The real cost of Kurtley at 12

Rhys Bosley Roar Rookie

By Rhys Bosley, Rhys Bosley is a Roar Rookie

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    With the countdown to the Rugby Championship underway and the return of Kurtley Beale from England on a promise from Michael Cheika that he will play a more senior role in the Wallabies team, there is speculation rife about which position he is likely to occupy.

    Michael Cheika has recently indicated that he considers 12 to be Beale’s best position, which lends itself to questions about what that means for the makeup for the rest of the team.

    The key issue is that while Beale is an outstanding attacking player, he is not a strong defender. Aside from being a poor tackler who is often covered in the midfield by another player such as Rob Horne from the wing, the problem that I have seen with him is that he just doesn’t have good defensive awareness.

    Beale’s attention seems to switch on when his team has the ball, when the opposition has it he becomes distracted and hesitant and he certainly doesn’t take a defensive organisation role like Matt Giteau did so effectively for the Wallabies in 2015.

    Beale’s weakness in defence was aptly demonstrated in defence during the World Cup final in 2015, when he replaced Giteau was who had been concussed. All three All Black tries were scored after Giteau was sent off and Beale had a role in two and possibly three of them.

    In the first try by Nehe Milner-Skudder, Beale was in the position to rush up on Conrad Smith to shut down the overlap, but instead appeared to panic and did not attempt to tackle anybody.

    In the second try by Ma’a Nonu, the Wallabies midfield had broken apart under an offloading assault by Sonny Bill Williams, probably because Giteau was not there to organise. Beale standing back at fullback was completely wrong footed in a one on one contest Nonu, who had run through the gaps.

    In the third try Ben Smith had picked up a dropped ball from Drew Mitchell, run and kicked ahead for Beauden Barrett to score at the other end. Beale, who had passed to Mitchell, can be seen jogging at the bottom of the screen, instead of chasing hard when he was not so far behind that as a fast man, catching Barrett was out of the question.

    Personally I think that substituting Beale for Giteau so early in the game was the biggest mistake that Cheika made in that World Cup, because he had a good defender who is also no slouch in attack in Matt Toomua on the bench. That is history now, but what we can do however is learn from the mistake.

    However, Cheika appears to be headed towards making it again.

    What starting Beale at 12 would mean is that Karmichael Hunt, who demonstrated very strong defensive and offensive credentials in the position during the June Test series, would probably be left on the bench.

    It would also mean that another player, most likely a winger, would need to be selected based on their ability to defend in the midfield. The only player who I can think of who would fit the bill as a decent winger and a strong defender, is Reece Hodge.

    I rate Hodge highly, but I don’t know that as a young player, he has the presence of Hunt to fill the desperately needed role of midfield defensive organiser. I also think that Hodge is the perfect ‘finisher’, he can play any role from ten to 15 and therefore may be best employed off the bench this season.

    Finally, when teams counterattack from the turnover – which is when the All Blacks are most dangerous – Beale would be opposite monster centres like Sonny Bill Williams and Nganai Laumape. Not good.

    So what would the Wallabies really gain by running Beale instead of Hunt at 12? I can’t see how any gains in attack would offset the defensive losses. To me Beale’s skill set would be best utilised as an outside back. With Folau being a shoe in for the 15 jersey, to me that suggests that Beale should be competing with Dane Haylett-Petty for the wing position.

    Beale is fast and has a good kicking game, which Cheika clearly values in a winger to help Folau, whose kicking game isn’t great.

    However, where Beale really outshines Haylett-Petty is in his attacking instincts, which were demonstrated aptly from the wing when he replaced Rob Horne in the World Cup pool match against England.

    Despite not often playing on the wing, Beale instinctively knew how to call the attacking move and rove inwards, to set up Bernard Foley for his try. I can’t think of a Wallabies winger who was that intuitively creative since Campese, and I think that is where Beale best fits if he is to start with the Wallabies this year.

