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Wallabies - a changing of the guard

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boyo

Mark Ella (57)
I think this really has the possibility of changing the whole dynamic of the front row and scrums far more than anybody thinks ATM. Those who have been previously regarded as poor front rowers because they consistently lose the hit may suddenly find themselves very effective front rowers if not dominant. This will cause a big re-think and maybe BA may well find himself able to resurrect his TH career which at this stage must look like going the way of Al Baxter's.

Also of note I have had to shake my head at the significant number of NH posters (on another site) claiming that the new scrum rules are really a SH, especially Australian, plot to depower the scrum to hide deficiencies. It is bemusing really, since for those who don't know it originated in the NH and one of the biggest proponents is none other than Brian Moore.


It's all a SH conspiracy.
 

Athilnaur

Arch Winning (36)
Few general observations from the past few pages.

1 - What is this crap suggesting Quade has 'grown up this year' and 'distributes more'? Quade has NEVER had difficulty being a distributor, he has NEVER been one to take the glory when he could give it to someone else. FFS. Quade's faults relate to his unreliable defense and his occasionally erratic decisions backfiring, but a hallmark of his play is how keen and capable he is to bring others into try scoring opportunities. Talk about reinventionist drivel. If anything he needs to take it to the line a little more often this year imo. Is Quade our 10? Not sure but I wish him the best of luck if he gets a shot at it.

2 - Why should McKenzie feel he has to stick to the knitting with the Rugby Championship? He has two years to build a RWC team, I'd suggest if he needs to break some eggs now is the time to do it.

3 - On the note of change I am firmly convinced of two things as a result of the Lions tour. Kimlin must be given a chance to play. I was staggered at his performance in the Brumbies win. Secondly, and I grant more controversially, I believe we need Mogg at fullback. The kicking control of Gerrard combined with the slippery grace of well, Mogg, is for me crucial.
 

JJJ

Vay Wilson (31)
I think this really has the possibility of changing the whole dynamic of the front row and scrums far more than anybody thinks ATM. Those who have been previously regarded as poor front rowers because they consistently lose the hit may suddenly find themselves very effective front rowers if not dominant. This will cause a big re-think and maybe BA may well find himself able to resurrect his TH career which at this stage must look like going the way of Al Baxter's.

It'll be interesting. Watching the IRB demonstration video of the new scrums it looks like there's still enough of a hit for props to get themselves into good/bad positions, they just won't be able to exploit them until the feed.

I reckon that'll make it easier for teams to win their own feed (which still doesn't look straight to me), but allow room for a dominant scrum to keep the ball in on their own feed and milk the penalty.
 
T

Train Without a Station

Guest
I predict Beale will announce a move to the Tahs in the coming weeks and have an absolute Whopper of a Rugby Championship.

I think you will be disappointed. This year at least. Obviously players the class of Beale and JOC (James O'Connor) don't just get discarded and wither away, but I think they have a little further to fall, before they rise again.
 

Gnostic

Mark Ella (57)
It'll be interesting. Watching the IRB demonstration video of the new scrums it looks like there's still enough of a hit for props to get themselves into good/bad positions, they just won't be able to exploit them until the feed.

I reckon that'll make it easier for teams to win their own feed (which still doesn't look straight to me), but allow room for a dominant scrum to keep the ball in on their own feed and milk the penalty.

A great series. I am looking forward to seeing the first scrum in anger under these laws.
 

ACT Crusader

Jim Lenehan (48)
The difference from Deans will be stark. Playing with poor or no gameplans with people playing out of position just won't happen anymore. We may not always win but I bet we do way better than 58%. Bring it on.

Did you write that with a straight face Hawko? If you look at some of the selections Link has made at Super level for instance there have been players selected "out of position". Now may e they were to cover an injury or maybe to plug a hole because of lack of requirements in the squad or he wanted to experiment or perhaps it was a "lets see how they go there". But he has done it. Take the revolving door that has become the Reds midfield. Is Taps a 12 or is he a 13. Who knows given he's played both. Why do we see Ants at 13 on occasions when he and cooper were supposed to be the one two punch of the inside backs. Digby at wing and then to centre and then back to wing.

The fact is he has his reasons for changing things up and that even means moving players into other positions.

By the way I don't have an issue with the changes themselves, but I won't be surprised to see changes and different things as Link tries things out as he finds his feet in the role.
 

Gnostic

Mark Ella (57)
Did you write that with a straight face Hawko? If you look at some of the selections Link has made at Super level for instance there have been players selected "out of position". Now may e they were to cover an injury or maybe to plug a hole because of lack of requirements in the squad or he wanted to experiment or perhaps it was a "lets see how they go there". But he has done it. Take the revolving door that has become the Reds midfield. Is Taps a 12 or is he a 13. Who knows given he's played both. Why do we see Ants at 13 on occasions when he and cooper were supposed to be the one two punch of the inside backs. Digby at wing and then to centre and then back to wing.

The fact is he has his reasons for changing things up and that even means moving players into other positions.

By the way I don't have an issue with the changes themselves, but I won't be surprised to see changes and different things as Link tries things out as he finds his feet in the role.

