Roar Forum: What changes should the Wallabies make for Argentina?

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232 Have your say

    Well, the Wallabies may not have lost, but after a 23-all draw with the Springboks on Saturday night, they still find themselves winless in the Rugby Championship.

    More Wallabies vs Springboks
    » Match Report: It’s a draw!
    » Five talking points
    » Vote in our DIY player ratings

    That’s something that the side will be looking to reverse in as quick a fashion as possible, and a match against Los Pumas next week gives them the perfect chance.

    It was a bit of a different Wallabies side this week – Stephen Moore was unavailable, and Jordan Uelese made his debut off the bench.

    What changes should the Wallabies make to the team before they come up against Argentina in a week’s time?

    For the answer to that all-important question, Roarers, we’re turning things over to you.

    Which of this week’s players have earned another go next time around, and which of them are headed back to the chalkboard?

    Who deserves to come right in, and who should be made to earn their place?

    In short – who comes in, who goes out?

    There will, we bet, be a variety of opinions on the matter, and in this week’s Roar Forum you are invited to let us know in the comments what yours is.

    For your reference, here’s the full team from the Test on Saturday night:

    Wallabies team versus Springboks
    1. Scott Sio (34 Tests)
    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (73 Tests)
    3. Sekope Kepu (82 Tests)
    4. Rory Arnold (14 Tests)
    5. Adam Coleman (13 Tests)
    6. Ned Hanigan (5 Tests)
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (70 Tests)
    8. Sean McMahon (17 Tests)
    9. Will Genia (80 Tests)
    10. Bernard Foley (47 Tests)
    11. Reece Hodge (15 Tests)
    12. Kurtley Beale (62 Tests)
    13. Tevita Kuridrani (49 Tests)
    14. Henry Speight (14 Tests)
    15. Israel Folau (57 Tests)

    16. Jordan Uelese (Debut)
    17. Tom Robertson (11 Tests)
    18. Allan Alaalatoa (14 Tests)
    19. Rob Simmons (73 Tests)
    20. Jack Dempsey (1 Test)
    21. Nick Phipps (53 Tests)
    22. Samu Kerevi (9 Tests)
    23. Curtis Rona (1 Test)

    What changes do you want to see for the next Test? Let the debate begin!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

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    The Crowd Says (232)

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:46am
      Bib said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

      Just watched the game again.

      Honestly what is the point of our backrow. Three lightweights that do nothing.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 10:15am
        QED said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report


        >>>Honestly what is the point of our backrow. Three lightweights that do nothing.<<<.

        Eloquent, erudite, concise. Enough said


      • September 10th 2017 @ 10:24am
        Rugby Tragic Too said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

        watch it again with your eyes open this time

        • September 10th 2017 @ 3:27pm
          mzilikazi said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

          And I second that.

          Hannigan is not totally useless at all, but is still lightweight and makes some poor decisions around the ruck area. And he is a good lineout exponent.

          But he should have got experience in the June tests only, and been left to build on that. There are far better players watching the game from the stands/on TV !! Timani, Hardwick.

          McMahon is a good player, and so is Hooper…IMO they did a lot of good work last night.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 3:40pm
            Harry said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

            Hanigan gave away a critical penalty at the lineout in the 79th minute. Also other penalties.
            As is constantly pointed out by us armchair critics, just not up to test standard yet.
            Better options at 6 … Timani, Simmons, McMahon, and of course the out of favour Higginbotham and Fardy. Certainly Naisarini when he’s available.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 5:42pm
              Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

              Wasn’t that Simmons?

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 6:46pm
                PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

                It was, hanigan did the same earlier though

              • Roar Guru

                September 11th 2017 @ 1:56pm
                Hoy said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                Hanigan was doing it all game… reaching over the other side… It is a usual Simmons trick, and Hanigan has picked it up it seems… Was waiting for the penalty to occur for that stupid play all game.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 10:05pm
              ScottD said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

              And RHP

          • September 11th 2017 @ 10:11am
            Bakkies said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

            It is concerning that Hanigan is 110kg and he can’t clean out a ruck

            • Roar Guru

              September 11th 2017 @ 1:31pm
              ThugbyFan said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

              Looking at him up close, I think Ned “Flanders” Hanigan had lead bricks in his undies at weigh-in time. Ned Flanigan and J.Dempsey are supposed to be of similar mass but live and up close Dempsey looks to have near 20% more meat/muscle on his bones.

              Personally I think Ned’s playing weight hits about 102kg, also he has no drive in his legs. If you are going to tackle above the hips you need drive in your legs (not the washing powder). The way he was swatted off by the SB forwards was alarming.

              W.Genia had a horrible time in the match because the SB loosies and locks were pouring through the rucks and harassing him. And where were Ned Flanigan and Seanie boy, who were supposed to protect him? Road kill as the big boys poured through.

              Granted that M.Hooper is a gun player, but he is not a normal openside and lacks some weight and power which therefore must be provided by the blindside and #8. Coach Cheika’s tactic of 3 yapping poodles in the backrow just isn’t working because none of them can hold a ruck against the big boys in International Rugby.

              M.Cheika has to swallow a bit of pride, admit he is wrong and get decent #6 and #8 with some mass and mongrel.

      • Roar Guru

        September 10th 2017 @ 10:48am
        PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        A bit unfair, Hooper did a great try saving tackle, he made the most tackles with no misses, even got a forced penalty at the breakdown.

        Yes the breakdown was beaten badly but Hooper had no help from mcmahon or mumm 2.0

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:12am
          Ruckin' Oaf said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

          Yeah our back 3 ain’t that bad. Why we even have a world class centre as one of them.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 4:33pm
          cuw said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

          its kind of strange how when Hooper is doing the tackling the stats of Hanigan fall down and vice versa.

          i think last test it was Hanigan who did most tackling and Hooper was appalling.

          why cant both play the same week in – week out?

        • September 10th 2017 @ 4:52pm
          Bib said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

          McMahon is a bit of a myth, in my opinion. He makes a good run evey now and then but he’s too light at the breakdown and he doesn’t have the defensive coverage to make up for it.