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    The Crowd Says (206)

    • July 23rd 2017 @ 2:13am
      riddler said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:13am | ! Report

      9) guess it will be genia, but he has been phoning it for a few years now.. watch the t14 and you can see what i mean..
      10) foley
      11) speight
      12) hunt
      13) kerevi
      14) folau
      15) beale

      reserve backs: powell (i guess), hodge, dhp

      not a bad backline to be honest, unfortunately, as per usual for the last 15 years, 1-8 as a collective effort will not be much chop..

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 2:27am
        Fin said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:27am | ! Report

        I agree this is our best backline. Hunt has done enough to keep the 12 jersey and Folua will probably score more tries on the ring wing than at fullback.

        I wouldn’t read too much into Cheika saying he sees KB at 12 remember he said Hunt was only a 15 before he picked him at 12.

        • July 23rd 2017 @ 10:36am
          Jacko said | July 23rd 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

          Yes Cheika plays games no matter who he is talking to. I dont know why but it seems to be his nature…

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:25am
        Fionn said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

        Is Naivalu still injured, Riddler? Even as a Brumbies fan I’d prefer to see Sefa in the Wallabies.

        • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:36am
          riddler said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:36am | ! Report

          mate i am not sure..

          i missed the 1st half against the italians but there was quite a few people raving about him on the blog..

          if he is as good as they made out then i am up for that..

          • Roar Guru

            July 24th 2017 @ 2:10am
            Timbo (L) said | July 24th 2017 @ 2:10am | ! Report

            2 Tries and 3 out of 4 tackles. Pretty good stats for the role. There is more than 1 finisher in the Australian squad.

        • July 23rd 2017 @ 1:52pm
          Bakkies said | July 23rd 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

          He had a pretty good tour to be fair.

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 8:19pm
        BeastieBoy said | July 23rd 2017 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

        Yep. Best Backline

      • Roar Rookie

        July 24th 2017 @ 12:49am
        Huw Tindall said | July 24th 2017 @ 12:49am | ! Report

        I could deal I could deal with Beale DHP and Folau in the back 3. Beale is better overall value than any of the ‘power’ wingers like Speight and Naivalu. He was at one stage the fastest player in the Wallabies so he is no slouch. This leaves Hunt to be a defensive missile at 12 which seemed quite dangerous. Kerevi/TK at 13 and the usual 9/10 and not a bad back line at all.

        Still, backs don’t win matches. Other than Coleman and Hooper we don’t seem to have really world class players in the pack. Allan Alla has had a great year but is still young. Kepu could get back to his best but is below it at the moment. Moore is getting too old. Rory Arnold has promise but he is no Whitelock yet. We don’t have a big ball running 8 or 6 nor one who is handy at the ruck. The only thing our pack seems to do really well now is the lineout. Helps with such tall timber in the second row and recently 6 and 8.

      • July 24th 2017 @ 9:29am
        poyns said | July 24th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        Crazy to take Folau out of 15 jumper. The pundits on this site not long ago were calling for IF to go to 13, they tried that and it didn’t work. He’s the best player under a high ball in the world, and probably the best broken field runner, chimes into the backline brilliantly, and I think his kicking game is underrated. And after watching the Brumbies game on Friday night, we don’t need more kicking, and Kicking is Beale’s default play.

        • July 26th 2017 @ 2:10pm
          kiwineil said | July 26th 2017 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

          oh god … this again
          yes he is a great attacking full back and great under the high ball
          but his defensive positioning is terrible, his kicking is poor and he doesn’t read the backfield well
          He belongs on the wing…

    • July 23rd 2017 @ 2:16am
      Jock Cornet said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:16am | ! Report

      He defends like qc but is an exciting attacking option. Give him a go and see what’s happens

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:56am
        riddler said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        his defence has not been that bad at all this season up here while playing at fullback..

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:59am
        Peter said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        But you put sh$t all over Cooper because of his alleged defensive shortcomings but are willing to overlook these in Beale’s case. Cooper is at least aware of what is going on for the whole game. Not saying that you’re a hypocritical hater or anything….

