Are Cheika’s Wallabies facing an annus horribilis?

Spiro Zavos Columnist

By Spiro Zavos, Spiro Zavos is a Roar Expert

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    So much for Michael Cheika’s aspiration to go into the Rugby Championship with a settled starting side and with the momentum of three successive victories from the Wallabies’ June Tests.

    On the evidence of the dismal loss to Scotland 24-19, Cheika and the Wallabies are facing an annus horribilis in 2017.

    Scotland were hardly impressive opponents. They played with the spirit they habitually bring to the Test arena, but they lacked game-breakers in the backs and forwards.

    The only world-class player they had on the field was playmaker Finn Russell. And against a poorly organised Wallabies defence, Russell’s occasional sleight of hand passing was enough to disconcert a system that was so simplistic that any coherent attack by Scotland created chaos.

    The one time Scotland got an ensemble attack going, the Wallabies defence was reduced to a shambles with tacklers getting in each other’s way or failing to read where the attack was going to go. Flanker Hamish Watson subsequently crossed over for what became the decisive try of the Test.

    Throughout the commentary, Rod Kafer was pointing out that the spacing of the Wallabies defensive line was too bunched. This bunching created the opportunities for outside breaks which, until late in the Test, Scotland were not good enough to exploit.

    Kafer has been banging on about the spacing in the Wallabies defensive line for a year or so. He has been proved right time and time again. Against Fiji, the Wallabies missed 34 tackles. And against Scotland, they conceded three tries.

    If Kafer, admittedly a shrewd thinker about rugby tactics, can identify the problem, why can’t Wallabies defensive coach Nathan Grey do the same thing, and make the necessary adjustments?

    Remember, too, this defensive line spacing system is the same sort of system used by Grey, with an obvious lack of success, at the Waratahs this year. So why is Michael Cheika allowing this failed system to be used by the Wallabies?

    There should be question marks hanging over the captaincy of Michael Hooper, too. Hooper is a great player but he is a very ordinary captain.

    To begin with, he seems to make wrong decisions at critical times. He has done this with the Waratahs and the Wallabies, so there seems to be something systematic at fault with his reading of how games are unravelling.

    Take, for example, Hooper’s decision in the Test not to knock over a relatively easy penalty shot in the 72nd minute when the Wallabies were down by five points.

    You kick the penalty and then have five minutes, a long time at the end of a Test, to either score a try or kick a goal to win the match. By not taking the easy three points, you bank everything on scoring the try from a rolling maul.

    The point here is that if the Wallabies had kicked the penalty, they would have opened the door to victory, perhaps, by allowing themselves several chances of winning the match.

    Moreover, if you only need to kick a penalty or a field goal to win the Test, the opposition has a more difficult task of defending your attacks as they have to do this without conceding a penalty.

    As it happened, the Wallabies muffed their lineout maul. Hooper explained his decision to opt to score the try from the driving maul this way:

    “I really thought we had momentum. I am the ultimate believer in our guys to do the job. Maybe too much so tonight. Hindsight, we maybe could have gone to the goal just to mount a bit of pressure.”

    Michael Hooper Wallabies Australia Rugby Union 2017

    (AAP Image/David Moir)

    I’m all for loyalty and belief in your teammates. But I am also for realism. In Test matches defence generally trumps attack. A certain desperation on defence can often nullify the best of attacking intentions.

    Moreover, just because there were vulnerabilities by Scotland to the rolling maul earlier in the Test, most national sides (as Fiji showed a week earlier) can thwart the maul from time to time.

    I would add another point, too. A problem with Hooper’s captaincy is that he is too wedded to what for a better description might be deemed a ‘Boy’s Own’ sensibility about how big plays might unfold.

    He has too high an opinion of the abilities of his teammates.

    The fact of the matter is that, against Scotland, the forwards did not ‘do the job’ from the rolling maul. Last week I argued for Bernard Foley to be made captain of the Wallabies. And I make this assertion again.

    This is not a criticism of Hooper as a player or a person. He is a dynamo as a player. He is often an irresistible force. He has more guts and drive than the rest of the pack put together.

    But he is not captaincy material. Hooper’s play is fired by emotion, which is terrific for a player. But is not terrific for a captain. The captain must be calculating, less emotional and more pragmatic. Someone like Foley.

    In retrospect, the Test was sort of lost right at its beginning when Adam Coleman tried to manhandle a Scotland player over the touch line.

    Coleman was trying to impose his bullying style (which is the Cheika method) on the Scots players with an over-aggressive form of intimidation.

    Referee Wayne Barnes was having none of this. He gave Coleman a warning and the enforcer played like a Samson with his hair shorn from this time onwards in the Test.

    The Wallabies’ pack (and their coaches) need to look at the way the British and Irish Lions’ pack monstered the New Zealand Maori forwards at Rotorua.

    The devastation came through massive scrummaging, smart and aggressive play in the lineouts and with smashing play on defence and attack. It didn’t come from blatant thuggery.

    You don’t need thuggery or after-the-play niggling to intimidate and overwhelm your opponents if you’ve got ‘The Game’.

    What was interesting to me is that when one (of the few) Lions lineout mauls went wrong, the coaching staff poured over an iPad replay of it to work out why it had failed.

    Contrast this smart, unemotional response to what was happening on the field to Cheika’s antics in the coaches’ box. I can never understand the value of a coach showing so much emotion. How can this help his side?

    And I ask another question: were Cheika’s over-emotional responses in the coaches’ box responsible for Hooper’s own over-emotional response to go for a rolling maul with the Test in the balance in the 72nd minute of the game?

