The grand slam: Don’t dream, it’s over

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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    There is freedom within, there is freedom without
    Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup

    Coming on the same weekend that legendary Australian band Crowded House reunited for a series of sold out concerts on the steps of the Sydney Opera House – 20 years on from their original break-up concert at the same venue – it was ‘only natural’ that the lyrics to Don’t Dream it’s Over would arrive front of mind as the Wallabies dropped their first game of the Spring Tour.

    The 27-24 loss to Ireland also means I can now use the words, ‘Grand Slam’ in a sentence this month; something I’ve very deliberately avoided up until this point.

    Though the early wins on tour certainly meant the Grand Slam was possible, this kind of reporting after the Wales and Scotland results made me cringe. To me, this highlighted a tendency to clutch at any kind of possible success for the Wallabies in 2016, when in all reality, the Grand Slam was still a long way off.

    When you go through a rough trot like the Wallabies have this year, I suppose you will grab onto whatever you can.

    In truth, the Grand Slam could only ever have been lost against Wales and Scotland, not won. And though it could only ever be completed against England next weekend, I had always thought that the Ireland game would be where the Grand Slam would be truly won.

    sefania-naivalu-wallabies-rugby-union-australia-2016

    But the dream is now over for this tour, with Ireland pulling out an incredible last-ditch effort to confirm the result their dominant first half display demanded.

    In the closing moments, the point was made that Ireland have now beaten the three southern hemisphere superpowers, and this certainly can’t be understated. Beating South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia in the same season is every bit as difficult as beating all four of the Home Unions, and Ireland deserve all the praise coming their way currently.

    Overcoming the injury toll they endured in-game as they did, and to maintain scrum dominance throughout the game and breakdown parity at the very least showed the huge character this Irish side has within them.

    In that first half, it really did feel like the Wallabies were trying to catch the Irish attacking deluge in a paper cup. Try as they might to get their hands on the ball in the first forty, the Wallabies always managed to find themselves on the wrong side of the laws, or rueing yet another handling error.

    And though Ireland enjoyed a clear territory and possession advantage in the first half, the Wallabies’ defence forced plenty of mistakes. Indeed, when Paddy Jackson kicked his first penalty goal to open the scoring in the 17th minute, Ireland had already squandered at least three attempted lineout raids on the Australian try line.

    On the half hour, a stat graphic popped up on screen that showed the extent of both Ireland dominance with the ball, and the effectiveness of the Wallabies’ defence.

    Ireland to that point had carried the ball three times as much as the Wallabies (65 to 22 carries), yet hadn’t made double the metres (195m to 100m). And whereas the Wallabies were making the gain line with nearly every second carry, for Ireland it was every two and a half carries. Ireland had won five turnovers to the Wallabies’ three to this same point.

    Yet the score was only 10-0. Both teams would score a converted try each in the last six or so minutes of the first half, but the Wallabies would’ve been thrilled to be only trailing by ten points, given the sheer one-sidedness of the possession and territory stats in the first half.

    From memory, the Wallabies didn’t win another turnover for the game; no doubt this would become a contributing factor as they battled to put Ireland away properly once they brought the territory and possession back to something of an even keel through the second half.

    So, while the result will sting the Wallabies this week leading into the England game – and worse, now the Eddie Jones barbs have started – they should take a lot of confidence out of the loss to an incredibly resilient Irish side.

    The Wallabies saw their chance to attack the depleted and makeshift Ireland defence on the edges and found immediate success. Had their execution matched their eagerness in the first twenty minutes of the second half, they could well have been leading by more than just the one point they’d managed to claw ahead by the hour.

    After seeing so little ball in the first half, by the 60th minute the Wallabies had enjoyed 74 per cent of the ball after oranges, and scored 14 points to 3.

    Michael Cheika was right to be pleased with the amount of rugby his side played in the game with so little ball, and if not for conceding nearly twice as many turnovers as Ireland, they had plenty of opportunity to win the game.

