If Genia fires, the Wallabies should win
Wallabies halfback Will Genia kicks the ball. AAP Image/Dave Hunt
I can’t recall the Wallaby’s greatest half-back Ken Catchpole ever having a bad game. Nor John Hipwell, or Nick Farr-Jones. That’s why the trio enjoy the status of being among the best of all-time.
They earned it through consistency with slick accurate service, always probing, using their immense football nous.
George Gregan was in that category until 2002, when his wheels fell off.
For the last five years of his 139-Test career I can’t remember when he had a good game.
One of these days we’ll find out how he managed to be selected for so long when he was such an obvious liability.
Wallaby Will Genia, currently rated the world’s number one half-back, is a curious mixture of sensational and sloppy. Mainly the former, but there’s been far too much of the latter of late.
The equation is very simple – Genia fires his team invariably wins, be it Queensland, or the Wallabies. He is such a vital component.
When defending champion Queensland went through their rough Super Rugby trot earlier this season, losing five games out of seven, it was because Genia went missing.
It turns out Genia was churning at the time over the decision to remain a Red. or join the Force.
His mind wasn’t on the job.
Once that was settled and he remained a Red, the Genia game smoothly clicked back into place.
Genia went missing again in the Scotland Test, but that shouldn’t be held against him. The conditions were so atrocious with driving rain and a howling gale, there wasn’t a duck to be seen. They had sensibly ducked for cover.
The real Genia returned for the first Test against Wales at Suncorp, scoring one of his signature and superb long-range tries, and the Wallabies led 20-6 in the second half.
But in a 13-minute period, Genia went off the boil, so did the Wallabies, and Wales sniffed victory at 20-19.
Fortunately, Genia and the Wallabies regrouped over the final 17 minutes, and the Wallabies won 27-19 when Genia brilliantly held up his pass to put centre Pat McCabe into space, and that was that under the posts.
Last week Genia had a poor game at Etihadand yet the Wallabies won 25-23. But it was cutting it fine, deep into injury time, thanks to Mike Harris’ penalty shot from well out.
The Wallabies can’t keep dodging bullets, the law of averages says it’s impossible.
This afternoon at Allianz Stadium, it requires the captain David Pocock, and vice-captain Will Genia, the two best equipped Wallabies, to fire to complete a clean sweep against Wales in the three-Test series.
We know Pocock will be right up to the mark and beyond. He knows no other way.
So that leaves you, Will, to turn in a world’s best half-back performance, as only you can do.
Importantly, it could be the first time the Wallabies have won three successive internationals against top five ranked countries since Robbie Deans first five Tests in charge in June-July 2008 with two wins over France, and one each against the All Blacks, the Boks, and Ireland.
The perfect way to prepare for the inaugural four-nation Rugby Championship kicking off in September.
But a lot will depend on Will Genia this afternoon.
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