Five talking points from Scotland vs Wallabies

Charlie Lawry Roar Guru

By Charlie Lawry, Charlie Lawry is a Roar Guru

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    The Wallabies were dismantled by Scotland 53-24 at Murrayfield overnight. It was a frantic game that saw the Aussies handicap themselves yet again through ill-discipline. It wasn’t pretty. So, where did it all go wrong?

    1. Sekope sees red, Kurtley yellow
    Australia’s discipline hit a new low this week. As half-time approached, Sekope Kepu went flying into the breakdown. Rather than making a genuine attempt to clean out, he launched his shoulder into the head of a Scottish defender who wasn’t even making a play at the ball. A deserved red card which left the Wallabies with a mountain to climb, having to play more than half the game a man down.

    The tragedy is that it came just as the Aussies were gaining momentum. They’d scored two quick tries, and even the breakdown in question came from a strong Sean McMahon bust. It killed off any hope of a Wallaby win and will have infuriated both captain and coach.

    A late Kurtley Beale foul had no bearing on the result, other than to ice Scotland’s performance with one final try. It also showed, for the second week running, Beale’s willingness (and inability) to plead his innocence in the face of even the most blatant evidence.

    By deliberately bundling the ball out of play, all he did was earn himself a one-minute head-start on Cheika’s inevitable post-match spray.

    Sekope Kepu

    (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

    2. Scotland got off to a flyer
    The home side didn’t wait for a numerical advantage to launch their attack, however. They leapt to a 10-0 lead through enterprising play across the park. The early warning shot came via a rampant rolling maul which gained 35 easy metres before the backs sliced through in midfield, only to knock on with a try begging.

    Scotland looked to outflank Australia at every opportunity, knowing full well that their wingers rush up and in. It looked like Scotland had done their homework and were working to a clear plan. In contrast, the Wallabies were ragged, with very little in the way of a Plan B, and slow to react to errors.

    The chief destroyer for the Scots was winger Byron McGuigan who bumped off tacklers at will and finished with two tries. McGuigan was due to start on the bench, only getting called up due to a late injury to Stuart Hogg. He took his opportunity brilliantly.

    3. Say no Moore (mon amour)
    It’s perhaps a little harsh to call out Stephen Moore in his final game, but it was a sorry old showing from the departing hooker. I mentioned in the match preview that Cheika appeared to bow to sentimentality with his selection over the in-form Tatafu Polota-Nau. And so it proved.

    Moore was off the pace from the outset and shaky at lineout time ‒ normally his bread and butter. He was sluggish in possession and capped it off by playing speed bump for Jamie Bhatti in the second-half, a break which set up a try. Not the way any player wants to go out.

    Thanks for the memories, Steve. But we’ll try to repress this latest one.

    Stephen Moore

    (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

    4. Foley-Kuridrani combo a rare bright spot
    When the Wallabies did get a roll on in the first-half, it was the combination of Bernard Foley and Tevita Kuridrani that most impressed.

    Scotland’s rush defence was disrupting play and the likes of Samu Kerevi and McMahon used as battering rams to make inroads. In order to turn possession into points, Foley first grubbered through close to the line for Kuridrani to dive over.

    The big highlight came a few minutes later when Foley scooted down the touchline, kicked through for himself and, as he was being caught, had the awareness to swivel around and pop a pass to Kuridrani for his second simple finish.

    Things were looking up at that stage. The Wallabies had their noses in front 10-12.

    5. Kicking woes need clarity (along with everything else)
    Throughout the year, we’ve seen kicking duties seesaw between Bernard Foley and Reece Hodge.

    Foley’s boot has been on the fritz for a while now, unreliable when conversions and penalty goals are at a premium. Hodge, meanwhile, has been relegated to long-range efforts and occasional touch-finders.

    There’s definitely an argument to hand both goalkicking and clearance kicks to Hodge full-time. Chopping and changing goalkickers during the match clearly isn’t working. Likewise, Foley’s pop gun clearances are surely not the most effective route out of the 22.

    Are these decisions a symptom of a broader lack of direction? The Wallabies have certainly gone full circle this year from bad, to promising, to actually pretty good, and back to woeful. It’s a startling regression in terms of basic skills, decision-making and execution.

    Cheika has shown he’s a decent motivator and man-manager, but the broader structure and cohesion of the team is in dire need of an overhaul. It’s almost like he cares too much sometimes to make clear, clinical decisions. Either that or the players haven’t listened. If it’s the latter, we’re in real trouble.

    At least it’s all over now. Rest up, fellas. Time to put the cricket on.

