The All Blacks notch ton against Wallabies, more wins to come

Spiro Zavos Columnist

By Spiro Zavos, Spiro Zavos is a Roar Expert

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    It has taken a long time, 110 years in fact when the first Australia – New Zealand Test was played, but the All Blacks have achieved 100 Tests wins against the Wallabies. Remarkably, the ton has come up for the All Blacks after only 146 Tests.

    The next best largest number of wins of one country against another is England’s 73 victories over Ireland.

    The curse and the blessing for Australian rugby is that the nearest rugby country to Australia is New Zealand.

    The All Blacks have been the benchmark for excellence in rugby virtually every decade since their first Test at Sydney, which they won, in 1903. That is the curse.

    Currently, New Zealand rugby is probably stronger in terms of results and potential (have a look at the ITM games to see the next generation of great players coming through) than at any other time: all the world rugby trophies, men and women, except for the Under-20s are held New Zealand national sides.

    The current domination of the Wallabies is even greater than that of the Maroons over the Blues in the last eight State of Origin series.

    The All Blacks have won 10 consecutive Bledisloe Cup series. They are on track to record their 11th series win. The record is 12 by an All Blacks side and five by Rod Macqueen’s Wallabies (what a great coach Macqueen was).

    And with Macqueen in mind, it needs to be remembered that playing and losing and sometimes winning against the All Blacks has lifted the performance of Wallaby sides. And any number of New Zealanders, greatly in excess of Australians who have played for the All Blacks, have strengthened Wallaby sides since 1903.

    That is the blessing.

    The Wallabies have won, for instance, two Rugby World Cups, the same number as the All Blacks. They have a winning record against all other national sides, except the Springboks, a deficit that is historical rather than recent.

    I don’t think Australian rugby could have achieved what is has, ‘playing above its weight’ as John Connolly puts it, without the stressful but exciting challenge posed every series by the All Blacks.

    The 100th victory was achieved in style at ANZ Stadium at Sydney in front of about 68,000 spectators with the All Blacks scoring six tries to two.

    The 49 – 27 scoreline was only the fourth time that an All Blacks side has amassed over 40 points against the Wallabies.

    The half-time score was 25 – 19.

    But result could have been out of sight even then for the Wallabies except for some a slice of luck and an amazing 80 run by Will Genia which saw him out-run Aaron Cruden and then slip the covering defence with an audacious dummy to score one of the great Wallaby solo tries.

    The point here is that time was almost up on the clock and the All Blacks had an attacking lineout near the Wallabies try line.

    The Roar had a box at the game for some Roarers who had won their way into the box, a reward for their insightful and enthusiastic writing, and I was sitting beside one of the most insightful and enthusiastic of the group, the mighty Sheek.

    I was in the middle of saying to him that a try or even a successful penalty to the All Blacks at this point could easily open the floodgates in the second half to a truly embarrassing tally. And as I was punditing (can the descriptive noun pundit be turned into a verb?), Andrew Hore over-threw the lineout. Michael Hooper (the Wallabies best on the day) raced through and caused a disruption and somehow the ball ended up with Genia to make his fantastic run.

    From the kick-off, though, with only a minute or so of time left in the half, the All Blacks came back to make a serious assault on the Wallaby line and forced a kickable penalty which Cruden, the All Blacks man of the match (closely followed by the three Smiths, Aaron, Conrad and Ben, the immortal Richie McCaw, Julian Savea and Keiran Read), kicked over to make the score line 22 – 19.

    There are several points to be made here.

    First, the rugby statistician Matthew Alvarez alerted me to the fact some time ago that when the All Blacks lead at half-time they almost always win the Test. You can count the number of times this hasn’t happened in recent year literally on the fingers of one hand.

    So if you can’t beat the All Blacks in the first half of a Test then you are going to struggle to be in front at the end.

    It was extremely significant, too, as a sign of where the game was heading that the All Blacks immediately came back and got some points before the half-time whistle.

    For throughout the first half there was a sense that the Wallabies were hanging on by the strength of Craig Joubert’s whistle with Christian Lealiifano kicking, in the first 40 minutes, four penalties out of four shots, plus a conversion.

    This is not a criticism of Joubert. Once again he refereed splendidly. He was tough on both sides (but especially the All Blacks) slowing ball at the rucks illegally. He was insistent that the half-backs put the ball in straight into the scrums so that there was a contest in this area.

    The result was a bright, open match with plenty of ball movement. The irony is that the Wallabies exceeded expectations in the scrum (until the All Blacks sent on a replacement front row). They had a majority of possession and field position.

    They made more passes and created more breaks. The penalty count was greatly in their favour.

    The one time in the match the Wallabies actually led, 12 – 10, with four Lealiifano penalties, the All Blacks came back from the kick-off and Cruden charged down Lealiifano’s clearing kick to put the All Blacks in the lead once more.

    Let’s make this point very clear. The Wallabies are being confronted with a great All Blacks side, one of their best ever. It is a much better side than the one that won the 2011 Rugby World Cup. For one thing, the current team has world-class half-backs and terrific pace and power on the wing.

    But let’s make this point very clear, too. Some of the touted Wallabies did not relish confronting the All Blacks.

    The first name that immediately comes to mind is Israel Folau. Last week I made the call in The Roar that he was a ‘lazy’ player.

    The wrath of the gods descended on my head from irate Roarers.

    Well gentleman I present my case: Folau had two touches and one run in the Test. His opposite Julian Savea was everywhere, chasing, catching, tackling, running, passing, and making an impact.

    Several times in the Fox Sports commentary, Rod Kafer and Tim Horan called on Folau ‘to go looking for the ball.’

    Even without the ball, Savea was having an impact. From one All Blacks scrum, Savea was posted at number 10 and Cruden placed on the wing.

    The fractured scrum meant that whatever move the All Blacks had involving Savea wasn’t really revealed. But I do recall that Jonah Lomu was used as a first receiver from scrums from time to time in his heyday.

    Memo to Ewen McKenzie: develop plays closer to the set pieces that bring Folau into play. And insist that he has at least 10 runs/touches in a match, the number that Digby Ioane set himself for every Test.

    James O’Connor was another who didn’t come up well.

    He committed the cardinal sin on defence at the beginning of the game of not trusting the defence of Adam Ashley-Cooper on Cruden which allowed the play maker to flick a beautiful pass to Ben Smith to score after four minutes of play.

    O’Connor’s jinking used to be the prelude to a devastating burst through the gap his dancing feet had created.

