Wednesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at a James O’Connor injury update, the return of Michael Cheika, how Lachie Swinton is changing the Wallabies playstyle and a sudden SANZAAR change.

JOC on LOC-down

Water Boy James O'Connor

Water Boy James O’Connor

The Wallabies are set to be without flyhalf James O’Connor for this week’s clash against Argentina.

O’Connor has missed the last two test matches against the All Blacks after suffering an MCL injury.

However, it would be an issue from injuries past that has haunted his return, with a plantar fascia injury that he carried throughout the Super Rugby season flaring up.

It is expected that Reece Hodge will keep the position, with rookie flyhalf Noah Lolesio set to still play a significant role off the bench.

Another position up for grabs is at loosehead prop, with veteran Scott Sio and young gun Angus Bell set to battle it out for the vacant position left by James Slipper and his elbow injury.

Bell was chucked into the deep end on debut two weeks ago against the All Blacks, however, he told reporters that he believes that it was the perfect way to start his career.

“It was better I just got chucked in. No thinking, just straight into it,” Bell said.

“It was definitely tough but it was good scrumming with [Taniela Tupou]. He definitely helps. It was just a good day – we put a lot of prep into our scrum and set-piece.

“We’d mauled and scrummaged all week so that was definitely a plan. It was good it came to fruition and we got some pay from it.”

With his family, including one-time Wallaby Mark Bell, set to be in attendance in Newcastle on Saturday, Bell was hoping to replicate his heroics if called upon again.

“No advice, just go as hard as you can,” Bell said.

“He was watching it from Sydney. As soon as I could, I called him. It was a very good moment. Very special and especially to come away with the win on Slips’ 100th – it was an awesome day.

“It was a dream to face the All Blacks and the haka – it was probably the best week of my life. I’ll definitely never forget it.”

Know your enemy

Michael Cheika, Mario Ledesma

Michael Cheika, Mario Ledesma

The Wallabies are facing a ghost of coaching past on Saturday – new Argentina assistant Michael Cheika.

Cheika’s influence was pretty clear to see on the Pumas on Saturday, who produced one of the most emotionally upsets in 2020.

No one is more aware of ‘the Cheika effect’ than Ned Hanigan, who was handed his state and national debut by his former Waratahs coach.

Hanigan pointed to his intense and passionate style of coaching as the key towards the galvanization of the Pumas, believing that it will continue as he faces his Wallabies return.

“Having Cheik [Cheika] in the team, he has that motivating aspect and knows Australian rugby very well so he’ll definitely be an asset [on Saturday],” Hanigan told reporters on Tuesday.

“He just loves winning…he hates losing and loves winning so I think he’s taking both.”

A hallmark of last Saturday’s win was their incredible level of ball control and handling, giving away just four turnovers across the 80 minutes.

This has served as the Wallabies Achilles heel over the Bledisloe Cup series, with Hanigan conceding that they need to play tighter and with more control.

“The passion and pride they’ve got in the jersey; you could see the reaction after the game,” he said.

“That on-field energy you keep building with the bloke next to him, the key is for us to not give them the opportunities to get those sort of moments.

“In past games we’ve probably thrown the willy-nilly [pass] out the back, that sort of stuff just lets the momentum keep building in the opposition’s favour.”

Be like Lach

Lachlan Swinton see Red

Lachlan Swinton see Red

Despite playing just 30 minutes in the gold jersey, the Wallabies have taken major inspiration out of the performance of Lachie Swinton heading into their clash with Argentina.

Swinton’s physical nature set the tone for the Wallabies upset victory over the All Blacks a fortnight ago, with a similar style of play seemingly proving the catalyst for the Pumas upset victory last Saturday.

With the Waratahs back-rower suspended for the rest of the year, potential replacement Liam Wright admits that they need to emulate his efforts if they want to overcome Argentina.

“What Dave is looking for at No.6 is a lot of physicality and impact on the game,” Wright told reporters on Monday

“We’re looking for guys to come in like Swins (Swinton) did and just fly in and rip in.

“I thought he was really good, until that card, and put in a lot of effort and had a lot of dominant contact.

“I think the other main thing for that six role is just the set piece…and shoring that against Argentina is really important as well.”

The Reds captain pointed to their back-row as the catalyst for the Pumas upset victory, believing that they needed to win the contact battle to secure the win on Saturday.