        • July 23rd 2017 @ 8:10am
          riddler said | July 23rd 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

          the comment hater.. makes me think of nobody ‘d’ class rappers from the 90s

          cooper’s defence speak for itself..

          • July 23rd 2017 @ 10:38am
            EnoughisEnough said | July 23rd 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

            yes, Coopers defense speaks for itself, and it says it is better than Beale’s or Foley’s. Sorry to dismiss your narrative, but sometimes the truth wins.

            • July 24th 2017 @ 11:04am
              bradm said | July 24th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

              Well said. Coopers only problem is he’s not wearing a Waratah jersey.

              • July 24th 2017 @ 6:23pm
                rugby tragic said | July 24th 2017 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

                no its because hes rubbish

              • July 24th 2017 @ 10:53pm
                magpie said | July 24th 2017 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

                here, here, everybody wants to blame Cooper, when the real blame lies with Cheika and the forward pack of cream puffs he picks.

              • July 25th 2017 @ 3:39pm
                Ash said | July 25th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

                And the fact Foley never gets dropped no matter how bad he plays.

          • Roar Guru

            July 23rd 2017 @ 6:58pm
            Machooka said | July 23rd 2017 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

            Thanks riddler for da heads-up… I was unsure that QC actually had a defensive game. Totally.

            Now I know 😉

            Enough is enough eh?

            • Roar Rookie

              July 25th 2017 @ 1:17pm
              Hoges5 said | July 25th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

              Turn it up Chook!
              QCs defence is no worse than Beale’s.
              You are either choosing a kicker with good outside-back linking skills or a great long-passer with ok kicking skills and game mangement.

              Neither is complete but then again nor was Morne Steyn or Steven Donald (apparently) but both seemed to pick up World Cups….. might have something to do with the other 14 players on the field…

              • Roar Rookie

                July 25th 2017 @ 1:39pm
                piru said | July 25th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

                You can afford for a Morne Steyn not to be able to tackle – not so a Cooper

                That said Cooper’s defence is far better than people (or coaches) give him credit for, the worst thing you can do with a confidence player like Cooper is show no faith in an aspect of his game (like hiding him at fullback because you don’t think he can tackle)

              • July 25th 2017 @ 7:57pm
                Fionn said | July 25th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

                Salmon Morne was much more limited than Cooper, but boy could that bloke kick a goal.

                Around 2009-10 he was the best kicker I’ve ever seen. Goal-kicking robot. I’m just imagining how much more effective the Wallabies could be with Morne Steyn’s goal and out of hand kicking.

    • July 23rd 2017 @ 2:17am
      Brent Horstor said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:17am | ! Report

      Beale is a victim of systematic oppression that his ancestors and he to this day still suffers from. You lot on here go on about his off the field behavior, but it is only a reactionary response from a young indigenous bloke trying to find his way. Until we sort this sort of thing out, then all I can say is no justice, no peace. No justice, no peace. BLM.

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 2:20am
        riddler said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:20am | ! Report

        mate leave the politics for another blog…

        • Roar Guru

          July 23rd 2017 @ 2:23am
          Joey Johns said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:23am | ! Report

          He’s got you hook, line and sinker

          • July 23rd 2017 @ 2:26am
            riddler said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:26am | ! Report

            maybe joey.. maybe..

            i am just a simple piggie..

        • July 23rd 2017 @ 2:41am
          Brent Horstor said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:41am | ! Report

          spoken like a true fasc-ist. cant handle my truth pills.

          • July 23rd 2017 @ 3:19am
            Keith from WA said | July 23rd 2017 @ 3:19am | ! Report

            Did you just learn that word at school today?

