David Pocock’s blinder sees the Wallabies home over Ireland

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    The last time David Pocock pulled on a gold jersey was against England at Twickenham, in December 2016.

    That was 14 Tests ago, but last night in Brisbane, the champion flanker turned in a man of the march performance as the Wallabies ended Ireland’s 12-match winning streak with a hard-fought 18-9 success, scoring two tries to nil.

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    The excellent 46,273 crowd was promised action, and they enjoyed 80 minutes worth of tense and exciting entertainment.

    What a welcome change from some of the rubbish that’s been dished up this season.

    If ever coach Michael Cheika should be saluted, last night was it.

    After only six days’ preparation, the Wallabies beat the current undefeated Six Nations champions, and the world number two side, with just 40 per cent possession, and a mere 39 per cent territory.

    Defence was the key, with Pocock, Michael Hooper, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete outstanding, delivering one bone-shaking tackle after another.

    Beale, in particular, silenced those critics who keep saying the utility back can’t tackle.

    All the knockers had to do was ask the men in green why their bodies were so battered and bruised – and Beale dished it out for the entire journey, despite a cut forehead suffered early in the piece, and a shoulder injury.

    Despite the lack of territory and possession that called for a mountainous number of tackles, the Wallabies missed just 16, and made only 14 turnovers.

    This was a proud and new-look outfit that delivered commitment like rarely before. Simply, the Wallabies concentrated on making the basics right.

    There conceded only 11 penalties, and at least four of them were impossible to fathom from South African referee Marius van der Westhuizen, the Aussie scrum was tight and competitive, so too the lineouts, despite hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa feeding on debut.

    The ticks kept coming as the Wallabies won 77 of their 81 rucks contested, while Ireland won 122 of their 130.

    Quality rugby all round.

    But what gave the crowd more pleasure was the way the Wallabies spun it along the backline, despite constant pressure from the visitors.

    Scoring two tries to nil was proof enough.

    But the backs thoroughly enjoyed doing what they do best – attack, attack, and still more attack.

    The series moves to Melbourne next Saturday, which will be a sell-out after last night’s scintillating display, with Allianz already a sell-out in a fortnight.

    It’s a nice for a change to report real rugby is back.

    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

    State of Origin 2 is here, with the Blues looking to wrap the 2018 series up and the Maroons hoping to keep it alive and force a decider. Follow along with our NSW vs QLD Origin 2 live scores and blog.

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    The Crowd Says (93)

    • June 10th 2018 @ 7:11am
      Fionn said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:11am | ! Report

      Cheers, David. Pocock really silencing those who said the new ruck laws will have blunted his game. I think he would have had a few more but for questionable referee decisions around the ruck.

      Still, a great team performance overall. The forwards especially (including the bench forwards) really stood up.

      Tupou has arrived too.

      • June 10th 2018 @ 9:29am
        PiratesRugby said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        The Wallabies won back a few fans last night. The forward pack was good and always improves with the addition of Pocock. Hopefully the experiment with Hanigan is over. It would be good to see the current pack have a few games together to get some more chemistry going. Robertson is a prop I’ve always said is a hack. He came on last night and was great.
        In the backs, Beale, Genia and Korobeite were standouts. Folau is a freak. Could we get whoever taught Beale to tackle to spend some time with Foley? Either that or get a 10 who can take his place in the line. Is it worth trying Hodge or Maddocks at 10? I mean, Foley often isn’t even first receiver. Beale was much more effective than Foley with ball in hand. I can’t fault Foley for effort but he’s reached his limit hasn’t he?

        • Roar Guru

          June 10th 2018 @ 10:39am
          PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          Beale is the primary playmaker not Foley.

          Foley is needed for his goalkicking.

          Until Hodge can kick well more consistently Foley is needed.

          • June 11th 2018 @ 10:26am
            PiratesRugby said | June 11th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

            Yes I thought that while watching the Rebels game against The Blues. Hodge kicked himself out of the wallabies starting XV. Is Maddocks worth a go? He’s fast, smart, tough and can defend. His rugby skills are exceptional. Don’t know about his kicking though.
            And what’s the point of having Phipps as reserve half back? Genia is still the best but he’s aging. Is Phipps the future? Surely Powell, Ruru, Gordon should be getting a look at Test rugby 2 years out from the RWC??