          Hooper is great in the loose but very poor at the breakdown. We miss pocock so much.

          Hannigan. Well yeah. Not sure what actually is the point of him. He’s probably the worst wallaby forward since either Timani Snr or Tom Bowman.

          • Roar Pro

            September 11th 2017 @ 8:12am
            Boosho said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

            Long Tom Bowman? I still remember that try he scored in Bled 2 ’98. He had a cult following 🙂

        • September 10th 2017 @ 4:58pm
          Bib said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

          I should clarify that hoopers best role would be bench.

          I’d love to have either Pocock starting or if he’s injured Gill starting with Hooper on the bench for impact.

          Some of the best wallabies (Finnegan and Cockbain, for example) were bench players.

          • Roar Guru

            September 11th 2017 @ 1:42pm
            ThugbyFan said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

            Similar to the AB, start with the rugged S.Cane and apply the coup-de-grace with the speed and power of Ardie Savea.

            I can live with that. Imagine starting with a WB backrow of S.Higgenbothem, D.Pocock and L.Timani/Isi Naisarani with M.Hooper coming on about the 60th minute. You would win heaps in rucks, mauls, defence, run-ups and scrums but not too sure how the lineout would go.

            In Ned Flanigan’s favour, he is good at LO and goes for 80 minutes but having 3 lightweight yapping poodles as a backrow is a sad joke.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:09pm
          double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

          Hooper is outstanding really. Shame he’s not bigger. I hate to think what would happen to the Wallabies if he wasn’t out there.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 2:37pm
        Tragic said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

        I agree, with Higgers, Fardy and Pocock we will win games, and send the no. 10 on a holiday

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:50am
      Noodles said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      The only change I’d like is a trial of Simmons at 6. We need more options in the lineout and more beef at the scrum. I’d also like to see if Simmons can carry consistently.
      Otherwise it seems to me the team needs to settle into its patterns and eliminate the errors that are hampering its game. Last night it was mostly inaccuracy at the breakdown and penalties. Defence was quite good. Kicking game by Beale was an improvement. Folau on the other hand seemed pressured.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 10:11am
        Connor33 said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Yep, Simmons to 6. The only way to balance Pooper is to have a tall 6. We might as well start employing it now and perhaps have Simmons shave off a few kgs and get into more aerobic work.

        Dempsey – get rid of him. He did nothing in the scrum. Or in general play.

        Rona is dreadful, particularly when there are quality players like Banks at the Brumbies coming through the rugby system as oped to league players like Rona.

        • Roar Guru

          September 10th 2017 @ 10:51am
          PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          Dempsey did more than mcmahon for the time he was on

          Naivalu should be on the wing

        • September 10th 2017 @ 10:57am
          Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          Simmons is way too slow and unphysical for 6.

          Can we just put this idea to bed? It won’t work. The back row will just be a different type of unbalanced.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 4:54pm
            Bib said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

            Simmons is silly as a 6, but he’s much better than hannigan.

          • September 11th 2017 @ 12:16pm
            Markus said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

            Too slow and unphysical and yet a better lineout jumper, higher work rate, better tackle completion rate than Hanigan. For all the athleticism Hanigan supposedly brings, the outcome is still 4 runs for 1 metre gained.

            I agree that Simmons at 6 is not a solution, but the fact that it would be an improvement should really ring some alarm bells.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 3:32pm
          mzilikazi said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

          That is too hard on the guy.

          What can he do in the scrum if the front five are a mess in that particular set piece….read Nic Bishops last article and go through the comments re the No 8.

          Simmons at 6 ?? I personally don’t see it…but I could well be proven wrong.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:11pm
          double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:11pm | ! Report

          How is it Pooper when there is no Pocock?

      • September 10th 2017 @ 10:26am
        Bakkies said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        Simmons can’t carry and he will get shown up in defence against teams that snipe around the fringes and offload regularly.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 10:57am
          Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report


          • September 10th 2017 @ 11:50am
            Noodles said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

            So you blokes accept that we have the best available choices? (I’m fine to accept the limitations of Simmons, which I haven’t studied, but if he’s not physical enough at 6 what’s he doing at 4?)

            • Roar Guru

              September 10th 2017 @ 11:54am
              PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

              he is the reserve lock

              Simmons is very good at managing lineouts which is a core skill for a lock , not a 6.
              Also good scrummaging lock

            • September 10th 2017 @ 12:34pm
              Connor33 said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

              I’m with you Noodles. If Simmons does not play 6, then who else?

              I’d like Coleman given a run at 6 if Simmons plays lock.

              Just having Coleman or Simmons at 6 would rejigger the team back to 15 as we are carrying Hanigan at the moment.

              We would scrummage better.

              We would have more lineout options.

              I just can’t understand why folks would not be open to this when their bitching about Hanigan.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 12:43pm
                Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

                RHP, give Fardy a call, Higgers, Timani or Dempsey if necessary.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 3:19pm
                Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

                Yes – any of them way ahead of Simmons (and Hanigan).

              • September 10th 2017 @ 12:58pm
                Wozza said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                Fionn Exactly but maybe leave Dempsey. When does Naisarani qualify?

              • September 11th 2017 @ 3:56am
                Kibuib said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:56am | ! Report

                I believe he qualifies next year, but Fiji are pushing hard to cap him…He would add great balance to the backrow. Throw in Pocock with Hooper, Hardwick and possibly a bolted like Rob Valetini and you have a backrow for the future.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 1:08pm
                Johnny J-Dog said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report


              • September 10th 2017 @ 3:20pm
                Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

                At 6? Are you serious Johnny?

              • September 10th 2017 @ 10:08pm
                ScottD said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

                Not at 6, too small imo.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 3:43pm
                Harry said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                Rodda at 6, or the bench and Simmons starting at 6

            • September 10th 2017 @ 3:18pm
              Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:18pm | ! Report


              But Simmons at 6 just creates different problems. And I’d rather have Rodda on the bench.

