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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the Wallabies not overlooking Uruguay, a former coach slamming the current halves situation and a superfan taking over the World Cup. It finishes by remembering the life of former Wallaby and Randwick legend Jeff Sayle.


Wallabies wary of underdog Uruguay

nic white try wallabies

The Wallabies are refusing to take Uruguay lightly as they look to bounce back after their heartbreaking loss against Wales.

Whilst many would’ve pencilled this game to end with a cricket score at the start of the comp, Uruguay showed their might in their opening game with a huge upset over Fiji.

Halfback Nic White is well aware of the danger that they possess, referring to the clash as ‘do or die’.

“It’s a do-or-die game for us and it’s against a team that beat Fiji,” Wallabies halfback Nic White said.

“Certainly the days of old World Cups where there are two different tiers are gone. We’ve certainly got a lot of respect for them.

“They play with some serious passion. They’re going to be physical and in terms of what they’re going to throw at us I think a degree of not knowing may help us. It’s about focusing on ourselves and being ready for anything because they play pretty unpredictable footy. That’s going to be a challenge.”

White towed the typical favourite’s line that anything that can happen on any day, reaffirming that their primary focus is on winning (as oppose to what, losing?).

“There’s a lot of respect for everyone and all teams. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day,” White said.

“We have to make it to the quarters first, for us. It’s pretty simple. Thats all we are saying at the moment,

“We have to win and keep winning. We don’t have that luxury of maybe other nations at the moment, thinking which way we are we going to go through it. For us it is this week.”

Prop Scott Sio believes that the defeat to Wales hasn’t caused panic amongst the group, with Cheika and the rest of the coaching group upholding the confidence in the group.

“I don’t think so, I think Cheik and them have been very steady in their plan,” Sio said.

“I think it’s more about that squad mentality I alluded to before, making sure everyone’s ready to play no matter what role they play this weekend.

“They know what they want to do and if you’re name’s called upon, you’ve got to be ready to play Saturday. Every game is a must-win for us.”

Connolly blasts ‘muddled’ halves

john-connolly

Former Wallabies coach John Connolly has described the Wallabies playmaking dilemma as a “mud puddle” as the side still tries to figure out the perfect combination.

Connolly has cautioned selectors about putting too much emphasis on enterprising performances from the bench as further questions continue to emerge about the side’s number one flyhalf.

In the two pool games, the Wallabies have used two separate flyhalves, Christian Lealiifano and Bernard Foley, with both overshadowed by the performances of Matt Toomua off the bench.

Connolly suggested that whilst Toomua will likely get the start after his impressive showing against Wales, the selectors shouldn’t be too much consideration in the work of a fresh player against tired opponents.

“We don’t know. We don’t know. We’ll probably throw To’omua in the next one, so three Tests in a row we would have had three different five-eighths,” he believes.

“It’s like the fool’s gold that you get when you play White and then because Genia goes on with a full tank of petrol and looks better we think ‘Well, he looks good, he’ll play’.

“Then White comes on and he looks better than Genia.

“Well, your reserves should always look better because on a full tank of petrol. So you just don’t know.”

The former Reds and Wallaby coach nominated Bernard Foley as the ideal candidate, suggesting that his experience was the main difference.

“The problem you’ve got is that Foley was dropped, confidence was down, you’ve got to assume that it will be tough mentally for him,” he said.

“He didn’t play particularly well in the first half, nor did others, I didn’t think Genia’s service was particularly good at times to him.

“But I don’t think Lealiifano’s the answer because he’s not a real attacking threat.
“I don’t know what he brings to the table extra.

“I’d probably start with Foley and have To’omua up my sleeve again.”

World Cup’s Bak-san’s canvas

RUGBYU-WC-2019-MATCH14-JPN-IRL-FANS

If you have watched any of the World Cup, then you have probably witnessed the guy above in the stands.

Hiroshi Moriyama, who has been dubbed ‘bak-san’, intends to have worn a painted representation of all 20 teams’ jerseys on his body by the end of the World Cup.

Moriyama got the idea from an Auckland fan as a way of spicing up Japanese rugby, which often has more passive and respectful crowds that usual.

“In the Top League games we go to watch regularly, the crowds are often very serious and watch the matches in silence,” he suggests.

“I wanted to do something to change that.”

He is hoping that the tournament will help create a positive rugby legacy within the country (despite SANZAAR’s best effort to kill it), helping to get more people involved in the game played in heaven.

“People who aren’t rugby fans will come to know the sport through this tournament,” he said.

“I would love it if more people started to play rugby and there was an environment where kids can keep playing.”

His wife Rika is heavily involved in his journey across the 28 RWC games that they intend to attend, painting his bare chest with special paint to replicate the jerseys.

“My husband is very attentive to detail and I have to admit I’m still struggling to draw the smaller letters and precise patterns,” she said.

Whilst many would shriek at their husband’s costly hobbies, Rika was unfazed by it, believing that the joy that it brings to other people makes it all worth it.

“We’re really just here to have fun so we’re not too hung up on the amount,” she said.
“When I see the smiles of people when they see my husband, I say to myself that it’s really worth the effort and gives me strength for all the jerseys I’ve still got to do.”

When the question of warmth came up, Moriyama added to his cult status with his ingenious way of fighting off the cold.

“I just put up with it,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of fat, so that keeps me warm.”

Vale Jeff Sayle

Randwick legend Jeff Sayle cheers the boys on.

Randwick legend Jeff Sayle cheers the boys on.

It’s with a heavy heart that I finish this news with the passing of Wallaby and Randwick legend Jeff Sayle

Sayle died peacefully at the Prince of Wales Hospital on Monday night, aged 77.

He was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for services to rugby, having been involved with the club for over 60 years.

Sayle was capped for Australia in 1967 and also played for NSW, having played 379 games for Randwick between 1961 and 1980 – including 160 in first grade.

