Wales versus Australia – halfway there on attack!

Nicholas Bishop Columnist

By Nicholas Bishop, Nicholas Bishop is a Roar Expert

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    Dane Haylett-Petty goes over for a try. (David Davies/PA via AP)

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    In the event, it was not even close. Australia had the game won by half-time. In those first 40 minutes, they played probably their best half of attacking football in 2016 – at least in terms of creating chances through the slickness of their attacking structure.

    The finishing was not always of the same high standard, if it had been the Wallabies could easily have passed the 50-point milestone for the first time in a Test match at Cardiff.

    The Wales side was missing some of its foundation stones in the shape of defensive captain Jonathan Davies, their best attacker Liam Williams, and their three most influential forwards in Sam Warburton, no.8 Taulupe Faletau and lock Alun-Wyn Jones.

    However that should not detract from the outstanding attacking build-up play of the Wallabies in the first half. They full earned their tries and the conclusive final score-line.

    The two most prominent features of Australia’s attack were:
    1. Their accuracy in using the attacking techniques against a press defence I described in my article last week and,
    2. The physical domination in phase play exercised by their three main forward ball-carriers – Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold and Lopeti Timani.

    So let’s take a look at how these two features worked out in practice.

    One of Australia’s best early opportunities from set-piece came from an exact replica of the lineout move that earned them a try against Argentina in the fourth round of the Rugby Championship. In both cases,
    • Adam Coleman wins premium back ball from the lineout, with David Pocock rolling the ball around end with the scrum-half (Will Genia against the Pumas, Nick Phipps versus Wales) outside him.
    • The Wallaby #13 (Samu Kerevi against Argentina, Tevita Kuridrani versus Wales) crashes down on a hard decoy line towards the inside shoulder of the defending 10.
    • The Australian 10 (Quade Cooper against the Pumas, Bernard Foley versus Wales) and blind-side wing (Dane Haylett-Petty in both instances) both run an ‘overs’ line towards the far corner flag, with the wing trailing the outside-half as the inside pass option.

    The two examples illustrate the different philosophies of the Wales and Argentine defences nicely. As soon as the Argentine #12 sees Quade Cooper fading away, he follows him outwards on the drift.

    The Wales #12 Jamie Roberts by contrast, is set up to make a frontal or outside shoulder tackle so he goes the other way – on to the decoy Kuridrani. Perhaps Roberts was influenced by the presence of his open-side flanker Justin Tipuric in the 10 channel with Dan Biggar off the field on a yellow card, but it has to be said the Wales D on this occasion gifted Australia a very easy scoring chance.

    Tevita Kuridrani’s try at 34:25 was a great example of Australia’s ability to out-manoeuvre the Wales defensive press up on the second receiver. As I noted last week, if you can get that defender to ‘bite’ on an inside runner, the space on the edge will be available. Here the Wales #9 Rhys Webb bites on the threat of Folau and Foley makes an accurate long skip pass to release Kuridrani on the outside.

    Australia also made full use of the kick-pass, and backline depth to draw the press even further upfield and create spaces in the Welsh defence.

    There were two excellent early examples of Foley’s use of the kick-pass to unlock the defensive pattern, at 2:03 with Israel Folau as the breaking receiver, and at 7:44 with Haylett-Petty on the end of the kick. In both cases the kicks are beautifully-weighted by the Wallaby #10, and momentum is sustained by offloads in contact after the receiver regathers the ball.

    Both examples also demonstrate good tactical appreciation by Bernard Foley in picking the right moment to make the kick across field. As I pointed out in last week’s article,

    “With the last defender following (Jonathan) Davies in and upfield, it gives the full-back an awful lot of work to do cover the space to the wide open side.”

    As the end-on shot from behind the posts shows at 3:28, Foley clearly identified those situations where the end defender on the line was flying straight upfield and there was only one player in the backfield (Leigh Halfpenny in the first instance) trying to cover the whole width of the field.

