Genia stars, but discipline a concern for Wallabies

Jack Quigley Columnist

By Jack Quigley, Jack Quigley is a Roar Expert

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    Despite the close scoreline, Australia never really looked in great danger of losing to Wales in Cardiff as the Wallabies extended their win streak against the Welsh to 13 games.

    A terrifically physical contest was kept close in large part thanks to the whistle of referee Glen Jackson, who awarded 15 penalties to the home side and only 3 for the visitors.

    More Wallabies vs Wales
    » Match Report: Wallabies hold on
    » Five talking points from the match
    » Team changes for the match vs England
    » Vote in our DIY player ratings
    » Re-live the match with our live blog

    Of course it is not the job of the referee to ensure that both teams receive an equal share of the penalty count, but in a relatively evenly fought contest it is hard to fathom how one side could have infringed 500 percent more then the other.

    That being said, the Wallabies did make it easy for Jackson to keep the home side in the game. What will concern Michael Cheika most is the amount of avoidable penalties which were conceded.

    You’re always going to give penalties away in rugby, it’s just part of the game, but it’s the discipline required to not give away the unnecessary ones that separates the best from the rest.

    For example, in the second half Adam Coleman gave away back-to-back penalties – one on the half way line for hands in the ruck when Jackson had clearly called for hands off, which allowed the Welsh into Wallaby territory – and then again in the 22 when Coleman slowed the ball down by not rolling away, unnecessarily so as the Wallabies had good defensive cover set to handle the next phase.

    It’s hard to see the Wallabies winning at Twickenham if they are on the end of such a lopsided penalty count again.

    No doubt Eddie Jones will make the officials aware of the Wallabies’ lack of discipline in order to prime them for the contest – and to wind up Michael Cheika.

    Eddie Jones smiles and is happy

    (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    To file this win under ‘job done’ is probably not doing the win justice. Despite the fact that Wallabies lead for most of the contest and it always felt as though the Welsh were kept at arm’s length, road wins are always worth savouring in international rugby.

    The Welsh displayed terrific defensive line speed in an attempt to shut down the Wallabies’ big centre combination of Samu Kerevi and Tevita Kurindrani, and it had the desired result. Kerevi, despite a great willingness to run the ball, was completely nullified.

    The giant centres combination rarely works in rugby, and yet coaches continue to go back to it.

    In fairness, the criticism of the Kerevi/Kurindrani partnership has traditionally been based around their defensive solidity, but both defended their channels very well against good opposition in Jonothan Davies. Expect Karmichael Hunt to come into the side next weekend to offer a different threat in attack.

    The metronome for the Wallabies in this one was halfback Will Genia, who dictated the tempo of the game, alternating between patience and cut-throat attack.

    Genia has enjoyed a welcome return to form in recent months. Against Scotland in June one wondered if we were watching a former great well past his prime, but the diminutive nine has produced some terrific form in recent Test matches and his man-of-the-match effort in Cardiff was reminiscent of his best days, when he was at the top of the class for halfbacks in world rugby.

    Will Genia Wallabies Australia Rugby Union Test Championship 2016

    (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

    The Wallabies’ scrum came under pressure, especially later in the game once Tatafu Polota-Nau had been substituted and the Wallabies lost Michael Hooper to the sin bin as a result of his teams’ repeated infringements, but the general theme was a lack of stable footing on the slippery surface rather than a lack of power or technique in the scrum contest. It will be an area of focus for the Wallabies this week, if it wasn’t already.

    Genia spoke post-game about the Wallabies’ winning mindset, and it was evident in Cardiff. Capitalising when on top, nullifying when under pressure. It’s a winning formula and a good habit to be in.

    At Twickenham, England made hard work of beating Argentina and looked very rusty at times. The Wallabies will aim to take that winning minsdet to London as Cheika smells revenge for Eddie Jones’ masterclass down under last year.

    Jack Quigley
    Jack Quigley

    A long time sports writer and podcaster, Jack has spent the majority of his media career covering football and rugby. He recently joined The Roar on the back of penning a viral Facebook rant aimed at the Wallabies which attracted 60,000 likes and more than 6,000 shares. You can follow him on Twitter @Jack_Quigley.