He also served as the club’s treasurer, secretary, president and was club patron from 2003.

Wallabies attack coach Shaun Berne paid his respects to the legend that was Sayley, who embraced the club and everyone who joined it.

“He was one of my first coaches when I got down there at Randwick in the Colts (and) as a young kid coming out of school I remember being inspired by this guy,” Berne said.

“His way with words was incredible and the way he explained rugby was sometimes from a different planet but at the same time but so clear as to how he thought the game should be played.

“He embraced life. He suffered from a bit of Parkinsons and Sayley would embrace that and say it was very windy indoors because his hand was shaky while he held his beer and he’d blame the wind. He was such a character.”

This is a sombre story for anyone who was involved within the Randwick Rugby club as he was the heart and soul of the great club, with every person to have met him coming away with a different moment adding to his legend.

Wallabies coach and former Randwick player Michael Cheika summed him up perfectly in his letter to Sayley, crediting him for the person he is today.

Personally, my rugby story begins as a ball boy for Randwick and even from a young age, you could tell the passion and love that he had for the sport and the community of Randwick.

Regardless of age, background and history, he would make anyone welcome at the club and it’s almost touching that the last Randwick match he saw was the team that he treasured taking it to a world-class international side in front of a packed Coogee Oval.

He will be missed.

  • Steve

    Connolly speaks sense re: reserves coming on, but Cheika continues to fall for it.

    9: ffs just leave White in and have Genia come in at the end. White is the only guy who can keep pace for the start of a test match. Genia adds stability to close. Great – just stop chopping.

    10: Toomua has outshone both CLL and Foley (the latter could also be achieved by sticking a broom in the ground and putting a bucket with a smiley face on top). He’s earned the start and CLL can cover 10/12. So until further notice just stick with 10. Toomua 22. CLL.

    Overall it just highlights the contracting problem, with guys earning more cash in the EU before making themselves eligible at the very last moment for the Wallabies. There might be an argument for only picking players for RWC who at least played the full previous international season – the pool matches are hardly the right place to be figuring out your best team.

    • Patrick

      I’ve always liked Connolly but I wonder if he’s in fact exhibit B for why we need HIAs (exhibit A being Kearns).

      Wtf is he smoking??

      • Custard Taht

        I can understand what he is saying. Interpretation “We left our best attacking 10 out of the team, so we now we find ourselves in this shit fight”.

        If Foleys confidence is shot, can’t say CLL will be in a better state, after the Cheika mind game selections.

        Toomua is the only 10 left who hasn’t been fucked by Cheika.

        As they say, “there are only two types of 10’s. Those who have been fucked by Cheika, and those that will be.”

        • Patrick

          I get what he saying about where we are. But I can’t follow how that suggests we play the one guy who was never really up to it in the first place?? And to suggest that he didn’t play that badly??

        • Custard Taht

          Neither do I, there was no logical reason for Cheika to select Foley, other than Cheika being too clever by half. I think Connolly’s comment s just confirm the delusion that surrounds the inner sanctum.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Love that last line but I think you can add 9, 12 and maybe some more numbers to that

        • Custard Taht

          Yep, which is why we are where we are at.
          I was all hyped at the start of the RWC, but the loss to wales has seen me take down the spinaker, and put up a jib.

          I feel sorry for the players. You are only as strong as your weakest link, and there is nothing worse than being a part of a team, where the weakest link, is the leader.

        • AllyOz

          That’s a bit unfair on Link… he had some decent results, not like the new guy.

        • Yowie

          Ewan actually had a bloody plan for each game. Even if we lost under Link I was satisfied that the intellectual and physical work had been done.

        • Nutta
        • Yowie

          Interesting reading. I probably have rose-tinted hindsight when it comes to Ewen McKenzie. After he won the Super title for the Reds he could run over my dog and still have my support.

          Consistent with your article comments, I remember attending some Reds function where the very newly appointed Link took a question about playing style (i.e “are you bringing the conservative Waratahs style with you or what?” and answered it by noting that the Reds had Quade Cooper etc so he’d make use of that attacking talent.

          Having said that, your 2014 comment is interesting:-

          And Cheks clearly is Links biggest current rival to the Wobblies job. So it is pertinent to acknowledge that he is clearly a devotee of the Jones idea of game plan over cattle.

          With 5 years worth of hindsight one might now add “but Cheks only has the one game plan, and his selection of cattle can be a puzzler sometimes”?

        • Custard Taht

          My reference to Link, is not Link the coach, but Link in a chain.

          I try not to discuss McKenzie, it still pisses me off.

        • AllyOz

          sorry Taht, I was trying to be half smart…I knew what you were saying

        • Custard Taht

          I thought that was the case, but wasn’t sure!

        • Patrick

          At least you didn’t tear the spinaker apart…

        • Custard Taht

          lol, came damn close!

        • Custard Taht

          Maybe change it to, there are two types of wallabies….

        • Patrick

          The whole backline really, I increasingly think he just doesn’t get backs and doesn’t have the brains to let someone else deal with them.

      • Human

        Knuckles was the QLD coach who took the world’s best 13, fast, elusive, great hands, and made him play crash-ball at 12…until said 13 left QLD. Knuckles was the master at screwing with a player’s head.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Who was that mate

        • Human

          Jason Little was the 13.
          Other players had their minds screwed by knuckles.

        • Bobas

          He also took a backline capable of putting 50 on the springbox and got them to kick more.

        • AllyOz

          The only 13’s I can think of at the time were Jason Little and Daniel Herbert? maybe Elton Flatley but I can’t remember any of them being turned into a crash ball 12?

        • Hoss

          Knuckles makes some good points (must be a regular reader on here) but he’s also the bloke that equalled our worst ever world cup record, so.

          Its like taking Jim Jones advice on great family holiday resorts, take it with a grain of salt.