    On other occasions, Australia increased the depth of their alignment in order to give the second receiver more time to beat the rush, at 8:03 (with quick hands by Foley); at 14:52, with a nice decoy run by Sekope Kepu giving Reece Hodge more time and space to work the ball wide; and at 25:49, with Foley’s deeper alignment pulling the Wales D upfield and creating a gap on the inside between #4 Bradley Davies and #3 Samson Lee for Hodge to make the break.

    In all these examples, Bernard Foley’s excellent positioning and execution is quite clear. A special mention (after last week’s article) should also go to Nick Phipps, whose passing showed signs of improvement from Bledisloe III. There were some good deliveries off his left hand at 2:02, 14:45, 14:51 and 25:36 in these sequences.

    The bedrock of Australia’s first half performance however, was set further forward than either 9 or 10, in the ball-carrying work of Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold and Lopeti Timani. Last week I said:

    Australia will want to keep ball and establish their big men on the advantage line, their Adam Colemans and Rory Arnolds and Lopeti Timanis. Wales will do everything in their power to deny them with the most aggressive press defence in the Northern Hemisphere.

    In the event, Wales’ inside defence was unexpectedly passive, and the Wallabies three big men looked extremely good!
    There are a couple of ways to measure the ball-carrying contributions of your big men –

    1. Whether they fall forward in the collision for extra yardage, or are stopped dead or knocked backwards, and
    2. The speed of their ball presentations at the ruck.

    In both respects Coleman, Arnold and Timani were outstanding in the first period:


    Ball-carrier # carries Quick 1-2’ delivery Collision wins Negative outcomes
    Arnold 7 5 4 1
    Coleman 9 7 6 3 (slow or stopped)
    Timani 6 5 4 3 (turnover or stopped)

    With success rates of anywhere between 75-90% in heavy contact, all three players were dominant forces on the advantage line.

    One of the forward pods in Australia’s attacking set-up typically includes both locks and a back-rower (see 7:40, 7:59 and 25:44 in the second reel) and it is a big advantage to have three such physically-imposing units in the same group. They can spread the work-load around (as the above stats indicate) and feed off each other’s momentum.

    Going back to the first reel of clips, it is the strength of first Coleman, then Timani close-in which generates two very quick ruck deliveries and sets up Foley for his attack on the Wales short-side defence at 34:19.

    It is the long attacking sequence from 36:40-37:27 (end of the first reel) which best encapsulates the power of the Wallaby numbers 4, 5 and 8 on the carry.

    Starting at their own 40m line, the Wallabies move 30 metres upfield in seven effortless phases and 50 seconds. Five of those phases are carries by Arnold (twice), Coleman (twice) and Timani (once) – the others are one carry by Stephen Moore and a back-line move out to the right.

    All five carries are collision wins which generate sub-two-second ball from the breakdown. As we know from previous articles examining Stephen Larkham’s basic attack pattern, for the shape to work it is necessary for forwards to dominate contact with their opposite numbers because mismatches are not produced in significant numbers.

    With Arnold, Coleman and Timani playing in the same back-five (and often in the same pod) you can look forward to that kind of domination and your halves can play care-free!

    Wales lacked leadership and were unexpectedly soft on Saturday, but nonetheless the Wallabies were excellent with ball in hand in the first half.

    Progressively stiffer tests await in the form of Scotland, France, giant-killing Ireland and the Wallabies’ bête noir from the summer, England. Ireland and England at the end especially, will give a much more accurate feel for how far Australia have come. They will test the Coleman-led lineout and contest the collisions far more strongly than Wales were able to do in Cardiff.

    In the mean-time, we can expect Will Genia to be restored at #9 for the Scotland game, and that will probably be the only change to the run-on side which beat Wales.

