Michael Cheika goes one-up on the 17th at Brisbane

Nicholas Bishop Columnist

By Nicholas Bishop, Nicholas Bishop is a Roar Expert

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    It is one of the most iconic golf holes in the world – the 17th at the Sawgrass Country Club, the regular venue for the Tournament Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

    The 17th is an island green, a tiny emerald peninsula protected by a deep-blue lake on all sides. Although it is barely 130 yards from tee to green and only requires a pitching wedge from the pros, it represents the ultimate in sporting treachery.

    Sawgrass 17th hole.

    (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

    Without a fairway, there are only three places you can land a golf ball – in the small bunker at the front of the green, on the super-slick surface itself, or in the water. More than 120,000 balls are recovered from the lake by divers every year.

    Jack Nicklaus has said that the hole is typical of the entire course: “I’ve never been very good at stopping a 5-iron on the hood of a car.”

    Back in 1999, Fred Couples dropped his first tee shot into the drink, then knocked the second into the cup for an unlikely par.

    As if that wasn’t enough, one year before Couples’ three, Brad Fabel had landed his ball successfully on the green only to watch it promptly carried off by a seagull and dropped into the lake – “another hazard to add to the perils of the 17th” was the wry footnote appended by one TV analyst.

    In such unforgiving conditions, assessing the wind conditions and selecting the right club is all important. In Brisbane on Saturday evening, there can be little doubt that Joe Schmidt under-clubbed, while Michael Cheika got his own preparation spot on.

    In the absence of six of Leinster’s champion players in the starting line-up, Ireland were sluggish and Johnny Sexton’s replacement, Joey Carbery, endured a difficult evening at number 10.

    By way of contrast, Cheika’s selections (with the possible exception of Izack Rodda in the second row) all paid off handsomely. He judged the wind, and the speed of the green just right.

    Australia had to prepare accurately in the areas I highlighted in this article a couple of weeks ago. Above all, they had to challenge in the air and disrupt Ireland on the ground.

    The single most impressive feature of the performance was the Wallabies’ dominance of the high kicking game. It began right from the opening kick-off:

    Ireland started by trying to run their own aerial specialist, Rob Kearney, straight at Israel Folau, in a modern reinterpretation of the medieval joust between champion knights. Although he was temporarily knocked off his horse, Folau dusted himself down and won this contest conclusively, with the added bonus of a penalty for interference in the air.

    When Ireland repeated the tactic from the next restart, in the fourth minute, Folau won again; at the next attempt, in the 36th minute, Carbery chipped the ball tamely to the Wallaby fullback without any challenge at all. It was somehow symbolic.

    By that stage, Folau had well and truly proved his point. Australia defused Ireland’s box-kicks off Conor Murray with their backfield duo of Folau and Dane Haylett-Petty:

    They also targetted Ireland at one of their strongest points, off kicks launched by Will Genia and Kurtley Beale:

    A second penalty was earned (and goaled) by Folau’s challenge on Kearney, with Bundee Aki picking up the pieces from an offside position.

    Kearney has been one of the bulwarks of the Leinster side this season, but the sound of his deteriorating confidence was almost audible:

    Another error of judgement under a high kick led to the Wallabies’ first try of the match:

    Genia punted high, the threat of Folau caused the misjudgement, and David Pocock took advantage. Three phases later, the Wallabies moved the ball across to the other side of the field to score the try at 0:37 on the highlight reel.

    The dominant Aussie kicking game was also the key to their second try, in the 71st minute:

    Once again, Folau won the high cross-field kick over the left side of the backfield defence – this time, wing Jacob Stockdale was the victim. After the initial breach, Genia cleverly ramped up the pressure with a second kick over the top into an empty backfield:

    The counter-ruck by Michael Hooper and Folau squeezed a penalty out of Jacob Stockdale, setting the position for Pocock’s match-winning try at 3:00 on the reel.