    • Patrick

      Agree completely with that.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I don’t put much stock in Knuckles’ analysis these days. Earlier this year he spoke about how much we needed the dual playmaker system and how great Beale was at 12.

      Formerly great coach, but too far removed from the modern sport I think.

      • Parker

        When it comes to former Wallaby coaches I much prefer Dwyer’s acerbic clarity than the meanderings of the Muddle Headed Wombat. What experience of Foley’s is he referring to? Being part of more losing teams; experience at wasting the talents of outside backs, experience at failing to find touch with penalties, or how about experience delivering touch finders that are shorter than most blokes’ box kicks? If Foley’s obedient workmanlike stolidness is what’s valued in Australian rugby, no wonder there’s a talent parade headed overseas..

    • Yowie

      “(the latter could also be achieved by sticking a broom in the ground and putting a bucket with a smiley face on top)”

      Of course it would be a broom and bucket from the Waratahs’ maintenance cupboard, with in-form Reds or Brumbies brooms & buckets being overlooked as usual.

      • At least we dont have brooms in WA.
        We did have a couple but RA stole them

        • Yowie

          Twiggy will sort you out with better, faster brooms.

        • Nimbus 2000s?

        • Yowie

          Haha. Also, the issues with “Defence against the Dark arts” teachers seems like a Wallaby-type problem.

        • I remember reading somewhere, that in the HP books Quiditch at Hogwarts was a reflection on rugby in private schools.
          Maybe you just uncovered one of the authors hidden gems…
          (HP – Potter, not Petty)

        • Yowie

          The private school analogies are very strong in those books, but clearly the dominant metaphor is that Voldemort (etc) are the All Blacks, the good characters are the Wallabies and the dodgy admin at Hogwarts in the later books represents Rugby Australia and Cheika.

        • JK Rowling is really Papworth?

        • Yowie

          Haha, yeah. Writing a very popular series of children’s books didn’t get Rugby Australia’s attention, so he had to write the “call to action” letter.

        • The mind boggles

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ouch!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Gold

      • Custard Taht

        There is no broom or bucket at Waratah HQ. I know this because the place has never had a clean out….

        • Yowie

          Gold.

  • Jcr

    I get there could be a point to Foley playing later in the game , preferably in the band at the finish , but surely the first thing any of these knobends need to address is “ the only time you can go wide before you earn the right at the start of the game , is in the Under 10’s .” Doesn’t matter what poor bastard you put in at 9 or 10 , they will cop a flogging . Cheika has carefully proved this theory , ( with maybe the exception of Perth , I’ve drunk to much between then and now to really remember it clearly) over the last 63 years he has been coaching the Wallabies.
    God invented forwards to work at the start of the game , if you leave it latter they forget what they are doing , every child knows that.
    You don’t need the 3 wisemen to work this out . 3 selectors , my arse , when the revolution comes, shoot those fuckers first.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan.
    I think running some players together to get some continuity would be a good idea. While I get what White is saying, there’s no way in hell that this game shouldn’t be a good win. I say use it as an opposed trading run, get some players working together and throw the ball around.
    I think Connolly has some good points and your replacements should always look good. I think the real issue is the lack of consistency in all Cheika’s selections, and game plan, and ……

    • Brisneyland Local

      He is consistently an Ass clown though.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        hahaha yeap. Hanging out to Novemeber when he’s gone and the team can rebuild.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Lets hope so.

  • Keith Butler

    What to do with Brendan Foley, do you forget about him and leave the 10 shirt in the hands of CLL and Toomua for the remaining games or what? Can’t say I’ve been Spanners no1 fan but he still has a role to play. Either of the others could get a serious injury in training or playing and back up will be needed. Can’t say I know what Spanners natural game is but play him against Uruguay with White, play flat and as KRL says below spin the ball around. Kerevi’s game at the moment is just to predictable. He may be able to crash through the Uruguay defence but I’d even be tempted to play Toomua at 12 with JOC at 13. When is Pettia going to be ready to play?

    • onlinesideline

      Mate without hesistation this guy should not wear Gold again. He is finished. Whenever he is 10 we have lost Id say about 95 % of every important match since 2015. Picking him again is beyond idiocy its be coming suspect. If he is picked again, I swear a very good forensic accountant should be employed to look at Cheikas books. There are just no words. CLL on a bad day is stratospsheres better than Foley.

      • Keith Butler

        Suppose I was playing as a Devils Advocate. Totally agree though, he’s always been one of Cheika’s favourites, irrespective of form. For that reason alone, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. Still wouldn’t mind seeing Toomua and JOC as centre pairing.

        • onlinesideline

          well if he is picked in quater or semi final and the opposition are good odds Im putting some serious money on them. Its as safe as Farlap.

      • His exit kicking..umm…needs work?
        As Keith mentioned, not sure what his natural game is, the guy seems to have talent.
        Maybe the problems are all coached, though I personally have never seen him a true flyhalf.

        • onlinesideline

          HO – without getting personal towards Foley, what are his talents ?

          He has NO step
          He cant kick
          has no QC like flat pass.
          He is not a strong tackler to say the least
          He is not fast
          He doesnt break tackles through sheer force or slipperyness

          I just don’t get it. Why does he actually do to warrant selection ?
          I don’t think as a playmaker he could get into ONE NRL team as a side thought.

        • Give me a bit… Im thinking.
          That in itself takes a while

        • onlinesideline

          you could be there for a while.
          Fax me !

        • Yowie

          “I dont think as a playmaker he could get into ONE NRL team”

          That’s because he can’t “do the bubbler” either.

        • onlinesideline

          if thats what I think it is and it involves Porcelain – ewww.

        • Damn. I was going to list that as a talent

        • Yowie

          In your CV?

        • no need, length etc..*coff*

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Foley was once blessed with a good step, good speed and excellent support lines. Unfortunately, they haven’t really been obvious since the 2015 World Cup.

