Michael Cheika was wrong to defend Israel Folau’s hair-pulling tackle

Spiro Zavos Columnist

280 Have your say

    Why did Michael Cheika lose his cool at the media conference after the Wallabies pulled off a 27–27 draw against the Springboks at Bloemfontein by claiming that Israel Folau did not pull Dillyn Leyds to the ground by his hair?

    There were plenty of positives for the Wallabies coming out the Test. And these positives should have been Cheika’s focus at the after-Test media conference.

    Given the dismal record of Wallabies in Tests against the Springboks in South Africa, with only ten Test wins achieved there, a draw was a strong result for the visitors.

    The record shows that since 1933 the Wallabies have won only a quarter of their Tests in South Africa against the Springboks

    At home, it is a different story. The Wallabies have won 60 per cent of their Tests against Springboks in Australia.

    And at Bloemfontein the Wallabies were surging into Springboks territory with time up only to be thwarted by a knock-on that stifled a promising attack.

    Cheika should have been explaining that the disappointment in the Test came from his side not clinching a victory that was within their grasp. Instead he went into a stupid defence of Israel Folau’s brain fade of pulling the Springboks winger Dillyn Leyds to the ground by his hair.

    Leyds claimed that he was “100 per cent” sure that Folau pulled him down to the ground by his hair. And he was correct to make this claim.

    His teammates, who started a brawl that surged over the touch-line, were adamant, too, that this is what had happened.

    And most importantly, the video replays showed clearly that Folau started his tackle, dangerously, by pulling on Leyds’ collar, a no-no in itself. Then as his hand slipped off the collar, Folau grabbed a clump of Leyds’ hair.

    Instead of immediately releasing his hair-grip, Folau held on tightly and used Leyds’ head as a sort of lever to throw the Springbok to the ground.

    The only mistake the New Zealand referee Ben O’Keefe made in adjudicating this incident and its aftermath was to award a penalty to the Springboks rather than a penalty and a yellow card against Folau.

    Israel Folau Australia Rugby Union Championship Bledisloe Cup Wallabies 2017

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why Cheika wanted to contest the facts of this incident. It is obvious from the replays, and obvious at the time, that Folau grabbed Leyds’ hair and threw him to the ground with his right hand still clinging to the hair.

    It is amazing to me that a yellow card was not awarded.

    And then to bring the Wallabies captain Michael Hooper into the controversy by allowing him to contradict the video evidence and say that he didn’t see any hair-pulling defies understanding.

    Pull the other one, I say.

    The point here is that referees around the world have a jaundiced view of the Wallabies and the way coach Cheika dispute decisions in a way that is intended to compromise their integrity.

    Is it not understandable that as a group they are taking the approach that the Wallabies are cheats who lie about what is happening on the field?

    To be frank, the Wallabies were lucky to have avoided a yellow card for Folau. If one of the French referees had the whistle, the possible yellow might even have been promoted to red. The grounds for this sort of escalation lie in the fact that pulling a runner to ground by his hair exposes that player very much to a broken neck.

    The Wallabies were lucky, too, that the video referee did not examine Bernard Foley’s slick inside pass, made while being slammed to the ground, to Folau that set up the Wallabies first try in a dazzling set-piece play.

    To my mind and eyes after running the play through several times, Foley’s pass was clearly forward.

    Indeed, this sort of play, the inside pass to a runner coming in on an angle, works only when the runner is actually through the hole in the defensive line and on a line that takes him slightly ahead of the passer.

    This is what happened with the brilliant Folau try.

    The Test was actually well-refereed. There were a couple of passes, from both sides, that seemed to go forward and the call was play on. But the scrums, where the Wallabies did well, were well-refereed. The offside line was strictly policed. And referee O’Keefe was invariably accurate in his adjudications at the ruck and maul.

    One of the real talking points, for me, is Folau’s poor tackling technique. The attempt on Leyds could have resulted in a harsher punishment and his miss on Ruan Dreyer when the prop powered forward to score under the posts was poor, also, in a technical sense.

    A bonus for the Wallabies was the impressive first-run Test by Marika Koroibete. As a finisher, he is the real thing and the clear and present danger to the opposition that the Wallabies have lacked on the wing since Folau was moved away from this position to fullback and, occasionally, centre.

    A finisher like Koroibete on the wing is, in my opinion, like a tennis player complementing a good all-court game with a booming, devastating serve.

    Marika Koroibete Australia Rugby Union Wallabies 2017

    Both of Koroibete’s tries might not have been scored by anyone else in the Wallabies squad, including Folau.

    Koroibete’s power, pace and positional awareness in setting himself into position to take the pass and convert an attacking movement into a try was the equivalent of a tennis player serving a series of aces to get out of a tight situation.

    And if anyone does not believe that a player needed a sort of attacking genius to pull off what Koroibete did, they can only look to Tevita Kuridrani’s poor attempt late in the Test to run over the Springbok halfback Ross Cronje to score what should have been the winning try.

    Kuridrani’s hang-dog look after he had been taken to the ground told the story vividly enough. He had blown a great chance to entrench the Wallabies lead with minutes remaining in the Test.

    We come now to several strange decisions from skipper Michael Hooper.

    In a five-minute period hot on attack, with the scoreline 7–7, Hooper turned down a couple of chances to kick for goal. Ultimately, this option was forced on him when the Springboks gave away yet another penalty, this time in front of their posts.

    Then in the last 20 minutes, with the Wallabies leading 27 24, Hooper turned down a penalty shot from just inside Wallaby territory to opt for a kick to touch and a lineout rumble.

    This situation cried out for Reece Hodge to kick for goal. If the kick had been successful, and Hodge could easily have made the yardage required in the Bloemfontein altitude, the Springboks would have needed a converted penalty to win the Test.