    Nicholas Bishop
    Nicholas Bishop

    Nick Bishop has worked as a rugby analyst and advisor to Graham Henry (1999-2003), Mike Ruddock (2004-2005) and most recently Stuart Lancaster (2011-2015). He also worked on the 2001 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia and produced his first rugby book with Graham Henry at the end of the tour. Three more rugby books have followed, all of which of have either been nominated for or won national sports book awards. Nick's latest is a biography of Phil Larder, the first top Rugby League coach to successfully transfer over to Union, entitled The Iron Curtain. He is currently writing articles for The Roar and The Rugby Site, and working as a strategy consultant to Stuart Lancaster and the Leinster coaching staff for their European matches.

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    The Crowd Says (182)

    • Roar Guru

      November 9th 2016 @ 7:20am
      Diggercane said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      Geez I wish I could articulate as well as this.

      Thank you Nick!

      • November 9th 2016 @ 9:26am
        PiratesRugby said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        Just a great analysis. It is all too easy to just gloat after a big win but Nick has none of that. I love to see Arnold, Coleman and Timani making the most of their opportunities

        • Columnist

          November 9th 2016 @ 9:37am
          Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          Thanks PR – it’s a pleasure to be able to write up the positives after such a good first half!

          • November 10th 2016 @ 10:22am
            PiratesRugby said | November 10th 2016 @ 10:22am | ! Report

            Keep up the good work Nick. Its appreciated!

    • Roar Guru

      November 9th 2016 @ 7:25am
      The Saint said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      Good assessments Nicholas. Wales lacked leadership, with Warburton, Faletau, Alun-Wyn Jones, Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies.
      Australia played superbly in the first half. Wales tweeked their play during the break and came out a little better in the 2nd half.

      • Columnist

        November 9th 2016 @ 7:29am
        Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:29am | ! Report

        Yep John Wales were severely underdone and they didn’t have the leaders to dig them out of the hole – confirms that depth is a big issue in Welsh rugby, as suggested by the midweek defeat to the Chiefs “C” team in the summer and the unsatisfactory warm-up against England. ‘Wafer-thin’ is the phrase that springs to mind.

    • Columnist

      November 9th 2016 @ 7:26am
      Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      I think you do Digger – your style is different is all…

      An All Black defeat certainly provokes interesting reactions and brings some folks out of the closet doesn’t it? If they get Rettallick/Whitelock/Romano back, Ireland will probably be made to pay in full in Dublin.

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2016 @ 9:22am
        Diggercane said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        My style? Lacking facts and reasoning you mean… 🙂

        Yes, nothing like a loss to spur us Kiwis awake for sure. I see Sir Brian has made mention that we are too predictable and Foster has come out declaring it a fair cop. no one argues with Brian!

        But he is right, the warnings were there for us against Argentina and the Wallabies. After Bled 3, made mention of our defensive issues in the points article and how it would be interesting to observe what we do about it, not a whole lot so far. The ability to feed off mistakes also has been a strength, until of course a side makes very few. It is just odd to me that talk around Ardie needing to put on some weight for this level yet we are prepared to sacrifice a lot more in the tight five, let alone height. Not just in the lineout, hitting rucks, scrummaging, carrying in tight, small margins. As a former hooker, Coles has my sympathy, overthrows suggested to be a problem but when faced against opposition like Irelands towers without your own big targets is difficult to get right.

        Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing and it is difficult to be too critical of the coaches considering their track record is not too bad! I really don’t like the Lock/Loosie thing at this level. I would suggest Itoje is the only player at the moment capable and he is definitely an exception! Was impressed with S Barrett though, tough situation to come on in but made a difference under pressure, am starting to think he would be my third option moving forward behind Whitelock and Retallick. Very much looking forward to what we do in this area over the coming weeks.

        As for Dublin, of course as a Kiwi I want to see the tables turned and history would suggest this usually happens but this is a good Irish side with a shrewd coaching staff, I do not think it is a give in at all. The last thing they will want is to drop their bundle at home and if they can play the controlled game again, no reason they cannot expect a repeat performance. They most certainly have the belief and their attitude to look for the try line will serve them well. Really looking forward to it!

