Wallabies can savour win after sneaking past England

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Just make sure David Pocock is on the field. That's pretty straightforward, no? (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

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    Winger Nick Cummins broke a 212-minute try-scoring drought for the Wallabies to sneak home 20-14 over England at Twickenham last night.

    Who cares it was an ugly win with still too much kicking, but a W will always beat an L, or a D.

    Importantly, the win cements the men-in-gold in the world’a top four nations with the cut-off point for the 2015 World Cup seedings just two weeks away.

    Cummins and openside flanker Michael Hooper were the pick of the Wallabies, making a mockery of the fact Cummins’ emergence as an international was long overdue.

    But Hooper’s future is the more intriguing.

    What happens if David Pocock is available for the last two games of this tour against Italy and Wales?

    Pocock has been out for three months after surgery for a knee injury sustained against the All Blacks last August.

    Coach Robbie Deans has an embarrassment of riches with two of the best openside flankers in world rugby.

    And openside play compared to blindside is like chalk and cheese.

    With Hooper playing so well so consistently, Deans might lean towards easing Pocock back into international rugby wearing the 6 jumper, and see how it pans out.

    Pocock is the ultimate team man, and there would be no complaints from him.

    And that would give both Deans and the Wallabies enormous firepower that would be too much for Italy and Wales to handle.

    Waiting for the phone call is Scott Higginbotham whose suspension for roughing up All Black skipper Richie McCaw is now over.

    A back row of Pocock (6), Hooper (7), and Higginbotham (8) would end a patchy year on a high note.

    And with the injured trio of James Horwill, Will Genia, and James O’Connor ready and raring to go in 2013, the future doesn’t look so bleak for Robbie Deans.

    He’s had a excruciating run with 41 injuries hacking into Wallaby selections this year, and there would be justice if the tide turns.

    The British and Irish Lions await next season and if the Wallabies can avoid such a disastrous injury toll they will be looking good for the three-Test series.

    In the meantime soak up last nights deserved success.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (303)

    • November 18th 2012 @ 6:19am
      RAF said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:19am | ! Report

      Call me mean spirited but I can take the Wallabies losing to anyone…..anyone but England !!! Well done Wallabies.

    • November 18th 2012 @ 6:37am
      ozusa said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:37am | ! Report

      I didnt read a word pass ” Who cares it was an ugly win ” I guess it was just going to be the same old same.

    • November 18th 2012 @ 6:38am
      p.Tah said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      I’d like to thank Campo for his article that gave the Wallabies the motivation to hate and win this.

      N.B. Not having a go at Campo. Many were supporting Campo’s words. It was the article that would have been pinned up in the Wallabies dressing room Pre-game.

      • Roar Guru

        November 18th 2012 @ 6:47am
        Jiggles said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:47am | ! Report

        I liked this win because it proves we have the cattle. I was impressed big time with Palu who I think just played his best ever test for Australia. It was a classic 8 game, just doing the basics right while being an enforcer at the same time. Cummins obviously was fantastic on the wing and so was Tapuai at 12. McCabe has a role to play in this team, but I think its on the wing. He Just doesn’t have the skills to play 12 like Taps.

        • November 18th 2012 @ 8:22am
          soapit` said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:22am | ! Report

          exactly, shows what we have been saying all along. no reason why we can’t play this well every week.

          really shows what a difference having a 12 with an ounce of deception makes. we actually got to see the rest of the backline.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 8:29am
            Lats said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:29am | ! Report

            I always felt someone like Taps might be our missing link. Ive always been impressed with him. Hopefully he is the starting 12 from now on.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 8:33am
              soapit` said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:33am | ! Report

              yep hopefully this put an end to deans hare brained experiment with mcabe at 12.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 12:25pm
                redsnut said | November 18th 2012 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

                And what about that Taps off-load early in the first half. Magic.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 6:32pm
                goldenbull said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

                Taps must have made more passed in 1 game then mccabe has done in the last 6 or 7. MCabe doesnt have a place in this team! not 1 position, Cummins is our winger and Mcabe just runs straight, no more!