        • onlinesideline

          really – was he that good ? I just cant bring myself to say Foley was Australian national team standard. Never could. I always found him to be average even at Super level.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Personally, I would never have had him as our first choice 10. In the 2015 world cup I would have preferred Quade or Lilo. However, I also recognise that his abilities and form were much better in 2014-15 than they have been since.

        • Custard Taht

          Yep, he had an awesome step, he stepped right into the wallabies. Since then, he has improved his grappling technique, because, his grip on the Guernsey has been strong as fuck.

        • Damo

          He was pretty good at “giving it to Izzy”.

        • onlinesideline

          so was Beale

        • Damo

          Makes me think of this story about Bobby Simpson when he was Australian cricket coach. He used to have a drill where he would belt a tennis ball up in the air with a tennis racquet. He would then call out at random one of the players names and they would have to make the catch. One day he was doing this in his waning days as coach. Up it went and the call was “Maysie” (Tim May). Then someone yells “Maysie retired last year Bob”. Maybe Cheika still believes Izzy is lurking in the outside channels somewhere.

        • Yowie

          Haha, stay tuned for the payoff of an elaborate ruse. Gordon Bray’s commentary as follows:-
          Part 1 “Australia seem to have a mystery man on the bench. He’s all covered in camo-net”
          Part 2 “The camo net has dropped and it’s Folou! He’s running on with a rainbow arm-band and a sly grin. The English haven’t prepared for this at all. It turns out Chieka can do strategy.”

        • Custard Taht

          And after watching on the weekend….we now know what hell awaits for being a sinner.

        • Easier to reply to a list :)

          Used to have a good step
          Cant exit, can kick (not lately)

          Long flat pass non existent

          Used to be a good cover tackler, crap head-on
          Reasonable speed
          Not slippery or forceful, but could run good lines.
          What does he do to warrant selection? Not much at all.

          NRL will accept anyone.

          Often wonder what he’d be like as a 9.

        • UTG

          Quade aside, I don’t think any of our playmakers from the past 10 years could consistently make a top 8 NRL side. In contrast, I think there are quite a few NRL halves who would walk into the Wallabies side given time to adjust to the game. Apart from the good Bernie, we’ve hardly produced any consistent world class 10s in the pro era. We need to work out how we can keep or obtain the playmaking talent that ends up in League.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          NRL sides have the defenders 10 meters back. It is so easy for them. I also don’t think that the passing of the playmakers in the NRL is up to rugby’s standard. They’re more creative and have great short kicking games but their basic skills aren’t good enough for rugby union in my opinion.

        • UTG

          You’re right, they do have more time although I don’t think by the time the halves receive the ball the defenders are ten metres back.

          The passing is an interesting one. There are some good halves that look to have pretty weak passes on their non-dominant side but at the same time some of the flat cutout balls they throw are better than what we see in rugby. At the same time, as more teams in rugby start to play off the 9, we’re seeing tens picked that don’t have as crisp a pass as others. Sexton and Barrett spring to mind.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          He’s very good at getting picked..

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I actually feel sorry for the guy. I know I’ve come across as a Foley hater in the past, and I’m still disappointed he never improved his play while being paid to do nothing else, but I think he was really thrown to the wolves. I think he should have come on as a replacement against Samoa, perhaps as well in this match and then given a chance in the next if he demonstrated he was playing well. Just another failure of Cheika. Not sure why so many people are still saying he’s a good coach, he may have been at a lower level but he is incompetent at this level and doesn’t have the integrity to acknowledge it.

      I’d like to see JOC at 12 and TK at 13. JOC was ripping it up at 12 in England and I think more suited there now. Petaia on the wing DHGP at 15 and someone who can run and tackle on the other wing would be nice

      • onlinesideline

        Whats Kerevi like on the wing. Someone else on here suggested that, I think it was Brumby Runner – sounds good to me.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          he’d be another Koroibete. Weak on defence and while able to make some good ground, and probably get the odd try a fast wing like Serevi or Kolbe would both catch him easily and run round him when they wanted. I think the team can have one of those but not two

        • Custard Taht

          After seeing his run down the sideline and transferring the ball into the arm about to be hit by the defender, and watching ball pop out and go into touch……not good at all.

        • Who?

          Slow. Almost AAC slow, but not as good under the high ball…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Surprise surprise, I dont feel sorry for Foley. Never has an individual had such a clean run at anything. He was the protected in cumbent. He had all the resources around him to support him in refining his game and improving his skills. Like the fact that he cant kick ball in hand and cant tackle. Did he work on these things? I dont knowbut would presume not as his performance didnt get any better. Yes some of the things are Cheika’s fault. But 90% of it is his, and he has to own it.

        • Bobas

          I actually think he’s worked on his kicking, but he’s lost his pace, he used to be our fastest 10, Hegarty would have chased down that Welsh 9.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You might be right on the kicking. It has improved but is still not the standard of an international ten. BUt yes his pace is shot, and he still cant defend or orchestrate an attack.

        • Neil Pocock

          And pace isn’t even close to the top basic requirements of a playmaker!

        • Mica

          Dunno about that. Gareth D is pretty fast, plus you have to turn and chase. The only 10 I would have given a chance to is BB.

        • Bobas

          Hegarty has great top-end despite having undergone a knee reco. I think there was enough pitch left to reel him in.

        • UTG

          Mo’unga is lightning as well. Having a ten that can dummy and take off or hit the gas on a wrap play is such an advantage.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I actually think Mo’unga is quicker than Barrett, at least off the mark.

        • Missing Link

          Foley went through a patch where his ball in hand kicking had improved as well as off the tee. I can’t remember who was assisting him, could have been Merhtens but if was before Mick Byrne… he has since regressed back to stabbing his kicks.

          Contrast to Toomua who has more of a swinging pendulum style and seems to kick longer and straighter.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Two cows has a natural kicking ability. Foley alas does not.

