Five talking points from Argentina vs Wallabies

Charlie Lawry Roar Guru

By Charlie Lawry, Charlie Lawry is a Roar Guru

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    The Wallabies capped off their Rugby Championship campaign with a 37-20 win over the Pumas in Mendoza. It was scrappy throughout, but enough to sneak into second spot with an extra bonus point, just ahead of the Springboks.

    So, what were the main talking points?

    1. Bernie’s boot goes missing
    It’s never advisable to talk up records prior to kick-off, and the Fox Rugby team put the mocker firmly on the Wallabies flyhalf. Foley came into the game having slotted 18 consecutive shots at goal, with Matt Burke’s record of 23 in sight.

    Things started well enough ‒ Foley popped his 19th from right in front. But then the wheels fell off big time. He missed his next four attempts, before finally getting the radar working late on. Success brings its own pressure. We’ve quietly packed away the bunting for next time.

    2. Pumas follow a familiar pattern
    Argentina’s losing scorelines in the Rugby Championship read as follows: 37-15, 41-23, 39-22, 45-20, 36-10, 37-20. In all but one of those game, the game has been in the balance at half-time. They had the Wallabies scrambling in the first half, but fell away once again. With just 31 per cent possession, it’s no wonder they ran out of steam.

    Whether it’s an issue of fitness or discipline, coach Daniel Hourcade has a clear problem to solve. The Pumas world ranking (currently 10th, between Fiji and Japan) has taken a hit since joining the competition, but there’s no better place to identify their shortcomings.

    There’s enough aggression and set piece finesse for Argentina to match the world’s best ‒ we’ve seen that in their World Cup displays. Sustaining the effort for 80 minutes is the next frontier.

    3. Reece Hodge, Australia’s Mr Reliable
    Seeing Hodge’s name on the team sheet probably prompts most fans to wonder where all our wingers have gone. He may not look spectacular, but he’s deceptively quick and provides versatility, particularly with his distance kicking.

    In Mendoza, Hodge bookended a slick assist for Will Genia with two tries of his own. He even had another disallowed for a forward pass in the previous phase. His rise is a testament to hard work and doing the simple things well. He may have won the jersey through injuries to others, but he’s looking more and more at home with the 11 on his back.

    Reece Hodge Australia Rugby Union Wallabies 2017

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    4. A tale of two tackles
    There were nervous moments for the Wallabies in the second half when the referee stopped play for an injury to Tomas Lezana. Receiving the ball from the restart, Lezana crouched slightly, looking up just in time to meet a flying Marika Koroibete.

    A lengthy stoppage and several angles later, Mathieu Raynal and the TMO were satisfied that there were arms in the tackle and the contact was an accidental head clash. Assistant Jaco Peyper stepped in to point out that the contact was actually with Koroibete’s shoulder. No penalty was awarded and the Wallabies continued in possession while Lezana left the field with concussion.

    Shortly after, Marcos Kremer was yellow carded for a lifting tackle on Allan Alaalatoa. It might not have looked great, but Alaalatoa landed on his back and was unharmed.

    There were a few contentious calls each way, but this sequence did the Pumas no favours. The right call probably would have been a penalty for both and no cards. Neither tackler was reckless in their intent.

    Meanwhile, the TMO reviews throughout the game, both for foul play and forward passes, took far too long and robbed the game of momentum. A few exhausted players might have appreciated it, but it’s a practice that can’t be allowed to persist.

    5. Physicality the order of the day
    The collisions in this game were pretty brutal. The Pumas came out swinging in the early stages, with heavy shots on the likes of Sean McMahon and Izack Rodda. Pumas captain Agustin Creevy was in the thick of the action, while his opposite number Tatafu Polota-Nau did his usual impression of a wrecking ball.

    Perhaps the most pleasing sight for Michael Cheika, however, was the abrasive display of Jack Dempsey. Cheika has a penchant for tinkering with his squad week-to-week, but Dempsey staked a strong claim for more opportunities.

    He stood up to the early onslaught and came out on top. He ran 15 times for 100 metres, including four tackle busts, three line breaks, and an offload. Add to that three lineout wins and young Jack has earned himself an extra party pie after the game.

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • Roar Guru

      October 9th 2017 @ 7:53am
      Carlos the Argie said | October 9th 2017 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Bernie was wearing Beauden’s shoes this time…

    • Roar Guru

      October 9th 2017 @ 8:37am
      Carlos the Argie said | October 9th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      OK, I’ll give you a second comment The Wallaby backs missed too many tackles. Against Argentina this is barely acceptable. If it happens against the ABs, it is a disaster.