    Cheika’s reading of how the Wallabies played the Test is interesting. The players did not show the intensity they exhibited at training during the match, he told the media after the loss:

    “You don’t win at training, you win at the game, you’ve got to come to the game with your attitude on, and again, we weren’t off completely, we were just a little behind the pace we needed to set to win the game.”

    michael-cheika-australia-rugby-union-wallabies-2016

    (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    I am not buying this line.

    It seems to me that Cheika is training and selecting his players on intensity shown at training. But what about the skills that Mick Byrne is supposed to be bringing to the side?

    If you rely on intensity as the essential element in selection, you run into the problem that when that intensity diminishes as it must during the game, your player is left with nothing much more to play with.

    Players with skill, though, can get through a tough period and they can often flourish when they get through the period when their skills are being nullified.

    The All Blacks, for instance, took 20 minutes to score their first try at Eden Park against a fired-up Samoa. In the next hour or so, they scored another 11 tries.

    I am always suspicious, anyway, of those players (especially backs) who make a show of rushing up to forwards, say, after they have won a scrum turnover and spreading high-fives like confetti.

    Generally, the most effusive players are the less effective players. And the effusiveness is designed, either consciously or sub-consciously, to mask weaknesses as a player.

    If you want to test this theory, just watch tapes of the greatest players in their greatest moments. When the great David Campese or Mark Ella scored a fabulous try there was a shy smile or a wink and that was it.

    Someone like Richie McCaw showed no emotion, never yelled or shouted at his players even at the most alarming moments of a Test when he generally was at his most effective.

    Having said this, I don’t mind the forwards giving themselves an occasional high-five when they have demolished the opposing scrum. But not all the time.

    Cheika also is making elementary mistakes about the allocation of specific duties within the team.

    Foley, for instance, invariably takes the kicks for the line from penalties. Why? He has a relatively weak punting boot. He occasionally misses touch, as he did in fact against Scotland.

    As Rod Kafer pointed out in his commentary, why wouldn’t Cheika use Dane Haylett-Petty for punting duties? He has a punt like a cannon shot.

    Cheika rightly is contemplating making some changes for the Brisbane Test against Italy, a side that lost to Fiji over the weekend with a last-minute penalty goal.

    “I’d say there’d be a few [changes]. It’s about being more urgent in the game. You’ve got to make it happen… when we made long breaks we didn’t have enough guys there,” he said.

    Too true. But is the real problem with the players or the coaching? Both, I would say.

    I was impressed with a remark made by Julian Savea about the difference between preparing with the Hurricanes and the All Blacks. He said that the “extra detail” in the All Blacks’ preparation was a challenge that brought the best out of his game.

    So if Cheika is worried about the lack of urgency in his players when someone like Hooper (as he did brilliantly) makes a break and there are no supporting runners, either backs or forwards, perhaps he should be looking at what he and the other coaches are doing at training.

    Are the players getting that “extra detail” in their preparations to coach them into their proper running lines when a break-out occurs?

    One of the tests of good coaching is that players get better in Tests when they are in the system, they improve on their Super Rugby play.

    This is not really happening in the Wallabies.

    israel-folau-wallabies-rugby-union-australia-bledisloe-cup-2016

    (AAP Image/ David Rowland)

    Yes, Israel Folau scored two tries against Scotland, as he did against Fiji. One of the tries involved an AFL-style leap that showcased his amazing physical abilities.

    But where was he in those last crucial minutes when the Wallabies had to score a try to win the Test?

    It is pointless playing Haylett-Petty on the wing. He lacks any real pace, for all his endeavour and resilience on defence and under the high ball. Tevita Kuridrani played in a sort of slow-motion, sleep-running manner. Was he carrying an injury?

    Will Genia lapsed into his bad old habits of taking too long to get away his box kicks and gifted a try from a charge down to Scotland. But why was he box kicking in the first place? And why did he kick the ball away with nothing-kicks under pressure in general play?

    I say it now and I’ll continue to say it. Players do not improve on their play, especially late in their careers, after a stint playing in Europe. Genia played well against Fiji, admittedly. But he was found out in fitness and in skills by the Scotland pack.

    As for the Wallabies’ pack, it is difficult, aside from Hooper, to give much praise to any of the players. But who does Cheika use as replacements for Saturday’s starters?

    The hard fact is that the Super Rugby coaches, essentially, are not requiring Test standard play from their players and that this lack of ambition and emphasis in the Super Rugby squads is transferring a problem to Cheika and his coaching staff.

    So far this year Cheika and the coaching staff, for their part, are not adding much improvement to the players, either.

    In previous times, a Wallabies coach in this sort of situation would be called into the ARU headquarters to explain what is happening, what is being done to improve things, and generally be given a sharp warning that what is happening is not acceptable.

    But what do we get (publicly at least) from the ARU?

    Well, John Eales has been a director on the ARU board for seven years and writing in The Australian on Saturday, he endorsed the fact that Cheika had made only one change to the starting XV for the Test against Scotland.

    “This in some ways signals a change in attitude from Cheika and it makes sense,” Eales wrote.

    The result of the Test and Cheika’s comments afterwards actually showed that not making changes did not make sense, in fact.

    As a commentator on rugby matters myself, I am all too aware of the fact that I make mistakes based on trying to predict outcomes of Tests quite often. It is part of the prediction game.

    But I am not one of Michael Cheika’s bosses.

    I am very uneasy about a director of the ARU, the employer of the players and the coaches, making paid public commentary about the players and the coaches. To me, this smacks of an obvious conflict of interest.

    It, more importantly, compromises his role as a director on the ARU board.

    I enjoy the way Eales brings an intelligent and analytical approach to his rugby columns. But by publicly expressing his approval of the job Cheika is doing (I have never read a criticism of Cheika from Eales), he places himself in an invidious position to fulfil his role as a director of the ARU.

