Bernard Foley, Jonathan Sexton, and Marius van der Westhuizen hold the key to rugby Test

David Lord Columnist

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    There were only five penalties in rugby league’s Origin 1 on Wednesday night, but buckle up for 25-30 penalties at Suncorp tomorrow night through the whistle of Marius van der Westhuizen.

    The South African has control of the first of three Tests between the Wallabies and Ireland that brings in two of the world’s best rugby sharpshooters head-to-head – Wallaby Bernard Foley, and Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton.

    Foley has chalked up 543 points from 55 Tests, at an average of 9.87 points a game, while Sexton has scored 683 points from 79 for an 8.64 average.

    The breakdown shows the Wallabies are more likely to score tries, with Foley converting 106, to Sexton’s 88.

    But Sexton clearly leads the successful penalty count by landing 150 to Foley’s 86.

    Ireland's fly half Jonny Sexton kicks a penalty

    (AFP PHOTO / IAN MACNICOL)

    With van der Westhuizen a renowned penalty giver, that stat should prove to the Wallabies to remain disciplined tomorrow night, or pay the penalty – literally.

    Penalties aside, tomorrow night will be the perfect litmus test to see how the Wallabies are shaping up.

    Ireland were mighty impressive in capturing the 2018 Six-Nations, taking the men in green to world number two behind the men in black.

    The Wallabies are ranked four behind England, and with hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa, backrower Caleb Timu, and benchman Peter Samu all set to make their international debuts, there are three new Wallaby faces with the rugby world at their feet.

    It’s a changing world with Paenga-Amosa and Timu both Auckland born, but became Wallabies via vastly different backgrounds – Paenga-Amosa was a garbo, Timu a Bronco.

    But both have physical clout – Paenga-Amosa’s 183 cms and 117 kgs, Timu 190 and 117.

    How consistently Paenga-Amosa finds his lineout men, and how smoothly Timu links with David Pocock and Michael Hooper in the backrow will both be critical.

    There’s no doubt the Wallabies can upset Ireland, providing they are disciplined, retain possession, and tackle to let the high quality backs cut loose.

    Once Will Genia, Foley, Kurtley Beale, and Samu Kerevi set up a rampaging Israel Folau by either slick passing, or kick passing, Ireland won’t know what’s hit them.

    Israel Folau Wallabies Australian Rugby Union 2017

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    The knockers will say the Wallabies are far too hot and cold to beat such a quality side, and in many ways they are right.

    But when the Wallabies pull on a gold jersey, you expect them to play up to, or near their best which is good enough to win.

    Anything less, then punt the offenders to find those who will do the job they are very well paid to do.

    Come tomorrow night, let it be golden.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn't get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world's great sporting spectacles

    New South Wales have won the 2018 State of Origin series with an 18-14 win in an absolutely outstanding Game 2 at ANZ Stadium. See how the action unfolded with our NSW vs QLD Origin 2 scores, highlights and blog.

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    The Crowd Says (148)

    • June 8th 2018 @ 7:37am
      bigbaz said | June 8th 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      Best Aussie side I’ve seen for a while, but I can remember saying that before the first test v the ABs last year.

      • June 8th 2018 @ 2:16pm
        Noodles said | June 8th 2018 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

        It’s funny how people are so easily convinced that backs are the game beakers. Fact is that a good pack is the influential weight of any rugby team. You can win consistently with a great pack and ordinary backs. You can’t when it’s the other way around.
        This series is more about the packs than most games because the Irish are so effective and efficient.

        • June 8th 2018 @ 2:56pm
          bigbaz said | June 8th 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

          yep. and this is our best pack in quite a while, great to see a real no 8

        • Roar Guru

          June 8th 2018 @ 3:57pm
          PeterK said | June 8th 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

          just not true, most of rugby history aust have had ordinary packs but better backs yet have won more than 50% of games.

          No way have they had better packs than england more than 50% of the time but have a better head to head record.