            • November 18th 2012 @ 8:42pm
              proud to be an aussie said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

              TAPS bought the brilliance of the Reds with him

        • November 18th 2012 @ 10:15am
          Rob9 said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:15am | ! Report

          Completely agree with what you’re saying about Taps there Jiggles. But do you really think McCabe has a role in this team as a wing (definitely not as a 12)? Like you said, Cummins had a cracker and deserves to be seriously considered no matter who’s available for us moving forward. His performance last night was better than anything McCabe has ever produced in a Wallaby jersey. Then there’s Digby who was a bit quiet but has been the first back picked in this Wallaby squad for a good while now. I thought Shipperly was coming along nicely as a test winger before his injury and I still think a fully fit Drew Mitchell has some serious value as a test rugby player. In my eyes, McCabe’s well down the list as far as Wallaby centres go’s and even further down the list of outside backs.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 10:08pm
            PeterK said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

            AAC is just solid at best now.

            Cummins at 13, McCabe at 14.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 10:48pm
              Rob9 said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

              Disagree Peter. Cummins is a finisher, a very effective one as we saw last night. If he’s starting for the WB’s he should be on the end of the backline where we’ll get the most out of his finishing abilities.

              AAC’s best rugby has been played at 13. He needs to stop being used as our Mr Fix-it and be pidgeon holed at outside and given the opportunity to make it his own.

              For mine McCabe is well down the list of potential options in every position in the backline whether it be 12, 13 or 14. Far enough down for him to not to be included in another Wallaby squad at least until he’s developed a few aspects of his game.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 11:01pm
                PeterK said | November 18th 2012 @ 11:01pm | ! Report

                Agree with Mccabe in that there are a lot of people ahead of him in every position but just that there are a lot of injuries especially to wingers. That said he is fast, he caught the argentinian winger when he had the intercept. McCabe runs hard and straight. This style would suit a winger, he plays well there. Winger is his best position but I would not include him if we did not have that many injuries.

                Cummins has played a lot of O/C and very well for the Force. He is NOT just a finisher. He also has guile can step and passes the ball well.

                I do agree AAC’s best position is 13. However he has lost his zip. He has not played well for 2 years.
                Age has caught up with him. He is very good in defence but lacking in attack now. Hence time for new players to be groomed.

                13 is the main spot we are week in once players are back.
                Contenders –
                AAC limited attack and slowing up.
                Cummins needs to improve positional awarenes at 13 but attacks there very well and sets up wingers very well.
                Taps would be best at 13 but he even better at 12. If Lealiifano was at 12 and Cooper at 10 then I would have Taps at 13.
                JoC skill wise would be a good 13 but has no experience at all at 13. Is a better 15 though.
                Mccabe is as good an option at 13 as AAC. Neither pass the ball and McCabe is more powerful but less athletic.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 11:44pm
                Rob9 said | November 18th 2012 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

                I’m not sure if we’re watching the same AAC here Peter. He finished 5th for try assists in SR this year suggesting he does in fact possess the ability to pass (and at the right time). He ran for more meters than Cummins (just) and McCabe suggesting the zips still there. On another front, Cummins actually featured quite highly in the missed tackles count too. All Cummins have over AAC at 13 is the ‘bash factor’ to get over the gain line, but AAC is more of a hole runner hence his impressive amount of meters in 2012. Suggesting AAC doesn’t/can’t pass is just not factual and it’s a dimension of his game that is stronger than Cummins. I think Cummins has proved he’s a gutsy and smart rugby player with an enormous amount of potential and he could even end up as our 13, but for now AAC deserves it and should be given every chance to make the role his own.

