Wallabies team for Bledisloe 3: Cheika makes one change for New Zealand clash

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

By Daniel Jeffrey, Daniel Jeffrey is a Roar Editor

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    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has opted for consistency in his Wallabies side to face New Zealand in the third and final Bledisloe Cup clash of the year, making just one forced change to the side which accounted for Argentina two weeks ago.

    Rob Simmons has been drafted into the back row in the starting XV in place of the injured Izack Rodda, after the young Queensland lock opted to have surgery on his shoulder earlier in the week.

    Simmons’ promotion to the run-on side has freed up a place on the bench, which has been taken by Waratahs youngster Ned Hanigan.

    Aside from the forced swap in the back row and bench, the rest of Cheika’s match-day 23 remains unchanged from the Wallabies outfit which finished their Rugby Championship campaign off with a 37-20 win over the Pumas in Argentina.

    Simmons will partner fellow lock Adam Coleman behind a front row of Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu, while skipper Michael Hooper will be joined once again by Jack Dempsey and Sean McMahon in the back row.

    In the backs, vice-captains Will Genia and Bernard Foley will direct the side from the halves, with Kurtley Beale and Tevita Kuridrani selected in the centres. Reece Hodge, who was one of the standouts in the Wallabies’ last match against Argentina, has been picked on the wing alongside Marika Koroibete, while Israel Folau will once again slot in at fullback.

    The match in Brisbane will be a momentous one for Stephen Moore, with the veteran hooker set to play his final Test on Australian soil in front of his home Brisbane crowd against the All Blacks. Moore’s 125th Test appearance will see him become the ninth most-capped Test player of all time.

    The match will also be a notable due to the jerseys worn by the Wallabies; the side will become the first national team in Australian sport to wear an indigenous jersey when they run out on Saturday night.

    The Wallabies, who haven’t beaten New Zealand since 2015, have as good an opportunity to grab a victory against New Zealand as they are likely to get anytime soon, with the All Blacks missing a number of key players for the Brisbane Test.

    Star playmaker Beauden Barrett, who scored the game-winning try in the thrilling Bledisloe 2 encounter earlier in the year, is out of Saturday night’s match with concussion symptoms, and locks Brodie Retallick and Luke Romano are both unavailable for selection.

    Wallabies team to face New Zealand in Bledisloe 3

    1. Scott Sio (38 Tests)
    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (77 Tests)
    3. Sekope Kepu (86 Tests)
    4. Rob Simmons (77 Tests)
    5. Adam Coleman (17 Tests)
    6. Jack Dempsey (5 Tests)
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (74 Tests)
    8. Sean McMahon (21 Tests)
    9. Will Genia (vc) (84 Tests)
    10. Bernard Foley (vc) (51 Tests)
    11. Reece Hodge (19 Tests)
    12. Kurtley Beale (66 Tests)
    13. Tevita Kuridrani (53 Tests)
    14. Marika Koroibete (3 Tests)
    15. Israel Folau (61 Tests)

    Reserves
    16. Stephen Moore (124 Tests)
    17. Tom Robertson (14 Tests)
    18. Allan Alaalatoa (18 Tests)
    19. Lukhan Tui (2 Tests)
    20. Ned Hanigan (8 Tests)
    21. Nick Phipps (57 Tests)
    22. Samu Kerevi (13 Tests)
    23. Henry Speight (17 Tests)

    In: Ned Hanigan
    Out: Izack Rodda (injured)

    Kick-off on Saturday night is scheduled for 8:05pm (AEDT, 7:05pm local time), and you’ll be able to catch live coverage and highlights of the match right here on The Roar.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.

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    The Crowd Says (172)

    • October 19th 2017 @ 1:50pm
      Fionn said | October 19th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

      I can’t help feel that if (when?) we lose this test Cheika—and all of Australia—will look back at this as a lost opportunity.

      We are facing an All Blacks team that must surely be struggling to find motivation for a meaningless (for them) test against us, and lacking three of their starting tight 5, Franks, Moody and, crucially, Retallick, as well as Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith and Milner-Skudder + Romano.

      Rather than choose our strongest team Cheika has gone with nice-guy Ned Flanders, Stephen Moore, Rob Simmons, Tui, Ned Flanders, Tom Robertson, Nick Phipps and Henry Speight.