“For us to get quick breakdown ball we will have to target their back-row definitely and make sure we win that contact battle for the carry otherwise it’s going to be a long day,” Wright added.

“They are going to slow up our ball and it’s hard to get go-forward.

“Their back row is quite a big row, they’ve got some bruising tacklers and they were good over the ball so it’s going to make for an interesting match up but I think our boys are ready for it.”


All Black's Haka

All Black’s Haka

NZR boss Brett Impey has gone full scorched earth on SANZAAR after he stepped down from his role as chairman.

Impey has held the role for the past five years, however, the organisation has faced significant issues over the past 12 months.

This has ironically been led by Impey, who pioneered the charge for the abolishment of Super Rugby as well as a weird spat between his two jobs regarding the schedule of The Rugby Championship/Tri-Nations.

“In my view it is time for Sanzaar to make some fundamental changes which are best placed to happen under an independent chair,” he said in a statement.

“While there was no imperative for change it was appropriate to rotate the role, however I now believe that the role of chair of a national union as well as chair of Sanzaar is a conflict for any country,

“I also hold the view that Sanzaar should become membership-based. The four-country consensus model is outdated if we are looking to grow the game commercially and internationally.

“A membership model would allow the group to act together on issues such as the global calendar, rules, regulations, governance, and mutual commercial interests. Currently, the odds are heavily stacked against SANZAAR in its present form being able to affect change.”

He believes that the organisation needs to focus on building its profile and relationships with second-tier nations.

“That includes potential expansion of the Rugby Championship, developing competitions for the likes of South American countries, North American, the Georgia and Romanias of this world, Pacific Islands,” he added.

“In my view, Sanzaar should be welcoming all of those countries in as members and creating competitions that are going to allow the likes of Japan and Fiji to the next level, and those other countries to progress.’’

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    “He just loves winning…he hates losing and loves winning…” Whilst I believe this is the case for Cheika, it doesn’t explain why you would take the same game plan into each match of a 3-match series, for example. Even if you won the first (Ireland), you should still mix it up. As I’ve said before, the nadir of his whole tenure for me was the same 240-odd minutes of rugby against the SDs. As the lone Aussie surrounded by a bunch of Atoms, I can never forgive him for that. And I had such a good time at the 2015 RWC…

    • Huw Tindall

      Chek peaked early at RWC2015…and maybe that win in Brisbane when the first indigenous jersey got a run. Brilliant game.

      • onlinesideline

        Another dead rubber, like the 4th bled mate. Harsh reality check but thats the truth.
        Don’t want to be a kill joy and it was exciting but Eden park Bled 2 needs to be out new happy hunting ground or its all nothing.

      • Cheika_Mate

        Yep spot on, they couldn’t shake as he pretty much wrote his own contract.

      • Brumby Runner

        This is part of the rewriitten history to show Cheika in a better light. Leading into the 15 RWC the whole story was about how he had to deal with the team/squad left to him and that it wasn’t his squad. History shows that with the previous coach’s squad he achieved a whole lot more than he ever did with his own squad.

        Never let it be said that he ever had any positive impact on the Wallabies. A dead loss as a coach and an embarrassment as a rugby representative.

        • RedAnt

          Hmm, and even then I didn’t notice Giteau and Mitchell in Link’s squad…

        • Who?

          I’m not sure they were an improvement when they were selected, though. Did Giteau defend better than Toomua at 12? Because he didn’t attack better than Toomua at 12 – he ran sideways, stealing space from his outside backs. We scored ZERO tries at the RWC in 2015 with Giteau on the field that were in the tram tracks, except for one scored by… Giteau.

      • Patrick

        Yes he peaked essentially before he could influence the team (apart from motivation maybe), I agree. He definitely hit pretty close to rockbottom in 17 but somehow always found a way to dig deeper and deeper.

        • Who?

          Check the record – 17 was his high point!!! :-D In terms of his own squad.
          16 was a dip, 17 we saw some Larkham influence in attack and improvement, 18 was the depths…

        • Patrick

          My recollection was that from 17 I started to despair that we would pick a team or a strategy that could regularly win against top flight teams.

        • Who?

