Has Quade Cooper made the right call for the right reasons?

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    If Quade Cooper only re-signed with the ARU in the belief Robbie Deans will be sacked as Wallaby coach sooner than later, forget it.

    Deans will be the coach against the Lions next year, and depending on that series, will coach the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship, and take the men in gold on their end of year tour to the northern hemisphere.

    Then his contract expires. Then and only then will Deans be at risk, but that’s 13 Tests away.

    Cooper has a bigger problem than Deans. The Queenslander is no automatic selection in any Wallaby lineup from here on in unless he starts earning his spot.

    And he has 13 Tests to do it next year.

    I can’t see Deans lasting beyond December 2013, if in fact he wants to. My gut feeling is his birth-place Christchurch looms large in his future plans.

    One thing for sure, Robbie Deans is no coward. He’s copped plenty of flack, none more so than on The Roar, but he’s never wavered once during his watch.

    Having said that, five years and 84 Tests will be a fair dig, the most of any Wallaby coach in the professional era ahead of Eddie Jones’ 57, Rod Macqueen’s 43, and John Connolly’s 25.

    The big difference is the win percentage – Macqueen 79.1, Connolly 64, Deans currently 59.2, and Jones 57.9.

    Deans has the chance to improve on his win percentage in 2013, starting with the Lions during June and into July, then the Rugby Championship against the All Blacks, Boks, and Pumas from August 17 to October 5 and the four internationals at the end of the year.

    Only then will Cooper possibly have his undoubted wish to have Ewen McKenzie as Wallaby coach, but there’s a lot of water to flow under the bridge yet.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (97)

    • December 9th 2012 @ 6:40am
      Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 6:40am | ! Report

      Well to earn your spot you need to be the best in your position at S15 level. Only CL has come close so it shouldn’t be a “big problem”.

      • December 9th 2012 @ 7:23am
        Billy Bob said | December 9th 2012 @ 7:23am | ! Report

        Yes Justin and David., talk of Cooper ‘earning his spot ‘ is a strange call for me.
        Sure he could zip it off the field. He could also refrain from poking the beehive that is the halo around the NZ captain. And finally he could just recover from a serious knee injury.
        I don’t understand this talk of Cooper’s so called ‘poor form’ He is recovering from an injury that has required two operations. One recently.
        Ridiculous pressure to perform on recovering player, much?
        And other than CL, who is also recovering, who really has the form expected of cooper?

        • December 9th 2012 @ 8:30am
          David Lord said | December 9th 2012 @ 8:30am | ! Report

          Depends Justin2 and Billy Bob where you want to play Kurtley Beale?

          • December 9th 2012 @ 10:08am
            Train Without A Station said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:08am | ! Report

            Back to fullback where he belongs. David if you think Beale showed signs of being a quality flyhalf for the Wallabies you are delusional. He had a few good games for the Rebels there but for the Wallabies his good form, wasn’t as a man controlling the game and putting his outside men into space.

            • December 9th 2012 @ 8:54pm
              Mango Jack said | December 9th 2012 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

              Ah, but isn’t Folau the walk in Wallabies fullback? At least according to the hysterical reports about how he is going to transform the game.

          • December 9th 2012 @ 10:13am
            Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:13am | ! Report

            Not at 10 is the simple answer, not up to organizing a team at this level and has been sub standard on this tour. If he can learn to take the high ball then 15. He should be able to learn this, it’s baffling he hasn’t yet.

          • December 9th 2012 @ 6:41pm
            bigbamboo said | December 9th 2012 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

            the problem with the ARU is that they are delusional and out of touch old boys with similar thought process to rugby as David Lord…in other words absolutely no idea

            • December 9th 2012 @ 9:17pm
              GWS said | December 9th 2012 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

              Hahaha finally someone agrees

        • December 9th 2012 @ 10:51am
          Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          Well I will explain “poor form” for you. In the majority of tests he has played since 2010 he has not played well. He was poor against Aust and SA this year, he was poor in the WC which is where it matters most.
          This combined with the fact the Wallabies must kowtow to his fragile ego and his inability to defend by having to reorganise their defence in order for his absurd lack of tackling ability for a professional rugby player be accomodated.
          I mean seriously? A devisive, inconsistent, disloyal, loud mouth, arrogant guy that wants, no expects the team to not only change its culture for him but change its defensive pattern so his weakness doesnt get exposed?
          Im telling you this Ausie fans, NO other country envies you having such a player. Most other countries expect their players to be loyal, adequate enough defenders, consistent, passionate and a little bit responsible. RESPONSIBLE, as in taking responsibility for your own actions. This means not stealing lap tops, driving without a liscence, getting involved in street fights, twittering damaging comments time and time again, trashing your team on national TV and blaming it, turning your back on the team and jumper whilst trying to blame your brain farts, lack of form and inconsistency on others.

