Another week, another thumping. Watching the Wallabies shouldn’t be like this…

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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    This was going to the be the column in which I’d buck convention and actually pinpoint some things the Wallabies could hang their hat on going forward. The Sydney post-mortem seemed to go on much longer than I can ever remember, and it just seemed to me that some positivity was desperately needed.

    It still is desperately needed. But it’s not going to happen today, or at least not to the extent I had planned.

    By fulltime on Saturday night, the Bledisloe was again gone, and there really wasn’t a lot to write home about. I could find only two fragments of positivity, and so here they are.

    Without at all condoning his moment of sheer dunderheaded stupidity, I was really enthused by Adam Coleman’s first Wallabies start. He showed a really encouraging level of commitment and physicality both in attack and defence, and he ripped into the breakdown too. He was great, and there was a lot to like about him for the future.

    Ditto Reece Hodge. For a young man on debut to pipe up just inside his own half and say, ‘yeah, I reckon I can kick that’ only minutes after getting onto the field, well, that takes confidence. And of course he nailed it, but Reece Hodge’s kicking ability is widely known. And he showed enough around the park to suggest that he has a decent international future ahead of him, as well.

    But that’s it. That’s all I’ve got. After this it’s only head scratching and more questions as I grapple with what the Wallabies served up on Saturday night, and how on earth they think the way they are playing is going to win games any time soon.

    Like why when the lineout is getting towelled up from the outset and picked off at will, would you continue to throw to the back?(Click to Tweet)

    I’ve never jumped in a lineout in my life, but if I can see that throwing to the front is the obvious resolution, then why the hell can’t blokes who throw and jump in lineouts for a living see that?

    And where is the message coming down from the coaches’ box? Where is the suggestion at halftime?

    And why when Dean Mumm came on before halftime – after Coleman was yellow carded – was Scott Fardy the man he replaced?

    Surely that was the time to hook Kane Douglas, and to make the admission that dropping a lineout lock in Rob Simmons in favour of two physical locks in Douglas and Coleman was still going to compromise the lineout?

    Instead, the Wallabies’ breakdown presence was weakened ever further and the lineout problems remained, because Mumm kept calling throws to himself at four or six! Where is the logic in all this?

    What possible event during the game is the justification for Michael Cheika saying he wants “to build that combination up and work with that” with regards to the Quade Cooper-Bernard Foley midfield combination?

    I genuinely can’t recall anything from the game that would make the Cooper-Foley combination an experiment worth continuing. There was no evident pattern to what they were trying to do even with the little ball they had, and they seemed to be operating in spite of each other, not in concert. And this is something to build on?

    For example, Foley threw two passes for the game. Two. It’s less than Coleman, who played 37 fewer minutes, and even David Pocock got four passes away.

    And because the non-tackling Foley and the rare-tackling Cooper started, the Wallabies’ new and “easy” defence was more chaotic than ever. The minute the Wallabies lost possession, we were presented with an ants’ nest of bodies shifting around as Foley and Cooper scrambled to get the hell out of there, and players from other positions came into the midfield line. And all this happening revealed another question.

    Can Israel Folau actually defend anywhere?

    He can’t and doesn’t defend in the front line. In the last couple of Super Rugby games, he didn’t attempt a single tackle, even on the occasion he did stay up in the line. Because he plays this half centre, half fullback, half pregnant hybrid game, he isn’t developing any instincts around front line defence, and his positional awareness at fullback still isn’t great.

    But among all the shuffling on Saturday night in Wellington, it stood out that Folau was actually defending on the wing. Reece Hodge went into the ten channel when Cooper disappeared, Samu Kerevi defended at 12 after Foley scarpered, and Dane Haylett-Petty was left to defend at outside centre while Folau still stayed right out of the action. Haylett-Petty’s defence was heavily criticised, and there’s no doubt his tackling technique needs work.

    But here he was already playing out of position on the wing, now defending in the hardest channel in the game! And we wonder why he missed five tackles! Meanwhile, the guy who could become anything as a genuine centre still isn’t any closer to starting his midfield defensive apprenticeship.

    The midfield defence is a mess, and no matter how easily these things are supposedly fixed, when there’s as much positional shuffling going on as the Wallabies transition from attack into defence, it’s little wonder a dangerous broken field attacking team like the All Blacks is cutting the Wallabies midfield apart. The Wallabies’ defensive method is making the job significantly easier than it should be.

    And if Folau can’t defend in the front line even in desperate times, then when will he ever? The sooner he starts defending up front, the simpler the Wallabies’ defence can become.

    Cheika has spoken of the Wallabies losing their identity again, but if I’m completely honest, I’m not sure what that identity is anymore. Can you really lose something that’s debateable if you ever had it?

    Watching rugby shouldn’t be like this. It shouldn’t leave you in such a state that the more you think about the reasons why something happened, the more questions emerge.

    But with a lack of answers from the Wallabies or Cheika themselves, that’s all we’re left with.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (386)

    • August 30th 2016 @ 5:16am
      taylorman said | August 30th 2016 @ 5:16am | ! Report

      Some of the best and most positive points I’ve seen raised so far Brett. Agree with Coleman and Hodge. Doesn’t seem much but that’s two players who are now international options, in two of the areas giving thevWallabies problems…midfield and lock. That’s gotta be seen as a positive…where players new to test rugby are standing up.

      The two must be persisted with in the next…winnable…four tests. Hodges goalkicking could be useful against those sides as it makes the opposition more wary further out from their line.

      Cheikas gotta take the positives forward. It wasn’t good but for the first time at least the Wallabies have gone better away than they were at home a week earlier. That’s gotta suggest some improvement.

      DHP I’m afraid is showing why he’s not gone to the higher levels earlier in his career…he doesn’t like tackling.

      We look with interest to how Oz go in the next few matches as I think they’ll pick up after a tough start.

      Them we’ll be at Eden park to hopefully contest what will be the ABs latest attempt to reach the ever elusive 18 tests straight, something it seems Oz just love to spoil.

      • August 30th 2016 @ 6:11am
        Daveski said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:11am | ! Report

        Tman, DHPs defence is fine… last man at fullback. You’re kicking a man when he’s down. As Brett rightly points out he was left with a fools task trying to defend vast tracts of space against a team that shifts the ball as well as the ABs.

        On Coleman, I do think it’s ever so slightly contradictory that so many of us, myself included are saying “love the physical approach he brought, putting aside his shoulder charge of course !!” I think most of us Wallaby supporters felt exactly like Nathan Sharpe at the time and “didn’t mind that”….we’re just too shy to say so.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 7:54am
          John said | August 30th 2016 @ 7:54am | ! Report

          “DHP’s defence is fine?”
          “You’re kicking a man when he’s down.”

          Hahaha. His defense was absolutely disgraceful and his attack not much better, across both Test matches.

          DHP is not up to it, same as every player in the Wallabies squad bar Folau (who plays 3-4 positions every game), and Pocock.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 8:03am
            taylorman said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:03am | ! Report

            Glad you pointed out the fact that Folau should instead try and play one position correctly first.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 1:45pm
              John said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

              Folau has been in the top three performing Wallabies in every single Test match this year.
              Jog on, taylorman!

          • August 30th 2016 @ 8:11am
            Daveski said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:11am | ! Report

            I look forward to your nominations for the 21 players to come into the squad alongside Folau and Pocock, John.

            I’ll bet a beer you’ve got diddly-squat.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 9:20am
              Mango Jack said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:20am | ! Report

              That’s the most irritating thing about these blogs, isn’t it? So many are quick to dump on players and say they should never wear the jersey again, etc, without offering viable alternatives.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 9:34am
                Seb V said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:34am | ! Report

                Swap DHP for Morahan, a specialist winger. Other options include AAC, Hodge, and also MItchell or Speight if fit. Not the best options but still better then a winger who can’t tackle to save himself.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 10:28am
                Boomeranga said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:28am | ! Report

                I think I would stick with DHP, but at fullback, and play Izzy and Hodge on the wings.

                It isn’t a remarkable combo but I think our best in the short to medium term.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 1:44pm
                McCaw was onside? said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

                Folau on the wing. Hodge at 12. Kerevi or Kuridrani at 13 and DHP at 15.

                Wont happen, wish it would.

                Put it this way. Folau would have always been a wing in NZ, never a fullback imo. He also would have been nominated for World Player of The Year and had a better career imo.

                It isnt like Hooper where the forward pack work close together and roles can be shared.
                Often at fullback players are or can be isolated.
                Folau is great in the air, like Jane. Folau is great in space, like Jane. Folau is great finishing, like Jane. However unlike Jane he lacks a good kicking game and I actually think Janes skillset is better suited to fullback than Folaus.