        • Columnist

          November 9th 2016 @ 9:41am
          Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:41am | ! Report

          Yeah, I think the game in Soldier Field was lost in tight five selection. Even having Scott Barrett start would prob have meant victory, as far as I know Jerome Kaino has no background in the second row. After Barrett came on they didn’t lose any more lineout ball and started to pressure Ireland’s, which generated three tries and three pens in the match.

          Itoje is a lot, lot bigger than Kaino but has that special mobility around the paddock.

          • November 9th 2016 @ 10:41am
            Rugby Tragic said | November 9th 2016 @ 10:41am | ! Report

            Thanks Nick … but you, I believe are 100% correct, that selections if it did not cost victory, it made it so much harder to achieve. Ireland played very, very well and deserved their success irrespective.

            Barrett is a specialist lock, and we have to assume that is the reason he was chosen in the squad (even as injury cover)…so if all your lock are down, surely it makes sense to play the one chosen to fulfil that position, rather than Kaino who had little if experience in that position.

            Steve Hansen I believe weakened two positions with his selections, No 6 and No 5. I note in all his interviews subsequently he does not concede to it being a mistake, in fact suggested if the situation arose again, he would make the same decision (words to that effect). Now I understand the reluctance in admitting to a mistake but that is imo, what is was, probably bought about unconsciously by a bit of over-confidence (read as arrogance if you like).

            I have a lot of respect for the AB coaching crew, and their record ratifies their success and they have many credit points in the bank, but accepting all the bouquets is fine but brickbats are part of the equation.

            • Columnist

              November 9th 2016 @ 7:29pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

              SH may be trying to protect his players from criticism by copping it himself RT?

              I would be very surprised if we ever see Kaino at lock again though, even in the last quarter. He just not have the fundamentals for second row. Out and out 6, or 8 at a push.

          • Roar Guru

            November 9th 2016 @ 11:22am
            Carlos the Argie said | November 9th 2016 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            Hi Nick!

            It was interesting that Coles stated that fixing the defense was what concerned and worried him, especially as it relates to the pressure that the Pumas, Wallabies and now there Irish put there and it worked. He was expecting “new” plans from the coaches.

            I think he was a bit rattled on Saturday. I was behind him one line-out that he threw to Read and you could hear clearly Read saying “too high!” and the ball sailing over him.

            Hansen was very complimentary of Scott Barrett’s play. Even if he won’t admit it, he probably is second guessing himself.

            I also think that the ABs have over focused aerobic capacity of the forwards and they may have lost a bit of grunt in the front 5. Only Cane has gained some weight over the last couple of years. Actually, it is a balance between aerobic capacity and grunt and they should be looking into this.

            On the other hand, Schmidt was extra sharply focused on this game and Hansen was probably not. His choice of Naholo, as I said somewhere else, may have been problematic too given the corner kicking of the Irish. Maybe we will see Dagg in Ireland besides Retalick and or Whitelock. I don’t think that Tuipolotu was bad. Also, having Ardie in the wing did hurt at the end of the game. The Irish had their luck, and this time, the ABs did not (beyond the obvious that the Irish played better and smarter).

            • Columnist

              November 9th 2016 @ 7:33pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

              Any genuine second row combination would be better for Dublin Carlos. NZ were 5/9 at lineout before Barrett came on, then 5/5 afterwards.

              Ireland were a perfect 8/8 in the first half, and all of their first five lineouts in the NZ half generated pens (3) or tries (2). After Barrett appeared they lost two of their four throws.

              I’ve no doubt the grunt will return with any of their top three second rows available!

        • Roar Guru

          November 9th 2016 @ 11:08am
          Fionn said | November 9th 2016 @ 11:08am | ! Report

          As much as I (mistakenly) disagreed with one of your points on the weekend Diggercane, I always look forward to reading your articles and analysis with great pleasure.