    The point is that Australian rugby is facing a crisis, on and off the field. And this crisis has been created by the ARU board of directors, its chairman and its chief executive.

    The ARU board (which includes Eales), for instance, is directly responsible for the crisis regarding which Australian team will be culled from next year’s Super Rugby tournament.

    It is directly responsible for the fate of the Wallabies, too.

    The financial viability of the ARU specifically and Australian rugby generally is, in the main, dependent on the performances of the Wallabies. With good results comes crowd support and viewing support, and with this comes the ratings that drive the amount of money television companies are prepared to pay for the rugby broadcast rights.

    There is no doubt that the defeat to Scotland has tarnished the reputation of the Wallabies. There is a likelihood that the Wallabies could drop from third to sixth place in the World Rugby rankings.

    Will the Australian rugby public maintain its passion and faith for the Wallabies if the loss to Scotland is an omen for a run of bad results for the national side?

    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 (227)

    • June 19th 2017 @ 7:35am
      Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 7:35am | ! Report

      Morning Spiro,

      Agree with your assessment of the team’s ills in some ways, but not of the players.

      Coleman did not play like Sampson without his hair. He was still the best Wallaby forward, he made a lot of tackles, and dominant ones, and carried decently.

      As for this idea of Foley being captain… The less said the better in my opinion.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 8:22am
        Daveski said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

        Haha yes I thought the Foley for captain line will be the main response getter from this article. Which is a pity because there’s plenty to digest in this.

        I actually think he’s probably right medium long term. TPN, Coleman and Carter are the only other possible candidates and one has no track record of leadership, and the other two are far from certainties to even be in the team in seasons to come.

        I guess many people would probably say that about Foley too. For what it’s worth, with the test being in Brisbane this week and all i would be tempted to give Cooper a go at 10 and Foley to the bench.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 8:51am
          Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

          I think Ala’alatoa, Coleman, Genia and Kerevi will be here for the next 3-4 years. Pocock will be back next year and should be captain.

          All of the above are automatic picks, and inspire more respect than Foley.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 10:06am
            Daveski said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

            Agree Kerevi, Coleman and AA are auto picks but the line about inspriring respect is very hard to quantify or substantiate. The way Foley showed no holding back when returning from concussion inspires respect. The way Coleman sometimes carries on, not so much.

            If Powell/Louwrens/Gordon/Tuttle haven’t usurped Genia in 3-4yrs I’ll be very disappointed.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 11:05am
              Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

              I think people forget how great Genia was last year after Bled 1 and 2.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 6:57pm
                BK said | June 20th 2017 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

                I have certainly forgotten with every stupid pointless box kick he continually does that gets charged down or just gives the ball away and the fact that as the game goes on he gets slower to deliver the pass and his accuracy is suspect. The horse has bolted for me with Genia, he shouldn’t be there in my book. I would go with Phipps and Cooper as halves with Foley coming off the bench.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 2:08pm
              Wozza said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

              Daveski – Captaincy can often lifts guys liike Coleman to the next level with the added resposibility having a moderating effect on the behaviour and channeling their aggression into their play round the field. It never hurt Martin Johnson who is the type of player I think Coleman should mold himself on. Thought Spiro’s comment on Coleman’s early hit was totally wrong too. Replays show it was a solid hit with no carry on from Coleman. Barnes warning was a terrible call.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 2:27pm
                PeterK said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

                yep all coleman was doing was trying to get the ball for a quick throw in

              • June 19th 2017 @ 2:57pm
                Daveski said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                Agree it was a belter of a tackle and really should have set the tone and got the WBs fired up. I actually like Coleman’s niggle more than say Dean Mumm’s niggle. He can back it up and for too long we haven’t had players with a genuine on-field mean/angry streak. But I didn’t get the ‘inspire respect” line because I assume Fionn was talking about a player’s team mates and not the fans, in which case I don’t think Fionn, me or anyone else here is in the position to be assuming who is and isn’t respected by their peers amongst the Wallabies

              • June 19th 2017 @ 4:25pm
                Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

                Fair enough, mate. At least Coleman leads from the front, like Hooper. Hooper, unfortunately, isn’t a great communicator with the ref and is a poor on-field decision-maker.

                I just can’t support the “iceman” being made captain. I backed him in the 2015 WC, but it has been constant disappointments with him since. The ice has melted, he’s done.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 11:21pm
            mad mick said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:21pm | ! Report

            Pocock is a one trick pony. His days as a dominant force are gone. Ardie Savea wiped him out the last time they played each other.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 10:42am
        Sheikh said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

        I think Spiro is also incorrect to say that Barnes gave Coleman a warning. Barnes very clearly gave the warning to ‘8’, ie, the Scottish player who went in pushing Coleman in the back.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 1:32pm
          rebel said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

          He warned both but Coleman didn’t do much to warrant one.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 11:02am
        RahRah said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

        Spiro clearly has an unfounded bias against Coleman. I see Coleman as a future captain.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 20th 2017 @ 2:14am
        Huw Tindall said | June 20th 2017 @ 2:14am | ! Report

        I’ve got a very reliable inside line that Moore is not going to make it to Japan. Just a step to far for an aging warrior. This means there search is on for a regular starting Wallaby captain. Hooper this year makes sense as he is in the team and arguably the best most consistent player. Longer term I’d like Pocock, assuming he regains form. He has the respect of everyone involved which is critical in a captain. Hooper, as Spiro points out, is just too emotional. His passion is one of his standout attributes it’s just not what you want in the captain necessarily. Think about Mortlock and Eales in times past. Solid, calm, dependable leaders. Outside of Pocock it’s hard to see another player in the current setup. Foley maybe and he just gets on with his game and doesn’t seem to carry on too much. The forwards are either all too young or changing regularly to bank on a captain. Similar to the backline. Given the above all signs point to Pocock.