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    The Crowd Says (140)

    • November 26th 2017 @ 10:42am
      Roger Ramjet said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

      For gods sake just get rid of Foley find anyone who can kick properly.

      • November 26th 2017 @ 10:53am
        Adsa said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        Foleys pass to no one set up a Scot try, shocker!, such a poor effort should see him cement his place in the Clown show for next year.
        Well played Scotland, you were a joy to watch.

        • Roar Guru

          November 26th 2017 @ 12:31pm
          Mango Jack said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          On the other hand, he set up 2 tries. He certainly was not the reason we lost, to be fair.

          • November 26th 2017 @ 12:38pm
            Fionn said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

            Definitely not.

            He played an okay match other than his kicking and that pass. He set up a few tries and made a good tackle after someone ran over Genia. But we know what we get from Foley, and it isn’t enough. If it still isn’t enough after being the incumbent for 3 years then it never will be.

            Rather like Phipps, if he was going to develop consistency and grow into the role, he surely would have done it by now.

            • November 26th 2017 @ 6:16pm
              Cuw said | November 26th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

              what u guys need to worry about is not Foley – but a lack of another 10 in case he goes down.

              at least u know what u get from Foley – but what do u know of the next 10? or even who the next 10 is??

              almost all other countries can name at least 2 guys who are fly halfs – and they have experience at 10.

              u are like Samoa …. but at least TNW can play.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 8:43pm
                Fionn said | November 26th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                Cuw, I’d prefer Lealiifano, Lance and Cooper, so while I would feel bad for him if he was injured I would not be particularly worried for the Wallabies if he did go down.

          • November 27th 2017 @ 10:51am
            Marto said | November 27th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

            Foley is inept at 10 .What was the final score Mango.? Keep jogging mate,you`ll get there one day.

      • Roar Guru

        November 26th 2017 @ 11:09am
        Lano said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

        Russel showed how desperately we need a no. 10 playmaker.

      • November 26th 2017 @ 8:21pm
        Noodles said | November 26th 2017 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

        I’m assuming that the England match and Scotland are about immaturity. England a game we should have won and didn’t have the mindset. Scotland a game where, as Cheika said, players clocked off early.
        Hopefully the whole squad will be getting some messages about focus and persistence.
        After a year of mixed results and a big expansion in depth of possible talent I’m expecting a more settled and consistent selection next year and a much more solid consistency in each 80mins.
        Now for the beach.

    • November 26th 2017 @ 10:46am
      Gewurtz said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      Will Australian rugby ever come back?

      • Roar Pro

        November 26th 2017 @ 11:45am
        GusTee said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        Of course it will – but only once Cameron Clyne stands down and lets a rugby oriented Chairman take control of a rugby orientated board.

        It all starts at the top.

    • November 26th 2017 @ 10:47am
      soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

      i’ll throw a leftfield suggestion in there. should there be a greater penalty for yellow card offences in the final 10 minutes? automatic penalty try for example?

      • November 26th 2017 @ 11:03am
        Dave_S said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

        soapit do you mean because the offender doesn’t serve the full 10min sentence?

        • November 26th 2017 @ 11:07am
          soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

          yeah exactly. 2 mins to go 5 behind theres not really much disincentive to give away a professional penalty

          • November 26th 2017 @ 11:37am
            Jacko said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

            A lot can happen in 2 mins when you are a man down

            What if the offence was committed in the 22 of the opposition…march them up and give a penalty try???? No thanks

            • November 26th 2017 @ 6:51pm
              soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

              yep,on average a fifth of what can happen in 10 tho.

          • November 26th 2017 @ 11:50am
            Dave_S said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

            True but I think penalty try is too harsh if the offence itself doesn’t otherwise warrant it.

            Don’t know what the answer is tho.

            maybe the offending player has to swap shirts and play for the other side 😉

            • November 26th 2017 @ 11:57am
              soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

              to be fair its not really a problem many are screaming for a solution to. doeskinda give a bit more free reign to be cynical right at the point when teams are going for the win tho.

              you could remove the number of players required for the 10 mins to be served so if theres 2 mins to go theyve gotta get 10 / 2 = 5 players off.