                If Folau moves to centre WHICH HE SHOULDNT, he will play well, very well but theyll try and use him in diffetent roles as a part time centre, part time fullback, part time wing.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 1:48pm
                John said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

                I never said DHP shouldn’t get picked for the Wallabies again – he will be, despite over the top praise for an OK at best England series and two diabolical performances against NZ.

                Cheika’s job is to pick the side and Larkham’s job is to get Folau’s mediocre teammates to give him the ball.

                Save your money Daveski, if it were up to me I’d put witches hats out to replace half the side, at least the opposition might fall over them.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 3:13pm
                Daveski said | August 30th 2016 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

                That’s a good comeback re the witches hat…. But that’s the problem isn’t it? Over 4 months of super rugby, DHP was one of best five Aussie players of the tournament ( you’d probably chuck in McMahon, Folau, Hodge and maybe Gill ). So if he’s not up to it, God we’re in trouble.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 3:21pm
                John said | August 30th 2016 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

                Huge trouble. And it’s going to get worse.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 8:16am
            taylorman said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:16am | ! Report

            But at least he was near the action when the tries were being scored, as ineffective his tackles were. Kind of just fell on them as they went over. But at least positionally he was much better.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 7:58am
          Freddy from Bondi said | August 30th 2016 @ 7:58am | ! Report

          Great article Brett…watching the game I didn’t realise there was so much shifting of deck chairs going on during the transition from attack (if that’s the right word for it) to defence.

          I can understand Cheika bringing the French players back in an attempt to win back the Bledisloe, they served us well during the WC. However, he now needs to admit he was wrong and look to rebuild. This year is a right-off now so lets blood some new talent.

          Guys like Kepu, AAC, Giteau, Mitchell, Mumm, McCalman should have all played their last. They’ve been great servants but its time to build to the next World Cup and hopefully have a real crack at the Bledisloe in a couple of years time.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 10:15am
            AlBo said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:15am | ! Report

            I agree Freddy. If we’re going to have a lean couple of years then I think it’s important to bring new generations into the regular setup.

            Hookers: Ready, Latu,
            Props: Robertson, Alaalatoa, Tupou
            Second Row: Arnold, Coleman, Staniforth,
            Backrow: Holloway, Dempsey
            Halves: Frisby, Stirzaker
            Centres: Hodge, Kerevi, Godwin
            Outside Backs: Naivalu (WE), Magnay (Mortlock style wing for now), Morahan, Koroibete (if he does well next year).

            Obviously not all at once but I think by next year I’d like to see a good amount of these blokes in an around a starting squad, not just extended squads.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 10:51am
              Boomeranga said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:51am | ! Report

              I struggle most in understanding the selection of AA and Smith as THPs.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 2:15pm
              McCaw was onside? said | August 30th 2016 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

              Yeah I wish Cheika would bring in young players like DHP, Hodge, Coleman, Alaalatoa, Frisby, Arnold, Kerevi.

              Oh wait, they did.

              7 debutants so far, not enough?

              NZ=5 by the way.

              As you rightly say “not all at once”.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 6:31pm
                AlBo said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

                ‘Regular’ is the key word in my post. These guys you refer to, aside from DHP, have had some, limited opportunities but they haven’t had the chance to build momentum. That’s what I’m talking about.

                BTW don’t confuse my desire for new blood with having a go at the Euro brigade. Genia and AAC have been our most consistent and I agree with your assessment of Mumm. He was our best in the line out last match. Just not sure why Fardy was the one hooked for him.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 1:55pm
            McCaw was onside? said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

            BS Freddy.

            Youve just taken opportunity to blame something you want to.

            Do you seriously think Giteau, Mitchell, Mumm, AAC and Genia were to blame?

            Youve grouped a bunch of players together based on your original bias against their selection and blamed their selection for what happened and thats brain dead.

            It wasnt their fault and nor was their selection wrong or proven to be so any more than the selection of DHP, Kuridrani, Moore or Simmons.

            The selection of Genia, Australias best along with Folau, was correct.
            Mumm was good in test 2 and, like Dennis or Hooper, people dont look at how bad Mumm was in comparrison to others, they just automatically put him in the ‘naughty’ column or the ‘naughty or nice’ list.
            Mitchell didnt play! Was it also wrong to select Roberts? He didnt play either.
            AAC was good. Why say his selection was wrong?
            Giteau played 10 mins like Toomua. In what way was Toomuas selection right and Giteaus wrong?

            How about you reason about what actually went wrong instead of trying to justify your extremely flawed preconceptions.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 2:25pm
              McCaw was onside? said | August 30th 2016 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

              “Look to rebuild”.

              WTF do you think they are doing?

              2nd test had a new locking pair.
              Ended with Hodge, DHP and Folau in the back 3.
              Had Kerevi in the centres.
              Had a new prop on the bench.

              Phipps and Genia are about 27-28! You dont drop 27 and 28 year olds to “rebuild”.

              AAC and Mitchell are wings. They debuted 2 wings and didnt play mitchell.

              What do you want?

              • August 30th 2016 @ 2:38pm
                Hello said | August 30th 2016 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

                I don’t think the locking pair is one to look at as very test has had a different pair

        • August 30th 2016 @ 8:24am
          P2R2 said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:24am | ! Report

          it was dumb and for Sharpe to say ‘we don’t mind that comment’ just speaks volumes of how AUS rugby has drifted away from the intelligent game they used to play – maybe it is symptomatic and indicative of how Cheika played but it is still DUMB and unless that changes…. the game at the Garden of Eden is going to be a rout of the ages…

          • August 30th 2016 @ 9:45pm
            Toanuiunno said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

            Yeah there seems to be a misunderstanding of the difference between hard and uncompromising play and the petty niggle that the wallabies are trying to employ. That sort of play by Coleman isn’t needed. Ending every second lot of phase play with pushing and shoving for no reason isn’t hard play. Just get on with it

            • September 2nd 2016 @ 7:21am
              Warren Crowther said | September 2nd 2016 @ 7:21am | ! Report

              Yes but there is no denying that petty niggle worked well for england against the wallabies.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 9:32am
          Seb V said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:32am | ! Report

          “His defence is fine at fullback” – NO. Just No. Those misses had nothing to do with positioning and everything to do with poor technique. How many fullbacks/wingers swap positions at international level. A shit load. None have leaked 3-4 tries with disgraceful tackling. Not one single game has his defence been up to scratch.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 10:59am
            Terry said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:59am | ! Report

            Yes he has been terrible DHP. WOEFUL!! Against England he missed a few too..

            Maybe it`s his AFL background.,.They CANT TACKLE

          • August 31st 2016 @ 7:17am
            David said | August 31st 2016 @ 7:17am | ! Report

            Harsh. Some players who are great fullbacks can make very poor wingers. Look at Mike Brown- he was playing on the wing for England a few of years ago and didn’t do anything special- when Wales beat England 30-3 he was on the wing and partly responsible for Cuthbert’s two tries.
            Following season, he was picked at 15, was 6N player of the tournament, England player of the autumn internationals and England player of the year.
            DHP should at least be given a chance at fullback instead of the wing before calling for him to be dropped completely, he’s only played 5 tests, and he’s hardly Australia’s worst offender. He might be something special.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 11:28am
          Jokerman said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:28am | ! Report

          Brett they are simply unlikeable! They bring niggle and controversy. They can’t get results. They disrupt, they push and shove. Throw a boot. Blame the ref, play the victim. Blame Hansen, blames the past. Even the ref doesn’t like your captain apparently. Or maybe it’s ‘unconscious’ as Cheika states. Very Deep, Cheika. Stay far away from psychology please.

          Now I’ve experienced this behaviour before, Brett. As a youth I would host parties and sometimes the bog@ns would get wind and turn up uninvited and mayhem would reside. On the weekend it happened again. The Bog@ns this time was your team turning up to the pristine Wellington where I live and causing mayhem! My peaceful weekend interrupted by your clang and their behaviour.

          But Wellington is back to normal now. Sunny and at peace. The Zen master always says ‘this to will pass’ and it has for me and New Zealand. The bog@n circus is now back at home. I hope you find the peace, Brett amongst the mayhem. You will be fine it’s not like they’re residing at your house. Peace out.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 1:10pm
            Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

            “the bog@ns would get wind and turn up uninvited and mayhem would reside. On the weekend it happened again”

            So you noticed the clowns booing too.
            Must’ve been Jaffas. Not as classy as the Canes fans.