          • July 23rd 2017 @ 10:18am
            Rebellion said | July 23rd 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            ‘Hit the Bricks’ Brent – the glow from your halo is giving us all a headache

          • July 23rd 2017 @ 10:41am
            Jacko said | July 23rd 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

            Brent I would love to be as down-trodden as Beale. A million $$$$ a season would suit my down-trodden life style

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 5:49am
        Frisky said | July 23rd 2017 @ 5:49am | ! Report

        Are you joking? Nice tongue in cheek.

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 6:41am
        tyrone said | July 23rd 2017 @ 6:41am | ! Report

        there is justice, a guy is going to get selected not based on skill but on a special edition jersey being used, no way on earth he is not selected to start

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:59am
        soapit said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        you cheapen your cause. assuming ur serious of course. poor form if ur not.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 23rd 2017 @ 9:02am
          Dave_S said | July 23rd 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

          Mate I’m pretty sure he’s tr0lling

          • July 24th 2017 @ 7:18am
            soapit said | July 24th 2017 @ 7:18am | ! Report

            yep hard to tell some times. my second sentence appies i spose

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 2:42pm
        The Sheriff said | July 23rd 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

        Cooper is a below average defender but he has been playing without flair, inspiration or enthusiasm for the whole of this season.

        I have not read one post which has mentioned Beale’s off field behaviour.
        It is indeed a pity that rugby people have deigned not to included Aboriginal players since the early 20th century.
        Those who have played are the very rare exceptions.

      • Roar Guru

        July 24th 2017 @ 2:05am
        Timbo (L) said | July 24th 2017 @ 2:05am | ! Report

        So let be follow your logic. A guy who committed a hate crime (yes this is the right word here), an act that would be met with instant dismissal in any workplace, should be excused because they are an indigenous Australian, or young, or both.
        Wallabies are both employees and role models to our children and should set a good example both on and off the field. I don’t care the gender, race or sexual orientation of the perpetrator, I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that that behavior is OK.
        Kurtley is setting a great example now and being a good role model for both the indigenous and wider Australian community, but he is carrying a lot of baggage from the past that will never be forgotten.
        If he wanted to right his ship he should make a genuine apology and support something on topic like an anti domestic violence campaign or something similar. He could really make a difference.

        I don’t think he is the best player for the Wallaby 10, 12 or 15 position due to the strength, or lack thereof in defense. In this place, the prejudice is more likely to be for being a Tah, not for being an indigenous Australian, get a grip!

        • July 25th 2017 @ 1:06am
          FactCheika said | July 25th 2017 @ 1:06am | ! Report

          I might be missing something Timbo, can you confirm exactly how Beale is setting a great example? Besides the sound bites from the indigenous jersey press conference last week? He’s been overseas for a year.

          To me he represents the greatest missed opportunity Australian rugby ever had (mostly due to his own behaviour) both in terms of on field performance and off field exposure/goodwill.

          Never lived up to his potential as a junior, and never understood his importance within the game and the positive impact it could have on the indigenous community to grow the game.

          Maybe I’m wrong on the latter point, and he did lots in this area that went unnoticed, but the wider rugby community would only know from word of mouth and the news. To which I saw/heard nothing.

          • Roar Guru

            July 26th 2017 @ 4:25pm
            Timbo (L) said | July 26th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

            I was trying to be positive and stay culturally sensitive, trying not to offend.

            The success of an indigenous Australians should be celebrated. The Ellas, Ernie Dingo, Kathy Freeman, Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach and many others sets a good example for a community that, to be blunt, had and has many troubles. To give kids a good role model like Goods or Kurtley creates a positive community focus.

            Curtley’s contribution is “to not do anything else bad” I admit is a pretty low bar. There are a number of missed opportunities as you have pointed out
            As I said, He could do more , the Indigenous Jersey is a good start but isn’t going to clean his slate like Karmichael Hunt was able to.

    • July 23rd 2017 @ 4:41am
      Gewurtz said | July 23rd 2017 @ 4:41am | ! Report

      According to the great Mr Cheika any Warratah has a right to the Wallaby jersey. Period.