          • June 8th 2018 @ 7:17pm
            Noodles said | June 8th 2018 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

            Beg to differ PK. England certainly have had the wood on us at scrum very often. In fact on some occasions that seemed to be enough to humiliate the WBs. We all recall THAT test.
            In my mind our best have always had superior packs, going back to the grand slam team (remember the scrum try at Cardiff?)
            The RWC packs were all terrific. And so on.

            • June 9th 2018 @ 7:18am
              Rugger said | June 9th 2018 @ 7:18am | ! Report

              If the Wallabies don’t be careful they’ll end up getting smashed around the park like a typical Western Force side chained to the bottom of the ladder.
              Defence will be key and carrying small forwards like Hooper in the first half could produce the type of result we’ve become accustomed to over the past 3 years.

            • Roar Guru

              June 9th 2018 @ 11:40am
              PeterK said | June 9th 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

              of course SOMETIMES Aust have had better packs than England, and yes that includes the best teams ever.

              However the fact is Aust have won 52% head to head against England.

              Also I would say England have had the better pack 70% of the time but have not won anywhere close to 70% of the matches.

              • June 9th 2018 @ 2:01pm
                Noodles said | June 9th 2018 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

                I’ll just stick with my opinion and make two points: one is that the 52% is presumably a fact whereas the 70% is purely an opinion. The other is that England are obsessed with forward play: I wonder what you think about a kiwi comparison?

              • June 9th 2018 @ 2:19pm
                Fionn said | June 9th 2018 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

                Surely we can’t say that between the years of 2004-12 we had a better forward pack than England?

                Do you remember some of the props, locks and number 8s we played during this period?

              • June 9th 2018 @ 7:45pm
                Noodles said | June 9th 2018 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                Fiona: No. we can’t.
                So can we go back to my point: being that forwards are key to this???

              • June 9th 2018 @ 7:55pm
                Fionn said | June 9th 2018 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

                Between 04-12 we won 8 and lost 4 including 4 of 6 in London.

                I think it’s safe to say that during that era we definitely didn’t have the stronger forward pack the majority of the time, if at all.

              • June 9th 2018 @ 8:14pm
                Noodles said | June 9th 2018 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

                Goodness! So our backs were magnificent!
                And the forwards crap? What are you saying exactly.

              • June 9th 2018 @ 8:41pm
                Noodles said | June 9th 2018 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

                In fact watching the game now I think my observation is well demonstrated. I expect even more so late in the game.

    • June 8th 2018 @ 8:37am
      Ex Force fan said | June 8th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      I am more interested in the game that is lso played tomorrow in Auatralia but that has been ignored on the roar this week.

    • Roar Guru

      June 8th 2018 @ 8:51am
      John R said | June 8th 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      Hey Fionn, here’s some Toomua porn for ya: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/rugby/rugby-world-cup-2015/news/payto-panda-matt-toomua-in-world-cup-plans-daryl-gibson-set-to-stay-at-tahs-and-souths-pride-in-new-wallaby/news-story/73e05abefe526b8818c0cbddf84555f7

      “MATT Toomua back in Wallaby gold at the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year? Don’t rule it out, even with Toomua contracted to the Leicester Tigers until mid-2020.

      We hear talks are bubbling away between Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, Toomua and his management about a deal that could open a door for the 33-cap Wallaby to play in the World Cup.

      Toomua left Aussie rugby after the 2015 World Cup on a three-year contract with the famous Tigers club, and after extending the deal for another two seasons at the end of last year, it appeared his World Cup chances were gone.

      Not so, or at least not in Cheika’s mind. The plan would be for Toomua to next year sign with a Super Rugby franchise for when his Tigers contract ends in 2020. That would, under RA guidelines, make him eligible for the Wallabies in the World Cup.

      But unlike Dean Mumm, who came back from Exeter for good ahead of the 2015 World Cup, Toomua would return to Leicester to play out his final season.