    If the kick had been unsuccessful, the Wallabies were going to get the ball back, a chance to launch another assault on the wilting Springboks defence and possibly forcing another penalty shot.

    Hooper has a tendency to opt for the soft option of going for touch rather than taking the penalty. He lost games for the Waratahs with this tendency and, in my view, probably lost the game for the Wallabies by refusing to use the massive and generally accurate Hodge boot for extra long-range shots and Bernard Foley for the shorter shots at goal.

    After all, it was a successful Kurtley Beale penalty shot from the halfway sideline that gave the Wallabies a famous victory at Bloemfontein under the coaching of the pragmatic Robbie Deans.

    Spiro’s First Law Of Winning Tests At Altitude is this: TAKE THE SHOT!

    Going into the Test coach Cheika said that he was trying to expose a number of new players to the Test arena. This is an admirable policy but it depends on Cheika’s eye for potential to be of any great use for the Wallabies.

    Michael Hooper Wallabies Australian Rugby Union Championship Bledisloe Cup 2017

    The performance of the new players suggests that Cheika’s eye is pretty sharp right now. The Wallabies coach deserves a lot of praise for the way he has raided a somewhat empty Super Rugby talent jar and pulled out some potential future stars.

    Marika Koroibete, Jack Dempsey, Izack Rodda, and Lukhan Tui all look to be players with long careers in the Wallabies colours ahead of them.

    The process has been perhaps a bit slow, perhaps. But the signs are finally flashing the news that coach Cheika is building a youngish, big, talented Wallabies squad that will be competitive in the 2019 Rugby World Cup tournament in Japan.

    Spiro Zavos
    Spiro Zavos

    Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.

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    The Crowd Says (280)

    • Roar Guru

      October 2nd 2017 @ 6:11am
      Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:11am | ! Report

      Yeah sometimes it is better to sayno comment than defend an action. But Michael Cheika has shown during his tenure he can fly off the handle at the most inopportune times.

      • Roar Guru

        October 2nd 2017 @ 11:03am
        Ralph said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

        Couldn’t he have said something like;

        “It happened so fast I didn’t get a good look in real time but in the video replays it didn’t look great. The officials dealt with it during the game so look, I’ve got nothing to add really.”

        If pressed;

        “Mistakes can happen in rugby, and I am sure Israel will be working on his tackle technique, no one wants to see that sort of thing happen on a rugby pitch. We are just glad Dillyn Leyd is okay.”

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 11:27am
          Mango Jack said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report


        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 12:43pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | October 2nd 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

          Do you work with PR Ralph?
          Those two answers you suggest are perfect.

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 1:41pm
          superba said | October 2nd 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          A mistake Ralph?
          Not quite a mistake.
          Quite deliberate .
          And Spiro writing of a brain fade ?
          What is this ?
          Newish fake terminology .
          Folau attacked the head of Leyds .
          SA guilty of something similar before .
          A Springbok player once won a bet by plucking out one of George Smith’s dreadlocks in a test .

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 4:01pm
          CJ said | October 2nd 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

          I agree with you Ralph. It seemed like an impulsive action done under the urgency of the situation and should have been dealt with publically as such. We can all make mistakes under pressure. If the defensive patterns were less chaotic, people switching back and forth, every which way, all round the joint, there would be less general desperation and confusion, and then these incidents would be less likely to occur. The big thing about defending (well, one of them anyway) is that one needs to be set for the tackle. Certainly, too, how can one communicate in defence with people who are running towards different parts of the field? If one is constantly on the go, and half your mates are as well, it is very, very, hard to tackle a zippy bloke coming in at sharp angles. And, I mean really hard. This is not to justify what happened – it deserved a penalty and yes, maybe even a yellow card, although its hardly one the greatest miscarriages of justice on a rugby field that it didn’t – but try to learn from it and improve. And start with Folau on the wing and keep him there and keep the inside centre (whoever that is) at inside centre and so on and so forth.

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 2:34pm
        Bernie said | October 2nd 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

        biltong your springbok forwards used to have a bounty on wallaby flanker smiths dreadlocks, seeing how many they could pull out. I think the springboks should look into their own nefarious past before pointing the finger. They have and always will be the dirtiest of teams


        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 2:47pm
          Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

          Who’s pointing fingers?

          Have and will always be the dirtiest of teams – what utter nonsense

          • October 2nd 2017 @ 3:12pm
            Leyds said | October 2nd 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

            100% bute, he pull my hair, 100% bute

            I just had it washed too bute

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 3:41pm
          Highlander said | October 2nd 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

          Chris Aston got 4 weeks suspension for this, not that dissimilar to the weekends incident

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 4:16pm
          aussikiwi said | October 2nd 2017 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

          It was wrong then and it is wrong now. The point is Cheika has stupidly denied it occurred.

          • October 3rd 2017 @ 8:01pm
            ShaghaiDoc said | October 3rd 2017 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

            Chubby is an embarrassment to all Australians.Cheika seems to have the personality of a…. . Fake News!!! We are the best team ever with the biggest crowds. We was robbed by the All Blacks who silently accused me of placing a listening device in their meeting room. !! What would have been the point? He does not listen!
            Can’t wait to meet him at the cocktail party on October 20 before the test in Brisvegas.. I have some prawns baking in the sun that I would really like to add to his diet. Got the recipe from an employee of a UK bookie called Suzy.

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 4:18pm
          Harry Jones said | October 2nd 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

          You’ve lost the plot
          Try to focus
          On Manbun-gate 2017

        • October 3rd 2017 @ 8:11am
          SJ said | October 3rd 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

          How are the actions of a player 10 years ago relevant to the current Bok team?