      • Roar Guru

        July 23rd 2017 @ 7:23am
        eagleJack said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:23am | ! Report

        Fiji Test:
        6 x Brumbies, 6 x Tahs, 5 x Reds, 4 x Force, 2 x Rebels
        Scotland Test:
        6 x Brumbies, 6 x Tahs, 6 x Reds, 4 x Force, 1 x Rebels
        Italy Test:
        5 x Brumbies, 7 x Tahs, 4 x Reds, 3 x Force, 4 x Rebels

        In a season where there were no standout Super Rugby teams (Tahs, Rebels and Reds were terrible. Brumbies and Force slightly above average) the mix of players isn’t really a glaring issue. Only in the Italian Test did the Tahs have the most. But what about the Reds? – they were as bad, if not worse, than the Tahs in 2017.

        The Wallabies will struggle in 2017. Not because of the province the players come from but because they are Australian. And the vast majority have little to no talent. But we’ll once again fight and hopefully punch above our weight. As we always do. I’ll support whoever is selected.

        • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:40am
          Fionn said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:40am | ! Report

          The Reds are curious, while they were poor this year (although I would say definitely better than the Tahs – they only just lost to the Blues and Crusaders) they had a lot of individually good performers, they just looked uncoached. The Waratahs players looked more incompetent than the Reds.

          I think it is fair to say the Brumbies, Reds and Waratahs were all over represented and the Force under represented.

          The Brumbies don’t really deserve more than Sio, Ala’alatoa, Arnold, Fardy (I know) and perhaps Powell should be in the 23 for the Bledisloe. Hope more Force players are picked.

          • Roar Guru

            July 23rd 2017 @ 7:58am
            eagleJack said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

            Well the Tahs did beat the Reds and both finished with 4 wins. Neck and neck in a race to the bottom. Both had seasons to forget. And both lucky to have so many selected in the Wallabies.

            I agree that the Force were under represented. But let’s not forget this is their first good season in a decade. And good for them is 6 wins, which is actually quite bad. So it’s difficult for the coaching staff to make significant changes. You need to see consistency over time, which is what you have had from the Reds, Brumbies and Tahs. Team performances do help.

            I loved the addition of Hardwick. He, Coleman and DHP will be mainstays of the Wallabies for years to come. Guys like Rona and Meakes will hopefully impress when in camp. And I’d love to see a guy like RHP get given a crack. Naisarani will be there once eligible. Ruru should be in the mix too.

            I think we will cobble together a decent unit. But we are still several rungs below the Kiwis and I just can’t see that changing in the foreseeable future. If ever at all.

            • July 23rd 2017 @ 8:15am
              Fionn said | July 23rd 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

              I think if we’re well coached we are capable of coming second in the RC, but if Cheika blindly continues his failed strategy of the last 18 months then we could just as easily come fourth.

              The ball is in Cheika’s court.

              • Roar Guru

                July 23rd 2017 @ 8:51am
                eagleJack said | July 23rd 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

                Let’s not forget we came 2nd last year implementing his failed strategy.

                Cheika’s really on a hiding to nothing. Come 2nd with a bunch of players far more used to losing in 2017 than winning (0-26 v NZ) and the team will still get knocked.

                But like all supporters I’d love to see a complete performance. Consistently.

                As we have spoken about previously Fionn I have no doubt the failed ARU have a fair say in how we play. Cheika is bloody minded enough to continue with the running rugby mantra even if it isn’t working. Cause the ARU think it’s entertaining.

                Right now I’d settle for a grinding, ugly win.

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:26pm
                Bakkies said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                Only due to the fact that Argentina and SA had worse years. SA have played with more intensity, unity and leadership so far this year. It is between Argentina and the Wallabies for last place both teams have discipline and defence issues.

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 12:24pm
                EnoughisEnough said | July 23rd 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

                Came second last year because of a couple of wins with Quade cancelling out Foley’s ineptitude. Yet Cooper was made the fall guy by the Clown.