    “Don’t dream, it’s over” certainly applies to the 2016 Grand Slam, but if you remove the comma, “don’t dream it’s over” equally applies to the direction this Wallabies team is heading. Yes, there’s still plenty to improve in their game, but there is clearly plenty that has already improved in this back half of the year.

    The loss in Dublin means a squared ledger for the year is no longer possible, but a win over England would be a nice finish to a 2016 season that has seen some encouraging development.

    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 (288)

    • November 29th 2016 @ 7:55am
      Gewurtz said | November 29th 2016 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      Only the ABs can afford the luxury of winning the Grand Slam these days. The Wallabies are NOT that good.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 29th 2016 @ 1:25pm
        Die hard said | November 29th 2016 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

        Is this the best snide remark you could come up with. Could you not be a little more imaginative and maybe amuse us at least

        • November 29th 2016 @ 3:05pm
          Gewurtz said | November 29th 2016 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

          Why snide? I’m a Wallaby supporter and would love to see my team win the Grand Slam (when was our last time?). I’m simply stating that at the moment the ABs are the only team capable of achieving such feat.

          • Roar Rookie

            November 29th 2016 @ 5:01pm
            Die hard said | November 29th 2016 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

            Apologies if that is the case. I read it as otherwise.

    • November 29th 2016 @ 8:00am
      bigbaz said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      Legendary Australian band Crowded House, ha ha that should get them going, wish I had posted it.

      • November 29th 2016 @ 8:11am
        rebel said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Agree, a sneaky little comment. Was waiting for Russel Crowe eating a Pav to get a mention as well.
        Good article by the way, well balanc3d as usual.

        • Roar Guru

          November 29th 2016 @ 1:38pm
          jeznez said | November 29th 2016 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

          As Aussie as Pharlap!

          Actually, I’m with HarryT below. The lead singer song writer is a Kiwi but the band is Aussie!

          • November 29th 2016 @ 2:15pm
            richard said | November 29th 2016 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            Who cares.Neil Finn was part of a far superior band – Split Enz.And that was a kiwi band.

          • November 29th 2016 @ 6:04pm
            Noodles said | November 29th 2016 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

            I thought they were Fijian?

        • November 30th 2016 @ 1:07am
          sham said | November 30th 2016 @ 1:07am | ! Report

          Crowe is a NZ citizen not an Australian

          • November 30th 2016 @ 5:36am
            P2R2 said | November 30th 2016 @ 5:36am | ! Report

            No he was born in NZ but is an Australian Citizen, just like David Kirk and alot of other NZers who migrated across the deetch and became Aussies…

      • November 29th 2016 @ 9:32am
        HarryT said | November 29th 2016 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        CH was a group formed in Melbourne in 1985 by two Australians and one Kiwi. More Aussie than Vegemite.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 10:26am
          jameswm said | November 29th 2016 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          They lived and recorded in Australia too. However, just quietly Neil Finn – the sole Kiwi in the band – did have just a minor, tiny influence.

          Anyway, it’s an ANZAC band.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 12:26pm
          Perthstayer said | November 29th 2016 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

          Harry T………….or Will Genia 🙂

            • November 29th 2016 @ 2:51pm
              Jaydos OZinUSA said | November 29th 2016 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

              Disagree – never forget who you are or where you come from. Doesn’t matter how long you live somewhere else, sometimes it’s the sporting teams that are the only thing you can hold dear after a long time somewhere foreign.

              I am the same with Rugby. Love my wobblies even though i have spent half my live outside of Australia.

              • November 29th 2016 @ 7:09pm
                Bob said | November 29th 2016 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

                100% agree

            • Roar Guru

              November 29th 2016 @ 3:12pm
              taylorman said | November 29th 2016 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

              That’s a bit old school. You don’t think it’s convenient to have that view when you haven’t moved anywhere and have mates who support the ABs?

              People move for all sorts of reasons, and those that do generally like to maintain as much of the good from where they are from as they can.