            • September 6th 2016 @ 11:16pm
              Wardad said | September 6th 2016 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

              Yup you would never hear Aussies booing Maccaw now would you ?

      • Roar Rookie

        August 30th 2016 @ 11:02am
        Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:02am | ! Report

        A large part of DHP’s defence issues in the past couple of games have been due to him being left stranded facing multiple attackers.
        Defence on the wing relies a hell of a lot on the inside defenders doing their job. Once an international class player gets on the outside with room to move a defender is in strife no matter how good their technique is.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 11:55am
          Handles said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:55am | ! Report

          yeah, except defence also relies on the outside players trusting the inside players to do their job. Even if you think there is a risk, you have to stay outside. Cover is always closer to the inside man than your man if you are defending on the wing. DHP has shown nothing in defence in my view.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 12:28pm
            jameswm said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

            Yeah DHP keeps getting caught 1-2m too far inside and can’t get the outside man

            • August 30th 2016 @ 1:04pm
              ForceFan said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

              Watch both games again and you’ll see that that’s the game plan.
              The cover defence is meant to back him up – but it’s not.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 4:33pm
                Kelven said | August 30th 2016 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

                Well theoretically that is true but it happens too often imo. The wings aren’t staying on their man and I suspect it’s because they lack the confidence in their team mates inside. Defence for a wing is far more technical than on the inside as it is all space and pace get it wrong by a inch and it looks like a mile. The only way to be successful is to absolutely KNOW that your team has it covered on the inside.
                The best thing DHP could have done on the weekend was to stay on his man and show the inside guys that they aren’t doing their job. Instead he did the wrong thing and came inside to cover and then ends up looking like an idiot.
                and by the way I also think he should be fullback or not on the paddock. Put a specialist winger on the wing.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 12:10pm
          soapit said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

          the savea try was just a poor read. we had numbers but he went for the wrong guy.

    • August 30th 2016 @ 5:18am
      Aucklandlaurie said | August 30th 2016 @ 5:18am | ! Report

      Why not go to your best player on the field give him the license to take over the on field decisions, the dialogue with the referee, shape your defensive line, give the back line some direction, dont know what he could about the lineout but. Will Genia.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 30th 2016 @ 11:03am
        Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:03am | ! Report

        Just about impossible to make Genia captain Laurie.
        He can’t be with the squad 100% of the time due to his overseas club commitments.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 12:11pm
          soapit said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          perhaps we need to take the emphasis off the captaincy. suggested yesterday having a group that the captain can come from on any given day.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 30th 2016 @ 12:45pm
            Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

            Soap, I was reading the article yesterday about the new leaders in the AB’s & it prompted me to think about the equivalent leadership in the Wallabies.
            Wondering if the current Wallaby set up is developing the next generation of leaders? The AB’s include players like Cane & Barrett in their set up to try & maintain a consistent line of leadership.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 5:23pm
              soapit said | August 30th 2016 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

              like a lot of things shane i suspect theyre mosre focused on finding a solution for the here and now problem

        • August 30th 2016 @ 12:39pm
          Aucklandlaurie said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

          Correct Taniwha, i purposely didnt use the word captain, its just the onfield management and direction they need.

    • August 30th 2016 @ 5:33am
      jaysper said | August 30th 2016 @ 5:33am | ! Report

      Dingo and friends aren’t looking so bad right now I am thinking.
      The problem has for quite some time been the underlying lack of talent among the Australian players, which is why Dingo & McKenzie could never meet the high expectations of the Australian public.

      Now, we have this problem compounded with a coach that just doesn’t seem to know what he is doing.
      I am not necessarily saying he doesn’t know how to coach rugby, but rather that his inability to settle on a side and run with it indicates that he doesn’t really know what he wants the team to look like at the end of the rebuilding process (assuming he understands that rebuilding is necessary).

      I think much (but not all) of what Brett Papworth wrote ( hits the nail straight on the head.

      I don’t agree with his desire to pull out of SANZAR, but do agree with reducing the number of Super Rugby teams and re-directing some of the money back to the grass roots.
      The ARU should reduce the amounts they pay the top tier players as well as dismantling some of the structures Brett mentions and use it to make Rugby a genuine alternative for youngsters.

      Yes, some of the more experienced players will look overseas for more money, but then they do that already.
      What’s more, would it be such a bad thing if some of the older Wallabies players retired a bit sooner and made way for some fresh talent?
      When one of your major strategies for success is re-importing a 30+ year old from French club rugby on a piece-meal basis, you have already admitted you have a BIG BIG problem.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 30th 2016 @ 6:05am
        Zack said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:05am | ! Report

        Thanks for the link to Papworth’s piece. Very interesting…

      • August 30th 2016 @ 6:10am
        mania said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:10am | ! Report

        thanks Brett. your articles are always a good read tho usually happier than this one, but I cant blame you.
        I agree with Papworth and have been advocating it for over a decade. grassroots is where the money needs to go. that’s NZ’s secret. our grassroots is run like a family and we look out for each other. but we are a smaller country so its easier to look after each other.
        $777 million spent in the last 9 years and none of it going to grassroots.
        aus needs to get rid of rebels and force and put all that money into grassroots. if all goes well then you will have enough players in 7-9 years time to get your 4th and 5th team back. target the schools (both public and private), and have a national 1st XV comp offering big prize money, $1 mil for a state win, $5mil for a national win or more. what school admin would resist that?
        then get all your current and especially ex WBs to be involved and be at the games. have tournaments in each region/state and make a huge day of it. invite over ABs, Boks and WBs to mingle with the kids.
        deal with this now else I can see the demise of aus rugby

        • August 30th 2016 @ 9:08am
          KiwiHaydn said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          Good points Mania, although I think your prize money is a bit high.

          “Public and private” is where the problem is for me. We continually hear that there isn’t enough player depth and union is the fourth football code, yet there are whole sections of the Australian public that never get to see a game let alone play it.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 12:24pm
            mania said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

            $777 million dollars over 9 years wasted. high prize money would go along way to making schools buy into this

            • August 30th 2016 @ 1:39pm
              KiwiHaydn said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

              Just to put it in context, there’s an article out today that says the winning team in the NRL gets $400,000 while the AFL winner gets $1,000,000.

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2016 @ 8:20am
                Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 8:20am | ! Report

                To put that into context, AFL teams spend something like $400M annually on football departments…

        • Roar Guru

          August 30th 2016 @ 9:42am
          Cadfael said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          A national junior comp for high school’s first XV would go well, look at the televised (delayed) for the rugby league high schools. In Sydney, the ARU needs to support western Sydney to get the kids. They do play rugby in the schools there, it just gets no or little recognition.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 1:31pm
            David C said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

            Whatever happened to the Waratah Shield in NSW? Is something like that in Queensland too? If not, then maybe a national knockout comp should be played and televised.

            • Roar Pro

              August 30th 2016 @ 2:38pm
              ols said | August 30th 2016 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

              On tomorrow David C at T G Milner Field
              My old school will win it. 😀

        • August 30th 2016 @ 9:52am
          Kelven said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          Mania, I understand the sentiment but not the solution. The Force and Rebels were in a large part designed to provide local “news” around rugby. They haven’t been a success for sure but let’s not ignore the positives. In WA for example there are now 7 local players who are at or near Super rugby level. Players like Coleman couldn’t get a run in their home state team and so got a start with the Force. If that hadn’t happened he would not now be at test rugby level. A similar comment might be made for Hodge. Yes, they would have eventually got there but perhaps taken a couple of years longer.

          Prior to the inception of the Force, WA players had to leave the state to grow their rugby career. As a 17 or 18 year old that is a big ask so most of them didn’t bother.

          It is a slow process but I think Australia would not be well served to drop a Super Rugby team. However I think a number of things have to change. For example, the salary cap on Super rugby teams is approx $5m (did anyone know that?). The Force in their first few years spent about $20m per year. In 2016 they spent about $15m. Force have a “Future Force” foundation which helps (and provides extra coaching for) young up and coming players with the aim of getting them good enough to play Super Rugby. They are just this year getting the benefits from this (Harry Scoble for example). But the ARU has refused to fund this. Instead it is funded by donations from locals.

          The big thing I noticed from Super Rugby and the tests this year has been the inability of “top” players to execute under pressure. This has everything to do with coaching and practise and nothing to do with how many Super Rugby teams there are. Folau can’t tackle well, Copper and Foley can’t tackle at all. This is a basic skill error. All Blacks passing even amongst the forwards is quick , crisp and (mostly) accurate. Australia is horrible. Australian Super and Wallabies backlines don’t run straight, only two out of five Super teams have decent lineout techniques. Once again this is through a real lack of quality coaching and I suggest it is not just at professional level.

