Cheik-mated! Wallabies end 2017 with meek surrender

Spiro Zavos Columnist

By Spiro Zavos, Spiro Zavos is a Roar Expert

 , ,

178 Have your say

Popular article! 6,763 reads

    What an upset! The Wallabies were Cheik-mated at Murrayfield by a speedy, clever, athletic and well-coached Scotland side that played with the flair and efficiency of some of the great Australian sides of  past years.

    Scotland, bless them, played as if their players had learnt their rugby in Coogee or Manly. There was the northern hemisphere embellishment of the occasional devastating rolling maul by Scotland to keep the Wallabies honest. But even when this tactic was used, it was intended to set up tries, in the southern hemisphere fashion, rather than penalty kicks at goal.

    The 53–24 lost to Scotland represents the worst overseas defeat of an Australian Test side, outside of New Zealand, since the Springboks gave the Wallabies a 53–8 thrashing in 2008.

    It is also the worst defeat inflicted on the Wallabies by Scotland since the two sides first played a Test against each other in 1908. And to make the victory even more painful for Australian rugby, the eight tries conceded were most the Wallabies have ever given up to Scotland.

    There was an element of end-of-tour fatigue, mental and physical, in the final capitulation, admittedly in the leaden-footed and slow-thinking way the Wallabies played.

    While the Wallabies were fresh they were competitive, without being totally convincing. Scotland scored two tries in the first half, then a further six in the second.

    Before Sekope Kepu was sent off with a red card in the 35th minute, the scoreline was 12–10 to the Wallabies. But it was not a convincing lead. Both the Wallabies’ tries in the first half came within four minutes, in the 34th and 38th minute of play.

    Virtually immediately after the second try by Tevita Kuridrani, the Wallabies conceded a second try to Scotland to go 12–17 behind.

    Immediately after half-time, playing with 14 men, the Wallabies set up a brilliant 20-phase attack that resulted in a try scored by Kurtley Beale. Bernard Foley missed the relatively easy conversion.

    But with the scoreline standing at 17–17 this was the last moment that the Wallabies were in the Test.

    Between the 46th and 61st minutes, the Wallabies conceded three tries and saw the scoreline soar to 39–17. The Test was effectively over.

    Right at the end of match, after forcing a try of their own by Lopeti Timani, the Wallabies then conceded two further tries that created a 53–24 scoreline that will become iconic in the annals of Scottish rugby.

    Wallaby fly-half Bernard Foley lines up a kick at goal

    (Photo by Tim Anger)

    It is difficult to play with only 14 men for 45 minutes in a Test. But it was made more difficult for the Wallabies because of their lack of intensity on attack and defence and a general inability to choose the correct plays at the correct times.

    The surrender of two tries in the last minutes of the Test, along with a similar surrender against England the week earlier, is a trend that suggests a lack of mental strength in this current side, a worrying sign going into 2018.

    What is hard to accept with this scoreline, too, is that it was achieved by Scotland playing the traditional Australian ball-in-hand game in a manner that has only been played occasionally by Wallaby sides as splendidly as Scotland did since the glory days of Stephen Larkham and George Gregan.

    I mention Larkham and Gregan because the Australian game has only flourished when the Wallabies had gifted halves, a line that started in modern times with Ken Catchpole and Phil Hawthorne and then Nick Farr-Jones and Mark Ella.

    The difference between a gifted number ten, particularly, and a goodish number ten was exemplified with the play of Finn Russell, who was brilliant for Scotland, and Bernard Foley, who was at best steady for the Wallabies.

    Russell invariably set up plays or ran himself to create challenges that the dodgy Wallabies defensive system found increasingly difficult to deal with.

    It was noticeable, for instance, how flat Russell played, how he ran at the line with the ball in two hands and how, when the Wallabies were a man down, he exploited the lack of back cover with a couple of deft, tantalising kicks into the open spaces in backfield.

    Why hasn’t Australian rugby produced a number ten like Russell for over a decade?

    One of the great disappointments, so far, of Stephen Larkham’s stint as an assistant coach of the Wallabies has been the lack of development in Foley’s play. Somehow the master has not been able to impart the skills he had in his glory days to the apprentice in his care.