              I wouldn’t expect an Ozzie here to support the Black caps. I’d ask them why would you want to do that? Unless they’re trying to bring up children to be supportive of their new or current position I say support who you want.

              • November 30th 2016 @ 9:25am
                Peter D said | November 30th 2016 @ 9:25am | ! Report

                All of the above doesn’t seem to apply to anyone playing for England born outside the Mother Country. Dear oh dear it’s great to know hypocrisy is alive and well down under! Lol!

              • November 30th 2016 @ 9:27am
                Peter D said | November 30th 2016 @ 9:27am | ! Report

                Just watch now I’ve mentioned the word England on this post no doubt all the nutters will come out of the woodwork!

            • November 29th 2016 @ 3:57pm
              Kiwi in US said | November 29th 2016 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

              Cookie, I see what your saying but I agree with jay dos above. I’ve been away from NZ for half my life and keeping up with the AB’s helps me a lot. The only person I talk rugby to is my brother back in NZ. There are precious few here that I can do that with on the same level. Part of why I read the roar, is because There are some real insightful contributors from all over the world, which makes for some balanced reading. I’m not sure if NZ Or anywhere has an equivalent. I do support the US team as well but my heart is not in it as much. My kids prefer to support the AB’s which surprised me somewhat. But the culture here is one of fans. You can be the fan of some professional or college team and have never been to that state or seen that team play. You don’t automatically support the geographically closest team. That took a while to get my head around. Anyway if OZ can pull it off vs ENG I’ll have a VB or Bundy in their honor. I have two big jars of vegemite in my cupboard.

            • November 29th 2016 @ 7:50pm
              piru said | November 29th 2016 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

              This argument always gets my goat.

              If you move to the USA are you going to stop supporting the Wallabies?

              Didn’t think so

            • Roar Rookie

              November 30th 2016 @ 1:06am
              Michael Gates said | November 30th 2016 @ 1:06am | ! Report

              I’m Aussie. Born & bred in Oz for 32 years. I now live in London and will do so for a while longer. I even have a British Passport. I’ll never ever support the Poms (unless they are playing the stinking Saffas). I would never dream of turning my back on the Wallabies even if I never went home again.
              Then again, both my parents were born in England, got married in Canada & settled in Oz & they only support Aussie teams so I guess it’s how much you love where you are & how much you want to fit in or identify with the culture or locals. Kiwis in Sydney should be like Sydneysiders in their attitudes & lifestyles but they shouldn’t be forced to support the Wallabies (or worse, the Tahs!!!). Should a Queenslander who lives in Perth support the Force? You probably support an English soccer team – have you lived in West Brom or Watford?? Should we force chicks who only attend rugby games to perve on guys & don’t know the difference between a box kick & a box jellyfish to not come to games because they aren’t real supporters? No. People can do what they want & support who they want!! You should just be glad you live somewhere where you can discuss the game with opposition supporters, over here, you walk up the wrong street wearing an opposition colours (not even strip, just the colour!) & you’ll be set upon.
              Ultimately we all hate the Poms & the Saffas, let’s all come together to work on that.

      • November 29th 2016 @ 7:03pm
        Mr Hollywood said | November 29th 2016 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

        I lived in Bondi beach and I had people trying to claim me as Australian. I don’t know why as I didn’t embrace the culture really. No hats with corks, no light brown shorts with a light brown t-shirts. I never carried a snake and never said the word “fair dinkum”.

        To escape it I went to the sea often and swam in the water in the middle of the winter. Almost like a protest. A German girl on the beach said wow you’re not afraid. I told her I was from Aotearoa. She could read my thoughts I think, and I could read hers ‘Oh they breed them a bit tougher over there eh?!’ She thought.

        Anyway there was a shift from that. I remained Mr Hollywood in Bondi Beach but from Aotearoa. The stars were aligned. Hollywood was inching closer.

        From Hollywood

        • November 29th 2016 @ 8:52pm
          TB said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:52pm | ! Report

          Deep.