              • November 19th 2012 @ 12:49pm
                sittingbison said | November 19th 2012 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                the “missed tackle” stat is misleading, he was in a dysfunctional backline that were headless chooks under Graham

            • Roar Guru

              November 19th 2012 @ 1:11pm
              Jiggles said | November 19th 2012 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

              Cummins is probably good enough to play 13. I would wait a year and ease him into 13 like Mortlock

        • November 18th 2012 @ 12:16pm
          Nick said | November 18th 2012 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          McCabe my friend does not have a role to play in this team. I admire his defence, appetite for direct ball carries that get us over the ad line and leadership BUT this isn’t enough for your 12 to really put sides under pressure.
          The argument of the need for a big 12 has ended.
          Tapuai and JOC for 12 all day.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 4:14pm
            mark said | November 18th 2012 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

            apart from the fact that the all blacks have dominated this year with giant no 12’s.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 5:14pm
              Nick said | November 18th 2012 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

              TBH, MaCabe is not a particularly big number 12 he weighs in at 94 while Tapuai is 95 but shorter. I agree Tapuai should be the first choice Number 12 for the rest of the tour and next year i think he should be at outside with JOC at inside.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 5:33pm
                mark said | November 18th 2012 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

                you’re dreaming if you think JOC can make an international 12 an you are dreaming if you think the last 10 years has not proven that smaller no 12’s are old fashioned. It all started with jannnick jauzion and now we see nonu, roberts, SBW dominating. power is more important than size and mccabe and tapuia atleast have a little power in attack and defence. the play makers comed from the 9,10 and 15. no need to have a second play maker at 12 anymore.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 6:35pm
                soapit said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

                i think you can get away without size at 12 but only to a point. joc is beyond that point imo (taps isnt)

                try joc at 13 where he can use his pace more to get in good positions to defend.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 6:07pm
              Nick said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

              Mark – you are so wrong, I’d put my house on it that O’Connor would succeed at 12 and the backline would function well with Tapuai outside him. Taps and JOC are great hole runners. Taps played well against two very large centres. Conrad Smith isn’t a big guy either and packs a strong punch as does O”Connor on contact. Giteau is no bigger than JOC and would go down arguably as our second best 12 behind Horan. His career was against powerful centres in Nonu and De Villiers.
              Just because there are current powerful 12’s in other int. sides doesn’t mean a smaller 12 can’t be as successful.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 7:11pm
                mark said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

                i agreed with saopit until he mentioned JOC at 13. JOC at 10 or 15 for mine but for the wallabies these two positions are now interchangeable in the way Deans (correctly) has them playing. The 12 needs to offer a little more than Mccabe yes but for the past 12 months, with little other option, Deans has done well to persist with his rugged style at 12. I thought taps looked good last night. For now I’d be persisting with him there and perhaps Mccabe on the bench. Both of them are not the perfect modern somatotype for 12 but they’re the closest we’ve got.

                Giteau played his best rugby at 12 a long long time ago and it was for a season or two and it was at super rugby level. When it came to test rugby he really did very little at 12 and of course ended up at 10. By playing a weaker man at 12 you lose a subtle ascendency in defence and in go forward and in the modern game its just not smart to have a guy like gits or JOC their, at test level. Super xv is a bit different.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 10:04pm
                soapit` said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:04pm | ! Report

                so why not oconnor at 13? you’ve gone to great lengths to show how size doesnt matter at 13 (unless you were talking about conrad smith at 12 for some reason)

                he’s probably the most natural all round footballer we have and is a bt wasted on the wing or fullback. we have plenty of depth at 10.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 10:15pm
                mark said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

                conrad smith weighs over 95kg and is 186cm. JOC is 88kg ringing wet and is 180cm.

              • November 19th 2012 @ 9:25am
                soapit` said | November 19th 2012 @ 9:25am | ! Report

                point taken but disagree thats so crucial at 13

          • November 18th 2012 @ 6:34pm
            goldenbull said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

            Agreed 100% I hope Mcabe doesnt play another game for the wallabies for the rest of his career, Taps showed how 12 is supposed to be played!

            • November 18th 2012 @ 7:14pm
              mark said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

              harsh!

