it wasnt so sad it would be funny. Have you ever seen poorer depth / quality of Australian 10’s – ever ? Really – ever ?????

    The rest, meh, the Tah’s are so vanilla they are nearly transparent, no good at the basics, no leadership, no direction, dreadful skills – i would fucking hate to see Simmon’s microwave oven at home, because here is a prick that simply wont / cant clean-out.

    And then, theres Daryl – i get he needs to stay positive, concentrate on those things that were ok like, ummm, the – no thats not it, how we…., nope didnt do that, little signs like how the team….nahhh, didnt do that either – oh, the bus trip over the bridge was good and Izzy had a killer playlist………so it wasnt all lost.

    Daryl, as the great moralist, thinker and purveyor of social fabric, George Costanza once said – ‘its not a lie, if you believe it…………………’

    Hoss – out.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I thought that was a brilliant comment. A bit harsh on Hooper, perhaps, as he was poor last night but is generally very good (although he isn’t Pocock, no way). But your comment sums up the general malaise we feel as Aussie rugby fans, and diagnoses a lot of the problems the Tahs and the Wallabies have.

      Thank you.

      • Hoss

        Your right about Hooper mate, perhaps a bit harsh, perhaps. Certainly cant / wont question his committment and effort and yes, we all have an off nite (so ive been told, never personally experienced yet). But to a casual / critical eye last nite, he was poor.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think he isn’t quite David Pocock, or George Smith. As awesome as his bits often are, he misses a concerning number of tackles.

        • Brumby Runner

          And not only because he is charging up out of the line to try to shut the attack down. Against the Blues he missed one or two that way out of many he missed otherwise.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not as bad as Hanigan’s miss that led to that try.

        • John Miller

          Against the Jags, Hooper missed two tackles that led directly to tries. Cue: stony silence from Fox commentary team. The fend off by Quagga Smith on his way to the Tahs tryline wasn’t quite as embarrassing as the bump off Hooper received from a 10kg+ lighter, Perese, in the Reds match, but it was more immediately expensive.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Perese is a beast though. Puts on some great defensive hits too. I really, really, really hope he continues his development as his running lines and defence make me hope that he could one day be the outside centre we’ve wanted for such a long time.

        • John Miller

          Yep, Perese is a fantastic, aggressive runner DB, no question. But at 5’9 and 90kgs dripping wet, he’s no behemoth. And the incumbent Wallabies openside flanker has no business getting owned by him.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          No doubt. He should be able to complete a front on, one on one tackle on a 20 year old that has just come back from injury.

          Perese didn’t even try to step, just ran into him Lomu style.

        • John Miller

          Actually, Hooper’s effort – at least defensively – was right on average for him this weekend. He is 7th across the comp for missed tackles, 3rd for ineffective tackles (came 2nd last year despite the Tahs not playing finals) and his 75% tackle effectiveness is terrible for an openside flanker (particularly in comparison to Pocock’s 94%).

          Hooper is highlight reel fodder. He has great tackle technique (when he gets it right) and if he can put on a good hit (usually in a rush-up on a hospital pass awaiting inside back) or dance through the three quarter channel at some point, that gives the Fox cheerleaders the opportunity to replay the event ad nauseum, hyperbolically proclaim his “impact” and lay the platform for Cully, Robinson and Decent to crank the propaganda machine to “eye-bulging” level.

          Hooper is defensively very frail. He has been for many seasons.

        • Hoss

          Great stats mate

    • Adrian

      Not that bad Hoss.

      You’ll get over it

      The Blues are a good team, disadvantaged by having to play their first half of season matches against really, really good teams,… just as the Tahs have played (mostly) against bad teams.

      I still say it was a great and absorbing match for 80 minutes

      • Gun

        Man Adrian, you are the king of positive. I stalked out of the Rebels game like the angry little man I am (but generally only when it comes to rugby!). Ive watched this developing malaise since I left school in ’82 and its never been like this. But you’re right tis only run ’round the paddock’ after all. If only I hadn’t spent $500 again to see us smashed by another touring team as well as my current membership.

      • Hoss

        Always love your positivity mate and until lately your tips (hmmm)

        I disagree slightly though, the Tah’s are that bad and thats my point in the rant above. The gulf in between what we want them to be and what they are will not be brdiged with the current roster or coach and thats the killer.

        My wife summed it uo for me last night in one of thos ‘oh snap’ moments of sel-awareness

        The good Dr said to me last night mid one of my rants, grimaces, sighs or hurrumphs – ‘sweetheart, why do you always put yourself through this – its the same every time” – and i thought shit (queue lightbulb) she is 101% right.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Adrian I absolutely love your positive view on everything Australian rugby. You are a shining light mate. I thought both teams were actually quite close and that’s a really sad indictment of Australian rugby. Poor individual skills, poor decision making, poor leadership and too many players not deserving of their wage.