          • December 9th 2012 @ 11:14am
            Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:14am | ! Report

            If I was Aust, I would ask the Rebels to play JOC at 10. With options at 10 of JOC, Beale, Lealiifano and Barnes there is absolutely no need for Cooper and all his negative baggage.
            I notice many of Deans most vocal critics also are Quades most perochial supporters.
            Did you know that McKenzie has been sacked from 2 of his last 3 coaching roles? The Tahs citing lack of enterprise in attack.
            He then takes over the Reds and gets credit for taking them to a title and finals birth. So…Genia, Tapuai, Cooper, Ioane, Harris, Higgs, the Faingaas, Slipper, Horwill, Shipperly and all the talent that came through since 09 had nothing to do with it?
            Too often the coach gets the credit and blame for his players.
            Its like giving one coach a muscle car and another coach a Honda Civic, having them drag and then crediting the coach in the muscle car with the win.

            • December 9th 2012 @ 11:56am
              GWS said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:56am | ! Report

              So the wbs are a Honda civic?
              Seriously rd can select any or all the player’s link can

              • December 9th 2012 @ 12:25pm
                Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

                What?
                I think you are confused.
                Nobody is the coach in the civic. It was meant as a demonstration that the players are the main influence and not the coach. Sure the driver must change gears but how bad does the driver of a muscle car have to be to be beaten bu the civic?
                Get it?
                Deans does well with Cantabury but only OK with the Wallabies. Henry does well with the ABs but rubbish with Arg, Lions and has to step down from Wales. Mitchell wins the Currie cup but finishes down the bottom of Super Rugby. McKenzie gets sacked twice in a row and then wins Super Rugby. In 2011 Deans wins the 3 nats and beats SA, Wal, NZ and comes 3rd at the WC, winning 70% of all games with 3 trys per game but in 2012 the world comes to an end for Aust fans and the Wallabies dont do as well only winning 60% (ahhhhhhh! The end is nigh) and only 1 try per game.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 1:39pm
                ohtani's jacket said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

                Robbie Deans.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 1:40pm
                ohtani's jacket said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

                In 2003, Deans won the 3 nats, came 3rd at the WC, won 86% of all games with 6 trys per game but we still didn’t want him back.

              • Roar Guru

                December 9th 2012 @ 1:49pm
                jeznez said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                Nah, Eddie Jones was in charge in 2003 and we came 2nd at the WC…….. 🙂

              • Roar Guru

                December 9th 2012 @ 1:50pm
                jeznez said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

                ps I wanted Eddie sacked too!

              • December 9th 2012 @ 2:59pm
                Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

                Well Ohtani you cant be from Cantabury where Deans coached the 2 teams for 13 years and helped win 7 super titles. McKenzie helped win one. Quick sack Deans for McKenzie now! Instead of McKenzie getting the sack which is the norm.
                Deans has been coach during 7 super titles, three 3 nats victories and an NPC title at least.
                But hang on a mo! The Wallabies didnt destroy everyone this year. That must mean McKenzie is the man to guide Aust from here on and Robbie Deans is evil personified. GRAB THE PITCHFORKS. I mean surely the injury crisis had nothing to do with it. Surely 3 games in a week against Scot Wales and a super team didnt effect the players. Surely it was Robbie Deans fault. It must be. It has to be. I will be sure to imply that it is no matter what and I will be damn sure to dismiss all the OVERWHELMING evidence to the contrary.

            • December 9th 2012 @ 12:10pm
              Big Boppa said | December 9th 2012 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              Hightackle – it not actually about assemblng a bunch of talented individuals, its actually about getting them to play toether and to the best of their ability. The super coaches find lots of players that Robbie uses so its hard to give Robbie credit for finding them – his job is to get them to play together and display their talents – events in 2012 suggest there is an issue with this. Robbie can use any or all of the Reds players – the fact that there is only one Reds player in the last starting two starting test teams (Tapuai – Higgers has left of course) says something – Robbies choice of course but he should also get the accountability – cant have it both ways

              • December 9th 2012 @ 12:33pm
                Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

                Im not suggesting he use the Reds players!