    Now, except for his over-time try, the dancing feet are a prelude to more dancing feet and sooner rather than later an All Black smashed him down as he sort of tap-danced on the spot instead of bolting away.

    Jesse Mogg is too physically frail right now for Test rugby at fullback. He needs to develop a wiry sort of strength. It may be that Folau and Mogg need to be swapped.

    Matt Toomua was tidy. But he didn’t take the ball to the line like Cruden (was Toomua ever tackled in the match?) and he did not show his bristling and rushed defence that was a trademark of his play for the Brumbies.

    The Wallabies back five, with the exception of Michael Hooper, were pretty pedestrian and lacking in mongrel.

    Against this, the lineout worked well on Wallaby ball and they disrupted a number of All Black throws.

    The front three did well, initially in the scrums, and they tackled well, especially at the beginning of the Test. But they were beaten physically in the breakdown clashes and in the tackles.

    There was a curious lack of emotion or passion in the play of the entire Wallaby side, a bit like the low-keyed match the Reds played in their Super Rugby Qualifier final against the Crusaders.

    Australian rugby players I’ve noticed tend to equate aggression with punching or incidents off the ball.

    So when they occasionally play with mongrel intent they are inclined in the manner of Quade Cooper in his contretemps with Richie McCaw to use knees and fists illegally.

    The All Blacks showed that you can play with passion and mongrel and not do head-high tackles or indulge in punching.

    There was a real ferocity in their gang-tackling. A ferocity in their running. And a ferocity in the way they hit the rucks and mauls.

    It was all legal, and it was lethal. It is rather like the way the Maroons play in State of Origin.

    Where does Ewen McKenzie go from here?

    He has to get more play from his best players. His ball runners have to challenge the line with hard running. I would think about adding the bulk and speed of Tevita Kuridrani, possibly on O’Connor’s wing.

    There doesn’t seem to be a structure to the Wallaby game plan. Not long into the second half, Toomua and others started kicking the ball away, without chasers (where was Folau?) The All Blacks ran the ball back and got a momentum going that became a torrent of attacking play.

    For most of the Test it seemed like a contest between boys and men, and men with ferocious beards at that. The Wallabies had eight changes from the last Test against the British and Irish Lions. There were new fewer than five debutants in the 23-man squad.

    It is a new-look and youngish, inexperienced Wallaby side that has a lot improvement in it, and will need that improvement to start quickly – say in Wellington next weekend.

    The All Blacks starting side was grizzled with 300 caps more than the Wallabies, and four players well into their 30s. But a couple of these old-timers, McCaw and Conrad Smith, particularly, played with the enthusiasm and zest of youngsters.

    The youngsters, like Savea and Cruden, played with the nous and skill of old-timers.

    As McKenzie pointed out, in the Bledisloe Cup and The Rugby Championship series, there is always next week.

    Most of his predecessors as the coach of the Wallabies won their first Test. Robbie Deans started off with five wins on the trot, including a win against the All Blacks. The exception, like McKenzie, is Rod Macqueen whose Wallabies went down 23 – 15 to the Pumas in Buenos Aires on November 1, 1997.

    Like McKenzie, Macqueen inherited a Wallaby side that had been comprehensively thrashed in its last Test.

    Macqueen ended up the most winning Wallaby coach ever. Can McKenzie move on from his first defeat to create, in time, a Wallaby side that wins all the trophies that Macqueen’s golden Wallabies did?

    Spiro Zavos
    Spiro Zavos

    Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.

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    The Crowd Says (310)

    • August 19th 2013 @ 7:19am
      jutsie said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      Was pretty disappointing wallaby performance. It seemed like everytime the All Blacks got into our half a try was inevitable and the only way to stop it was conceding a penalty.

      As usual its the backline copping stick but other than hooper which forwards stood up?

      why did we not employ the pick and drive or runners of genia to suck in more defenders? The abs were picking our runners way too easily.

      Toomua was solid but not great but I hope they stick with him and let him grow into the role.

      If anyone needs to be dropped it’s Genia, the bloke needs a wake up call, how often did joubert yell “use it” because Genia was hovering at the breakdown and slowing down play? Give White a start.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 7:25am
        Shop said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:25am | ! Report

        Apart from his try, I thought Genia’s game was pedestrain. I also think EM should think about playing Toomua with White or Genia with Cooper. Either or but don’t mix them up.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 7:58am
          dwayne said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:58am | ! Report

          Genia got outplayed again. So many times, I can not see why he’s regarded as the best 9. Cooper looked beter when he came on, kind of, but the game as over and he had absolutely no pressure. Put all of the AB’s focus on him from the get go, and he will impact. But…… I think he is the only way forward for the Wallabies, will just have to persevere. EM said he wanted to restore running rugby to the Wallabies, then folded, felt the immense pressure and went safe. First epic fail to begin with. Not a good sign.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 2:39pm
            Nudgeee said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

            IMO there are more worrying aspects to this WB team than Mr Genia.
            Give him a decent working platform (ie, forwards doing what their name implies -moving forward!) and he will be able to lift his game. There is no secret in what the ABs do well – its not smoke and mirrors, its there for everyone to see – the WB pack just need to muscle up and get the job done, create a platfrom, protect the ball and release it to some of the talent in the backline that everybody is obsessed with chopping and changing. Its a simple game, you just have to do the basics correctly.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 3:55pm
              Fog said | August 19th 2013 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

              Contrary to Spiro’s assertions about the ABs now having world class halfbacks I would put money on either Piri Weepu or Andy Ellis doing better jobs with the Wallaby team on the field on Saturday night than Genia. Genia because he is not so good with teams under stress whereas Weepu in particular is strong enough and smart enough to soak up that stress and direct the team as a whole. He took over the playmaker role a great deal in the last three games of the World Cup and provided the brains to put the Blacks on track in all three games before being subbed. Spiro, in my view you consistently overrate individual skills rather than team skills. Just because Genia conforms to your view of what a good halfback looks like it doesn’t mean he is a good one for the Wallabies. The ABs have in recent years consistently had a two halfback policy because their brains and tempo setting ability are critical to a successful test team. Whenever the tempo needs to be changed or maintained they sub them. It has worked great for the Blacks over the last five years and especially in the world cup when so much responsibility fell on the halfbacks because they were down to the fourth choice number 10. It didn’t matter if they were world class individuals, Weepu and Ellis were critical in guiding their team to a world class performance. Weepu might not have been able to complete the run that Genia made on Saturday night but Genia would have struggled to start many of the team tries that Weepu began in his time with the ABs, including the pin point touchfinders in the early minutes of both the semi and the final to put his team on attack. The Wallas could do with a bit more of that thinking in changing their results against NZ. When it comes to game management the AB half backs in Genia’s time from Cowan to Smith have been world class, Genia not so much. Look at the match stats versus the scoreboard. A lot of the discrepancy is down to game management.