              • November 18th 2012 @ 8:19pm
                Scot Free said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

                Yeah, way too harsh.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 8:46pm
                proud to be an aussie said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

                Mcabe needs to step up or move on.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 8:35pm
              OldManEmu said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

              What is with the hate against McCabe? He will play plenty more tests for his country.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 9:50pm
                Dave said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:50pm | ! Report

                The hate is because there’s an element on these boards who are incapable of seeing good in anyone who doesn’t play for the reds. For mine, tapuai was ok but hardly dominant, he has a lot more to prove and crowning him as the solution to all our problems is seriously premature.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 10:06pm
                soapit` said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

                funny how they’re typically the same people who have been supporting cummins getting a shot despite him not being from the reds. maybe ability has something to do with it after all.

                however its best not to get personal against the guy. he’s done his best and no doubt what he was told to do. he just doesnt have enough

            • November 19th 2012 @ 12:11am
              IronAwe said | November 19th 2012 @ 12:11am | ! Report

              Couldn’t agree more. And not a single word about Ben Tapuai in Lord’s article… Shame on you David.

              • November 19th 2012 @ 12:13am
                IronAwe said | November 19th 2012 @ 12:13am | ! Report

                And for those fools above, I am a born and bred New South Welshman.

        • November 19th 2012 @ 12:50pm
          Dr Bob said | November 19th 2012 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

          I couldn’t agree more about Palu’s game. His first 20 minutes were awesome. the hits on English forweards paid no small part in their weakness at the scrums. One of the young English props (grown out Mowhawk) was hit by Palu and didn’t get up for some time and then was useless in the scrums after that.

          It was the best game I have seen Palu play. His running was pretty well contained but his defence outstanding. Plus he lasted the whole game.

      • Roar Guru

        November 18th 2012 @ 8:26am
        sheek said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        If the Wallabies were horses, they would be swabbed for irregular performances and the coaches hauled before the stewards & questioned whether the team was being run on its merits.

        I can see a lot of Wallabies fans waking up today & thinking all is well with the world. But really, do we want a Wallabies team that only performs after it’s been severely bagged? How about they develop their own motivation for consistency?

        And England deserved to lose for not playing in their traditional white jersey-white shorts-navy sox! Stuff the marketeers….. 😉

        • November 18th 2012 @ 9:18am
          kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          Consistency sheek is rather difficult if you have to change your players every week, key figures around whom entire gameplans are constructed are injured, and with a shortfall in quality through carnage it is hard to overperform three times in a row.

          Perhaps your criticisms would be more fairly levelled against a fit or nearer-fit Wallabies first XV.

          • Roar Guru

            November 18th 2012 @ 9:25am
            sheek said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:25am | ! Report

            Hi KPM,

            This lack of consistency isn’t restricted to the 2012 injury-ravaged Wallabies, but also 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 & many other years prior.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 9:44am
              kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:44am | ! Report

              sheek I think you’re taking too vast a period with too many different coaches and conditions to compare.

              My sense is the Australian player pool is edging forward slowly, probably thanks to the ARU’s focus on spending on teenagers to keep them away from league and possibly the greater capacity for playing spaces allowed by the Rebels.

              This doesn’t mean it’s as good as New Zealand, or that the game as a whole is on a stable footing, but simply that it adds up to a good enough amount of talent if very well coached (which I think it is).

              However because of the massacre with injury this year, we haven’t been able to see this developmet. I think a team such as Robinson/Palmer, TPN/Moore, Kepu/Alexander, Sharpe, Timani, Hooper/Pocock, Higginbotham, Palu, Genia, Cooper, Ioane, JOC, Sautia, Tomane, Beale which would have been quite possible without injuries, and this team I think could well have claimed the number one spot in the world. However, with effectively no backline because of injury, winning against the best teams repeatedly is virtually impossible. Sometimes yes, but every time, no.

              If the ARU and the franchises can only manage the players better to prevent them becoming injured, I think next year you’ll see if the current team can win against the best teams consistently, but at the moment the shadow team just can’t overperform again and again against the best every week.

              • Roar Guru

                November 18th 2012 @ 12:01pm
                jeznez said | November 18th 2012 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                Palmer at loosehead kpm? Really? You have seen him play there haven’t you? It aint pretty, the guy is an out and out tighthead.