          You’re almost always right on the money, and even when I disagree your points are interesting. You’re able to articulate yourself clearly and succinctly: you’re clearly more in tune with Shakespeare’s ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ than the overwhming majority of my university professors.

          • Roar Guru

            November 9th 2016 @ 7:08pm
            Diggercane said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

            Too kind Fionn, thank you, much appreciated.

            • Roar Guru

              November 9th 2016 @ 8:36pm
              The Saint said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

              Fionn is right Digger. Your articles are always based on well-thought analysis. Always a pleasure reading your stuff.

              • Columnist

                November 9th 2016 @ 9:03pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:03pm | ! Report

                Thanks John, I always enjoy the interaction on the forum afterwards 🙂

              • Roar Guru

                November 10th 2016 @ 7:57am
                Diggercane said | November 10th 2016 @ 7:57am | ! Report

                Cheers John and Nick is right, it is a great forum to share our thoughts and ideas, right or wrong to talk about something we love, and have a bit of fun in doing so.

              • Columnist

                November 10th 2016 @ 8:54am
                Nicholas Bishop said | November 10th 2016 @ 8:54am | ! Report

                Aye to that Digger!

    • Roar Guru

      November 9th 2016 @ 7:33am
      Shop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      I’m hoping to see a very similar line up. Taking the Scots lightly would be perilous, especially given our recent form against them.
      I love reading your articles Nick but unfortunately due to my location I can never see the videos. Can the Roar or I do anything about this?

      • Columnist

        November 9th 2016 @ 7:50am
        Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:50am | ! Report

        This issue keeps cropping up Shop, but unfortunately I don’t think it’s something the boys at the Roar can anything about.

        As I understand it the license they have to use video footage only covers Australia. In other countries (and especially the UK) the constraints are much more strict. In fact in England it’s almost impossible to use live action footage at all. Sorry I cannot offer more encouragement!

      • November 9th 2016 @ 9:18am
        nickbrisbane said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:18am | ! Report

        Download a free VPN, pretend to be in Oz and you can watch them

        • Roar Pro

          November 9th 2016 @ 1:23pm
          Matt Davis said | November 9th 2016 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

          Do you know of a free VPN that offers an Australian connection?
          The one’s i’ve used typically don’t have Australian servers, not in their free section anyway.

          • November 9th 2016 @ 2:30pm
            nickbrisbane said | November 9th 2016 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

            Try Cyberghost

        • Columnist

          November 9th 2016 @ 7:34pm
          Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

          Thanks for the tip NB.

    • Roar Guru

      November 9th 2016 @ 7:48am
      Fionn said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      You think ‘Pooper’ will be retained for the Scotland match despite the fact it will likely be quite wet and, i imagine, Scotland will kick for touch a lot and therefore there will be a lot of line outs? Hooper and Pocock were both good, but I can’t help thinking that because it is meant to be quite wet it might be better to bench one of them and start Fardy at 6 in order to maintain four line out jumpers.

      • Columnist

        November 9th 2016 @ 7:53am
        Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:53am | ! Report

        I believe MC and his coaching staff are committed to playing Hooper and Pocock together, and they are probably right.

        There is still some potential to develop the lineout by using Timani more, plus Rob Simmons is an insurance policy on the bench – he has even played 6 in international games before and I doubt he would offer any less than Dean Mumm in that department.

        • Roar Guru

          November 9th 2016 @ 7:55am
          Fionn said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:55am | ! Report

          Fair enough. I suppose the line out worked very well in the first half despite only having three good targets. Maybe that is enough, I guess we will probably find out in the coming weeks.