        • June 20th 2017 @ 10:09am
          wo abat said | June 20th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          Fix two problems in one go. Make Genia captain. He yearns for it.

    • Roar Guru

      June 19th 2017 @ 7:44am
      Simon Levingston said | June 19th 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      Spiro

      Where has all the smart thinking gone? There is a new paradigm on how rugby is played. This has been seen by NZ and being followed by the NZ coaches. The new paradigm is all about unstructured play and keeping the ball alive as much as possible.

      I have been critical of Michael Hooper and his tunnel vision. My biggest criticism of him is because he continually dies with the ball. As an example look at the last play of the game on Saturday he took the ball up, failed to look for a supporting player, and a penalty was awarded against him for hanging onto the ball. Dumb!

      Hooper is not the only culprit. Most of the Walaby team just don’t get it.

      My only conclusion is it is the way the players are coached.

      The Australian coaches se not up to the task. This includes Cheika. The style of play is yesterdays game. It is now all about unstructured play or “catch up” rugby for 80 minutes.

      Until the slow minded lot running this debacle start to catch on rugby in Australia is going to suffer.

      Change is required.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 7:52am
        Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 7:52am | ! Report

        I’m sick of all this rubbish about ‘needing an Australian coach’ – news flash, we suck and our coaches are not doing a good job either. Eddie Jones and Link are the only good ones, one is coaxhing England and the other was subject to a campaign of accusations by tabloid newspapers until he retired. England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales don’t persist with this arrogance of thinking their home grown coaches are all the best.

        It’s clear if we don’t hire foreign coaches (basically, Kiwis or Jake White) we will fall more and more off the pace. And we will still be sitting here with the arrogance of thinking we need an Australian coach.

        We need foreigners in charge of every SR team and the Wallabies, and Australian assistants learning from them.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 8:00am
          Ryan said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

          Not hiring based on ethnicity is amateur thinking. NZ has a number of coaches who could do the job well or maybe even get Ted in as a consultant for a few months like he did for the Pumas.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 8:05am
            Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

            I still have dreams of pulling off a coup d’état and getting Wayne Smith as Wallabies coach.

            When I say dreams I think I mean fantasies.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 8:19am
              bigbaz said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

              I think the roar bloggers should coach by consensus, we’re all experts, maybe TWAS can be chairman of selectors and sheek head coach , that should be interesting.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 8:31am
                Simon Levingston said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

                Nicholas Bishop?

              • June 19th 2017 @ 8:49am
                bigbaz said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:49am | ! Report

                Too sensible

              • June 19th 2017 @ 9:15am
                jameswm said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

                Mick Byrne and Nick Bishop as analysts and assistants. The Kiwis are just way ahead of us in professionalism. Their standards are higher – coaches and p layers. Cheika is too old school. He is of use around the setup and works hard, but not all the coaches do.

                I have heard this admittedly 2nd or 3rd hand. But the difference in professionalism between the coaching and general setup between Australia and NZ is stark. It is no surprise NZ are ahead. It will take us 5 years to turn it around.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 11:19am
                sheek said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

                Bigbaz,

                Actually, the first rule in providing opinions is acknowledging you can be wrong.

                Just like the first rule of solving a problem is, admitting you have a problem.

                It obviously doesn’t come across in my opinions that I consider myself very fallible, but I do.

                But it is in my nature. I decided a long time ago the worst thing you can do is timidly sit on the fence waiting to see which way the majority goes before speaking.

                I think that’s cowardly.

                I’m not always right, but after 50-odd years you’ve seen a lot of life & you do develop strong opinions.

                What I try to do, as does indeed TWAS, is challenge people’s arguments. Basically the best way to shut me up is beat me with a superior argument.

                if I continue to babble on about something, it’s because no-one has given me a compelling, superior argument to shut me up.

                I also think the world would be a better place if people spoke up more often about all the things that are wrong in our society instead of following like compliant sheep.

                Politicians, employers, managers, advertising gurus, snake oil salesmen, multi national corporations, etc, they all love people who are compliant sheep.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 11:33am
                Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

                Agreed, sheek. Better than this silence from the ARU and Cheika. At least if they came out and admitted we are in crisis and articulated a plan for the future it would be something.

                Instead we face a deafening silence from all involved.

            • Roar Guru

              June 19th 2017 @ 9:20am
              Fox Saker said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

              Now that would be some Coup Fionn!

            • June 19th 2017 @ 9:21am
              Ryan said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

              Fionn – WS would be an exceptional acquisition for your lot. Dave Rennie is also more than capable, basically won trophies in every level bar the Abs.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 9:48am
                Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

                Whatever it takes, whomever it is, it needs to happen soon.

                I think it’s starting to dawn on the Kiwis how serious the crisis in rugby here is; and, for better or worse, New Zealand is right next to Aus and far away from South Africa and Europe. What is happening here isn’t in NZs interest.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 6:29pm
                zhenry said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

                NZRU have helped ARU at ther own expense, including the no of AU teams.
                I hope Tew has outgrown those silly decisions. NZ has to train itself to put its own interests first.
                ARU are big and uglier enough to help themselves, besides NZ gets derision in return.
                Help, but not at NZs expense

              • June 19th 2017 @ 1:50pm
                jameswm said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

                They don’t have to coach our national team and directly coach against players they have mentored. That might make it more palatable.

                What we need more, is guys to oversee and set up the top down coaching structure we need. Who should coach what, and how?