          “…always will be the dirtiest of teams” – what a ridiculously statement.

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 6:13pm
        Noodles said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

        Let’s see. Does anyone think Folau aimed high in the tackle? Or aimed to grab hair? No. It’s obvious that the two players passed at angles where Folau had set himself for ball and all and was beaten. Folau’s hand slipped over the collarbone to the collar of the shirt and he let go slowly ending up with a pony tail. Cheika could castigate Folau for poor technique. It didn’t look anything like a deliberate grab of hair. But it does give Spiro something to go on about rather than the merits of two teams that appear to be improved.

        • Roar Rookie

          October 2nd 2017 @ 8:39pm
          coldturkey said | October 2nd 2017 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

          I think Folau aimed high. Anyone who has played rugby can see that he has poor tackle technique.
          If Folau was beaten as you say then why was his instinct to resort to foul play? Your comment is probably a reflection on your attitude and the way that you played the game.

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 8:39pm
          Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

          He went high, taking a player by the collar isn’t low, that it wasn’tg intentional I would agree, Folau isn’t a dirty player. Agree the technique was poor, but it was due to desperation.

          The point is Cheika makes himself look like a sour sack by denying it happened, even if it was accidental

          • October 2nd 2017 @ 9:02pm
            Fionn said | October 2nd 2017 @ 9:02pm | ! Report

            It makes him look like an insane person by claiming it didn’t happen.

            It definitely wasn’t on purpose from Folau though, and I’m really glad to not have heard of him being cited yet.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 9:18pm
              Cuw said | October 2nd 2017 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

              shud have said something like

              ” yeah , that was unfortunate. glad that noone got hurt. am sure Folau will learn from that. but he did have a fine game apart from that indiscretion. ”

              is the ARU so bankrupt, they cant get hold of a pr consultant ??

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 12:06am
                double agent said | October 3rd 2017 @ 12:06am | ! Report

                It’s a storm in a teacup. If it had happened in a subbies match would be forgotten 5 minutes later.

            • October 3rd 2017 @ 10:04am
              Coconut said | October 3rd 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

              Not sure you can say that Fionn… sure looked on purpose to me… when he lost hold of his collar he decides to hang on to the the next best thing – his hair – and keeps hanging on to it even after the player has hit the deck.
              So at any stage there he had a chance to let go of his hair but chose not to. Pretty poor judgement by Folau, and deliberate to the extent that he knew he had him by the hair and he didn’t let go. Lets not all do a Cheika and try to pretend otherwise.

    • Roar Guru

      October 2nd 2017 @ 6:45am
      Harry Jones said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:45am | ! Report

      Honest essay, Spiro.

      The most absurd part of Cheika’s defense of the hair-tackle was when he accosted the Saffa journalist who asked him calmly about the foul. Cheika asked the guy if he’d ‘ever played rugby,’ which is a nonsensical question to ask a Saffa if you are seeking a ‘no,’ and then–taken aback by the unsurprising (in SA) ‘yes,” Cheika asked if the journo had ever used an opponent’s hair to tackle. And then made the strange leap to ‘nobody tackles anyone in rugby by the hair.’ It all makes him sound a little strange, but very entertaining.

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 6:59am
        Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:59am | ! Report

        Agree Harry, Cheika’s defensive defence of the indefensible is undefendable.
        Wish he wouldn’t.
        Izzy obviously got a handful of beautiful hair. Why would anyone seek to deny it? Only Cheika knows. (He hides this logic in the private safe next to his selection policy).
        In truth, the whole episode may have been a deliberate ploy requested by a certain Springbok winger for a future endorsement by a shampoo company.

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 7:00am
          Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:00am | ! Report

          More likely a fuel company, real men in SA don’t use shampoo ?

          • October 2nd 2017 @ 7:06am
            Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:06am | ! Report

            I stand corrected Biltong.
            Maybe that is what our forwards are doing wrong- too much shampoo?

          • Roar Guru

            October 2nd 2017 @ 7:21am
            Harry Jones said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

            In Cape Town, real men shampoo with organic lime-agave sesame seed oil.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 2:22pm
              kiwineil said | October 2nd 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

              who doesn’t?

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 7:36pm
              DavSA said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

              Well just look at this from another angle , all coaches post match comments are like Steve Hansens , so PC and boring . What would we have to talk about .

              I am kinda hankering for a return of Pieter de Villers from retirement just to handle our press stuff . PDV vs Cheika the battle of Daft.

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 9:22pm
                Harry Jones said | October 2nd 2017 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

                I find Cheika super entertaining

                But often dishonest

              • Roar Guru

                October 3rd 2017 @ 10:17am
                Ralph said | October 3rd 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

                “PDV vs Cheika”

                I would pay money for that.

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 3:33pm
          Redsfan1 said | October 2nd 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

          Yes Folau pulled his hair. But seriously, big deal! It would probably hurt less then getting smashed in the chest. Illegal play and it was duly penalised. They seem to give out yellow cards like candy and I thought it was refreshing to have a whole rugby game where there wasn’t one!

          I wonder how Spiro and outraged rugby fans would go watching a game of league- where the tackles are five times more brutal and no one bats an eyelid.

          • Roar Guru

            October 2nd 2017 @ 3:39pm
            Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

            So you agree with Cheika?

            What a different sporting code’s laws are around dangerous tackles has no bearing on how fans feel. If the laws are broken in any sport supporters want to see it being punished and the laws upheld, not really that hard to comprehend.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 5:07pm
              Redsfan1 said | October 2nd 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

              Kettle calling pot black biltong. You must then be upset that Eztebeth didn’t get carded for a blatant elbow after the incident? That’s a clear breaking of the law which you could ‘comprehend’?