        • Bernie Chan

          Would be interesting to hear David Alred dissect Foley’s kicking off the tee… BLL, I met Alred as he was flying into Bris to begin work with the Reds…he says the skill sets of the young backs is very good, so we have hope…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m just nicer than you :-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          No surprises there.

      • Greg

        I am with you here KRL.

        There has been no apparent improvement. This does not keep you at the top of any game. It is disappointing to everyone, no doubt including him.

        Given that, why was he selected for so long. Cooper was worth a run but not a long-term player. Perhaps pick and stick on a younger guy.

      • Adrian

        Good points KRL. According to my mate at Sale, O’Connor played mostly at 13, BUT, Sale effectively used the RL style left and right centre system, meaning that he was effectively at 12 half of the time. A couple of tests ago O’Connor stood inside Kerevi once or twice.

        I think though that the best way to allow Kerevi to get up speed is via set moves off set pieces, with him standing wider and being part of a switch move with someone like Petaia, where the one who doesn’t get the ball is the decoy

        • UTG

          I can only imagine the opposition’s sigh of relief if we bench Kerevi.

          Obviously, there are moments when he can pass but he doesn’t (late in the second half against Fiji springs to mind) but he creates far more opportunities than he squanders even while being double marked by the best in the world. Jonathan Davies, for instance, is an excellent defensive 13 but he got completely clowned by Kerevi’s outrageous goose step.

          The real difference for me is that the Wallabies rarely capitalise on his breaks. At the Reds, CFS and Hegarty would always be trailing in behind Samu looking for the offload once he broke the tackle (which he almost always does). For the Wallabies he always seems to receive the ball a bit isolated, which allows him to generate a one on one, but means there’s not a lot of support for a break or half-break.

        • Adrian

          Totally agree UTG
          Here are my ideas on using Kerevi:
          How to use Kerevi better and beat England

          Kerevi is effectively used as a “go forward” forward, rather than a play making back at least half of the time. He is very good at that role, and Australia relies on it a lot.

          We mostly don’t make clean breaks though, as he is unable to get passes or offloads away to supporting players. This is because:
          He is usually covered in defenders
          He isn’t a great passer/offloaded
          There aren’t specialist backing up players to pick-up passes

          Because Kerevi is used in this way, he isn’t used at greater speed with more space where he could be very effective also.

          A way to deal with this is to utilise him in set-piece or other set plays where he is a receiver or potential receiver along with Korebette and (hopefully) Petaia.

          An EXAMPLE of this would be for him to stand at 14 for a midfield scrum, with Petaia standing at 15 and Korebette at 11.

          The ball could be swung left or right to Beale or O’Connor standing at left and right centre. It could then be switched back to the other side if necessary, but for a moment or two, all 3 nominated carriers could potentially get the ball, and Beale and/or O’Connor could dummy and run themselves. The guys not getting the ball would be serious decoys, all running at angles initially, not running wide.

          Whoever got the ball would have more space than Kerevi does now, and be able to get up a bit more speed. If it was Kerevi getting the ball, his lack of top end speed wouldn’t matter that much, given defenders would also be sweating on faster guys like Petaia and to some extent Korebette.

          This is a bit like Waratahs moves involving Folau, Naiyavaro and Beale, and presumes Beale to be on the field,… probably from the bench.

          Other players such as Leleifano could work it (from ⅝), but less well. It could only work with Toomoua if he was ⅝ and O’Connor and Beale were standing as centres to do the passing and/or switching.

          After the try is scored, the guys would go back to their “normal” spots, with Kerevi at 12 and Petaia and Beale at 14/15… or perhaps 15/14?

          Kerevi could still do hit ups from 12.

          There are other versions of this type of play from lineouts. Australia did a simple version v Argentina (I think) where Korebette came in from the blind wing and got the ball off Leleifano and eventually Hodge scored. Kerevi was a decoy runner and attracted some defenders.

          These sorts of scenarios are quite possible v a team like England and work best if at least one guy is fast.

          With backline defences being so good, if Kerevi was at 13 (and a ballplayer at 12) it is unlikely that he’d get any clean air, and would simply do the same thing as he does now, but one slot wider and probably less often.

        • UTG

          I like the sound of that, the play against Argentina was fantastic and an absolute rarity given video analysis makes it very hard to surprise the opposition. Petaia really is the missing piece of the puzzle, from the little we’ve seen of him he’s the sort of guy you need to mark with 1.5 players. Plays like the one you’re describing are so much more effective when you have that extra threat in the backline. It also means you can use Kerevi for crash ball early and you can look to shift it quickly to another genuine threat. Let’s just hope Jordan can run a couple of tries in against Uruguay and hit the ground running.

        • Who?

          It felt like he passed a bit more often before the contact at the Reds, too.
          But the abysmal support game of the Wallabies is truly shocking. We don’t chase hard, and far too often, when we do chase, we support wide and flat. Where there has to be an early pass, or the breakout becomes a turnover. I don’t know why we’ve lost the ability to support narrow with depth – it allows the early pass, but more importantly it allows the offload, the pop pass, and a cleanout.

        • UTG

          Yeah I would say he passed more at the Reds. One of the differences is probably the quality of the rush defence at test level. For someone who’s not a natural distributor, if he sees someone rushing up outside he’s probably not going to back himself to pass it. This is obviously problematic but it does create opportunities for support players in tight if the defence are rushing up wider. Unfortunately, our support play in narraw at depth hasn’t been good enough to capitalise as you say.

        • Who?

          I also think he’s not one to transfer pressure. If he sees someone who’s not in a better position than himself, he’s not going to give them the ball. So combine the (guessed) greater direction to run the play at the Reds with more familiarity (less musical chairs around him, better awareness that he’s going to offload), and comfort (your point about increased pressure at the top level), and it’s no surprise that his passing’s not been strong. Even moreso when we’ve had everyone else in the backline throwing loose passes across the last two games.