      And that is where it gets murky for RA. Given the global calendar kicks in 2020, Toomua’s English season would likely end at the same time as Super Rugby (end of June). So while he could have a contract starting in 2020, there’d be every chance Toomua wouldn’t play Super Rugby until 2021.

      That sort of wrangling, while theoretically possible, may not go down well with some Australian-based players.”

      • Roar Guru

        June 8th 2018 @ 11:00am
        Hoy said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        Why bother… where would he play? Return for Cheika to pick him as reserve bench warmer?

        • Roar Guru

          June 8th 2018 @ 11:19am
          John R said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

          Some fair questions Hoy, can’t say I have the answers either, but experience is a handy thing to have at a World Cup hey.

        • June 8th 2018 @ 11:26am
          Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          Far superior and more complete player than Foley and Beale, even if he doesn’t have Beale’s “X-Factor”. Cheika surely would have gotten to the point to realise that logically Toomua would need to start at 10 or 12.

          • Roar Guru

            June 8th 2018 @ 11:33am
            PeterK said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report

            more complete but certainly not far superior, arguably better but not by much

            • June 8th 2018 @ 11:37am
              Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

              I think especially when it comes to a position like inside centre defence is paramount. Maybe he doesn’t break a game like Beale but the best that the Wallabies have played in years and years was the 2013 Spring Tour with Toomua at inside centre shoring up midfield defence, offering a big left book while also offering long passing and a running game.

              • June 8th 2018 @ 11:40am
                Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

                Apparently George Ford said that Toomua was the best 12 h had ever played with. And Ford has partnered Farrell and Tuilagi.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2018 @ 11:59am
                PeterK said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

                it is a stretch to put that down to just Toomua, QC was playing very well then and he makes more of a difference over Foley than Toomua over Beale.

                Vastly different teams, and the NH teams had not seen the great strides that they have made since then.

              • June 8th 2018 @ 12:02pm
                Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

                Maybe, but I don’t think Quade ever performed as well as he did with Toomua at inside centre. And it is backed up by what Ford says.

                Even though the NH wasn’t as strong (Wales was good then, and Ireland weren’t half bad either and nearly beat the All Blacks like a week later) it was the most fluid and consistent rugby we have played in years. Having a dominant midfield defence is huge, and Toomua allowed us to do that with his lack of concern for his own body and how he threw himself into tackles.

                To me Toomua is up there with Adam Ashley-Cooper and Genia as the best backs we’ve produced since 07. When Quade was at his best he was of course in form then too. But I think Toomua and AAC were both vastly underrated.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2018 @ 12:05pm
                PeterK said | June 8th 2018 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

                perhaps Beale has broken more games wide open.

                Beale has a 63% winning test record, Toomua a 53%.

                Toomua didn’t have play under Cheika except his one good year in 2015 either.

              • June 8th 2018 @ 12:08pm
                Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                Beale certainly has, but he has made far more catastrophic errors (slipping over against the Lions, slipping over and not trying to tackle Nonu in the RWC final, letting that ball bounce that he thought was going out against England that May picked and run the field to score last year), and I think that Beale is a better outside back than an inside centre too, and I’m comparing them specifically as inside centres.

                Beale also played a lot of his Tests in 2010-11 when Deans’ team was doing really well, and even 2012 when they played dour rugby but won a lot.

                Toomua played in 2016 in the England series and from memory in the 2014 Spring Tour also.

                The majority of Toomua tests were in 2013 when we played one of the best All Black sides of all time and the last truly world class Springbok side. I’m sure his win percentage would be higher too if he had played around 2010-12.

          • Roar Guru

            June 8th 2018 @ 11:55am
            Hoy said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

            For you… For me, Kerevi is a superior 12 to Beale, but Foley needs Beale, so Kerevi gets shunted… Toomua is a more rounded player, and would probably be a better 10, thus negating the requirement for Beale at 12, and then we can have a true 12 there…

            But for Cheika, neither… he has done this before… lured blokes back, then not actually used them well anyway. So my question remains… why would Toomua come back for him?