      Take them out and add Uelese, Arnold, one of Simmons/Tui to the bench, Timani, Faulkner, Powell and someone like Tom Banks or Karmichael Hunt and we are so much stronger, particularly off the bench.

      • Roar Guru

        October 19th 2017 @ 2:08pm
        Machpants said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

        The ABs team for comparison. Not a huge bench impact there either. Good players, but apart from ALB, no BBBBB style game breakers at the end.

        The matchday 23 (with Test caps in brackets) is:

        1. Kane Hames (5)
        2. Dane Coles (54)
        3. Nepo Laulala (9)
        4. Samuel Whitelock (92)
        5. Scott Barrett (13)
        6. Liam Squire (12)
        7. Sam Cane (49)
        8. Kieran Read (106) – Captain
        9. Aaron Smith (67)
        10. Lima Sopoaga (12)
        11. Rieko Ioane (9)
        12. Sonny Bill Williams (42)
        13. Ryan Crotty (31)
        14. Waisake Naholo (14)
        15. Damian McKenzie (8)

        16. Codie Taylor (25)
        17. Wyatt Crockett (67)
        18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (10)
        19. Patrick Tuipulotu (14)
        20. Matt Todd (10)
        21. TJ Perenara (38)
        22. Anton Lienert-Brown (18)
        23. David Havili (2)

        • October 19th 2017 @ 2:10pm
          Fionn said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

          This is exactly my point, we’re facing a weakened All Blacks, we have not had a better chance of winning since we won in 2015. Cheika should be selecting our strongest possible 23 to give us the best chance of getting the win.

          I think Havili is a game-breaker, he is seriously good.

          • October 19th 2017 @ 2:33pm
            Akari said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

            It’s 405 WBs caps against 340 ABs caps in the starting forward pack. The WBs are a much stronger team on this basis, Fionn, but I do get what you mean.

            • October 19th 2017 @ 2:40pm
              Ed said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

              That doesn’t mean we have a better forward pack though. ABs have three forwards that could be considered for a world XV while we have one, and that depends on what you want your 7 to be.

              An item to consider for Saturday is the forecast – rain. We will need to kick much better than we have in the past, plus have the best chase the Wallabies have shown in years, otherwise their back three could cause some damage.

            • October 19th 2017 @ 2:53pm
              Highlander said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

              And 200 of those AB caps in the forwards, and a third of the caps in the side are in 2 players, whitelock and read.

              This is a seriously experienced wallaby side against the baby blacks.

              NZ will field 8 players with less than 15 caps, ( that just doesn’t happen) Australia just 2

              Only 30 caps in the NZ back three, if it rains will the wallabies kick…..and if they do, what will they do if the blacks catch one

              NZ will field best part of 400 caps less than the 2015 RWC winning side.

              Was about to bang out a piece on the experience difference but time a premium today, this will have to do.
              You can still get 5’s on the Wallabies

              • October 19th 2017 @ 2:56pm
                Fionn said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                I think this is right and true, but with the arguable exceptions of Moore, Phipps and Simmons the ‘weak’ players selected by Cheika are the low capped ones of Hanigan, Robertson and Speight.

                I do agree that the experience makes a difference though, and I doubt the All Blacks will be as polished as they were in Bledisloe 1 (I hope not anyway…).

              • October 19th 2017 @ 3:03pm
                Highlander said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                The Blacks do have their caps in the spine though.
                Coles, Whitelock, Read, Smith, Crotty – would feel better with more control at 15.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 4:24pm
                Perthstayer said | October 19th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                Highlander,

                Lots of caps, but how many for an ABs win?

                I don’t have team sheet but from memory the 2015 team included AAC, White, Fardy, Toomua, Giteau and Pocock. Good combination if stamina, cockiness and ability.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 6:41pm
                soapit said | October 19th 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

                so whats going on then highlander? why so many rookies? injuries or first choice being rested?

              • October 19th 2017 @ 8:06pm
                Highlander said | October 19th 2017 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

                No hiding or resting here, This is the best side they can field, injuries , sabbaticals and family absences.
                Moody, franks, Retallick, Beaudie, Dagg and B Smith – the newbies of squire and ioane are there on merit.

            • Roar Guru

              October 19th 2017 @ 3:48pm
              Cadfael said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

              Dpn’t forget that Don’t forget that 124 of our 405 test caps come from one player on the bench who shouldn’t be there to start with. That drops us down to 280 which is more realistic.