        • June 10th 2018 @ 10:40am
          Fionn said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          Mate, dunno if you’ve seen this, but how many problems would this potentially solve? Toomua is a decent goal-kicker too.


          Agreed on Robertson.

          • Roar Guru

            June 10th 2018 @ 11:07am
            PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:07am | ! Report

            Have you got a site with actual stats of Toomua’s goal kicking.

            CLL was first choice at brumbies, Ford at Tigers, never first choice goal kicker for Wallabies.

            I thought it was more 60-70%.

            Rather see hard stats than claims though.

      • Roar Guru

        June 10th 2018 @ 9:39am
        Charging Rhino said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        Agree Fionn.
        You know that I also think David Pocock is easily Australia’s best player.
        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here again, he makes about a 10-12 point difference in every (good/decent) team he plays in. The Wallabies are a good team.

        It’s not just the pilfers, but his general play, presence (he’s everywhere always, like MCaw was) his attack & defense but mostly his ability to slow down the opposition’s ball so much, even if he doesn’t get a turnover, the opposition looses quick ball and they inevitely loose their advantage and space that they had to exploit because time has allowed the Wallabies to reset their defense and close the space again. MOST people miss this aspect of Pocock’s play. He’s immense.
        All this translates to about a 10-12 difference in favour of the Wallabies, whether they win or lose.

        Flip I wish we had him!

        • Roar Guru

          June 10th 2018 @ 10:41am
          PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          totally agree, too many just view the pilfers and not his other work.

          What they also overlook is his link play, he made more passes than any other forward.

        • June 13th 2018 @ 10:48pm
          Sgt Pepperoni said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

          Great comment rhino. I too was fixated on Pocock’s excellent work in slowing down the Irish ball and allowing our defense to reset. As much as I love Hooper’s engine, he doesn’t seem to have the same smarts where on multiple occasions he got his hands on the pill but it still seemed to come for Connor Murray just as quickly. I thought Samu was very effective when he was on

      • June 10th 2018 @ 9:43am
        Charlie Turner said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Agree Fionn it was the best they’ve played since the third Blesidloe last year. This is probably nitpicking but it was a curious decision from Hooper taking the tap and set forward move on the Irish five meter at the 70th minute. I thought the better option would have been a scrum, particularly after the previous annihilation in the same spot. Aside from that and some bizarre refereeing decisions it was a great spectacle.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 9:48am
          Fionn said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:48am | ! Report

          Agree, mate. I actually really liked that decision. Tupou destroyed them but it looked like Robertson was under pressure from Furlong to me on that scrum even so (I could be wrong). The scrums are always a bit of a lottery and after the embarrassment of that scrum decision the Irish front row would have been looking for revenge so could easily have destroyed us back.

          I thought it was a top class decision by Hooper. The leadership team did a really good job all match.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 3:17pm
          Daveski said | June 10th 2018 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

          The scrum from a penalty is one of the most overused and back-firing calls in rugby. Often just an ego-driven dick-measuring contest amongst the packs. Should only be called if scrum extremely dominant and never used when chasing the game. Smart teams will just collapse a few times and waste valuable minutes.

          A set tap can suck in just as many forwards either with a couple of quick pick n gos or setting up a maul.

          Good descision by Hooper.

    • June 10th 2018 @ 7:39am
      Highlander said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      Agree on Coach Cheika – he got that tactically right, out thought Schmidt and got his charges to stick to the plan for the full 80 with only a couple of wobbles.

      A very different Australia from anything we have seen for some time.

      With SA looking red hot ball in hand we should be in for a competitive RC this year.

      • Roar Guru

        June 10th 2018 @ 8:33am
        Colm said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        Completely agree, Highlander.
        I’d take Cheika over Schmidt every time. Schmidt is excellent at phase play moves but the Wallabies’ attacking structures are just so much better.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 8:39am
          Fionn said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

          I think Cheika sets the generally philosophy of ‘running rugby’, but leaves it to the assistants to hammer out the details (he has readily admitted he isn’t as good at the assistants as the technical stuff in their specific areas). I think Larkham deserves as much credit for the attacking tactics.