          Brett Papworth is right. All of this starts at grassroots level, but I disagree that this necessarily means we should reduce the Super Rugby teams in Australia.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 10:47am
            Akari said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:47am | ! Report

            Good post Kelven and I agree. A reduction in super teams will mean that players of potential will never get the opportunity as was the case under Cheika with the Tahs (eg Michael Ala’alatoa, Holloway) to show what they could do. Unfortunately, some players take more time than others to blossom into top players. Even Hodge was stolen from under the noses of the powers that be in Tahland by the Rebels and I am sure there are many others as well, like Coleman for example). I can appreciate that the punters want a quick fix by getting rid of the Force (for example only) in order to strengthen 4 franchises instead with the hope of returning Oz to the top of super rugby quick smart. I once advocated that the Kiwis had one team too many during the super rugby 12 & 14 era. I now know how wrong I was then and it’s a pleasure to admit that. This is why I believe that it would be wrong for Oz rugby if the ARU reduces the super rugby teams here by one.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 12:40pm
            mania said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

            kelven – I understand your resistance but rebels and force are ruining not only aus rugby, but more importantly its ruining the spectacle of superRugby. this is the showcase where all of sanzaar get their revenue from.
            aus expanded way too fast and should’ve made force a success before adding another team. force are still not successful and have to improve their game just to get off the bottom.
            the money saved can go into the NRC (tho I prefer it all go to grassroots) for blooding these fringe players you mention but in no way are the majority of aus super players ready for super in the nz/aus conference.
            look late 90’s to early 2000’s aus only had 3 teams. from those 3 teams they managed to cobble together a team that ruled the rugby world

            • August 30th 2016 @ 1:04pm
              Browny said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

              …and Collingwood Football club used a bunch of amateur footballers who trained at night after work to dominate with four consecutive premierships from 1927 to 1930 but I don’t see any modern clubs reverting to their training scheduling or methods. Obviously that’s a little extreme of an example but you don’t move forward by looking backwards…

          • August 30th 2016 @ 4:12pm
            John said | August 30th 2016 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

            Don’t let stats get in the way, Kelven.

            SR 2016:
            Damian McKenzie’s made 43 missed 18 (70.5%)
            Israel Dagg made 15 missed 3 (83.3%)
            Israel Folau made 44 missed 8 (84.6%)
            Ben Smith made 50 missed 9 (84.7%)

        • August 30th 2016 @ 10:05am
          buster said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          Well said. Australian rugby has been slowly dying for some time. A complete restructure is needed, from the top down. How many in the ARU top echelon have actually played a game of Rugby? [ two, I think] How many know what it is like to play in a team environment, to put your body on the line for the team? They are running Aus. rugby like a business, when it is much more than that. And it is close to being bankrupt. In spirit.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 10:24am
          AlBo said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          I’m caught between a rock and hard place in my thoughts on getting rid of the likes of the Force and Rebels. I agree that it’s needed to grow but I worry that it might also allow AFL and League to eat us up completely as they aggressively compete against each other.

          I fear that if we lose these 46 Super Rugby starting places we could lose even more good young players to league, AFL and Europe. Imagine if the two teams didn’t have the room for the following: Rebels: Stirzaker, Debrezcini, English, Naivalu, Placid, Faiinga, Reid, Hanson etc., Force: Coleman, Mafi, Godwin, Morahan, Cottrell, McCalman, Hodgson, DHP.

          Granted the others could use a couple of them (like Godwin going to the Brumbies) but a lot might never get off the pine and get experience at that level.

          I only wonder if we could have retained Brock James had we had a team for him here. Maybe not. That’s the aforementioned rock and hard place.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 11:10am
            Harry said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:10am | ! Report

            With the greatest respect to those players, virtually all of them are at best Super Rugby journeymen. I agree on the praise for Coleman’s efforts on Saturday night but there is till much work and experience to do before he gets to the level of a Retallick, Otje or Etzebeth.

            The Force and the Rebels have big logistical obstacles to overcome (travel, lack of widespread home base or talent pool). If this sounds negative, look at both franchises results over the past 5 years. Both are financial black holes, and the primary outcome of both team’s existence has to been to drain Australian rugby of cash and strong regional teams – as exemplified by the dismal performance of our SR teams this year.

            We obsess about AFL and NRL instead of concentrating on our own game and code. The reality is much as Papworth’s article states, huge resources squandered. Australian rugby used to be smart, focused and lean. We aren’t now and one of the huge reasons for that is the advent of the Rebels and Force.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 30th 2016 @ 11:10am
            Don said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:10am | ! Report

            Albo here’s my 2 bobs worth.
            Just say we didn’t have a Western Force; and Colby, Jordy, Hodgson, Mafi, Jonah, Aiden Toua and quite a few other guys currently getting starts in some Aus SR teams simply wouldn’t be full time viable professional Rugby players in Aus.
            They’d either be in the wider SR squads and fighting to get in the match day 23 or plying their trade in Japan or lower Div Euro.

            Now, would the Wallabies or Australian Rugby be worse off for not having those guys playing Super Rugby? No.

            Years ago there used to be a whole level of really good players who rarely or often never saw a rep jersey. They were our club rugby “legends” like Michael Cheika was. Some of the guys we have running around in our SR squads should probably be starring in Premier Grade.

            For those who say if we jetison the Force we then don’t get an equal share of the SAANZAR TV cash – so what? We also have one less team to bleed cash, and logically, we should have 4 stronger teams winning more games and generating more income themselves. Crowds, memberships and sponsorships come to winning sides.

            As for Pappy’s article where he thinks he could assemble a side from the Sydney and Brisbane GF squads and go better against the ABs. His sunglasses out at North Sydney Oval must have been rose coloured.
            EG the stars of the Brisbane Premier Grade GF last year were CFS and Junior Laloifi. Both were duds for the Reds this year in a season where even a good effort really stood out in the usual dross.
            Both have skill – sure – and they carve up Premier Grade.

            Pappy is saying he could put these types of guys up against the ABs and they would go OK? Really?
            Take a Bex Pappy.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 12:29pm
              Browny said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

              I think very few of those players would elect to stay in Australia and play club rugby on an extended playing list, probably having to work during the week to make a living, when the alternative is being a professional athlete in another country. I certainly know the decision I’d make if I was in that situation. To keep the best young talent in Australia they’d have to be ruthless and move players on once they’re past their prime to make space (financially and on the list) to fit in any new up-and-comers but with limited playing positions more players will slip through the cracks. Would McMahon be wearing gold if we only had three SR teams? Probably not, from memory the existing 7’s kicking around in the first couple years of his time at the Rebels were Pocock, Hooper, Gill, Hodgson, Robinson, Fainga’a and Smith came back for his stint. Not many teams have more than two opensides in the 23 (aside from the Rebels…) so he might not have got on the park for the first year or two if he managed to get himself onto the EPS at QLD, NSW or ACT. The idea that just by playing SR guys will be ‘Wallaby ready’ is absurd, but by reducing the number of weekly playing positions from 115 to 92 or even 69 and then expecting to somehow still have any chance of building depth at the top level really doesn’t sit well with me.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 30th 2016 @ 1:01pm
                Don said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

                It’s chicken and egg though Browny.
                Without exposure beyond club rugby how many of these players would be recruited for well paying OS clubs? No one would know them.

                They’d be relying on You Tube videos and club rugby video streams to put their application forward.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 1:09pm
                Browny said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

                Don, is that the D-Day scenario where any decent rugby player worth his salt plays league instead of union because he has a much greater chance of making a career out of it? Or at least can go ‘pro’ out of school rather than working his way up through club rugby until enough players retire/leave so he can get a look in for an SR contract?

              • Roar Rookie

                August 30th 2016 @ 2:03pm
                Don said | August 30th 2016 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                But again, alot of these guys aren’t better than Intrust Cup League players either so they aren’t going to just walk into that system either. Very few will make the NRL. Just like only a few should make SR.

                All I am saying is reduce the number of professional Rugby positions in Australia by about 30.

                That is not going to materially change the pathways for the best players. There will still be academy spots, Aus U 20s, Aus 7s etc.