    The blame, presumably, belongs to both men.

    Current Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham

    (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

    The Scottish backline ran terrific lines. They had several plays, with dummy runners, that totally flummoxed the Wallabies defence. These plays looked as if they had come out of the old Randwick playbook in the days of the Galloping Greens.

    The weight and timing of the Scotland passes, with the ball invariably being in front of the catcher, provided a lesson to the Wallabies about how passing correctly is the key to running rugby, and to winning rugby.

    By way of contrast, the Wallabies tended to pass too high, often behind the runner or directly at their body. The result was that even when they tried to mount an attack it degenerated into a stop (waiting for the pass) and then go sort of attack which too often was easily killed off.

    What can we make of all this?

    Michael Cheika was cagey in his analysis, even though he couldn’t resist having a little dig at the rugby media. He told journalists after the Test: “We just need to take that extra little step to maturity and we did a lot of good things this season despite what some of you guys think in particular. I’m really proud of the team. I know it didn’t go well for us today.”


    (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    To be fair, the Wallabies did record a victory against the All Blacks. But in the 14 Tests they played this season, they have won only seven. This is not the record of a team that is improving very much at all.

    It is not a record that a team aspiring to win the Rugby World Cup in 2019 should present.

    To my mind, the generally lacklustre season produced by the Wallabies raises a lot of questions about the coaching and selecting of the side. And this, in turn, raises the further question whether Australian rugby is making the best use of the rugby intelligence and creativity that this country produces.

    The fact of the matter is that the best rugby brains produced within Australia are not involved in Australian rugby.

    One of the interesting aspects of Scotland’s famous victory is the part played in it by Australians, with some help from a couple of New Zealanders.

    The main New Zealander is Vern Cotter, the craggy, taskmaster coach who pulled Scotland from virtual extinction as a rugby power before handing over to Gregor Townsend to add the polish to a team that was no longer one of the easybeats of world rugby.

    A second New Zealander, Dave Rennie, the successful coach of the Chiefs recently, has been coaching Glasgow. A lot of the attitude of instilled in the rampant Glasgow team by Rennie has flowed into this Scotland side.

    Gregor Townsend himself, like Clive Woodward before him, spent some time in grade rugby in Sydney.

    A fine running number ten himself, Townsend has embraced the traditional Sydney style of running rugby that was invented by Arthur Cooper ‘Johnnie’ Wallace, a Waratah in the 1920s, who, in the words of Jack Pollard, “was an incomparable tactician who had a marked influence on running rugby in Scotland and Australia.”

    Wallace played Tests for Scotland and Australia in the 1920s, a period when both sides played terrific running rugby. With Australia/New South Wales (the Queensland rugby union did not exist at the time) in 1921, Wallace was the running number ten who sparked a wonderful 17–0 victory at Christchurch.

    It is ironic that it is a Scottish coach, Gregor Townsend, who has embraced the Wallace/Waratahs style of ensemble rugby.

    Townsend was helped in the coaching box on Saturday night by an assistant coach, Matt Taylor, who was the defence coach for the Reds when they won their Super Rugby title.

    The director of rugby in Scotland is Scott Johnson, a long-time Sydney player with a penchant for innovative thinking about rugby. Johnson had a period of time coaching with the Wallabies under John Connolly. But more recently he has been the brains behind getting the personnel in the coaching box and on the field to make Scotland a rugby power again, after a couple of decades of stagnation.

    Now here is a task for Ben Whitaker, the High Performance manager for Rugby Australia. Why has Scotland progressed more in the last two years than the Wallabies?

    If I were asked this question I would look closely at two aspects of Michael Cheika’s coaching and managing style that seemingly prevent him from assembling the best Australian team, on and off the field.

    Aspect one: Cheika is far too easy on his players.

    The attitude that “we just need to take that little step of maturity” is nonsense in the context of a thrashing from Scotland.

    Sekope Kepu

    (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

    Sekope Kepu is one of the most experienced Wallabies in the squad. He is also immune, apparently, from mature play. His senseless shoulder charge on the Scottish flanker Hamish Watson deserved a red card.