              • October 2nd 2017 @ 6:30pm
                Cuw said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

                ” Eztebeth didn’t get carded for a blatant elbow after the incident? That’s a clear breaking of the law which you could ‘comprehend’?

                so clear the TMO did not see anything ??? and he is from England , in case u say ” bias ” 😛

                u must listen in on the convo during the match , instead of thinking ur posts on roar 🙂

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 7:42pm
                Harry Jones said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

                Did the elbow land?

              • October 2nd 2017 @ 8:53pm
                Maddie said | October 2nd 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

                Redsfan1…hair pulling is not how to tackle. Leave it off the rugby pitch..got it?
                And for blind-eye Cheika to say it didnt happen is just shameful..

            • Roar Guru

              October 2nd 2017 @ 7:46pm
              Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:46pm | ! Report

              Show me the money photo 😉

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 7:48pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:48pm | ! Report

                Besides that, I didn’t call you anything, I merely stated an opinion

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 9:13am
                Redsfan1 said | October 3rd 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

                Folau started at collar and slipped up to pony tail. Accident.

                There was nothing accidental about the Springbok captain rushing in and trying to land an elbow. Michael Hooper said this and the referee warned Eztebeth.not showed again by the hometown production team but this seems to be an issue in all international rugby games not just SA.

              • Roar Guru

                October 3rd 2017 @ 5:21pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | October 3rd 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

                Why has he not been cited?

                Where is the video clip to show proof?

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 5:28pm
                Fionn said | October 3rd 2017 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

                Why is there so much argument amongst rugby fans.

                I can’t believe we are just arguing about penalties, yellow cards, sanctions after such a great test… 🙁

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 10:30am
        Drongo said | October 2nd 2017 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        A dishonest essay. A great game of rugby and it uses an accidental hair pull to stir up the Ugly Hordes. Look at all the names posting, mostly the regular suspects, typically taking any chance to lay the boot into our coach and one of our best players. And a few disgruntled Saffas. Really surprised with them getting sucked into this rubbish.
        And extremely surprised by your response Harry, The man amount men, offended by an accidental hair pull and then the coach sticking up for his player? You again predicted a big win for the Boks. Is it that you are really a little upset at the result and looking for a distraction? That is Spiro’s main method. It works well doesn’t it.
        Yesterday there was hardly a comment about what was obviously an accident waiting to happen. Play it in normal speed if you really need to, in order to give some justice to the non-event.
        I will focus on how bothteamsplayed. A fabulous pulsating test match. But Spiro wants to distract us from that. After all, the ABs played a dour and underwhelming game in South America. Let’s not let Cheika and his team get any credit for a great game. Typical of Spiro, the man with an axe to grind.
        Dishonest essay, as usual.

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 10:57am
          Geoff said | October 2nd 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          Cheika was wrong or Cheika lied…

          thats the issue in this article.

          Folau dragged a guy by his hair… are you so enamored by this proven failure of a coach that you think it’s perfectly excusable for a player to do that and then have a coach defend him like this?

          You’re off the reservation

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 11:31am
          Mango Jack said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          Spiro would not have been able to write this, and we would not all be talking about it if Cheika had just accepted that it was a poor choice by Folau. Trying to defend the indefensible just perpetuates the problem.

          • Roar Guru

            October 2nd 2017 @ 11:39am
            PeterK said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

            Very true

            However Spiro once again does a very poor service to rugby.

            A very good exciting game happened between 2 very close teams.

            What does Spiro focus on, the wrong thing said by a coach defending his player. Surely far better things to focus on and for people to be interested in.

            Spiro is getting closer and closer to gutter journalism

            • Roar Guru

              October 2nd 2017 @ 12:57pm
              Mango Jack said | October 2nd 2017 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

              Fair enough. He should have started with his game analysis and finished with a comment about Cheika. And a different headline. That would put things in better perspective.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 1:11pm
              Phil said | October 2nd 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

              I am getting worried,PeterK,I am agreeing too often with your posts!Why does Spiro focus on just about the only negative thing to come out of this game?It was a great test match and I thoroughly enjoyed it.OK,Folau possibly should have let go once he had a handful of hair,but if you watch it at normal speed it did happen fairly quickly going from the jersey to the hair.Only in slow motion did it look so bad.
              I would also like to know(even though I know the answer!),why wasn’t there replays of Etzebeth running in after the event?Plenty of replays of the hair pull,but I think the Bok captain was a bit lucky too.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 12:02am
                wardad1 said | October 3rd 2017 @ 12:02am | ! Report

                I agreed with PeterK once ,still dunno how to feel about that yet…

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 8:51am
                Mapu said | October 3rd 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

                Just you defending your clown again

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 2:46pm
              Jeffrey said | October 2nd 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

              Says PeterK, the same guy who whinged all day long after the Speight try was disallowed in Auckland last year. People in glass houses….

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 7:25pm
                PeterK said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

                prove it, show me some where i did.

                I don’t believe I said anything about that one, or at most 1 comment.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 12:34am
                Jeffrey said | October 3rd 2017 @ 12:34am | ! Report

                Here you go, PeterK. I knew my memory wasn’t failing me.

                Six comments on Speight being robbed of a try and two more on Coles’ indiscretion on Mumm in this article alone. Didn’t check the other articles relating to that game.


              • Roar Guru

                October 3rd 2017 @ 12:56am
                PeterK said | October 3rd 2017 @ 12:56am | ! Report


                Jeffrey talk about confirmation bias. You are so full of it.

                Not in 1 post did I say the decision was wrong, not one


                Try reading them, I was discussing the obstruction law but not once did I say the decision was wrong.