              He is not a 6’s bootlace. How could you guys suggest that?

            • September 10th 2017 @ 3:37pm
              mzilikazi said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

              “but if he’s not physical enough at 6 what’s he doing at 4?)”
              Noodles, with all due respect, would suggest that is not the point. They are two very different positions, and away from the set piece, for me Simmon’s would not have the speed and ball handling skills that a good 6 needs.

              There are several better options at 6. Of course, Fardy should have been held for the RC at least, and only gone to Leinster much later.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 5:07pm
                Jock Cornet said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

                Simmons, Hannigan, Moore & Sio have to be discarded. We have better alternatives. Geez the tahs players such as Hooper , Folau and Beale played brilliantly when are the other provinces going to play well. Hodge is excluded as basically a tah as Manly player.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 5:45pm
                Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

                Sio had a good game. We have no one who is better.

              • Roar Guru

                September 11th 2017 @ 1:46pm
                ThugbyFan said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

                Jock, seriously??? You want to drop Scott Sio and keep chubby Tom Robertson? What are you smoking, man? LoL

            • September 10th 2017 @ 4:28pm
              Noel said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

              Hooper is dynamite but he needs help bring Fardy back I don’t know why he ever was dropped he’s got all the mongrel that you need for a 6 and great in the lineout Higgenbotham at the back and you have an unbeatable back 3 and watch them excel.

              • Roar Guru

                September 11th 2017 @ 1:49pm
                ThugbyFan said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                Noel, But but but but but …. Michael doesn’t like them! Fards and Higgers didn’t bow with enough reverence at training and bust their guts running up hills with taped mouths.

            • September 11th 2017 @ 10:13am
              Bakkies said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

              Simmons at 6 will make it worse. Could imagine Simmons as the pillar against the ABs it will be worse than Pieter-Steph du Toit getting exposed at 6 by Ben Youngs.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 4:36pm
          cuw said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

          people who say Simmons shud play 6 , MUST WATCH what happened to PSDT when he was put at 6 …..

          there are not many who have the ability to play 4/6 .

          last night Courtney Lawes had a MOM innings for Tigers – at 6 🙂 but then he has always been able to hit hard and carry the ball in contact.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 6:13pm
            Noodles said | September 10th 2017 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

            OK. I give in. But now I’m looking for the next Melon. Fardy was OK. Melon was a weapon. Hanigan and Dempsey need two more years to get the size and timing right.
            I simply can’t hear to watch our backrow bounce off or get hung up by bigger opponents all the time.

      • Roar Guru

        September 10th 2017 @ 10:50am
        PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        defence was not good 74% tackle success.

        yes scambling, cover defence was good but front on defence was poor.

        Kuridrani, Mumm 2.0, Foley, Genia, TPN all tackled poorly

        Drop McMahon and Mumm 2.0

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:15am
          Ruckin' Oaf said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

          I did notice that Beale and Foley were at the back quite often in the game. Were the Wallabies playing some variant of the defensive pattern where they move 10 and 12 ??

        • September 10th 2017 @ 3:41pm
          mzilikazi said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

          “Drop McMahon”….PeterK, I generally see a lot of sense in what you write, but I don’t see this one the same as you do. I would move him to 6….agree he is an ideal 8…but is no slouch there when asked to do the job.

          • Roar Guru

            September 10th 2017 @ 3:47pm
            PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

            lineout suffers because wallabies need 4 lineout options not 3, can’t start both mcmahon and hooper.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 4:54pm
              cuw said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

              oz need a Jackpot type of player – someone who can carry the ball, hit hard and jump at lineout.

              the closest is H’botham but then i think he is more of an 8 than a 6.

              Timani is not playing enuf at 6 in super rugger. u cant just come into a test and go up against a guy who plays 6 every day.

              this is where the super rugger teams and test team have to work hand in hand. there seems to be no coordination or a common goal.

              even argies seems to have a better understanding of this than auzzy

            • September 10th 2017 @ 7:18pm
              Bring Back...? said | September 10th 2017 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

              Exactly Peter, that’s why Hooper goes to the bench, Timani at 8, McMahon wears 7 and a big unit at 6. I’m not a Higgers fan but would go with him at 6 if it means an end to the current insanity, but I’d rather (Fardy) try RHP.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 11:17pm
                double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:17pm | ! Report

                Why would you drop Hooper and put Mcmahon in his place? That’s like dropping Roger Federer and picking Nick Kyrios.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 1:44am
                Bring Back...? said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:44am | ! Report

                Why?….because I think it would be a better back row. Have Hooper off the bech with 25-30 to go. I just don’t agree with your analogy….which by the way suggests Hooper is a great and McMahon is…..(can’t say)….. I like Hooper as a player but I don’t think he’s the right guy to start.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 11:15pm
              double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:15pm | ! Report

              Mcmahon 6 Hooper 7 Timani 8

              • September 11th 2017 @ 1:45am
                Bring Back...? said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:45am | ! Report

                You’re still lacking that 4th lineout option.

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:52am
      Wheelbarrow said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      Simmons to 6. Hannigan is too lite
      Timani. To 8. McMahon on bench
      Don’t like Phipps but Genia seems to pass the ball to no one so he needs to have a rest on the bench.
      We have to find a 10

      • September 10th 2017 @ 9:56am
        Me said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        Agree. We need to find a 10 that will unleash our backline.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 4:59pm
          RahRah said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

          OK left field and all that, and I’ll don my old cricket “box” prior to the incoming but…………Johno Lance. He’s never been given a real go, he always takes it to the line, can pass both ways, can kick annnnnnnnd he can tackle. OK hit me now?

          • September 10th 2017 @ 7:01pm
            Me said | September 10th 2017 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

            And he keeps getting better with more time on the paddock

          • September 10th 2017 @ 10:11pm
            ScottD said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

            Not stupid at all. His biggest problem has been two runs of injury whuch meant he didn’t get enough time on the paddock this year.
            A real option though. He has a better boot than Foley and is a better defensive option than both QC and Foley.
            It’ll never happen though.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 11:18pm
            double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:18pm | ! Report

            Jono Lance? Must be joking.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 10:13am
        Connor33 said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        Timani has to play at 8. The fact that Dempsey got in the starting 23 was a disgrace.