          2016 we went 6 wins from 15 Tests, including 0-3 at home against England, who we’d kept in the pool at home the year before. That England series was enough for me to make up my mind that Cheika had no coaching nous, no capacity to recognise errors in tactics and selection and change.
          2017 we went 7 wins, 2 draws (against an SA team known as the worst in history) and 5 losses.
          2018 we were 4 wins from 13 Tests (another 9 loss season).
          2019 we were 6 of 10, beating Argentina and NZ, but also thankful to have a RWC year meaning we faced and defeated Fiji, Samoa, Uruguay and Georgia.

          So, 2018 was our nadir, but 2016 was a very clear indication of which way we were heading, and should’ve been enough to raise extreme questions about his long term viability and capacity as coach.

        • onlinesideline

          And Castle should have sacked him in December 2018 after review regardless of Christmas – thats when I made up my mind about Castle.

          Plenty of coaches for a 9 months stint leading into RWC – it couldnt have gotten any worse.

    • laurence king

      Cheik’s has some very commendable qualities but overall he was a very poor international coach. His selections, favouritism, autocracy, lack of tactical nous and childish behaviour derailed the Wallabies. I’m happy for his current success but I never want him near an Australian side again.

      • Brumby Runner

        Some very commendable qualities? LK you’ve just than listed all of his qualities as being very poor. Nothing left. Have to say, though, that I agree entirely with you.

      • Patrick

        That’s not really the complete picture LK.

        You forgot his complete cluelessness about training, and you mentioned tactics but forgot strategy :)

  • Steve

    Really hope Samu gets another swing in the back row this weekend. Argentina as we all know are extremely physical and mobile across the back row, he needs to come in and step up to the plate, I’m confident he’s got the game in him.

    Cheik never managed to get the Wallabies up for more than one game at a time so here’s hoping we can get over the Argies this weekend – should be a cracker.

    • Huw Tindall

      Hoping the Argies are still drunk from the post match celebrations

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      While Samu would be my second choice 6 for this weekend, I think we need Wright more for this particular matchup. Argentina were very strong at the breakdown, an area where we have been weak. I think Wright to give us more impact there as he’s by far our best breakdown exponent.

      Samu is good at the breakdown but it is in attack in the wider channels that he really shines.

      • Reds Revival

        My preferred back row would be Isi at 8, and move Wilson to 6. That will give us the big bodies and hard contact that we need against a physical Argies pack.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think you can have them. Then Hooper is the only guy that is attacking the breakdown at all well, and Hooper isn’t that good at the breakdown

        • Reds Revival

          I can (and will) have them in my team, but only if they make me national selector between now and tomorrow.
          Having said that, I take your points on board.
          It would be good to see McReight on the bench. A good jackal, and good offload skills. Add in Tupou and Bell and you have a dangerous group of finishers who can break the game open.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But only Hooper going hard at the ball in the starting team, which is a dangerous recipe

    • Parker

      Will Cheik be able to get the Pumas up for more than one game in a row? Perhaps what he asks is so demanding physically that it’s not sustainable consistently.

    • Cheika_Mate

      Yep hoping Samu gets another gallop, we need to get him on the angry pills though. Valentini, big unit but to nice a bloke, Ned Flanders not physical enough, wondering if they would consider Loto again if fit at 6. Wright just might have it, technically very good but again not cranky enough.

    • Hambone

      I was thinking the same thing this morning, even pistol Pete of the bench with fresh legs would make me happy

  • Huw Tindall

    JOC has gone and made Rennie’s selection headaches a bit easier. Personally I’m OK with that. A nice solid defensive line and simple game plan again. Only changes should be injury/suspension so Slips and Swinton, and assume LSL is still out. Re Slips I’m just a bit nervous starting Bell so maybe he stays on the bench and Scott Sio comes in. Bucket loads of experience even if he’s been a bit underwhelming in the tests this year. Swinton tougher one. Based on the Pumas v ABs we need some big units. Potentially Wilson to 6 and Naisarani to 8? By all accounts Naisarani was best on ground for the Aussie side in the Pumas second trial match. I could live with Liam Wright at 6 as he has the mongrel and in tight ruck work but isn’t as big a boddy as Wilson or Naisarani. Leave the bench as is. Either way we’ve got the troops to compete well and hopefully Rennie and the assistants have cooked up a great game plan to take on the Pumas and their league style 2 man tackles.