    The second area in which Australia needed to prove their competitiveness was the defensive breakdown. Although Ireland enjoyed about 60 per cent of territory and possession, and built 130 rucks, they did it at a 94 per cent success rate – three or four percentage points below their typical retention rate.

    It was probably a sign of the importance Cheika attached to this area in preparation that Australia finished the game with no less than four big on-ballers on the field – Pocock, Hooper and replacement forwards Pete Samu and Tolu Latu.

    Key to the challenge was the presence of Pocock, back from sabbatical and ready for action. The game contained three signature turnovers from the best jackal in the world:

    This first example gave Ireland early warning that if they couldn’t remove Pocock’s base (his legs), there was little chance of taking him on purely for upper body strength.

    The second example proved it.

    Poor Carbery had the unenviable task of trying to remove Pocock one-on-one in the upper body. There can be only one winner in that contest!

    The third turnover was engineered (as they so often have been for the Wallabies in recent times) by a Hooper tackle:

    A Pocock-led counter-ruck on Aki led to the Folau ‘try’ (at 1:30 on the highlight reel) which was subsequently hauled back for Adam Coleman’s tackle without the ball on Iain Henderson:

    One try scored, three clean breakdown turnovers and a fourth engineering a try that probably should have been allowed – a man of the match performance, right?

    In fact, matters are far less clear-cut. There was a subtle spectre hanging over Pocock’s performance which also casts a shadow over Australia’s prospects of winning the series as a whole.

    The four turnovers were partially balanced by two penalties given up on the deck, when Pocock failed to support his own bodyweight for at least a part of the jackaling process:

    When Ireland were able to handle Pocock at the cleanout efficiently, they tended to find space to attack in the line immediately on the following play:

    Here ‘Poey’ was cleaned out quickly, and CJ Stander promptly found a nice seam between Beale and Bernard Foley to exploit on the next phase. Stander really should have crowned that break by putting the ball down over the goal-line.

    Ireland might have scored another try when Murray broke directly around Pocock’s side of the scrum, but again the men in green failed to find a finish:

    On a broader canvas, the Australian lineout without Rob Simmons looked jittery to the point of being neurotic, giving up three turnovers directly and a further three spoiled balls, one of which was converted to a turnover on the next phase.

    Having Latu, Pocock, Hooper and Samu all on the field together in the last quarter may pay off on the deck, but it could backfire up top in the remaining two Tests.

    Summary
    Michael Cheika looked into his bag and got his club selection right on the 17th at Brisbane to go one-up in matchplay against Joe Schmidt.

    Australia dominated the airwaves through Israel Folau, ably assisted by Dane Haylett-Petty, and their kicking game ended up well in profit.

    They also managed to disrupt enough ball on the ground to apply a measure of brake on Ireland’s domination of territory and possession, and create some turnover ball with which to attack.

    But in truth, that success is balanced on a knife edge, and the ball is well capable of sliding off the green and back into the water.

    Schmidt under-clubbed in the first round, he is unlikely to do so in the second. He has the tools in his bag to improve selection considerably, with Johnny Sexton and Garry Ringrose reuniting in an all-Leinster midfield, the entire starting Leinster front row available, and Dan Leavy and Tadhg Beirne potentially in the back five.

    Even David Pocock’s performance demonstrated the fine margins of success – four turnovers, a try and one try-assist balanced by two breakdown penalties and two clear try-scoring chances given up. The Wallaby lineout failures have to be weighed against their breakdown gains.

    Ireland have every chance of winning the 18th and forcing the series to a sudden-death decider.

    One thing is certain – this series is only going to get tighter, and fingernails will be bitten down to the bone by its end.

    Nicholas Bishop
    Nicholas Bishop

    Nick Bishop has worked as a rugby analyst and advisor to Graham Henry (1999-2003), Mike Ruddock (2004-2005) and most recently Stuart Lancaster (2011-2015). He also worked on the 2001 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia and produced his first rugby book with Graham Henry at the end of the tour. Three more rugby books have followed, all of which of have either been nominated for or won national sports book awards. Nick's latest is a biography of Phil Larder, the first top Rugby League coach to successfully transfer over to Union, entitled The Iron Curtain. He is currently writing articles for The Roar and The Rugby Site, and working as a strategy consultant to Stuart Lancaster and the Leinster coaching staff for their European matches.