        Dempsey was one of the reasons the scrum was lost at the half way mark, leading to the kick to make it. 23-20.

        Cheika says: we need more maturity to close out games. Then why on earth play two immature players like Dempsey and Hanigan in the same test. At best, have one of them; but both his suicide.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 10:29am
          Bakkies said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

          Timani is out of form one of the effects of playing in losing teams all year. I just hope that one of the Brumbies blindsides and number 8s step up next year as what is at the Waratahs and Rebels is not the solution. The Reds are just poorly drilled and Cheika is not a fan of Higginbotham.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 10:31am
          Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          Why just don’t play the Pooper?

          Naisarani will be eligible by next year and looks like he could be the devastating 8 we have been waiting for. RHP and Timani will both be options at 6 who provide big bulk.

          • Roar Guru

            September 10th 2017 @ 10:50am
            eagleJack said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

            Pretty sad when Australian rugby once again has to wait for a guy to be eligible.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 10:51am
              Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

              Swings and roundabouts, we’re losing Lomax and Michael Ala’alatoa, have lost guys like Toomua, Mowen and Ioane overseas.

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 11:01am
                eagleJack said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                Lomax? The guy who was born in Australia because his Kiwi father played for the Raiders at the time. But actually grew up in New Zealand, playing all his junior rugby (and league) in Wellington?

                Not sure we can really lay claim to “losing” him.

                The talent ain’t coming through. Sooner or later people will realise that. But we’ll continue to punch above our weight.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 11:18am
                Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

                ‘The talent ain’t coming through.’

                You keep saying that, but I don’t think there is this huge drop off in quality relative to what we’ve had since 2007. The Three Amigos were massively over-hyped, only Pocock can really lay claim to being a truly world class player who has come through since then.

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 11:28am
                PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                ej – i agree the talent just isn’t there.

                Even if the best players were picked and played in their positions AND better tactics used, multiple plans wallabies realistically could only hope to be no 3 (behind nz and eng).

                However the current selections and tactics leaves the wallabies behind Ireland, and boks as well fighting it out with Scotland and Wales, at about their level.

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 11:28am
                eagleJack said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                But that’s my point Fionn. We’ve had 15 years of pretty average talent coming though. With nothing on the horizon to suggest that is changing. Junior development (and coaching) is still very amateur.

                I came to this realisation years and years ago. Shocked that nothing had changed since my time in GPS rugby in the late 90s. Union talent scouts can’t be bothered looking beyond the Mickey Mouse school competition.

                It seems the ARU philosophy is buy League players to fill the gaps. Or just wait for talented overseas players to become eligible via the residency rule. When time would be better spent developing talent at 15. But that would mean they would have to become professional in their outlook.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 12:47pm
                Dave_S said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

                I suspect a lot of promising playmakers (10s) and big loose forwards (6/8s) are being scouted to league as schoolboys, they are highly valued in the NRL.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 1:58pm
                Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

                The talent is only average because of the coaching and pathways. Put the same players through the NZ system and they’ll be world beaters.

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 11:34am
                eagleJack said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                Don’t disagree with you there PK. Some of the selections are infuriating. But I’m still proud of the guys punching above their weight. You can’t question their heart or commitment.

                It’s not their fault that they just aren’t that talented.

                I still can’t believe we only have 3 x options at 10 in the whole of Australia (Cooper, Foley and Lance). What is happening at junior development level to leave us in such a predicament?

              • September 10th 2017 @ 12:32pm
                Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

                Eaglejack, Péter, fair points, both of you.

                However, we have been hit hard to injuries to guys like Holloway, and the loss of Mowen didn’t help either.

                I agree more emphasis should be put into fixing the structural issues and developing players rather than plugging holes with foreign players.

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 11:41am
                PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

                ej – even worse is coaching development or is that a contradiction in terms in australia.

                who is a good coach in australian super rugby?

                Wessels, you know the south african.

                At best aust has 1 good coach at super rugby level at a time

                Cheika before him McKenzie before him ….Eddy Jones

                Why with 3 teams for a long time and then 4 and 5 there isn’t at least 2 very good coaches at super rugby level?

              • September 10th 2017 @ 1:27pm
                Akari said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

                I think it’s a great thing that both Lomax and Mike A are in the NZ rugby system to be developed into the best they can be in their respective positions. The ARU should just top up with contracts to ensure that they do not commit to the ABs. There’s nothing wrong in doing that, is there?

                Lomax is still a significant loss when he was drafted in the WBs squad this year, eJ. They should take a step further and buy the bugger.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 3:30pm
                cuw said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

                who is this LOMAX?

                they were saying he is coming to Tasman during today’s match . but apparently from next year.

                what a match between Tasman n Wellington today 🙂

          • Roar Guru

            September 10th 2017 @ 10:52am
            PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            Naisanri at 8 Pocock at 7 and Higgs or Timani at 6, how much better would that be

            • September 10th 2017 @ 10:53am
              Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

              Yes, or if Ross Haylett-Petty or Dempsey improve as well.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 12:05pm
              Dodo Vita said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

              Enough of the Pocock cheer squad. He is excellent over the ball but he is invisible in cover defence and he has nothing in attack. He has the wooden hands of a man that has spent too much time in the gym. He is so slow around the park. He is one dimensional and overpaid. Move Pocock to hooker. And all these Hooper critics! Are any of you ex-loosies? He is close to the perfect open side flanker. Saved our skin last night too. Smothered the field goal shot and saved a try under the posts. Now honestly, ask yourself, would Pocock have made it into the frame? Buckley’s!

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 12:11pm
                PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

                Hooper did have a very good game, still prefer Pocock, he is not as slow you make out

              • September 10th 2017 @ 12:16pm
                Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                So, Dodo, you know nothing about rugby then.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 2:00pm
                Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                Come on, there is significant truth in what the dodo said.