                Also no Horwill?I thought Sharpe was good last night but when fit I’d take Kev over him.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 12:24pm
                Nick said | November 18th 2012 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

                Stop defending the Wallabies inconsistency KPM. It’s unacceptable even with the injuries. Read McCaws autobiography, the one thing I get out of this book is he drives and demands standards from every AB no matter the game, opposition and circumstance. Wallabies are not able to deliver physicality week in week out and do so best straight after stinging criticism. I’m sorry physicality is not determined by your personnel, it comes from attitude and mentally getting yourself on edge.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 12:41pm
                kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

                jeznez I meant just that there would be two good props on each side rather than where exactly they’d be. As for Horwill I thought that last year he was much weaker than before and didn’t do so much all season. However when you mention him in the context of returning to fitness that means also returning to his best form (as an aside, Mcmeniman’s joined the Force for a year which could add someone else into the mix, possibly).

                Nick the All Blacks have several times as many high quality players as the Wallabies, so injuries don’t affect them anything like as much. You can’t just ignore the gulf in quantity of good players between the two playing pools.

              • Roar Guru

                November 18th 2012 @ 2:46pm
                jeznez said | November 18th 2012 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

                even if your bracketing with Robinson was not meant to accidentally call Palmer a LHP you still have nominated three THPs in your group. Slipper and or Holmes need to be there in place of one of them.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 11:31am
              mark said | November 18th 2012 @ 11:31am | ! Report

              yes its almost as if the opposition sides are out their tackling us and scoring points of their own meaning we don’t win every game.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 7:34pm
                stainlesssteve said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

                exactly correct Mark
                Not only is there an opposition trying everything to hose down your side but they are inconsistent too.
                the All Blacks are generally pretty lean and hungry, but they have had spectacular fluctuations this year.
                just think about the last two Irish tests
                KPM is talking sense

              • November 18th 2012 @ 9:59pm
                kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:59pm | ! Report

                Ok jeznez, then Holmes 🙂 !!

        • November 18th 2012 @ 9:36am
          Darwin Stubbie said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:36am | ! Report

          Of course there is the continual ever increasing injury guesstimate to factor in … I see its now up to 41 …. But agree any team trotting out in purple needed a beating – you just can’t take a team wearing that kit seriously

          • November 18th 2012 @ 9:45am
            kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:45am | ! Report

            DS you must take it seriously, it’s apparently supposed to be ‘regal’ purple (really!).

            • November 18th 2012 @ 9:50am
              Darwin Stubbie said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:50am | ! Report

              Seeing we’ve seen them in grey, black and now purple over the last couple of years – they seem more akin to an EPL side trying to up replica shirt sales ….

              • November 18th 2012 @ 10:00am
                kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                😉

              • Roar Guru

                November 18th 2012 @ 12:03pm
                jeznez said | November 18th 2012 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                I thought Ribena were sponsoring them.

        • Columnist

          November 18th 2012 @ 10:34am
          David Lord said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          Spot on sheek,and to all the others who agree, that England jersey was a huge no-no. Stuff the marketeers indeed. Every Englishman has the adrenalin flowing pulling on the white jersey with the significant red rose. The rose was still there, but that purple crap jersey over-rode it. If the Ribena sponsorship for four years was contingent on the purple jersey, find a more suitable sponsor.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 11:51am
            mark said | November 18th 2012 @ 11:51am | ! Report

            yeah… but honestly who cares what colour shirt they wear in autumn tests. theyve got to raise revenue and that money can be used for so many good things.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 12:32pm
            redsnut said | November 18th 2012 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

            A bit harsh on the England colours. I liked it, and I don’t think anyone else uses that.
            White is so boring.

            • Roar Guru

              November 18th 2012 @ 3:31pm
              AdamS said | November 18th 2012 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

              Would you say the same if the Wobblies ran out in turquoise?

              • November 18th 2012 @ 7:14pm
                mark said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

                the wallaby jersey over the years has been many different colours including green and blue actually. its just a colour. the real honour is simply representing your country at your chosen sport surely!