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    The Crowd Says (91)

    • Roar Rookie

      November 12th 2017 @ 11:57am
      TonyH said | November 12th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

      At last Australian rugby fans have plenty to be pleased about. The Wallabies are at last on the ascendancy and, as the superb NRC final between the evenly-matched Qld Country and Canberra Vikings abundantly exhibited, there’s some exciting young talent coming through the ranks that will bolster our Super Rugby teams. To beat Aussie Eddy’s England at Rugby HQ on Saturday and then see off Scotland on the following weekend would be the icing on the gateau, and a satisfying measure of revenge for last year’s series whitewash by the Poms and the defeat by the Jocks.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 8:04am
        PiratesRugby said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        TonyH, are trying to jinx us?

    • November 12th 2017 @ 12:28pm
      Malcolm said | November 12th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

      The ref blew the whistle every 3 minutes
      This confirms the rules are an ass
      And that I have watched my last game of rugby union
      Long live rugby league

      • November 12th 2017 @ 1:18pm
        rebel said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

        Thanks for coming Fred

      • November 12th 2017 @ 1:28pm
        Clifto said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

        Don’t let the door hit you in the bum on your way out

      • November 12th 2017 @ 2:46pm
        Dave_S said | November 12th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

        A little OTT, but there is a point in there somewhere – there are too many infringe-able moments in rugby. Not sure what the answer is, but less pedantic referees would be a good start.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 3:39pm
          double agent said | November 12th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

          The one where Wales got the ball from a scrum and went 15m upfield then losing it so Jackson brings it back for a scrum penalty. FFS…

      • November 12th 2017 @ 5:54pm
        The Slow Eater said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

        I just don’t get rugby league. I must be missing something but it is so one dimensional vs union. No lineouts or breakdowns and what the hell is their scrum supposed to be for? Five tackles, kick. Rinse. Repeat.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 7:11pm
          Reverse Wheel said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

          Same. I’ve tried to watch but it’s just so repetitive

          • November 12th 2017 @ 8:49pm
            Jameswm said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:49pm | ! Report


        • November 12th 2017 @ 9:27pm
          AFL man said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:27pm | ! Report

          The only thing repetitive in Union

          Is the ref blowing his whistle every 2 seconds

          • November 13th 2017 @ 8:03am
            PiratesRugby said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:03am | ! Report

            Unlike AFL where the umpire blows his whistle so much they need more than one.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 6:06pm
        Uncle Eric said | November 12th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

        Clearly you struggle to comprehend the complexity of Rugby Malcolm. Stick to RL it won’t challenge your neurons quite so much dear boy and don’t bother coming back on to this site.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 9:29pm
        London Waratah said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

        League won’t live long buddy. I played it first as a kid, for a few years. It was boring as! Hit-up after hit-up…then kick. The only good thing about league was 13 men left alittle more space but it was never used due to the meat-head 5 hit-ups.

        So brain-dead a version of rugby…but supre-easy to understand :/

        • November 13th 2017 @ 1:58pm
          Hoppers said | November 13th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

          You mean aside from the 150 or so years it’s been around.

          I’m no fan of RL, but just sayin…

          • Roar Rookie

            November 13th 2017 @ 2:10pm
            piru said | November 13th 2017 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            1895 – 2017 = 122yrs

    • Roar Guru

      November 12th 2017 @ 12:51pm
      Cadfael said | November 12th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

      Discipline is not just a problem for us. The SH sides were penalised 42-11 overnight. Is it just ill discipline or do we all have a problemith NH interpretations?

      • Roar Rookie

        November 12th 2017 @ 1:02pm
        Dwards said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

        I agree Cadfael.
        To be fair Hooper was terrible today but otherwise Wales definitely got the rub of the green. Credit to the WB defence in the 2nd half to hold them out for so long.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 1:11pm
          Cynical Play said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

          yeah his gutsy, drag them over the line try was terrible,

          • November 12th 2017 @ 1:19pm
            Fionn said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

            Almost wasn’t a try though, he was lucky he got it, and if he had just passed the ball whoever it was had a clear run for the line. Selfish play, in my opinion. Definitely not one of Hooper’s better games.