          On another note I want to credit Cheika for allowing the team the freedom to expand their tactics a bit, allowing plenty of tactical kicking for Folau to chase. Wasn’t always perfect (Foley had a few poor kicks, and Beale a few poor decisions with kicking too) but overall it was really good. Genia, Beale and Foley can only improve the more they practice kicking. Folau and DHP were sublime under the high balls.

          Grey’s defence worked too, as did the scrum. So all in all the entire coaching team deserves applause for their performance. Well done, lads.

          • Roar Guru

            June 10th 2018 @ 9:45am
            Colm said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:45am | ! Report

            It’s really interesting how different coaches see the game of rugby.
            I heard Cheika interviewed before the Ireland game, on sky sports. He was basically saying that he doesn’t alter the game-plan at all for different opposition. Like you said, he has a philosophy of expansive rugby and allows players make on field-decisions based on what the opposition are doing. So Cheika would rather spend the time fine-tuning his structures(that allow heads-up rugby) and improve individual skills, than spend time on phase-play moves for specific opposition.

            This is in complete contrast to Schmidt. The Irish attack is based, almost solely, on the few phase-play moves that Schmidt has identified will work against an opposition. Once these moves break-down/don’t work, Ireland become very one-dimensional, as there are no (good)structures in place that encourage on-field decision making. England have the dual playmaker, Australia the 1-3-3-1 and New Zealand the 2-4-2 or some variation and Ireland = nothing. This explains why Ireland normally lose when the minutes-in-play stat is greater than 50 minutes.

            There are positives and negatives to both approaches but I know which approach I’d rather watch.

            • June 10th 2018 @ 9:54am
              Fionn said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:54am | ! Report

              I tend to agree. I think Cheika’s approach is not going to yield those consistent results like Schmidt’s did with the 12 wins in a row, but when Cheika’s teams get it right (Waratahs 2014, Wallabies in the RWC, Bledisloe 2 and 3 last year) it works really well.

              My old man grew up in Dún Laoghaire/Blackrock and even though he has lived in Australia since he was about 30 he follows Ireland really closely and he said he wasn’t sure whether he’d prefer them to go into the RWC with his gamestyle and have a better chance of winning or loosening their style a bit and playing a bit more expansively. With Ireland’s forwards + Sexton, Ringrose, Larmour and Stockdale they should really be able to open teams up I would have thought.

              One concern for Ireland is how the Paddy Jackson incident has really changed calculations regarding flyhalf. Johnny is perhaps the best flyhalf in the world but he is prone to injuries. It reminds me a bit of 98-07 Australia in extreme reliance on the starting flyhalf. When Larkham played Australia were world class, but whenever he was off the field they were not the same team. Would you start Sexton next week or do you need to give Carbery as many minutes as possible given Sexton’s propensity for injuries?

              I noticed even with the camera angles available Ireland’s defence still tends to get a bit narrow at times.

              • Roar Guru

                June 10th 2018 @ 10:22am
                Colm said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

                Great Comment, Fionn.
                Dún Laoghaire is nice, it’s doesn’t quite have the beauty of Limerick, but it’s alright.

                Yeah, Ireland definitely have the personnel to play with the 2-4-2 formation that the All-Blacks adopt. Connacht won the pro 12 a few years ago, playing with that style. I think Leinster might have used some variation of it last year.

                Out-half is definitely a problem position for Ireland, beyond Sexton. I think Carbery has all the potential in the world, but he looks rusty to me. This is due to a combination of injuries and selection, which meant he only played 2/3 matches at fly-half for Leinster.

                Defensive spacing is still a big issue. At the moment, there is just not enough width at all in the Irish defense. This coupled with bad-decision making and having three front rowers out on the wing was a recipe for disaster.

        • Roar Guru

          June 10th 2018 @ 5:43pm
          Fox said | June 10th 2018 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

          “Schmidt is excellent at phase play moves but the Wallabies’ attacking structures are just so much better.”

          So you think tis is true on one game? When Ireland have won the previous two tests – beaten England back to back while Australia lost 4 in row to England – and we won’t talk about Scotland. I think you are takeing a giant leap there and clealy largely based on one test. Ireland were superb in attack agauist the AB’s in Chicago.