            Do you really think Toomua would get a shot in front of Foley, or Beale at 10 or 12? Not under Cheika. So the only reason to return would be to do so, and hope for a change of coach.

            • June 8th 2018 @ 11:57am
              Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:57am | ! Report

              I think that Toomua is definitely a superior 10 to Foley and probably a superior 12 to Samu too.

              But I agree, after seeing what happened to Quade and Houston you wouldn’t be counting on anything eventuating.

        • June 8th 2018 @ 1:30pm
          jameswm said | June 8th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

          Even if you start Foley and Beale, Toomua is a perfect bench guy to cover both. Injuries and loss of form happen. He’d be a valuable person to have in our squad.

        • June 8th 2018 @ 7:51pm
          QED said | June 8th 2018 @ 7:51pm | ! Report

          drop DHP, Beale to FB, Folau to the wing. Toomua at 12 – voilà !

      • June 8th 2018 @ 11:25am
        Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

        Just make him sign a three year contract for 2020-21-23 but with a Pocock-style sabbatical for 2020.

        There, done.

        As John says though, he should have been the inside centre back in 2015 rather than bringing back Giteau, a player who, while he was in better form in 2015 than 2011, peaked in 2007 and was no longer the player Toomua was.

        Hope we can entice Toomua back though. If he came back to the Brumbies it would fulfil most of my dreams hey.

        Thanks, John 😀

        • Roar Guru

          June 8th 2018 @ 11:49am
          John R said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

          Would be handy if he f–ked off this whole “Northern Hemisphere” lark, and just came back and took his 12 jersey off of Godwin.

          • June 8th 2018 @ 11:56am
            Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

            Salaries though, and life experience.

            I think we forget how small the windows of professional rugby players are, especially those with a history of concussions. And how they earn relatively little compared to many other professional sports.

            I agree though 🙂

            • Roar Guru

              June 8th 2018 @ 12:03pm
              John R said | June 8th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

              Yeeaahhhhh I know. I know.

              Feels like he’s been gone for ages though, surely he’s got enough to top up his super, get himself back in Aus, get into Cheika’s life after rugby program and start interning at a listed company, do a bit commentating for Fox Sports on the side, and he’ll be a non-executive direct on multiple company boards by the time he’s 40.

              Laughing mate.

        • June 8th 2018 @ 12:19pm
          Kane said | June 8th 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

          Why not just sign him for a contract 2049-50,

          Signed for two years in the future…

      • Roar Guru

        June 8th 2018 @ 4:00pm
        Who Needs Melon said | June 8th 2018 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

        Haven’t seen Toomua play recently or heard much about his performances but if he is anything like he was, I’d have no qualms with Toomua back in the Wallaby squad. I suspect he’s probably got better than we last saw but always hard to tell.

        If he has been playing 12, I’d have him in the starting side at 12 too. A really solid defender so you don’t have to do so much silly shuffling around and, while not as electric as Beale on attack, he’s no slouch there either.

        I think Toomua is also a better backup 10 option than Beale. Or anyone else in the Wallaby squad.

        All a bit of a moot point though since I think it’s unlikely he will come back to Super Rugby in the near future. No guarantee he’d make the Wallaby starting side. Not ahead of favourites like Foley and Beale.

    • June 8th 2018 @ 8:58am
      barbz said | June 8th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      Unless I am mistaken, Joe Carbery is starting at 10 for Ireland tomorrow, with Sexton on the bench.

      So close.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 8th 2018 @ 10:29am
        Shane D said | June 8th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

        Maybe Sexton is so good he can kick them from the pine!

        • June 8th 2018 @ 11:04am
          Highlander said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          Sexton probably is that good 🙂
          Carbery will surely present a very different game plan that that when Sexton sits at ten.

          Maybe a little wider, could actually play to Wallabies strengths.

          • June 8th 2018 @ 11:37am
            Ed said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

            What is interesting about Carbery’s selection is Schmidt obviously wants to see him put under the pump against a top-tier side, as would happen in a world cup if Sexton got injured in Japan. Sexton missed the QF at the last world cup due to a injury. Schmidt has taken note of this, and what happened to his homeland in 2011.