                The only thing you got right was the 2 comments about Coles hitting Mumm in the face.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 1:26am
                Jeffrey said | October 3rd 2017 @ 1:26am | ! Report

                You whinged about Coles when no one else had even brought that up. You obviously disagreed with Speight’s try and accused Owens for not getting it right and are now putting a spin on it. You then went on to call Owens a cheat and accused him of deliberate bias against the Wallabies. Why not focus on the quality of the game? Isn’t that what you are asking of Spiro? Here are some quotes from the above lnk which I find pretty disrespectful towards one of the best referees in the world, not to mention the fact that you tried your best to discredit NZ’s victory.

                “Owens was against the Wallabies as usual. Very inconsistent reffing and poor reffing.”

                ‘NZ allowed to lay in rucks longer on the wrong side, Wallabies called for it early.”

                “AB’s constantly offside out wide especially Franks and Retallick yet it takes the assistant ref to call it, Owens did not see one.”

                Like I said, people in glass houses…

              • Roar Guru

                October 3rd 2017 @ 8:32am
                PeterK said | October 3rd 2017 @ 8:32am | ! Report

                Jeffrey – Yes owens favoured the ab’s a lot in that game.

                still makes your initial point wrong that i complained about speight’s try.

                Not once did I say that decision was wrong.

                Where in any of those quotes do I question the try decision? None.

                Like I say confirmation bias.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 11:47am
                Jeffrey said | October 3rd 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                PeterK, this will be my last comment on the matter. What I am trying to say is that after that game which was a very good game and was the one game in 2016 that Australia looked to have a chance against NZ, you decided to focus on the negatives. You wrote three comments on Coles, six on Speight’s tackle, one on Owen’s poor performance and only one comment analysing the performance of the Australian players.

                You essentially did what you are accusing Spiro of doing here which was to focus on the negatives.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 3:08pm
              Cassandra said | October 2nd 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

              Agree completely. Really over Spiro’s constant bagging of Cheika at the expense of all else.
              Used to really enjoy Spiro’s articles once upon a time but his themes can be boiled down to one sentence now: Cheika bad, All Blacks good, Wallabies lucky.

              • October 2nd 2017 @ 3:17pm
                Bernie said | October 2nd 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

                Agree it’s nauseatingly repetitive

              • October 2nd 2017 @ 3:38pm
                Redsfan1 said | October 2nd 2017 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

                And also Spiro constantly criticising the captain for either a) not taking the penalty b) taking the penalty. Very easy to sit back on your PC post game and lecture the team on their decisions. Love to see him on the spot in the moment.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 8:09am
                Nobody said | October 3rd 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report

                Really over Cheika’s after-match nonsense. If he didn’t continually talk rubbish, journalists wouldn’t report it. Not a tackle by the hair, what bs. If anyone’s nauseatingly repetitive, it’s him.

            • Roar Guru

              October 2nd 2017 @ 6:19pm
              Fox said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

              ou cannot deny peterk that Cheika leaves himself wide open to criticism the way he behaves sometimes and he gets what is coming on this score I am afraid in this case for a whole bunch of reasons.

              Is it Spiro that did something that left the door open for criticism after a good game or Cheika?

              You are blaming the wrong man here.

              Spiro has written what plenty in the press are writing – he is not alone – and the reason is Chieka’s typical bullish approach and denial about the bloody obvious – he was wrong and the feeling in the press is he knew he was wrong which after his attitude to the journalist is pretty low either way.

              How can anyone defend Folau and say it was completely accidental when for a start grabbing by the collar is illegal under the new laws and he quite deliberately grabs his hair to pull him down – there was nothing accidental about it IMO and he had time to release his grip in a split second but didn’t until he was on the ground.

              To his credit his face and body language said it all after the tackle – he knew he had done the wrong thing from the collar grabbing onwards – heat of the moment thing you might argue and fair enough bit so are some spear tackles.

              He is not a dirty player as rule – we all know this – but he had brain fade on this one and should have gone to the bin as this is considered in the same boat as a spear tackle in terms of seriousness because it is an action that can also break the neck as was pointed out by commentators.

              Or is Folau now above criticism for any such play?

              I am sorry peterk but Cheika deserves the public criticism on this one. He opened the door –
              no one else – because his attitude to the legitimate question was out of line as it sometimes is with Cheika because he is not very thick skinned when it come to criticism

              Don’t blame Spiro for saying what many are saying in press over this incident and rightly so quite frankly. Or are they all gutter journos as well? I doubt you think that.

              This doesn’t in any way change the fact that it was great game but equally nothing is beyond reproach and a “game” is not a some kind of scared event and nor is a press conference.

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 7:29pm
                PeterK said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

                yes cheika deserved criticism
                folau was in the wrong

                why it is very poor journalism is because most of the article is about that and not reviewing a great game.

                Surely a coiple of lines would have been sufficient.

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 7:35pm
                Fox said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

                I do agree he could have had some more positive things to say about the game – it was one of the best this season IMO.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 12:11am
                double agent said | October 3rd 2017 @ 12:11am | ! Report

                A penalty was sufficient imo.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 7:49pm
              timber said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

              Strange logic, Spiro points out the gutter behavior of Cheika and it’s a reflection on him and not Cheika?
              It may very well be repetitive but that’s a reflection on Cheika, stop behaving like a churlish boor and there’ll be no need for criticism.
              Spiro wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t point how poorly this reflects on the Wallabies.