    You could read what Kepu was trying to do. Watson was making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown and Kepu tried to smash him. When I saw the reckless way Kepu went into his charge I was reminded of how he put on several head-high charges on Dan Carter in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.

    Remarkably, Cheika defended Kepu. “He’s got no intent to take the player in the head,” Cheika told disbelieving journalists after the match. “The player when you watch him, his back legs slips underneath him, so he gets lower … lower than where Kepu is aiming …”

    Tom Decent, the Sydney Morning Herald’s journalist at the Test, reported on this nonsense: “Although Cheika tried to claim Watson fell before contact was made, replays suggested otherwise.”

    Kepu, 31, is never going to get out of his habit of smashing in the head of opponents if Cheika continues to defend this indefensible way of playing.

    This inability to be tough on his players when tough love is required is matched by Cheika’s tendency to rely too heavily on mates to help him in the coaching of the Wallabies.

    A case in point was the appointment of “one of his best mates,” Patrick Molihan as the Wallabies manager.

    Molihan is the chap who sits beside Cheika in the coaches box. In the past, but not against Scotland, Molihan is the person who has exhibited the same contorted body language as Cheika when refereeing decisions have gone against the Wallabies.

    But why is Molihan in the coaches box in the first place? Why are Stephen Larkham and the other coaches sitting in front of the box and not beside Cheika?

    Why doesn’t Cheika sit with his coaches rather than Molihan, as Steve Hansen does with his coaches?

    Cheika needs an independent voice in the Wallabies coaching set up to balance his tendency to rely too heavily on mates. This independent voice should be the appointment of a selector rather like Grant Fox for the All Blacks.

    The selector I would nominate is Mark Ella.

    Right now, without someone like Ella to provide fearless advice, Cheika is not being challenged enough on his selections and the way the Wallabies are playing.

    And these two factors, as the thrashing that Scotland handed out to the Wallabies indicates, are creating a scenario where the Wallabies will move down the ranking ladder next year while Scotland and Ireland (with David Nucifora as their High Performance manager) more into the top tier rankings.

    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.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

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

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (178)

    • November 27th 2017 @ 7:29am
      woodart said | November 27th 2017 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      late game collapses say a lot about mental toughness. its one thing to lose while fighting back, but to let in easy tries at the end of the game isnt good.

      • November 27th 2017 @ 9:36am
        Fiji said | November 27th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        The Fiji Wallabies are a failure. Complete overhaul of the team needed.

        • Roar Guru

          November 27th 2017 @ 10:18am
          Jokerman said | November 27th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          Really awesome thoughts, Spirio. Nice detail too, and I agree Australia are drifting and cannot hit the peak and remain in brilliance at the top. They’re not heading there either, not with the details you’ve outlined, Spiro.

          When Cheika comes into the cream of the cream he becomes vulnerable. He cannot handle the brilliance he faces. He goes into fighting mode: reactive, threatened. And this seems to trigger his weakness – blaming, a past we he had to fight to get ahead. Every master learns – stop fighting. But Cheika is still not there and his weaknesses I’ve always talked about remain and trickles into the rest of the team.

          Mongrel with no discipline, and under pressure that is amplified. That is Cheika under Pressure, and that is Australia in moments.

          7 from 14 is okay but you get the feeling they are plateauing at the mid range of 4-5 world ranking, with little prospects of breaking into the cream of cream and being a 1 or 2 ranking team.

          Cheika’s looking for the portal to take him to the top but it’s escaping him. He’s looking and his tools, his past find him no opening.

        • Roar Guru

          November 27th 2017 @ 2:15pm
          stillmissit said | November 27th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

          I would suggest that a watch of the 30 min video interview with Nick Farr-Jones would be instructive at this point.

          The whole mess is based on lousy administration, desperate moves combined with a flavour of PC life, coaching that seems to be having zero impact on the poor basics the Wallabies exhibit, a head coach who seems not to want the assistant coaches or any advice really.