                Reds wallabies in 2011.
                Slipper, Ioane, Harris, Genia, Tapuai, Gil, Higgs, Shipperly, Morohan, Slipper, Samo, Faingaa x2, Simmons and Horwill has been injured.

                You are both confused.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 12:42pm
                Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

                Like I said, you must select the right gears but you cant win Bathurst in a civic. And no the civic is not the Wallabies (wtf).
                Sure you must get the players to play well but that takes continuation and stability. Like the Wallabies had in 2010-2011 seasons. They did not have that in 2012. They had like 4 different FBs, 4 different 10s, 4 different 12s 8 different wings etc and it wasnt about allowing players test time, it was a constant forced turnover.
                Yes Deans should take responsibility but for what? Winning 60% despite the difficulties? Thats not what you had in mind was it?

              • December 9th 2012 @ 10:28pm
                Big Boppa said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

                To get the team to play well it takes “continuation and stability” Yes they have had injuries but many of the combination changs you use as evidence were a direct result of tinkering with selections – Drew Mitchell is a classic example – it cant be an excuse if its man made. I would suggest that a good game plan and playing style might be of help too.

                You talk about who has been sacked but if the real world existed and the ARU was consistent with its approach as in the past – Deans would already have been sacked on his win% – Its more good fortune that it hasnt happened. Given Chieka just got sacked from the same club as McKenzie does that also make him ineligible in your mind?

            • December 9th 2012 @ 3:16pm
              Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

              Well fark me, a coach being fired from his last gig. Who would have thought it!

            • December 9th 2012 @ 3:17pm
              Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

              Well fark me, a coach being fired from his last gig. Who would have thought it!

              Keep the pearls coming, I’m grabbing the popcorn…back in a sec.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 4:31pm
                Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

                There is an echo in here?
                No need to get the popcorn for you Justin. I will wrap up all you have to say with 3 words “I hate Deans”.
                Yes McKenzie was fired. Fired from the Tahs for poor performances and lack of attacking rugby. What was the reason you wanted McKenzie over Deans?
                But yeah heaps of coaches get sacked mid season like McKenzie, like ummm… hang on… give me a mo…Im sure Mckenzie is just one of dozens to be sacked from his job half way through the season TWICE. Deans has been sacked…well Deans is like the exception to the rule. So what if Deans hasnt been sacked in 20 years of coaching and McKenzie has been twice in the last 5. Its common. It is damn it!

              • December 9th 2012 @ 4:59pm
                Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

                I don’t know Deans so pretty hard for me to hate him. What I do know is we are playing poor rugby, we are fortunate that this is not a golden era IMO of world rugby and we are getting by with great courage and good fortune than good planning.

                McKenzie – clearly can coach as can others. He might or might not be the man but I know Robbie no longer is. Do we continue to decline or get a fresh man in with fresh ideas who revive this squad that I think has so much talent?

                The rest of your rant is just that. The vast majority of coaches get sacked, it’s part of the profession. Do you not believe that for some ungodly reason?

                Do you think the wallabies are playing well, playing to their potential, playing with any joy, verve or skill? I don’t and not other playing with any discernible plan.

                It’s been 5 years, it hasn’t worked, let’s move on.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 4:51pm
                Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

                Last 2 gigs Justin, last TWO gigs.

                I dont mind McKenzie and I dont blame him for his teams poor play that caused his loss of employment twice in a row. Im not going to pretend thats common becuz it isnt but I am going to stand by my civic/muscle car analogy.
                Far too often one man gets the blame for what 35 men are doing.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 9:39pm
                GWS said | December 9th 2012 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

                So. One man driving a civic muscle car gets blamed for 35 coaches getting a sack from a poor performance…

        • December 9th 2012 @ 4:20pm
          Rob from Brumby Country said | December 9th 2012 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

          Wait, so your argument for Cooper to be playing Test level rugby is that he is the best candidate available in spite of the fact that he is still recovering from injury?

          Did you not watch him playing against New Zealand or Argentina? He was awful! Perhaps he is recovering from injury, but if that’s his excuse, what on earth was he doing on the paddock?