        • Adrian

          Ta KRL

    • Brisneyland Local

      Welll said Hoss! I share your pain everytime the Reds play, except for last week.
      – Yes Foley is shit. I have been saying that for a long time, and you have been on that same journey with me. BUt he will be our 10, because the Lebanese silk trader wont look anywhere else.
      – Phipps is even worse, but now that Genia is injured I put a lazy $50 on the table that he will be the 9.
      – Hooper is energetic but is is a crap 7 and a crap Captain. But alas he will be both the Capt and the 7.
      – Our standard of coaching and playing is not improving, at best it is stagnant, at worst it is slowly degrading towards greater levels of shiteness.

      I feel your pain!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Apparently Genia will be fine for the internationals!

        • fatman

          Which doesn’t really help us long term because Cheika in his infinite wisdom wants him for the World Cup next year & I hate to say it but Genia is not the way forward for Aus rugby.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think he will ever be the player he was until about 2012. However, he was probably the best halfback in the world last year during the Rugby Championship, and is probably the best Australian player even now.

          We definitely need to get better about managing his schedule though. Either Gordon or Powell need to be backed, and given serious minutes.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Really? I heard probably out for 8 weeks. I so hope he is back.
          To watch Phipps sparaying it like a blunderbuss, will do my head in!

      • Bernie Chan

        Perhaps indicative of our woes…we have Foley as a dead cert starter at #10, and Genia (if fit..) at #9 followed by daylight. Recall Farr-Jones occupying the #9 jersey with Slattery n Brian Smith battling for the reserve spot. How is Hooper a captain…?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Good Question.

    • McWarren

      Hoss my friend Apology accepted, begrudgingly accepted. Hooper will be the Wallaby 7 and captain. I wish he was as good as Georgina and Paul at the SMH tell me he is.

      I didn’t see the game so I can’t comment on his or anyone else’s form. But just reading the reports it all sounds very familiar, an Aussie team playing dumb.

      I’m in the home of the ponies this weekend. Just did the AIS tour. How can a country that invests that sort of coin into sport be so dumb at playing rugby.

      • Hoss

        Poor bastard – i spent 15 years in Canberra one weekend.

        Dont bother watching it mate – 90 minutes of your life better spent on ANY other activity than the train wreck that was the Blues v Waratahs.

        Head to Fishwick instead…….

        • Brisneyland Local

          The home of Fireworks, Porn and knock shops! No wonder parliament house is only ten mins drive from there!

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Mate I’m not sure that they will. Cheika needs to make some changes but I think he see’s making change as him portraying a weakness so he won’t until it’s so fucken obvious he has too (the Foley/Cooper combination is an example of this). You’re right the depth isn’t there and that forces issues but I’m not so sure the leaders in this group are actually leading and I see a much harsher picture. Bledisloe will stay with NZ and the Boks will hand you guys a hiding unless there are big changes. Pooper doesn’t work, Foley is getting worse, Folau is not a good 15, Phipps is worse than the options, your ex-league players need more time to learn union play and will be liabilities, your defensive coach has a stupid system that doesn’t work, your attack coach operated off instinct and doesn’t know how to teach it and too many players aren’t being threatened so they won’t step up.

    Sorry mate but that’s what I see

  • Kokonutcreme

    I thought the pre-match preview with the headline “Beyond Blue” was quite prescient.

    There are a lot of Australian rugby fans that are dealing with anxiety and frustration at a) their home team they barrack for and b) the current state of Australian rugby vs New Zealand teams.

    Whether they admit to it or not, is it wrong to suspect that the players are developing a mental bloc versus Kiwi opposition? I’m not talking about lack of belief ahead of the game, but during the game when they either fall behind or establish a lead and have to defend it? Mentally Australian sides aren’t fighting long enough to stay competitive.

    When you see experienced Wallabies such as Folau, Foley and Beale commit simple errors of skills, skills that you’ve seen them exhibit with aplomb at test level, you have to wonder what is going on upstairs?

    These are not poor players, regardless of whether you are a fan of them or not.

    Watching the Waratahs in that second half, it looked like they were waiting for the Blues to implode. Then when they didn’t, confusion led to frustration, anxiety and then panic. In that headspace it’s no surprise that core skills started to fall away.

    On its own this result for the Tahs is sheer frustration at a lost opportunity that was well within their grasp. As an indicator of the relative strengths between the Australian and NZ conferences, the forecast is for more stormy weather ahead.