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 10:36pm
                PeterK said | October 2nd 2017 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

                sure he could do it in a couple of lines instead of going on and on and ignoring the game

                he does rugby no credit whatsoever

              • October 2nd 2017 @ 11:30pm
                Fin said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:30pm | ! Report

                Yes, he even suggested that Folau may have got a RED card if it was another referee.
                Talk about speculation.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 10:15am
                Coconut said | October 3rd 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

                PeterK I don’t think he did ignore the game, nor that ‘most of the article was on this issue’…. by my count less than half the paragraphs in the story were on the Folau hair pulling episode, and the rest was a critique on some of the decision making by Hooper in other aspects of the game, which could have changed the result.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 8:59pm
              Maddie said | October 2nd 2017 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

              PeterK.. Cheika should make more smarter comments then..
              Dumb comments
              Dumb coach
              And you wonder why we are so dumb as a team on the rugby field

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 12:50pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | October 2nd 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

          And a few disgruntled Saffas. Really surprised with them getting sucked into this rubbish.

          What is eating you Drongo? Both BB and HJ have cracked great jokes about the hair incident to lighten up the mood in the comment thread.

          • October 2nd 2017 @ 2:21pm
            Dave said | October 2nd 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            The guy is a sanctimonious bleater, par for the course.

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 7:44pm
          Harry Jones said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

          Maybe you and Check have a different definition of ‘honesty’ than Spiro, God, the laws of physics, reality, and me.

          He should have just said “Izzy made a mistake. Glad the long Hair guy is ok.”

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 11:13pm
          ClarkeG said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

          I have to say you are pretty much a “regular suspect” yourself.

          You said you would focus on how both teams played yet that focus somehow includes performance by a team playing in another match.

        • October 3rd 2017 @ 11:23am
          zhenry said | October 3rd 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

          I am not trying to defend anyone here, but state some facts.
          Spiro is ex-NZer but is now well and truly an Australian. He does at times allude to his NZ connection when discussing NZ teams or NZ rugby in general, and that should be completely acceptable unless your an antiNZ bigot.
          When discussing the WBs he does bring his ex-NZ Rugby nous and can be critical but overall without doubt it is to improve WBy performance, which is reinforced by commenters on here and shared criticism by other media.
          Chieka is now a member of the elite as is the ARU, Chieka achieved that status mainly via his business career: It is very clear he is well versed in ‘PR speak’. I found his PR comments re the hair pulling shocking – as have many other journalists – in the manner of Trump. Such PR denials of a clear reality are disturbing. You can imagine the Fairfax and Murdoch furer if Hansen had done similar.
          I think the above article gives plenty of recognition to WB positives, but there are a few on here who are bigoted at anyone who might have a NZ background and also maybe the Chieka outburst is more disgusting to someone with a NZ background.

          Spiro’s journalism is as far removed from the gutter as you can get. Perhaps not if you have just emerged from under a rock. Gutter journalism is Mark Hinton’s recent article on Kaino (for Fairfax). This NZ journalist deserves nothing but contempt and should be kicked out of all AB press conferences. He seems to get great pleasure from attacking players going through a vulnerable patch, also his attack on Rodney So’oialo, on his retirement (through sheer exhaustion and injury) was without mercy, it should have been full of praise.
          Another recent case is the AU media reporting of the AB bugging incident and farcical trial episode. The AU media seemed very keen to put the onus on the ABs, in my opinion, that farcical trial would need action by the elite level of society.

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 11:24am
        Ben said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

        “Nobody tackles anyone in rugby by the hair”…
        2003 Odriscoll tackles George Smith by the hair.
        2006 Jerry Collins cleans George Smith out at a ruck by the hair.
        2006 Pat Sanderson tackles George Smith by the hair.
        2011 Chris Ashton tackles Alesana Tuilagi by the hair.

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 11:37am
          taylorman said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

          Well, George Smith gets no sympathy then, three times and hes not willing to part with twenty bucks?

          One can only assume he enjoys it then.

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 10:07pm
          mzilikazi said | October 2nd 2017 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

          “2011 Chris Ashton tackles Alesana Tuilagi by the hair.”

          Now that really is a silly thing to do….did Ashton survive ??

          • October 3rd 2017 @ 10:18am
            Coconut said | October 3rd 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            I believe Lawes saved his bacon, Alesana was about to make mincemeat of him.

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 6:10pm
        DavSA said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

        Wouldn’t it be just great to bring Pieter De Villiers back out of retirement so we can also have a draw on daft comments. ballerinas in a tutu with dreads.

    • October 2nd 2017 @ 6:48am
      Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:48am | ! Report

      Agree that Foleys pass to Izzy for try looked a tad forward. TMO should have looked at it.
      Referee was generally good
      But a pass 3 metres forward late in the game, in front of an AR, leading to a potential match winning penalty?
      Enjoyed the game. Played in a great spirit mostly. Etzbeth’s histrionics over Izzy’s mistake exposed some immaturity. Made himself look like a schoolyard bully hero.
      All this ignores the dumbest mistake of all- wearing your sister’s hairstyle to a rugby match.
      I know that plenty do it but if your hangs down into the tackle-allowed zone (below the collar), mistakes can happen.
      Eben needs to apply his significant grunt to dragging his winger to the barber instead of going OTT on our (generally) clean skin Izzy.

      After all said and done a great game.
      Boks bounced back well from NZ massacre. WBs almost pulled off rare as hens tooth victory in Bloemfontein.
      Nothing in it at the end.
      Both teams should be proud. Including big Eben.

      • Roar Guru

        October 2nd 2017 @ 6:58am
        Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:58am | ! Report

        That pass threemeters forward was in actual fact a grubber, fact or fiction, let the referee decide ?

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 7:02am
          Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:02am | ! Report

          Biltong I did not see a foot in that movement. If there was it is understandable that it was not called forward.

