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Wales v Australia, Sunday 21st 4.30 am ADST.

KOB1987

Michael Lynagh (62)
I’d be sending out a ‘team for the future’, without ex pats, except maybe Latu because we need him on the bench.
 

TSR

Mark Loane (55)
I think we just aim to win. There are enough players in the team who are in the early stages of their career. Winning on UK soil would be good for them. Any other guys who are part of the future will get their chance down the line.

Slipper
Fainga'a
Tupou
Philip
Rodda
Leota
Hooper
Valetini
McDermott
O’Connor
Daugunu
Paisami
Ikitau
Perese
Kellaway

McInerney/Latu
Bell
Ala'alatoa
Swain
Samu
White
Lolesio
Wright

If they decide to give Arnold and/or Skelton another run then so be it. I do see logic in trying to get them up to speed. But I think Philip & Swain were giving us more.
 

KOB1987

Michael Lynagh (62)
That's pretty much the team I had in mind too, I wasn't so much suggesting giving all the uncapped guys a run, just favouring the younger capped players.

Changes to that team would possibly be starting Bell over Slipper, testing Swinton out again, and perhaps seeing how Perese goes at 13. However, that involves keeping one of Wright or Beale in the starting lineup so a start on the wing is possibly his calling for this game.
 

Thalium

Allen Oxlade (6)
I wouldnt be upset with the below for the Wales game.

1. Bell
2. Fiangaá
3. Slipper (im Assuming Tupou and Aallatoa will be out as it was HIA)
4. Swain
5. Rodda
6. Leota
7. Hooper (Samu if Hooper is out)
8. Valentini
9. Mcdermott
10. Lolesio
11. Perese
12. Paisami
13. Ikitau
14. Kellaway
15. Beale

16. Latu/Kaituu
17. Robertson
18. Hoskins
19. Philip
20. Samu (Swinton if Hooper is out)
21. White
22. JOC (James O'Connor)
23. Petaia/Daugunu/Wright
 

TSR

Mark Loane (55)
I wouldn’t be against those changes KOB. Or indeed starting with White & Lolesio.

An alternative is give Skelton and Latu starting gigs and give them a chance to stake their claim. If Rennie thought they were both good enough for the squad last time then he might want to give them another crack. It’s not my preferred choice from my armchair, but if rhe point of their inclusion in the first place was to see what they have to offer I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable to let them have a crack in the starting jersey. Especially when the incumbents have fallen short the last 2 games.

I would be very interested to know what Rennie’s view of Arnold is. Many on here seem to share my view that he has been good, but not outstanding. As such, I’m inclined to revert to the domestic based guys. But, of course, we don’t know what his brief was and what Rennie is seeing at training. I note that many on here thought Valetini was passable or worse in the French series, but Rennie saw the benefit in persisting with him and it has paid dividends.
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
I’d be sending out a ‘team for the future’, without ex pats, except maybe Latu because we need him on the bench.
Not on his 10 - 15 minute display against England KOB. Looked overweight, missed a lineout throw (out of 2 only?), made an illegal grass cutting tackle that would have had fans here with apoplexy if Fainga'a had done it, and generally took little or no other part in the game. The Brumbies 6th choice would do better. ;)
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
I think we just aim to win. There are enough players in the team who are in the early stages of their career. Winning on UK soil would be good for them. Any other guys who are part of the future will get their chance down the line.

Slipper
Fainga'a
Tupou
Philip
Rodda
Leota
Hooper
Valetini
McDermott
O’Connor
Daugunu
Paisami
Ikitau
Perese
Kellaway

McInerney/Latu
Bell
Ala'alatoa
Swain
Samu
White
Lolesio
Wright

If they decide to give Arnold and/or Skelton another run then so be it. I do see logic in trying to get them up to speed. But I think Philip & Swain were giving us more.
I would definitely start Philip and Swain in the row TSR; Rodda looked to me like he needs a bit of a rest. I'd also start Lolesio in place of JOC (James O'Connor) who is not the future and who put in a real shocker against England.

Otherwise, Samu for Hooper if he's not fit and Swinton to the bench, and maybe somebody to replace Wright on the bench. Who's available? Foketai, Paia'uau, Gordon? Maybe Gordon.
 

TSR

Mark Loane (55)
Latu’s tackle looked bad to me, but neither the ref nor 4th official saw fit to make anything of it. And given how keen Berry was to be heard, if he didn’t see anything in it I’m assuming it was okay. I haven’t gone back and checked.

I did see Latu later try and knock down the half backs hand whilst in an offside position a bit later (similar to what De Klerk got binned for against us) so I would like him to be told to pull his head in though. It is just not worth doing that stuff these days.

With regards to his fitness, he appeared to have trimmed down to me. I don’t remember him being off the pace. But if he was, then sure - definitely leave him out. But If fitness was an issue it seems unlikely to me Rennie would have picked him in the first place. He seems pretty firm on that.