      Don’t do that this coming weekend…

      • October 9th 2017 @ 9:14am
        nutter said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        Agreed, Hodge in particular was shaky on defence which is continuing a pattern over the last couple of weeks. As I read on this site recently, you spend about half the game tackling. While the team covered for him against the Argies, the ABs will exploit those lapses more heavily.

        • October 9th 2017 @ 9:45am
          bluffboy said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

          For me, I thought Hodge was in the top 3 players for the Wallabies last weekend.
          There were a couple of times that I saw he was making multiple tackles and 1 certain try saver. His attack was as good and better than most on the day.
          But its all about perspective I suppose. I do agree to many missed tackles yet again and they will pay for it in the next game.
          Good to see Dempsey have a good game. I don’t like how reporters build up his performance though.
          His game in the weekend is what is expected at the international level. Good to see it though, hopefully can continue with another solid performance.
          This next game is the one we all want, It will be the true indicator on the Wallabies progression.

          • October 9th 2017 @ 9:58pm
            PiratesRugby said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

            I didn’t notice Dempsey in the Super comp but I certainly noticed him in Mendoza. Keep it up young man and you’ll go far.

          • Roar Pro

            October 10th 2017 @ 4:51pm
            Crazy Horse said | October 10th 2017 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

            Unlike Hannigan, at least Dempsey looks like he belongs on the field. He played well.

        • October 9th 2017 @ 9:56pm
          PiratesRugby said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

          Hodge shaky on defence? Unlike say Foley and Beale???

          • October 10th 2017 @ 9:27am
            nutter said | October 10th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

            That goes without saying but they’re not all over the news as this week’s golden boy. Also that just compounds the point, we’ve already got two guaranteed starters who are shaky defenders, do we need another? He’s certainly got the technique and the size to be a defender but (as demonstrated last week where he didn’t make the effort and Beale was steamrolled) lacks a bit of commitment in defence. From what I’ve seen it’s mainly players at pace, he’s good (as mentioned above) in the low speed tigher stuff.

      • October 9th 2017 @ 11:03pm
        Rebellion said | October 9th 2017 @ 11:03pm | ! Report

        Would be interested to see this lineup for the Spring Tour:

        1. Sio
        2. TPN
        3. Kepu
        4. Coleman
        5. Fardy/Rodda
        6. Dempsey
        7. Pocock
        8. McMahon
        9. Genia
        10. Foley
        11. Koroibete
        12. Beale
        13. Hodge
        14. Naivalu
        15. Folau

        16. Uelese
        17. Ala’alatoa
        18. Tupou
        19. Rodda/Fardy
        20. Hooper/Naisarani
        21. Powell
        22. Toomua
        23. Perese/Morahan

        I’ve selected a couple of players outside of the current criteria – but Chieka and the NSW board do that all the time (especially with provincial salary caps and national selection eg Moore Park over Form)
        Tupou and Perese probably aren’t ready but we badly need young players to put their hands up and they’re promising

        • Roar Pro

          October 10th 2017 @ 4:55pm
          Crazy Horse said | October 10th 2017 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

          If Naisarani is in there then Clay Uyen who easily bested him when they went head to head a few weeks ago is certainly worth a look at.

    • October 9th 2017 @ 9:12am
      Redsfan1 said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:12am | ! Report

      Please how Koribetes tackle deserved a penalty?! Fair hit square in the chest with arms involved.

      When a player gets hurt the default seems to be that someone needs to be punished, regardless of whether the tackle was legal.

      Suggest you re-watch it.

      • Roar Rookie

        October 9th 2017 @ 9:22am
        Dave_S said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        Agree, I thought the decisions were correct in each case..

      • Roar Rookie

        October 9th 2017 @ 9:37am
        Paul D said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        There is no way that Kori’s tackle should have being a penalty. If that’s what deserves sanction then players should just charge headfirst into contact and win penalties every day of the week. It was a perfect ball and all hit. Unfortunate that Lezana got himself into a poor position for the contact, but that is his own doing.

      • October 9th 2017 @ 9:44am
        Cynical Play said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        That tackle was a great ball and all tackle. He did everything he could to keep it legal but lethal. Really shows what an all round great winger he is shaping up to be.

        Credit to the coach for getting him across and gently blooding him.