          • October 2nd 2017 @ 2:39pm
            Dave_S said | October 2nd 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

            No boot in it, and only as forward as Foley’s to Folau.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 8:26pm
              YeahRight said | October 2nd 2017 @ 8:26pm | ! Report

              Missing Foleys forward pass to Folau was excusable given the speed, close proximity, and fact foley was pushed back by defender making it hard to determine point of release. The forward pass later in the game was so amazingly obvious that one can only assume that the ref and both assistants had been looking at a girl on the crowd. And we already heard the TMO and knew he had no intention of alerting the ref.

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 8:48pm
                Corne Van Vuuren said | October 2nd 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

                i am telling you guys, they thought it was a grubber.

                that is the only explanation I can come up with

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2017 @ 9:24pm
                Harry Jones said | October 2nd 2017 @ 9:24pm | ! Report

                Yes, I always tried to kick wildly at my knock ons to convince refs it was grubber miscue

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 8:44am
        Fionn said | October 2nd 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        ‘After all said and done a great game.
        Boks bounced back well from NZ massacre. WBs almost pulled off rare as hens tooth victory in Bloemfontein.
        Nothing in it at the end.
        Both teams should be proud. Including big Eben.’

        Well put, KCOL.

        Despite the somewhat underwhelming end result matches like these is the reason we love the sport.

        Hope that both teams have more successful years from here.

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 10:59am
        Geoff said | October 2nd 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        Straight red…. Folau clearly carries on with a fist full of hair.

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 11:40am
          PeterK said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

          why hasn’t he been cited then?

          • Roar Guru

            October 2nd 2017 @ 6:16pm
            Fox said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

            Because we have a gutless judicial system as you well know peterk – plenty of things never get cited that should – doesn’t mean players shouldn’t be

            • Roar Guru

              October 2nd 2017 @ 7:30pm
              PeterK said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

              rubbish, it was not deemed to meet a red card threshold, he didn’t even get an off field yellow btw

              • Roar Guru

                October 3rd 2017 @ 12:00am
                Fox said | October 3rd 2017 @ 12:00am | ! Report

                Well it was rubbish he didn’t get a yellow card for that offence under the laws of the game peterk which proves my point about a weak adjudication – that is, the refs not giving him one. Even the Australian commentary thought a yellow card was certainly coming.

                There was no show I watched post match from the UK NZ or SA that didn’t think he should have been yellow carded even those with X-Wallaby players thought it was ridiculous he was not carded – poor TMO and on field refereeing IMO and many others.

                Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of incidences where players from all sides should get carded but for some unfathomable reason they don’t and then players get carded for things that they shouldn’t as well – there is no consistency.

                If you don’t get yellow carded for first pulling a player down by the collar – illegal and considered dangerous – and then you yank him down by his hair – highly illegal and extremely dangerous – then let’s just get rid of yellow cards if we are not going to use them for an incident like that – what do they need ? A letter from Her Majesty the Queen?

                Also a citing can come up to three or four days post match by-the-way. I think Cheika knows this and was attempting to throw doubt on the fire.

              • Roar Guru

                October 3rd 2017 @ 1:19am
                PeterK said | October 3rd 2017 @ 1:19am | ! Report

                Fox Saker – You are wrong.

                By the laws of the game the sanctions starts at a penalty and not a yc.

                It is arguable that he should have received a yc also 1 for eben especially for diving on the prone player with his arm, footage not available now to see point of impact of course.

                You are also wrong that it is a gutless system. Many players are cited for innocuous offences and suspended and yc’s given for small stuff yet ignore constant cynical infringements which is what they were brought in for originally.

                You are correct that the judicial system is very inconsistent and needs a total over haul.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 9:52am
                zhenry said | October 3rd 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

                ‘Any contact with neck and head is a yellow card’.
                Mr PeterK you tell us, your an ex-referee:
                Is the above not a present Rugby Union law?

              • Roar Guru

                October 3rd 2017 @ 8:50am
                Fox said | October 3rd 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

                I didn’t say the sanction starts at a yellow card – I merely argued that it is considered a very dangerous offence and he should have received one.

                I think the arriving player should been given a yellow card as well – that is also a yellow card offence depending on the nature of the intervention and I think that certainly deserved a yellow though I understand why he reacted the way he did.

              • October 3rd 2017 @ 6:27pm
                Cuw said | October 3rd 2017 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

                @ zhenry said

                ‘Any contact with neck and head is a yellow card’.
                Mr PeterK you tell us, your an ex-referee:
                Is the above not a present Rugby Union law?

                well the key word there being ” ex ” referee , u have to excuse him.

                i mean seriosly who can keep up with the LAWS being changed every year or / summer / or what ever they seem feel is the right time !!

                atm, the NH is playing with a different set of Laws as opposed to the SH.

                for eg. in the WASPS v BATH match a player came thru the ruck and back-heeled the ball ( cant remember which side). the ref said it was ok becoz he back – heeled it rather than toe-kicking it forwards.

                i read that the new Laws made it illegal to toe-kick the ball at ruck , but never knew it was ok to back-heel it. apparently neither did the side who created the ruck , who had their arms in the air and shouting at the ref.

                who can keep up with these changes , ffs 😛

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 12:50pm
        Akari said | October 2nd 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

        All this ignores the dumbest mistake of all- wearing your sister’s hairstyle to a rugby match.
        I know that plenty do it but if your hangs down into the tackle-allowed zone (below the collar), mistakes can happen.

        This is totally inappropriate, KCOL.