            • November 12th 2017 @ 7:25pm
              Cynical Play said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

              Really? I saw courage and a try …you saw selfish play. But that’s you in a nutshell.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 8:51pm
                Jameswm said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

                Hoops should have passed

              • November 12th 2017 @ 9:17pm
                Cynical Play said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

                He backed himself and scored. What do you want .. 3 hailmarys?

              • November 13th 2017 @ 8:15am
                Fionn said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

                No, to make the right decision and pass the ball to the open player outside of him with a clear run to the line rather than trying to break through two defenders.

                It worked out fine in the end, but if you have that exact same situation 10 times then passing rather than running it yourself is the better percentage play. The fact that Hooper did successfully score doesn’t change this.

          • Roar Rookie

            November 12th 2017 @ 1:31pm
            Dwards said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

            Terrible in that he was one of the main breakdown offenders and several times came in well on the wrong side.
            I also agree with Fionn that he nearly bombed that try when a simple pass would have done the trick
            I personally think Hooper is a massive player but would put this down as not one of his better games.
            Also I suspect as the rest of the pack improve (in skill or selection) Hooper will be less of a standout.

          • November 12th 2017 @ 2:49pm
            Dave_S said | November 12th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

            Fionn I think that’s a bit unfair on Hooper. His outside man was marked and he backed himself to get to the line and he did. With his pace and low centre of gravity I thought he was always a good chance to get the try, no worse odds than if he’d passed. Hard to be critical when he in fact did it pretty easily in the end.

            His infringement to be carded was a shocker – blantantly in from the side while under a team warning.

            • November 12th 2017 @ 3:41pm
              double agent said | November 12th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

              Yes I initially thought he should’ve passed it but after watching the replay Hodge was covered.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 3:48pm
                Fionn said | November 12th 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                Dave, double agent, as I saw it the defender came off Hodge and was moving in to cover Hooper (he had no other choice).

                I’m not saying Hooper should have passed it straight away but what he clearly needed to do was take a couple of steps, draw in the defender and then pass it to Hodge. By the time the tacklers got to Hooper Hodge did have a clear run to the line (for both the tacklers converged on Hooper at once).

                It was fine in the end, but I maintain he should have passed.

              • November 13th 2017 @ 8:08am
                PiratesRugby said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

                Don’t we put up Hooper’s lack of presence at the ruck because of his ‘linking’ ability? If Pocock had done the same thing he would have been criticised for lacking passing skills.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 4:13pm
                double agent said | November 12th 2017 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

                I think if he’d passed it at any time really the winger would’ve had a good shot at Hodge. Even at the last second before Hooper was tackled the winger was facing Hodge. Now it’s possible he would’ve missed the tackle but in the end it all worked out anyway.

              • November 13th 2017 @ 11:11am
                PiratesRugby said | November 13th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

                But to be clear, Hooper backed himself on the burst from about 15m out. Good try, I say. Hodge is a good finisher but Hooper saw a decent opportunity and executed. Can’t criticise him for that. Arguably Hodge was in a better position, if the pass was good, and Hodge held onto it. Hooper made the right decision. I can understand that may have placed him in unfamiliar territory.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 5:34pm
                soapit said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

                fionn i dont think at any time he really got outside his man enough to draw the defnder in. id say that was the plana but wasnt able to burn him like he has many others. plan b is usually take the tackle rather than shift it on to your winger at the last minute and good fortune he’d done enough to get to the line. if he hadnt we’d still have the ball ready to go again rather than a drifing defence ttaking hodge over the sideline.

                i too havent watched it again mind you.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 5:41pm
                Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

                Some good news for Auzzy – as Scots have lost prop W. P. NEL for a few months with a broken arm.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 7:23pm
                Fionn said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

                Cuw, I don’t wish an injury on anybody and I hope he recovers soon, but at the same time from the perspective of an Aussie fan that is music to my (and I’m sure, Scott Sio’s) ears 🙂

              • November 12th 2017 @ 7:30pm
                Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

                i know ur a man of honor !

                i also know its good news for auzzy props and fans alike 😛

            • November 12th 2017 @ 5:31pm
              soapit said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

              hooper has recently become very sloppy at the breakdown. not necessarily a bad thing and i do think its intentionally taking a leaf from the book of some other notable flankers to push the limit of what the ref is able to spot and/or willing to penalise.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 5:04pm
          Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

          let the mind games begin

          Jones urges Wallabies to bring their ‘best game’

          • November 12th 2017 @ 7:13pm
            Reverse Wheel said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

            Coming to the end of two years of Eddie. Next year is the year they work out he’s a giant knob. Then 2019 is the year they implode, just in time for RWC.