            On the other hand, will we see Cheika play someone else at 10 against a top opponent if Foley is not injured before the world cup? Very unlikely.

            • June 8th 2018 @ 11:43am
              Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

              Schmidt must be extremely confident to try it in the first test though. I would have thought he would wait until after they’d likely won the first to test something like that.

              As good of a player as Carbery is.

              • June 8th 2018 @ 11:48am
                Highlander said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

                Concur Fionn, would have thought going 1-0 up would have been a huge focus.
                Schmidt demonstrates real faith in his wider squad

              • June 8th 2018 @ 11:59am
                Fionn said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

                My main hope actually is that Ireland are underrating the Wallabies given how hopeless we have been for most of the period since the last RWC.

                I do think that we should be better side than 2017 at any rate, so perhaps we can steal the first Test and then who knows?

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2018 @ 12:59pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 8th 2018 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

                I heard Schmidt’s thinking behind choosing Carbery for the first Test. Schmidt said they did the call already last week in order to give Carbery ten days of prep time with the team (and Murray) instead of 3-4 days (that is the option if he had been chosen for Test two or three.

                Somehow Schmidt’s thinking makes sense and also shows that he is more concerned about building depth ahead of the WC than winning the series and challenge the AB’s for the number one spot short term.
                But he seems fairly confident he can do all these things and expect his boys to win tomorrow.

              • June 8th 2018 @ 1:20pm
                Dan in Devon said | June 8th 2018 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

                Carbery is only 23. So Schmidt is building for the future too. One of the legacies of Cheika will be a failure to develop depth at the Halves.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2018 @ 1:55pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 8th 2018 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                Ireland better build smart for the future hence they don’t have golden generations coming through the U20 every year like NZ and England have.
                Last night Irish U20’s lost to Georgia U20’s. Kudos to the Georgians thought, their next generation is not all about forwards, they have some great back talent that we will see in Test arena very soon I assume. A win over Ireland and two very close losses against France and South Africa tell us that Georgian’s are doing things right at grassroots level.

              • June 8th 2018 @ 5:04pm
                Cathal said | June 8th 2018 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

                The coaching at underage level has been terrible since Carolan left, just very badly coached sides don’t look like they have a clue what they are supposed to be doing a lot like last year.

              • June 8th 2018 @ 11:33pm
                Dan in Devon said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:33pm | ! Report

                Carbery has not had a lot of game time at 5/8th so it is still a bold choice. I wonder why Carbery has been preferred over Ross Byrne whom Brian O’Driscoll said had shades of s young Sexton. Ireland have good depth in this position.

              • June 9th 2018 @ 9:06am
                Jacko said | June 9th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

                Neutral…Its awesome to see Georgia coming thru with these sorts of results…They really impressed me from last years U20 and had their first ever win at that tournament. and YES its not just a forward based game either…A nation on the Up…Romania is another one on the rise…Georgia looking to improve on their 2015 WC where their player was MOM against the ABs and they performed very strongly and consistantly.

            • Columnist

              June 8th 2018 @ 5:28pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | June 8th 2018 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

              I think Johnny has been carrying various minor knocks throughout the domestic post season, so his absence is not a complete surprise – he also missed Leinster’s Pro 14 semi against Munster…

              • June 8th 2018 @ 11:35pm
                Dan in Devon said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

                The bigger surprise is that Ross Byrne has been overlooked.

