Hammet the only man that can can save the Wallabies
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Quade Cooper. Kurtley Beale. Digby Ioane. Adam-Ashley Cooper. None of these guys touched the ball throughout Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup.
Yet these are the only Wallabies with the capacity to trouble the mighty All Blacks.
Barnes had hands on the ball for the entire game, while Quade Cooper sat in the dead ball area probably wondering what colour green is.
I’m fairly sure QC wasn’t picked for his defence, but with Barnes as first receiver of the ball I can’t imagine what else he would be doing. Barnes is incapable of actually passing; he makes transfer of possession more arduous than a transfer of title in divorce court.
Instead, he continually kicked to Israel Dagg and his mates, as though really good defence is going to score you points. Good defence doesn’t win games; points do. Barnes could probably do with a bit of training in the mathematics of accumulation: you can’t win games with zero + zero + zero.
If the records could show a negative score, perhaps the Wallabies would have found a way.
Genia knocking the ball out Cory Jane’s hand like he was fresh from a lobotomy; and from there the game was gone, as he was yellow carded.
Drew Mitchell, hobbling from tackle to tackle like a man-sized ball of elasto-plast; with respect, his career is over and he needs to move on to commentating. He’s broken.
The only forwards with any respectful grind were Stephen Moore, Timani and Sharpe. It’s a sad day in Australian rugby when punters could be asking for a return of Rocky Elsom, the worst player ever to play for Australia.
This is where the coach comes in. It’s become a fascinating appendix to each game to see how Robbie Deans will put a new spin on coming to terms with this loss. And there’s never answers; only rhetoric.
But it’s not entirely his fault.
The All Blacks are a better team with better talent, more heart and more fight. They should be dominating.
But the Wallabies should not be contributing to their own demise.
A wise man recently noted the New Zealanders play for a symbol of pride, while the Wallabies play for an airline.
And it shows.
Deans is great with a great team; he greased the wheels and inspired a team culture at the Crusaders, yet he hasn’t succeeded in taking an inferior Wallabies and making them competitive against a better All Blacks.
And the fact they’re keeping to their game plan of kicking the ball away, shows he’s either a good coach who’s lost control of his players, or he’s a poor coach who’s in control.
The only reason he hasn’t been replaced is there are no coaches in this country likely to produce a different result. McKenzie appears disinterested; a wily coach who knows the poison chalice of this position.
Which is why Mark Hammet should have a go. He’s got the bollocks the Wallabies need to create the change deserved.
He stripped the Hurricanes of the cancerous Weepu, Nonu and Hore. He rewarded team players like Smith. He eroded the sense of entitlement that held back the franchise for a decade, and actually made them play better than their talent for the first time in that team’s history.
And his team scored more tries than any other in the tournament.
This is the only way to defeat the All Blacks: 7 + 7 + 7.
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