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Wallabies 2021

Derpus

Rod McCall (65)
I dunno, seems pretty valid to me. How do you get the Wallabies to win if they aren't as fit as their competitors
 

Adam84

Mark Loane (55)
Yeah the anaerobic session are important. If you look at the training schedule of an endurance athlete, during the off season, they are almost exclusively doing slow pace runs (pace at which you can maintain a conversation). Only when they are approaching the season, they start to incorporate tempo and interval runs.

Aerobic capacity is like the the size of your fuel tank and lactate threshold is a percentage at which when crossed, your body starts to accumulate lactic acid faster than it can remove. So doing slow pace high volume will increase the size of your fuel tank. While anaerobic training will increase the threshold.

For example, a person has a lactate threshold (the point at which their legs start to burn and begin tiring) of 75% their max heartrate. After 8 weeks of interval training, their threshold has increased to 78%. On the other hand, someone can jog at 6km/hr while maintaining 70% of their heartrate. After 8 weeks of aerobic training, they can jog at 6.5km/hr while maintaining the same heartrate.
I don't really like calling aerobic capacity as size of your fuel tank, rather i think it’s better described as efficiency in the rate the fuel is burned. Athletes with high anaerobic capacity burn fuel at a faster rate but can only achieve that for short bursts which supports speed, power and strength. Whereas high aerobic capacity have better efficiency and can maintain that for longer periods.

To use a 4 cylinder vs 8 cylinder car as an example, they can both start with the same size fuel tank, but they burn fuel at different rates and this delivers vastly different power output and range. You can’t tow a trailer with a 4 cyclinder without burning it out, but the range of the 8 cylinder wont get you very far.

Yes it’s essential players have a balance between the two categories, but it varies between positions. A halfback for example regularly covers the most distance on a pitch therefore requires an extremely high level of aerobic fitness, but also anaerobic fitness when at certain times when they carry the ball or run in support play.

AFL focuses on aerobic capacity because they cover distance, RU focuses on acceleration and horizontal power output, especially in the forwards.

Personally i think RU is the most difficult of all the codes(AFL, Football, RL) to provide S&C for because every player has a vastly different requirement. Whereas they other sports have a more generic approach.
 

cyclopath

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Staff member
I always wonder about both the metrics and philosophies behind these comments and they do come across a an excuse. It also make me wonder what they are looking for / at.

SR franchises will be looking at a longer period to build and maintain fitness across a season. In that is factored recovery time. Fatigue (physical / mental) in a player would impact game game prep, skills coaching etc, so its need to be an on balanced approach to maintaining fitness. Mental health is also a big factor nowadays, especially with COVID, which would impact on players well being and ability to train and recover (physically and mentally). Players are also thinking longevity for career purposes which would come in to it.

In a Wallabies setting I imagine its a little bit of a "disposable" mindset (all about this campaign noting beyond). I would envisage there would be less or different skills coaching (noting these are supposedly the "best" players). Players may have come off a rest period and be coming back up to fitness. For me the Wallabies camp time is akin to a SR pre-season; no post game recovery / game -prep cycles to worry about. Rennie will also have less concern if a player goes down as well. It just a phone call for him, where for a franchise it a massive headache. Its finding the next potential option and starting with a blank canvass or doing some serious time consuming phone shopping to get injury cover.

Personally I wish the Wallabies coaches would shut up about fitness and get to the point. How are they are going to get the Wallabies to win?

But, its RA and the Wallabies, so I do expect the 80/20% excuse, performance ratio
I think from Rennie's point of view, he would be more used to the top down structure in NZ they have had for a long time now, with the NZRU stipulating a style of play / structure / philosophy through all levels that allow easier transition of players to higher levels. A lot of the players had very specific training regimens that fitted them best and they obviously placed a lot of value in properly match-ready players. I'd be very surprised if the AB coach often got players into camp who were well below the par expected.
Your point about the difference between a long Super season and a series of Tests is a good one, although with comps like the Rugby Championship and inbound tests, the number of games is not massively different.
 

Up the Guts

Andrew Slack (58)
On the whole, Aus Super teams looked more unfit because many of the players are basically semi-amateur. Very hard, if not impossible, for guys being dragged up from club land to perform to the same strength and conditioning standards as players who are full time in professional squads. I imagine this makes constructing S&C programs harder at Super level and presumably most of the focus is put into getting the laggards up to speed rather than fine tuning the guys at the top. Perhaps, there is room to specialise the training more to push the top guys harder.
 