                Hooper is an out and out gun.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 4:37pm
                dangergoose said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

                Glasshouses champ.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 2:02pm
                Dave_S said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

                Dodo I think you’re overstating Pococks weaknesses but I generally agree that hooper has probably passed him in terms of overall contribution around the park. i would find it hard to drop hooper for pocock if i could only have one of them. Pocock does have a heavier body so maybe I’d prefer him now if Cheka were persisting with McMahon and Hannigan.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 2:18pm
                Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

                No, James, I wouldn’t say there is ‘significant truth’ at all, a kernel of truth, yes. But overall, his comment is just ridiculous.

                He isn’t invisible in cover defence at all – he is no worse than most other international 7s, nor is he particularly slow, he is just slower than Hooper and thus worse at making covering tackles than Hooper. However, he makes far more dominant tackles than Hooper and misses them far more rarely than Hooper.

                This nonsense about being ‘close to the perfect openside flanker’. Hooper has significant weaknesses and, for all of his positives, he is far, far less effective than Pocock at his core role of dominating the breakdown and he misses more tackles than Pocock.

                I can’t even comprehend how someone can be ‘close to the perfect openside flanker’ when the weakest aspect of their game is attacking the breakdown in heavy traffic. McCaw and George Smith when they were in their primes were close to perfect openside flankers, and had a far more rounded skill set than Hooper possesses, for all of his attributes.

                Is an attacking 7 who is extremely fast and an excellent linkman and makes great cover tackles or do we need the world’s best 7 in the breakdown (when the breakdown is one of the weakest parts of our game with Hooper at 7), who is also a decent link man and cover tackler and is our best defender also.

                Have a read of Nick Bishop’s first article on the site, it was on why Pocock was the best forward in Australia. The only thing that has happened since then is that Hooper’s form has declined since the 2015 RWC.

                Not disputing that Hooper is currently the pick at 7 (obviously, he is), but Hooper is inferior to Pocock, SOB and Matt Todd and Ardie Savea at the least in my opinion. Has Hooper EVER produced a dominant performance the way that Pocock did in 2010 vs the Springboks when we won at altitude, or the 2011 RWC or last year when he was allowed to play at 7 just the once, and almost singlehandedly won us a match against the French that we had no right to win?

                Go back and watch the 2015 RWC, Pocock was by far our most dominant and best player, as he almost always is.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 3:25pm
                Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

                No one has played like pocock did in that semi against SA. But that was how many years ago?

                Poey is fantastic but Hooper does s whole lot that I can’t be bothered typing from my iPhone. You know what he offers, you just undervalue it.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 3:35pm
                Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                James, go back and watch the test against France last year was another one where Pocock (virtually alone) won us the match. We beat that French side that the following week only narrowly lost to the All Blacks despite the fact that we played our B team.

                Other examples include the RC match against Argentina in 2015, and the England and Argentina tests in the RWC. Go back and re-watch our 2015 WC matches, no player was bigger than Pocock.

                The worst performance we put in in the tournament, especially in defence and at the breakdown, was against Scotland when Pocock was absent.

                I don’t undervalue what Hooper does. Or, perhaps I do, I’m not sure. However, even if that is the case I think you massively undervalue what Pocock does.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 5:48pm
                Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

                Fionn Poey is fantastic. But so is Hooper. Hence why we played both.

                They are different and complement each other well.

              • Roar Guru

                September 10th 2017 @ 3:55pm
                PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

                fionn – agree, Pocock is being undervalued, and his so called weaknesses being exaggerated.

                Pocock would improves the team performance more considering the breakdown is the biggest weakness despite playing 2 no 7’s. Together McMahon and Hooper cannot match Pococks work there.

                Playing Pocock frees up 2 players to be genuine 6’s and 8’s.

              • Roar Pro

                September 10th 2017 @ 4:37pm
                Crazy Horse said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

                When I played 7, way back in the last century before I was promoted to the backs, the consistent message from every coach was that my most important duty was to nail the opposing 9/10 if we lost the scrum. The second most important duty was to be the first to the breakdown and get the ball. Doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, at least with the Wallabies.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 6:08pm
                Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

                James, I don’t disagree, it is just the same question of whether playing two smaller 7s weakens the line out too much to justify selecting both.

                I would hazard a guess that it does. Reading Deans’ biography he was intending on continually using Pocock and George Smith for one half each as he did against Wales in 09 before Smith went overseas.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 8:42pm
                mzilikazi said | September 10th 2017 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

                “He is excellent over the ball but he is invisible in cover defence and he has nothing in attack. He has the wooden hands of a man that has spent too much time in the gym. He is so slow .”

                Dodo Vita, I challenge your comments strongly. I would though need to understand how long you have watched Pocock. If only in the last 3 yrs or so, then yes, he has slowed.

                But I could find you a clip of Bryan Habana streaking for the corner to score, only to be cut down by the fast covering Pocock…probably 6 years ago. His first position as a schoolboy in Zimbabwe was flyhalf…junior school. He still exhibits very good passing skills.

                Did you by any chance see him in the 2011 WC Cup game v Boks. That would have to have been one of the great performances I have ever seen by a flanker.
                When Richie McCaw retired, he became, IMO, the top 7 in the world.

                His injuries since have undoubtedly slowed him, and the crazy selection policies of MC have curbed his game. But I will be very interested to see how he performs next year.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 11:05am
            Bakkies said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

            You can’t obviously when Pocock is not available. Never was a fan of the combo. When he was around he should have been the starting openside. Cheika just has to look after his Tart mates.

            Said it all along that this will be like 2014 again where Hooper struggled (you can’t say that McMahon is playing the role of a 7 in the current backrow). Back then teams just targeted Fardy as they knew Hooper wasn’t fighting hard for the ball on the deck.

            • Roar Guru

              September 10th 2017 @ 11:43am
              PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

              Overall Hooper had a very good game, at least he was at the rucks on top of all the other work he did, and managed a pilfer and a forced penalty.