            • August 22nd 2013 @ 8:24am
              Buk said | August 22nd 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

              Exactly – when the Wallabies have beaten, drawn with or come close to beating the All Blacks, the Wallaby forward pack has matched or even bettered the All Blacks pack in terms of the whole eight’s physicality and intensity.

              While the record against the All Blacks in the past 8-10 years is not good, there have been games where the Wallaby pack’s pressure has resulted in kickable penalties that, had a 2013 version Lealiifano been playing, the Wallabies would have won. But the missed penalties (1) deflated the Wallabies pressure (2) encouraged the All Blacks.

              One big plus in the current team is that when the Wallaby pack does put it together, it will be converted into points.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 6:30pm
            Tane Mahuta said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

            Genia.

            1 try, 1 clean break, 2 defenders beaten, 6 tackles made (1 missed), 78 metres made (4 runs), 1 turnover.

            A.Smith.

            1 try assist, 1 clean break, 2 defenders beaten, 2 tackles made (2 missed), 21 metres made (5 runs), 0 turnover.

            Genia was excellent again. A.Smith was too.

            Dwayne Genia isnt always outplayed. He gets MOTM all the time and was very good again on sat. Dan Carter isnt always the best 10 on the park but he is the best 10 in the world.
            Tall poppy?

            http://www.espnscrum.com/the-rugby-championship-2013/rugby/match/174678.html

            • August 19th 2013 @ 6:40pm
              Jerry said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

              What the stats don’t show is that Smith was very good at getting the ball where it needed to be and running the show whereas Genia wasn’t. Obviously that’s an easier task when one team has the ascendency in the forward exchanges though I wouldn’t necessarily say the AB’s had one way traffic in that regard.

              Genia is still the best halfback in the world, but he does seem to lack the ability to overcome a struggling pack. He seems to make things worse, rather than steadying the ship. Though even when he’s struggling with the core halfback role, he’s still a very good defender and a very dangerous runner particularly in broken field play as he showed again on the weekend.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 19th 2013 @ 6:46pm
                Rassie said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

                You can’t compare half backs as NZ value their 10 much more as Australia value their 9 10 to run things. Smith just throw it Cruden or Smith and they decide what to do.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 6:58pm
                Tane Mahuta said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

                Agreed.
                Stats show half the story, probably less.
                A.Smith was the better 9 on sat but I dont agree that Genia was ordinary. I thought he played well under the conditions, I said he was excellent but thats probally wrong. He was one of Australias better players.
                Its a lot easier to look good behind the dominant pack.

        • Roar Guru

          August 19th 2013 @ 12:57pm
          Wal said | August 19th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

          I agree there was one move in particular, the Wallabies had made a line break, poured into the ruck and recycled quickly. I instantly thought here we go.. only for Genia pick up the ball, run openside then blindside. All the while the defense had rushed up and shut down any space that could have been exploited.
          There is no doubting his ability to break the line and create havoc in close. But if you compare his play with A.Smith he waits until he gets to the ruck before looking and then deciding the next phase. Smith has already summed up his options before he even gets to the last feet.
          This could even be the first fives fault as I suspect Carter and Cruden are always letting A.Smith know what they want next and when.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 1:11pm
            Red Kev said | August 19th 2013 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

            That was AAC’s linebreak and Genia looked openside and saw no-one ready for the ball, the Wallabies were too slow following the play and the 10 wasn’t here, nor was a forward runner rumbling in calling for the ball so Genia did a 180 (very slowly I will say) and looked blind to find that the blindside winger (JOC) wasn’t there either and then when the decision should have been “hold the ball” he put in a nothing grubber (at which point I wanted to run on the field and punch him the face) but although Genia did indeed make a poor decision there were two poor bits of play previous that put Genia in the position to make the crappy call – had Toomua, Lealiifano or JOC (or even Mowen or McMeniman) been where they should have been in support then it wouldn’t have happened.
            I can’t recall who secured the ruck, it may have been some of those players, in which case I apologise to them, but it doesn’t change the fact that the openside backline was not ready for the ball when Genia had it in hand to pass to them.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 2:14pm
          Jokerman said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

          Spiro, early days but you do wonder if Deans will be looked at in a different light now. He is a top coach, he just couldn’t quite nail it against the All Blacks. If McKenzie keeps losing, the better Deans will look to the Australian public. Perhaps similar to Helen Clark, much more understood and appreciated once she left office.

          Again early days, but I sense some weakness here for the Aussi’s. McKenzie blaming the ref for not yellow carding the All Blacks when he got the better rub of the green with the ref, is not really empowering. Clearly he is trying to get some more favours for the next game from the ref, try and blunt the All Blacks contesting in the rucks, and soften his current defeat.

          It is not strength…I don’t feel you will knock the All Blacks playing those game.

          Everything points to a thumping in Wellington. It would take some serious luck, a few thing to go their way to stay close on the scoreboard. Like moments prior to Genia’s try. A critical moment that kept Australia in the game.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 10:49pm
            Ben.S said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

            He couldn’t quite nail it against a lot of sides.

            • August 20th 2013 @ 12:57am
              expathack said | August 20th 2013 @ 12:57am | ! Report

              Exactly.

              “Deans was an excellent coach, but he couldn’t quite nail it against Scotland”

              Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it!

