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Wales v Australia, Sunday 21st 4.30 am ADST.

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
I don't think any of the foreign contingent have been overly impressive but I think you have to play them again in this game. They should be building on the weeks in camp and getting better and I feel like this is the main opportunity to see whether it is worth doing again.

I don't include Beale in this. He was brought in as injury cover and might be needed for this game but I don't think he's shown that he's at all likely to be called in again. I don't think he's been as bad as people are suggesting though. Given our options I think he is pretty likely to play against Wales. If a back three player is to be replaced it will surely be Wright.
 

Viking

Paul McLean (56)
After re-watching a good part of the game this afternoon to make sure I wasn’t talking shit about Rodda’s work off the ball I’ll say Arnold is also doing more than I first thought.

Rennie is using his locks to do lots of donkey work. This includes not only breakdown work but also running as support rather than lead runners.

I’ll return to one of my earlier comments - there is no reason IMO we can’t expect more from them, but to get more from them we are going to need to get more from the whole group. The stats were low across all 23 players because we didn’t have enough attacking ball for them to be better.

Yeh I actually don't have too many issues with the forwards as a whole, apart from there linking with the back. They certainly could be better, but Arnold and Rodda weren't terrible.

The defense was pretty good too. Our attack is just embarrassing, which largely comes down to the backs and there linking play with the forwards.
 

PhilClinton

Ken Catchpole (46)
Yep, White or Slipper.
I'm tipping JOC (James O'Connor), as I think Tate will start alongside him.

Also gives Rugby Australia a positive spin to finish the tour, the exiled bad boy comes full circle to captain the Wallabies as they beat Wales.
 

Froggy

Arch Winning (36)
Skelton hasn't gone from being one of the most effective locks in Europe to a disaster overnight (I know he was a Tah, BL, but he's not anymore so you don't have to be so vindictive).
If you watch his European games, a ball player is putting the ball in front of him at the right moments to crash into the opposition. JOC (James O'Connor) didn't do that (nor was he doing it with our other big forward ball-runners), Quade did against SA and Argentina, and I would take a punt he would have done the same with Skelton. Having said that, if you're not going to do that, or you don't have anyone with the ability to do so, there isn't much point to having Skelton.
I have said on another thread, for Wales I would like to see Lolesio at 10, White at 9 as they should work well together, and move JOC (James O'Connor) to 12 as a second playmaker and to surround Lolesio with older heads. I would also be playing both Perese and Daugunu to give us some attacking penetration.
 

Derpus

Tim Horan (67)
Yeah i just don't understand how a ball running forward only gets the ball once across 40 minutes.
 

dru

John Eales (66)
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?

White definitely made several as sweeper including the try saver. Don't know exactly how many but I had thought it was a question that would come up.

My "beef" is that the pack would normally align as two pods and the flankers wider. The locks + probably no #8 have to do the heavy lifting as you expect the front row to have tired legs once the scrums start happening. In this case we had a known problem with the front row so I would have expected that the row should be muscling up more than even usual. It was the opposite.

Yes they did well in the mauls, I think the rating fans are giving them in the line out is over done but certainly we didn't lose anything there. It seems odd to suggest their work over the rucks was OK given the last issue - Tackles and taking it up, that's the issue.
 

dru

John Eales (66)
Skelton hasn't gone from being one of the most effective locks in Europe to a disaster overnight (I know he was a Tah, BL, but he's not anymore so you don't have to be so vindictive).
If you watch his European games, a ball player is putting the ball in front of him at the right moments to crash into the opposition. JOC (James O'Connor) didn't do that (nor was he doing it with our other big forward ball-runners), Quade did against SA and Argentina, and I would take a punt he would have done the same with Skelton. Having said that, if you're not going to do that, or you don't have anyone with the ability to do so, there isn't much point to having Skelton.
I have said on another thread, for Wales I would like to see Lolesio at 10, White at 9 as they should work well together, and move JOC (James O'Connor) to 12 as a second playmaker and to surround Lolesio with older heads. I would also be playing both Perese and Daugunu to give us some attacking penetration.

JOC (James O'Connor) for 10 mins; Lolo for 8 mins.

I also would think that White/McDermot have a larger role there.
 

Wilson

Geoff Shaw (53)
Skelton hasn't gone from being one of the most effective locks in Europe to a disaster overnight (I know he was a Tah, BL, but he's not anymore so you don't have to be so vindictive).
If you watch his European games, a ball player is putting the ball in front of him at the right moments to crash into the opposition. JOC (James O'Connor) didn't do that (nor was he doing it with our other big forward ball-runners), Quade did against SA and Argentina, and I would take a punt he would have done the same with Skelton. Having said that, if you're not going to do that, or you don't have anyone with the ability to do so, there isn't much point to having Skelton.
I have said on another thread, for Wales I would like to see Lolesio at 10, White at 9 as they should work well together, and move JOC (James O'Connor) to 12 as a second playmaker and to surround Lolesio with older heads. I would also be playing both Perese and Daugunu to give us some attacking penetration.

Not sure how you can put Skelton's lack of impact on O'Connor. At no stage in the 10 minutes they share the field does Skelton give O'Connor the option to pass to him. Skelton only once lines up for a run in this period when Nic White passes to him flat footed. There's nothing much to it and he just makes the advantage line, but it was off particularly slow ruck ball so he wasn't going to do much. There's not a lot of Australian possession in this period and the only other time he appears near the attack is when he sets up to support Tom Robertson in a run. It's worth noting that O'Connor does put Valetini through a hole in this period off a counter attack and then a later pass to Rodda goes to ground. It's not a good pass but Rodda should've had his hands up and been ready to take it.