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 12:40pm
                Fionn said | July 23rd 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

                Springboks are on the up. Based on what I’ve seen in the June internationals we are on a hiding to nothing in South Africa, and it will be an upset if we ca win in Australia against them.

                Argentina? Who knows.

              • Roar Guru

                July 23rd 2017 @ 1:00pm
                PeterK said | July 23rd 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                The BOKS biggest difference this year is their defence.

                Brendan Venter has made a real difference.

                IMO that defence will frustrate the wallabies just as england’s did and they will win comfortably IF Cheika plays the same game plan of hand in ball rugby at all costs and neglects the kicking side and exit play.

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:28pm
                Bakkies said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

                Peter they are playing more shape and purpose with the ball too. Marx was playing like a man possessed

            • July 23rd 2017 @ 8:32am
              Gepetto said | July 23rd 2017 @ 8:32am | ! Report

              Bill Meekes is the form #12 these days. Kurtly is a late in the game impact player at best.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 25th 2017 @ 1:21pm
                Hoges5 said | July 25th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

                great point – it will be lost on this forum sadly….

            • July 23rd 2017 @ 8:54am
              Bring Back...? said | July 23rd 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

              EJ, I typically agree with your posts but as a die hard Tahs supporter I have to accept that, objectively, there have been some curious selections from the Tahs this year. I suspect the issue from others is not the numbers but the names – Robertson, Hannigan, Phipps (until injured) and Horne. All very difficult to justify. And, personally, Hooper would be on my bench….there, I said it….serenity now!

              As we’ve both commented on previous posts, Cheika will cop crap with everyone forgetting how bad our super teams have been….said it before….silk purse out of sow’s ear!

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 8:56am
                Fionn said | July 23rd 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

                Who would you have above Hooper given Pocock is away?

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 9:05am
                Bring Back...? said | July 23rd 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

                I rate Hooper’s effort, guts, determination…all that. But….what do you sacrifice by picking him? Previously it was putting Pocock at 8, what will it be this year. I look back at how the ABs forwards played in the first Lions test and it terrifies me how Hooper and Hannigan (both lightweights) would have been pummelled. I’m not a stat man but I have a recollection guys like Retallic, Whitelock and their front row effect as many steals as Cane. Hence, do we need a traditional “flyer”? I want hard nuts and would like to see a fit Fardy (6), McMahon (7) and Timani (8). RHP and next year Naisarani all in the mix. Hooper would be great off the bench with 25 or 30 to go.

              • Roar Guru

                July 23rd 2017 @ 9:58am
                eagleJack said | July 23rd 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

                G’day BB yeah don’t disagree with you on some of the selections. Robertson and Hanigan are head scratchers for me. And Horne shouldn’t even be in the equation.

                But I also have questioned others like Carter and Nabuli.

                And I get what you are saying about Hooper. But I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. I’d have a Fardy/Hooper/Timani backrow. But with Fardy heading o/s I’m really unsure who plays 6.

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 10:04am
                Fionn said | July 23rd 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

                I think Fardy is the best 6 in Aus by far.

                But, if Cheika doesn’t want to select him due to going overseas I think it has to be Higgers.

                If Cheik dislikes Higgers then I think it has to be Ross Haylett-Petty.

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 10:34am
                Bring Back...? said | July 23rd 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

                Personally not a Higgers fan but get the option. I’m disappointed Hooper wasn’t at least partially rested for the June series to see what else could be on offer, either people or combinations. Perfect chance to give Hooper a well earned rest but I guess that just means he’s locked in.

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 1:41pm
                Charlie Turner said | July 23rd 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                Look for a 7 with no negatives, a Sean Obrien/ Sam Cane type…..or at least someone who’s deficiencies are not as pronounced. The trouble with Hooper even though his strengths are very strong his weakness is very weak. Having a loose forward that gets blown off the ball as easily as he does is unacceptable.

