The woeful Wallabies and their rubbish rugby

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Little wonder Wallaby coach Michael Cheika is a shattered man.

    No international rugby team can enjoy 56 per cent possession, 62 per cent territory and a penalty count of 15-9 in their favour, but lose 24-19 to Scotland at Allianz last night.

    Only the Wallabies can achieve that feat.

    It was three tries apiece, but the Wallabies gift-wrapped two of Scotland’s five pointers thanks to an intercept pass from Tatafa Polota-Nau, and a charge down clearance from Will Genia.

    Those 14 points gifted just 12 minutes apart gave the Scots a 17-12 lead at the break and was enough to set up the visitors first win over the Wallabies in Sydney.

    So where did it all go so wrong?

    At the risk of repeating myself, Michel Hooper is a world class footballer, but a very ordinary captain.

    The alternative in Stephen Moore isn’t much better, but there was a difference when he came off the bench in the second session.

    But neither option is on the same planet as the days when Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales were the skippers.

    There were no woeful performances on their watch, and no rubbish rugby, but there were Rugby World Cup, and Bledisloe Cup, successes.

    Last night there was a dramatic improvement with only 18 turnovers compared to the usual 30-plus, and only 14 missed tackles as against the 30-plus of the past.

    But the Wallabies were still beaten by a side that had three of their best players in New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions.

    The isolated incidents underlined the Wallaby failings.

    In the first half Hooper made a brilliant bust midfield, and when the Scottish defence caught him, there wasn’t a Wallaby in support within 15 metres.

    Hooper is quick, but he’s no Usain Bolt, and the Wallaby reaction was non-existent.

    There’s no argument Israel Folau is the most dangerous attacking weapon in gold, so why isn’t he utilised more?

    He scored two tries in the first half, thanks to Genia’s swift passing for the first, and Bernard Foley’s perfect chip kick for the second.

    Yet Folau only earned 42 metres all game, while Tevita Kuridrani chalked up 95 metres, Foley 68, Hooper 67, and Dane Haylett-Perry 43.

    That’s plain dumb rugby ignoring Folau.

    Late in the second half with Wallaby tries on offer to win, Rory Arnold knocked on uncontested lineout possession, and Reece Hodge over-ran Folau whose perfect pass went begging into touch.

    There were far too many lost chances to report, sufficient to say the Wallabies didn’t deserve to win.

    Next up the Italians who would have trouble beating their grandmothers.

    They are even more embarrassing to watch than the Wallabies.

    The Italians haven’t beaten the Wallabies in 16 meetings, scoring just 217 points to the Wallabies 565.

    They have never beaten England in 23 attempts, scoring 290 points to 918, and needless to say they haven’t beaten the All Blacks either in 13 starts, scoring just 128 points to a whopping 754.

    So that’s zero from 52, scoring 635 points to 2237.

    The Italians only success against Tier One countries are eight wins from 28 against Scotland, five from 21 against the Pumas, four from 27 against Ireland, Three from 39 against France, two from 25 against Wales, and one from 13 against the Boks.

    There were 30,721 of the rugby faithful at Allianz last night, don’t count on more than 10,000 at Suncorp next Saturday.

    Nothing short of a cricket score against the Italians will be needed to ignite any interest in the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship campaign.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (186)

    • June 18th 2017 @ 10:17am
      Daveski said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      David, fine if you want to use this article to rubbish the Wallabies. But you do yourself a dis-service by rubbishing the Scots and Italians as well.

      You’re like the guy who suggested on the match blog last night we should get the Wallaroos to play next week instead. Yeah well the Wallaroos just got done by 40 against Canada….

      • June 18th 2017 @ 10:56am
        Fionn said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        Agree, Dave.

        Scotland are right up there with Ireland as the 2nd best team in the NH. There is no shame in losing to them, they were the better team yesterday.

        The only shame was in the attitude, tactics and skills of the Wallabies.

        • June 18th 2017 @ 6:37pm
          Mark said | June 18th 2017 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

          Where did they come in the 6 Nations again?

          So 4th best then!

      • June 18th 2017 @ 12:09pm
        Rock said | June 18th 2017 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

        Dave, didn’t you know. The opposition never ever contributes to their own win, it’s always the sole fault of the Australian team!

        Not many want to admit it, but NH rugby is much improved to where it was a few years ago.

        Did the Wallabies (captain) not take easy points when they were on offer, and was there some stupid play that lead to Scottish tries, sure. But, that isn’t the sole reason we lost to a team who had beaten us in a third of the last dozen matches we’d played plus were within only a few points difference in most of the others.

      • June 18th 2017 @ 10:35pm
        jeff dustby said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:35pm | ! Report

        scotland are terrible. could hardly get a player in the lions squad

        • June 19th 2017 @ 12:01am
          Sam said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:01am | ! Report

          Finn Russell and Allan Dell were just called into the Lions squad.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 1:06am
          David said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:06am | ! Report

          That’s Gatland’s bias, they should’ve had 7 or 8 players selected in the original squad

    • June 18th 2017 @ 10:27am
      Fionn said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

      I think it’s silly to suggest the Wallabies were “ignoring” Folau.

      Either Cheika and Larkham’s coaching structures aren’t designed to get Folau involved, or he isn’t very good at getting involved when needed.

    • June 18th 2017 @ 10:28am
      Fred said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

      Don’t forget Australia was lucky to beat Scotland at the world cup.

      Scotland is a good team.

      • June 18th 2017 @ 6:48pm
        PiratesRugby said | June 18th 2017 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

        When Foley costs us a game, the team is blamed. Can you imagine the outcry if Quade had missed two easy kicks at goal (the eventual points difference), dropped an easy uncontested catch while being hidden in defence and then been binned for a (late) shoulder charge? Do you remember the criticism of Link for using Quade? It was ‘favouritism’ when Link did it but ‘loyalty’ when Cheika picks a dud like Foley.
        It’s not 2014 anymore. Cheika is not the coach of NSW, he’s the coach of Australia. He needs to forget his NSW past and start looking at the Wallabies’ future. He is building a foundation for a generation of mediocrity. Long after he has gone, the Wallabies will continue to fail. No more Bledisloes and no more RWCs. It’s getting so bad that the ABs may not see any point in playing Australia anymore. Unless we are just a tune up game before important tours.
        How bad do things have to get before something is done?

      • June 18th 2017 @ 10:36pm
        jeff dustby said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

        no they are not

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2017 @ 10:40am
      PeterK said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

      Hodge did over run the pass slightly from Folau but the reason it went into touch a scottish hand hit it when he went into tackle (after the pass was made).

      The pass was fine, probably would have went to Hodge.

      This is why the lineout throw was to the wallabies due to the scottish hand.

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2017 @ 10:42am
      PeterK said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

      Scotland is a good team, an improved team.

      One of hunger that plays to it’s potential.

      A lot hungrier and more interested wallabies. Wallabies look entitled and soft at the moment barring a few exceptions.

      Seems like when Force play the reds or tahs at ATM.

      Except Scotland a lot more skilled than Force (I am not trying to belittle scotland with that comparison but note their heart)

      • Roar Pro

        June 18th 2017 @ 12:37pm
        Crazy Horse said | June 18th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        I thought the comparison of the under rated Scotland with the under rated Force was a good one.

      • June 18th 2017 @ 10:37pm
        jeff dustby said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:37pm | ! Report

        nope, scotland are average

    • June 18th 2017 @ 10:42am
      Greg said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

      No wide game. Hard to understand.

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