              I would play Tui at 6 and bring in Timani at 8.I would play Powell or Holmes on the bench in place of Phipps. Not5 sure on Hunt, he has had only 2 games from injury but possibly on the bench,

        • October 19th 2017 @ 2:27pm
          Mike Julz said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

          Whats BBBBB??

          • October 19th 2017 @ 2:31pm
            Jeffrey said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

            Big Big Big Bad Broadie perhaps? Most of us just call him Big Bad Broadie Retallick or BBBR.

            • October 19th 2017 @ 2:40pm
              Mike Julz said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

              Oh ok. 😂😂

            • October 19th 2017 @ 2:55pm
              Highlander said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

              Mr Retallick is prob fine for you.

            • October 19th 2017 @ 3:11pm
              cuw said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

              so am i the only one who thought its Born Beautiful Brilliant Beauden Barrett 😛

          • Roar Guru

            October 19th 2017 @ 3:19pm
            Machpants said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            The acronym giving to Beaudy Barrett by our Bok bros ‘Bok beating bustard Beaudy Barrett’

            • October 19th 2017 @ 7:39pm
              Rugby Tragic said | October 19th 2017 @ 7:39pm | ! Report

              Yep by the one and only Mr Harry Jones … it, at least on the Roar … stuck!

          • October 19th 2017 @ 3:29pm
            Akari said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

            Bok Beating Bastard Beauden Barrett and courtesy of our very own Harry Jones

          • October 19th 2017 @ 3:32pm
            PaulR said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

            I believe it comes from a Saffa, possibly Harry Jones, and is “Beauden Bloody Boks Beating Barrett”.

            Paul

            • Roar Guru

              October 19th 2017 @ 5:49pm
              Harry Jones said | October 19th 2017 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

              The exact verbiage is

              Beauden Bok Beating Bastard Barrett

              But I could add a Bloody and a Brother

              • October 19th 2017 @ 10:49pm
                Mike Julz said | October 19th 2017 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

                Haha good one Harry.

              • October 20th 2017 @ 5:32am
                Taylorman said | October 20th 2017 @ 5:32am | ! Report

                You could add awesome! Oh wait…😀

          • Roar Guru

            October 19th 2017 @ 4:03pm
            Wal said | October 19th 2017 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

            Actually Started by Harry I think, after Beauden Barrett had rips SA’s hearts out for the umpteenth time.
            Started as Beauden Barrett, with additions such as Ba$tard each time he did something freaky to beat the Boks.

        • October 19th 2017 @ 3:50pm
          Stuart Bywater said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

          Like many Roarers i may have selected different players from the safety of my armchair. However, rather than push our regularly repeated bandwagons and criticise the selections from afar, let’s look at possible reasons the “controversial” players were selected. I am not defending the selected team but am merely trying to understand why these players were selected and the possible combinations, tactics and longitudinal strategies (i.e.the bench and changing sate of the game) these players offer.

          Simmons, Coleman and Dempsey offer three line-out options. Simmons adds considerable experience and speed.

          Hanigan replacing JD continues line-out options or adds a fourth if replacing SM or MH (with the obvious shuffle of JD to 7 or 8).

          Phipps is a great broken field runner especially against a tiring defence.

          The non-selection of KmH can be justified by his lack of match fitness. KB covers 5/8 so SK comes to 12, KB to 10 if BF is replaced. Speight is quicker than KmH which is handy if RH or MK are injured as NZ wings are very fast.

          Moore: the sentimental issues of his final Test/ home crowd is important for team morale and spirit although it can be argued that sentimentality has no role in professional sport. Moore provides experience between two developing props.

          Tui on the bench is a good way to gradually develop his experience as a potential long term WB.

          Robertson: The dark arts of scrummaging are beyond me. Mario Ledesma and Cheika clearly see value in him. He plays both sides of the scrum.

          More knowledgeable Roarers such as Nick Bishop, Brett McKay, Spiro, TWAS, Peter K, Fionn et al may provide insight into the importance of certain combinations, tactics and longitudinal strategies that the selected players may offer.

          • Roar Guru

            October 19th 2017 @ 4:43pm
            Timbo (L) said | October 19th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

            I don’t claim to be as knowledgeable as your analysts above but your insight looks pretty close to the money.