                I am curious to know how Liam Gill is travelling in Europe. He does not have Hoopers hole running and pace but he is the closest thing we have to Sean Obrien as a classic forward contributor. I’d even take Richard Hardwick over Hooper despite only seeing him play a half a dozen time.

              • July 23rd 2017 @ 7:37pm
                Fionn said | July 23rd 2017 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

                Bismarck and Marx aren’t bad hooker options are they…

              • Roar Guru

                July 24th 2017 @ 2:29am
                Timbo (L) said | July 24th 2017 @ 2:29am | ! Report

                Charlie, Gill has been awesome for Tulon and is heading over to Leaon with some more of his reds buddies.
                Same Cane isn’t the automatic preference of the Kiwi’s either. Matt Todd and Ardie Savia provide a lot more attacking flair. Cane is a lot more like a 6 which tends to be better for internationals against heavy forward packs but is pretty boring to watch.

                I don’t think Hoops is the best 7 for Australia either, for the same reasons. It is one thing to collect ruck stats but unless you are moving bodies or offering some decent protection, I don’t think the extra attacking dynamic is worth it. This should be sorted out by selecting better back line combo’s, not sacrificing the #8 roles for a Scrum mounted 12.

                I like Alcock for the spot but MacMahon or Hardwick or Smith wouldn’t have me bashing on my keyboard in dissent either.

              • July 24th 2017 @ 10:47am
                Charlie Turner said | July 24th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

                Thanks for the info Timbo. The back row is a machine, if you don’t find balance it shakes itself to pieces. Cheika’s pride and misplaced loyalty to his 2014 Waratahs will ultimately bring him down. I agree with the other 7’s you mention, I like Collby too but he lacks the ball running power.

              • Roar Guru

                July 24th 2017 @ 6:02pm
                Timbo (L) said | July 24th 2017 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

                Colby or J Reid wouldn’t have me gnawing at the furniture either but being good is not enough, we need the best.

            • Roar Pro

              July 23rd 2017 @ 3:05pm
              Crazy Horse said | July 23rd 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

              Remember that the Force had a large part of their first choice team out injured in the first half of the season.

        • Roar Guru

          July 24th 2017 @ 2:14am
          Timbo (L) said | July 24th 2017 @ 2:14am | ! Report

          What are the numbers for the run on 15?

        • July 24th 2017 @ 10:49am
          Marto said | July 24th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          Jack EAGLE @

          The HORRATAHS were worse then the REDS in 2017, we finished higher on the ladder you goon, stop trying to justify their their continued selection (even when in poor form) at the national level….

          I like how you used Fiji as an example.. How many Tahs were in the third test v Italy after Scotland beat Cheikas Wallabies ? How many TAHS were dropped after that second test debacle ?

          I will not support a HORRATAH team pretending to be a Wallaby team with so many DUD HORRATAHS selected by a DUD EX HORRATAH coach who is trying so hard get as many as possible of his 2014 championship HORRATAHS in his Wallabies..

          Cheika need to go ASAP..

          GOOO THE AB`S
          GOOO THE BOKS

          • Roar Guru

            July 24th 2017 @ 2:10pm
            eagleJack said | July 24th 2017 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            Both finished with 4 wins. Both had seasons to forget. You fckin simpleton.

            • July 24th 2017 @ 2:14pm
              Marto said | July 24th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

              OH MY how rude…You finished below us Jack Eaglet … We had more points 21. You had 19 points ..

              More bonus points mate .. You understand ?? Can you add up ??

              You have 3 thumbs, so i`d reckon you should be able to have a crack at counting..

              • July 24th 2017 @ 2:17pm
                RahRah said | July 24th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

                Keep it going you two – you’re making my day (wish I knew how to do a laughing smiley face).

              • Roar Guru

                July 24th 2017 @ 2:22pm
                eagleJack said | July 24th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

                Hey, I guess you are used to mediocrity. Life just never quite got off the ground for you. So go ahead and celebrate the 4 wins!

                I said both had terrible seasons. It seems you disagree.