    • Steve

      I actually don’t think Sio has been as bad as a lot of people think – IMO more underperforming than crap. I wouldn’t have any qualms about starting him tbh.

      I do wonder if picking the most Argie-like team we can to combat what we saw last weekend is the smart play though. To me speed to the breakdown, sniping around the breakdown and smart kicking is going to serve us better than trying to take them on directly in the tight.

      We are at a considerable advantage vs. the All Blacks in being able to pick apart a simple but aggressive game plan from the Argies but I’m confident moving them around and working the angles more will see some good payoff.

      Smarter brains than me are on it, but I’m fascinated to see the gameplan.

      • Huw Tindall

        Yeah don’t want to try and beat them at their own game or to try and do the AB game plan but better. Need our own strategy for sure. Breakdown critical as ever and it’s arguably the weakest point in the Wallabies right now (probably more offensive ruck and clearing out defenders rather than defense). Need fast ball and the Pumas absolutely slowed down the kiwis with the gang tackles and breakdown work. If they are going in with multiple bodies per tackle you want guys running off shoulders so can shit the point of attack in close. Give the Pumas defensive lots of options and force them to make a choice. And of course with Sanchez’s boot we have to be disciplined and play terttiroty or he’ll kick another 20 points all by himself. Really looking forward to what we bring.

        • Steve

          Agreed, running off shoulders and running against the grain would be my thought process for this one.

          Funnily enough I was thinking to myself that Kuridrani is a great player if you wanna attract defenders, work angles and have good defence. Shame for him.

        • Hambone

          The breakdown will be the key as u mentioned and our ball security had been horrendous to say the least..

  • juswal

    Cheika news moratorium, please.

    • Yowie

      But haven’t you heard? He was singlehandedly responsible for beating the All Blacks on the weekend.

      • Reds Revival

        According to Sean Maloney on TARS, some guy shouted to Cheika as he was doing his victory lap with the team after the game,
        “Hey Chieka, you finally beat the All Blacks in Sydney, but it was with the wrong F@#king team!”. Apparently, he took it in good spirit (but the guys suggested he may have waited for him in the carpark to give him a “Coaches Box workover”).

        • UTG

          Didn’t he beat the ABs in Sydney in his first ever test coaching the Wallabies?

        • Reds Revival

          While he was coach at that moment, I personally count that as a win for Ewan Mackenzie, as he improved the Wallabies results during his tenure, and they had only lost by one point in his last test as coach.

        • Yowie

          I also count Ewan Mackenzie as a Queenslander on account of his success at the Reds.

        • Reds Revival

          On that basis, I count Dave Rennie as a Queenslander, as he is now living on the Gold Coast.

        • Yowie

          Steady-on, let’s see how his Wallabies record and “non-tool personality” track record plays out.

          I’m still trying to find a justification to make Rod Macqueen a Queenslander and Alan Jones a New South Welshman.

        • Who?

          No. His first Tests were in Europe. But yes, his first game against the ABs was in Sydney, the pack played brilliantly and we got the win. Even though Foley was playing so deep that Phipps could barely reach him with passes from the ruck!

        • UTG

          Never going to let Foley off the hook for that one are you?

          Fair enough comments about the victory being mainly Link’s doing from RR above but I found it a tad ironic he was getting chirped for ‘finally’ beating the ABs in Sydney when he beat them there in his first game coaching against them.

        • Who?

          For two reasons. Firstly, because it showed how dominant our pack was. It’s a common tale across all our recent (i.e. last decade) wins – that we’ve smashed their forwards. Not merely had parity, but dominated. I don’t think anyone would say our backs were lethal a fortnight ago. They did ok. But Hodge wasn’t out there shredding the defenses like Ella and Larkham. But no one could deny that the pack won that game.
          It’s similar to the 2011 Brisbane win. Genia and Cooper were the form 9/10 combo in the world in May/July, winning Super Rugby. But two months with Robbie and they were out of sorts – that 2011 win was off the back of a dominant forward pack.

          Secondly, because poor old Phipps copped it for his service! “Typical inaccurate Phipps, making life hard for Foley!” Ah, no, Foley was so deep that Phipps simply couldn’t pass it that far! Phipps rightly cops some stick for some of his performances in Gold over the years, but that’s not a performance that should be slated. Just as no one should ever claim he ever gave anything less than his best.