          Australia played the best defensive rugby I have seen them play since Cheika took over but I actually think their attack looked just as blunted for much of the game by the Ireland defence. It was a real battle and a great test match because of it.

          Pocock proved he can still be effective at the breakdown ( though perhaps not as regularaly) under the new laws and hats off to him. I am still not completely convinced that both he and Hooper need to be on at the same time but certainly better having Pocock at 6 – he is not a test eight, great player though he surely is.

          Australia were phyiscal for 80 minuites and that was pleasing to see – but Ireland still controlled posseseion for large parts of the game – and it is a given Sexton will start (along with about 6 other normal starting players who were rested for from the starting lineup) next game as they lacked spark in attack without him.

          Lots of pleasing aspects to the game for the Wallabies that is a good start to the international season – still some lineout worries and some of high balls meant for Folau did not come off – and again highlights the need for an improved kicking game.

          Great win – great for Australian rugby and the crowds in all three matches were excellent – NZ and Australia sold out proving the pulling power of international rugby.

          France got stiffed by a yellow that should not have been – and Sam Cane should have got one for a more serious head high tackle – but the AB bench was easily the best on dispay in weekend – a masterclass in attacking rugby with Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett orchestring much of it.

          France also had 4 frontline players being rested and will be much better nest week despite the scoreline. Mind you the AB’s were missing Retalick , Read and SBW but still the French will be better for the hit out as will IrelandI suspect.

          England’s defence crumbled after getting a 21 pont lead early proving the Barbarians 65 points definitely exposed defensive weaknesses IMO and SA look a much better side than last year – they dominated much the game after the 25 minute mark.

          Can’t wait fro next week

          • Roar Guru

            June 10th 2018 @ 7:18pm
            Colm said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

            Causation and Correlation, Fox.
            The Wallabies’ attacking structures wasn’t the cause of the Australian losses. It was poor tactical kicking and game management that cost Australia against England/Scotland.

            Ireland’s attack against England was based on excellent phase-play moves and one-out carriers. The only time Ireland put any width on the ball was when there was a scrum/penalty advantage. These phase-play moves are great, but what happens after or when they don’t work? We saw that yesterday, against France in this year’s six nations and against Scotland and Wales in the 2017 six nations. Scotland/New Zealand have structures that allow players make on-field decisions on when to go wide, when to carry and when to kick.

            I identified these issues in an article before the match. Ireland struggle badly with width and don’t ever punish loose kicking with counter-attacks, due to Schmidt’s player selection.

          • Roar Guru

            June 10th 2018 @ 9:54pm
            Derm McCrum said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:54pm | ! Report

            Good measured assessment, Fox.

            Everyone’s assumption, including mine, sees Sexton starting next week, however, a reading of Schmidt’s remarks after the match about Carbery has me wondering if he’ll keep going with giving him a start to push him further. If he puts Henshaw and Ringrose outside him, it’ll give him more familiarity in the backline.

            Ireland’s defensive shift was good but patchy with Henshaw rushing too early to disrupt on a couple of occasions, one of which led to Australia scoring. Ringrose is the better choice at 13 for his defensive nous and reading the attack, in my view.

            France were hard done by the two card incident you mention but NZ still had the measure of them and really asserted their dominance in the second half as the pace picked up. Next week’s match should be a humdinger with all of their players available.

          • June 11th 2018 @ 7:21am
            Drongo said | June 11th 2018 @ 7:21am | ! Report

            Foxy, old mate, wasn’t it you that described Pocock as a ‘one trick pony’? Do you still stand by that assessment?

            • Roar Guru

              June 11th 2018 @ 2:22pm
              Fox said | June 11th 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

              No wrong yet again Drongo – I have described as massive in defence in the tackle and a superb over the ball; a player who reads the game well in the D. but…

              Playing at 8 – where he wa- offers liitle lineout options ( and unchracteristically he took one last weekend) and he is not a great ball carrier which he is not and therefore the wrong player at 8 and I think he was. He is better at 6 – well so far based on one game against one oposition but he was good in the weekend.