                Let’s not forget that pre-season the Reds were favourites to top the conference. Yet they even lost to the lowly Tahs. No wonder you are hurting.

              • July 24th 2017 @ 3:02pm
                Marto said | July 24th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                REDS 21 points 14th
                TAHS 19 points 16 th

                ” Yet they even lost to the lowly Tahs. No wonder you are hurting ”

                Psssssssssssssst….. I`m not hurting Jack Eaglet . are you a little hard of reading, i`m happy you ended up below us on the SUPER RUGBY table, .We finished above you pal.That`s all that matters to me.Got it yet ? Sunk in yet ?,,

                Anyway, why you having a sook? .You have the Wallaby coach gifting your under performing HORRATAHS Wallaby Jerseys ..Dunno why you are so upset .. I think the Force players and fans should be the ones blowing up Jack Eaglet..

                Sheeeeeesh..Go have a spell, or you might blow a gasket.

              • Roar Guru

                July 24th 2017 @ 6:22pm
                Timbo (L) said | July 24th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

                Rah Rah,

                it is Colon then a bracket (no Spaces) 🙂

                : )

              • Roar Rookie

                July 25th 2017 @ 1:44pm
                piru said | July 25th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

                Will you 2nd tier Aussie teams stop arguing please?

                you’re both rubbish

        • July 25th 2017 @ 12:37pm
          George G said | July 25th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

          EagleJack, thanks for the data you put forward.

          I’d like to follow that up though in looking at the starters. I think Cheika does a good job at selecting a varied extended and playing squad, but consistently selects his former Tahs to start and play at least 70mins, leaving scraps for other teams. Therefore listing the subs in the data you gave makes it look balanced but in reality it isn’t.

          The starting squad data looks like this:

          Fiji: 5 x Tahs, 4 x Brumbies 3 x Force, 2 x Reds (+Genia from overseas)

          Scotland: 5 x Tahs, 3 x Brumbies, 3 x Force, 3 x Reds (+ Genia)

          Italy: 5 x Tahs, 3 x Brumbies, 2 x Force, 2 x Reds, 2 x Rebels ( + Genia)

          So, as you can see, despite a horrific performance against Scotland, Cheika continued to select Tahs and drop the others in the squad CONSISTENTLY.

          This suggests he either has no alternatives to pick or that he thinks the other members of the squad to be the root of the problems.

          In any case, he picked 5 Tahs each game- leaving four other teams to fight over 10 starting spots. This is despite a horrific vein of form from the Tahs this year where they were expected (yet again) to top the conference easily. They finished 4th in the Aussie conference.

          • July 27th 2017 @ 4:43pm
            Marto said | July 27th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

            George G, that Silenced Jackeaglet ..haha

    • July 23rd 2017 @ 5:47am
      Frisky said | July 23rd 2017 @ 5:47am | ! Report

      Beale replaced Giteau in the WC because of Giteau’s concussion, not by choice

      • July 23rd 2017 @ 6:12am
        Ken Catchpole's Other. Leg said | July 23rd 2017 @ 6:12am | ! Report

        Frisky, there was a choice. Toomua was an option also. Beale was selected as a finisher, not as a 70 minute playmaker.
        Toomua would have been a wiser choice.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 23rd 2017 @ 8:11am
        Paulo said | July 23rd 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Giteau had to come off but Beale didnt have to replace him. The article argues Matt Toomua would have been a better option off the bench.

      • July 24th 2017 @ 3:32pm
        Bobby B said | July 24th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

        Well said!!

    • July 23rd 2017 @ 6:06am
      RahRah said | July 23rd 2017 @ 6:06am | ! Report

      Never been a Beale fan. He runs sideways compressing those outside him towards the sidelines making it rally easy for a drift defense, his defense in the front line stinks.
      If we must have him, he is of much better use at fullback where he can inject himself into the game when gaps appear, rather than crabbing to try and create one, and he defends much better from fullback as he has more time to read the developing play.

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