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Pumas vs Wallabies, 25th July 2015, Mendoza

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Pete King

Phil Hardcastle (33)
Doesn't Pocock at 8 with Hooper at 7 give the Argies a massive set piece advantage at the scrum? Penalties galore

No it doesnt. Do Higgers, palu or mcalman add substantially more weight from number 8 then pocock? I think if the tight 5 are relying on the back 3 to get some ascendancy in the scrum there barking up the wrong tree.

The scrum was significantly better with hooper and pocock there in the last 30 (more due to horwill/sio/holmes i might add)

The obvious weakening of set piece is at lineout time but if skelton makes way for horwill/arnold/douglas/mumm I think the risk of it is worth having two of the best three forwards on the field for the 80mins. Hoopers and pococks games should really compliment each other quite well.
 

Groucho

Greg Davis (50)
sorry who and who?

Although some people despise him personally, Beale's still in the squad. And an in-form Beale would still make the bench.

JOC (James O'Connor) - yeah, who? But he could come back too. Cheika has him in training for just that eventuality.

It will be worth it to watch all the gnashing.
 

Brumby Runner

David Wilson (68)
It's entirely workable depending on who the other loosie is, and to a lesser extent the locks, but that's probably taking it a bit far.

Have a look at the ruck stats posted BY @Forcefield on page 1 and let me know who is going to hit the defensive rucks if Fardy isn't there, and who is going to win turn over ball if Pocock isn't there. Simple. Both must play or we will risk being absolutely trounced at the breakdown.
 

Brumby Runner

David Wilson (68)
Doesn't Pocock at 8 with Hooper at 7 give the Argies a massive set piece advantage at the scrum? Penalties galore

Based on the Argies' efforts against the ABs, I'm not so sure. But with McMahon on at 6 with both Pocock and Hooper in the back row, then I'd agree wholeheartedly with your concern. And I am not sure that McCalman offers enough strength and aggression to compensate at scrum time for both 7s playing together. Any two of Pocock, Hooper, McMahon or McCalman on together needs Fardy on at the same time imo.
 

Brumby Runner

David Wilson (68)
Although some people despise him personally, Beale's still in the squad. And an in-form Beale would still make the bench.

JOC (James O'Connor) - yeah, who? But he could come back too. Cheika has him in training for just that eventuality.

It will be worth it to watch all the gnashing.

As the real Groucho was fond of saying "I wouldn't want to play in a team that had me in its side" or words to that effect. Could be an appropriate attitude for JOC (James O'Connor) atm.
 

Mr Pilfer

Syd Malcolm (24)
Could Fardy be a realistic option for second row, eg

4. Simmons
5. Fardy
6. Pocock
7. Hooper
8. McCalman

19. Skelton
20. Higgers

Gives 3 jumpers until Skelton comes on. Pocock and Hooper to play left and right instead of open and blind. Not sure the scrum will be strong enough though?
 

JJJ

Vay Wilson (31)
Does anyone know enough about the Argies to know if that was their first-string team playing the ABs? Because they looked decidedly mortal at scrumtime, probably not surprising considering their pack was 40kg lighter.

Would be surprised if they don't start their best side against us.
 

BDA

Peter Johnson (47)
A few thoughts:-

- until last week I was totally opposed to the idea of selecting Hooper and Pocock in the same team, but it's hard to deny how much of an impact both have on the game when they're on the field. I still think the best approach is the start one of them on the bench and play the final 30 minutes with both on the field. IMO first half test rugby is in large part about physicality and the defense is generally more staunch. The means you need some genuine big ball carriers. In the second half defenders dont rush up as much and teams tend to be slightly less physical. In my view the approach should be to have Pocock and Hooper both on the field for the final 30 minutes of every game. Personally I would start Pocock as I believe he is more important in terms of our ruck work. Inject Hooper into the game in the final 30 and let him go ape shit.

-Skelton had a poor game in the scrum last week, but he should be persisted with. Looking ahead I'd probably like to see him get as much game time as possible. However I'm also curious to see Arnold get a run and its probably now or never.Honestly if Skelton is rested this week I think it's more likely that Mumm will get the nod off the bench instead.

-I'd like to see Tomane get a start on the wing.

Higgers out, McCalman in
 

Slim 293

Phil Waugh (73)
I've been against the Pocock/Hooper combination but am starting to come around.............

The difference between this and the Smith/Waugh combo which didn't work is that Pocock and Hooper, despite obviously being the two most effective forwards we have, offer different attributes -

Pocock - Workrate and effectiveness at the breakdown is without compare. Generally tops the tackle count and averaged less than one missed tackle per game this year. Best pilferer since Smith, and a good link player with the ball.

Hooper - Possesses great strength in contact. Dominant tackler. Combined with his pace makes him also an effective carrier. Also possesses a high workrate. Essentially the 6/8 we don't have but slightly smaller.

The question is how to fit them in together into the back 5 of the pack.

It might just mean benching Skelton to retain Simmons, Fardy and someone like Horwill (or another lineout lock).
 
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