I’ve questioned the prevailing view of the OS players from the outset - in particular the view on Latu. But I do think judging him on such a short stint in a game where we as a team were generally poor is not really a good basis for making an informed judgement.

As for Rodda - he was good against Scotland and far from our worst on the weekend. I’d like to see him develop more power in his running and tackling but I think he’s returned to his spot as our best lock. Is he a Retallick or Etzebeth? Sadly, no. But he’s better (IMO) than all our other options and I wouldn’t be leaving him out. I know we all love seeing forwards with physical presence and impact - I do too - but they are limited value at test level if they aren’t also high work rate and accurate.

Edit : for what it’s worth I think the criticism of JOC (James O'Connor) has been overdone too. I think Barrett would’ve struggled to get the backline going on Saturday night. But I don’t think he was blameless either and he is the 10, so if he gets axed for his performance so be it.
 

dru

Phil Kearns (64)
Mate, I won't chase all of these items but pick up on Rodda.

Against Scotland he was:
5 runs for 3 m; 8 tackles for 1 miss.

So he is in the engine room, multiple runs for little gain is fine as long as there is gain. So that is adequate. Not very busy but adequate. Not substantial though. Hope for something more emphatic on the next game.

Against England:
1 run for nothing; 3 tackles with success, 2 misses and also 2 turnovers conceded.

If this is our best lock we are really in trouble. It is sadly, a superior performance to Arnold and Skelton. I'd be thinking again about the role of LSL (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto), Swinton, and Philip. Rodda needs to be in another space entirely for me to get enthusiastic. I don't know what his "time away" has achieved but imo he is not a shadow of his previous self.

As the engine room to the pack, all our locks were poor. Including Rodda.
 

TSR

Mark Loane (55)
Mate, I won't chase all of these items but pick up on Rodda.

Against Scotland he was:
5 runs for 3 m; 8 tackles for 1 miss.

So he is in the engine room, multiple runs for little gain is fine as long as there is gain. So that is adequate. Not very busy but adequate. Not substantial though. Hope for something more emphatic on the next game.

Against England:
1 run for nothing; 3 tackles with success, 2 misses and also 2 turnovers conceded.

If this is our best lock we are really in trouble. It is sadly, a superior performance to Arnold and Skelton. I'd be thinking again about the role of LSL (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto), Swinton, and Philip. Rodda needs to be in another space entirely for me to get enthusiastic. I don't know what his "time away" has achieved but imo he is not a shadow of his previous self.

As the engine room to the pack, all our locks were poor. Including Rodda.
Sure. I think I made that point myself in an earlier post about the performance of the pack, except Valetini & Leota. My only comment above was that he wasn’t the worst. I’m happy to agree to disagree on where he is in the pecking order but I’ll be surprised if Rennie doesn’t see him as part of his best current combo and, whatever virtue people see in Philip and Swain I think that is pretty obvious from the selections so far. But I he pays the price of the failings from the weekend, so be it. No player should be immune from a kick in the arse in a losing team.

One thing your post eludes to though is the opportunity that this tour has opened up for LSL (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto). I rate him very highly - but I can also understand why Rennie left him behind. He has now had the benefit of a full off season without having had someone else really grab the spot he is aiming for and make it his own. Will be very keen to see how he goes next season.
 
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TSR

Mark Loane (55)
Mate, I won't chase all of these items but pick up on Rodda.

Against Scotland he was:
5 runs for 3 m; 8 tackles for 1 miss.

So he is in the engine room, multiple runs for little gain is fine as long as there is gain. So that is adequate. Not very busy but adequate. Not substantial though. Hope for something more emphatic on the next game.

Against England:
1 run for nothing; 3 tackles with success, 2 misses and also 2 turnovers conceded.

If this is our best lock we are really in trouble. It is sadly, a superior performance to Arnold and Skelton. I'd be thinking again about the role of LSL (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto), Swinton, and Philip. Rodda needs to be in another space entirely for me to get enthusiastic. I don't know what his "time away" has achieved but imo he is not a shadow of his previous self.

As the engine room to the pack, all our locks were poor. Including Rodda.
Dru - just to follow up on this point, watch the game again and watch how many times Rodda & Arnold clean out or seal. How many times they work around the corner to be an option in attack. How quickly they both react when there is a mistake. How much work they both do in stopping the driving maul. Watch them run an extra 10 metres to be the guy next to the ruck to put pressure on the box kick.

They still need to improve the detail in their work. Rodda is one of the two players who missed the clean out when Hooper steals the ball at the back of the England lineout. But then he & Hooper are also the two who counter ruck to win the penalty that led to our second goal.

Tackle & Run stats are fine - but there are a couple of times when Rodda sprints around the corner to be the third forward in the middle of the field but White either goes to the first player or goes the other way. So he is actually the forward doing the most work, but not picking up a stat for it. But if he doesn’t put the effort in, England’s defence is much easier.