      • Roar Guru

        October 9th 2017 @ 9:46am
        Mango Jack said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        True. I felt sorry for Lezana, you never want to see concussions, but Koriobete did nothing to deserve a penalty.

      • Roar Guru

        October 9th 2017 @ 10:00am
        Carlos the Argie said | October 9th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        Shoulder touching the head, the player gets knocked-out, cannot return and ends with a concussion.

        That must have been all “whiplash”.

        Yeah, right.

        Should have been a card. Peyper cleared saw that too. Amazing the inconsistencies in the games.

        • Roar Guru

          October 9th 2017 @ 10:25am
          PeterK said | October 9th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          It is not that simple.

          To me it depends does the head hit the shoulder or does the shoulder hit the head

          Imagine a player diving headfirst into a ruck onto a shoulder of a man over the ball and gets knocked out, is that the fault of the guy over the ball?

          I looked at the tackle in slow mo often and it looks like the first contact of the shoulder is into the chest under his chin. The tackle does NOT then slide up which would mean a yc or even a red. Instead the chin snaps forward from the big hit into the shoulder. If this is what actually occurred then the right decision was made.

          • October 9th 2017 @ 12:21pm
            Dave_S said | October 9th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

            Agree Peter, that’s what I saw too.

          • October 9th 2017 @ 1:34pm
            Carlos the Argie said | October 9th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

            Your honor, I didn’t punch him in the face! The idiot headed my fist! Promise it’s the truth!

            • October 9th 2017 @ 5:12pm
              ajg said | October 9th 2017 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

              yeh, Carlos, that’s not what he’s said though is it. Because your analogy is about assault, whereas we are discussing a contact sport with rules for how to adjudicate collisions. PeterK’s point is that koriobete made legal contact. And the force of the legal collison led to accidental and secondary contact with the head without slipping up (which would be illegal)

              For what its worth I thought that the card and penalty against the argies was ridiculous. Although it was lifting, he didnt drive the player or force him into the ground. it was a bollacks decision that ruined the result

            • October 9th 2017 @ 10:22pm
              ThugbyFan said | October 9th 2017 @ 10:22pm | ! Report

              G’day Carlos, its a perfect example of Newton’s Third Law, and gives one an excuse to make megabucks suing their opponent after a fist fight.

              I can see the plaintiff in his address: “Your ‘onour, the defendant’s head viciously attacked my fist causing it much pain. Its irrespective that I may have swung a fist in his general area prior to this grievous assault by his face on my knuckles. I submit this vicious reaction force should be stamped on and that this litigation be a lesson made of the defendant and his ilk. Sir, only a settlement of at least $1 million can repair my anguish and embarrassment”.

              • Roar Guru

                October 10th 2017 @ 2:56am
                Carlos the Argie said | October 10th 2017 @ 2:56am | ! Report

                This is the law:

                Reckless and accidental tackles
                November 2016
                Reckless Tackle

                A player is deemed to have made reckless contact during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game if in making contact, the player knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway. This sanction applies even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. This type of contact also applies to grabbing and rolling/ twisting around the head/ neck area even if the contact starts below the line of the shoulders.

                Minimum sanction: Yellow card

                Maximum sanction: Red card

        • Roar Rookie

          October 9th 2017 @ 11:05am
          Paul D said | October 9th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

          So if I charge headfirst into a defender and get knocked out, the tackler should get a red card? Lezana led with his head. He needs to take some responsibility for his own safety.

        • Roar Guru

          October 9th 2017 @ 11:40am
          Hoy said | October 9th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

          I think it was pretty clearly whiplash Carlos. His body is stopped dead, his head continues forward until contact. Yes there was contact, but the tackle was not a high tackle. It was a shirt fronting.

        • October 9th 2017 @ 5:23pm
          Redsfan1 said | October 9th 2017 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

          Carlos are you serious? Are you sure that’s not your nationality influencing your decision? Koribete hits him in the chest, didn’t go high at all.

          Sorry that an Argie player was knocked out- unfortunate- but it’s rugby and that was a perfectly executed tackle.

          • Roar Guru

            October 10th 2017 @ 2:57am
            Carlos the Argie said | October 10th 2017 @ 2:57am | ! Report

            Read the law book. Not my issue, it is the law.

        • Roar Guru

          October 9th 2017 @ 11:23pm
          Timbo (L) said | October 9th 2017 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

          The result was unfortunate, and my well-wishes are with Lazana’s recovery.

          But we are getting into some legal grey arias and a slippery slope.