          In any case, his form had nosedived prior to his injury. Remember that ‘World Cup’ thing?

          But this is all history now, and next year is a new year. If he can play better than all other candidates next season, then sure, he should earn himself another shot. Just don’t fool yourself into believing he is an automatic selection, everyone has to earn their stripes, no exceptions.

          Not even the coach.

      • December 9th 2012 @ 7:56am
        mark said | December 9th 2012 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        you need to be the best in your position for test rugby.

        test rugby is not super xv.

        so thats why you don’t understand why QC should not be in the wallabies.

        • December 9th 2012 @ 9:53am
          Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          He’s that also, mind you your theory could easily apply to coaches too 😉

          • December 9th 2012 @ 9:55am
            mark said | December 9th 2012 @ 9:55am | ! Report

            it could certainly

          • December 9th 2012 @ 1:18pm
            Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

            No he isnt.
            For all the crap Beale and Barnes have copped, the truth is that Barnes has played very well at times and got 2 motm awards against Wales at 10. Beale has not played that well but not as bad as Cooper was in his last 3 full tests.
            Cooper has a lot of talent but not the physicality, mental ability or defence to be a test player.
            Carter, Wilkinson, Larkam, Fox and many other great 10s were in a completely different mould to Cooper. That does not mean Cooper cant succeed but I cant see him getting his head right. You can do all the training in the world but if you struggle when the lights are brightest, you will never live up to your potential. We will see

        • December 9th 2012 @ 9:55am
          Uncle Argyle said | December 9th 2012 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          Good Morning Mark,

          whilst I agree with elements of your comments this morning I think the defences are not as good as you make them out. England and Scotland had the ability to cross the All Blacks line. France, Sth Sfrica and NZ had games were they busted us open.

          Your arguement may appease Deans supporters but other sides clearly can put multiple tries againt top 4 teams. I dont think Deans would be playing different rugby with JOC or Horwill in the team.

          • December 9th 2012 @ 10:12am
            mark said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:12am | ! Report

            it’s a theory that is widely recognised amongst players.

            I read in rugby world mag recently Ryan jones for instance talking about the change in the physical standards of players. He has been around for awhile and to paraphrase him, for example says that players even four years ago were not as powerful as today. He also stated that a player from 10 years ago would simply not be physically competitive in todays game against any of the major nations.

            tries will still be scored but try scoring has plummetted since say 1995 yet when comparing play from 1995 rwc to 2011 rwc;

            Ball in play has increased by 33 per cent
            Passes have gone from 179 per match to 263 – an increase of almost 50 per cent
            Rucks/mauls have more than doubled, going up by almost 100 from 69 per match to 162 per match
            Kicks have gone down from 75 to 41 per match
            Scrums have gone down from 27 to 17 with lineouts down from 37 to 24

            yet there are far fewer tries despite all the extra play. Defence reigns supreme!

            • December 9th 2012 @ 11:12am
              Uncle Argyle said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:12am | ! Report

              True however it is only reletive to who is playing today. For example the 1995 Bok’s dont play against the 2012 All Blacks. I would guarded against excusing the Wallabies poor try scoring record on the better defence going around today. As pointed out Scotland put 3 past NZ in 1 test and we notched 1 in 3.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 11:28am
                TJ said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                we can all cherry pick specific examples of high or low scoring test match rugby.
                take the new zealand series against ireland this year. one game had i think 1 try only and the next had more tries than some might score in a season.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 11:32am
                mark said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:32am | ! Report

                Cherry picking scotland scoring 3 tries in a test is not a good argument. there are always cherry picking examples but we are talking about trends and averages and the fact is there are less tries today than at all other stages in the proffessional era. We are not going to be scoring 3 or 4 tries on average a match on our own against anybody we normally play very often. that is a fact and against the ebst sides ie SA and NZ we very rarely scored more than 2 or 3 tries against them anyway in any year.

                against the europeans nations we need to get used to not being able to score a plethora of tries. they are fully proffessional athletes and we are not superman.

                1 try a match for us is low granted. But it is not that we are playing a style not trying to score. we’ve come up against some very good defensive performances and of course the plethora of injuries we’ve had has not helped exposing our lack of depth. We’ve done well to win those games.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 3:06pm
                Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

                TJ – its not cherry picking though, we have been woeful all year!