            Many of us forget, that when you play a dual 7’s back row you are automatically restricted with the remaining back 3 selections and reserves. You need to account for an emergency line out caller and Lock in case Coleman doesn’t go the distance – (Ned and Simmons)

            I Can’t understand Robertson, He has been owned in the scrum every time he has played, Sio not much better but at least he is great in the other aspects of the game. Faulkner was given a handful of minutes late in the game and then dropped (Not mentioned in this article). Slipper is on the road back and is probably just what the doctor ordered.

            The backs Baffle me every time I look at them. The high profile players are all renowned for their attacking skills, but are all pretty average in defense. That is where Hunt could/should get a look in, defending in the 12 channel, currently done by Hodge, from the #11 spot. By selecting Folau, and then Beale as defensive fullback, Cheik has painted himself into a corner forcing himself to need a #11 that is a balance between both a fast runner and a good defender.

            Cheika clearly values Folau’s attacking skills and engineers his back line around him, much like the Dual 7’s up front.

            I personally think that the knock-on effects of these two choices are the root cause of the Wallaby Woes. Pick one 7 and and a traditional fullback and everything gets simplified.

          • Roar Guru

            October 19th 2017 @ 6:05pm
            Machooka said | October 19th 2017 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

            Stuart… am I being assumptive here that when you refer to Simmons, as being ‘fast’, this is actually Ben Simmons to which you are referring?

            As to the rest of your comment… pretty much bang on the money.

            Oh, except the bit about Fionn… seriously!?! 🙂

            • October 20th 2017 @ 3:07am
              Stuart Bywater said | October 20th 2017 @ 3:07am | ! Report

              My reference to Rob Simmon’s speed was compared to other viable available lock options. At this stage of the RC only locks within the squad are familiar with line out calls as well as attacking and defensive strategies. RS and AC are perhaps more suited for Cheika’s up tempo game plan. RA’s big carries and defensive hits are valuable, but he may need to lift his work-rate and drive to clean opposition players out of rucks, especially when we have a “light” back row. Other Roarers have mentioned the importance of rapid reloading and oxygen recovery especially when playing high intensity rugby.

              The absence of Brodie Retallick for tragic reasons will be acutely felt by the ABs. The ABs selected locks are both 198cm compared to 2m and 204cm for RS and AC. (The not selected RA is 210cm). The slight height advantage could see the WBs achieve parity in the lineouts.

              Nick Bishop, an outstanding analyst than most, praised Dempsey’s jumping technique and timing as well as his decision making regarding whom to lift in lineouts, hence my inclusion of JD as a lineout target.
              http://www.theroar.com.au/2017/10/18/jack-dempsey-test-match-heavyweight-just-pumped-middleweight/

              Nick suggests in the article that JD’s errors in the last quarter against Los Pumas was due to fatigue. If so then Cheika should replace him with NH or Tui after 60 minutes.

              Thanks Fionn for your analysis/prediction of the WBs game-plan based on the selected team.

              Regarding impact from the bench when it seems the impact players in the selected team are starting. Kerevi is an excellent 12 and as I said earlier, Phipps is a very good broken field runner and has a great understanding with Foley.

              The reserve forwards were (correctly) chosen from the playing squad. Hanigan and Tui both cover lock and blindside whilst Arnold is a lock only. I suggest that Hanigan is cover for Simmons and Tui is cover for AC.

              AAA may have impact as a prop. Moore’s experience may be decisive,

              There is more to choosing a rugby team than selecting the best 15 players. It is said that rugby is chess and league is checkers. Rugby is more complicated than chess. The loss of a particular player may require two or three changes to cover the lost skills. Michael Lewis’ excellent book “Moneyball” shows how Billy Beane recreated players by mixing and matching particular skills sets of other players. This perhaps contributed more to the success of the Oakland Athletics than Paul DePodesta’s sabermetrics.

              The team selections make sense after some brief analysis. Larkham and Ledesma also influence Cheika’s selections. All three see much more of the squad than us and know more about injuries etc,

              • Roar Guru

                October 20th 2017 @ 8:29am
                PeterK said | October 20th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

                good post

                Even taking into account that Cheika’s game plan is about mobility and workrate, forwards (other than frontrow) needing fast reload times I have significant issues with the team selected.