After O'Connor leaves the field Skelton tries to get a bit more involved - Comes around the corner late at a (again very slow) ruck but Tate is already throwing a wide pass that goes a bit astray. A phase or two later he sets up in support of Latu but the pass to him is knocked away by an English player. There are only a couple more attacking possesions and neither of these play many phases, but Skelton never gets into a realistic position to recieve the ball. The game ends with him chasing hard but looking wiped out as though he's played the full 80 as Blamire runs in his try.

Across his almost 20 minutes Skelton has 2 good involvements - as a key part of a counter ruck that wins us possesion and in neutralizing a lineout maul from England.

To be clear I'm not offering this as a criticism of Skelton or an argument that he should be dropped, just a as a defence of O'Connor who was not at all to blame for Skelton not having an impact. Of the European contignet he is the one I would most like to see given time against Wales as I don't think he's had much opportunity for the potential gain he offers (I don't think there is anywhere near enough upside to be risking Latu).

For him to have an impact and for our attack to fire more generally, something needs to change. To my mind it's our ruck speed - I thought it was slow when I first watched the game and it was ponderous watching the final 20 back again. If we can't generate quick ball it won't matter who is carrying it.
 

RebelYell

Trevor Allan (34)
Just thinking out loud, if we got one more back row injury Jordy Reid has been a success in the UK since leaving the Rebels (where he played through a broken back).

Not sure if fit but signed originally for Ealing in the Championship, absolutely bossed it and signed for Gloucester where he started pretty much every game last year
 

TSR

Mark Loane (55)
Skelton hasn't gone from being one of the most effective locks in Europe to a disaster overnight (I know he was a Tah, BL, but he's not anymore so you don't have to be so vindictive).
If you watch his European games, a ball player is putting the ball in front of him at the right moments to crash into the opposition. JOC (James O'Connor) didn't do that (nor was he doing it with our other big forward ball-runners), Quade did against SA and Argentina, and I would take a punt he would have done the same with Skelton. Having said that, if you're not going to do that, or you don't have anyone with the ability to do so, there isn't much point to having Skelton.
I have said on another thread, for Wales I would like to see Lolesio at 10, White at 9 as they should work well together, and move JOC (James O'Connor) to 12 as a second playmaker and to surround Lolesio with older heads. I would also be playing both Perese and Daugunu to give us some attacking penetration.
Sorry - Skelton is doing nothing to push his claim for a jersey. I get that it is a tough gig coming into the squad late, but he has been a non-entity. His work off the ball is average too. It’s not anyone else’s fault other than that in a poor team performance everyone cops some flak.

I don’t care if he gets awarded the European player of the decade. He needs to perform in the test arena and he isn’t.

If he does, I’ll very happily cheer for him.
 

TSR

Mark Loane (55)
Whatever combo Rennie starts with, I’d like to see Swain get the bench spot as his reward for a great year.

I thought Swain performed pretty well throughout the year, but I thought he was especially good off the bench. Every time he came on he had a positive influence from memory. He brought energy and enthusiasm and won a couple of clutch lineouts. And I think it would be good for his development.

I won’t have any qualms if they start him either, but I personally feel that he is ideal for the bench at this stage.
 

Italophile

Larry Dwyer (12)
Skelton hasn't gone from being one of the most effective locks in Europe to a disaster overnight (I know he was a Tah, BL, but he's not anymore so you don't have to be so vindictive).
If you watch his European games, a ball player is putting the ball in front of him at the right moments to crash into the opposition. JOC (James O'Connor) didn't do that (nor was he doing it with our other big forward ball-runners), Quade did against SA and Argentina, and I would take a punt he would have done the same with Skelton. Having said that, if you're not going to do that, or you don't have anyone with the ability to do so, there isn't much point to having Skelton.
Spot on. The transformation started at Sarries. They stripped about 10kgs off him and actually got him fit for the first time in his playing life. How he was allowed to carry that blubber around for the Tahs is anyone's guess. And Sarries used him exactly as described: put the pill in front of him to collect and crash through. And set up and drive mauls. He was a monster. Same thing now in France. JOC (James O'Connor), playing as deep as he is, can't provide the option. Either exploit his strengths or don't bother.
 

The Nomad

Alan Cameron (40)
Spot on. The transformation started at Sarries. They stripped about 10kgs off him and actually got him fit for the first time in his playing life. How he was allowed to carry that blubber around for the Tahs is anyone's guess. And Sarries used him exactly as described: put the pill in front of him to collect and crash through. And set up and drive mauls. He was a monster. Same thing now in France. JOC (James O'Connor), playing as deep as he is, can't provide the option. Either exploit his strengths or don't bother.
Forward runners don’t always have to come off 10. Agree JOC (James O'Connor) has been playing too deep in attack , but the ball movement to him in general play should have forward runners as an alternative option to the ball going directly to 10.

If the 10 is playing flat he will bring more forward runners into play , which is what Cooper did well in TRC . If the 10 is playing deeper , the 9 or acting half should be looking for someone like Skelton running hard lines as an alternative to hitting JOC (James O'Connor). The mere presence of those potential forward runners off 9 does at least hold a defensive player.

Can’t say I’ve watched Skelton’s positioning in the last two games to comment on whether he put himself in a position to at least be an option as a ball runner . Maybe some have ?

Sure it may have been easier for Skelton to get more involved with the 10 playing flat , but easy options don’t make you a test match footballer. The match day squad train with a game shape in mind . Where JOC (James O'Connor) stands in attack should not be a great surprise to anyone in the team.
 

Joe Blow

John Thornett (49)
Samu or Fainga'a at 7? Probably Samu and Swinton to add impact later. Philip and/or Swain in the 23?
I assume TT and AA are fit and firing.

Changes in the backs? Perese in there somewhere and Daugunu to get a run. I’d like to see Kellaway back at 15.
 
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