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Five talking points: Bledisloe 1

Israel Folau (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Roar Guru
20th August, 2016
216

The opening Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup match has been played in Sydney and ended with a comprehensive victory to the All Blacks by 42 points to 8 over the Wallabies.

More of the wash-up from Bledisloe 1
» Match Report: NZ smash Australia
» LORD: The Wallabies can’t pass, catch or tackle
» What changes should the Wallabies make?
» DIY Player Ratings
» WATCH: All the highlights

The match was a one-sided affair as the All Blacks were simply more composed and organised while the Wallabies appeared well short of a gallop.

Anything to add Mr Kearns? Fitness issues? Sorry, couldn’t help myself there.

Here are my five talking points from the match.

Preparation

The Wallabies appeared rusty. This is a nice way of putting it.

With only one Australian Super team making the Super Rugby playoffs that also happened to be eliminated in the first week, there was a train of thought that perhaps this would be beneficial to the Wallabies in having the extra time to prepare for the International season.

I remarked in the Big Questions write-up last Thursday that I thought it would be better to have been playing finals rugby and I feel this has been proved correct.

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At the same time, what have the Wallabies been up to? I can recall an article that they had a hit out against the Roosters.

The All Blacks managed a hit out of sorts against a couple of Mitre 10 Cup teams in preparation, yet the Wallabies?

They were ill prepared for this evening’s match and played with little cohesion across the many facets of the game.

I would also suggest that the several injuries suffered by the Wallabies, while obviously also bad luck, has correlations with poor preparation and throwing your side into a match played at the highest level with such intensity is asking for trouble.

Tactical Kicking

The Wallaby kicking game appeared aimless at times, giving away cheap possession to the All Blacks.

Their exits were poor from deep in their territory serving only to place themselves under more pressure during the match.

While the early injury to Matt Giteau was unhelpful, Will Genia and Bernard Foley simply have to do better next week if selected. Quade Cooper anyone? Even if they get that right the next issue will also need resolving.

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The Lineout

I sure have banged on about this for some time but it is staggering to me that this area continues to be neglected by the Wallabies.

Simply put, the Wallabies cannot continue to believe they can win Tests against the best sides with only three quality jumping options. It is such an important aspect of the game to get right, not only on your own ball but the oppositions as well.

Two lost lineouts last night on their own throw led directly to an All Black try and a score line of 20 to 3 at that juncture. It is a major chink in the Wallaby armour and needs to be addressed.

Mick Byrne Factor

Brett McKay in his Friday column questioned how skills coach Byrnes’ influence would be interesting to observe on Saturday night.

On the evidence presented from last night it would unfortunately appear to be ‘not much’ at this point.

I do not think it is unfair to say that Mick will be earning his pay check in the near future.

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Jerome Kaino

In the next few days, I would expect there to be a fair bit of debate around Wallaby selections and the merits of introducing the older overseas players but spare a thought for old man Kaino.

He just keeps on delivering and dominating at this level and is far from a spent force. They say Father Time waits for no man but maybe he is scared of knocking on Jerome’s door.

Can the Wallabies turn it around in a week?

No. Simply put, I cannot see it.

I do expect a vastly improved performance but that can also be expected from the All Blacks as well as I am sure there will be several areas they will be working on improving. The Bledisloe looks safe in New Zealand for another year.

Those are my major talking points from last night’s match, what do you Roarers think?

And, on a bugging note to finish, if the ARU (or RobC, whom I like to blame, along with his legal representative Harry Jones) did have anything to do with planting the bug, they should really get their money back from their contractor as they obviously bugged the wrong seat!

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