                The bench lacks finishers / impact players and a major reason the wallabies lost in Duniden despite a 17 point lead.

                Why was Robertson recalled? Faulkner performed better in the scrum and at least as well in general play.

                Ulese far better impact than the sentimental farewell (hopefully) selection of Moore.

                Arnold on the bench to cover Coleman as like for like otherwise to come on in the last 20-30 mins to add big impact. His work rate and reload would be sufficient for a 30 min cameo. Also means Tui can be retained ahead of the no impact Hanigan.

                Phipps gets little game time and has not performed well when he has come on, why persist with him?

                Kerevi is a good choice.

                Speight has never performed at intl level, he is not an impact player, compare him to what Naivalu does when he comes on.

                Banks would be a more versatile and better choice.
                He has more speed so could have a bigger impact. He kicks the ball well and in the wet that is very valuable.
                He covers wing and F/B.

                Beale covers 10 and Kerevi covers 12 and 13.

                Hunt also would be a better choice but accepted may not be fit enough. If he was then he covers 10,12 and f/b and indirectly wing (by Folau moving to wing).

          • October 19th 2017 @ 8:07pm
            Rhys Bosley said | October 19th 2017 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

            Well written. I too are sick of the whinging about selections. The fact is that to cover injuries, we need at least three players who can mix and match into each position. The selections are just one part of Rugby but they are over analysed online, probably because it is easier than looking at other factors that drive a team performance. It is a bit of a lazy form of analysis on the part of commentators.

            • October 19th 2017 @ 8:32pm
              Fionn said | October 19th 2017 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

              They say that a huge part of directing is casting the right people, the same thing can be said about coaching.

              To his credit Cheika is choosing dudes in the backline and forward pack that allow him to play the game that he wants to play, which it up tempo, ball-in-hand. I might not think that Beale is up to 12 defensively, but he suits Cheika’s strategy and he is one of the few world-class players the Wallabies have, he’s been fantastic in attack. Also, he’s gone for a back-row that will run the ball a lot and not tire (unlike guys like TImani who don’t have the same work-rate in terms of ball-running).

              We aren’t going to play a kicking for territory type game with Folau at 15 and Foley at 10, and with only our two locks as really good line out targets, which is what it is.

              I think that a Jake White-type strategy would probably work better in the long run than the high-risk, high-reward strategy Cheika is going for, but we know what we get with Cheika, and the team has been doing it pretty well ever since Dunedin.

              You can’t criticise the lack of line-out prowess without looking at the fact we only have two good jumpers in the 15; you can’t criticise the lack of breakdown efficacy without pointing out that we have chosen a back-row that is based more on ball-running that ruling the breakdown; you can’t criticise our defence without pointing out we have a 10-12 channel in which both players are defensively poor.

              The starting 15 will, I think, attack very well as they have all year. The team seems to have attack down pat (whether they defend well is another question), but the bench will offer little impact. Cheika seems way too conservative with both his selection and use of the bench. Kerevi and Tui are the only real impact players on it, and I suspect Kerevi will get only 10-15 mins. Happy to be proven wrong there though and to see him get most of a half. Phipps—as much as I think his pass is too inaccurate to be playing for the Wallabies—is arguably an impact player also, but Cheika clearly doesn’t trust Phipps, which is why Genia always seems to play at least 65+ minutes.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 9:10pm
                cuw said | October 19th 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

                its basic human behavoir. u want to hang with peeps u like.

                a director chooses his cast based on his experience with actors. simillarly coaches choose players he likes to coach.

                that is why some players dont get chances with a certain coach – just like some actors dont get roles with certain directors.

                but there is one big difference between actors and players.

                actors , especially the “A” listers have the power to dictate terms to directors , or even choose the director.

                that is not so with players and coaches.

            • October 19th 2017 @ 8:38pm
              Fionn said | October 19th 2017 @ 8:38pm | ! Report

              All that being said I think that if the team can get a lead early then they should be able to defend it better than in Dunedin. The team is playing the best they’ve played since the RWC and seem to have some belief.

              That’d be a really amazing sendoff for Moore also.