              • December 9th 2012 @ 4:36pm
                Chivas said | December 9th 2012 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

                You should also guard against thinking QC is the key to unlocking defences. I think he struggles under pressure or on the back foot and that is why coaches swap him in and out to protect against his weaknesses.

                I am sure most of it is mental. It’s the same with tackling. The harder you go in the less chance of getting hurt and if you do it will be quick and painful :-). But seriously hesitation is the killer and QC is hesitating and the last kick which I saw getting charged down, he took a week to kick it and seemed unaware of the time he had.

                I am not crtiquing him on his mistakes. everyone makes them. But his mental toughness under pressure is still unproven in my book and that makes him a target at international level.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 5:04pm
                Uncle Argyle said | December 9th 2012 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

                Hi Chivas – I think the game plan needs to be addressed. All players have their vulnerabilities. Cooper has not excelled as much as his talent offers. I think his best international rugby is ahead of him.

                There is no other 10 in Australia with his vision or passing game. Australia needs to impove in attack, Beale runs too lateral, Barnes kicks too much. O’Connor is good but does not have Coopers passing game. CL has no international form nor Bernard Foley. I think Cooper will back. I hope to an attack minded Wallabies.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 11:25pm
                Chivas said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:25pm | ! Report

                I agree a game plan needs to be built around the players available and QC needs to be able to adjust to that. I also agree about QC’s potential is greater than any other options.

                However I also think he needs to come to the party and step up his defence. He needs to be a bit more than a roadbump. Tackling really isn’t the hardest thing in the world and for him to be such a liability at his age really is pretty poor. Nobody expects him to be a Johnny Wilkinson, and he has those around him who can help.

                He also needs to improve his field kicking… having a long pass, a bit of trickery and a step is really not enough for an international first five. But without him, I don’t see someone else who can set up players like Beale, JOC, Ioane et al from first five. I also don’t think the midfield combination has been finalised. I would like to think Tapuai could be another Conrad Smith or Jason Little and bring JOC into 2nd five (IC). I know this leaves AAC either on the bench or fullback, but it’s either that or slot JOC onto the wing and put Beale at fullback.

                I am also not sure who can put in the long raking kicks which are currently missing, which I think is really the issue with the Wallaby kicking game. Obviously the pointless grubbers and attempted chip kicks need to go and be used infrequently, rather than frequently as is currently the case.

                But before JOC got injured they were dangerous, now they have lost the edge in terms of unpredicatbility which he gave them. I think the other backs have improved over the season and I definitely think 2013 will be a more telling year if they can remain uninjured and build on their skills and fitness before the Lions tour.

            • December 9th 2012 @ 11:15am
              atlas said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:15am | ! Report

              “try scoring has plummetted since say 1995”
              Yet one international side, current #1 ranked, scored an even 50 tries this season.
              More than the combined total of any two other teams in the top tier (next best was 23)
              What’s wrong with this picture?

              • December 9th 2012 @ 11:22am
                TJ said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:22am | ! Report

                this 6 nations saw 3.1 tries per match. that’s 40% lower than ten years ago.

                last years RWC saw the lowest tries per match of any of the tournaments in the proffessional era.

                all countries are scoring less tries on average.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 3:07pm
                Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                TJ – no one is disputing that but we are scoring way less than the natural decline would assume…

            • Roar Guru

              December 9th 2012 @ 5:38pm
              biltongbek said | December 9th 2012 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

              Tries scored per year by the 4 world cup winning teams.

              2000 – 42 matches – 144 tries – 3.42 tries per match
              2001 – 43 matches – 166 tries – 3.86 tries per match
              2002 – 41 matches – 143 tries – 3.48 tries per match
              2003 – 57 matches – 249 tries – 4.37 tries per match (skewed by RWC )
              2004 – 47 matches – 161 tries – 3.42 tries per match
              2005 – 45 matches – 177 tries – 3.93 tries per match
              2006 – 49 matches – 128 tries – 2.61 tries per match
              2007 – 58 matches – 246 tries – 4.24 tries per match (skewed by RWC)
              2008 – 53 matches – 149 tries – 2.81 tries per match
              2009 – 50 marches – 96 tries – 1.92 tries per match
              2010 – 54 matches – 163 tries – 3.02 tries per match
              2011 – 47 matches – 165 tries – 3.51 tries per match (skewed by RWC)
              2012 – 53 matches – 111 tries – 2.09 tries per match.