Watch the work of Rodda & Arnold before the Nic White try saver. White and Hooper very rightly get the accolades for their excellent work. But George only breaks away because Rodda and Arnold drove England’s maul backwards - a theme common throughout the game.

My point is simple - stats never tell the full story and, in this case I’ll maintain you’re drawing a completely false conclusion from them.
 

dru

Phil Kearns (64)
My point is simple - stats never tell the full story and, in this case I’ll maintain you’re drawing a completely false conclusion from them.

No TSR, they don't tell a full story and never will. They do however tell an actual measured story, generally around an important issue.

You think I'm drawing a false conclusion on our second row? From that last game?

Fair enough mate. We don't have to agree on everything. I stand by the thinking that our second row was competitively shite. And should be much better - especially where we have stuff going on in the front row. The second rowers get the shit job of digging deep in the heavy stuff. And I don't think they did well. And I do think the stats tell a story (no not a complete story).

Then how well did they do in the scrum and the line out?

On the whole the word "poor" works. imo.
 

TSR

Mark Loane (55)
According to ESPN stats we won 3/4 scrums and 10/13 line outs. We had Slipper out of position and Hoskins debuting. 21 year old Bell was against British Lion Kyle Sinkler. Sure, to pick up Pfitzy’s point, scrums aren’t all about the props, but they are kind of important. If I recall correctly at least 2 of our lost lineouts occurred after Skelton came onto the field. I’ll admit I didn’t take close note in this game but Rodda’s positioning in scrums generally seems pretty good.

By Contrast England won 5/8 scrums and 11/13 lineouts. So statistically worst in the scrums and better in the lineouts by 1 throw.
 
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TSR

Mark Loane (55)
In any case, my point was that you appeared to be using the stats to argue Rodda’s work rate was sub par.

If I’ve misunderstood and you are simply using the stats to show that the team underperformed, then I apologise and agree.
 

dru

Phil Kearns (64)
@TSR here is another performance item where our locks were actually sublime - maul destruction. Even with some odd ref decisions at the line out, they worked around it and defused the English maul.

Not in the stats, and awesome.

And yet, in the mean time, Nick White was more successful on those "unimportant and false conclusion" stats. Had more successful tackles than the entire second row, bench included.

The 9 did. More tackles. Than the entire second row. For the entire 80 minutes. Against the time White was on. Go for it boys, be proud. Or something. I can just see the team chat on KPIs. "Well, boss, me and my two mates here, the other two biggest blokes in the team. we'd like to be good enough to close in and be closer to the half's tackle stats. The smallest bloke on the field. Good, eh?"
 

dru

Phil Kearns (64)
In any case, my point was that you appeared to be using the stats to argue Rodda’s work rate was sub par.

If I’ve misunderstood and you are simply using the stats to show that the team underperformed, then I apologise and agree.

No I was actually talking about the second row, who I thought should have stood up, and imo did not. I guess no need to apologise. :oops:

It's good too have different opinions. Mine here, very clearly, is that the second row was not good enough. Which doesn't mean I can't see strengths, just that imo they weren't good enough. Opinion, backed, I think, by the stats.

My thoughts weren't really specific to Rodda, but he is definitely tarred by the same brush.
 
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TSR

Mark Loane (55)
Dru - I’m happy to continue the discussion, because I like chatting rugby with you. But I just want to repeat my point that I have no issue with the general point we want more out of our locks.

But I think I can say that I thought they were better than they are being given credit for and still say they need to be better again.

I’m not going to have a chance to watch the game again tonight to take specific notes of where White makes his tackles but could you tell me how many he makes in his role as sweeper. Also, how many times were Rodda a d Arnold out of position to make tackles. How many tackles are they not making because of lack of effort? How many times do they not make a tackle because they aren’t defending at the point of attack, but do move up to turn the ball inside or cover the inside runner?
 

Seb V

Mark Loane (55)
Yeah I'd give Arnold a pass mark for his maul work. But his combo with Rodda really isn't working. Both offer nothing as ball carries or any kind of mongrel.
 

Seb V

Mark Loane (55)
Edit : for what it’s worth I think the criticism of JOC (James O'Connor) has been overdone too. I think Barrett would’ve struggled to get the backline going on Saturday night. But I don’t think he was blameless either and he is the 10, so if he gets axed for his performance so be it.

I think the issue is that it has been two weeks in a row now. Both games he was under performing. And both a huge step down from Cooper.

Compared to say Paisami who had a terrible first game, which is somewhat forgotten now that he has redeemed himself this game.

I also disagree with you example about Barrett, I doubt he would have stuffed up that pass to Wright. That play alone could have led to a try which could have easily turned the perception of this performance around. There were certainly moments like that he could have made impact. Although I agree the backline likely would not have fired.
 
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