            • Roar Guru

              November 12th 2017 @ 9:15pm
              Mick Gold Coast QLD said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

              “… Eddie. Next year is the year they work out he’s a giant knob.”

              He is, he is – a knob who has delivered a 95% success rate in 21 matches over the past two years, three tries + per match, a couple of Tri-Nations, a 3 blot tour in Australia, a couple of wins in Argentina by a bunch of newcomers and a win over the Springboks. Then there is a Super 12 trophy, and a finalist; profitable time spent with Jake White and the Springboks; and exceptional success at all levels in Japan in internal competition, Asian competition and in the World Cup.

              A decade playing at top level with the then outstanding Australian club followed by 25 years contribution to coaching excellence makes him a contributive sort of a knob – attaining high level professional qualifications whilst playing suggests he had a bit of innate determination and grunt right from the jump.

              Next time I see the mates I’ll ask them “That Eddie Jones – he’s a knob I reckon.” and they will likely answer “Eh? Turn it up Mick!”

            • November 13th 2017 @ 8:10am
              PiratesRugby said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

              When will you realise that about Cheika?

        • November 12th 2017 @ 9:30pm
          London Waratah said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

          Yes… his 5 points were a massive pain in the arse.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 3:42pm
        double agent said | November 12th 2017 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

        Cadfael the ref is a kiwi.

        • Roar Guru

          November 12th 2017 @ 7:55pm
          Cadfael said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

          Yes and next year is the RWC. referees are decidedon by WR and how they want the games refereed.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 3:43pm
        Ed said | November 12th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

        The four matches involving the Rugby Championship sides overnight all had southern hemisphere referees.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 4:50pm
        Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

        @ Cadfael

        at least some of the penalties maybe due to the new LAWS , under which the NH have been playing since August ( I think).

        for eg. a toe poke by Romano at the ruck – which is no longer allowed in NH.

        maybe if someone can analyse all the penalties by the infringement – then one could see if there is a problem.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 5:37pm
          soapit said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

          i have a really problem with that one. there was a ruck where there was no one standing in the ruck withe the ball at the back for genia. that is another example of poor play but because theres no one to engage with (you cant hit the half back) theres no legal way for wales to contest the ball anymore (youre not gonna be able to rake it back over three bodies on the ground.)

          • November 12th 2017 @ 5:57pm
            Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

            well that is what they have allow – to heel the ball back onto ur side at ruck , but not toe the ball forwards.

            also does anyone know the Law that governs the ball at the ruck – particularly if the scrum half can toe the ball back into a ruck when it has come out ?

            i saw it done in like 3 different games yesterday and noone i was watching the matches knew what exactly is doable or illegal.

            • November 12th 2017 @ 8:05pm
              soapit said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

              probably not much help but i’ve never seen it pulled up

              wrt the heel the ball back to be clear i know the rule. im saying its a problem because 99% heeling the ball back isnt an option so your left with nothing and the attacking team gets a free ride to clear a ball that they havent really successfully protected.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 8:34pm
                Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

                agreed. but in one Aviva game i saw it done and even the commentary went on to talk about it and explain the new law , which allowed it.

                the most probable chance of it happening is when the defending ruckers manage to push back the attacking ruckers beyond the tackled player .

                the way players go off their feet at ruck now , it is near impossible to do.

                wonder if u can recall a try Akira Ioane scored in one super match for blues , but was later cancelled. it was something simillar , where he went forwards beyond tackled player and then picked up the ball.

                if i remember corect the ref said he handled the ball in a ruck so no try.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 9:11pm
                soapit said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:11pm | ! Report

                really if theres no one over the ball the opposing halfback should be able to play it just as much as the attacking teams one as long as he comes from an onside position

      • November 12th 2017 @ 5:43pm
        Rob Malcolm said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

        Jackson is a Kiwi. Still, no doubt that the refereeing is more pedantic north of the equator.
        3 times table easier than 7 times table.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 11:13am
        PiratesRugby said | November 13th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

        But Jackson and Gardner are from the SH, aren’t they?