          • November 30th 2016 @ 7:34am
            Mr Hollywood said | November 30th 2016 @ 7:34am | ! Report

            Depends TB sometimes it can be very shallow waters depending on the conditions.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 9:28pm
          Dahl said | November 29th 2016 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

          Surprised to hear there were Germans at bondi centrelink.

          • November 30th 2016 @ 7:32am
            Mr Hollywood said | November 30th 2016 @ 7:32am | ! Report

            No no she was at the beach Dahl. We are talking about different Germans here.

            The ones you heard about and bumped into at Centre Link are different. I hope you had a quiet word to them though. But then again, getting the dole and then surfing…can’t really blame them eh? Good on the Germans.

      • November 29th 2016 @ 8:26pm
        ukkiwi said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:26pm | ! Report

    • November 29th 2016 @ 8:14am
      Frank Frank said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      Best article I’ve read on the roar on this side for some time. Clever with the crowded house refernces and a balanced view point on the good and bad of the wallabies and the rhetoric regarding the grand slam.

      One thing I would like to point out is that Cheika’s sides always turnover a lot of ball because of the nature of the way they play.

      We can’t have it both ways, we can’t play expansive and play it safe at the same time.

      I’d rather lose and play the way we’ve been playing than revert to dour tactcis. Viva le Wallabies… we will win much more in the years ahead as we develop the very good talent and depth we now have in most if not all positions.

      • Roar Guru

        November 29th 2016 @ 1:41pm
        jeznez said | November 29th 2016 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

        You can still play expansively and commit more than one player to the ruck. I don’t mind the handling errors but I do mind that we consistently had issue with only a single player (usually Pocock) operating on ruck protection. The man is good but shouldn’t have to operate single handedly against two or three opponents.

        Selection in the backrow was an issue before the game and bit us exactly as I expected it to.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 2:26pm
          Frank Frank said | November 29th 2016 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

          JN you do realise that turnovers include drop balls etc… the Irish weren’t exactly pilfering ball all night. We lost that gaem becase too many passes didn’t go to hand and in fact with a 3nil loss frankly there was only 1 too many turnovers/drop ball.

          ps we play a 2x 3man pod system + 2 opensides on the fringes. So this usually involves 2 players for the clear out, and on occasion when we go wider one of the opensides is responsible to secure ball.

          We are not alone with this tactic.

          JN you are jumping on abandwagon if you are putting that loss down to the backrow. We were the better side for a lot of that match and really had the referring been 50-50, and had 1 more pass stuck we’d have won. Nothing to do with the backrow

          • Roar Guru

            November 29th 2016 @ 3:46pm
            jeznez said | November 29th 2016 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

            Frank – you’ve said a lot of words to not really address what I’ve said.

            Do I realise that turnovers include drop balls? Why yes I do, hence why I specifically mentioned handling errors in my comment. I stated that I didn’t overly mind the handling erros because I think with Mick Byrne in place our handling will improve and because I think they will correct as playing combinations gel.

            I get that we are splitting flankers – isn’t something new that we are doing – however on relatively static ball we cannot be fronting with a single player to clean out. If we are wide then a back needs to get in to support the wide flanker if the opposition are committing more numbers.

            You are buying into the refereeing being against us? And want to blame that and one dropped pass on the result? You go ahead but as much enjoyment as I got out of your first article I can see we won’t agree on much.

            I don’t think I’m joining a bandwagon – I had issue with selections before the game and believe they cruelled us during it.

            The first forty minutes is where we lost that test and the issue there was that we couldn’t hold on to any ball. I believe the biggest factor in us not holding the ball during the period was our pack – much more so than our handling.