              • June 19th 2017 @ 2:02pm
                Jacko said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

                To be honest Fionn I think Aus rugby would benifit from a ground roots adviser more at the moment than an NZ or other country coach. The Australian rugby machine needs a few mods done and the right person could make those changes now for a better rugby future in 5 years. As for the coaching, I dont believe Aus public will ever accept a NZ coach again as it appears the anti NZ feelings in Aus rugby make it impossible for a NZ coach to perform their duty without the press and fans ball-busting all the time. Its funny really because Soccer, Gymnastics, Swimming, and many other sports welcome OS coaches because the sports are not producing Aus coaches but come to the main-stream sports and its a no-no

              • June 19th 2017 @ 6:31pm
                zhenry said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

                Agree Jacko.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 2:33pm
                Wozza said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

                Jacko atm I think we beleaguered fans would gladly accept a kiwi coach. I’d definitely have one over Jake White, I don’t want Jakeball, who I’d take over any current Oz coach bar Rod McQueen and maybe McKenzie if there’s an way they could be coaxed back. I remember when Rennie retired I was thinking, come here, come here.
                Also, how would a kiwi coach feel about coming here after how badly things ended with Deans. Would any rational coach want to work with the ARU after the way that episode unfolded? I think Wallabies coach would be the most challenging job in world rugby right now but unless there’s some changes, getting rid of Grey and Larkham, even Cheika who I’ve always liked despite, or maybe because of, his foibles it’s hard not to see a lot of unhappy annuses ahead

              • June 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm
                Bakkies said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                Rennie didn’t retire he is going to Glasgow

            • June 19th 2017 @ 10:18am
              P2R2 said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

              yes you have it right Fionn – a dream and a fantasy – Smith will have a break – but he will come back to the ABs….2019….bet your bottom dollar on that one..>!

            • June 19th 2017 @ 1:56pm
              Pinetree said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

              I think you will find Fionn that Wayne Smith does not like the head coach job and all the PR that goes with it. Wayne Smith prefers doing the role of technical assistant coach. Maybe from the bad experience as head coach with the ABs 2000-2001 dealing with the media. I believe if W Smith was part of the coaching staff for the Wallabies, the game plan and technical nous would be immediately apparent. Will actually be interesting to see how Hansen goes without Smith, but Hansen has plenty of other assistants in the brain trust as well.

              I certainly rate W Smith as one of the best technical coaches ever, starting from when he got the Crusaders from bottom of the table in 1996, to champions in 1998, and implementing the environment/pathways that made the Crusaders repeating Champions. Robbie Deans is a good coach, but I believe he fed off the systems that W Smith put in place to some degree.

              Robbie Deans certainly didn’t shine as a great coach as assistant to the ABs 2002-2003 or with the Wallabies as W Smith has at international level. W Smith was crucial I thought in the Chiefs titles in 2012-2013 as well.

              Of course credit for the Chiefs titles has to go to Rennie as well as first year as coach, but it did also collide with Smith having his first year with the Chiefs also

            • June 19th 2017 @ 3:32pm
              Dan54 said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

              Well Fionn he did say he wouldn’t coach a Tier 1 team against the ABs, but maybe if we wait a few years he won’t have conundrum with the Wallabies?

              Ok just jiving you

              • June 19th 2017 @ 4:41pm
                Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

                What is happening to Australian rugby is the worst thing possible for the Kiwis (and the All Blacks).

                I honestly believe it would be good for the All Blacks in the longterm of Aus won the Bledisloe at this point.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm
                ebop said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                No

              • June 20th 2017 @ 6:20am
                Gonzo said | June 20th 2017 @ 6:20am | ! Report

                NZ Rugby will always have their local derbies to make them stronger. If the Wallabies can’t meet the grade, thats their problem.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 8:54am
                Fionn said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

                That won’t help NZ if all of their players are playing in Europe due to being offered ten times the salary to play over there.

                Especially if there is a recession in New Zealand and the value of the NZD deteriorates.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 1:21pm
                Gonzo said | June 20th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

                Fionn. The ABs have weathered that storm with their sabattical contracts and alignment with AIG and Adidas. They have managed their money well to retain their top talent, hence why only fringe players move overseas. I know you think Australian Rugby is here to strengthen NZ Rugby but that’s delusion.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 1:29pm
                Fionn said | June 20th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

                I think you’re living in a fantasy, mate.

                Every year the salaries are getting bigger and bigger, more and more fringe players are signing (and more will continue to do so). I think the Lions and WC being two years ago has protected NZ somewhat from the flood that I suspect will be released after 2019.

                At the end of the day NZ has a market of 4.5 million thereabouts. NZ, Aus and SA only really have the financial clout to at least somewhat compete with the northern hemisphere together. If SR is to fall apart there’s just no way NZ will have the money required to keep their stars at home.

                For what it is worth, however, I hope for New Zealand’s sake that you’re right and I am wrong.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 9:42am
          Drongo said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          Australia has more foreign CEOs of major organisations than any other developed country. So it is not a national characteristic to hire on ‘ethnicity’ as one poster put it (rather inaccurately). But this is a coaching role, not a CEO role and the two roles are completely different.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 9:52am
            Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

            Yeah, and our Aussie rugby coaches are more out of their depth than Aussie corporate folks.

            It is time we admit we don’t have the expertise. The reason we hired Guus Hiddink for the Socceroos was because he was better than the Australian options, and, lo and behold, our results improved.

            Our intransigence to hire a foreign coach stems from arrogance in thinking this is still 1998 and we are at the cutting edge of rugby coaching – we aren’t – and from the Deans saga.