        I know someone who died from a tackle after being lifted by a grab to a collar. This is going back years ago, ofc. Accident you might say? Maybe. Dangerous if the collar grab was deliberate if this is the only means of taking an opponent down. Why is a collar grab ok (not aimed at you, KCOL) when a tackle above the shoulder is considered dangerous? Folau’s tackle should have been a YC as a minimum and should really be a RC IMO. My point is that wearing your sister’s hairstyle is ok and should be safe enough. Folau made a mistake and I’m sure he won’t do it again.

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 1:20pm
          Rt said | October 2nd 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

          Pffft. What PC rot. Stop virtue signalling and go get a free trade soy latte.

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 2:40pm
          Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | October 2nd 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

          Totally inappropriate Akari?
          Partially inappropriate, I will grant you but not totally.

          Folau was in the wrong no doubt. He deserved at least a penalty. In the light of Captain Eben’s response the ref may have decided to soften it to a penalty only. I sympathise with the tragedy that you describe. I too take these things seriously. My old club lost a man in battle just this year. It is no laughing matter.
          Whilst I agree that all foul play deserves punishment to discourage the chance of injury, I also see an advantage to be gained by those sporting long locks who gain a very slight tackle zone advantage going into contact.
          In any event we agree that dangerous play be sanctioned.
          Apologies for any offence caused by my flippant remark.

          • October 2nd 2017 @ 5:42pm
            Akari said | October 2nd 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

            My bad and all good, KCOL, as you clearly clarified your position @ 8.32am below. Cheers…

    • October 2nd 2017 @ 6:50am
      The Electronic Swagman said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:50am | ! Report

      He’s the Donald Trump of rugby – crass, arrogant and doubles down on stuff that simpy isn’t true. In the old parlance he’s not a good sportsman.

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 7:15am
        Taylorman said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:15am | ! Report

        Havent seen the Press conference yet but what I dont get about Cheika is why he hasnt worked out its purpose, how he should use it for the benefit of his team, himself and rugby in general.

        Things dont get ‘resolved’ from Press conference outbursts so why do them? Everyones going to make up their own minds so in terms of consistency he should aim to get something out of each conference.

        Simple guidelines like praise the other side, praise his own side, pick out key performances, learnings. with specifics…like the hair pulling…give them nothing to feed off. ‘Yes I saw that and we will need to review it and handle it appropriately’…no denials, no specifics, answers the question with a next…then get outta there if hes feeling threat!ened…how hard is it?

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 10:51am
          ScottD said | October 2nd 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          Totally correct mate. This is one area of Chiekas performances tgat really lets him down and the Captain of the day gets dragged down with him. First Moore and now Hooper have been put in an awkward position of drciding whether to contradict the coach or not. I am sure that the coaches responses influences the captains.
          It might be drawing a long bow but when captains get a reputation of being one eyed and making unreasonable statements or being “dishonest” then it impacts on their ability to influence the ref on the paddock.
          The great captains all have reputations for being fair minded and good guys. At the moment Hooper is still in tge honeymoon period but needs to be careful not to publicly agree with the coach if the coach is having one of his “moments” or Hoops will get pidgeonholed in the wrong box.

          • Roar Guru

            October 2nd 2017 @ 12:58pm
            The Neutral View From Sweden said | October 2nd 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

            It might be drawing a long bow but when captains get a reputation of being one eyed and making unreasonable statements or being “dishonest” then it impacts on their ability to influence the ref on the paddock.

            Look how Kieran Read handled his yellow card against Los Pumas. Said sorry right away to the Pumas player, admitted his guilt and gave Peyper props for making the right call.

            • October 2nd 2017 @ 1:22pm
              Ex force fan said | October 2nd 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

              Although he would have sweated at the call as he made contact to the face that could have been a red card. Peyper didn’t see it that way although the commentator did.

              • October 2nd 2017 @ 4:21pm
                Cuw said | October 2nd 2017 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

                to be fair Peyper got all the cards except the prop, wrong in that match 🙂

                i get a feeling the WR is backtracking on the dangeros play and all that jazz as the number of cards keep mounting.

                seen quite a few tackles in Miter 10 , Top 14 and Aviva , that are going by SBW benchmark shud have been at least a yellow if not red , go unpunished.

              • October 2nd 2017 @ 9:10pm
                Maddie said | October 2nd 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

                Which commentator Ex Force Fan, ESPN Fight Night?

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2017 @ 11:34am
          Mango Jack said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

          spot on

    • October 2nd 2017 @ 6:59am
      Mike Dugg said | October 2nd 2017 @ 6:59am | ! Report

      All blacks always get away with hair pulling. Why do you think George Smith and Hooper both cut their hair short?

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 11:41am
        taylorman said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

        because they learned perhaps?

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 12:20pm
        Minz said | October 2nd 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

        Back in the day, the Springboks had a bounty on George Smith’s hair.

    • October 2nd 2017 @ 7:27am
      Rugnut said | October 2nd 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

      Is that now 3 wins from 8 this year. Sorry folks a fail in my books.

      • Roar Guru

        October 2nd 2017 @ 11:42am
        PeterK said | October 2nd 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

        3 losses in 8 that sounds like a win

        in actual fact make the draws /12 a point and it is 4 / 8 so a draw so far.

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 1:45pm
        Dave_S said | October 2nd 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

        On the numbers alone, maybe a fail (or pass mark on Peter’s scorecard, probably fairer), but there seems to be some steady improvement and more confidence in their play.

        I’m feeling better about the WBs than I did after the June tests.

        Still lacking a tall and tough backrower but the rest is coming together, they look capable of beating every other side including the ABs (when not at their best)

        • October 2nd 2017 @ 5:19pm
          soapit said | October 2nd 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

          maybe thats the strategy, do so poorly in june draws in september generate immense positivity!

      • October 2nd 2017 @ 3:12pm
        Connor33 said | October 2nd 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

        Bit like, BIL, bro!

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