              • Roar Guru

                June 9th 2018 @ 10:19am
                Fox said | June 9th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

                Well he isn’t exactly absent Nick – he is on the benchafter all

      • June 9th 2018 @ 11:59am
        Bfc said | June 9th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

        A minor technicality….:)

    • June 8th 2018 @ 9:16am
      jacko said | June 8th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      David…dont underestimate this Irish team. They are a very well coached team and have been together for a while now…If they play to their best then Aus will be under massive pressure and the days where ireland kicked penalties for a win are gone…This ireland side will score tries from anywhere on the park …..Looking at both forward packs I think Ireland will win that war but Genia has already shown us that he can play behind a beaten pack better than most so Aus only need to win some crucial battles in the right place on the field…..And with Thor coming off the bench at the 55min mark, he could have a huge impact……The Irish backs are a very dangerous unit and have 1 of the premier halves combinations in world rugby…I have not seen Aus defence be consistantly great for a full test match since before the WC final so Aus will have to be 100% in that area or will quickly pay for any lapses…..If Aus get some good fast ball they have the backs to worry most teams and both Beale and folau have been in fantastic form recentl…..I had hoped for maddocks off the bench as i think he has that X factor most dont….Prediction???? Ireland 34-Aus 24

      • June 8th 2018 @ 9:55am
        freddieeffer said | June 8th 2018 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        Agree jacko,
        Over many years now, pre the June series, many have wishfully talked up the Wallabies; believing more in potential rather than evidence. Just look at the 0-3 whitewash against England in 2017.

        Hot and cold they are. In fact, for many years, they’ve been more cold than hot, and they rarely play a quality 80 minute game let alone put 2 wins back-to-back together.

        On the other hand, over the last couple of years, Ireland have grafted their way up to number 2 in the world, have added depth and quality in every position, and have an expansive playbook of structures and styles that they can deliver with speed, precision, discipline, patience and consistency. That same description cannot be applied to the Wallabies…. yet.

        But winning on tour is hard, especially on the end of a long, albeit successful season.

        Notwithstanding, on balance, I’m expecting the Irish to deliver enough of the above to keep the Wallabies to zip in the series, or with a 2-1 win. Anything better from the Wallabies, then I’ll happily afford them a higher assessment.

        • June 9th 2018 @ 6:36am
          BobDown said | June 9th 2018 @ 6:36am | ! Report

          Home ground advantage.. 2nd half yellow card. WB’s 35-10. That is all.

    • Roar Guru

      June 8th 2018 @ 9:29am
      Wal said | June 8th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      And we are bagging out the ref before the game has even started now.

      • June 8th 2018 @ 1:01pm
        Akari said | June 8th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

        Just strong hints for the ref to keep his whistle in his back pocket until he must absolutely use it for sound reasons rather than to impose his persona on the game, Wal. We might not have to worry too much with Sexton on the pine. I hope so anyway.

        • June 8th 2018 @ 1:31pm
          jameswm said | June 8th 2018 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

          He needs to dish out a few penalties early for not supporting body weight, coming in the side, off side in the defensive line. That would help the game.

          • June 8th 2018 @ 3:03pm
            Akari said | June 8th 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

            Sound reasons indeed, j, and the ref must also stop the belly flopping from the Irish pack.

          • June 8th 2018 @ 3:30pm
            Highlander said | June 8th 2018 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

            Given Australia are the most penalised side in world rugby right now you might want to be careful what you wish for James 🙂

            • June 8th 2018 @ 4:36pm
              jameswm said | June 8th 2018 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

              Ha ha yeah.

              I should add being too slow to release the tackled player, not rolling away, getting up in the halfback’s way…

          • Roar Rookie

            June 8th 2018 @ 3:34pm
            Shane D said | June 8th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

            Bit harsh on Pocock James.

            • June 8th 2018 @ 4:35pm
              jameswm said | June 8th 2018 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

              Pocock is watched closely most of the time…

      • June 8th 2018 @ 1:40pm
        Old One Eye said | June 8th 2018 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

        The ref is the clown who penalised Taniela for collapsing before he’d even called crouch. So I say its fair to bag him until he proves himself to be better.

      • June 8th 2018 @ 1:53pm
        Bitter Pills said | June 8th 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

        Saves time bagging him after the game

      • Columnist

        June 8th 2018 @ 5:30pm
        Nicholas Bishop said | June 8th 2018 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

        It would be a big surprise if the pen count cracks 20 in total tbh Wal 🙂

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