                It will reduce the pathways for the next tier of young guys though. They can play club, NRC and move up that way. Or go to NRL or Japan or go and lay bricks. Won’t matter to the Wallabies or the 4 SR sides or Aus Rugby.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 2:10pm
                rebel said | August 30th 2016 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

                Don, second grade club players are already going overseas to work being subsidised playing rugby. And as Browny states I have see plenty of fringe first graders go to league for a couple of hundred a week. It is not just the top tier being decimated, but the top 3-4 which has a knock on effect with people playing a higher level then they should.
                Strengthening of all levels of rugby is what is needed.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 30th 2016 @ 3:46pm
                Don said | August 30th 2016 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

                But that has always been the way rebel.
                I went OS as a young guy (22 years ago now) and a club signed me on the recommendation of one of our senior guys who had played there 2 years earlier.
                They set up my accom, got me a job in the pub and if I was good that week a hat got passed around and I saw some good cash. If we lost I got a feed and not much else.

                Now things are legally professional it is no different – just better cash on offer.

                On league. There is way too much paranoia around losing players to league.
                Much of it because people see a young guy who played first 15 and maybe some schoolboys rep footy then sign with an NRL club and start playing League post high school.
                They say league is poaching all the good rugby kids.
                What is rarely spoken of is how many of those kids played League as juniors and only ever played those few years of high school rugby because their parents sent them to a private school.

                Anyway. I guess we have all made our arguments. Cheers.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 1:39pm
              AlBo said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

              I appreciate everyone’s two bobs worth, Harry, Don, Browny et al and it goes to show that there are good arguments for either side, hence the issue. I totally get that a lot of those players could be club stars and at the same time hope that guys like McMahon and Hodge would be good enough to press their own claims if they didn’t have the Rebs to do it for them.

              I think I could get on terms with us going to four teams. I think where Australia sits right now, four teams is manageable and allow players of good SR standard to be retained. Five might just be a stretch in terms of resources and it’s quite universally accepted that grassroots needs more support. I just can’t imagine going back to three with the depth that we’re currently building. Solidify the Eastern Seaboard while building rugby in Perth with the NRC.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 30th 2016 @ 2:04pm
                Don said | August 30th 2016 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

                4 is the right number.

      • August 30th 2016 @ 6:18am
        Porkie said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:18am | ! Report

        Think they should pay the ceo of ARU less (a lot less)

        • August 30th 2016 @ 8:04am
          Kane said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:04am | ! Report

          So you think that you should get the cheapest option for a CEO who is running a company with revenue of $100m?

          700k isn’t that much in terms of the size of the entity he is running.

          • Roar Guru

            August 30th 2016 @ 11:16am
            John R said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:16am | ! Report

            Gonna disagree there. 700k is plenty of cash (our CEO is paid 200 less than that, managing a 1.5bn company listed on the ASX, that turns a healthy profit).

            So Billy is paid plenty of dosh. But the difference is he gets routinely ripped to shreds in the public forum, my CEO faces nowhere that level of scrutiny.

            Pretty sure Pulver is on far less than the bloke he replaced as well.

        • Roar Guru

          August 30th 2016 @ 8:16am
          Train Without A Station said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:16am | ! Report

          Pulver earns significantly less (in cases less than half) than the CEO’s of the AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia and his own predecessor.

          This is despite having more experience than a CEO than any.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 12:09pm
            Handles said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

            The ARU, with declining crowds, shrinking revenue and a $4 million deficit in 2015, chooses to pay less for their CEO than the AFL, with an operating surplus of $350 million? Go figure.

      • August 30th 2016 @ 6:29am
        Rebellion said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:29am | ! Report

        I think you’ll find Dingo enjoyed the last wave of talent and mismanaged them so badly most of them are no longer playing in Australia (although they are still only in their mid-late 20’s). He got to enjoy and have a chance to shape O’Connor, Beale, Pocock, Genia, Cooper, Ioane and Higginbotham. Stop pretending the failure of coaches to produce results in any way vindicates his reign – he was responsible for accelerating Australian rugby’s downfall if anything.
        The funny thing is I actually thought he was a good coach and possibly the right coach for the first 3 years until he absolutely lost the plot in 2011. Started having personality clashes with players and seemed to fall under the influence of NSWRU bearaucrats

        • Roar Rookie

          August 30th 2016 @ 9:32am
          Die hard said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:32am | ! Report

          He actually started many of those careers in fact and with them took the Wallabies to number two and held them there.

          What are you really trying to say

          • August 30th 2016 @ 11:04am
            Tatah said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:04am | ! Report

            I’m trying to say that if you offer opinions like that which are against mine on a sports opinion site, that could be libelous.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 11:06am
            Johnny Boy Jnr said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            Read my post again Die Hard.

            He enjoyed bringing the players through and then lost control of them & don’t pretend he picked them outbid the chorus – they were tearing up super rugby as teenagers.
            The fact that most of them are poster boys for ‘entitled Gen Y jerks’ is barely relevant. Instead of offering them structure and tailored management he allowed the bunch to go rotten before handing back the reigns. It’s a credit to McKenzie he resuscitated Quade’s career in 2013 before injury intervened.

            Any chance you could post an argument of substance ???

            • Roar Rookie

              August 30th 2016 @ 12:51pm
              Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              Agree with you there JBJ. I don’t think Dean’s had the tools to deal with players that were getting out of control.
              Dean’s has a great reputation for spotting talent but his man management skills aren’t exactly raved about. Dean’s also has a reputation for being a one man band when it comes to decision making in his teams & it’s a shame he didn’t get a manager in to sort out the nonsense.
              For mine Dean’s would be great in a ‘director of rugby’ role for the ARU looking after development. It’s a loss that his end came about in such a way that would make it hard to get reinvolved here.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 3:49pm
                HiKa said | August 30th 2016 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

                Good comment, Shane.
                The truly irritating bit is that Deans’ employers at the ARU didn’t recognise his limitations and work with him and support him to deliver the whole package needed to run the team. A similar failure seems to be in progress right now with Cheika.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 8:10pm
                Jacko said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

                Not sure what to call you. either jonny boy or rebellion but Deans won 5 titles at super rugby level and Im pretty sure he bought young talent thru in that time including a promissing R McCaw so that makes me and obviously Diehard and others think that your dislike for deans is personal rather than objective. Thats ok on this site but dont try to make us believe its anything different.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 11:35pm
                HiKa said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

                Did you miss the bit where Richie was asked the question about going ahead with Deans or Henry and gave his nod to Henry precisely because of Deans’s limitations in dealing with players (aka man management). Granted that in the case of his troubles with his Wallabies players, it was “manboy” management and may well have been an impossible task.

              • August 31st 2016 @ 4:12am
                lassitude said | August 31st 2016 @ 4:12am | ! Report

                I guess that’s why Deans accommodated all sorts of waifs and strays at the Crusaders and made them feel welcome and turned some into All Blacks – to the point that a number declared they’d only ever go back to the Crusaders after doing overseas stints.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 1:13pm
          jaysper said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

          Rebellion, we will have to agree to respectfully disagree on that one, which is all good – that is after all part of the discourse.
          I would agree with Die Hard (below) about Dingo starting some of those careers.

          However, where I have to disagree so vehemently is that he “lost the plot in 2011”.
          So much of the problem that I see with the Wallabies and Australian Super Rugby teams is that insane “empowerment” that the players seem to have managed to garner for themselves.
          Rather than enable it, the ARU should give them the “my way or the highway” speech and be prepared to ditch the whole damned 15.
          The coach’s job is to dictate the strategy and tactics of play and the players’ jobs are to implement them.
          If they don’t like the coach’s tactics and strategy, then they should be offered the door.

          Until such time as the ARU is prepared to ditch the coach, his should be the final word.
          This is not to say that it should be a dictatorship. Players should have input, but NOT control.

      • Roar Guru

        August 30th 2016 @ 8:17am
        Train Without A Station said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:17am | ! Report

        Papworth’s article is full of factual errors and wilful ignorance.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 9:40am
          William Tell said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:40am | ! Report

          So was the ARU hierarchy at Randwick races rather than the finals of club rugby?

          • Roar Guru

            August 30th 2016 @ 9:47am
            Train Without A Station said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            No idea.

            Not sure how it even matters anyway.

            How many VFL matches does Gillon McLachlan attend? Have you seen James Sutherland down at many grade cricket matches?

            • August 30th 2016 @ 10:30am
              Jack Hays said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:30am | ! Report

              You simply cannot deny that Pulver’s intention to grow the game in Australia is failing. The Force will be gone within two years and the NRC will be lucky to survive this year. If you speak to anyone who has a professional relationship with the ARU, the response is consistent that the ARU are hopeless.

              Papworth was also spot on that AFL has raided the heartland of rugby nursery schools and rugby strongholds. Right from under their noses while they persist with this grow the game ethos.