          Apart from the fact that he leaned forward into contact lowering his head into harms way, technically, he head-butted Koribete. A stupid Preceipt, I know, your whiplash explanation in more valid, but if you start taking this sort of thing out of rugby, there won’t be much contact left. It will be like playing golden oldies. Great to play, not much fun to watch.

      • Roar Guru

        October 9th 2017 @ 10:21am
        Hoy said | October 9th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        I agree, it was a fair and solid/huge contact from the winger on a number 8, and the number 8, unfortunately, was rocked so hard his head whiplashed into the opposites shoulder. All legal, unfortunate for the 8, but nothing in it…

        What I found interesting was looking at the tackle on replay, the ref had it completely wrong, thinking it was ahead clash, and then, Jaco Peyper I think, from the sideline came in with the correct call of shoulder contacted head, but he then wanted to penalize/card the player… So looking at the same footage, the ref in charge AND the TMO got it completely wrong in events, but right outcome, Peyper had the event right, but in my opinion, was pushing for the wrong outcome.

        The Argie tackle was always going to be yellow, despite commentators saying it was a good hard tackle. He was horizontal, and landed on his shoulders… looks worse than it is, but that is the game today.

        On the South African Red, initially I agreed with the carding… he was so late, and he raised his elbow up to contact… looking back at it over and over, a yellow would probably have sufficed… the contact wasn’t as bad as I initially thought.

        • Roar Guru

          October 9th 2017 @ 10:28am
          PeterK said | October 9th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

          agree with this.

          Looking at the lifting tackle on slow mo he does actually go above the horizontal just before contact with the ground and drives him.

          Personally it is just a good tackle but ever since this came in and Horne for a very similar good front on tackle was carded then all of these for consistencies sake should be cards.

          • October 9th 2017 @ 12:23pm
            Dave_S said | October 9th 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

            Yep, on current interpretations, it’s a YC.

            • Roar Rookie

              October 10th 2017 @ 7:57pm
              Paulo said | October 10th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

              Using the Same argument, then the Lezana hit should be yellow or red too. Head contact is made, its a card. Contact appears on the point of the chin.

      • October 9th 2017 @ 1:20pm
        soapit said | October 9th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        reckon its a 50-50 whether it was marginally above the line of the shoulder so would have been happy with a penalty especially as the head did clearly get some contact at some point.

      • October 9th 2017 @ 1:55pm
        The Slow Eater said | October 9th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

        Thought the tackle was fine. Should’ve got a penalty for playing the ball off his feet.

        • October 9th 2017 @ 9:51pm
          rock86 said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

          Yeah no penalty for the tackle, but definitely for playing the ball on the ground

      • October 9th 2017 @ 4:10pm
        Marlin said | October 9th 2017 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

        it was so very entertaining watching the ref and the replays 800 times, too. What a spectacle!

        • October 9th 2017 @ 9:05pm
          Redsfan1 said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

          Ridiculous a French ref with poor English with communication issues with South African TMO.

    • October 9th 2017 @ 12:26pm
      RahRah said | October 9th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      Unfortunately Refs are so intent on being seen to protect players that every hard tackle has to receive a penalty “just because”, whether or not it is deserving of one.

      • October 9th 2017 @ 12:54pm
        Ruckin' Oaf said | October 9th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

        I reckon when the tackler hits the tacklee with shoulder to the head it’s worth a look at. Might not be worth a card or penalty but it’s worth a look at.

        Otherwise you might as well go down the league path where you can collar a bloke around the ears as long as the first contact is legal.

        • October 9th 2017 @ 1:43pm
          RahRah said | October 9th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

          Yes RO that is very true, but Koriobete’s tackle was chest to chest and was then looked at by the ref. What then transpired was a complete waste of time, the TMO replaying the incident over and over and over again in ultra slow motion.
          Officialdom are now looking for a reason to penalize players rather than accepting that sometimes “ship happens” in a very physical game.
          Yes penalize foul and dangerous play, but don’t go looking for the most remote and ridiculous pretext to penalize a player.

          • October 9th 2017 @ 1:53pm
            taylorman said | October 9th 2017 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

            true, and with that way the ball carrier dipped down at the last as well so ‘unknowingly also’ contributed to the outcome.