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    The Crowd Says (398)

    • Roar Guru

      June 13th 2018 @ 4:02am
      Corne Van Vuuren said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:02am | ! Report

      Yeah Nicholas Pocock won it on the ground and Folau won it in the air, it reminds me of the movie Fugitive when Tommy Lee Jones instructs them to go through every outhouse, barn house etc.

      Was going to say Australia won it in the air, ground and everywhere inbetween, but that would not be completely accurate.

      I think Schmidt and his cohorts didn’t have the same belief in Folau’s aerial skills as Cheika did, it became evident that when you thwart the Irish deemed supremacy in the air, they fail to have a plan b.

      • Columnist

        June 13th 2018 @ 4:34am
        Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:34am | ! Report

        Yes although I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Irish were complacent Corne, I think they were pretty close to it… Those first three KO’s, all directed at Folau with Rob Kearney chasing, were not realistic propositions. Things deteriorated from there.

        The WB aerial supremacy will force Ireland to have a rethink in that area, and it appears they may be considering Jordan Larmour at F/B, who will be able to return any ball Australia kick away loosely. The chess-game advances!

        • June 13th 2018 @ 10:59am
          Who said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          Nick, I was directly behind those kick-offs. I actually think the tactic’s not a bad one – here’s why. The only receivers behind Folau were Foley and Genia. There was no one between them, and they were maybe 15m apart inside the 22. Genia’s very good under the high ball, Foley not quite so much. Challenging Folau is a good tactic, but the kick has to be absolutely perfect. You can’t let him step forward into the kick. It needs to be maybe 4-7m behind him, so he’s got to step backwards, and then leap without a run up. Anything to step forward into the jump, and he’s untouchable. Straight vertical leap, he’s still 90% likely to come down with it. But force him to step back and challenge from slightly side on..? Maybe – just maybe. But Carberry’s kicks all allowed Folau to step forward.

          Any other direction of kick is much more strongly covered – the Wallabies stack both sides of the field, confident in Folau’s ability to defuse the short midfield kick off, and hopeful of Genia or Foley being able to clear a longer one before the chase arrives.

          • Columnist

            June 13th 2018 @ 3:09pm
            Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

            I’m not so sure Who? (Good to hear from you again btw…)

            I’ve seen Israel Folau collect those type of KO’s for lollilops for years now…Kicking deeper on to the 22 in centrefield might have been a better idea, harder exit from there and Israel would not have been out on the right wing ready to collect Beale’s cross-kick or Genia’s box!

            • June 13th 2018 @ 4:22pm
              Who said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

              Always reading, Nick, just don’t always have anything worth adding. 🙂

              The advantage of that midfield isn’t just about the difficulties of the exit kick. It’s also that if Folau can be unbalanced and tackled 7m back from his mark 35m out, he’s suddenly 28m from his line with only Genia and Foley as arriving players to clean out. If Folau’s coming forward, he climbs higher to make the mark, then he’s moving forward into contact (unless he’s tipped). If he’s going backwards, it also means the pods out on the wings have to backtrack to get behind and over the breakdown.

              So if – if – I’m kicking off at that location, I’m looking to push Folau back as far as he’s willing to go for that kick. I want him to be the one jumping for it. Because he won’t kick it back (Foley or Genia might, or will look for another runner). He’ll take the contact and we can blow over before meaningful support arrives. And if he’s going backwards to take that kick (not trusting Genia and Foley), then perhaps he’ll be easier to out-jump. Maybe. But whatever you do, you can’t land it in front of him, as Carberry did.

              So my argument is that perhaps the outcome could’ve been a bit better if the execution of the kick – its placement – had been better. That said, I watched Carberry practising his kick-offs before the game, and his receiver moved about 4 steps total across 8 kicks around the field… Which was very impressive!