            Well, Deans’ problem was that hewas retained too long. If he hadn’t had his contract extended prematurely he would have left in 2011, with a pretty good record, but who ultimately failed at the last hurdle.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 10:53am
              Drongo said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

              No, not from arrogance, I see no evidence for that whatsoever. Robbie Deans is a Kiwi and a very good coach. There will be others who are not Australian citizens. We have an Australian as coach at the moment. But there will be more non-Australians. We have a very large number of foreign workers travelling here already, most of whom choose to apply for citizenship and many, many others lining up to get in. It’s an attractive place to ply your trade. But for now we have Cheika and I don’t think his story is over yet.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 10:28am
            stainlesssteve said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

            yes, but all the English-speaking countries are the same, Drongo
            There are foreign-born CEOs coming in from nowhere, and getting astronomical salaries.
            There even seems to be a trend to inventing companies for them to be in charge of:
            The Left-Handed Wheelchair Pole-vault Association welcomes Ms. Ratfink Barrel, 26, from Hungary, with a background in banking, as its new CEO

            • June 19th 2017 @ 10:54am
              Drongo said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

              Really? Ok, had not seen that!

        • Roar Guru

          June 19th 2017 @ 11:03am
          PeterK said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          fionn – I have been saying this for a while except it needs to go further. The head coach is only as good as the assistans now a days.

          Get NZ head and skill and attack coaches.

          English or SA lineout, scrum and kicking coaches

          Defence coach who has a proven track record.

          Put in aussie coaches in as interns just to learn from these guys.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 2:11pm
            Jacko said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

            Very true peter. The coaching does need to learn and why not have them being taught and instructed by better coaches. That is how most learn the job anyway. I actually had a laugh when I read it tho as I tried to imagine Cheika being told to apply for an internship as a coach under Hansen…My vision was of a large balding head exploding …LOL …The problem is that while rugby followers like yourself and Fionn just want your team tyo get better, there are others who fail to accept that Aus coaching is not great at present. Also it will take time to turn this around as learning always takes time.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 2:40pm
              Wozza said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

              Rod McQueen as a coaching consultant?

        • June 20th 2017 @ 7:21am
          mad mick said | June 20th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

          We don’t need the coaches at Super level we need them at junior level that’s where we need to have a great intentional coach. Get the best in the world and let them start coaching the coaches. It must now be looked at as a 10 year project. Quality will win out in the end over quantity.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 7:55am
      Ryan said | June 19th 2017 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      Spiro – well said. The wallabies are a mess, no skill, mental fortitude or guts especially vs the mighty All Blacks whom they fear even before they run onto the paddock. The world champions should send the wallaby coach a picture of their overloaded trophy cabinet to show what him what he’ll never ever achieve😏

      • June 19th 2017 @ 10:56am
        Drongo said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        They could send that to any coach of any country.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 11:01am
          Ryan said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          The comment is in reference to an article about Australian rugby woes, not any other country.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 1:45pm
        Ouch said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

        Why should they do that?

        That is something an insecure school kid would suggest.

        • June 20th 2017 @ 8:48am
          Ryan said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

          To give them something to aspire to, basic psychology.

    • Roar Guru

      June 19th 2017 @ 8:11am
      Carlos the Argie said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      No, I don’t think it is annus horribilis for the Wallabies. The Pumas are winning that argument. And the rest of Argie rugby is behind.

      Did you watch the England game? No one was spared! Even Lacey was remote controlling the match. He seemed disinterested too. There were some very nice tried for both teams, but it was a forgettable game.

      Sine Pichot enforced his strategic view for Argentina, it has been all downhill. The RWC was a false dawn. Very false. And to expect the guy who came up with that strategic view to be the one changing it is naive, at best.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 8:56am
        Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        At least we can empathise with each other, my friend.

        • Roar Guru

          June 19th 2017 @ 8:58am
          Carlos the Argie said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

          Sadly true.

          😢

          • June 19th 2017 @ 2:48pm
            Wozza said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

            It’s not a horrible annus competition Carlos. I feel for all who are suffering this affliction

            • June 19th 2017 @ 4:33pm
              Carlos the Argie said | June 19th 2017 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

              My issue is for those that originally claimed the system or plan was correct and now publish thinking pieces criticizing it.

              It was rotten at the start and now it shows in full maturity.

              Some Roarers have a short memory.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 10:57am
        Drongo said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        They have their national team playing together for months on end in SR so they should really be going ok, no?

        • June 19th 2017 @ 1:02pm
          Carlos the Argie said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

          Er, no. Sorry to inform you.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 5:13pm
          Bakkies said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

          The Pumas defence and kick chase was terrible.

          • June 20th 2017 @ 12:00am
            Carlos the Argie said | June 20th 2017 @ 12:00am | ! Report

            And their discipline too.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 8:14am
      Steve said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      I have to admit I find this whole situation hilarious, not the result but the carry on afterwards. I’ll admit I’m a rugby league person with only a passing interest in rugby union. Can people please answer me this question. Why do people seem to think that Australia should beat Scotland, is it because 20 years ago we beat them by 20 so that should always happen? How many times have the Kangaroos lost to the Kiwis in the last 10 years, 6 or 7 maybe, that’s a lot more embarrassing and nobody bats an eyelid. Some of the stuff I’ve read is ridiculous.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 9:17am
        jameswm said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        Because we are better than them p layer for player. That’s why.

        You’d need to have actually watched the game, which you presumably didn’t.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 9:48am
          Nambawan said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

          Don’t agree about the quality of the Australian players. From my observations the backs are not very skillful or athletic, and the forwards also not very skillful (particularly as ball handlers), or hard.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 9:49am
          Red Menace said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          Rather condescending J.