            Its getting too over complicated alright, and I wouldnt want to be watch rugby where ship ‘never’ happens…

          • Roar Guru

            October 9th 2017 @ 3:41pm
            Hoy said | October 9th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

            To be fair to the TMO Rah Rah, he was telling the ref over and over again there was nothing in it… it was the ref who kept wanting to see it. Then, old mate touchie added his two cents into the mix… Oddly, the argies were slow putting it up on the big screen. Normally I think they would replay it ad nauseam.

            I agree, it seems these days, Refs are trying to pull out cards for things that should be penalties at most, or in this case, are simply “s4it happens” as you say.

            • October 10th 2017 @ 9:39am
              nutter said | October 10th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

              Yeah, but it doesn’t happen if you’re an inch lower in the tackle which is the point of the law – the protection of players. It doesn’t matter that I deliberately lifted and drove him into the ground cos he’s ok or I accidentally clipped his chin with my shoulder and KO’d him. The laws are there to protect players and they have sanctions to demonstrate the seriousness of this. To my mind, his shoulder clips his chin on the way into the tackle and KO’s him. A good hit which was not legal but an inch lower and it would have been. I agree with the yellow card call, just like the tackle on Ala’alatoa was a yellow cos he went past horizontal and came down high on his back/neck.

              If you want to exploit the rules by leading with your head into every tackle then go and play soccer, they love rules exploitation and penalty milking over there. I suspect that no sane Rugby player is ever going to risk ongoing brain damage in the hope of getting a penalty…

              • Roar Guru

                October 11th 2017 @ 11:25am
                Hoy said | October 11th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

                I was amazed at the different visions seen by three parties during the game…

                To me, it was a chest on chest tackle, ball and all, shirt fronting, whatever you want to call it. The arms were wrapped, it was, as I said, chest to chest. The impact, and sheer force of conact with Koribete coming in so fast was that #8’s body was stopped in motion, and through physics, his head was whipped forward, and then contacted the shoulder of Koribete.

                Koribete did not initiate any contact with the head. You seem to disagree, but the footage to me shows that Koribete made a good tackle, and unfortunately, the result of that tackle meant that old mates head was whipped forwards and then made contact with a shoulder… It then it would be a crazy harsh penalty, and not in the spirit of the rules to penalize him for that. Otherwise head clashes should be a penalty to someone shouldn’t they?

        • October 12th 2017 @ 1:40pm
          BOGGLES THE MIND said | October 12th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

          Ruckin’ Oaf

          ” Otherwise you might as well go down the league path where you can collar a bloke around the ears as long as the first contact is legal. ”

          Has anyone died from the above league path ? I`ll wait for your link to serious injuries or those deaths .

          Union is going too soft.

    • Roar Guru

      October 9th 2017 @ 1:49pm
      Cadfael said | October 9th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

      It wasn’t a bad game to watch. The Argies match fitness improved on their last game. Twenty all with less than 20 minutes to go wasn’t a hammering by the Wallabies. A plus out of the game was Tui’s little show, He should start at 6 and Dempsey to 8. I still have issue with the backline defensively. Foley and Beale aren’t the best front on defenders but players selected in positions need to defend in those positions. I think with Hunt due back, he will slot into 12. What happens next will be interesting. For the back three we will have four to choose from: Folau, Beale, Hodge and Koribete. Hodge will be the odd man out as he can play anywhere in the backs so would go to the bench with Izzy and Koribete on the wings. Leaving Beale where he is is leaving a defensive hole (with Foley) in the backline.

      • Roar Guru

        October 9th 2017 @ 3:27pm
        Hoy said | October 9th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

        Beale is a defensive hole at the back as well… Hodge is a more rounded player than Folau, but Folau will win out in any shift there is… IF there is a shift. It would require a retraction from Cheika, as he has previously ruled out shifting Folau hasn’t he?

    • October 9th 2017 @ 5:06pm
      ajg said | October 9th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

      Dempsey over hannigan any day of the week please!

      • Roar Guru

        October 9th 2017 @ 11:16pm
        Timbo (L) said | October 9th 2017 @ 11:16pm | ! Report


      • Roar Pro

        October 10th 2017 @ 4:57pm
        Crazy Horse said | October 10th 2017 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

        Definitely. It’s so obvious Cheika probably won’t do it.

      • October 12th 2017 @ 1:47pm
        BOGGLES THE MIND said | October 12th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

        Come on . Hold your water lads. Hanigan will never play test rugby again, we know that is a given. Jack Dempsey is still not proven.He was monstered by the Boks and only looked good against the Argies,everyone looked good against the Argies ( even Foley ) Watch Dempsey be obliterated on the 21st.

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