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mst

Ken Catchpole (46)
I think from Rennie's point of view, he would be more used to the top down structure in NZ they have had for a long time now, with the NZRU stipulating a style of play / structure / philosophy through all levels that allow easier transition of players to higher levels. A lot of the players had very specific training regimens that fitted them best and they obviously placed a lot of value in properly match-ready players. I'd be very surprised if the AB coach often got players into camp who were well below the par expected.
Your point about the difference between a long Super season and a series of Tests is a good one, although with comps like the Rugby Championship and inbound tests, the number of games is not massively different.

Totally agree you. The NZRU top down model you raise is the key point. IMHO, it is a huge point of difference and a key reason we are still not getting that consistent level of performance at SR level that feeds up to the test level. I believe it would actually bolster the performance of all our SR teams just by instituting a top down S&C program.
 

Purce

Ted Thorn (20)
You'd think so, wouldn't you.

It's not like there's some kind of all encompassing collective organisation dictating to the employers the maximum time spent in training thereby limiting what the teams can squeeze in throughout the week. I mean if you have something that enforces a standard as a maximum, then you'd end up with a situation where our people get flogged week in, week out by seemingly superior human beings who practice and train under a different arrangement.

Thankfully that's not what happens, so we can be certain we need to look elsewhere for a possible root cause.

I believe there is and that organisation in Australia is RUPA. Part of the players contracts stipulates that they can only perform duties related to work up to a maximum of X hrs / week. This includes games, training, gym and also things like video reviews and team meetings. I was shocked when I heard how low that limit was per week (this was a few years ago now so unsure if it is still the same figure now).

Gel I'm not sure if that is exactly what you were referring to but thought it was pertinent to the discussion here anyway.
 

Derpus

Rod McCall (65)
So in my opinion none of the players offered a chance to nail down a spot did. So do we persist with
Gordon, Noah and Valetini?

Paisami has somehow gone from smokey to most important player in the backline in the space of a season.

Not really sure what To'omua adds either.
 

Ignoto

Ken Catchpole (46)
Noah is worth persisting with. He didn't do too much wrong and is still bloody young. The service he had both inside and outside of him was woeful. To'omua was largely non-existent and for the most experienced back in that team, I didn't see him guiding Noah around the pack.

I'd have Tate and JoC as the 9/10 combination to let Noah come on and gain more international experience if both are fit for both Saturday matches.
 

RugbyReg

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
think we'll see changes anyway for the next test. It's interesting how much they will try to get out of certain players in terms of match time? Will the likes of Muirhead and Wells get game time? Will guys like Hunter and Wilson play every game?

Not writing off Valetini but a backrow of 8 Isi 7 Hooper and 6 Wilson is intriguing too.
 

Wilson

Jim Lenehan (48)
So in my opinion none of the players offered a chance to nail down a spot did. So do we persist with
Gordon, Noah and Valetini?

Paisami has somehow gone from smokey to most important player in the backline in the space of a season.

Not really sure what To'omua adds either.

It's what happened at the reds over the last couple of seasons, so it's not too surprising.

On Lolesio he did grow into the game but I don't think the plan was ever for him to take over the 10 jersey yet. He'll continue to get good time as they manage O'Connor and will hopefully find his feet as a test player. He is still bloody young.

Valentini looked flat as did a few of the forwards. At the moment I'd put that down to the training they went through, there were a lot of comments about just how intense it was. See how he's going after another game or two before making judgement there.I wold be swapping Swinton or Leota in for Naisaraini though, he didn't add much when he came on and he's gone pretty soon, so I don't see much point in playing him.

Gordon has to drop back to the bench, we were just so disjointed with him at halfback. I think he might still go ok coming in late in the game with the rest of the team already settled and he'll hopefully build combination with time spent with the squad, but Tate has to be ahead of him now.

To'omua and Banks probably both at threat from Hodge at the moment, which one just depends on which position they see suiting Hodge best.
 

eastman

Ron Walden (29)
I don't think that Hodge is actually an improvement; Banks has been criticised for his lack of impact in attack but has been consistently far more threatening than Hodge in Super Rugby for a number of years (Banks might break a tackle every few games while Hodge is lucky to break one a year).

The reality might just be that we don't have a better option than Banks, and if there is, it's someone untested and not Hodge.
 