    • November 12th 2017 @ 1:03pm
      bennalong said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

      I thought the headline was from the editor but you repeated it later.
      The penalty count had more to do with the referee and linesmen than indiscipline.
      I’m interested you heard Jackson call out to Coleman because I rewatched it three times and didn’t hear it and I didn’t have my head in a ruck. Coleman clearly had his hands on the ball early and clearly it wasn’t released. But Jackson waited and waited until apparently he lost and then attempted to regain his rightful pilfer.
      The rush up defence of the Welsh could have yielded a number of penalties but clearly the police were watching the blokes in yellow a bit more carefully.
      Cheika called them on it God bless his socks.
      International rugby is exciting once again!
      On another tack altogether it was great listening to Gareth Evans again. His love of rugby comes through and he gets off on good play from anyone despite being a proud Welshman.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 11:25pm
        PiratesRugby said | November 13th 2017 @ 11:25pm | ! Report

        I didn’t see any players in yellow Bennalong. My team wears gold.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 1:13pm
      DaveR said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

      Agree with you Malcolm, it was like a schoolboy game with the ref interrupting the game too often, even with adavantage, as if to make sure the rules are obeyed. The first scrum (a penalty) should have been re-set.

      But the howler was the Wales hooker Owens constantly moving a step or a half step off the lineout mark after the line was set. It changes the angle of the throw away from the opposing forwards, and advantages the side throwing in.

      A penalty every time, and not picked up the referee or the linesman, who moved him back onto the mark a few times.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 4:32pm
        Andy said | November 12th 2017 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

        I love coming to this site to get unbiased opinions and reviews on the games, I don’t think the wallabies would have had a team ever get within 30 points of them if the referees did not constantly cheat them

        • November 12th 2017 @ 5:52pm
          Rob Malcolm said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

          The ref is a lightning rod on any rugby website. But you keep coming here. So you come back to this site because you love our banter and to learn something.

          • November 12th 2017 @ 7:48pm
            Andy said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:48pm | ! Report

            Don’t learn that much it’s just amazing that the wallabies have never had the rub of the green, or a decision go their way. But listening to phill kearns and Michael Cheika must sway people’s views somewhat

    • November 12th 2017 @ 3:49pm
      Rugnut said | November 12th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

      Hooper has played better, no doubt. I have bashed him in the past, but when he was binned, I commented that there was one other person that would be missed more and that was Genia.I thought Hooper was the best of the loosies.

      Genia was huge in this game. Really controlled and led well. Deserved MOTM

      McMahon was quiet (probably due to Wales great defence).

      Hannigan isn’t up to this level. I think he pulled off one good tackle down the side line and jumped well. Each time he took the ball up, he slowed the game down for the Welsh to get ready for the next phase.

      Simmons deserves to be on the run on team against the Poms. His combination with Coleman gets better each game.

      Moore is too old. We suffer when TPN goes off

      Outside his try, Beale has been quiet for a few games now. I’m not sure if 12 is a better position for him.

      I definitely don’t believe Kerevi and Kurandrani are a good pair. I would like to see Kerevi at 13 and Hunt at 12 (swapping with Beale)

      Did we miss Folau? Not sure.

      I believe Hodge is too concerned about kicking the ball out which is affecting his distance.

      I love the way Korrebeti chases the kick off and gets his man the majority of the time.

      Lastly, good to see Chieka had a shave and didn’t look the slob he usually does

      Lastly last, nothing in this game would worry Eddie Jones

      • November 12th 2017 @ 4:15pm
        double agent said | November 12th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

        I think we definitely missed Folau.

        • Roar Guru

          November 12th 2017 @ 5:55pm
          Timbo (L) said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

          In what way?
          What skills were deficient?

          • November 12th 2017 @ 6:27pm
            double agent said | November 12th 2017 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

            I was thinking more in terms of line breaks.