      • August 19th 2013 @ 7:33am
        Red Kev said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:33am | ! Report

        On viewing of the replay Rob Simmons actually had a good game.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 7:37am
          jutsie said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:37am | ! Report

          One thing we did pretty well was attack their line out, simmons and mowen did a good job there. Its just frustrating to see our pack lack punch/energy/mongrel whatever its called. Not sure if mmm is rusty due to lack of game time but I thought he’d be the man for the job. He didnt offer much more than dennis/mcalman tbh.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 8:41am
            Harry said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:41am | ! Report

            Since 2005 MMM has been on the cusp of being the “next big thing” and the enforcer we are all looking for. I’ve NEVER seen him deliver on this much hyped ability/hardness in a big game, despite heaps of chances in that time. Watch the replay and you’ll see him go missing a few times in contact situations as Read and their debut number 6 successfully stuck it to us.
            I would go with Fardy and Auelua at 6 and impact player. Fardy can cover 4 and 5 if Simmons or Horwill go down.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 9:11am
              Justin3 said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:11am | ! Report

              Yeah I watched MMM quite closely again on reply. He is quite good with ball in hand but he looks “awkward” in a tackle situation. Happy to see him back up again though, maybe rust but my gut says otherwise.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 9:13am
              Red Kev said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:13am | ! Report

              Auelua has just had a shoulder reconstruction.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 10:39am
                Harry said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                Argghh – the cupboard is bare then with no Higgers or Palu, this guy out and Radike just too old. Kimlin and Fardy to go hard for 40 minutes each?

              • August 19th 2013 @ 10:51am
                Red Kev said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

                Kimlin out for 4-5 more weeks after surgery on his thumb.
                I’d say Schatz to no.8, Mowen to no.6 and Fardy off the bench again but sooner, give him 30-40 minutes.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 6:05pm
                Ra said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

                Yes MMM did go missing – but the secret is out – Maintain Momentum Mate – you did for 30-odd minutes, not necessarily in one solid mass. It wasn’t so evident in the second turn at bat. But we all knew that already. McKenzie knows that too, but only he out of us is charged with the job of fixin’ it up.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 7:39am
          Shop said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:39am | ! Report

          For me the best Simmons has played in Gold. Now he must be told that he not only emulate this performance but improve. His line out work was great and he was invovled in plenty of useful contact also. Only real blunder was his beuatifully weighted pass to Cruden.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 9:45am
            jameswm said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:45am | ! Report

            Funny I thought on first (only viewing) Simmons was very ordinary.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 9:54am
              Red Kev said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:54am | ! Report

              So did I watching it live, I was forced to reconsider when I watched the recording

              • August 19th 2013 @ 11:27am
                DMac said | August 19th 2013 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                I was at the game and I thought he was excellent. First time I’ve ever thought that….

              • Roar Guru

                August 19th 2013 @ 1:05pm
                Wal said | August 19th 2013 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

                Very easy to miss a top notch tight 5 effort live, my coach drummed into me that he didn’t see my ugly mug for the entire 80 minutes he would be happy man.
                Thought Horwill and Simmons played well and as good as Hooper is, because he is so small he needs a couple of real hard men as his fellow loosies to provide some bulk.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 6:42pm
                Tane Mahuta said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

                Hooper is 6ft (182 cm) and 100 kgs approx.
                Hes not that small.
                Simmons was the best lineout forward on the park.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 19th 2013 @ 6:56pm
                Rassie said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

                Well with the guys he play with he packs less meat

                N 1 672 186cm 125kg 6′ 1″ 276 19s10 Faumuina,Charlie
                N 1 647 184cm 119kg 6′ 0″ 262 18s10 Woodcock,Tony
                N 1 641 184cm 118kg 6′ 0″ 260 18s 8 Franks,Ben
                N 1 638 185cm 118kg 6′ 1″ 260 18s 8 Franks,Owen
                A 1 635 189cm 120kg 6′ 2″ 265 18s13 Alexander,Ben
                A 1 629 186cm 117kg 6′ 1″ 258 18s 6 Slipper,James
                A 1 628 188cm 118kg 6′ 2″ 260 18s 8 Kepu,Sekope
                A 1 620 187cm 116kg 6′ 2″ 256 18s 4 Sio,Scott
                A 2 605 185cm 112kg 6′ 1″ 247 17s 9 Anae,Albert
                A 2 602 186cm 112kg 6′ 1″ 247 17s 9 Moore,Stephen
                N 1 601 193cm 116kg 6′ 4″ 256 18s 4 Crockett,Wyatt
                N 2 601 183cm 110kg 6′ 0″ 243 17s 5 Hore,Andrew
                A 4 589 202cm 119kg 6′ 8″ 262 18s10 Douglas,Kane
                N12 588 182cm 107kg 6′ 0″ 236 16s12 Nonu,Ma`a
                N 2 586 181cm 106kg 5’11” 234 16s10 Mealamu,Keven
                A 4 580 200cm 116kg 6′ 7″ 256 18s 4 Horwill,James
                N 4 578 199cm 115kg 6′ 6″ 254 18s 2 Romano,Luke
                A 2 578 187cm 108kg 6′ 2″ 238 17s 0 Faingaa,Saia
                A 4 575 200cm 115kg 6′ 7″ 254 18s 2 Simmons,Rob
                N 4 574 204cm 117kg 6′ 8″ 258 18s 6 Retallick,Brodie
                N 4 574 202cm 116kg 6′ 8″ 256 18s 4 Whitelock,Sam
                N 6 572 187cm 107kg 6′ 2″ 236 16s12 McCaw,Richie
                A 4 570 200cm 114kg 6′ 7″ 251 17s13 McMeniman,Hugh
                N 6 570 193cm 110kg 6′ 4″ 243 17s 5 Read,Kieran
                A 8 568 192cm 109kg 6′ 4″ 240 17s 2 Schatz,Jake
                N 6 568 190cm 108kg 6′ 3″ 238 17s 0 Messam,Liam
                N 6 562 194cm 109kg 6′ 4″ 240 17s 2 Luatua,Steven
                N 2 560 184cm 103kg 6′ 0″ 227 16s 3 Coles,Dane
                A 6 556 198cm 110kg 6′ 6″ 243 17s 5 Fardy,Scott
                A 6 555 182cm 101kg 6′ 0″ 223 15s13 Hooper,Michael

              • August 19th 2013 @ 7:15pm
                Tane Mahuta said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

                J.Kronfeld 96 kg.
                G.Smith 104 kg.
                D.Pocock 102 kg.
                M.Jones 98 kg.
                P.Waugh 101 kg.
                L.Gill 96 kg.
                J.Tipuric 100 kg.
                S.Armitage 103 kg.
                T.Dusautoir 100 kg.
                F.Ouedarogo 98 kg.

                Hes not that small for a 7.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 19th 2013 @ 7:17pm
                Rassie said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

                Height and weight do not tell how much meat a guy have on him. The EBF does that is weightxheight/1000

              • August 19th 2013 @ 11:46pm
                JimmyB said | August 19th 2013 @ 11:46pm | ! Report

                Neil Back – 93kg.