          • November 18th 2012 @ 8:50pm
            proud to be an aussie said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

            Totally agree with u dave england,s jersy should be same as its been for years

          • November 18th 2012 @ 10:38pm
            Parisien said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

            The purple stains were from too much beaujolais nouveau.

        • November 18th 2012 @ 12:53pm
          NickF said | November 18th 2012 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

          I totally agree Sheek. How dare the English wear gold as one of their colours. By the way, why crimson?

          • Roar Guru

            November 18th 2012 @ 10:44pm
            sheek said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

            NickF,

            Apparently the colour is purple, the colour of royalty, so the “keepers of heraldries” say – “born to the purple” being the common expression.

            Anyway, the purple is supposed to signify England’s royalty as a rugby nation, being one of the original co-contestants of the first-ever test match.

            No matter how many different ways you cut it – it’s still a money-grabbing merchandising wank! 😉

      • November 18th 2012 @ 8:45am
        Ra said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        I doubt it p Tah. You obviously don’t have faith in your own team. They don’t need some fool or fools moaning in the media to provide motivation. They got hammered by the Springboks, remember, then bounced back against the Puma. Some are saying the All Blacks were off their game in the drawn game. They were knocked off their game, by attitude. That same attitude was on display early this morning. The difference between the two was that this morning, they didn’t spill as much possession. These guys have pride in themselves and in their jersey. The sooner their supporters realize that the better I reckon. All they’ve done, is make the job harder for the Boks and the Blacks to come. But you guys don’t care about that too much eh. Congrats Deano, Sharpie and the boys for your commitment and resilience, and didn’t the little No9 have a fizzer. I thought David Loveridge was reborn.

        • November 18th 2012 @ 7:16pm
          p.Tah said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

          I do have faith Ra, the players are always motives to play but people slagging you off always gives you extra motivation in my opinion. I really enjoyed the game.

    • Roar Guru

      November 18th 2012 @ 7:04am
      Sam Brown said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      It is so, so, so tempting to agree with having essentially two opensides and even justify it by talking about open play supremecy but if the Waugh/Smith era taught us anything it is the value of a larger more physically imposing presence at 6 (and this is coming from an old openside). They were probably 2 of the 3 best opensides in the world but it meant that the pack gave away too much at the scrum and line out. It is such a temptation, especially with the talent we currently have but I hope Deans resists it.

      • November 18th 2012 @ 7:51am
        Atawhai Drive said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:51am | ! Report

        Sam, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. The stats from last night make interesting reading.

        Australia fed seven scrums, winning five and losing two. England fed 10 scrums, winning nine and losing one. So, just 17 scrums in all.

        Australia had the throw to 12 lineouts, winning the lot. England had the throw to 16 lineouts, winning 13. A total of 28 lineouts (which I suspect is rather more than the average in 2012 Test-match rugby).

        According to scrum.com, Australia took the ball into 90 rucks, winning 86. England took the ball into 96 rucks, winning 92.

        That’s a total of 186 rucks/breakdowns/pileups, call them what you will. Oh, and there were five stray mauls, a form of contest that has gone out of fashion.

        The breakdown is king, the set piece has not exactly been marginalised but it has lost its primacy.

        Therefore, speed to the breakdown and efficiency once there is hugely important. A strong case can be made for playing both Hooper and Pocock on that basis.

        • November 18th 2012 @ 8:24am
          soapit` said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:24am | ! Report

          we lost at least one lineout with a crooked throw.

        • November 18th 2012 @ 8:37am
          Red Kev said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:37am | ! Report

          At least two lineouts of TPNs were called not straight so I’m not sure how you can have Australia with 12/12 from that match.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 9:54pm
            Dave said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:54pm | ! Report

            I counted one TPN throw called not straight, and it was the straightest throw I’ve ever seen. The touchie must have been reading the anti-TPN sentiment on these boards. They also list the throw before but it’s hard to say if it was slightly overthrown or Sharpe just dropped it.