          Gotta agree though that it’s ironic that Sydneysiders have forgotten that he had actually had a win against the ABs in Sydney.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, it’s going to be interesting to see how Rennie plans against the Argies. The ABs didn’t have a plan to manage the way they slowed the ball down and I think that will be key. Quick ball and variety in attack is probably a good start point as well as a really aggressive defence to knock them back in the contact. In fact I think an aggressive defence to get them on the back foot is probably really important and something the ABs didnt do.
    Unlike others here I’m not sold on Naisarani as while he does 2 or 3 good things he goes missing in matches and if that’s happens on Saturday you could be 3 tries down before he steps up again.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think Naisarani is just a bit unnecessary in the 23 as he performs the same role as Wilson. If Wilson was injured he would be needed though.

      A big difference between this weekend and last is that the Wallabies pack is much more likely to be able to impose themselves than the All Blacks’ (a strange thing to say). I think we will do better in the set piece and our forward ball runners are more effective than New Zealand’s.

      • Brumby Runner

        I don’t see them playing the same role. Wilson is better when he plays a bit wider and 6 would allow that. Isi hits the ball up close to the ruck and invariably makes ground in contact. Different players with different roles in my eyes.

        • Who?

          The problem with Naisarani is that he doesn’t seem to have near as much impact in general play. You can argue where you want your 8 to run – tight or wider (there’s plenty of great players who’ve played each role at 8) – but I’ve never noticed Naisarani putting on consistent hard tackles or bossing the breakdown. Wilson is a more rounded player.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        While I think a couple of players can impose themselves; Wilson Tupou and perhaps BPA I’m not sure the pack can

    • UTG

      The problem for you blokes on the weekend was the failure to get over the advantage line. A big part of that came from the fact that your forwards often like to try and stand in contact and offload to a nearby player. The Pumas were sending up a man to cut off the offload and with the ball carrier caught up right it was easy to hold him up and slow down the play.

      I think we’ll see the Wallabies (and the ABs in two weeks) going much lower into contact and looking to recycle at speed to try and unsettle the defensive line.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah they’ve played that way for a few years and Ledeman found a good way to nullify it. I think they need to go back to a faster pace with players running onto the ball and clearing fast so the defence doesn’t get time to set. What really shit me was the number of times players were receiving the ball standing still. You can’t dominate the contact if you receive a pass while you’re standing still

        • UTG

          Yes, often you see an AB lead runner receive the ball while stationary, spin in contact and either deliver the ball back to Smith on a loop or pop off to a trailing support player. The Argies did very well preventing the lead runner from shifting the ball. As you say, it’s probably best if the lead runners hit the ball at pace and carry straight into contact. The holes will open up for the tip on once the Pumas defence is moving backwards.

          The Wallabies prefer to hit a forward pod running the unders line wide outside the 30 channel. It became predictable under Cheika but will probably work better than getting stuck in a wrestle near the ruck.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          True, although to be fair a lot of the SAU games had players receiving the ball standing still.That has to change

        • Mike D

          Oh come on, Oz played the pass to the stationary player for years and it worked a treat… Oh, wait…

        • Patrick

          I’m so glad you get to feel that personally, we’ve had years of it. After all we ran up hills especially to be able to accelerate off a standing start under pressure..

    • Geoffro

      Isi did score a couple against them in the recent trial though and was a bit of a handful from what I saw.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah but the trouble is when you focus on that part of his game, which seems to happen a lot here, you miss the crap defence, the going missing out of position and the ones that go against you because he wasn’t doing his job.

        • Brumby Runner

          I think you just don’t like Isi KARL. I certainly haven’t seen the number and frequency of deficiencies in his game that you are claiming.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          True. I think he’s over rated

        • Patrick

          I think he’s a lot better than you make him out to be!

    • Reds Revival

      The good news is, now that we have seen the game plan, we know that it won’t change for the next four years…

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Hahahahahaha well maybe not if Cheika was more than an advisor. I think Rennie will be able to do a tad better

  • Nutta

    They will tackle hard – so will we

    They will scrum well – so will we

    They will compete the middle of the lineout (as they did last weekend) – so we must play more 7man lines plus share the load and go front and rear

    But most tellingly is that they will make minimal handling errors and kick well – this will be our challenge. Our kick game has been poor. That argues for Nic White and Sauce to be in the team. And our $BW back-handed flicks have been abysmal and they just need to stop because the turnovers they create will crucify us.