              Mcmahon and mumm 2.0 no impact, no clearouts , no slowing ball down.
              Outside the ruck they did little as well.

              McMahon back to his usual ineffectual self against big forward packs.

              • September 10th 2017 @ 11:55am
                Connor33 said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Agree re McMahon, PK. Some good runs, but after he got the cork he was just ineffectual as you say. Cheika should have pulled him. Timani to start.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 5:01pm
            RahRah said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

            Naiserani had a ripper in this afternoons game Spirit v Vikings. But knowing Ahab’s form, he’ll give him one game, blame him for global warming and then drop him never to be seen again.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 3:43pm
          mzilikazi said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

          “Then why on earth play two immature players like Dempsey and Hanigan in the same test. At best, have one of them; but both his suicide.”

          C33, that I agree with totally……both guys inexperience showed.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:20pm
          double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

          The bench looked underwhelming when the side was announced. Phipps went well that’s about it.

    • September 10th 2017 @ 9:58am
      deadwood said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

      I expect Cheika was really disappointed having to put a Reds player on the field for 5 minutes at the end of the test, so I expect Kerevi to be dropped from the squad entirely again. It’s hard to even consider who should be in the side when it isn’t picked on form or any other discernible rational basis.

      • Roar Guru

        September 10th 2017 @ 1:20pm
        ThugbyFan said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        NSW Tahs had a brilliant #12 for most of the season, he should instantly be called up into the WB squad to replace that log S.Kerevi who (a) only was decent for 5 minutes in the whole game and (b) comes from Queensland.

        Watched all the Tah’s home games this year and the #12 was so brilliant that the Rebels have snaffled him for SR2018. Just wish I could remember his name, that how fast and brilliant he was. (Hint: in his tackles he hits like a Howitzer). 🙂

      • September 10th 2017 @ 11:22pm
        double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:22pm | ! Report

        I’m sure Cheika’s hatred of the Reds overrides his desire to be a successful international level coach. No doubt the reason he applied for the job in the first place was so he could screw over some Queenslanders.

    • September 10th 2017 @ 10:23am
      Rusty743 said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      Is it crazy to suggest that Beale starts at 10 for the Argies? Genia and Beale are the playmakers in this team, lets bring them together. Bring in a 12 to work with TK. We look dangerous when Beale has the ball in his hands.

      • Roar Guru

        September 10th 2017 @ 10:53am
        PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        Beale works better with space rather than players rushing him all the time. Beale doesn’t have a good long pass either.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 12:58pm
          Dave_S said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

          But if the only options (in Cheika-land) are Foley or Beale at 10, I vote Beale.

          • Roar Guru

            September 10th 2017 @ 3:56pm
            PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

            agree grudgingly not because I think much of Foley but worry about losing the spark that Beale adds by playing him an even less optimal position whereas 15 is his best position.

            • September 11th 2017 @ 1:04pm
              MitchO said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

              The Foley Beale combo does work. It is Beale that makes it work but between them we get two test level rugby players and some spark in attack. It doesn’t work without Beale and that is a big risk for us. Hence the need to develop Kerevi as a 12 so we have a Plan B.

              Kerevi is in the Wallabies long term plans to play somewhere so he is not going to be displaced from a 40 man squad by a returning Hunt or CLL or a maturing Duncan P. At the moment if KB gets the cork not McMahon then the attacking wheels fall off.

              On the Pocock issue above I am with Fionn. Pocock and Hooper are different players but really with the lack of ability at the breakdown in the other seven forwards we need Pocock there more than we need Hooper to work his magic in the wider channels.

              Hooper is an attacking weapon and a very good player but Pocock makes a truly great brick wall and D wins big matches. To almost single handedly take on another forward pack and own the advantage line like Pocock did in that earlier world cup is nearly impossible. To do it against a top tier nation like the Boks… I reckon there are some real hard straight guys in South Africa with posters of Pocock on their bedroom wall.

              The ABs have the luxury of being able to play Ardie instead of Cane but still go for Cane. Of course right now the ABs have the luxury of awesome strike power out wide and so don’t really need a fast 7 out there.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 1:08pm
                Fionn said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

                Mitch, honestly, does the Foley-Beale combo work, or is it just Beale individually that works?

                I can’t see Beale playing any worse without Foley inside of him.

              • Roar Guru

                September 11th 2017 @ 1:18pm
                Train Without A Station said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                On Beale i’m sick of hearing how the NH helped his game.

                Nothing against NH rugby, but he had a really good Waratahs season in 2014, played well for the Wallabies in 2015 and was playing well in 2016.

                It’s entirely possible he was just playing good and more consistently when he went there…

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:24pm
          double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:24pm | ! Report

          Is there any player in history that doesn’t work better with space rather than players rushing at him?

    • September 10th 2017 @ 10:26am
      Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

      Same things as usual:

      – Ned Flanders gotta go, Fardy (not possible), Higgers or Ross Haylett-Petty in at 6 (even Dempsey would probably have more impact, despite him not being my first choice)
      – we’ve got to select a single 7 in the team, not two
      – Speight is a really good Super Rugby level player, but he can’t replicate his form against the higher quality opposition on the international stage, Naivalu is the best option but Tom Banks is also an option or my preference Beale moved into the back 3

      Biggest issue, no question, is the back-row. Any of the following Fardy/RHP/Higgers – Hooper/McMahon/Hardwick – Timani/Higgers would be a better option than what we have now.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 10:56am
        ForceFan said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        Ross H-P and Richie Hardwick have both had shoulder repairs ind will not be available for either the RC or NRC.

        • Roar Pro

          September 10th 2017 @ 12:09pm
          Crazy Horse said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

          Dicky Hardwick played last week and wasn’t talking about any injury when he enthusiastically bounced up to me immediately after the game.

          • September 11th 2017 @ 4:45am
            Ex force fan said | September 11th 2017 @ 4:45am | ! Report

            No Richie needs an operation at the end of the season. Just as tough as nails..