            • November 26th 2017 @ 12:01pm
              soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

              or on a more realistic note perhaps the team infringed against has the option of extending the game the extra minutes so they get benefit for the full 10.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 1:12pm
                Jerry said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                Both of those seem like overkill, it’s just a fact of life that some calls are more or less impactful depending on when they happen. I’d say a yellow card with 7 minutes to play is likely to have more impact than one that happens 7 minutes after the game begins for instance.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 1:57pm
                soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

                nah disagree. most other calls are worth the same in black and white terms no matter when they happen.

                i also be interested in why you think your final point is the case

                i still dont reckon a few extra minutes would be that much of a big deal to compensate for the missing minutes. in your 7 minute one it would only be three for example

              • November 26th 2017 @ 2:42pm
                Dave_S said | November 26th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

                ”perhaps the team infringed against has the option of extending the game the extra minutes so they get benefit for the full 10“

                Yes, good option if they’re losing.

                Similarly, if the offended-against team is ahead, they get to call full time? Maybe a bit too creative …

              • November 26th 2017 @ 3:07pm
                soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                hmm calling full time would be too much for me. if ur ahead id think prnslty and yc is enough and if you happen to fall behind maybe you can play on.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 8:08pm
                Jerry said | November 26th 2017 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

                Fatigue basically. Teams are often in a feeling out process at the start of the game, but at the death that extra man can be a much bigger deal.

                But take a last minute penalty or try call. If it’s in the final 2 minutes of a close game it gives the other team very little (or no) time to try and rectify the situation. Some calls take on more or less importance depending on when they occur. I don’t think anything needs to be done about this.

              • November 27th 2017 @ 5:56am
                soapit said | November 27th 2017 @ 5:56am | ! Report

                yep ive discussed this time to respond thing with you previously and im still not a fan. points are points

        • November 26th 2017 @ 1:48pm
          aussikiwi said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

          The red card is even more unfair. A red carding in the first five mins (think Warburton) is massively more severe than the punishment for the same offence in the last minute. Not that this would encourage red card offences but it seems unfair (some would say luck of the draw, i know) and has ruined a few games.

          Maybe teams should be allowed to bring on a sub after 10 mins. Still reduces the bench so there is a detriment for the rest of the game.

          • November 26th 2017 @ 2:00pm
            soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

            true, tho at least a red card has the tribunal to think about no matter when it happens

            • November 26th 2017 @ 3:58pm
              aussikiwi said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

              True, i was thinking more of the impact on the team.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 6:53pm
                soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

                yep with you, i dont have any brainwaves to fix the red card thing unfortunately tho.

          • November 26th 2017 @ 9:01pm
            Greg said | November 26th 2017 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

            The spectators pay a price to go and see a game of Rugy, and in the first few minutes you lose a player for the whole game is annoying.

            I think a penalty try for a red card.
            With a kick out front.

            Yellow card, 10 mins.

      • Roar Guru

        November 26th 2017 @ 11:59am
        PeterK said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:59am | ! Report

        don’t agree a penalty try.

        However what about 2 players get sent off instead of 1 if it is a yc in last 5-10 mins, in last 5 mins 3 players get sent off.

        • November 26th 2017 @ 12:03pm
          soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

          yeah not a bad way (and the basis of my other zany suggestion above), little bit tricky to manage the complexity is all and always think simpler is better with rugby rules. if tit happened i would probably cap it at 2 as three off is a massive call for any ref to make

          • Roar Guru

            November 26th 2017 @ 12:12pm
            PeterK said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

            nah, players just wouldn’t give a yc away in last 5 even if it cost a try by not doing so.

            • November 26th 2017 @ 1:58pm
              soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

              ffor them to become afraid a ref would have to step up and enforce it first tho

              • November 26th 2017 @ 2:38pm
                Dave_S said | November 26th 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

                an unintended consequence might be a reluctance of refs to give the YC (or give it as readily) if they know 2 players will go off.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 3:08pm
                soapit said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                yeah agree, and moreso for 3 players

    • November 26th 2017 @ 10:52am
      Rusty743 said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      “At least its all over now, rest up fellas” – the saddest thing about that statement it is exactly how I feel. I hope the absence of rugby doesn’t erase the need for change!

    • Roar Guru

      November 26th 2017 @ 10:55am
      Mango Jack said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      I think it was more a case of poor execution from Beale. He over ran the ball and tried to scoop it in with his left hand but had no chance of pulling it off. The result was that it clearly looked like he was pushing the ball into touch, so you can’t blame the officials for the YC. Having said that, I think it’s another silly rule. I don’t see why a player can’t push the ball out of play if they get there first, as they can in league.

      • November 26th 2017 @ 11:56am
        Andy said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

        Didn’t hear you a fortnight back when SBW was done for the same thing

        • Roar Guru

          November 26th 2017 @ 12:36pm
          Mango Jack said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

          Sorry Andy, I don’t have time to comment on all games mate. I didn’t see that game, but heard about it and If it was the same situation, my opinion applies equally.