          • October 20th 2017 @ 5:59pm
            Fionn said | October 20th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

            Good post, Stuart. I think you’ve displayed more wisdom than I have in any of mine 🙂

        • Roar Guru

          October 19th 2017 @ 11:40pm
          Fox Saker said | October 19th 2017 @ 11:40pm | ! Report

      • October 19th 2017 @ 2:08pm
        Charlie Turner said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

        Cheika’s not really interested in winning, it’s all about learning from losing. This is a paradigm shift in sports psychology and he will be heralded as a visionary in the distant future. Forget about the expletive laden, petulant rants from the coaches box, the referee blaming, the wall punching, the blindness to hair pulling. It’s all part of constructing a wall the siege mentality can crouch behind.

        In Cheika’s mind losing is winning, if he could only convince Shag to do the same.

        • October 19th 2017 @ 2:11pm
          Fionn said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

          This made me smile 🙂 thank you.

        • October 19th 2017 @ 2:45pm
          Drongo said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

          Agreed. Those expletive laden, petulant rants from the coaches box don’t seem to have harmed Craig Bellamy or his team much.

          • October 19th 2017 @ 2:55pm
            Charlie Turner said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

            The Storm gave Bellamy a directive to take it to the back of the box, so the viewing public (and players) are spared. To his credit he has complied.

            • October 19th 2017 @ 3:16pm
              cuw said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

              maybe wallabies shud do same.

              i watch a lot of rugger from all over the world , and hardly see anyone do that in rugger. footy yes ofcourse.

              i think the closest to Cheika in rugger was Cockerill in aviva , but he is no longer with tigers.

              in Top14 for eg, the coaches are on the ground ( like in footy ) but they do behave well , atleast when the Tv cams are on them 🙂

              • Roar Guru

                October 19th 2017 @ 4:44pm
                Timbo (L) said | October 19th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

                I think he did in the last game.

            • October 19th 2017 @ 10:20pm
              Pete said | October 19th 2017 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

              Go back to the dark side Turner wrong forum

        • October 19th 2017 @ 3:27pm
          Frank said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

          Funny

      • October 19th 2017 @ 2:39pm
        Roy King said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        Missed opportunity – agree. ABs are at their relative weekest for a while. I would like to have seen more robust options in the tight 5 to complement the hard working but light weight
        backrow. With Simmons, the scrum looks vulnerable. Arnold ahead of him for mine and definitely Hanigan out for virtually anyone. Would have liked to have seen Hunt on the bench instead of Speight. Even if he’s lacking a bit of match fitness and the pace of Speight, his previous form, experience, versatility and nouce would be worth the risk.

      • October 19th 2017 @ 2:39pm
        Worlds Biggest said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        Agree with you Fionn, Ned Flanders back in ??

      • October 19th 2017 @ 4:05pm
        Pavid Doccok said | October 19th 2017 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

        Hey Fionn,

        You’re a Brumbies fan right? Why the Speight hate? Best pilfering winger in the country I’d say. Makes up for the non pilfering no 7 we currently have…

        I agree with you re Havili. He is ridiculously good!

        Also it remains a travesty that neither of the Arnold twins have been picked in recent times…

        • Roar Guru

          October 20th 2017 @ 8:35am
          PeterK said | October 20th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

          Speight has never had a very good game in all the tests he has played.

          He is poor defensively , can’t kick, and it will be in the wet, and he is not that quick.
          He is not an impact player.
          Banks or Hunt better chocies in terms of impact and versatility.

          Richard Arnold has not had enough experience. At the force both Phillip and HP played better. Phillip should be on the bench ahead of Tui. Phillip may well be starting if he had been given a chance since he has a high work rate , quick reload, and has physicailty.

          Rory Arnold should be on the bench at the minimum.

          • Roar Guru

            October 20th 2017 @ 1:07pm
            Fox Saker said | October 20th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

            Yes Speight has been a disappointed at test level and is bit one dimensional . There are better options and Hodge is doing s decent job on the wing. He has more to his game as well and at least he goes looking for the ball which is trait of any good winger.

        • October 20th 2017 @ 8:40am
          Fionn said | October 20th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

          I don’t hate Speight. I think he is a very good Brumby but should only be a Wallaby if injuries hit a lot of others.

          He has a good step, but he seems to lack the top end speed and/or explosive power to really make an impact at international level.

          He is excellent at rucking, but his defence has been really questionable too often.

          I have only seen Richie play a bit and he has been impressive, and he is a giant of a man, like his brother. If he continues to develop it’d be interesting to see a 23 with both Arnolds + Coleman, wouldn’t it?