            • Roar Guru

              June 11th 2018 @ 6:58pm
              taylorman said | June 11th 2018 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

              Hes very very good at that one trick though.😁

      • Roar Guru

        June 10th 2018 @ 10:55am
        PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

        Cheika out thought Schmidt and was more flexible than him.
        Cheika was the one with better opposition analysis , selection and multiple game plans, who would have thought that before the game.

        I analysed his selections for the game and thought for once he has taken the opposition into account by selecting DHP to defuse the highballs down the blindside, to select Timu as a powerful ball carrier and tackler, Rodda over Simmons.

        Wallabies mixed up a very good running game with a kicking game. Sure a lot of errors on the kicking especially by Foley but it is adding in much needed variation.

        Exit kicking better including a very good exit by Folau.

        Wallabies were prepared for the attack plans of Ireland and nullified them. They also interrupted the constant recycling that Ireland relies on.

        • Roar Guru

          June 10th 2018 @ 6:11pm
          Fox said | June 10th 2018 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

          I agree with most of that Pk – for this game yes. JS made the mistake not picking his very best side and especially not Sexton – who has a lot of strings to his bow and he loves to attack the line with that dangerous shimmy step he has – he is more than just a tacticl kicking fly half.

          France made the same mistake missing aboyt 4 key players who were rested. The mind boggles why sides do this in such big games. England did the sme thing in NZ when they toured last in the first game and as always because the domestic final was played the week before.

          The Wallabies certainly deserved their win no question. More power to them. Great for the game here and much needed.

          • June 11th 2018 @ 6:54am
            Drongo said | June 11th 2018 @ 6:54am | ! Report

            The Wallaby surge coincided with Sexton’s arrival on the field.

            • Roar Guru

              June 11th 2018 @ 6:57am
              Fox said | June 11th 2018 @ 6:57am | ! Report

              Rubbish Drongo – there were other factors like the Wallaby scrum dominating once the bench cahbges were made to nameone.

              • Roar Guru

                June 11th 2018 @ 10:29am
                taylorman said | June 11th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

                Well hes right from a timing perspective but mapping it back to Sexton is a bit narrow. All three NH sides got worse the game went on, England and France spectacularly so, so it wont be Sexton, or the AB yellow, or the SA crowd.

                The end of season tour has taken its toll. Its a fact that we get it end of year these days as well as even the ABs used to put big scores on the AI sides. Now they scrape through. Times are changing. The toll is greater these days.

                Its a well known fact that Ireland managed resources better following the Lions and of the three didnt have a late match collapse. England and France are hit harder through their imports by either not bringing through talent through the clubs or overplaying their test players.

                I can see a move to end the June tours, its getting too difficult for them.

              • Roar Guru

                June 11th 2018 @ 2:27pm
                Fox said | June 11th 2018 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

                Hi Taylorman – that is going to happen – the June break upsets the flow of the Super comp as well and drags it on too long.

                As for Sexton – Cheika praised Sexton’s after he came on, and thought he was effective so I don”t think he would agree with Drongo’s – as you say – narrow assessment

                Ithink they were running short on gas and as you say – so did England and France.

              • June 11th 2018 @ 2:33pm
                Fionn said | June 11th 2018 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

                Fox, from next year the June internationals are being replaced with the July internationals so as not to upset Super Rugby.

                I also believe that there will be no July internationals the year after RWCs in order to protect player welfare.

              • June 11th 2018 @ 2:46pm
                cuw said | June 11th 2018 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

                @ Fionn

                ” I also believe that there will be no July internationals the year after RWCs in order to protect player welfare. ”

                ya yaaa – these are nice sound bites , but the only thing it protects is the cub structure and games.

                everyone agrees to reduce number of tests – but keep on trying to increase club games.

                if not for player protests England will have expanded AVIVA.

                but PRO 14 is still looking at adding saffa teams.

              • Roar Guru

                June 11th 2018 @ 2:47pm
                Fox said | June 11th 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                Cheers Fionn thank mate and that is what I meant by that is going to happen – but didn’t know about cancelation in a WC year or thereafter so cheers.

    • June 10th 2018 @ 7:45am
      Ben said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      David did you think the line outs were tight and competitive? Agree the scrum was excellent.
      I thought the line outs were one aspect of a very good performance that are a definite work on.