          I agree with Steve, it’s a typical rugby thing. As for player to player we are better is rubbish. Not one of our forwards would make the Scottish side. We got done by a better team who had four first team players out with the Lions, we had Kerevi out.

          I laughed when the East Coast Wallabies lost, hopefully this will happen often. Looks like it will.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 9:56am
            jameswm said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

            They scored tries from basic errors – chargedown and intercept. We made other basic errors.

            We’re better than that. I hope so, anyway.

            Disagree (strongly) the Scots are better player for player.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 10:36am
              Marto said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

              haha jameswm, @

              Don`t forget the beautifully constructed try the Scots scored…..You know the one where.
              Israel ” Lazy To The Bone ” Folau was just moping along slowly at the back and watching the try unfold before him… Whats he do?? He just let`s them waltz over and score.. What a joke of a player he is.

              Two tries, then nothing for the next 79 minutes and 50 seconds of the game. He also received the Seiko ARU player MOTM award ..Pathetic

            • June 19th 2017 @ 6:12pm
              timber said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

              I think the idea that the Wallabies are player-for-player better is a superficial assessment and indicative of a flawed mentality that has crept into Australian rugby; An obsession with big, fast, explosive athletics that are fundamentally poor rugby players, skill-wise and decision-wise. They look impressive in full flight but lack the subtle aspects that make players like Ben Smith, Dagg and Read world-class rugby players.
              Folau the natural, brilliant athlete, who hasn’t progressed in his rugby game sense or work ethic one iota over five seasons.
              Players like Nabuli, Speight, Kuridrani, Naiyaravoro, who are all one-dimensional and hence predictable.
              The problem is rugby is a multi-dimensional sport and charge downs and intercepts score points just as well as running rugby.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 9:47am
        Drongo said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:47am | ! Report

        You are correct. Spiro writes as if the World is ending when the no 6 team defeats the no 3 team. How often does that happen in NRL? A lot!
        We have now beaten them 5 out of the last eight and always narrowly. This could have been another narrow win or at least a draw with some better kicking and decision making.
        It is pretty much what should have been expected as a 40/60 bet.
        The Scots were much better than what Spiro gives them credit for. Their last try was quite brilliantly put together. But he blames our defensive coach.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 2:54pm
          Wozza said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

          The Scots are a better team but I think by and large our players are better at least potentially

          • June 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm
            Jacko said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

            I agree Wozza. I believe this current Aus team is capable of being the World no 3…problem is they fail to live up to their ability

            • June 19th 2017 @ 6:30pm
              Wozza said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

              Coaching and setup are terrible. I can’t believe how unskilled our guys are and that they just look so rudderless on the field. No leadership, no clue. How do we instil that? Why are your guys so good at it and why can’t we learn it from you or anyone. Drives me insane

      • June 19th 2017 @ 11:39am
        Nroko said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        Scotland are a good team and came here on the back of a strong 6 nations campaign where they beat Wales, Ireland and Italy. They got the beat from England big time but that was probably down to their approach and the occasion got to them.

        Also their club team reached the European championship final coached by Gregor townsend.

        The odds for Australia to beat scotland was ridiculous before the match. I didnt understand why Scotland were so underestimated by everyone.

      • Roar Guru

        June 19th 2017 @ 1:34pm
        jeznez said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

        Nobody bats an eyelid when the Kangaroos lose? Not sure that is true.

        And as far as the Wallabies record against Scotland – the Scots have now won three out of the last six matches between these two teams so they are pretty closely matched.

        The Scots have also now won three out of the last twenty one matches so the Wallabies do have a pretty strong background in beating them.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 2:20pm
        Jacko said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

        Its all about Expectation tho isnt it? NZ hardly plays league so therefore why would they expect to beat Aus. No one got all upset when Brasil beat the Aus Soccer team 2-nil the other day because they arnt expected to win. Same with Aus cricket…does Scotland get angry when their one day side looses to Aus…No as they didnt expect to win anyway.

        Aus rugby used to beat Scotland easy and the drop in results from a team that used to win is the upsetting part.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 2:23pm
          Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

          “Aus rugby used to beat Scotland easy and the drop in results from a team that used to win is the upsetting part.”

          Yes. It’s this exactly.

          We used to be one of the best rugby teams in the world, now we are awful.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 19th 2017 @ 2:28pm
            piru said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

            With respect Fionn – the Wallabies are not ‘awful’

            They are still the 3rd ranked rugby team in the world.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 3:03pm
              Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

              Pretty sure we’re 6 now – no?

            • June 19th 2017 @ 3:10pm
              Sydneysider said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

              “They are still the 3rd ranked rugby team in the world.”

              True, the ARU are lucky that world rugby doesn’t have depth beyond 8 nations. It’s a lot like cricket but with more nations playing rugby then cricket in terms of fully fledged XV a side status.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 19th 2017 @ 3:19pm
              Paul D said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

              Based on an online calculator I found we’ll be 4th come the update. Ireland 3rd by way of us conceding 1.72 to Scotland

              Scotland regain 5th from SA.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 19th 2017 @ 3:45pm
                piru said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

                Still hardly awful – the constant doomsaying gets a bit much

                There’s no team who considers the Wallabies easybeats

              • Roar Rookie

                June 19th 2017 @ 3:58pm
                Paul D said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

                No I agree. By the commentary sometimes you’d assume the Wallabies were on the verge of exiting tier 1.

                I think the teams ahead of us deserve to be, and the teams below us also. Scotland are deservedly 1 slot below us despite the result on the weekend. If they manage it again at years end they’ll likely overtake us at that point and it will be deserved. We are not there yet though.