    Our opportunity is just how much of their game is focused on 9 & 10. Nullify that by good pillar defence and good line-speed and they didn’t show much else against the AiB.

    And of course, penalty count. If you give them shots they will land them. So don’t give up the shots. That makes clean-out accuracy vital.

    • It’s not the aggression in the tackles that worries me, it’s the completion rate. ESPN reckons they completed 90% of their tackles, were solid at ruck and maul and hardly gave up the pill (4 turnovers conceded despite 55% possession). The Australian (different source, so there might be some different counting) reckons that in Bledisloe IV the Wallabies tackled at 80%, conceded 13 turnovers and they don’t record possession.

      I know the only stat that matters is the scoreline, but if the Pumas play that well defensively again, they’re going to be super hard to score against, and they’re going to make opportunities to score points.

      While I’m hopeful, I’m nervous.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’m worried.

      • Patrick

        I think we can create more opportunities than the ABs at the moment who seem really reliant on turnover/mistakes to score.

        But might be famous last words.

        • Not saying you’re wrong, but that defence shut down everything. The ABs did create chances, there was a nice lineout or two that went awry, BB gave away a penalty 5m out, Mo’unga had a dart and so on. I can see your rationale, I’m still nervous.

          Part of me hopes this year Los Pumas win the title though. Way to roar back into relevance on the world stage. Also, way to raise your preferred number of fingers at the Boks “oh we can’t come without enough minutes of rugby to prepare” – yeah right.

        • Patrick

          Really I think the best thing for the pumas* would be to have their win over the ABs this year, then next year they can win the RC (on points diff over us) :)

          *Not necessarily the best thing for them, as such.

        • UTG

          Yeah, looking at defensive stats without taking into account the attacking prowess of the opposition is only looking at half the story.

          When the ABs have struggled in recent years, it’s largely been in games where they haven’t had a broken defensive line to attack. The lack of turnovers from the Pumas contributed more to the ABs’ limp attack than any other factor.

          The Wallabies have their own issues but the forward pack has more go forward than NZ and Petaia, Wright and Paisami are much better at exploiting holes in the backline than Jordie Barrett, Goodhue and ALB. The fact NZ couldn’t create a linebreak with Sanchez defending at 10 is real indictment on their centre pairing. I look forward to Petaia finding a one on one against Sanchez and dealing out the sort of punishment Mo’unga copped from him in Auckland and Sydney.

        • Patrick

          Yes agree. In the past they were more dangerous from the set piece and they would always manufacture a turnover here and there (legal or not is another Q). The current crop, if they are really met up front, can’t do that. England showed it, we did in patches this year, now even Argentina has.

          I think this NZ team will find France and South Africa (in 2022 when they are fit enough for international rugby) and perhaps even a fired up Ireland to be very tough matchs as well, and if they don’t change direction this could be very painful for them.

  • Alister Smith

    If there was an Asia Pacific Champioship run at the same time or in the same window as the Rugby Chamionship and featuring the pacific island nations, Japan and perhaps USA (and Canada). This might 1. Eventually allow for a promotion relegation amongst say 10 – 12 teams 2. Allow some of the island nations to play some double headers on the same day as the TRC games and allow them to share some of the profits. Some home games could also be played at home. Would this be something that would help support this game in the region and to the spectacle and support professionalism developing in some island states? Just a thought.

  • Reds Revival

    Wallabies team announced;
    WALLABIES (1-15): Scott Sio, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Matt Philip, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Harry Wilson, Nic White, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Tom Wright, Tom Banks

    RESERVES: Folau Fainga’a, Angus Bell, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Valetini, Liam Wright, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Filipo Daugunu

    I’m sorry to say, but that is not an imposing forward pack. Los Pumas are going to boss them around a bit.

    • Geoffro

      Obviously rewarded for the last outing.Dont know what
      Tate did wrong though

      • Reds Revival

        You can only assume that Dave Rennie is going for a kicking/box kicking game from his half backs.

        • Geoffro

          I didnt see the AB v Puma so I’ll assume Smith didn’t kick a lot


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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