          • September 11th 2017 @ 4:46am
            Ex force fan said | September 11th 2017 @ 4:46am | ! Report

            No Richie needs an operation at the end of the season. Just as tough as nails..

      • September 10th 2017 @ 11:00am
        Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        Hodge and Folau at wing. KB fullback, Ketrevi 12

      • Roar Guru

        September 10th 2017 @ 11:04am
        PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

        agree nothing has changed for who needs to be replaced except Moore shouldn’t get back in but he will be starting next week.

        Out Mumm 2.0, McMahon, Foley (bench), Speight, Robertson, Dempsey, Phipps, Rona
        In Higgs, Timani, Cooper, Naivalu, any LHP, RHP, Ruru

        so Tight 5 leave it as it is

        06 Timani
        07 Hooper
        08 Higgs (captain)

        09 Genia (another lacklustre game though)
        10 Cooper
        11 Hodge
        12 Kerevi
        13 Kuridrani
        14 Folau
        15 Beale (goal kicker)

        20 RHP
        21 Ruru
        22 Foley
        23 Naivalu

        • September 10th 2017 @ 11:48am
          Bill said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          Yes, I like this.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 12:19pm
            Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

            If Naivalu is uninjured then I am okay with him playing on the bench first game back, but he is by far our best out and out winger and so should be starting over Hodge if he’s back in form.

            • Roar Guru

              September 10th 2017 @ 12:25pm
              PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

              yes only reason I have him on the bench is because he has been out injured for a while

              Have to say though if Naivalu starts then on form Hodge needs to go to 12 , Kerevi needs to show more.

              Of course the other option is (but I am not convinced with beale at 10)
              10 Beale
              11 Naivalu
              12 Kerevi
              13 Kuridrani
              14 Folau
              15 Hodge

              If Banks kicks on (pun intended) next year then he is a viable option as well, good problem to have. Except Cheika is set on the backline he has

        • Roar Guru

          September 10th 2017 @ 1:50pm
          ThugbyFan said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

          Peter, I honestly think L.Timani is too slow for flanker. As a #8 he is OK as he really does bend the line when running the ball and hurts when he tackles or crunches into a ruck. But he is a mite slow getting around the field and that obviously has cost him his place.

          And this is the crunch as it appears coach Cheika wants to burn off other teams with speed, even if it does cost the side with muscle and mass. The only other Cheika requirement (learned the hard way against England 2016) is one of the back row must be good in lineouts. To be honest, the current SA side, and the Scottish team that wiped the floor with Australia in June, also rely on a speedy small back row. Albeit their teams are there for specific reasons, tackling machines and control the rucks, and do that core job way better than the WB three.

          For mine the WB #6 is one of RHP, M.Philips, J.Dempsey, S.Fardy or S.Higgers (the boat has sailed for a couple of these blokes), #7 is M.Hooper and R.Hardwick as reserve (not in Spirit side NRC Rnd2 so could be injured) while the #8 is one of L.Timani, S.Higgers, J.Hollaway, perhaps S.McMahon or even Lukhan Tui as a bolter for #8 until Isireli Naisarani comes into the WB fold.

          Talking of Australia’s dearth of #6, did anyone else notice that Radike Samo played for Brisbane City in yesterday’s match against Queensland Country in the NRC? Some players complained that his walking stick got in the way of them making a proper tackle on him, but thats Rugby eh!.

          • Roar Guru

            September 10th 2017 @ 3:59pm
            PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

            not much difference having timani 6 higgs 8 or other way around.

            Defending scrums higgs at 8 attacking scrums timani at 8, general play Timani plays tight, Higgs loose.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 8:53pm
            cuw said | September 10th 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

            the saffa 3rd row is not small.

            i am not sure why Cassiem is there but the other two are quite big and reasonably fast.

            only thing is they are more or less 7s with a little brawn , rather than the England version of 6.5 flanks.

            Whitely is also not huge but is very skilled at 8 in both linking and lineouts as well as covering.

            Scotland is one country that plays 2 7s ( not sure if they played against auzzy) . but then they do have good 8s like Dave Denton or Josh Strauss.

            i would think the saffa pack would be even better if they picked Nizam carr at 8 , while WW is out. ofcourse there is noone like Thor 🙂

          • September 10th 2017 @ 11:30pm
            double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:30pm | ! Report

            Players like Samo and also Josh Holmes should not be in any NRC team. The comp was set up to help club players transition from club rugby to super rugby. Blokes whose rep careers are just a memory are just preventing up and comers an opportunity.

            • September 11th 2017 @ 10:22am
              Bakkies said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

              Josh Holmes wasn’t even good enough to get past a Portuguese player at Bourgoin in the Pro D2.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 9:32pm
          Daveski said | September 10th 2017 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

          That’s great Peter. So many changes but leave the tight 5 as is. Did you watch our scrums and lineouts?

          • Roar Guru

            September 10th 2017 @ 10:05pm
            PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

            the very light backrow doesn’t help the scrums.

            except for robertson these are the best props the wallabies have.

            TPN is the best scrumaging prop.

            A major problem with the lineout is that 2 opensiders are selected , they need 4 genuine lineout options.

            Simmons is considered great at set piece but when he came on he didn’t improve either the scrum or lineout.

            Happy for you to suggest the changes to the tight 5 that make the set pieces better and consider the impacts elsewhere.

      • Roar Guru

        September 10th 2017 @ 12:04pm
        PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

        I have a left field out of the box thought.

        Since the 2nd playmaker is the actual playmaker, since Beale does the tactical kicking, Hodge kicks for touch on penalties, what does Foley actually do? What is his role, outside of goal kicking.

        Foley is playing as a 2nd scrum half, his job is to get the ball quickly to the playmaker or a short pass to a forward to run it up.