          To top it off, a bunch of players who are under little pressure, providing they are one of Cheika’s brood ie Nick Phipps (one of the worst half backs I have seen in nearly 40 years of watching the Wallabies.). What is happening strikes me that Cheika has surrounded himself with a bunch of yes men and Waratahs. I am amazed that Larkham is still there. Desperate times call for measures that are designed to take a calculated chance on a major change.

          One of the things I dislike about poor managers is the constant whine of ‘we are almost there’, ‘ it takes time to build a good team’, ‘there are some really good things happening but the team requires X” – It is all BS to cover up incompetentance.

          Was Robbie Deans so bad compared to this? I would say he is twice the coach Cheika is.

          • Roar Guru

            November 27th 2017 @ 3:09pm
            Jokerman said | November 27th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

            Deans is like Helen Clark (NZ PM, nine years) you miss them once they’re gone. Now we have a 37 female – so sweet !!

            Deans was fine. He found the brilliance but he always has so much resistance from all parts of Australia. He got you to number two in the world consistently but he was always criticised.

            You can’t help wonder what he could have achieved if he had more support.

            He seemed to create world class players. He had little depth. But your starting backline was pretty lethal going into the RWC ‘11.

            Wow doesn’t time go so fast?! Two world cups gone just like that. Indeed time is fastening. 😉

            • November 27th 2017 @ 5:45pm
              Lesley Kelly said | November 27th 2017 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

              The trouble here as you imply is Deans got them to number two and had better results and he did.The ARU seem to only want an Australian which is partly why Deans went.It is a mistake , get the best coach you can no matter where he comes from .Other teams ,especially Northern hemisphere ones are not averse to having a coach from another country because they want the best and to win.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 27th 2017 @ 6:00pm
                piru said | November 27th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

                The Crusaders have just signed Ronan O’Gara as a coach.

                This is the franchise that gave us Andrew Mehrtens and Daniel Carter – if they can be open minded enough to cross borders for the best coaches then anyone can.

              • November 27th 2017 @ 6:22pm
                Cuw said | November 27th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

                @ piru

                i think NZ teams in general have been open to cross-cultural exchanges.

                Canterbury for eg. had Nathan Earle from England , who is now on the Sarries wing. they also have Ollie Jager from Ireland.

                Cheifs had Matt Symons 2nd rower at the height of their powers. he played for Canterbury also. this year Chiefs have Canada 8 Tylor Ardron signed up and played for BOP.

                Jap Tanaka was at Otago and Highlanders. think even James Haskell was there sometime ago.

              • November 28th 2017 @ 7:04am
                Bakkies said | November 28th 2017 @ 7:04am | ! Report

                Deans lost it when his side was hammered by Samoa and got outwrestled by Scotland at home. He made big selection errors too. Not calling up Giteau and George Smith to the 2011 RWC was a mistake. Particularly Giteau as Pat McCabe’s shoulder injury wasn’t good and he had a fit replacement ready. He would have also provided assistance for Cooper who was struggling as he tended to do in NZ.

                Less said about O’Connor at 10 against the Lions the better.

              • November 28th 2017 @ 7:37am
                Garry said | November 28th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

                Deans had to go because of the long list of his failings, many of the same failings that Cheika is repeating, including selecting players out of position, and an inability to drop under performers. Deans was so bad , that there were suspicions that he was a mole for the NZRU.

                Cheika’s performance is so bad that it is making Deans tenure seem better than it was.

                Cheika has inherited some of Deans’ garbage, including some of the squad that have a princess attitude.

                When Deans went, I’d hoped we never repeated hiring an non-Oz coach again. Right about now, I’d be open to a coach of quality from anywhere? Thanks Cheika for opening my eyes.

              • November 28th 2017 @ 12:59pm
                Harry said | November 28th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

                “Deans was so bad , that there were suspicions that he was a mole for the NZRU.”

                Wow. Pass around the tin foil hats mate. And let me get this straight, Cheika has inherited Dean’s mess? Wasn’t Link in there somewhere too? Or was the mess that Deans made so big that, four years after he was forced out, the combined forces of the ARU and 2 subsequent Wallaby coaches can’t sort it out?