      • June 10th 2018 @ 7:55am
        Fionn said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

        Realistically, I think we need Simmons starting to call them. Rodda didn’t play badly by any stretch but Simmons is our best line out exponent.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 9:16am
          SteveJ said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

          Yeah.. After that bone rattling WB team effort, let’s now get Simmons the wet sock back in just to call a few lineouts. Not ever.

        • Roar Guru

          June 10th 2018 @ 10:45am
          PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          It could be more the hookers fault in which case Latu should start.

          • June 10th 2018 @ 12:22pm
            Reverse Wheel said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

            What Simmons has going for him is he has been calling lineouts for a tahs team that also lacks tall timber and their success rate is very high. I think I’d take rodda around the field though so you have to weigh that up against lineout gains.

            Or else guy try latu. Or, most likely, give BPA another weeks work with them.

    • June 10th 2018 @ 7:47am
      Realist said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      Cheika got the backrow all wrong as shown by the misfiring line out. The Irish were winning the breakdown as well for a lot of the game. Hooper should be benched, Pocock at 7 (c) and P Samu at 6. Hooper is a fine player but he is simply not the best in his position.

      • Roar Guru

        June 10th 2018 @ 7:52am
        eagleJack said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:52am | ! Report

        Wait, so Samu’s inclusion will fix the lineout?

        • June 10th 2018 @ 12:23pm
          Reverse Wheel said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

          Yes a strange comment. Samu did have some really good involvements when he was on though.

      • Roar Guru

        June 10th 2018 @ 10:46am
        PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        wallabies won the battle of the breakdown, they counter rucked better , slowed ball better and pilfered better.

        • Roar Guru

          June 11th 2018 @ 2:40pm
          Fox said | June 11th 2018 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

          Not sure I agree with that entirely Pk – not so in the first half where Tim Horan commented at least 3 times on the fact that Ireland were getting much quicker ball from the ruck and he was right. They controled the game for at least 40 minutes in middel part of the game and there were periods when Australia stuggled to get out on their own half as has been comented on in NZ and SA TV but couldn’r capitalise through errors and also by Geoff Parks on the roar in one of his blogs.

          This continued early in second half but then Australia slow Irish ball more consitently and increased the speed of their own ball. Genia is not the fastest at the ruck because players like Murray and the king of the pass Aron Smith have much faster passes off the ground – again the former commented on by Horan in the match.

          Let’s not forget that Ireland were winning with 14 minutes on the clock so it was that last 14 where the game was won. I went back and watched the game and Ireland – though they didn’t score – and like Australia – botched some try scoring opportunities – some because of some great defence on both sides and others through poor decison making or execution in final plays – and again on both sides.

          Next week should be another close encounter and a cracker.

          • June 11th 2018 @ 2:42pm
            Fionn said | June 11th 2018 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

            Literally every single Irish analysis has been about how they lost the match because Australia generally and Pocock in particular annihilated them at the breakdown.

            Ireland was not getting quick ruck ball consistently at all, and the times that Australia were turned over was generally when the Wallabies went wide. Ireland kept it narrow all of the time and so weren’t turned over when isolated so often, but they were forced to keep it in tight in order to maintain possession, and even then it was slow and Pocock still often turned them over.

            • Roar Guru

              June 11th 2018 @ 2:58pm
              Fox said | June 11th 2018 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

              Go back watch the game again Fionn – sorry I don’t agree – I agree with Horan – In the first half in particular Ireland were getting plenty of quick ball. So I respectfully disagree.

              And yes Pocock was a key reason Australia won the game though not the only one – but the point is, that he wasn’t successful in every ruck but became more so as the game went on and Ireland did get quick ball and especially in the first half.

              And I don’t know why everyone is saying Ireland never went wide – they went wide a few occasions and one move around the 24 minute mark, with a double runaround with dummy runners completely caught the Wallaby defence out leaving acres of space out wide on the Irish right flank – the winger made the mistake of putting in chip kick which Folau blocked into touch when he should have grubber kicked it in taken the tackle. Proving they are no slouches when they do go wide.