              We can all see it happening and train without a station you are off with the fairies if you can’t see that.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 10:34am
                In Brief said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:34am | ! Report

                You mean the plan to grow rugby in Australia that was released about a month ago? Failing already? That was a quick implementation, review and decision.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 11:33am
                Sydneysider said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:33am | ! Report

                it’s already happening Jack.

                the die hard rugby supporters like TWAS can’t see it.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 3:04pm
                Crash Bandicoot said | August 30th 2016 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                Get the feeling that TWAS doesn’t like agreeing with anyone…..that would be boring and he wouldn’t get the chance to “stand out”.

                Rugby is dying because of these beliefs and the ego’s who never want help. I am not sure what the solution is but people like John Eales, Rod Mcqueen and John Connelly need to get involved in a big way…let everyone else just watch and maybe do something that seems a little odd these days…..listen! see what vision they have then implement it!

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2016 @ 9:04am
                Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 9:04am | ! Report

                How does he grow the game with no money?

                The ARU’s primary revenue stream was locked in until the end of 2015 before he started. All sponsorships were filled. There was no opportunity to add more fixtures to the calendar.

                The AFL has done that with money.

                I never said I can’t see any decline. I’m just pointing out everything else I see that the ARU needs to deal with in any attempt to manage this decline.

        • Roar Rookie

          August 30th 2016 @ 11:36am
          tsuru said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:36am | ! Report

          Train, Papworth’s article seems to be having a major influence on Roarers and presumably others. As someone who has said you provide evidence for your statements here (whether I agree with your conclusions or not) I think you really need to tell us what were the factual errors and willful ignorance.

          • Roar Guru

            August 30th 2016 @ 12:10pm
            John R said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            Not sure how well thought out Papworth’s arguments are, or if he even has a strategy at all.

            It’s basically propaganda.

            Get rid of Super Rugby, pull out of SANZAAR, pay schools to pull down AFL posts (laughed out loud at that). Okay Brett, but if we’re not in SANZAAR, and therefore not receiving any share of the TV rights deals, how are we going to afford to do that?

            Create competitions that are about growing the game. Isn’t that what the NRC is? The investment in the 7’s comps, isn’t that what that’s for? to grow the game? There’s no substance to his comment there, he offers nothing to support that statement.

            Not about finding elite 16 year olds. Okay, let’s ignore talent in our game at junior level, and just let AFL and NRL have a field day. I’m sure they don’t mind identifying elite 16 year olds for higher honours.

            Close down the super rugby teams that eat money. I haven’t run the numbers – but as much money as they lose, the loss in share of TV rights would far exceed any losses they post (happy to be proven wrong here). So economically that’s a flawed proposal.

        • Roar Guru

          August 30th 2016 @ 7:01pm
          sheek said | August 30th 2016 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

          So Brett Paworth, ex-Wallaby, Australian schoolboy, Sydney Roosters rugby league player & Eastwood rugby club president, is willfully ignorant while you, using an obscure nome de plume & hiding behind a photo of Allan Border, is much wiser?

          I would respect your opinion more if you came out form hiding & showed us who you really were.

          • Roar Guru

            August 30th 2016 @ 7:17pm
            Machooka said | August 30th 2016 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

            Ummm sheek… you know you are doing pretty much the same thing.

            Oops… so am I now.

            Bugger! 🙂

            • Roar Guru

              August 30th 2016 @ 7:29pm
              sheek said | August 30th 2016 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

              No Machooka,

              My photo is there & my Roar name is my actual nickname, just add two letters & you have my surname.

              It’s Irish heritage, not prolific, but easy enough to work out.

              There’s a famous London seafood restaurant that shares the same surname as myself.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 8:13pm
            taylorman said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

            Gosh, I need glasses, I thought all along that was Clint Eastwood from High plains drifter!?

            • Roar Guru

              August 30th 2016 @ 8:38pm
              sheek said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:38pm | ! Report

              Or me.

              Let’s call him Allan Eastwood, or Clint Border…..

            • August 30th 2016 @ 9:10pm
              Corey said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

              Have to agree, I thought it was Clint Eastwood as well.

              I also agree Sheek. I am for these forums and people expressing “opinions”. But Without getting to deep, I think the times has come when people get called out on these opinions when they base them as fact. I am personally over the ramblings off internet heroes. Not trying to put the boot into anyone but we lose our identity from being spectator’s to believing we are “players”. Really where just a bunch of people having a chat trying to solve a minor problem called sport..anyway, sack Micheal Cheika!!! ?

            • September 1st 2016 @ 11:43am
              Richard said | September 1st 2016 @ 11:43am | ! Report

              hehe. Not bad for a Kiwi

          • Roar Guru

            August 31st 2016 @ 8:27am
            Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 8:27am | ! Report

            His playing career has zero to do with the fact that he does not consider:

            The current financial position and legal obligation to stay solvent
            Required revenue streams to keep the best players in Australia
            The need to make profits in order to have any money to spend on grassroots
            The cost of professional sport in 2016 for both competing nations and other codes.

            He bands around the $770M figure like some sort of smoking gun but provides zero context on it. Like what did the NZRU spend in that period? Or and NRL/AFL team.

            I don’t give a f— if you respect my opinion. Just tell me how the issues I propose are wrong and how Papworth’s Magic plan deals with them.

      • August 30th 2016 @ 12:34pm
        jameswm said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

        re the Pappy piece – I agree with a lot of it, but not dropping out of Super rugby. People care about Super rugby. Go and watch a Brumby home game, a Reds home game and yes, a Tahs home game.

        Lose Super rugby and:

        (a) it is too big a leap from club to test rugby;
        (b) there is no pro pathway, so all our good players will leave.

        • Roar Guru

          August 30th 2016 @ 7:10pm
          sheek said | August 30th 2016 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

          I think his intent to is weld super rugby provinces & some NRC clubs, or the concept behind them, into a national domestic comp.

          Something I agree with. Sure, there is likely to initially be a drop in revenue. But done right, this can grow the gam again.

          The current systems & structures have been failing the Wallabies for a decade. Time to try something different.

          • Roar Guru

            August 30th 2016 @ 7:49pm
            sheek said | August 30th 2016 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

            I’m going to be controversial here, as is often my want.

            There is a perception that perhaps too many Kiwis & Islanders are using the weakness of Australian rugby as an easy, quick-fire route to professional & international rugby.

            I’m not talking about a guy like Israel Folau or Tatafu Polata-Nau, or before them Wycliff Palu, George Smith & Lote Tuqiri.

            While these guys are proud of their islander heritage, they appear to obviously consider themselves fully Australian.

            It’s ironic that Quade Cooper is bagged by Kiwis, because it seems he only became an Australian citizen around last year or so.

            Of course, you don’t have to be an Australian citizen to bleed for the Wallaby jersey. Greg Davis played 39 tests for Australia, just two short of the then record, & captained his adopted country a then equal record 16 times.

            He was one of our finest players during a dark period. After a decade in the Wallaby jersey 1963-72, he promptly returned home to NZ. He is revered as one of the gutsiest players to wear the Wallaby gold.

            A winger whose name is often put forward for the Wallabies is Henry Speight. This guy comes from Fijian royalty. He did his senior schooling in NZ before coming across to the ACT Brumbies.

            I don’t mean to pick on him but how can he have the Wallaby gold jersey close to his heart? Perhaps the reality is that it’s a convenience.

            He never had a serious chance to be an All Black, while there’s little money & recognition in playing for his country of birth Fiji.

            So, I say, if Australia withdraws from super rugby, then these possible mercenaries can continue onto Japan, FRance & England.

            Only those who care about the gold jersey need remain, however good or ordinary they might be.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 8:20pm
              Jacko said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

              That last sentence may well be the problem sheek. Today’s Aus rugby player is about money, not a gold jersey. Not that its unique to Aus but average players get big money OS and good players are constantly pampered just to try and keep them in Aus. They no longer have to work so hard to earn that jersey, get a fantastic living out of rugby and are anything but the best they can be.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 8:32pm
              Akari said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

              Sheeky maybe but not controversial at all, sheek. If Oz won’t have these (if I may crudely put it) ‘mercenaries’, they will move on to play for another country that will have them. No doubt they will play their hearts out and proud to play for their adopted country and no doubt bring prestige in their countries of birth.

            • Roar Guru

              August 31st 2016 @ 8:28am
              Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 8:28am | ! Report

              Did you have an issue with Willie O?