          • Columnist

            November 9th 2016 @ 8:00am
            Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:00am | ! Report

            I feel the back five that played against Wales could represent the next 2-3 years for the Wallabies (with all available) so has to be given every chance 🙂

            • Roar Guru

              November 9th 2016 @ 8:03am
              Fionn said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:03am | ! Report

              Bar Pocock’s troublesome sabbatical…

              It’ll be great to see Holloway and McMahon develop in the coming 12-24 months and, ideally, begin challenging those we are playing now. We have a good squad but it would be excellent to develop some depth, and to have the players competing with each other to improve.

              • Columnist

                November 9th 2016 @ 8:29am
                Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:29am | ! Report

                Yep I think McMahon will have first shot at 6 in Pocock’s absence, but it will be fascinating to see how Holloway develops next season. He’s another of the big athletic ball-carrier types Cheika will want in his back-five…

              • November 10th 2016 @ 12:59am
                Fin said | November 10th 2016 @ 12:59am | ! Report

                Dempsey is another young backrower to keep an eye on as well Nick. Cheika has picked him for this tour.

              • November 9th 2016 @ 8:52am
                soapit said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:52am | ! Report

                my suspicion is that once we see a drop off in performance from our locks the issue with losing weight and power at 6 (previously 8) will reappear. i hope the locks performance will be repeated forever but theres a quite possible scenario that they will drop off or the opposition wont allow them as much.

                would rather mcmahon kept off while hoopers on for that reason. seems like he plays above his weight a bit so far but over time suspect it will tell.

              • November 9th 2016 @ 3:23pm
                Bring Back...? said | November 9th 2016 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

                I think it’s a gamble starting with Pooper against Ireland and the Poms. They both have very physical back rows and will look to exploit. Pocock to 7, McMahon or Fardy at 6. Hooper to come on with 25 or 30 to go depending on game situation. The other of McMahon or Fardy also on the bench.

              • November 9th 2016 @ 3:29pm
                Clubber Lang said | November 9th 2016 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                really Pooper seemed to work last time they played in England at Twickenham?

              • November 9th 2016 @ 5:26pm
                Bring Back...? said | November 9th 2016 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

                Our scrum was also dominant then….not in June 2016.

              • November 9th 2016 @ 7:15pm
                Cliff (Bishkek) said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

                Fionn, Someone told me the other day – for locks we have Dempsey and Hannigan as players coming through who can give cover for 6 and 8? Any opinions?

                And apparently we have others coming through that are good likely covers for 4 & 5.

                Does anyone know what is wrong with Douglas – he has or appears to have become a marshmallow compared to previous – has he lost the desire or is he carrying a serious niggling injury??


              • Roar Guru

                November 9th 2016 @ 8:40pm
                The Saint said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

                I have been thinking the same Cliff about Douglas. He’s softened up. He must be carrying an injury of some sort.

        • November 9th 2016 @ 6:12pm
          Harry Rugby said | November 9th 2016 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

          Another brilliant article. Thank you.
          Nic, I have been concerned for some time that the selection of Hooper at 7 throws out the balance of our pack. An article from you analysing the pros & cons of Hooper playing seven, forcing Pocock (a 7) away from 7 and thereby affecting our lineout would be welcome. if already written, sorry but I have missed it.
          Thank you again for your contributions.

    • November 9th 2016 @ 7:51am
      Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      Agree with Digger. Great analysis Nicholas.

      I wonder how you get a chance to enjoy a game. I am an amateur analyst caught up in the drama of the rugby mess mostly.
      I thoroughly enjoy your neutral analysis. Neutral in expression that is, despite your personal wishes for your preferred team.
      Analgous actually to the British coverage of the test. Very professional and strong in evenmindednesss. Makes our SH coverage, especially the OZ one, look like a dockyard brawl.

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2016 @ 7:53am
        Fionn said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:53am | ! Report

        Yes, it’s sad that the best coverage I’ve seen of a rugby match on a Foxtel channel was by three Brits—including (at least?) one Welshman—in a match that Wales were atrocious. At least it shows the benchmark the Australian commentators should be aiming for.