              • August 20th 2013 @ 8:00am
                mania said | August 20th 2013 @ 8:00am | ! Report

                mogg, folau and JOC played worse than they did in the Lions series.
                simmons surprisingly outplayed horwill, but only featured in the lineouts.
                genia scored a good try but was pretty average the rest of the game. no innovation or leadership, just a simple getting to the ruck and shovelling the ball hoping for someone else to step up.
                toomua played well i thought. low error rate just needs more innovative running plays around him.
                and finally….
                hooper showed his greatness and rose above the ABs forward pack to own the first half. I’ve been a gill fan for most of this season and wanted gill to start in the lions series. but I’ve completely jumped ship and am singing from the hooper wagon. hoopers effort on Saturday would be good enough to keep a fully fit pocock on the bench.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 7:57am
          Allanthus said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:57am | ! Report

          I was on the same plane as the squad back to Melbourne yesterday RK.
          Simmons was sore and limping. Even if he’s ok for next Sat it looks like he’s in for a quiet week.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 9:46am
          WQ said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          I thought so too Red Kev

      • August 19th 2013 @ 7:54am
        Steve said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        I think you have confused the word solid with invisible when it comes to Toomua. Just because you are not making errors does not mean you are playing well. I have never seen a player get so much ball and do so little with it, every single phase shoveling the ball one guy wider while never even looking like you might run or do anything else. All he did was give the defense time to advance and put more pressure on the players outside him because he didn’t run the ball to the line once! We would have been better off just throwing cutouts straight to 12 as at least it would have got the ball there faster.

        Add to that his pop gun clearance straight down the throat of the All Blacks and a badly executed cross kick when after 60 minutes he decided to actually try something and you have anything but a solid performance. Quade Cooper coming on after 60 minutes wasn’t some planned coaching master stroke it was McKenzie giving up on Toomua who looked lost in attack from the first minute. I simply don’t know why people are cutting the guy so much slack. I didn’t expect him to be great but I did expect to see some version of how he played for the Brumbies. He looked completely neutered on the park, more worried about avoiding a mistake than achieving anything positive.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 8:43am
          Rugby Tragic said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:43am | ! Report

          Steve, give the guy a break, he is 23, a debutant against the strongest side he has encountered. Sure he would have been nervous and I agree he lacked the little bit of confidence that might have been dulled by his 1st test performance but I think that EM should stick with him, I think he might proved to be an outstanding flyhalf.

          Remember Cruden in his 1st test, his performance as more inept than Toomua’s debut but the All Blacks brains trust stuck with him, nurtured him through his formative periods and look at him now. Not a Carter by any stretch but not far behind.

          Drop Toomua now and the emotional damage might be with him for a long time. I think he belongs, I think he is potentially the flyhalf for 2015, his apprenticeship only started on Saturday night, watch him grow over the RC …. he just needs a little more time, supported and made to feel he is progressing. Cruden had Wayne Smith mentoring him, Toomua has Steve Larkham at the Brumbies and needs McKay to step up…

          • August 19th 2013 @ 9:15am
            Justin3 said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

            RT – too many people have jumped on the Toomua bus now but he has never delivered like may wish to believe. He is always despcribe as solid. In other words doesnt do much wrong. Thats not good enough. And this is at Soup level IMO. He doesnt grab a game by the throat and drive his team round park like others do IMO.

            Great defender and his all round skills are above average but he doesnt do anything particularly well…

            • August 19th 2013 @ 10:07am
              Rugby Tragic said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:07am | ! Report

              Justin you might be right but I for one am not prepared to pass judgment solely on his 1st game on the big stage. EM and other brains trust must believe he has something otherwise he would not have been chosen? I just don’t think the baby should be thrown out with the bath water just yet.

              The guys who I went with on Saturday night thought that Toomua and Lealiifano might have alternated as 1st receiver…

              • August 19th 2013 @ 12:51pm
                Justin3 said | August 19th 2013 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                Agree about throwing the baby out…Happy to see him get another opportunity too and I hope I am wrong and he shows some more in his next outing…

              • August 19th 2013 @ 3:59pm
                WillieOMG said | August 19th 2013 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

                Did anyone else think that by the 4th or 5th time Toomua had the ball that he would step and take the line on, or chip, or the inside ball when the ABs least expected…. Nah, catch and pass, catch and pass. I think he was under instruction to do so by the backs coach, I hope they add a bit more variety to his 5/8th role this week.

                Give him another chance i say

            • Roar Guru

              August 19th 2013 @ 1:15pm
              Wal said | August 19th 2013 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

              Michael Lynagh was also “solid”.
              The decision about Toomua needs to be made in conjunction with those who are going to play around him. He and Le’ Leafano complement each others skills. A Cooper / Le’ Leafano combo might be very exciting to watch but when things get messy neither would be the type to settle things down.
              Too long Australian supporters have looked to star players to be their next fix. The reality is you need a team of players that each fit and compliment each others styles.
              A perfect example is Victor Vito who is probably still a better player then Luatua (and definitely than Luke Whitelock who has been called in as cover) and has far more skill out wide. But with Richie as the link man the AB’s don’t need another ball playing loosie, the balance requires a defensive hit man and player who can get over the advantage line inclose.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 2:26pm
                Skills & Techniques said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                Right on Wal +1

              • August 19th 2013 @ 4:50pm
                Rugby Tragic said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

                Steven Luatua is destined to become a great IMO. He was a late call up as Messam was injured, he is young (22), big, fast and athletic. Messam has been if the form of his life but Luatua I feel was more than a worthy replacement and as pointed out only 22! Vito had the opportunity to nail his position as No 6 but came up short.

                Luatua I think might be No 6 for AB’s at RWC 2015 with Jerome Kaino (if he can regain his 2011/2012 form). Luatua I believe had his debut (I think – certainly his 1st 80 minute game with the big boys) and I think performed admirably. Certainly had the wood on MMM

              • August 19th 2013 @ 7:30pm
                Nick Cross said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

                I’m a big Luatua fan but I actually think he’s a better lock prospect.

                I’d have Brad Shields at 6 that guy has some serious power and fits the enforcer role better IMO

              • August 19th 2013 @ 8:51pm
                Justin3 said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

                Lynagh was superb, not solid. Sheesh…

            • August 19th 2013 @ 2:03pm
              Chivas said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

              I agree Justin. Toomua is a solid player and that’s it at the moment. He plays to a very structured pattern and doesn’t seem to vary from it.