        • Parker

          Won’t work because it’s known that whomever is running near Kerevi won’t get the ball and opponents know it
          .

        • Adrian

          Kerevi would be 100% receiver in these sort of plays

      • UTG

        Well said KRL. Bernie was crying post game as I think he knew he had had a pretty good hand in the loss.

        He’s never really struck me as an arrogant player who thought he owned the jersey. His major mistakes have always been errant passes or kicks, often in our own 22, which seem to indicate an inability to execute under pressure (despite the iceman moniker). I also think he has worked on his kicking out of hand, his line kicks were noticeably better on Sunday and he is pretty pinpoint with the cross-field kicks having worked with Folau for so long. No amount of practice was going to turn him into Reece Hodge though.

        • Who?

          I agree with all that. I’ve never thought of him as an international 10 (he’s more a fullback, at his best when running), but I’ve never seen him as arrogant. Same as Hanigan. Undoubtedly good blokes, stuck into horrible positions (positions where they couldn’t succeed).

    • Patrick

      How hard is it, you put him on a plane??

  • onlinesideline

    Watched the match again. Genia !! – MAN HE WAS BAD.

    When he starts this insanity of stepping sideways a few steps trying to plop the ball in the bread basket of the poor forward coming through he’s more telegraph the daily telegraph. This was a complete reversion back to dumb Wallabiies. What on earth does he think he is achieving by doing that. It just reveals a complete lack of faith in the his forwards abiility to catch the ball, so he thinks he nursing the catcher. In reality he is throwing hospital passes and WAY too late and way to flat too – which makes it even worse.

    Geeze this was hard to watch. Fair play Wales though, they did their home work. Man we are a strange strange team. The more I think about it the more bewildered I am on Foley’s selection. 4 years and he fields a new backline.

    The only positive and Im sure Im not the first to say it is that we have had our Foley moment against a heavyweight in the pool match. If we won he would have been picked AGAIN in the quarter final against one of the top 4 and it would have been Sayonara. So maybe its a blessing in disguise. But on that performance we are looking at a quarter final exit anyway me thinks.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I am not sure confidant. Cheika resorts to his “Trusted” players when he is under pressure. We have not seen the last of Spanners.

      • onlinesideline

        Then we are going home – its that simple.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have been acceptant to that for 3 years now.

        • Patrick

          This is why I don’t see us getting past the semis at best. I think we could be good enough, but our best team hasn’t had enough time together and might not even get selected (in fact, our best 15 are not even in Japan because we don’t have a second winger).

      • Bernie Chan

        I regret to say..but I suspect you are right…

        • Brisneyland Local

          In this case I prey everyday to be wrong.

    • Damo

      You make a really good point. I keep screaming at the forwards (via my TV) to run into spaces instead of just smashing into bodies. But if Will distributes as you describe, they basically have no choice. With today’s organised defence the approach is almost useless. They have almost no time to find a space and attempt to run through it/or offload. If I recall correctly we had some excellent go forward in Perth because Nic White was getting the runners into holes. And of course getting forwards into space is situation normal for the AB’s- whoever is playing 9. And AR spends, I’m guessing, north of $1m a year on coaches!

      • onlinesideline

        we could have beaten the ABs by 60 to 36 and White still would have to have proven himself over Genia and CCL and 2moos over Foley. Cheika Im afraid is not the sharpest knife in the draw.

  • Bobas

    I see world rugby has apologised to Ireland, telling them that 3/4 of their offside penalties were wrong…

    • Greg

      I guess there were some issues then. https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/49893140

      As a neutral observer, I really enjoyed the game and didn’t see anything that grossly offended.

      If something really was said…. then it would be better out in the open and for every game. This “I was told” is not very helpful for anyone.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      What an absolute shit fight this is turning out to be. All that is going to do is increase the pressure on the referees and cause them to question their decisions even more. This is going to end badly

      • Yowie

        Must be confidence-inspiring as a Ref to work for an organisation happy to publicly throw you under the bus for an in-game decision based on imperfect information.

        • Damo

          And World Rugby drive the bus!

      • Human

        The likely response will be to deploy a few more TMO’s.
        That will make the game more entertaining.

        • Yowie

          They could pay the TMOs a per-second rate based on game interjections.

      • Bernie Chan

        Schmidt has cunningly named Garces in public as the culprit. Garces is the Ref for the next game featuring Ireland, so he is applying pressure…hope it backfires! WR is a joke….maybe Clyne n Castle trying to get a gig in WR after they leave RA…The reason why RA is a running joke.

    • Who?

      The most fascinating part of it was that they said that the calls weren’t made by Gus, but were in fact made by Garces. Who will ref their next game…
      So, they’ve thrown all their refs under the bus two consecutive weeks, especially Garces by saying he punished a team that he then has to referee again the next week. It’s far from intelligent behaviour, making it public!

  • Bobas

    Can’t wait to see Hoss’ stats.

    Anyone know when the real team is released?

    I really think this will be an interesting team. Foley to start in 9 as White and Genia have cumulative fatigue due to hill sprints.

    • Missing Link

      This could go one of two ways:
      1. Foley is a revelation at 9 and reinvents himself as a genuine back up to Genia and White.
      2. Uraguay ambush us, we lose, we’re out of the cup, Cheika gets fired and Foley never wears gold again.
      3. Somewhere in between 1 and 2.

      I’m going with option 3 with the possibility of option 2 :)

      • Yowie

        After all the NZ blow-ins to this forum after the Eden Park loss, I’m not looking forward to a bunch of Uruguayans in here throwing shade in Spanish.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Hola!

        • Chinga

        • Missing Link

          I hear they call Cheika, “El Payaso” hahahaha

        • Bobas

          Payaso Burro

        • John Tynan

          He definitely drives a Pajero

    • Brisneyland Local

      Team should be released by 1200 today.