            • Roar Guru

              November 29th 2016 @ 5:31pm
              PeterK said | November 29th 2016 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

              totally agree

            • November 29th 2016 @ 6:51pm
              Frank Frank said | November 29th 2016 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

              nonsense

              the reason why the Irish were the better team in the first half was because they had the lion share of possession which allowed them to dominate field position and this in turn was magnified simply because we coughed up too much ball when on the rare occasion we got it. This was further magnified by the very very one sided refereeing (and I am reluctant to criticise referees) and this meant that the irish had the lion share of possession which allowed them to dominate field position……. et cetc in a cyclical way!

              had absolutely very little to do with the election of our back row.

              I could count on one hand the amount of times we had only 1 player at a ruck and I don’t recall on any of these occasions that we lost the ball. Its an insignificant insight into the game because it had no bearing on the game.

              btw, you can absolutely commit 1 player to a ruck if the referee polices the opposition coming through the gate, which he didn’t, he allowed the Irish in from the side as if he had never read a rule book.

              • November 29th 2016 @ 7:33pm
                Ruckin' Oaf said | November 29th 2016 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

                Good lord in the first 30 seconds of the game the Irish won a penalty because the Wallaby player was isolated in the ruck.

                He didn’t lose the ball though – he just gave away the penalty. Not losing the ball is somewhat irrelevant when you lose the penalty.

              • Roar Guru

                November 29th 2016 @ 7:54pm
                jeznez said | November 29th 2016 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

                Frank, I’m worried about you – how many fingers do you have on each hand?

              • November 30th 2016 @ 1:28am
                Crash Ball2 said | November 30th 2016 @ 1:28am | ! Report

                “The reason why the Irish were the better team in the first half was because they had the lion share of possession.”

                Some call the new All Black away strip an “oxymoron”. This statement then, must surely be simply a “moron”.

                The Wallabies when into an Irish backrow gunfight with blunt Sky Blue kitchen knives. Possession was the key metric of success.

                Blind Freddy knew in advance that the Irish would crowd the ruck, get underneath and hold up weak ball carriers, aim up at the collision point, focus on set piece and attack unprotected ground ball.

                What was required then was tight running, collision winning, lineout catching, breakdown cleaning, set piece leveraging, ruck cmongrels.

                Many of those that today hail “balanced” (i.e. mild) post-match loss analysis are also coincidentally those who supported the pre-game status quo.

                Cheika selected the wrong team, yet again. No more so than his anaemic loose forward alignment.

                For all the Irish Wolf Hounds hanging on, holding back and cleaning out David Pocock (legally and less so) all night, it’s amazing the commentators mentioned his name at all. The bloke was like a shag in a very lonely breakdown rock, and still – unbelievably – an absolute talisman. His forced turnover stats will be in single figures. And those who believe pilfers are the singular domain of an openside flanker (ahem, eightman – WTF) will call foul. But Pocock executed all the unseen, unheralded, dark-place grunt work that never gets show reel time and is the true definition of loose forward genius.

                The 39th minute set piece wunderkind Wallabies try for example, will always be remembered for the wonderful midfield slight of hand that prefaced a beautiful, flowing 5 pointer. What won’t be seen (unless one rewinds 5 seconds further), is the first post-lineout breakdown at which a rampant, MoM Josh van de Flier, poised over Wallaby pill, was absolutely annihilated in a one man clean out by all 115 kegs of hard shouldered David Pocock allowing Genia unimpedied ball to spin the ball out to a fast running (try scoring) backline.

                This game was won and lost in the selection (and non-selection) of the forward pack.

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2016 @ 10:31am
                jeznez said | November 30th 2016 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                That was a cracking clean out and one of the few times we secured quick ball with only one man into the ruck.

                I get the feeling you and I watch the breakdowns in a similar manner.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 29th 2016 @ 8:14am
      rebelpirate said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      Good article Brett. The Wallabies have improved since the earlier tests this year. The skill levels have improved but they need to work on finishing. That will happen, then dreams will become reality.

      • November 29th 2016 @ 12:57pm
        Ruckin Oaf said | November 29th 2016 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

        Oh yeah those Wallabies are improving outta sight, why to think in the RWC semis we only snuck passed Scotland by 1 point. And at the start of Cheika’s coaching in 2014 we lost to Ireland by 3 points.