              So sure they play up the middle but Ireland are not a one dimesional side and never have been – they just don’t go wide as aften as sides Wales, All Blacks, Wallabies and these days SA do. So what, they didn’t get to no2 in the world by always playing narrow and never going wide. And look at the scalps they have taken to get there Fionn.

              But they did get quick ball for much of the first half. But hey we agree to disagree all good .

              • June 11th 2018 @ 3:03pm
                Fionn said | June 11th 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                Okay, Ireland very rarely went wide, as opposed to never. Ireland score a lot of their tries through good tactical kicking, set piece moves and intercepts as opposed to going wide in regular play.

      • June 10th 2018 @ 8:58pm
        double agent said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

        I don’t agree that Ireland won the breakdown.

    • Roar Guru

      June 10th 2018 @ 8:26am
      Colm said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      David Pocock and Australia will only get better with more preparation time. I’d love to be able to say the same for Ireland, but it’s unlikely to happen. The main reason being Schmidt is unlikely to tweak his game plan and team too much.

      It is fundamentally the same attacking game plan that Ireland have being playing for 5 years. The idea behind it is so one-dimensional, it’s beyond belief. You have an abundance of one-out carriers mixed with two/three prepared phase play moves off of scrums/line-outs. The only time you’ll ever see Ireland go wide is when they have a penalty/Knock-on advantage(E.g. Sexton against Wales and Murray against England) or when Ireland are playing a team at the end of their season(E.g. Argentina.) The decision to go wide is never an on-field decision. Every other tier1-nation has structures(either a 2-4-2 attacking formation in attack or a second playmaker) in place to allow players make on-field decisions, on when it’s on to go wide.

      It takes far more than a week to improve attacking structures, so it’ll be personnel changes that will get Ireland back into the series. This is the team I’d go for:
      1. Healy, 2. Scannell, 3. Furlong, 4. Ryan, 5. Beirne, 6. O’Mahony, 7. Leavy, 8. Conan, 9. Cooney(resting Murray), 10. Sexton, 11. Stockdale, 12. Aki, 13. Ringrose, 14. Conway, 15. Larmour,

      • June 10th 2018 @ 9:37am
        Mzilikazi said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        Agree with you on one dimensional asects, Colm. Has frustrated me watching Ireland in recent years that they won’t use width and more variation.

        1. Healy, 2. Scannell, 3. Furlong, 4. Ryan, 5. Beirne, 6. O’Mahony, 7. Leavy, 8. Conan, 9. Cooney(resting Murray), 10. Sexton, 11. Stockdale, 12. Aki, 13. Ringrose, 14. Conway, 15. Larmour,

        This team scares me, Taking Murray out helps, but there is one hell of an attacking potential in there. That is a brutal pack, even without Henderson, And those backs could be very had to hold. Sexton is probably the world’s best all round 10 curently, and I really rate, Stockdale, Ringrose and Larmour…Conway looks good to…have not seen him play a lot though. Be a pity if Murray is injured….read one report that he was knocked around a bit last night.

        The next two games could be open rugby classics. I’m not surprised that the next games appear to be sold out.

        • Roar Guru

          June 10th 2018 @ 11:04am
          Colm said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          I hope you’re right, Mzilikazi.
          Sell-outs is great news for Australian rugby. Maybe ye should invite Ireland over for more tours?

          With the exception of Scotland vs Ireland game in the 2015, Schmidt hasn’t really done open rugby with Ireland.
          Conway plays for Munster and has excellent footwork.Picking Larmour at full-back would be a real show of ambition, but I can’t see Schmidt doing it.

    • June 10th 2018 @ 8:59am
      bluesfan said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      Good win for the Wallabies – thought Folau, Beale outstanding and reflected their WC status. Australia do have a number of class players through the spine of their team – Folau, Beale, Foley, Genia, Hooper and Pocock are all WC players.

      However think line-out reflected the usual problem with Pooper reflecting a lack of proper jumpers and which puts pressure on Hooker – who I thought had an average game.

      If they keep Pooper – SA and NZ will pick off a lot of line-out ball in the RC this year (as they did in 2016 etc) – problem I guess is that with Hooper and Pocock both being extremely good players, you want them on the field at the same time – however for all the strengths they bring – by playing 2 short loose forwards – opens up other weaknesses, which the better sides can take advantage off.

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