              Foley would get rattled badly against the AB’s so I wouldn’t be debuting him. Quade is the best but is always giving the opposition several sniffs.

              Consequently I wasn’t adverse to JOC. He’s not a full blown first five, but on potential I think he could have evolved over a season or two. Anyway water under the bridge.

              Until the Wallabies settle on a first five and develop them… talk of winning anything seems a long way off.

              I also don’t agree playing Mowen at 8. He played exceptionally well at 6 and that is where I would be sticking with him. This idea of playing a couple of good games now he’s a utility loose forward is nuts. He has no impact at 8 and they turned a position they had strength in to populate two positions which they had no impact in whatsoever.

              I thought JOC had some nice runs on attack, running angles. The Wallabies need that. Neither Mogg not Folau seem to know how to create that extra man, which is disappointing. Does somebody need to walk over and place it on their hands? I would expect a pudgy prop running up and down the fatmans track to show more enthusiasm.

              Forwards were missing at the breakdown. What is with not knowing how to attack the ball or the player. The Wobblies just seem to think adding some numbers is sufficient. The planning, timing and effort just wasn’t there for mine. I’d be looking at Douglas for some impact and a no. 8, perhaps McCalman.

              This talk of two opensides is rubbish. Mowen is far better an option than Gill or Hooper. The forwards need to increase the impact and tighten up not get looser IMO.

              Think both forward packs need to get on top of scrumming real fast. Genia’s comments seem way out of touch. Did they not discuss how to put the ball in prior to the game and just work it out on the day? Put it under the hookers foot? Yeah go for it then pinged for that. Did they not do any live practices with booker tapping when ready?

              I am stunned they can’t put a ball in straight and don’t know the rules and have a plan before goong out. Isn’t this the coach who plans at meticulous detail?

          • Roar Guru

            August 19th 2013 @ 10:48am
            Mick Gold Coast QLD said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:48am | ! Report

            I couldn’t have expressed that better myself Rugby Tragic, including the comparison to Cruden’s awful introduction behind a snoozing All Blacks pack in Sydney in 2010. The smartest coaches of all knew what they were doing and gave him the opportunity to develop to the classy, clever first five we now see.

            Both Toomua and Lealiifano have the composure essential for a successful first and second five.

            He’ll be a sight better investment than the other three abject failures we’ve seen at first five in recent years.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 11:31am
              dsat24 said | August 19th 2013 @ 11:31am | ! Report

              By comparison we can compare the effect Luatua with Toomua, both on debut. For involvement and achievement. Admittedly in different roles but on debut basis they were starkly contrasting. And keeping mind Luatua had some competition for the ball where Toomua had generally good ball from Genia with directive to keep in hand! Luatua grabbed every opportunity and showed payback to the selectors. As an aside he was selected for his regular position which also was evident as he didnt need to think about and just did it.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 2:31pm
              Skills & Techniques said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

              MT and LLF are bound for greatness. I reckon that JOC could have evolved into a great 5/8 he was just about to lose the selfish finisher instincts.

        • Roar Guru

          August 19th 2013 @ 1:18pm
          sheek said | August 19th 2013 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

          I agree that Toomua didn’t attack the line often enough, but I’m quite sure this was a deliberate part of the team strategy.

          Since this was his test debut, I’m quite certain McKenzie would have impressed upon him to do the basics right as often as possible & get the feel of test rugby pressure.

          There was an emphasis confirmed by McKenzie after the game to play with width.

          Toomua did pass well to supports in the first half, varying his game to the extent that sometimes he went to the second man rather than the first man outside him. He looked for guys who were running onto the ball.

          His game did fall away in the second half along with many of his team mates as less opportunities developed from a less intense effort.

          For me, unlike O’Connor in the Lions series, is that Toomua looks the goods. With more tests under his belt, & more comfortable playing at the pace of test rugby, we should see better things from him.

          Every Wallaby fan should certainly hope so that he succeeds. Another thing is that the combination between Genia & Toomua can only improve over time.

          He is the immediate future no.10 of Australian rugby. If he fails, Cooper is not the frontline answer, while Foley is only the backup answer.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 4:59pm
            Rugby Tragic said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

            Agree 100% Sheek.

            I think by the time 2015 comes along, Wallabies will have an outstanding fly half with Toomua. What I particularly like about the kid is his attitude…. No he did not go chasing money, he chose to chase ‘a rugby education’, he felt comfortable and in a good place to be coached by White and Larkham – the latter in particular.

            Of the major SH nations, I am looking forward to battles between Toomua, Goosen (when back from injury) and Barrett who is bigger, faster than Cruden and can kick with both feet! … drooling at the prospects. Of course there is that guy Carter still hanging around as well but lets say that the SH has riches at flyhalf from all three major southern rugby nations

          • August 19th 2013 @ 7:10pm
            bennalong said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

            Give Foley another season Sheek

            He topped the super 15 in line break assists and try assists and scored tries asw well

            He tackles well also

            What more does he have to do in his first season at 10 to make everyone sit up and take notice

            Having said this I’m glad he wasn’t sent in to the Bledisloe Cauldron like Toomua and Mogg

      • August 19th 2013 @ 10:44am
        Jokerman said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        Awesome article, Spiro. Succinctly placed with limited space, nice.

        Agree with everything. The All Blacks are dynamic!

        I see McKenzie complained about no yellow cards for the All Blacks. Not the most gracious way to be in a heavy defeat. Though I feel The All Blacks really attacked at the break down, Australia didn’t like it, the ref pinged them a bit, that can happen though when you become aggressive in defence and really contest the ball. I noticed Savea’s work, he was just so up for it, at the break down, in defence. Where as Falau went missing.

        The thing is with Falou he can be ruthless with his pace, swerve and size, in space, as he was in the first test against the lions. Good teams see this and realize you have to cut his space, and they have done that and he has not been able to adapt. Part of this is the short time he has had in union. He would learn faster and find more space at full back.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 9:27pm
        Kerry said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:27pm | ! Report

        Jutsie, I couldn’t agree with you more. Will Genia is so over-rated- I referred to him on an earlier blog b4 the game that he was ‘the achilles heel’ of the wallabies. He does a better job at slowing the WB play than the AB themselves. Bring on Nic
        white and put Genia on the bench for a wakeup call. I also believe the QC should be dropped and Foley put on the bench in his place as five eighth.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 9:53pm
        8 said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

        Pretty astute Spiro, may the aru should approach the NZRFU to outsource the Wannabees, then Hansen could take 70 player to the NH. All there troubles would be over they would no longer have to beat the AB’s as they would part of them. Kiss’n cuzins maybe…. Go the AB’s

    • August 19th 2013 @ 7:20am
      Shop said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      I didn’t realise the AB’s had 300 more caps! A big number for a test like this one.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 9:42am
        atlas said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        about 540+ of those caps held by just six players
        when a team can play 15 tests a year, 10 ABs had 15 caps or less, incl 5with 0-to-8 caps

        • August 20th 2013 @ 12:27am
          Shop said | August 20th 2013 @ 12:27am | ! Report

          6 player is half the run on side. A massive advantage of experience.