      • Columnist

        November 9th 2016 @ 8:04am
        Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        Good Q Ken!….

        I prefer not to get too analytical during live matches – you can miss out on the emotional movements in a game that way. I do try and pick up stuff I can see live that I know won’t be visible on the video of the game though.

        Probably the single biggest diff between an analyst and a punter is that the analyst will tend to be much more aware of what is going on away from the ball.

        On the TV, Eddie Butler and Brian Moore are a good, complementary pairing aren’t they?

        • Columnist

          November 9th 2016 @ 8:09am
          Geoff Parkes said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:09am | ! Report

          They are indeed – the guys above are dead right, we are very poorly served in Australia.

          • November 9th 2016 @ 8:40am
            Samuel Honywill said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:40am | ! Report

            In fairness both Butler and Moore can let their national allegiances slip at times – Butler’s delight at Welsh victories is usually pretty evident, but this outburst from Moore probably takes the cake!

            • November 9th 2016 @ 8:55am
              soapit said | November 9th 2016 @ 8:55am | ! Report

              yes moore is far from unbiased. not too impressed with his analysis myself but possible it suffers from the bias in commentary

              the alternative is that i dont know what im talking about which isnt worth considering any further

              • November 9th 2016 @ 9:12am
                Samuel Honywill said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:12am | ! Report

                I don’t think Moore is massively biased – if anything his passion leads to him being overly harsh and critical towards England more often than he is gushing or jingoistic. Then again he is a Yorkshireman, and for them giving praise is tantamount to being a Lancastrian, ie wrong and weak.

              • November 9th 2016 @ 11:00am
                soapit said | November 9th 2016 @ 11:00am | ! Report

                specifically im thinking fo how he was carrying on about australia diving over the ruck on the weekend, my impression was that they were cleaning out low lying players and refs have rarely penalised diving over if ur making a genuine clean out (ie taking someones torso with you).

                to me that seemed either a lack of knowledge or bias or a combination.

                it has been consistent with my experience of his commentary previously.

            • Columnist

              November 9th 2016 @ 9:19am
              Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:19am | ! Report

              Classic early vintage Butler & Moore Samuel! Sadly those outbursts are less frequent from Brian Moore nowadays – he’s undergone sanitization training by the Beeb!

          • Roar Guru

            November 9th 2016 @ 9:30am
            Machooka said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:30am | ! Report

            I thought the beIN Sports broadcast was really enjoyable.

            Especially the Ref’s mic being easily heard through-out the match.

      • November 9th 2016 @ 9:44am
        BargeArse said | November 9th 2016 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        Yawn … more bagging of any Australian commentators. Unfortunately it seems to be the “right on” thing to do here on the Roar. I watch a Wallabies match, I want to hear ex-Wallabies and I want to hear an Australian perspective. Leave the sanctimonious bleating about their partisanship at the back door.

        • November 9th 2016 @ 10:25am
          Aaron said | November 9th 2016 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          It would help if they learnt the rules, the changing pace of the game, general tactics. You know, just the modern game of rugby in general.

          • Roar Guru

            November 9th 2016 @ 10:48am
            PeterK said | November 9th 2016 @ 10:48am | ! Report

            that is where justin harrisons analysis was so refreshing during half time and afterwards.

            • Columnist

              November 9th 2016 @ 11:34am
              Geoff Parkes said | November 9th 2016 @ 11:34am | ! Report

              Absolutely. BA the criticism is nothing to do with their “Australian-ness” or backgrounds.
              Eales, Horan, Gregan for example all offer rational and interesting analysis with an Australian perspective. And now Harrison as well.

              But others going on game after game of bleating about refereeing decisions – when their criticisms are often wrong in law – should be called out for what it is.

            • Columnist

              November 9th 2016 @ 7:37pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | November 9th 2016 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

              Harrison seems to have a good rugby mind doesn’t he?

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