    • June 13th 2018 @ 4:37am
      Galatzo said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:37am | ! Report

      Howdy Nicholas. When you more than hinted last week that the WBs could surprise against the Irish I strongly doubted. Too much Cwtch I figured. Wrong again. But now you’re warning of a chastened Schmidt, a far stronger Green Machine, and a game they’ll win or there goes the series. Am I right in thinking you’d bring in Simmonds to help out Paenga if Paenga gets the nod again? And if the weatherman is right and it’s rainy and chilly on Saturday, what other changes would you make to the WBs? Or, put another way, how does MC counter Beirne who’s one of the few locks I’ve ever seen who can jink as a ball carrier?

      • Columnist

        June 13th 2018 @ 4:41am
        Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:41am | ! Report

        Yes I think Rob Simmons may necessary for the lineout G. (I’d let him call it too rather than Coleman – when no-one even gets off the ground it’s usually the sign of a busted call and that happened twice at Bris). Outside that possibility it will be the same team.

        It will be interesting to see whether Schmidt has it in mind to start Tadhg Beirne – I felt he rated the best forward Leinster encountered in the Champions Cup as a whole.

        • Roar Guru

          June 13th 2018 @ 10:17am
          PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

          NB – If it was wet I was suggesting Cheika should replace Koroibete with Hodge because he is better under the highball, better positionally and a better kicker.

          What do you think?

          Also want Hooper moved to the bench and a genuine lineout option at 6 and Pocock moved to 6 since kicking and a lineout is so important in wet games but I know that won’t happen.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 11:23am
            Phil said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            PeterK,what’s with this move Hooper to the bench?Number 1,as you have already stated,Cheika won’t do it.Also,Hooper and Poey do work well together so why would anyone even contemplate doing it?
            Your thoughts are generally very good,but please shelve this one.

            • Roar Guru

              June 13th 2018 @ 11:33am
              PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report

              Why I would do it?

              Easy it will be a wet game.

              Kicking and lineouts become more important as well as a tighter game running the ball.

              Hoopers strengths are less important here than the weaknesses being fixed by adding a bigger forward who is a genuine lineout option.

              I can see Ireland in the wet kicking deep into the aussie corners and contesting lineouts time and again.

              Ireland also made good metres with forward drives that Hooper is ineffectual in stopping.

              So either Pocock or Hooper should be benched, it is clear out of the 2 which one it should be.

              • June 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm
                MitchO said | June 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

                PK I reckon we actually need Hooper’s pace to help out in the centres (to cover misreads and to cover the shooter or to shoot himself), to help out wide and to get back and help defend against the long Irish kicks to corners (which should be coming).

                KB leaves holes even when not shooting and Kerevi can expect some traffic so we are going to need Hooper to get out there.

                Kepu, Sio, Coleman, Rodda/Simmons, Timu et al should be able to help Pocock with the middle. If they can’t then adding an inferior player to Hooper probably won’t help.

                The trade off is the lineout but I reckon they have us there anyway. POM looks a bit Read like in the lineout. Freakishly good.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm
                jeznez said | June 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

                Assume Timu to 6 and Higginbotham to 8 with Pocock at 7. I don’t disagree but can’t see Cheika ever going for it.

                If Cheika makes a backrow change then he’s probably looking at Tui for 6 and retaining Pocock and Hooper. I’d be very concerned with the drop off in speed if he took that option.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 2:20pm
                jeznez said | June 13th 2018 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

                I think that is a good comment MitchO – if the lineout is a major issue then I think it is Latu and Simmons in to shore that up.

                Although not certain that Latu is that much stronger a thrower than Paenga-Amosa – just haven’t seen enough minutes from him this year to see if the improvement is coming to that part of his game.

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 3:26pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

                The Pooper had one of its best games last weekend, eclipsing the Ireland opposites, so cannot see that synergy being lost.