              Defences have definitely improved.

              When you look at the world cup years in isolation the tries scored per match has been declining.

              Since 2009 tries have reduced dramatically, even after the 2010 calendar year afterthe ruck law changes, it went down again.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 5:57pm
                nickoldschool said | December 9th 2012 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

                Not sure its defences only biltong. Imo, its more due to the fact that the gap between teams has been reduced. As we have seen last year during the rwc, there isnt 100 pts between a top nation and the likes of Namibia, Georgia, Tonga, Japan etc. Italy was probably 30-50 pts behind top 4 teams a decade ago and are now much closer.

                I think this means that the favorite team doesnt have the same mindset when they play Italy, or Georgia, Tonga etc. Same stuff between all top 12 teams as all of them have the capability to counter attack and win against another team who would expose themselves by playing a carefree brand of rugby. So yes, defences, but not only.

              • Roar Guru

                December 9th 2012 @ 6:38pm
                biltongbek said | December 9th 2012 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

                Yeah Nick, it is never straightforward, is it?

                I do agree teams play less risky rugby as well, and perhaps the contesting at rucks to slow down ball has something to do with it as well.

                The stand out team is of course the All Blacks, and when you consider the main deiiference it is their offloading capability which often negates the requirement for ruck phases.

              • Roar Guru

                December 10th 2012 @ 1:23pm
                Wal said | December 10th 2012 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

                I would love to see how many tries are scored in the last 20 minutes, just a theory but I suspect fitter more professional players has meant defences don’t “open up” like they perhaps used to in the final quarter.

        • December 9th 2012 @ 10:06am
          Blue Blood said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:06am | ! Report

          That statement should be true but it isn’t even close when Deans & Nucifora are the selectors. Regardless of form their favourites will be selected. Many Super players who have played the house down Deans over looks every season. This will test Cooper’s standing as one of the untouchables. He already has a rediculously over inflated ARU top up to suggest he is still in favour. Time will tell.

          • December 9th 2012 @ 11:12am
            mark said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:12am | ! Report

            who are these wonderful players in australian super xv sides that are playing the house down?

            • December 9th 2012 @ 11:41am
              Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:41am | ! Report

              Yes who are these standouts in super Rugby that get overlooked?
              I would have thought 90% had had a go.
              Whereas A.Taylor, Todd, Fruean, Ranger and Tameifuna in NZ were all awarded with plenty of test time.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 1:06pm
                Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                Standouts in Super rugby were Morohan, Shipperly, Hooper, Gil, Dennis, Douglas, Vuna, Harris, Timani, Cummins.
                Why didnt the evil Deans give them a go?

              • December 10th 2012 @ 3:51pm
                formeropenside said | December 10th 2012 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                How was Timani a standout in the 5 games he started?

                I wont start on Vuna’s defence.

    • December 9th 2012 @ 7:52am
      Crash Ball said | December 9th 2012 @ 7:52am | ! Report

      David, I think most balanced judges would admire RD’s stoicism. He is clearly a proud coach and one that wants his team to win. Frustration and subsequent criticism chiefly stems from the style of play the Wallabies have adopted in recent seasons, the team selections that have occurred in parallel to these game plans (most pre-dating the current spate of injuries), player management and flat out, results. I agree that RD will take the Wallabies to the Lions series – but only because no one at the ARU had the cast iron swingers to make the correct call earlier. This said, I hope RD learns from past mistakes, architects an historic Lions series victory built upon the greatest Wallaby traditions of intelligence, flair and endeavour and proves his many critics wrong (me included).

      • December 9th 2012 @ 8:01am
        mark said | December 9th 2012 @ 8:01am | ! Report

        to alarge extent the style of play the wallabies are playing are a direct result to the changes in test match standards of defence.

        defences are so good nowadays and players are so more physically powerful the wallabeis can no longer rely on looping moves to run their amateurish rivals ragged.

        we have never been able to run the all blacks ragged in any period of the great wallabies sides simply because thwir defence was good. Thes edays every defence is good and proffessionally well drilled and we have no decisive physical advantage over any side wqe play.so the idea that suddenly we should be running in plethoras of tries and making breaks all the time is naive. these days even italy have a decent defence. thats why fans are so frustrated.

        the style we play is simply the style needed to win at test level. With so many injuries to important players Deans 2012 has been a relative huge success.