            • November 19th 2012 @ 10:09am
              jameswm said | November 19th 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

              Agreed, it couldn’t have been straighter.

        • November 18th 2012 @ 9:51am
          Harry said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:51am | ! Report

          Where did those stats come from? We definitely lost a couple of lineouts and at least one more was called for not straight, and we were penalised once for not getting it in time. Thats 4 handovers. Common denominator to them all was a (possibly concussed, as per normal, he took a knock around the 15th minute from memory) TPN.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 2:20pm
            Fin said | November 18th 2012 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

            Agree boys but i think you ae missing the point that AD is trying to make. If you have two breakdown specialists that are that good and there is 190 odd such contests for the ball in a match compared to 45 set piece ( although i think you need to include recieving restarts in this as they would also be comprised by playing a smaller pack ) contests, then it stands to reason that you would be better to compete harder at the breakdown and try to retain 90% of you own set piece and concede your opponents set piece.

            The main problem i see is conceding scrum penalties particularly in the push over or penalty try zone.

            The thing i like about the idea is that we would be trying to play to our strengths rather than trying to combat our opponents strengths.

            How about this for a concept a bit out of left field cosidering there are a few around that think Hooper could play 12.

            Firt half 6 Higgers 7 Pocock 8 Palu 10 Barnes 12 Hooper 13 Taps 15 AAC
            second half 6 Pocock 7 Hooper 8 Higgers 10 Beale/ Cooper 12 Taps 13 AAC 15 Barnes.

            This would give you a competitive edge at the breakdown for the whole match and still compete at the set piece for the first half, then in the second half we try to open the game up against a trying forward pack. Of course Deans would need to make proactive rather than reactive substitutions but at least we would be trying to dictate the terms of the contest.

        • November 19th 2012 @ 4:06am
          "Ted" said | November 19th 2012 @ 4:06am | ! Report

          Your stats persuasive – but point is set pieces hold or constrain defences versus breakdowns .
          There have been a large number of direct or indirect tries resulting from lost or bad throw lineout s – well out of proportion to the number of lost lineouts versus proportion of turnovers .

      • November 18th 2012 @ 8:47am
        ThomasCrown said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:47am | ! Report

        I agree with you, but i cant see how Pocock can do any worst than Dennis at 6 apart from a lineout option. I dont know why Gill wont be given a chance, cause i can see him as a revelation like Hooper.

        • November 18th 2012 @ 9:19am
          kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:19am | ! Report

          ThomasCrown I don’t wish to doubt you at all in your judgement of Gill, but what features do you find in him that are so remarkable?

          • November 18th 2012 @ 9:47am
            ThomasCrown said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            For me the main stand out is his energy and his abilitity to contest at the break down. Plus i like to see more young forwards blooded for 2015 wc which Hooper and Gill are the 2 i think we should start with.

      • November 18th 2012 @ 9:22am
        Postmatchkebab said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        If anyone thought Chris Whittaker had it tough, spare a thought for Liam Gill.

        • November 18th 2012 @ 9:28am
          Red Kev said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          He captained the U20s and is the youngest of the three, he’ll get his chance. He is also the only one of the three with the height to be able to make a genuine fist of no.6. Just because he can’t crack the backrow now isn’t a bad thing.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 9:47am
            kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            RK fair enough. Also I try to avoid judging players on bench or occasional appearances as I think a player needs a decent run as a starter to make the step up to test rugby and Gill hasn’t had anything like that.

            I asked what his qualities were more out of interest to see how others described him and not because I doubted he had them.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 9:56am
              ThomasCrown said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:56am | ! Report

              KPM – Your totally right when u say a player cant be judged on the bench which is why i am so keen to see how he gets on with more minutes on the field.