    • Roar Guru

      August 19th 2013 @ 7:31am
      Turnover said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:31am | ! Report

      Couldn’t agree more regarding Mogg. He can kick a ball a long way but it really seems to be more miss than hit.

      JOC was out of position constantly but geez when was the last time he played wing?

      • August 19th 2013 @ 7:45am
        Shop said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:45am | ! Report

        JOC was actually very involved in attack and always looking for work (take note Falou). He came off his wing twice in the first 3 mins which led to a break and a try. I’m sure I’ve seen him do the exact same thing in Super rugby. I think it needs to be spelt out to stay on his man.

        • Roar Guru

          August 19th 2013 @ 7:53am
          Turnover said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:53am | ! Report

          I feel like JOC and Akuila Uate would really get along well

        • August 19th 2013 @ 9:19am
          Justin3 said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:19am | ! Report

          I agree Shop. There is now question JOC madew a few howlers but he was very involved.

          I have said from the outset when Deans picked Izzy at wing that he has no instinct as to how and when to get involved other than waiting for the ball to come to him. He needs to play 15 if he is in this team. He is the best in the world in the air, can kick long and creates when he gets space. He also isnt that quick and will get burned on the wing IMO.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 6:44pm
            Kebab said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

            Wing is not IZZys position

    • August 19th 2013 @ 7:48am
      formeropenside said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Forwards played well, even Hooper. Although Gill was just as good when he came on. The front row were all good, though Alexander seemed quieter around the park than expected and the scrum was under pressure on his side.

      In the end, the scrums were even, after an opening nightmare which was lucking blown up and re-set.

      Lineout was probably shaded by the Wallabies. Horwill a lot of carries and tackles, Simmons also good. The front five were good.

      MMM was quiet, but the most curious thing was that Mowen seemed to be determined not to run the ball: he spread it wide a number of times, when there appeared to be no point to doing so.

      The backs, apart from Genia and Lilo’s boot, were not good. Toomua was largely unnoticed, Lilo had a kick charged down (which Kafer immediatly blamed on Genia not box kicking – and I get called biased!) and Folau looked like he had signed with the NRL during the week and was uninterested – and got gassed by Savea for speed.

      JOC looked a lot better once Cooper came on.

      Ultimately, Link made a political selection in Toomua over Cooper so as not to frighten the horses, and paid for it.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 8:00am
        Shop said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:00am | ! Report

        Agree with just about everything except I actually thought the Wallbies dominated the AB’s in the line out not just shaded them. Made me wonder why with Toomua and Mogg on the field that we weren’t kicking to the corners and looking for touch more.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 8:03am
        Red Kev said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:03am | ! Report

        JOC did look more comfortable at fullback, I think we may see him there next week because we sure can’t afford his defence on the wing.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 8:12am
          rugby_phile said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:12am | ! Report

          The ABs will be licking their lips hoping Link reverses his “political decision”. QC starting in Wellington after being overlooked in Sydney doesn’t make sense, the crowd and ABs combined will destroy him. And I do think his booing is getting boorish, boing and tiresome, but unfortunately it isn’t going to stop any time soon. It has become a match day feature in NZ unfortunately.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 8:21am
            Red Kev said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:21am | ! Report

            I don’t know if he will, he was making noise about keeping the faith with the new guys despite most journos printing that they forsee Cooper returning to the no.10 jersey.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 10:38am
              handles said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

              Cooper’s reception in Wellington will be about the same as it was in Sydney!

          • August 19th 2013 @ 10:11am
            geoffwho said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

            I thought Cooper looked good when he came on, playing flatter and directing the backline more. I also thought I saw him defending more at 10 and 12 as well? But I think EM should start Toomua again in Wellington. They need to manage Toomua’s development and Cooper’s reintroduction to the Wallaby squad and throwing him in as a starter (as the potential “saviour”) in front of a hostile crowd that will boo relentlessly will be risky for both players. Managing Cooper off bench is smarter at moment. I’d also start Folau at 15 to get more involvement out of him.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 11:15am
            1/2 Scot Kiwi said | August 19th 2013 @ 11:15am | ! Report

            A lot of us Kiwis are over booing Quade Cooper too. I thought he had well and truly served his penance after leaving the world cup injured. Watching him chatting amiably with All Blacks after the game makes you realise if the players hve no beef with him we shouldn’t either.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 12:59pm
              rugby_phile said | August 19th 2013 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

              Agreed

      • August 19th 2013 @ 8:25am
        stillmissit said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        FOS – Sorry mate I disagree. I thought the whole team did not play well and the forwards lacked the will to attack the break down (again – god I am sick of saying that). When will we understand that unless you can put, and keep, the AB’s under pressure for long periods you are going to get done? After 15 mins I knew we were dead it was just a matter of time, and I think the AB’s knew it.

        MMM is what we need at 6 and I thought he did OK, certainly no worse than the rest of them. It was often Hooper on his own at the BD and the AB’s could just blow away anyone else who showed up late, as they always did if they showed up at all ….The question that springs to mind is have the Wallaby forwards been instructed not to over commit or have they seen how Robinson could avoid the breakdown and get picked for years?

        I fully understand that the BD is only a part of the game but it is where most contests for the ball occur with the scrum being tightly controlled and winning opposition LO is not so easy.

        McKenzie must know that the times the Wallabies or the Reds come to that, have beaten NZ teams they have blown them away by speed and aggression at the BD. This plodding structured stuff is good against the SA’s and NH teams but it ain’t enough to win you a Bledisloe….

        • August 19th 2013 @ 11:39am
          formeropenside said | August 19th 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

          Look, I think we lost it in the backs, not the forwards. No direction and no support play.

          I’d take that overall forwards performance every time if I had the chance, for all MMM and Mowen were pretty quiet.