Before you judge Link on Super suggestions I would suggest you have a look at the options he had when making those selections. People always point to the Genia at 10 selection. That was done when the three 10s in the squad were all injured. It became a choice between Genia, a second club level 10, Frisby or seeking to draft in another 10 from another Super Squad as the Rebels did with props last year.

As for Digby at 13, he has the skill set. What is the problem there and many would say at Super Level that actually worked reasonably well, same for Taps and A. Fainga'a.

In every aspect it is different from selecting O'Connor at 10 when there are numerous actual 10s around fit and available.

The only time I would seriously suggest Link stuffed up with selection was at the Tahs when he selected Morgan Turinui on the wing to mark Bryan Habana.
 
T

Train Without a Station

Guest
There have been others Gnostic. Horwill at 6 for example didn't quite pay off. Notably, after they have been made, he has used the experience to make a better selection, not the same one again.
 

ACT Crusader

Jim Lenehan (48)
I don't have an issue with the 'suggestions' :) themselves and of course there's a reason that we armchair critics can come up with to justify why or why not, but I wouldn't say the Taps and A. Finger chopping and changing has helped either of them. Whilst they may have skills, the positions aren't the "same but just a bit further out" (that's a direct quote from a club selector said to me once). The intricacies of the positions require different thought processes, different reactionary requirements etc etc.

I would say there is a body of evidence this season in how the Reds attack has been stagnant on set piece and one of, not the only, factors has been an unsettled midfield and different personnel.

I don't see an issue with the Genia at 10, it had to happen.

As for JOC (James O'Connor), should've been on the wing where he has played his best test footy by far. If Lilo hadn't got injured last year he would've started as 10 last year and built on that for the lead up to this season. But that is all in the past, plenty to be intrigued and interested in with the future.
 

No4918

John Hipwell (52)
Where was all the chopping and changing? Every example i can think of was due to injury or Tapuai's drop in form this year. The only time that he got it wrong was Horwill at 6.
 

ACT Crusader

Jim Lenehan (48)
A. Finger started at 13 at the beginning of the season (and for several games thereafter) despite being the no1 12 in the squad last year, which got him higher honours.

Then he is moved back to 12 during this season to accommodate for CFS. Taps is on the bench.

So Link either played A. Finger out of position or made a change because he thought it was necessary. He could possibly have brought Harris when he was fit into 12 to keep A. Finger at 13. But he didn't. And let's not forget that he moved Harris out of position - an inside back - to fullback. Wouldn't say that was a glowing positional change. Harris is basically Barnes but with a Red jersey. Good footy players but are not outside backs.

Before anyone jumps down my throat, these are just observations I've picked up from my armchair. When I think Link I think he is going to do what he needs to do to win and if that means changing players or moving them, so be it and fair enough. So I will not be surprised to see players selected in different positions at all. And when it does happen i look forward to the debates :)
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
Links made a load of selection mistakes at the Reds. But if something doesn't come off (like Horwill at 6, Harris at 13 etc.) he learns from his mistake and changes it.
 
T

Train Without a Station

Guest
Finger was the no 1 12. Then Taps came along. Finger was defensive leader so Link found a spot for him. The Reds midfield's result against highly vaunted midfields like SBW & Fruen at the Crusaders in 2011 and SBW & Kahui at the Chiefs in 2012 show that this obviously worked.

This year the midfield appeared to be struggling with Taps at 12, so link threw Finger back there and benched Taps. The straight runner at 12 offered immediate impact.

There has been selection errors but I don't see the midfield being one of them. The odd selection hasn't worked, but each selection he has made and stuck with has at least had initial positive impact, and if it works to begin with, why wouldn't you try it again?

For a Super Rugby squad you only have 30 full time contracted players. Injury and form slumps are going to have to limit your selections somewhat and cause you to try things you obviously wouldn't. It's not like he has 5 full time professionals plying their trade in each starting position and still chooses a winger to play 12 for a knockout tournament or something? Or chooses a tighthead to play loosehead and loosehead to play tighthead. These selections were made with 150 full time professionals to choose from.
 

Pfitzy

George Gregan (70)
Foley tackled every bloody Lion sent into his channel. He doesn't knock guys backwards but its very rare he doesn't put a bloke on the deck.
 

Brumby Runner

David Wilson (68)
I think this really has the possibility of changing the whole dynamic of the front row and scrums far more than anybody thinks ATM. Those who have been previously regarded as poor front rowers because they consistently lose the hit may suddenly find themselves very effective front rowers if not dominant. This will cause a big re-think and maybe BA may well find himself able to resurrect his TH career which at this stage must look like going the way of Al Baxter's.

Also of note I have had to shake my head at the significant number of NH posters (on another site) claiming that the new scrum rules are really a SH, especially Australian, plot to depower the scrum to hide deficiencies. It is bemusing really, since for those who don't know it originated in the NH and one of the biggest proponents is none other than Brian Moore.

And was initiated primarily as a safety measure, which is not just a SH thing.
 

No4918

John Hipwell (52)
Train Without a Station - Thankyou, exactly my thoughts on the Reds mid-field and other selections and the difference between provincial and national teams.
 
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