            • November 18th 2012 @ 9:57am
              Red Kev said | November 18th 2012 @ 9:57am | ! Report

              I agree, qualities would be ruck contesting, he had the most pilfers in super rugby by a decent margin, also drive and work in tight, he has a very good pick and drive and a habit of scoring next to a ruck from a few metres out.
              He doesn’t have Hooper’s pace or Pocock’s strength which is probably why he is third in the pecking order at the moment.
              He’ll get his chance at some point, it just isn’t now. I actually think he has the best football brain of the three.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 10:01am
                kingplaymaker said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:01am | ! Report

                Quite a luxury of choice, at least there’s enough space for all three in a squad.

              • November 18th 2012 @ 3:43pm
                Ra said | November 18th 2012 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                Gill and Dennis need to bulk up

            • Columnist

              November 18th 2012 @ 1:27pm
              Brett McKay said | November 18th 2012 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

              KPM, I don’t mean to highlight a single point, but you’ll have to allow me an ironic chuckle at your “I try to avoid judging players on bench or occasional appearances” comment…

              • November 18th 2012 @ 3:56pm
                Justin2 said | November 18th 2012 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

                C’mon BM you don’t think it’s possible to label players future wallabies without having seen them play a minute of football? Don’t be silly…

              • November 18th 2012 @ 6:54pm
                Geoff Brisbane said | November 18th 2012 @ 6:54pm | ! Report

                Agree Brett a smile crossed my face too at KPM ‘s pearl of wisdom and said with a straight face.

              • November 19th 2012 @ 12:56pm
                sittingbison said | November 19th 2012 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                Jordan Rapana

    • November 18th 2012 @ 7:12am
      adsa said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Just saw the highlights, well done, great win.

    • November 18th 2012 @ 7:12am
      Billy Bob said | November 18th 2012 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      I am happy, well very relieved.
      Proud of the boys who obviously knew deep down that they had more than they showed in Paris.
      No-one let the team down, except for a couple of Phipps passes, I was not yelling at the bench. Phipps then gave the most important pass of the game – to Cummins, who has been bashing on the door for this game for 2 years.
      Tapuai looks like a 12, and he has a boot. Hooper is class. Pocock could be a six, though we would need a jumper at 4,5, and 8, if we play both stocky loosies.
      Very encouraging. Deans had a good game too.
      BUT- we should be relieved, NOT ecstatic. The tour is not over and we don’t know if the same 15 will turn up next week.
      Btw, I love the character of Barnes. He is such a tough, ‘big game’ player. I agree with his critics about his limitations, but he has great vision and determination.
      All who played tonight were solid.
      Deans obviously sent them on with plan A, B and C. And it worked.

      • November 18th 2012 @ 8:25am
        soapit` said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        phipps started badly but his part in that try really helped him and played ok with the confidence he gained from it

        • November 18th 2012 @ 8:58am
          Jutsie said | November 18th 2012 @ 8:58am | ! Report

          Phipps is alot like burgess, he brings alot of positives to the table but lets himself and the team down with sloppy passing and school boy errors.

          • November 18th 2012 @ 10:11am
            soapit` said | November 18th 2012 @ 10:11am | ! Report

            i think its nerves to a large extent. once he started feeling more comfortable in his contribution his work became more solid

          • November 18th 2012 @ 2:01pm
            Glenn Condell said | November 18th 2012 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

            Phipps has issues but if he can improve his passing and decision-making he could be a very good player indeed. He broke the try drought with a great break, drawing the defence and delivering and a lovely pass he held up for a moment to release his support into try scoring territory. Recall that the last try we scored 212 minutes before was also the result of Phipps breaking the line, drawing the defence and timing the release of his pass so that the try for Digby was certain (unless he dropped it, which thank God he didn’t)

            Tapuai must stay, along with Cummins – they don’t wait for things to happen, they make them happen, Beale was too deep and his passing too slow, the second touches too telegraphed. AAC as usual very sound and Barnes solid. Hooper was outstanding, his energy never flagged; Timani was a rock as was Cliffy, but I reserve top marks for Alexander. He was key to our bossing the scrums for most of the game -not a game for his sea-gulling try-scoring antics but he excelled at the physical basics which provided a firm platform and the confidence that flows from that,

            Two steps back last week, at least one forward this week.

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