        So just get him to learn to feed scrums and do a decent box kick , so he can be on the bench as cover fr 9 and 10, be more useful that way. This allows a 6-2 bench or better backline strike players on the bench

        • September 10th 2017 @ 2:08pm
          Dave_S said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

          Has some merit. Also Foley wuld probably have a better darting run game than Genia now. But long passes would still be shaky.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 2:53pm
          Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

          Dave, Peter, the issue is that Genia’s runs are so effective not only because of his speed and agility (and I think he still outdoes Foley here) but because he has excellent vision on when to run and when to pass (Foley does not) and because, unlike Foley, Genia still passes the vast majority of the time.

          I’ve never see a 10 run the ball as often as Foley, not even Beauden Barrett. Foley would run too often and thus wouldn’t have the surprise factor of Genia’s darts, and Foley still can’t throw a long pass.

          • Roar Guru

            September 10th 2017 @ 4:00pm
            PeterK said | September 10th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

            Not starting Foley, having him on the bench to cover 9 and 10.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 8:13pm
              Dave_S said | September 10th 2017 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

              Ditto, and also Genias running game comes out once every 5 or so matches these days. Hardly a reason to pick him. Mostly he is serviceable and at best we can say he’s better than Phipps. One of Foley’s few qualities is that he is decent at backing up the ball runner.

              Anyway if I win super-lotto I’m going to buy a French team and lure Foley away on $10m over 5 years just so we are rid of him.

              Actually, Twiggy’s $50m could serve a real purpose here …

              • September 10th 2017 @ 11:33pm
                double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:33pm | ! Report

                Running from 9 is not that easy. Opportunities are limited in club rugby let alone international level.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 8:56pm
              cuw said | September 10th 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

              there have been a few who played both 9 and 10 .

              i think both Freddie Michelak and Piri weepu did it.


            • September 11th 2017 @ 4:15pm
              ScrumJunkie said | September 11th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

              9, 10, 12, 15 even wing at a pinch, Giteau style. Not a bad idea, will never happen though…

      • September 10th 2017 @ 1:49pm
        Dodo Vita said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

        Sorry Fiona, the biggest issue is the scrum in total. Who is our scrum coach…Campo? You don’t always have to do holding scrums on your own feed…especially if you’re incapable of channeling the ball back. Short steps…call it. And, fiona, the scrum doesn’t collapse at the back row. Things only get worse when work experience Robertson comes off the bench.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 2:51pm
          Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

          Well, for one I disagree that it was the biggest issue when we had Sio-TPN-Kepu on.

          Second, this article is about what changes we can make for the next match, and we are already starting our best front row. I do agree though that Robertson should be nowhere near the wider squad – send him back to NRC – but other than he it is our strongest collection of props.

          I don’t know what else Latu has to do to earn a spot though.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 5:52pm
            Jameswm said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

            Geez that was a seriously impressive debut from Uelese given his inexperience. I reckon he’s a better scrummager than Latu and he bent the line.

            • September 10th 2017 @ 5:59pm
              Fionn said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

              James, I’m not criticising Uelese at all, and it looks like he has huge potential.

              That being said, I still feel bad for Latu who was Australia’s form hooker for most of the season and can’t crack the 23.

              Was our scrum blown off at the end because of Uelese or Robertson + Alaalatoa?

              • September 11th 2017 @ 1:38pm
                Markus said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

                I think Robertson and Alaalatoa mostly. Robertson was weak again, and Kitshoff looked like he got up and under Alaalatoa on the other side and he just couldn’t push back.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 4:18pm
                ScrumJunkie said | September 11th 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                Kitshoff is a freak, I can’t remember him ever not dominating his opponent.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 10:34pm
            ScottD said | September 10th 2017 @ 10:34pm | ! Report

            I’m not convinced that we have the best props in the squad. Every time the scrum is set I hold my breath for the collapse. We just aren’t showing the technique IMO. I’d put Jermaine Ainsley and Pek Cowan on the bench and reckon RHP as starting 6 with little Ned on the bench. I know Ainsley is a bit young but he has the best tecnique of any tighthead in Australia and was rarely shaded in SR this year and never beaten.

            • Roar Guru

              September 11th 2017 @ 10:43am
              PeterK said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:43am | ! Report

              do you ever recommend a change that isn’t a force player added to the team?

              • September 11th 2017 @ 2:40pm
                MitchO said | September 11th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

                PeterK be fair in this instance though. Ainsley is very good and can’t be far away from being a test match tight head. Probably played more tighthead in his life than Alan A so he will have a better feel for it.

                I am all for replacing Robertson with someone a bit more substantial. Cowan will add some good hitting and drive around the paddock and be no worse than Robertson at scrum time. Cowan was for mine a good handy super rugby level loosehead. He is very experienced and will be a better player than he was. there is a reason that he didn’t play more test matches but he is only 31 and is better at Robertson at this stage of their careers.

                But if you have another loosehead to put forward I am okay with that. Ben Alexander is no worse than Robertson either. Dunno about the Queenslander or the Rebel.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 3:47pm
        mzilikazi said | September 10th 2017 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        ” we’ve got to select a single 7 in the team, not two”.

        Yes Fionn, agree re the starting side. But I would like to see Hooper have a fresh replacement at say 60 mins mark…a finisher…would really like to see Hardwick given that chance

      • September 10th 2017 @ 11:25pm
        double agent said | September 10th 2017 @ 11:25pm | ! Report

        The Number One Glaring Selection Blunder is Hannigan.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 1:44pm
        MitchO said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

        Fionn. KB is the one which makes it work so maybe we don’t need Foley at 10. But Foley is an okay (but not particularly good) 10 albeit one with limitations so I am resigned to picking him this year as the first choice 10 and having him as a good squad man next year and into the future.

        I am also resigned to Cooper’s test career under Cheika as being gone regardless of how much anyone thinks his passing game with KB chiming in from the back would work.

        Unless you want to elevate a rookie type like Duncan P then it is Foley or Cooper and the coach won’t pick Cooper. Fine with Lance but every time I turn around he seems injured.

        I don’t want KB playing 10 because I like it when he comes onto the ball at pace. Coming from 15 is good for KB.

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