          • November 26th 2017 @ 12:54pm
            Taylorman said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

            Yeah agree, in League it looks fine, the thing to do. No dramas, situation resolved, start again.

            In rugby? Oh the over the top unnecessary drama..’he threw it out, you cant do that! ‘

            Its one of rugbys few embarrassments.

            • November 26th 2017 @ 2:54pm
              Dave_S said | November 26th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

              I have felt for a while that rugby has too many penalties, and too many games in which it strongly influences the result.

              I accept that it’s a relatively complex game, hence many opportunities to infringe. There should be a project to remove as many relatively inconsequential infringements as possible.

              Both that example and the deliberate knock down could be done away with.

              It also annoys me that you can openly milk a penalty with a dominant scrum. If it’s not a deliberate collapse in a pushover try situation, why give a penalty just because one side is not as skilled or physically adept? A dominant scrum is already advantageous. In commerce it would be boardeline unconscionable conduct to force a competitor to infringe. In policing, it’s entrapment.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 6:21pm
                double agent said | November 26th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

                Agree Dave.

            • November 26th 2017 @ 6:22pm
              Cuw said | November 26th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

              “he threw it out, you cant do that! ‘”

              u mean :

              he threw it out ; but was he there? what if he was not there? where will the trajectory of the ball end up?

              LOl suddenly we are back in math class … 😛

      • Roar Rookie

        November 26th 2017 @ 3:27pm
        Kirky said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

        Mango!! Beale did that on purpose as I replayed that sequence three times and it’s blatantly obvious that it was deliberate, ~ The guy’s a liability and it costs the team, he had three attempts at intercepts and missed them all, stupid stuff and the very thing that was costing the Wallabies, ~ Beale did nothing of note all game!

        Get rid of him!!

        • November 26th 2017 @ 3:59pm
          moaman said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

          Agree slap down was deliberate.
          Disagree he did “nothing of note all game”
          Thought he had very good game.

          • November 26th 2017 @ 4:04pm
            Fionn said | November 26th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

            He was pretty good other than being suspect under the high ball at times.

            • Roar Guru

              November 27th 2017 @ 12:16pm
              Hoy said | November 27th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

              Boy, I thought he was dreadful. I think Beale has to learn to stay planted… just about every kick he attempts to catch he leaps for, and it bounces out… terrible catcher… simply has not improved in game situations.

              He slotted into first receiver and did nothing but either turn it over, or pass to somene right next to him who then got smashed…

              He did actually get to the ball close to the line this time, but I am about 90% that he deliberately knocked it out… his protestations were pretty poor.

              Two weeks or poor play from Beale, when we were all singing his praises earlier this year. Big dip in form from him.

        • November 27th 2017 @ 7:47pm
          steve said | November 27th 2017 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

          yes but how many times has he made intercepts and gone on to score. A lot. I don’t mind if he trys and misses. its the rub of the game. @kirky I am sure you are one of the Roarers asking for Quade to come back.

    • November 26th 2017 @ 10:58am
      Mark said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

      The selection of coach favourites who are a liability is our weakness. Pick the best team on form and we will perform much better.

      • Roar Pro

        November 26th 2017 @ 11:42am
        GusTee said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report


      • Roar Guru

        November 26th 2017 @ 12:37pm
        Mango Jack said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        And that team is ….?

        • November 26th 2017 @ 1:30pm
          Ruckin Oaf said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

          NOT the one running around last night.

          • Roar Guru

            November 26th 2017 @ 2:53pm
            Mango Jack said | November 26th 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

            I don’t think that’s good enough. Fine, criticise the selections but without saying who you think would do a better job, and why, it’s meaningless.

            • November 26th 2017 @ 2:56pm
              Dave_S said | November 26th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

              Agree. A big chunk of our best possible team simply was unavailable.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 4:02pm
                Cynical Play said | November 26th 2017 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

                The RC team was building and getting god performances culminating in that excellent Bled 3. Then we lost Folau, Tui, Dempsey, and others which, in my view, cruelled the team (thanks Baa Baa game). Going to Europe with a changed backline and numerous top pick forwards unavailable, couple with poor selections of Moore, Phipps, etc and the dropping form of Beale, Hodge, who both had pretty forgettable tours, on the end of a very long season (SR pre-season from February). with the injury to Coleman, goes some way to explaining why the back half of the tour was so disappointing.As soon as Folau pulled out, Cheiak must have been wondering as it forced a quantum change to the attacking structure which had taken so long to come good.

                All credit to Scotland though. On that performance, at that stadium, on that night, in that mood, who knows wether even the ABs would have got over them.

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