          • November 12th 2017 @ 6:30pm
            Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

            auzzy did not attack from deep. all the scoring was from the mistakes wales made inside their 25.

            on the other hand wales scored from an attack from midfield.

            kind of strange , given the welsh defensive line was never straight.

            perhaps auzzy did not need to attack , coz the welsh kept on giving them easy ball inside 25. 🙂

            at one point the tackle count was like 115 : 44 !!! and there was not a single auzzy who made 10 tackles 🙂

            • November 12th 2017 @ 8:49pm
              Connor33 said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

              Watch the 5 phases before the TPN try again and ask whether that was set up from so called auzzy attacking from deep.

            • November 12th 2017 @ 9:04pm
              Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:04pm | ! Report

              i recall there was an intervening penalty somewhere there – but then why spoil a good story , right 😛

        • Roar Guru

          November 12th 2017 @ 6:55pm
          PeterK said | November 12th 2017 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

          certainly missed him in attack, so few clean breaks or defenders beaten, wales only missed 2 tackles.

          Folau nearly always beats the first tackle.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 4:28pm
        Reverse Wheel said | November 12th 2017 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

        Go back and watch Hanigan’s defense.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 4:35pm
          Rugnut said | November 12th 2017 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

          So RW…you believe he should be in the team.

          • November 12th 2017 @ 7:19pm
            Reverse Wheel said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

            Toss up without Dempsey. McCalman would be the other option imo, but he’s still getting back into the swing. I don’t think he’s fantastic or anything, but he’s much better than most give him credit for and he has a big upside.

            • Roar Guru

              November 13th 2017 @ 11:12am
              Timbo (L) said | November 13th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

              Dempsey played 52 minutes of SR this year and got a starting 6. The bar is set pretty low.

              Would probably put Big dog (Ben) at 8 for his Scrum Control and Slide Mad Dog (Seany) out to 6. Or A hybrid: Seany at 8 for a defending Scrum for the Pooper Defence with the roles reversing in a Attacking Scrum.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 4:43pm
          Handles said | November 12th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

          Hannigan made the fewest tackles (8) of any of the starting 6 backrowers.

          • November 12th 2017 @ 7:20pm
            Reverse Wheel said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

            Given that apparently no Aussie made more than 10, I’m not sure that your point is statistically valid.

            • Roar Guru

              November 12th 2017 @ 8:32pm
              Handles said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

              You could argue that it is not statistically significant, but there is no basis to say it is not valid.

              Hooper made 14, McMahon made 10, Coleman made 11. But recall that I didn’t say Hannigan’s defence was bad, it was you suggesting there was something good enough in it to make up for his woeful lack of impact with the ball in hand or at the contest.

              And Navidi made 18, Faletau 12 and Shingler 10. So last place out of 6 backrowers is the point I made, which I would argue is both valid and significant.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 9:28pm
                Reverse Wheel said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

                Yes, I meant significant, couldn’t think of the word at the time. My response was to the OP and my point was that defensively he did much more than one good tackle. I thought he worked hard defensively. Stats don’t tell the whole story.

              • November 13th 2017 @ 10:17pm
                ThugbyFan said | November 13th 2017 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

                I wouldn’t believe everything in the stats. The stats also say that no WB backrower missed a tackle, at this very moment I am watching a replay of the match on bein3. At the 33min:10 sec mark, N.Hanigan completely misses a one-on-one tackle on the Welsh right winger. But give him credit, about the 60th minute he made up for that miss with a great cover tackle on the Welsh #7 on their right sideline, which stopped a promising raid .

                I would agree with everyone else here that Ned played by far his best game. This consensus is mainly because he now runs low with the ball into the tackle and goes to ground immediately, so we see less of him being “rag-dolled” backwards or held up in the maul. So although he makes zero metres the WB suck in tacklers and keep the ball. Hanigan is a decent low tackler, decent in the lineouts So even though other parts of his game are abysmal, the bloke is listening and reducing his weaknesses so he has improved, and gives his all for the whole 80 minutes (though he was subbed at 63 mins in the Wales game).

                I just don’t see Ned as an international quality blindside, but with so many blokes down wounded, it seems he fits the criteria and game plan required by the coach(s). And I’m not convinced that M.Cheika is wedded to Ned as many think. At present if everyone is fit, I think he is 3rd choice blindside. After all once Jack Dempsey and L.Tui got match fit in the RC2017, Cheika was quick to drop Ned right out of the 23. Next year with a greater choice of fit blindsides and locks, plus some newcomers like Rob Valetini.

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