                Ironically, you are mimicking the exact same attitude the article implies is holding Australian rugby back, i.e. a refusal to face facts and take responsibility.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 28th 2017 @ 1:06pm
                piru said | November 28th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                Deans was so bad , that there were suspicions that he was a mole for the NZRU

                Not from anyone reasonable there weren’t

            • November 27th 2017 @ 10:59pm
              Worlds Biggest said | November 27th 2017 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

              A starting backline featuring Pat McCabe and Ant Faiangia was far from lethal ! Possibly one of the most pedestrian centre combos for a long time. Dingo did a solid job overall however like Cheika he also made selection howlers, see above centre pairing, no back up for Pocock at 2011 RWC, O’Connor at 5/8 for the Lions series was right up there for complete madness.

              All coaches have Pets but Cheika selecting the likes of Mumm, Hannigan, Phipps, Robertson and Moore has been staggering which has cost him plenty of games. Spiro is right, Cheika surrounds himself with yes men and isn’t challenged by anyone. It’s his way or the highway. The Scots are a good team but that second half was embarrassing. The players most notably Kepu should have been torn a new one. The message should have been, ’ kep you let the whole team down and all Wallas fans, as for the rest of you, have a good hard think in the off season how much playing for your country means to you ‘

        • November 27th 2017 @ 4:47pm
          StuM said | November 27th 2017 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

          I agree Fiji.. Let’s dump the Fijians.

          • November 28th 2017 @ 4:05pm
            Killaku said | November 28th 2017 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

            But you will suck even more if you get rid of the Fijians

      • November 28th 2017 @ 9:22am
        Ryan said | November 28th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        Hang in there Australia – she’ll be right. I say give Cheika until at least the next RWC minimum.

      • November 29th 2017 @ 5:00pm
        Marlin said | November 29th 2017 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

        plus the bench didn’t add much…

    • November 27th 2017 @ 7:44am
      Selector said | November 27th 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      Cheika needs to be harder on his players and harder on himself. I agree wholeheartedly that an independent selector should be brought in.

      Last week loss to England I would have sent a message to my captain after another yellow card.
      Beale obviously did not learn from his lesson against England.

      I am hoping for a vastly different Wallabies squad in 2018 Cheika just needs to step back, watch all the games again and then realise that several players are not up to the standard of Test rugby.

    • November 27th 2017 @ 7:45am
      Kangajets said | November 27th 2017 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      Was this an upset result? I don’t think so

      • November 27th 2017 @ 8:25am
        Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | November 27th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        It was upsetting for me, Kangajets.?

        • Roar Guru

          November 27th 2017 @ 10:35am
          Jokerman said | November 27th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

          Cheika’s hit the twilight zone. He’s trying to enter the Zen with disquitude. The Zen spits him out, and Cheika is left wondering.

          Enter the Zen, Ken !!

          • November 27th 2017 @ 7:10pm
            Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | November 27th 2017 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

            Jokerman, not for the first time you have left me speechless.

      • November 27th 2017 @ 5:24pm
        double agent said | November 27th 2017 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

        The size of the loss was unexpected for sure. Wallabies were 1.60 favourites.

        • November 27th 2017 @ 10:31pm
          Nomad said | November 27th 2017 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

          Yeah I couldn’t believe that Scotland was paying close to $3.00 on most websites after how well they pushed the darkness. So I had to take some of that action. Just goes to show most punters bet on patriotism… What they want to happen… Not what will happen, based on form.
          I placed a smaller bet on Sotland to upset the ABs as well once Reid was out, but in that case the long odds were mostly based on history, 110 years and no wins, rather than current form.

          • November 28th 2017 @ 7:30pm
            double agent said | November 28th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

            They were 1.60 in the UK.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 27th 2017 @ 7:47am
      K.F.T.D. said | November 27th 2017 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      Thanks Spiro for answering the question as to who the Mini Me is sitting next to Chieka who mimics and follows him around like a pet dog. It speaks volumes as to how Chieka has probably surrounded himself with “yes” people, including his favourite players , who are the constant in this team that have set new lows.