Tah Man

Herbert Moran (7)
I don't think that Hodge is actually an improvement; Banks has beecriticised for his lack of impact in attack but has been consistently far more threatening than Hodge in Super Rugby for a number of years (Banks might break a tackle every few games while Hodge is lucky to break one a year).

The reality might just be that we don't have a better option than Banks, and if there is, it's someone untested and not Hodge.

They are a different style of player. They both have a big kick and can finish tries, I agree Banks is better at threatening the line whereas Hodge can be a second playmaker of sorts from fullback, allowing us to play two tackle breakers in Paisami and Ikitau/Petaia/Perese in the centres.

Perhaps more relevant than this is that Hodge has consistently delivered at test level, he is one of those guys who seems to lift. Banks on the other hand, played his 11th test last night and I can't ever remember him having an above average game.
 

eastman

Ron Walden (29)
Perhaps more relevant than this is that Hodge has consistently delivered at test level, he is one of those guys who seems to lift. Banks on the other hand, played his 11th test last night and I can't ever remember him having an above average game.
They are different players but if by consistently delivered you mean Hodge has been consistently average (not bad just not good) in most positions - I'd agree.

Hodge has never been able to demand certain selection because he never really been anything but adequate - we should be seeking more from a Wallaby starter.
 

Roberts Rugby

John Solomon (38)
The team that ran out last night isn’t our strongest team to put forward. Rennie’s a smart man and his decisions was to SWOT moving forward against the French. McDermott and Tupou were definitely impact bench players, with McDermott coming on a bit ahead of time because of the embarrassment of Gordon. JOC and Hodge were not necessarily still injured !!!! and will be brought in in Test 2 because Lolesio and Banks are not at the expected test level, and possibly could have cost us the game.
It was a Wallabies’ individual game up until 50 minutes in then the combination of McDermott and Wilson got us moving in better rhythm. I will back Paisami’s kicks with the intention of moving the game out wide to utilise our wingers and taking advantage of the opposition’s scrambling. Lolesio wasn’t doing it so Paisami had the vision but not the accurate execution. To'omua, To'omua, To'omua .. what are you doing? You’ve got the skill. Where are you?
Never had much to say about Swain previously, but the boy is bloody good. Surprised to say the least. And Bell, you’re going to be a superstar. Well done young man.

EDIT. Forgot to mention my MOTM. Welcome home Hooper.
 

liquor box

Jim Lenehan (48)
The team that ran out last night isn’t our strongest team to put forward. Rennie’s a smart man and his decisions was to SWOT moving forward against the French. McDermott and Tupou were definitely impact bench players, with McDermott coming on a bit ahead of time because of the embarrassment of Gordon. JOC and Hodge were not necessarily still injured !!!! and will be brought in in Test 2 because Lolesio and Banks are not at the expected test level, and possibly could have cost us the game.
It was a Wallabies’ individual game up until 50 minutes in then the combination of McDermott and Wilson got us moving in better rhythm. I will back Paisami’s kicks with the intention of moving the game out wide to utilise our wingers and taking advantage of the opposition’s scrambling. Lolesio wasn’t doing it so Paisami had the vision but not the accurate execution. To'omua, To'omua, To'omua .. what are you doing? You’ve got the skill. Where are you?
Never had much to say about Swain previously, but the boy is bloody good. Surprised to say the least. And Bell, you’re going to be a superstar. Well done young man.

EDIT. Forgot to mention my MOTM. Welcome home Hooper.

I think age and head knocks have caught up to him this season.

Did anyone really expect him to play any better than he did based on this season? He has done well in he past but was lucky to get selected if you have an eye to the future, it is hard to see him playing a role at the next world cup given the younger players coming through the system.
 

Roberts Rugby

John Solomon (38)
I think age and head knocks have caught up to him this season.

Did anyone really expect him to play any better than he did based on this season? He has done well in he past but was lucky to get selected if you have an eye to the future, it is hard to see him playing a role at the next world cup given the younger players coming through the system.
To'omua has been off since the head knock at the end of Super AU. He is a beautiful player to watch when on point. We really need the experience in the backline and let’s all hope he picks up from here. He prefers the 10 jersey so let’s give him a shot if JOC isn’t playing next week. I still think he’s got more to offer than Lolesio. Rennie has stated adamantly that he prefers him at inside centre. Let’s not give up on To'omua quite yet.
 
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