  • Brumby Runner

    Need you to clarify a couple of points Adrian.

    What do you mean by tag team. That means to me one plays and the other comes on when the first goes off. They’ve never been used in that fashion.

    You do realise, and I expect you have consciously put in three THPs and only one LH.

    You comment that TPN won’t be playing v Ireland and proceed to include him in your team, along with another (Latu) who isn’t and probably won’t be playing Super Rugby this year and a third (Uelese) who is out injured and I believe in doubt for the mid year tests.

    On the whole, I think you are close to what Cheika will pick, but with that side I don’t expect any test wins at all this year. Being optimistic, I am hopeful we won’t be towelled by more than 50 by the ABs.

    • Adrian

      By tag team, I meant working together in tackles, with Pocock stealing. They’ll work independently.

      I realise about props, but Alaalatoa used to be LH, and currently we have no LHs in form apart from Sio.

      Re hookers, I think there is a reasonable chance Latu will be restored to Tahs, and Wallabies, and forgiven for whatever he did apart from being unfit. Uelese will hopefully be back. If none of above, then Fitzpatrick, as he’s experienced. Others too raw.

      I can see plenty of tricks in attack, and a simpler defence of a type Kerevi can work with.

      I think better than early last year because of Beale and Pocock who weren’t available

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Mate some good selections …….. but
    Korebette is over rated. Can’t defend and easily nullified.
    Kerevi plays poorly at 13, I’d have him backing up 12 as a reserve. I actually think Beale would go better at 13 as he’d have more room and not have to crab so much. I also see him running off Kerevi’s breaks.
    The pooper will always give you an unbalanced loose forward trio. Should be either Hooper or Pocock not both and I think Pocock is a better 7. Timu def and maybe Angus Scott-Young as a 6, I like his dedication.

  • onlinesideline

    If the Wallabies played on behalf of the Waratahs we would still lose at the moment.

  • formerflanker

    Still cranky over the loss so I’ll post some bitter thoughts.
    Why use an old photograph above this article showing no supporters when the Brookie hill was abuzz with the large crowd?
    The grandstands were far from full yet you couldn’t buy tickets for those seats on line.
    Ball handling skills by the Tahs in close contact situations are very poor. During their warm up, the Blues were drilled in these skills.
    Folau was excellent – the whole time he was on the right wing. Leave him there.
    Gordon got a lot of bad ball from phase play and set pieces.
    The series of pressure shuffling passes from Folau-Foley-Beale looked like a natural, coached reaction.

    At least the beers were cold and the kids’ chock tops remained solid for most of the eating process.

    • Brisneyland Local

      FF, I must admit to the importance of the choc tops remaining solid. Everytime I took my kids, if they had sloppy choch tops, not only was I stain removing from clothes I was also cleaning the cars back seats out as well!

    • BigNickHartman

      formerflanker – take photos for us and we’ll use them. we didn’t have a photographer there and we dont want to be sued by Getty

    • Tomthusiasm

      You can’t embed Getty images in the header on a word press site, hence why they’ve probably used a royalty free image.

  • Missing Link

    What a cliffhanger. One observation at the end was that Phipps injected a lot of energy when he came on, but the tahs reverted to helter skelter rugby which could have worked had Beale put a better cross kick into Izzy, or not kicked at all and their forward retained possession, they could have worked the blues down a little bit before finding a way over.

  • Nutta

    I advocated silence before the match in order to not tempt the rugby Gods

    I have nowt but silence to offer now because the Tarts were just $hit

    I am reminded of the tearing of clothes and gnashing of teeth that went on in about 2012 when folk were boo’ing the Tarts for being $hit

    Congratulations to the Blues for winning the game

  • Bernie Chan

    I have NFI…but are “most” of the players in Oz SR teams from NSW…?
    A Highlanders supporting corporate high flyer mentioned the focus on the private school system in Oz vs NZ where pretty much every school had rugby in their program….we lack depth and competition for places, so players with fundamental skills failings still make pro-rugby ranks and eventually National honours.

    • Adrian

      Yes, given about 80% of Rugby is actually played in NSW and Qld, and NSW has about 2x the population of Qld it tallies.

      Only 1 or 2 (if that) Rebs players come from Victoria, and half Brums come from ACT.

      About 2 WA players in comp.

      The rest from NSW & Qld, with most from NSW. You can check all on Rugby.com or Wikipedia

      Yes, private schools the bastion of Rugby Union.

      Government schools 90% Rugby League in NSW and Qld, and 90% AFL in Victoria, WA, SA, Tas.

      It really is dieing..

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