      • Roar Guru

        November 28th 2017 @ 7:40pm
        Machpants said | November 28th 2017 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

        Including watching Cheika, then covering his face just like him, during the England match. It was bizarre

        • December 2nd 2017 @ 6:18pm
          ironawe said | December 2nd 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

          Yes! This was so cringeworthy I could hardly watch. Sycophant team manager who’d rather spend time fluffing the coaches ego than down with the team. I bet he ran a bath for Chieks after the game.

    • November 27th 2017 @ 7:50am
      Buk said | November 27th 2017 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      Because of Cheika’s seemingly genuine defence/explanation of Kepu’s actions, I went back to watch replays of the incident.
      Failed to see any ‘slipped’ at all. Makes one wonder if Cheika deliberately instructed this sort of play, as that seems the only logical reason for him to then go spin-doctoring away from reality.

      • Roar Guru

        November 27th 2017 @ 8:08am
        Harry Jones said | November 27th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

        There was also the nonsensical excuse for Folau’s hairpull. Why not just own up to it: “We got it wrong; we’ll do better.”

        • November 27th 2017 @ 2:32pm
          Drongo said | November 27th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

          Get over it Harry, it was an accident. Folau did not aim to pull his hair. If the guy wants to take the field with that hairstyle he can expect the occassional pull on the chord. Is that the 10th time you have posted that comment?

          • Roar Rookie

            November 27th 2017 @ 3:10pm
            Don said | November 27th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

            Ease up Drongo.
            In your comment you have acknowledged that Folau pulled the guy’s hair, albeit by accident.

            Cheika actually denied that it happened despite all the video evidence confirmed it did.

            It was like Baghdad Bob on TV denying there were American soldiers in Baghdad during gulf war 1 when they were only a few blocks away from him and their bombs were going off nearby.

          • Roar Guru

            November 27th 2017 @ 3:35pm
            Jokerman said | November 27th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

            Easy for you to say, Harry. You don’t have trichophila (aroused and addicted to hair)!! Poor Folau he can’t help himself. But pulling hair?! And the coach supports it?!

            Oranges on the park at half time. Taping their mouths up at practise. You have to realise, Harry these guys aren’t normal!!

            • Roar Guru

              November 27th 2017 @ 4:03pm
              Machooka said | November 27th 2017 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

              Trichophilla… I’m sure I’ve smoked some of that stuff.

              • Roar Guru

                November 27th 2017 @ 5:19pm
                Jokerman said | November 27th 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

                Haha Chook. Newtown is full of it! Wellington suburb very similar to the Newtown Sydney. I was there today. Flowing through. Crazy catz everywhere.

                Hope you’re well Chookstar !

              • November 27th 2017 @ 9:43pm
                Cuw said | November 27th 2017 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

                i think it is Trichophilia.

                these kind of things end with “..lia”

            • November 28th 2017 @ 9:25am
              Ryan said | November 28th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

              Joker – you sound like Winston re Key!

          • Roar Guru

            November 27th 2017 @ 6:03pm
            Timbo (L) said | November 27th 2017 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

            You can’t sling a player by the collar either.

            Rubbish Technique by a player with a well established rubbish defense loved by the proles because he can fill a highlights reel.

        • Roar Guru

          November 27th 2017 @ 3:17pm
          Jokerman said | November 27th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

          It looks to me Falau has hair fetishism. It’s a psychological issue.

      • November 27th 2017 @ 9:36am
        Ben said | November 27th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        Instructed to do so…..i believe so.
        Kepu and Skelton never used to be cheapshot merchants until Cheika took over.

        • November 27th 2017 @ 2:47pm
          Cliff (Bishkek) said | November 27th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

          Sorry Ben, Skelton was always a cheap shot merchant even before he made the Wallabies. He seems to have changed his ways in England but in Australia he was always on the edge as a thug!!

          • November 27th 2017 @ 9:45pm
            Cuw said | November 27th 2017 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

            Skelton is living upto his name – they said he has lost 17kg at sarries.

    • November 27th 2017 @ 8:07am
      Ruckin Oaf said | November 27th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Is it Larkham’s idea to put Beale in at first receiver

    , ,