              • August 31st 2016 @ 8:39am
                Akari said | August 31st 2016 @ 8:39am | ! Report

                Not at all, TWAS; loved the guy and he fits the bill. No one can however question his commitment to the WBs and Australia even if he was a johnny-come-lately after being refused re-entry by an officious and silly NZ Immigration official on return from Oz after his NZ school tour.

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2016 @ 8:43am
                sheek said | August 31st 2016 @ 8:43am | ! Report

                Only initially with the spelling & pronunciation of his name.

                Back in 1990 Willie O was a novelty, only the second player of island heritage after Acura Niqula (1988) to play for the Wallabies.

                He also brought a hardness to the Wallabies’ game that was missing.

                By the end of 1999 only half a dozen players of Islander heritage had represented the Wallabies.

                I was against ex-Bok Tiaan Strauss representing the Wallabies BTW.

                Anyway, what was a trickle in the 1990s has become a steady stream in the current situation.

                Just not sure everyone making themselves available for a Wallaby jersey these days is doing it because they genuinely love Australia as their country.

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2016 @ 9:01am
                Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 9:01am | ! Report

                So no, you didn’t.

            • August 31st 2016 @ 1:29pm
              Wayne said | August 31st 2016 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

              Sheek you are onto something..

              Skelton Dean Mumm and Kepu are Kiwis ..They really aren’t Aussies..

              No wonder they fail when they put GREEN AND GOLD jersey on..

              Hmmmm yes

              • August 31st 2016 @ 1:44pm
                taylorman said | August 31st 2016 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

                Simple survival of the fittest Wayne….we weed out the weaklings of the litter and send them off on their own and they hope that some other pride takes them in… 🙂

          • Roar Guru

            August 31st 2016 @ 8:28am
            Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 8:28am | ! Report

            Ok. If there’s initially a drop in revenue, rugby in Australia is bankrupt within a year.

            How do you grow the game then?

            • Roar Guru

              August 31st 2016 @ 8:45am
              sheek said | August 31st 2016 @ 8:45am | ! Report

              I don’t claim to have all the answers.

              But perhaps we need to go back to people who love the game for itself & not only because it’s a revenue source.

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2016 @ 9:00am
                Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 9:00am | ! Report

                And how to you but brend to combat all the other nations that are fully professional that we play against, and all the other codes where players have transferable skills and can make a living Ng?

                The players want money because they can make a living in sport. The competition for those players doesn’t just disappear.

                The professional sporting world around us doesn’t disappear.

                Rugby probably does though…

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2016 @ 6:57pm
                sheek said | August 31st 2016 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

                I don’t care about anyone else, I care about Australian rugby.

                You’re good at providing financial models, but you still haven’t explained how the current situation isn’t working, despite having more financial resources to support it than ever before.

                All the financial theory in the world won’t account for the failure of the Wallabies over the past decade.

                The ABs are the litmus test, & the Wallabies keep failing it, for 14 years & counting…..

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2016 @ 9:41pm
                Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 9:41pm | ! Report

                The current situation isn’t working because everybody we compete against, other codes and other nations are supported by more financial resources than we are.

                Why isn’t IGA beating Coles and Woolworths?

      • August 30th 2016 @ 1:46pm
        Mac said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

        Thanks Jaysper for the link. Alarming I’ll say. Agree with what Brett said almost fully. And it echoes comments made in my cycles for some time. As a recent past volunteer administrator of a local union the lack or support from the QRU and ARU visibility was scary. The numbers of people who wanted to do things to expand the game was encouraging and the crap that the QRU ran with was useless. It was all about Stats. “We have increased player participation with rookies to reds” root. Pure root. I saw the results in the clubs. I saw not a sole come from that and I suspect the REDs dev coach did nothing to sponsor clubs. Poor effort if he did. Half the RTR where club players anyway and the rest were kids doing something other than after school care.

        So Brett’s article is very much correct. SANZAR, hmmm. I’d stay but yes, please make the game more relevant. The code at present has lost some meaning and it seems this year is worst. I have watch 50% less this year than last. 18 teams, ?????. Perhaps this meaningless or perhaps there is just too much rugby in areas we couldn’t care about week in week out. Tradition is powerful and developing tradition is a long term thing. Usually slow moving and evolving.

        • Roar Guru

          August 31st 2016 @ 8:29am
          Train Without A Station said | August 31st 2016 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          Why would you have any visible ARU sport? They give the QRU money to manage rugby in the start.

          As for the QRU? The less said the better on them…

      • August 30th 2016 @ 4:43pm
        Kelven said | August 30th 2016 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

        I made my opposition to reducing the number of Super teams known elsewhere so won’t repeat it here but as far as grass roots rugby is concerned. A 10% reduction in ARU overheads would result in a 7 figure number being available for grass roots rugby. I wonder how many ARU spivs flew to NZ to watch the game and did they go business class? We know they stayed at 5 -6 star hotels , why not 4 star? There is currently a lot of wasted money in rugby and a lot of corporate old school tossers feeding from the gravy train ino and that money could be better spent on grass roots rugby development

      • Roar Guru

        September 1st 2016 @ 1:39am
        RobC said | September 1st 2016 @ 1:39am | ! Report

        jaysper, Pappy on the tube with Djuro (Ruggamatrix). Worth a watch

    • August 30th 2016 @ 5:34am
      Squirrel said | August 30th 2016 @ 5:34am | ! Report

      Hodge and Coleman was fantastic. Cooper / Foley did absolutely nothing in attack, pathetic in defence. We need players who can tackle, it use to be compulsory as
      Prerequisite to be a wallaby.

      • August 30th 2016 @ 8:26am
        The Slow Eater said | August 30th 2016 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        At least Cooper made some decent in-field kicks to space. Something that Foley has failed to do in the last 6 losses.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 9:38am
          Buk said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:38am | ! Report

          Very good infield pass to Folau by Cooper I noticed, that almost led to a try.
          I thought the Cooper-Genia combo was good, and the exit play seemed to be improved.

          Playing musical chairs in the attack/defence changeover however – disastrous results.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 30th 2016 @ 9:53am
            Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:53am | ! Report

            It was a good pass Buk, the thing is though it came in the approx 76th minute. Prior to that Cooper asked no questions of the Defence.

            • August 30th 2016 @ 10:14am
              Marshall said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:14am | ! Report

              Shane it was some rare front foot ball in decent field position, the rest of the game he had been getting the ball back foot and undersiege. I thought his kicking game was good and a big improvement, just what we need. No need to carry both however, ditch Foley and move Kerevi to 12 (he looked capable of getting over the advantage line) and Folau to 13 (ditto).

            • August 30th 2016 @ 11:02am
              Terry said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              When your team has 30% of possession and is camped in the 22 most of the night .It`s pretty hard to ask questions of the defence with the black hoarde in your face..

            • Roar Rookie

              August 30th 2016 @ 11:38am
              Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:38am | ! Report

              Agree lads but Cooper is an attacking 10. It’s his job to find a way to put the defence under pressure, it might not be easy but that’s what he is there to do.
              Marshall I agree that Cooper & Foley aren’t a great combo. Leave Cooper to do the playmaking & get Kerevi into 12.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 12:11pm
                Terry said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

                You did not pay attention when it was game time ?? We had 30% of possession, 20 % in our half..Forwards going backwards at a thousand miles an hour and you want him to conjure up something ??..

                Did you want him to do a dinky chip over the top for himself or Hooper inside the 22, or a crossfield kick to IZZY from inside his 22. Flick a pass a 20 meters to SAMU after he runs and steps through the entire ABS inside backs and 8 abs forwards.??

                Carter could do nothing in Sydney last year when the Wallabies forwards dished up the AB`S pack. Why didn’t Carter put the defence under pressure and do something??

                QC is damned if he has a go, and damned if he doesn`t have a go..

              • Roar Rookie

                August 30th 2016 @ 1:12pm
                Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                Terry, no worries. If you are happy for your 10 to say it’s too hard & do nothing that’s sweet.
                Carter has been in AB teams that have won tests with less than the 44% possession that the Wallabies had on Saturday.
                Cooper put up a great kick early on for Folau & then seemed to go into his shell. He didn’t challenge the defence at all which meant the AB line could then apply more & more pressure knowing that no threat was coming from the inside channel.
                Where was his running & passing game that is his strength, he seemed satisfied to just shovel the ball on. Why didn’t he try to have a run & hold up the defence to create some doubt? Where were the changes of angles to try & get in behind the defence?
                I am a fan of Cooper but was disappointed with the role he played on Saturday. I expected more from him & would have preferred if he ‘had a go!.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 1:24pm
                Terry said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                I know where you are coming from, but maybe he was too scared to have a go or was told not to have a go .Commentators, former Coaches and players, us, keep telling him to be ” composed and solid ” and you will be a good 10 ..

