Matt Lucas deserves a Waratahs starting spot

Adam Smith Roar Rookie

By Adam Smith, Adam Smith is a Roar Rookie

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    Matt Lucas of the NSW Waratahs looks on from the bench. (Photo: Paul Barkley/LookPro)

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    The Waratahs are well on the mend, but Brendan McKibbin’s service is holding them back. They’ve been playing some enterprising football of late, only to be let down at the death by poor execution.

    They’ve arguably got the best backline in the competition, featuring the likes of Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Rob Horne, Israel Folau and Peter Betham.

    Even Foley is starting to fire with darting runs up the middle – finding some of the form that bore him the fruits of success last year.

    But unfortunately, our halfback still isn’t delivering.

    And it’s specifically his delivery that’s the problem.

    The slow ball and inaccurate passing are debilitating the entire backline. Players that should be in space are stopped the wrong side of the advantage line instead of benefiting from scrambling defence.

    It’s obvious that if the Waratahs want to start winning consistently they need a new halfback, and Matt Lucas fits the mould perfectly.

    Cheika constantly speaks of performance over reputation. So why is Lucas still on the bench?

    Every time he’s injected into the game, the backline starts to click. And the Waratahs diehards start to cheer.

    He clears the ruck quickly, gives players ball to run onto, and keeps defences guessing with sniping runs around the fringes.

    By keeping opposition in tight honest, and clearing the breakdown quickly, the outside backs are getting room to move.

    Finally!

    And when the Waratahs backline starts to get some space, there won’t be many in the competition that can stop them.

    So please Cheika, have a hard look at McKibbin. Give Lucas the chance he’s earned.

    The Waratahs faithful deserve it!

    Have Your Say



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    The Crowd Says (64)

    • Roar Pro

      April 20th 2013 @ 1:50am
      Rhys Maiden said | April 20th 2013 @ 1:50am | ! Report

      rnes is outMatt Lucas may just be too small.. had to be said. McKibbons boot is a real good argument to keep him around while

      • April 20th 2013 @ 8:44am
        Adam Smith said | April 20th 2013 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Were you watching the same game as me last night? McKibbon’s kicking was woeful. That’s the only thing he brought to the table, and now he’s not even delivering on that!

        • April 20th 2013 @ 9:08am
          Stanley Grella said | April 20th 2013 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          I think you should take kicking out of last nights equation. The wind was strong and it swirls at the SFS. It wasn’t good conditions and most kickers would have struggled.

          Foley is our second choice kicker, McKibbon has about 10-15 meters extra range than him and that’s why he is starting.

          • April 20th 2013 @ 11:08am
            Adam Smith said | April 20th 2013 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            Anscombe didn’t seem to have any problems. I do rate McKibbin as a kicker, but surely you can’t pick someone purely on their kicking ability.

            Better service from the ruck means more tries, and less of a need to kick goals. In my opinion, Foley is good enough to take over the reigns.

            • April 20th 2013 @ 11:32am
              Jutsie said | April 20th 2013 @ 11:32am | ! Report

              actually anscombe missed a few too and usually he is a dead-eye.
              I dont think being a good goal kicker is good reason to keep mckibbin in the team. Foley isnt that bad and if Chieka is encouraging attacking rugby then there is no need to make the safe selection by picking the good goal kicker ahead of the better all round player. Link has dropped harris despite him being head and shoulders above cooper in the goal kicking department because he is way down the pecking order at both 12 and 15.

              • April 20th 2013 @ 3:25pm
                Stanley Grella said | April 20th 2013 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

                You never take kicking out of the play book. It’s part of rugby. Conversions of try’s and penalties goals areneededelements and deserve consideration. I don’t think McKibbon is a safe selection or that playing Lucas will automatically lead to more try’s. McKibbons main problem is his decision making, he doesn’t seem to have the natural instinct of a footballer (especially In a playmaking role) the few seconds it takes him to decide the option cause him to panick which affects his pass.

                Lucas is performing and has a great pass but his also ony playing 15-20 minutes when he comes onandyou would hope any player playing a quarter of the game would have impact on the speed of play. Idontthink he has done anything outstanding to deserve praise far and above. Heis a decent footballer he isn’t a long term option.

                With Phipps tah bound next year I wouldn’t be surprised if McKibbon or Lucas moved on to get game time elsewhere and I would be happy for the to do so. (not that I’m over the moon abut Phipps signing)

    • April 20th 2013 @ 2:41am
      Slowpoke said | April 20th 2013 @ 2:41am | ! Report

      His boot might be good Rhys. but his service is terrible. In a position that is asked to pass the ball so much, that has a consistent negative impact.

    • April 20th 2013 @ 3:30am
      Billy Bob said | April 20th 2013 @ 3:30am | ! Report

      In an all round good team effort, McKibbon had an average game.
      Some good service in the fast attack (it got to foley quickly) but a lot of mistakes. Too many for mine, and his kicking last night, especially the last punt, does not justify his inclusion ATM.
      Can’t Ben Robinson kick goals?
      He’s a back now isn’t he?

      • April 20th 2013 @ 8:47am
        Adam Smith said | April 20th 2013 @ 8:47am | ! Report

        I heard Matt Dunning has been giving Robinson some lessons. Give him a shot!

    • April 20th 2013 @ 6:20am
      Albo said | April 20th 2013 @ 6:20am | ! Report

      No argument from me. Foley’s kicking is more than capable to cover McK. +1

    • April 20th 2013 @ 7:44am
      Twickenham said | April 20th 2013 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      A picture of Matt Lucas rather than Tom Kingston would probably suit this post a bit better.

      • April 20th 2013 @ 8:21am
        nickoldschool said | April 20th 2013 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        i think its Lucas tbh. They both look very similar but Kingston is more the square jaw type.

      • April 20th 2013 @ 8:48am
        Albo said | April 20th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        I think your right twickers. Didn’t notice it myself but that’s Kingston. I remember that head knock he got last year.

      • Editor

        April 20th 2013 @ 12:56pm
        Patrick Effeney said | April 20th 2013 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        I think you’re right Twickers. The bum chin gives it away.

    • Roar Guru

      April 20th 2013 @ 8:12am
      sixo_clock said | April 20th 2013 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      From what I have seen.
      His service is not that good.
      If coaching him I would ask him to engage his ‘core’ with every pass because these are sprayed.
      But,… that may have been rookie nerves.
      This article is a big call on very little evidence at this level.
      All backs need a sound platform provided by forwards to do their best work.

      • April 20th 2013 @ 10:45am
        Elisha Pearce said | April 20th 2013 @ 10:45am | ! Report

        I agree with you sixoclock. He ‘stands up’ on the passes and that floats them upward instead of all the energy going through the ball. Core muscles need to be engaged more to keep his body lower and behind the ball as he passes.

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