      • October 19th 2017 @ 6:11pm
        scubasteve said | October 19th 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

        100% agree with your selection. This was the team to make. Moore and Hanigan and Speight should not be in the team.

        • Roar Guru

          October 20th 2017 @ 8:35am
          PeterK said | October 20th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

          nor Robertson

      • October 19th 2017 @ 9:56pm
        waxhead said | October 19th 2017 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

        Fionn – totally agree with you except for your call on Speight.
        He should be in the run on team imo.
        This team will get flogged again imo

        • Roar Guru

          October 20th 2017 @ 8:36am
          PeterK said | October 20th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

          Both Hodge and Koirebete are far far better than Speight who has never had a very good game at intl level, a couple of good games at best. He has a worse strike rate re performance than even Foley.

      • October 19th 2017 @ 10:16pm
        PiratesRugby said | October 19th 2017 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

        Simmons is not as good as he used to be and he was never that good. For his own sake, Moore should not be in the side. Hannigan and Robertson make the bench a sucking wound. Why is Phipps still there?
        I cannot believe people hold up Dunedin as a great performance. Sure, we weren’t crushed 57-0. Our scrum was smashed. Our restarts were terrible. We were humiliated at the breakdown. “It wasn’t as bad as we had feared” now is a cause for celebration.
        What result on Saturday will finally get Cheika sacked? What ridiculous stat will people use to put a positive spin on another loss? We topped the tackle count? Or, Hooper topped the tackle count? Or Foley made all his kicks? Or Goley didn’t make his kicks but if he had the result would have been different? I think most supporters will settle on “there’s no one to replace Cheika”. Yeah, cos if someone else was coaching we’d lose all the time.

    • October 19th 2017 @ 1:52pm
      Hello said | October 19th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

      I have the same 2 problems that I have had for most of this test season.
      Ned & Robertson

      • October 19th 2017 @ 2:29pm
        Connor33 said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

        Agreed.

      • October 19th 2017 @ 2:56pm
        ethan said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

        I’ll add Speight to the list. Karmichael off the bench seemed a no brainer.

    • October 19th 2017 @ 1:59pm
      Hello said | October 19th 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

      I agree that Ned is worth mention twice in this regard 🙂

    • October 19th 2017 @ 2:12pm
      Bluesfan said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

      With the last two World Players of the Year out for the AB’s – Retallick/Barrett – along with two top props and Ben Smith – a betting man would be putting some serious money on the Wallabies – currently on the TAB in NZ – Head to Head the Wallabies are paying $5.60 for the win.

      Those are crazy odds when you consider the last test + the amount of AB’s missing through Injury etc + potential lack of motivation (Bled/RC already won and put away for the year) – I’m obviously backing an AB’s win – but would not be surprised if they lose this test.

      • October 19th 2017 @ 3:01pm
        ethan said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

        Aussies to be thereabouts for 65 minutes. Then Hanigan comes on and misses clean outs. Robertson comes on and drops scrums. Phipps come on and throws wild passes. Speight comes on and misses tackles. And because of all these errors, Kerevi can’t get his hands on the pill.

        • Roar Guru

          October 19th 2017 @ 4:46pm
          Timbo (L) said | October 19th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

          A succinct prediction, albeit easy to make based on previous form.

      • October 20th 2017 @ 6:45am
        Taylorman said | October 20th 2017 @ 6:45am | ! Report

        6.50? Might get some of that. This test is definitely loseable. I mean we played Kaino at lock versus Ireland and all helll seemed to break lose.

    • October 19th 2017 @ 2:28pm
      Ned Flanders said | October 19th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

      Let’s hope I really rip in and menace that breakdown. I really wasn’t happy with ring benched then dropped. I’m a Waratah damnit! I thought I was a shoo in for a starting spot. Love playing second row but am still learning the blindside position! Thanks Cheika for handing me another cap!

      • October 19th 2017 @ 3:46pm
        Akari said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

        You’ll be right but in a year or two, Ned. You really should be playing in the last few NRC games and Cheika should really stop messing around with your time and game.

      • October 19th 2017 @ 9:59pm
        waxhead said | October 19th 2017 @ 9:59pm | ! Report

        Right you are Ned.
        Keep up the good work and hang onto that Waratah contract or you’re stuffed mate 🙂

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