                Also not convinced Scott Higginbotham has the energy and desire left in him to play Test footy now (Jez below!) so options are not exactly spilling out of the ears…

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 4:03pm
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

                NB – Only for the wet game, for dry conditions I wouldn’t consider changing it whilst it was working.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 4:43pm
                jeznez said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

                G’day Nick – apologies that I’ve been having a bet each and every way with my comments.

                There are many ways to slice the cake that I would be happy with at the moment.

                I think ideally we keep a winning team unchanged and allow them to develop.

                I’ve said on other threads that if we are truly worried about the lineout then swapping Paenga-Amosa for Latu and/or Rodda for Simmons could strengthen that area of the game but of all the options I’m happiest with persisting with the guys who got the job done.

                I do particularly feel for Alan Alaalatoa though, named in the team and then did his ankle after someone landed on it during lineout practice.

                I’ve long been sceptical of his replacement, Tom Robertson’s scrummaging but I think you have to reward performance and his match last week wasn’t one I’d drop him for.

                Alaalatoa still hasn’t run on the ankle even though he is targetting being ready by the weekend. So I think even TR gets another shot.

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 5:49pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

                I’ve said on other threads that if we are truly worried about the lineout then swapping Paenga-Amosa for Latu and/or Rodda for Simmons could strengthen that area of the game but of all the options I’m happiest with persisting with the guys who got the job done.

                It’s a sensible solution Jez, and maybe the WB’s believe they can solidify the lineout organization with the benefit of another week together? I think we will prob find out, and Rodda will stay in the run-on side.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 4:45pm
                jeznez said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

                ps. I thought Higgers showed a fair amount of energy and desire in the Tahs v Reds match!

              • June 13th 2018 @ 7:14pm
                Baz said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

                @Nicholas if it is raining, your 5 iron will probably pull up much quicker especially if the green gets a bit water logged.

                @PeterK Conventional wisdom says that bigger forwards work better on heavier tracks. I am not a Pooper advocate but these conditions might just suit a light mobile forward down to the ground especially if that said ground is just wet and not boggy. Possible Hoopers running game and foot work in slippery conditions will be hard to contain. Cheik will need to be wary and bit flexible with his game plan.

                If I was Cheik I would have Higginbotham on the bench. He is not just a line out option at 8, he would be a great sub for Hoops if a bigger body is needed. And I think he is up to it from both a physical and mental perspective this year. He will be just what the team needs against an Irish side that are going to come out breathing fire.

                But this won’t happen. I think Higgers may be on Cheiks black list. Sadly.

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 7:32pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

                I think Higgers may be on Cheiks black list. Sadly.

                I think you are right Baz.

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2018 @ 7:01pm
                soapit said | June 14th 2018 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

                personally i dont think its that acceptable for a coach of a representative team to have so many players on his black list for fairly poorly defined reasons but thats me

              • Columnist

                June 14th 2018 @ 7:26pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 14th 2018 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                As someone else pointed out, Sean Cronin seems currently to be in Joe Schmidt’s bad books. Although he has not struggled against some very good front rows in the European Champions Cup, it appears he has copped the blame for Ireland’s poor scrum near the goal-line!

          • Columnist

            June 13th 2018 @ 3:22pm
            Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

            The way they defend, Koroibete is never asked to be in the backfield Peter – so from lineout he’s always the open-side wing in the line with DHP and Folau back there. In phases, again in the front line so they can use his excellent closing speed on the ball-carrier…

            Also he really upped his level from SR so I’m certain he’ll stay 🙂

            • Roar Guru

              June 13th 2018 @ 4:05pm
              PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

              I am sure he will stay as well.

              I agree with their setup he is never in the backfield so it isn’t as much an issue.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 5:43pm
            double agent said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

            I doubt the captain will be benched.

    • June 13th 2018 @ 4:57am
      Galatzo said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:57am | ! Report

      For Aussies who may not be familiar with Jordan Larmour (like me), he’s 20 years old and a rocket.

      https://rugbyonslaught.com/video-wing-prospect-jordan-lamour-shows-leins

      • Columnist

        June 13th 2018 @ 5:04am
        Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:04am | ! Report

        He also scored this goodie in the Pro 14 final (all part of the planning ofc 😀 )

        • June 13th 2018 @ 10:22am
          jameswm said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

          He was running against a slow forward. No wonder it made him look fast.