    • Hoss

      Ours are live now mate – bloody work interrupted me.

  • Human

    In unrelated news, Kelsey-LEE Barber wins javelin gold at the World Champs in Doha. Matt Denny, youngest in the field, throws a PB for 6th in the discus.

    • Bernie Chan

      Bloody great result! Pity that no one in Doha was watching…the stadium is nigh on empty.

      • Human

        Yes. A poor choice for the comp.
        Men’s HJ final should draw a crowd though.

    • Yowie

      We beat NZ at javelin! Cop that all you fush-n-chup munchers. Bledisloe revenge is sweet.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I’m hurting

        • Is this where we find out she was born in Hamilton?
          just our luck of late…

        • Human

          You’ll really be hurting when you hear that we also beat you in discus. Life is grand.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha Gold mate

    • Patrick

      At least those sports they have a chance of making it alive, unlike the poor long-distance runners. What a farce.

      • Human

        Yes, even with the midnight starts.

  • AllyOz

    There are two points that I agree with Connolly on, the first being that it can look better coming on from the bench although I don’t know that Dan Carter’s replacement, if he was ever replaced in those sorts of circumstances, looked better than he did or Steve Larkham or Michael Lynagh etc. These blokes are controllers of the game who also had the capacity to break the line themselves – they would rarely have been subbed and didn’t need to be. So maybe there is something about how we play our 10’s that’s changed as they used to be more of an 80 minute selection with other positions more likely to be subbed – that likely gave more stability but Cheik is all about “no-one knowing what we are doing including ourselves”.

    Perhaps the other area I agree with Connolly but I concede others may not, is that Foley at his best, which we are not seeing ATM, does have the capacity threw his speed and step to break the line himself, and perhaps does this better than either Toomua or CLL. QC was also an attacking threat himself more than either of these two. Now Foley doesn’t have the kicking game or the organisation skills of the other two at the moment, I think there were times when he was a better organiser but that has deserted him lately. I thought a big part of the reason we lost the first half was that we were able to be pinned in our half/22 because our 10 didn’t have the distance in his kick to allow us to exit well. Foley has been quite elusive in the 10 role and his best play has been built around his individual threat putting the defence in two minds and their was at least one game against Wales in the past where he cut them up, so that might be what Connolly is talking about. However, I think the other aspects of his game and his complete lack of form mean we might be better swapping him out altogether if we could. Let’s start him against Uruguay and pay one of their blokes to fix him up.

  • Hoss

    Mornig Wallaby Fans,

    Like Keating’s ‘J’ curve, my faith has bottomed out and is now on an upward trajectory.

    The official team is named at 1pm today so i have released the GAGR XXIII early in anticipation. It seems the GAGR faithful are in the mood for change. Some certainty and strength when it comes to the starting backs voting with a number scoring 89.50% of the vote. For what its worth i think this team is a ripper (barring Kerevi having a much deserved rest) thanks again for voting:

    Starting XV

    1. James SLipper 18 (46.2%)
    2. Folau Fainga’a 23 (59%)
    3. Taniela Tupou 25 (64.10%)
    4. Adam Coleman 26 (66.70%)
    5. All tied Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold & Rob Simmons 16 (41%) ) I have put Rodda to bench as he has largest vote for Finisher)
    6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 30 (76.90%)
    7. David Pocock (C) 31 (79.50%) – largest vote of any forward in starting XV
    8. Jack Dempsey 28 (71.80%)
    9. Nic White 35 (89.70%)
    10. Matt To’ouma 24 (61.50%)
    11. Marika Kooibete 24 (61.50%)
    12.James O’Connor 35 (89.70%)
    13. tevita Kurindrani 26 (66.70%)
    14 Jordan Pataia 29 (74.40%)
    15 Dane Haylett-Petty 35 (89.70%)

    Finishers (5:3 split)

    16. Jordan Ulese 25 (64.10%)
    17. Scott Sio 20 (51.30%)
    18 Sekope Kepu 14 (35.90%)
    19. Izack Rodda 12 (30.80%)
    20. Michael Hooper 20 (51.30%)
    21 Will Genia 34 (87.20%)
    22. Christian Lealiifano 13 (33.30)
    23 Kurtley Beale 14 (35.90%)

    Punters couldn’t split Arnold & Simmons for either run-on or bench for this one.

    There it lies folks. I would suggest this weekend is about the performance more than the result. Lets see how we fare at 1pm.

    Thanks for voting and GO THE WALLABIES !!!!!!!!

  • Hoss

    Mornig Wallaby Fans,

    Like Keating’s ‘J’ curve, my faith has bottomed out and is now on an upward trajectory.

    The official team is named at 1pm today so i have released the GAGR XXIII early in anticipation. It seems the GAGR faithful are in the mood for change. Some certainty and strength when it comes to the starting backs voting with a number scoring 89.50% of the vote. For what its worth i think this team is a ripper (barring Kerevi having a much deserved rest) thanks again for voting:

    Starting XV

    1. James SLipper 18 (46.2%)
    2. Folau Fainga’a 23 (59%)
    3. Taniela Tupou 25 (64.10%)
    4. Adam Coleman 26 (66.70%)
    5. All tied Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold & Rob Simmons 16 (41%) ) I have put Rodda to bench as he has largest vote for Finisher)
    6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 30 (76.90%)
    7. David Pocock (C) 31 (79.50%) – largest vote of any forward in starting XV
    8. Jack Dempsey 28 (71.80%)
    9. Nic White 35 (89.70%)
    10. Matt To’ouma 24 (61.50%)
    11. Marika Kooibete 24 (61.50%)
    12.James O’Connor 35 (89.70%)
    13. tevita Kurindrani 26 (66.70%)
    14 Jordan Pataia 29 (74.40%)
    15 Dane Haylett-Petty 35 (89.70%)

    Finishers (5:3 split)

    16. Jordan Ulese 25 (64.10%)
    17. Scott Sio 20 (51.30%)
    18 Sekope Kepu 14 (35.90%)
    19. Izack Rodda 12 (30.80%)
    20. Michael Hooper 20 (51.30%)
    21 Will Genia 34 (87.20%)
    22. Christian Lealiifano 13 (33.30)
    23 Kurtley Beale 14 (35.90%)

    Punters couldn’t split Arnold & Simmons for either run-on or bench for this one.