        • December 9th 2012 @ 9:55am
          Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          This a lane excuse for our pathetic attacking strategies. Why is it many other countries have no issue scoring tries against similar opposition.

          Of course defences are good but they have become so much more so in the last 2 years.

          • December 9th 2012 @ 11:42am
            mark said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:42am | ! Report

            you only need to be able to score 2 tries a match to win major tournaments. that’s all wales did this year and they won a grand slam.

            1 try a match this year is low but this is simply an exposure of our lack of depth when we had no scrum half and hence no quality ball, not bad coaching.

          • December 9th 2012 @ 11:53am
            Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:53am | ! Report

            Gee I dont know Justin. Maybe JOC, Cooper, Beale, McCabe, Ioane, AAC, Mitchell, Higgs, Lealiifano, Barnes, Genia and most of the Wallabies most gifted attacking players being injured for large parts of the season has something to do with it.
            2010-2011 was 3 trys per game against tier 1.
            2012 was 1 try per game
            Same coach but not the same injury toll. Do you think that MAYBE its the teams response to a MASSIVE injury crisis?
            Nahhh its the devil Deans and his hatred for try scoring.

            • December 9th 2012 @ 12:06pm
              Hightackle said | December 9th 2012 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

              We lost Carter in the WC and all the fans were like “Oh no”.
              Aust loses Genia, Mitchell, Horwill, Pocock, Palu, Kepu, McCabe, Lealiifano and JOC and the fans are like “I cant believe we are not scoring 5 trys per game whilst winning. CUT DEANS HEAD OFF”

              You dont have the depth, you were missing your best players, you won more than you were really entitled to. SO CRY ME A RIVER.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 3:14pm
                Justin2 said | December 9th 2012 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                Genia played plenty of football as did Pocock, Palu, Kepu and McCabe.

                CL has never played Test footy!

                You seriously included McCabe not playing as reason for our low try scoring??? Goodness.

                We arent asking for even 3 tries but we are asking for some invention and adventure where appropriate. This pathetically conservative football will do more harm than good. We dont have the luxury of winning only 60% AND playing awful football. People will and do switch off.

                What happens when the crowds fall away?

                Why is it the Deans supporters dont understand it isnt individuals that have to make the game enjoyable. Larkham showed how it should be done with an unheralded back line this year. No super stars, just basics done well and the ability to create space.

                Its realy not that hard but Deans has been incapable of this with AUS. He ALWAYS relies on and individual bit of magic not anything he has coached or implemented.

        • Roar Guru

          December 9th 2012 @ 1:33pm
          jeznez said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

          mark, I have seen the light! defences are so good that we shouldn’t even try and run any wider than one off the ruck at them and if we do engineer an overlap we shouldn’t have a crack at that either, we should kick. I’m converted, the game plan is awesome.

          • December 9th 2012 @ 1:42pm
            ohtani's jacket said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

            Poor old Robbie, victim of injuries, tough international defences and spiteful Roar posters.

            • Roar Guru

              December 9th 2012 @ 1:47pm
              jeznez said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

              I just miss 2010 Robbie, I want him back. I think that guy is the best possible guy to lead the WB’s – this pale shadow that has been in charge during 2011 and 2012 depresses me.

              • December 9th 2012 @ 3:02pm
                GWS said | December 9th 2012 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                He was good until Ireland. Since then he has been shite

              • December 9th 2012 @ 4:44pm
                AndyS said | December 9th 2012 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

                Interesting point Jez, thinking back there does seem a fair difference. The RWC may be weighing on him, but the problems seemed to start before that and carried into the campaign. I wonder whether he still feels his own man, or whether he has been undermined by forced selections, interference and the need to pander to personalities. Perhaps it was the point when he realised the Wallabies ain’t the ‘Saders.

    • December 9th 2012 @ 8:42am
      nickoldschool said | December 9th 2012 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      After a chaotic 2012 plagued by injuries, off field sagas and poor form, if i were Deans, i would today send a message to all 40-50 guys who have worn the jersey in the last 12 months stating some rules/objectives for 2013: behaviour on and off the field, team goals and rules, individual fitness expectations at wallabies level etc.