          Of course, I’l hope for a backline using them better, kicking to the corners to use a strong lineout.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 3:45pm
            KevKom said | August 19th 2013 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

            Did you really just start a sentence with ‘Look”!

      • August 19th 2013 @ 9:04am
        Zakkaz said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:04am | ! Report

        Predictable post from FOS, all the reds players did well, the rest where OK or bad.

        Hooper did very well, its another thing coming on fresh when everyone else has had a hard game 60 mins before.

        I just wish Link would select Gill, Cooper and the rest of the reds players you want to put an end to this myth that the reds players are the better bunch in the team.

        • Roar Guru

          August 19th 2013 @ 9:11am
          stillmissit said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          Zakkaz – I am from the old school where, if you put on the green and gold, you are an Australian first and last. You are there to win for your country and your fellow Wallabies (spectators, family and friends are a distant second). It is a tradition that has excluded some players who had the skills but the wrong attitude regarding their country v themselves.

          There has also been the odd self centred freak like Campese who was there, but even he had his country at heart if not front and centre..

          • August 19th 2013 @ 9:50am
            Zakkaz said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:50am | ! Report

            Stillmissit, I agree with you 100%. I just find it funny how people like FOS simply cant stop promoting reds players. Its become so predictable. Evert team announced and after every game, its the same thing. Slipper, Gill and Cooper. I don’t think FOS will be happy unless every single reds player is selected.

            The Wallaby pack needs grunt, call Hugh Pyle back in, put Poe and Higgers on HGH to recover faster. I am sick of hearing about Cooper, JOC and Toomua, Izzy and what ever other xfactor name they come up with. Start forward and work your way back. Send the pack on man camp or camp staaldraad, what ever is needed.

            You can have the best backs in the world but they will be useless is the forwards arn’t at least competing. Sick of hearing all the talk, getting excited and then witnessing the forwards get killed. Slipper and Gill dont have the nuts to bring the standard up. So FOS can cleverly state that each Monday without ever being proven wrong.

            To me the only forward that had a set of round ones was Hooper. I dont care if he steel one turnover or 20, what matters is he didn’t take a step back.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 9:50am
          formeropenside said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:50am | ! Report

          Zak – hey, I said Hooper did well. Its also about the same team I would have selected, save for 3, 7 and 10. Of those three positions, BA I think did OK, but was not the disaster I was fearing, Hooper did better than expected, but I’d still have Gill due to how I think a 7 should play, and 10 was, I think, a comparative failure.

          Which Reds players shall I bag? They all did pretty well, actually, but there were not that many out there in the starting team.

          Please show me how Folau was involved in the game, and Mogg being strong in defence and kicking well. Show me a run by Toomua. Show me Mowen bending the line with ball in hand. He did well in the lineout, and was in some breakdowns, but seemed not to want to run with the ball, which is the job of an 8.

          AAC was good; I’d have left him at 13: he’s still the answer there for a while. Save Kuridrani for injury cover.

          JOC was mixed. Some good, some bad.

          I wish Link would select the teams I like better as well. Lets just say I disagree on the outcome you would obviously prefer.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 10:00am
            Zakkaz said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            FOS I know you like fetchers but it does not change a thing if he has a pack with their tails between their legs.

            You can pick any back, the AB’s will smash you every time in the front. Watch the game again they could beat the Wallabies with 14 simply because their pack is worth 10 blokes.

            I just want one big bloke that can scare them and the rest will follow. Nevile or Pyle doesn’t matter atm too many nice guys. Gill will just be another nice guy getting roughed up by Read and co.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 10:42am
              handles said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

              I am often accused of being a ‘bad’ Queenslander like FOS. I would not have had Hooper starting on Saturday, but I am happy to say that he proved me wrong. He was great, and played much more like I think a 7 should. It is interesting how the ABs gave him space to pilfer with their lower numbers to the breakdown, whereas the Lions (and all NH teams) smashed him off the ball.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 2:56pm
                Skills & Techniques said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                I thought QC looked like a frightened child aside from a few lateral passes. Unfortunately there was no sensible game plan. It was pass it to the wing…ooh whoops there are forwards in the back line. Poor use of the bench too. The changes all occurred after the horse had bolted.
                All the hysterical bleating over the last twelve months by reds fans could be comfortably directed at this game.
                What we don’t want is more “dream sequence” selections where soft reds players are called upon to save the day.
                Genia was imitating the end of Gregan’s career. Cooper, Horwill, Slipper, Simmons, Gill made no difference to the game in any way.
                It’s time to dump them and pick more Waratahs.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 6:50pm
          Kebab said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

          Amen I can’t believe how biase FOS and Redkev are . I mean we got flogged and the reds forwards all had blinders but the non reds backline were crap. Get off the bundy sauce

    • August 19th 2013 @ 8:02am
      JeffRo said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      I feel the RC championship is on a knife edge for Australia now. In the mid-longer term i think McKenzie is the kind of coach that can build a team, but a heavy loss next week could really shatter the Wallabies self belief in the short term.
      Ritchie McCaw over the last few years after the game often says “happy with the defense, it shows the attitude of the team” also comments “we have trust in the system” An example of this was JOC try at the end. The last defender for the All Blacks didn’t turn in to tackle JOC he stayed marked up on the outside. While the try was scored (a little bit too much trust in big Charlies pace!) he trusted that the inside or cover would pick up the tackle.
      The Wallabies are just not in this space at the moment. The culture, trust in systems and your mate next too you and a successful plan for the current crop, will take a while to develop. The 4 or 5 weeks away on the northern tour, away from playing the All Blacks, shapes as a key period for this team, under a new coach.
      The short term task, is to ensure two 40 point batterings in the last two tests, doesn’t become 3 or 4 and blow all belief away.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 4:22pm
        Two Bob's Worth said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

        By the time the Northern Hemisphere tour comes around at the EOY the team will have had 9 test matches. Hardly a new tea. If they haven’t sorted out their “belief in their systems and trust of their team mates”, they will be road kill against All Blacks and Springboks.

    • August 19th 2013 @ 8:03am
      rugby_phile said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:03am | ! Report

      In spite of the nit picking by some above I think a great article Spiro. You ask rhetorically no doubt:

      “Can McKenzie move on from his first defeat to create, in time, a Wallaby side that wins all the trophies that Macqueen’s golden Wallabies did?”

      I think not unless there are some Eales, Horans, Littles, Farr-Jones and Lynaghs to name a few hidden somewhere. I see very few of them I the current crop.

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