        Glad those days are way behind us now thanks to those improving Wallabies.

        As to improvement over 2016 why don’t we wait until the England game next week ?

        • November 29th 2016 @ 4:31pm
          Sean said | November 29th 2016 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

          The guy is just your typical fanboy. Give him a break.

          • November 29th 2016 @ 5:16pm
            In Brief said | November 29th 2016 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

            You’re not a fan, boy?

    • November 29th 2016 @ 8:22am
      Shanky said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Crowded House ARE an Australian band.

      Formed in Melbourne, with a majority of its members being Aussies.

      • November 29th 2016 @ 8:27am
        bigbaz said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:27am | ! Report

        We know that, some don’t .

        • Roar Guru

          November 29th 2016 @ 8:55am
          The Saint said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:55am | ! Report

          Really? Of the 7 past and present members of Crowded House – 2 Aussies, 2 Kiwis, 2 Americans and 1 English. Formed in Melbourne.
          I know Brett was playing hahaha.
          No clear majority there Shanky and Bigbaz LOL

          • Columnist

            November 29th 2016 @ 9:10am
            Geoff Parkes said | November 29th 2016 @ 9:10am | ! Report

            Shanky also fell into the rookie error of counting the drummer as a real band member…

            • November 29th 2016 @ 9:21am
              Mango Jack said | November 29th 2016 @ 9:21am | ! Report

              Perhaps not in the best taste, in light of his suicide.

              • Columnist

                November 29th 2016 @ 9:26am
                Geoff Parkes said | November 29th 2016 @ 9:26am | ! Report

                No offence intended at all MJ, I’m sure most people would read it as such.

              • November 29th 2016 @ 10:31am
                Mango Jack said | November 29th 2016 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                Didn’t think so, GP. It was a great concert, a tad sad without Paul Hester with them tho.

              • November 29th 2016 @ 3:28pm
                Krash said | November 29th 2016 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

                Sorry Mango, what are you on about and who was making light of the fact the drummer from Crowded House committed suicide? The only goose is you for bringing it up and trying to make someone on this site feel terrible…now that is self absorbed and mean!

              • November 29th 2016 @ 8:04pm
                piru said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

                Yes they must be Aussie what with all their song lyrics about Te Awa Mutu and referring to the sun setting over the ‘domain’ (they don’t have those here do they?)

                Kiwi through and through

              • November 30th 2016 @ 10:06am
                London Waratah said | November 30th 2016 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                ‘Drummer gags’ are entertainment-industry,standard gags; akin to ‘An Irishman and 2 others entered a bar’….or ‘piggies’ in rugby. gags Whether the drummer is alive or not is massively irrelevant to a ‘drummer gag’ and best left out of the conversation.

                All respect to him as an aside.

      • Roar Guru

        November 29th 2016 @ 8:37am
        Fox said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        Yes but Crowded may have formed in Melbourne in 1985 and founding members were New Zealander Neil Finn (vocalist, guitarist, primary songwriter) and Australians Paul Hester (drums) and Nick Seymour (bass) – however, it went through some transitions in the years that followed Later band members included Neil Finn’s brother, Tim Finn, and Americans Mark Hart and Matt Sherrod.

        Crowded house are in fact an both a Kiwi and Australian band, or if you like an Australasian band and let’s be honest, without the New Zealander and former Split Enz singer songwriter and then the Singer Songwriter for Crowded House there is no Crowded House

        He wrote pretty much all their hit songs and it is his voice that is the signature of the band so its bit rich claiming it is purely an Australian band and especially when for awhile both Finn brother were in the band. They both call Crowded House a Kiwi/Ozzy band and that is the truth of it really when one is the key song writer and singer. Kiwi’s have as much right to claim the band as Australia does quite frankly and especially when Neil Finn is the most important member of the band.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 8:44am
          riddler said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:44am | ! Report

          who really cares?

          reminds me when first got a job in london and my new boss’s boss said, i will either make you happy or upset with my next comment.. i said what.. he said you are from new zealand.. he was wrong and i did not give a second thought or concern.. i asked him why he said that and he said that in all the years employing kiwis/ozzies they both detested being called incorrectly..

          guess that makes me the weird one..