      If you dont meet these KPI’s, you’re out of contention, simple as that. Would also tell the guys that the 30 who will make the Lions squad will be judged during the first part of the 2013 SR season. No free tickets for passed reputations and not one is written off before the start of the season. time to turn things around. If needed, why not write a charter with these objectives and demands on it and ask all players to sign it acknowledging they adhere with the project and values of ‘being a 2013 wallaby’. The Lions tour will be won on and off the field.

      • December 9th 2012 @ 10:10am
        Blue Blood said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        I love the idea. But to play devil’s advocate: if Cooper, Beale or JOC again break this agreement by their off field behaviour do you think that the spineless ARU will leave them out? I don’t. They already have a code of conduct and they show it little respect and continue to do so as they get a feather bashing at worse for the serious breeches we hear about.

        • December 9th 2012 @ 11:46am
          nickoldschool said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:46am | ! Report

          agree the aru probably wouldnt have the guts to leave these guys out, but they would be wrong. Talent isnt everything imo and to have rules for some and diffrent ones for others is ultimately detrimental to the team imo.

          I think everyone would realise there is no messing around and am pretty sure some of them would change, for the better.

          Eric Cantona was one of the most talented football players in the 90s, played for man U etc. wasnt seen as a team player when in the national squad and was left outside by the then coach jacquet. Coaches have/should make tough decisions sometimes, even if it means leaving a talent on the side line.

      • December 9th 2012 @ 10:15am
        Train Without A Station said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        Don’t give us that BS about injuries. The only players who would have started had they been fit were Horwill, Genia, Pocock and possibly O’Conner. All the injuries did was allow Deans to give deserving players like Douglas, Tapuai, Cummins and Hooper who showed they should be first choice starting players. The only player who we actually missed was Genia. Hooper played better than Pocock. Douglas and Timani alternated filling in well for Horwill and Cummins did a great job on the wing. In addition Mike Harris had some quality games, though fullback certainly isn’t his best position.

    • December 9th 2012 @ 8:47am
      untimely said | December 9th 2012 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      DAVID – Robbie Deans is immensely unpopular with Aussie rugby fans because his team has played pretty poor rugby – brave at times, but too often disappointing in attack. All the major teams had big injury dropouts, excepting the ABs, but the other teams handled it better because they have more depth. The fans don’t like Deans’ punt-and-hope style. Nor do they like his Casper Milquetoast personality. He comes off to the general public as quiet, bland and dull. I once had the misfortune to sit one row in front of Bob Dywer at a game at the Rats’ park and he yelled stupid banalities at the ref for 80 minutes. Robbie internalizes everything. But loud and coarse as he was Dwyer was a big advocate of attacking rugby. And Allan Jones, somebody else with abundant personality, was a huge advocate of attacking rugby – but then he had Campo and Moon and Ella in the backline, and we have nobody half as good today. Whether or not Deans’ win percentage increases in June depends on Quade learning how to play 5/8 in test rugby. I think Quade will star for the Reds once more and be an easy choice for the Wallabies. But if he flunks out again, the Lions will beat us and Dean’s thin rep will be further punctured.

      • December 9th 2012 @ 9:02am
        Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | December 9th 2012 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        untimely – God how I wish I could craft words and thoughts together as well as that. Beautifully done!

      • December 9th 2012 @ 10:27pm
        Dexter William said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:27pm | ! Report

        Only id Deans does not adopt the one out attack style that he wanted Quad Cooper to execute.

        I agree with the previous poster that RD was shiiite after the Irland match at the RWC.

    • December 9th 2012 @ 8:50am
      hog said | December 9th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Is there much point in replacing Deans now, firstly it would cost money to pay him out the year and then if you give it to McKenzie what happens if he loses to the Lions how will that look.
      Deans is a good coach but he should not have had his contract extended by O,Neil, but you might as well let Deans see his time out now and then give his replacement a couple of years before the world cup to prove himself.

    • December 9th 2012 @ 8:52am
      Ra said | December 9th 2012 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Nothing new here really David. A bit of speculation, that’s all. What’s happened to the guys who recently went away in the third tier Wallabies side and put on a gutsy first tier performance against quality opposition in the NH?
      Collectively they don’t seem to rate anywhere near the volume of traffic on The Roar as one guy who didn’t travel, didn’t play and had far too much to say.

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