    There it lies folks. I would suggest this weekend is about the performance more than the result. Lets see how we fare at 1pm.

    Thanks for voting and GO THE WALLABIES !!!!!!!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/174f374f08a7c1a881f58616455a1b26de5542438686eddec6ab6335208b1c75.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8d0eb0d5dba25953ee555bb3b9deb22444fb5da36b800aab48bceb486fed1a00.jpg

    • Damo

      I like that selection. On paper possibly less hitting power 1-8, but I reckon a team with a rugby IQ higher than last week’s selection. Will it be what we see at 1pm? I doubt it

  • Dave P

    Waratahs have announced that Rob Penney has been appointed head coach for next season. Not sure why as he has never achieved anything outside NZ, why was Darren Coleman overlooked?

    • Custard Taht

      Email the waratahs and give them a penney for their thoughts?

      • Greg

        I heard some discussion that this means that Cheik is being extended in the Wallabies and hence no interest in going back to NSW.

        • Yowie

          Surely f*cking not. To whomever is starting these rumours – that’s not funny or cool so stop it.

        • Custard Taht

          That means then that the wallabies are going to win the world cup….getting on sportsbet and laying a hunge on them.

  • Ronnie
  • Human

    Bugger. Ben Skeen is the TMO for Aus v Uru.
    Game is Saturday, will they really announce the teams today?

  • Neil Pocock

    John Connerly was onto something (although it’s depressing these comments come after the fact)

    • Custard Taht

      Foley is indeed a threat, a threat to the wallabies attack.

  • Dud Roodt

    Wallabies team to play Uruguay at Oita Stadium, Oita on Saturday 5 October, 2.15pm JST
    1. James Slipper (93 Tests)

    2. Folau Fainga’a (11 Tests)

    3. Allan Alaalatoa (35 Tests)

    4. Rob Simmons (98 Tests)

    5. Adam Coleman (36 Tests)

    6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (18 Tests)

    7. Michael Hooper (c) (97 Tests)

    8. Jack Dempsey (12 Tests)

    9. Nic White (28 Tests)

    10. Christian Lealiifano (23 Tests)

    11. Jordan Petaia*

    12. Matt To’omua (49 Tests)

    13. Tevita Kuridrani (60 Tests)

    14. Dane Haylett-Petty (35 Tests)

    15. Kurtley Beale (89 Tests)

    Reserves

    16. Jordan Uelese (6 Tests)

    17. Sekope Kepu (108 Tests)

    18. Taniela Tupou (16 Tests)

    19. Rory Arnold (24 Tests)

    20. David Pocock (80 Tests)

    21. Will Genia (107 Tests)

    22. James O’Connor (50 Tests)

    23. Adam Ashley-Cooper (120 Tests)

    *denotes uncapped

    • Who?

      Has Petaia re-injured his hammy yet? Or caught the flu? :-P
      No surprise KB at 15 (look at the jersey).
      Very Brumbies midfield – it’s basically the 2013 Brumbies with the 10 and 12 jerseys swapped!
      .
      I suggested before the RWC that it would be wise to play Kepu at LHP in one of these matches. Seems they’re doing that from the bench. Great that Sio’s getting a spell. But this would’ve been a better decision if Kepu hadn’t already played the first two matches over Tupou – Kepu’s the old man in the pack, he could do with a rest himself… With Georgia as our last game in the pools, it would’ve been a very good thing to give 7A’s a game off, but I can see that not happening now…

      • Human

        Clearly Tupou is not enjoying his rugby enough.

      • Dud Roodt

        Yeah. A Very torrid day in the scrums beckons next week against the Georgian’s.

        • Who?

          It’ll be fascinating. 7A’s has clearly been the better scrummager (than Tupou), but the last couple of games they both played, I thought Tupou was the better scrummager. Certainly against the ABs in Eden Park, 7A’s was terrible, Tupou was more secure.
          Kepu’s the most experienced, but that would be his fourth straight game, and I’d expect – given he played against Fiji and Wales – Cheika thinks he’s ahead of Tupou for the knockouts…

        • UTG

          Maybe they’re worried about Tupou smashing someone (legally) and being carded? I’d still have him on my bench though.

        • Dud Roodt

          Perhaps more to do with the hooker and 2R both props are working with (and against). I would say categorically 7A’s is the superior scrummager, but I’ve been very surprised we haven’t seen Tupou yet. the last 20 mins of a game is his bread and butter and could have made a profound impact on the Welsh game as went moved more towards the pick and drive (which we weirdly went away from after we scored)

        • Who?

          I’d have agreed, until I started seeing 7A’s boring in at 45º on the set in Eden Park. And failing to adapt to the fact that it constantly exposed his ribs to Moody, who took the open invitation and exposed him. Tupou recognised what was going on – in spite of the same issues with hooker and locks – and made sure he stayed much straighter.
          .
          I think it’s crazy we haven’t seen Tupou… Not that Kepu’s poor, I’m just surprised we haven’t seen Tupou.

      • onlinesideline

        yeah – why isnt Thor starting? He smashed the Irish at scrum time.

  • LBJ

    Vale Jeff Sayle. A great rugby man.
    You planted the great running rugby tree down in Randwick, and today all Aussie rugby men and women take pleasure in its shade.
    I’m sure the Wallabies will play with precisely that spirit this weekend.

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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