        • November 29th 2016 @ 10:28am
          jameswm said | November 29th 2016 @ 10:28am | ! Report

          Someone had to bite I guess. I think we all know who Neil Finn is, Fox.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 10:39am
          F.C.O.T.W said | November 29th 2016 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?

          • November 29th 2016 @ 1:09pm
            Republican said | November 29th 2016 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

            ……does anyone like Human League?

        • November 29th 2016 @ 11:21am
          Bobby Fizzicola said | November 29th 2016 @ 11:21am | ! Report

          This is why we need to move to the post sovereign age. Jingoism will kill this planet…

        • Roar Pro

          November 29th 2016 @ 2:04pm
          Andy Thompson said | November 29th 2016 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

          It’s okay, mate. It’s okay.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 2:47pm
          joeys 78 said | November 29th 2016 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

          Can we talk about the rugby please? This is a rugby site, who gives a flying dodo about the genesis (not a pun) or the makeup of the band.

          • November 30th 2016 @ 5:57pm
            double agent said | November 30th 2016 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

            Agree 100%

      • November 29th 2016 @ 8:39am
        rebel said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        Sort of like the Wallabies then.

        Sorry, couldn’t resist. Nice to see Brett’s bait working well.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 9:31am
          bigbaz said | November 29th 2016 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          comment of the morning.

        • November 29th 2016 @ 12:31pm
          Perthstayer said | November 29th 2016 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          rebel – the common denominator is actually that each band member had one Scottish grandparent

      • November 29th 2016 @ 8:50am
        Misha said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        withe the exception of genius lead singer and song writer Kiwi Neil Finn…who IS Crowded House plus a few band members

        • November 29th 2016 @ 9:23am
          Playerfromwayback said | November 29th 2016 @ 9:23am | ! Report

          Misha, you took the bait lol

          • November 29th 2016 @ 10:43am
            Misha said | November 29th 2016 @ 10:43am | ! Report

            Could not resist 🙂

      • November 29th 2016 @ 1:07pm
        Republican said | November 29th 2016 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

        …….never say never.
        Those Kiwis will be researching as we post, any potential South Sea Pom lineage going back generations.

      • November 29th 2016 @ 1:40pm
        Dave said | November 29th 2016 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

        The one that counts being a Kiwi

    • November 29th 2016 @ 8:25am
      Lostintokyo said | November 29th 2016 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      The loss against the Irish “may” put the Wallabies in a better frame of mind in what could be an even tougher game against Eddie’s mob.

      And “if” the Wallabies are to lose one game on tour it would be better to lose against the likeable Irish than the ‘ole enemy’ of Aussie sport.

      Kuridrani must feel a bit of a let down. A try in every Slam test to date but even if he scores against England, and I think he will, it won’t be the same as Ella’s record will it?

      The Slam would have given the ARU a financial lift in 2017. Alas that promotional tool is gone. Instead of last year’s Bring Back Bill, Mr Pulver must be pleading for a win Saturday ‘For Bill”. Aussie sports fans love winners.

      • November 29th 2016 @ 9:27am
        Mango Jack said | November 29th 2016 @ 9:27am | ! Report

        In all honestly, have they really earned the right to be compared to the great 1984 side? Beating England and returning home 4-1 would be a terrific result I think. TK is in good form and seems to be in the right time and place these days. I’d love him to complete his own personal slam of a try in each test.

        • Roar Guru

          November 29th 2016 @ 3:15pm
          taylorman said | November 29th 2016 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

          Kurandrani can still do a Mark Ella with one more try so he might get his own grand slam!

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