                I think for all it’s problems the Ranking system is pretty accurate.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 19th 2017 @ 4:03pm
                piru said | June 19th 2017 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

                It looks bad because the current Aussie slump in form coincides with great improvement in England, Ireland and Scotland.

                Aussie will come back, of that I am certain – playing the All Blacks year in year out may not be the most fun, but steel sharpens steel.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 4:44pm
                Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

                If a team’s slump coincides with all your traditional rivals then you know it is an issue.

                I have been back to Ireland and rugby is booming there. Rugby is booming everywhere except for Australia.

                This isn’t a cyclical thing, this is the culmination of longterm toxic structures and poor coaching. We have some great athletes that keep is doing better than we deserve.

                We will probably improve by year’s end and may do okay at the WC, but unless the structural issues are fixed things will deteriorate more longterm.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 19th 2017 @ 4:49pm
                piru said | June 19th 2017 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

                Rugby is booming everywhere except for Australia

                I see that as encouraging, that the game itself is healthy, and if the Wallabies can just find their way back to form – and more importantly exciting rugby – the crowds and following will come back.

                Still the greatest game on earth

              • June 19th 2017 @ 5:07pm
                Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

                I mean the slump here coincides with a boom everywhere else.

                Perhaps you’re right, we will see.

                However, we are still both blessed and cursed to be next to NZ. Even if we get back to the quality of 2010/13/15 I don’t think it will be enough for the average Aussie fan. They measure us by our performance vs the All Blacks.

            • Roar Guru

              June 19th 2017 @ 4:06pm
              Timbo (L) said | June 19th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

              Ranked by the IRU, yes
              But not by me:
              New Zealand

              Daylight

              England,
              Ireland,

              I put Scotland, Australia and South Africa at 4 thru 6.
              I am not about to ague in which order.
              France and Argentina could have beaten Saturdays Wallabies.

            • Roar Guru

              June 19th 2017 @ 4:08pm
              Timbo (L) said | June 19th 2017 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

            • June 19th 2017 @ 5:18pm
              Bakkies said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

              Will be 6th after a poor 4 Nations and tour this year. The Boks are already moving up despite the French being ranked at 8th

              Win against Fiji and the Scots will over take the Wallabies

      • June 19th 2017 @ 6:43pm
        zhenry said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

        Steve, That’s the financial elite for you.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 8:16am
      Waxhead said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      I agree with Spiro that Hooper is not captain material.
      But for me the biggest coaching error was Hanigan for Fardy.

      Fardy was greatly missed against Scotland and Hanigan is no more than a young Dean Mumm.
      He lacks mongrel, ball running penetration, defensive muscle and breakdown skills this early in his career.
      He needs another few seasons in SR to harden up.

      Lucky Scotland did not either run or kick at Nabuli.
      Powell, Sio, Timani, Latu, Arnold, Niavalu, Kerevi & Speight (if fit) should be in run on team this week.

      And complain all you want about the coaching but reality is Aust has no one better atm 🙂

      • June 19th 2017 @ 8:24am
        Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

        So why not hire a foreign coach?

        • June 19th 2017 @ 9:06am
          John said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

          I think you know that there is a lot of opposition within the senior ranks of Australian rugby to hiring a foreign coach.
          Any foreign coach would know this and would know how Robbie Deans was undermined when he was the coach.
          First step is for the ARU to restructure the game from schoolboys up to the international team.
          When this issue has been accomplished then bring in a foreign head coach to oversee implementation of coaching skills at every level.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 9:10am
            Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

            I agree.

            I think we need a wholesale cleanout of all the vested interests at every level who are more interested in pushing their own agenda and benefiting their little slice of the pie than benefiting Australian rugby as a whole.

            I don’t see how the game can possibly recover after a few more years of this.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 9:23am
              jameswm said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

              Agreed, but the people who need to effect the cleanout are part of the problem. They’re not going to get rid of themselves, are they?

              • June 19th 2017 @ 9:42am
                Fionn said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

                You’re right. I don’t see it happening.

                But a man can dream.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 3:04pm
                Wozza said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                Rugby needs to follow soccer’s footsteps by launching a comprehensive investigation into all aspects of the game and actually implementing the findings.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 11:54am
              superba said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

              Fionn if the Wallabies start to win again the fickle rugby supporters eill return !

          • June 19th 2017 @ 11:29am
            Bakkies said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:29am | ! Report

            ‘Any foreign coach would know this and would know how Robbie Deans was undermined when he was the coach.’

            Wouldn’t phase Jake White or Nick Mallett. SA Rugby politics is levels above the nonsense that goes on in Australia and they were successful.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 3:12pm
              Wozza said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

              I don’t think the players have any right to oppose anything right now. Seriously, if players don’t buy into the program drop them. Is anyone indispensable at the moment?

              I like te idea of Mallet

            • June 20th 2017 @ 6:54am
              Gonzo said | June 20th 2017 @ 6:54am | ! Report

              I have this funny idea that someone would consistently steal Robbie’s danish from his office during his tenure as Wallaby coach.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 9:53am
          Drongo said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          We have a coach who has a contract and he should and will be left there until the contract expires. Don’t waste your time discussing a change of coach, it is not going to happen.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 10:39am
        Marto said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

        Waxhead @

        Nabuli?? They ran at Folau and scored instead..haha

        • June 19th 2017 @ 6:19pm
          MelB said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

          @Marto

          So what’s the beef against Folau? You seem to target Folau as the only culprit. Son, it’s a team sport, remember?

          • June 20th 2017 @ 11:54am
            Marto said | June 20th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

            MelC @

            He cant playyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Rugby ..

            That`s why we don’t ask you too many complex questions.. He was invisible all night bar 2 tries..

            Lazy mate, Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy !!!

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