                Well he was composed and solid. .I think he is too scared to make a mistake ( it was his first big game since URUGUAY 2015). .

                Maybe playing against the SPRINGBOKS he can release the shackles. He has a good record against them over the years…

              • Roar Rookie

                August 30th 2016 @ 1:51pm
                Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                Certainly hope he can find his Mojo Terry. Looking back on the game I don’t think he had a lot of support from his fellow backs. A 10 playing at 12, a 13 playing his 3rd test probably wouldn’t have been very vocal.
                I remember a very talented 10 telling me that he needed a voice from the outsides & esp his fullback to make sure he was running things at his best.
                One thing though, I hope someone burns those orange boots, they were awful to look at!

              • Roar Guru

                August 31st 2016 @ 5:50am
                taylorman said | August 31st 2016 @ 5:50am | ! Report

                Scared? Dont think thats the right word. He’s had time to prepare mentally and I agree, should have had a go.
                Theres little value in having a Quade at 10 where he doesnt. Thats his forte, his breadmaker.
                Bad sogn if comfidence is a problem at this stage of his career. Harden up.

    • August 30th 2016 @ 6:04am
      Luke Ringland said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:04am | ! Report

      As a long suffering Tahs fan I will always be grateful for Cheika’s role in the 2014 premiership victory. But any positivity I have about the man’s coaching is all but gone.

      I must say that my doubts really began to surface after Bledisloe one last year. We had just beaten the All Blacks. We were another great game away from potentially winning back the Bledisloe. And he sends out a completely different team for game two. What the?

      And then we had some consistency in selection during the world cup, and hey presto, some better results.

      Now as the pressure has gone up, the weird selections are on another level. But I’m with Spiro on his behaviour as being the most worrying thing. He and all Australian teams should be banned from criticizing the referee pubically, FULL STOP. As though that was anywhere near being a major reason why we lost. Larkham and Moore in Super Rugby just as bad.

      • August 30th 2016 @ 6:52am
        mania said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:52am | ! Report

        luke to be fair imo the ABs lost because they weren’t mentally prepared, not because cheika came up with a good game plan. the following week and since that player combo just hasn’t been very effective vs the ABs

        • August 30th 2016 @ 9:21am
          Ngati Tumutumu said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:21am | ! Report

          Hey Mania I can say in all honesty Australia were just better than us on that day. And the AB’s did what champions do and responded to the pressure in the next game. But we have to give them compliments for last years RC win.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 10:24am
            rebel said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:24am | ! Report

            Agree better team won on the day.

        • August 30th 2016 @ 9:53am
          Tinfoil Hat said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          I disagree. In Sydney last year, the wallabies did have s superior game plan.But, as is the way with Hansen and co., they learnt their lesson, implented a successful counter strategy in a week and haven’t lost to oz since. The oz coaching staff lack the ability to adapt, instead claiming that there is a conspiracy of international refs against them because a strategy that worked once is now no longer effective

        • Roar Rookie

          August 30th 2016 @ 9:54am
          Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 9:54am | ! Report

          Prepared or not the ABs got beaten by the better team. I believe the point is though that with the opportunity to win the Bledisloe Cheika opted to change the team.

          • August 30th 2016 @ 10:02am
            geoff said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:02am | ! Report

            thats the point though, they obviously werent the “better team”, they had a better day at the office.

            Hansen and co havent had much trouble since then beating that “better team” 4 times in a row by pretty big margins.

            I actually think Cheika did the right thing, he was never going to beat the ABs two more times that year so he opted to try out some things and hope he could pull off a blinder again later in the year should he meet them in the RWC.

            Even with their “better team” they were going to lose at Eden Park last year, absolutely as sure a thing as you can get in sport, why not try and learn some more about certain players as Hansen likes to say?

            • August 30th 2016 @ 10:54am
              Akari said | August 30th 2016 @ 10:54am | ! Report

              I’d like to agree with you, geoff, but it’s all pure speculation and we’ll never know. On the evidence available, the WBs were better on the day of the 1st test.

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2016 @ 11:11am
                Machooka said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:11am | ! Report

                He ain’t called ‘dead-man Bernie’ for nothing!

              • Roar Guru

                August 30th 2016 @ 11:12am
                Machooka said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:12am | ! Report

                Damn… this is second time I’ve replied to a comment and it’s ended up in another thread.

            • Roar Rookie

              August 30th 2016 @ 11:13am
              Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:13am | ! Report

              That day they were the better team. They out played the AB’s. What they were the next week or since doesn’t alter that.
              The reason I believe that Cheika erred is because the chance to win the Bledisloe & maintain momentum was there & the chance of winning would have been higher, in my opinion, with the same team that achieved victory the week before.
              What message did making wholesale changes say to his players? I suspect it was exactly what you say – “boys, we have no chance, get out there & do your best’.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 12:16pm
                taylorman said | August 30th 2016 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                The scenario is similar to when the world cricket cup last year. Oz got beaten at Eden park by NZ then the two teams met again in the Melbourne final. Of course we felt we had a chance in the final but certainly ozzies didn’t.

                Now afterwards if we’d said, gee, we picked our wrong players, or we played a wrong gameplan…which McCallum did by trying to bash from the start…the response would have been…didn’t matter who you selected, how you played. You might have won at Auckland, but not here, at the MCG…no way.

                Same as Eden park. The win was every bit as commanding as the cricket final. And our cricket side was every bit as good as the Wallabies rugby side.

                We deserved the Auckland win, we topped the table,mew made the final. But we’re we going to win? Turns out not.

            • Roar Guru

              August 30th 2016 @ 11:42am
              taylorman said | August 30th 2016 @ 11:42am | ! Report

              Yep without a doubt. No way would oz have won the eden park match. Did not matter who they selected. No way the difference between test one and two was simply team selection.
              In thinking that way you make a poor assumption that ABs could not have played poorly themselves in Sydney and that oz held the key to both tests. Nope.
              Doesnt work like that. ABs corrected all their mistakes, dropped any complacency out and worked out exactly how to beat oz whatever they threw at them.
              Common thinking here is that ABs were beaten, outplayed but in Auckland oz got their selections wrong. Please…
              Based on results before and since it is more likely All black form determined both outcomes. Poor in Sydney, corrected big time in Auckland.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 30th 2016 @ 1:32pm
                Shane D said | August 30th 2016 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                Not making assumptions Tman. My viewpoint is that the Cheika should have had the mindset that they could win at Eden Park if they played as well as they did in Sydney. I believe that the best opportunity to win would have been to play the same combinations that won previously.
                Absolutely the AB’s didn’t play to potential in Sydney & Cheika would have known an improved performance would be coming.
                Cheika couldn’t control what the AB’s would do but certainly had control if what his team could do to face that challenge. The chance no matter how very slim to win the Bledisloe & grab some much needed momentum going into the RWC should have been respected more than by making the selection changes he made.

              • August 30th 2016 @ 3:43pm
                taylorman said | August 30th 2016 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                Yes agree with that, though for me all that would have done would have been to reduce the margin a bit. Not significantly as no Oz side has got near the side that played at Eden park that day for years.

      • August 31st 2016 @ 4:59am
        watchWallabiesOnTV said | August 31st 2016 @ 4:59am | ! Report

        I have had the same growing bad feeling about Cheika’s performance… I even think now that he was lucky in 2014. A long time ago now with 6 consecutive total defeats, the guy is in total disarray. It’s obvious.
        I guess we will go along with at least 2 more defeats the next 4 games (maybe more) and no lessons learned.

    • August 30th 2016 @ 6:12am
      Hmmm said | August 30th 2016 @ 6:12am | ! Report

      Pick people in a position and play them there In attack and defence. Surely wallabies couldn’t leak more points? The current D is chaotic and results in playmakers being out of position when turn overs occur limiting counter attack.

      I think the defensive switching of positions is glossed over in analysis of the deterioration of wallaby play. Seems an association is there ie more switching leads to poorer defence but also poorer attack.

      • August 30th 2016 @ 7:07am
        TT said | August 30th 2016 @ 7:07am | ! Report

        100% Agree..

        With soo many adjustments required to transition from defence to offence to accommodate certain player’s perceived weaknesses, isn’t it any wonder that the Wallabies missed tackle count was still too high in the 2nd test even though the effort compared to last week’s defence was soo much better.

        As the saying go’s.. Speed kill’s. In this case the speed in which the AB’s transition from one to the other coupled with their supreme handling skills creates defensive chaos and inevitably mis-matches everywhere for them to exploit.

    , ,