          • Columnist

            June 13th 2018 @ 3:27pm
            Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

            It’s the pick-up, without breaking stride James!

      • June 13th 2018 @ 6:06am
        Mzilikazi said | June 13th 2018 @ 6:06am | ! Report

        “For Aussies who may not be familiar with Jordan Larmour (like me), he’s 20 years old and a rocket.” I was not either, Galatzo, until a couple of months ago. Would rate this young man very highly, and a bit O’Driscoll like maybe. He could become one of irelands great backs of all time……just hope we see him develop fully, injury free.

        I also really like the look of Ringrose.

        • Columnist

          June 13th 2018 @ 6:11am
          Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 6:11am | ! Report

          Yes These guys represent the future for Ireland, and that future may be before the 2019 WC, MZ. It is a good test for Joe Schmidt as a selector too 🙂

          • Roar Guru

            June 13th 2018 @ 1:02pm
            jeznez said | June 13th 2018 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

            Saw Jordan Conroy burn Carlin Isles in a clip from the Moscow 7s – loved the bit of banter afterwards.

            He looks pretty quick as well but checking his wikipedia page he looks to play his rugby in lower divisions – not a guy the big clubs are looking at?

            • Columnist

              June 13th 2018 @ 3:29pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

              There are a lot of pro Sevens specialists around now Jez – I suspect he’s one of those if he hasn’t been picked up by his mid twenties!

      • June 13th 2018 @ 12:37pm
        Akari said | June 13th 2018 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        Thanks Galatzo but I didn’t see much of him that added value to the team when he came on. But, as you say, he’s only 20 and time is on his side.

    • June 13th 2018 @ 5:32am
      Stuart Bywater said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:32am | ! Report

      Good morning Nick, Interesting points about Ireland finding attacking space when handling Pocock effectively at the ruck. It appears that the efficient handling included crocodile rolling using Pocock’s head and neck, as well as holding him (and Hooper) on the ground to prevent participation in the next ruck. Hopefully the other two officials saw these tactics and will try to control their use in the subsequent tests.

      Rory Arnold returns from suspension this week and should replace Rodda with Simmons retained for his line-out leadership.

      • Columnist

        June 13th 2018 @ 5:48am
        Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:48am | ! Report

        Morning Stuart.

        In reality neck-rolling has made something of a comeback in pro rugby – it tends to be allowed in the initial contact as long there is a release immediately afterwards – more marginal calls for the ref to make! With a defensive player bent down over the ball, some contact with the head/neck area is inevitable after all. How else can he be removed?

        • June 13th 2018 @ 8:26am
          Morsie said | June 13th 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

          “How else can he be removed?”. That’s bit like when you’re consistently out jumped saying, “How else can you stop someone from catching the ball in the air, you have to tackle them in the air”. Or “How else can you disrupt the opposition line out but take their main jumper down in the air”. Both of those are illegal. If a player is well positioned over the ball and as solid as Pocock and the only way to move him is through a neck roll then we have a problem.You have to concede the jump or you jump separately, you compete in the line-out but don’t touch the opposition jumper and the same should apply in the ruck. If the jackal has his hands on the ball its conceded, or someone is going to get a broken neck.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 8:56am
            Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 8:56am | ! Report

            Well in fairness very few of Pococks turnovers are legal so if he was sactioned appropriately there wouldn’t be short contact on the neck.

            • Roar Guru

              June 13th 2018 @ 9:18am
              Derm McCrum said | June 13th 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

              A point that a few fans might be forgetting. It’s almost as if Pocock does nothing illegal, slowing down ball or make things difficult for the scrum-half. It’s all the other team’s fault. A familiar refrain for all good opensiders.

              • June 13th 2018 @ 9:31am
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

                Correct, and the rule he’s breaking, I’ve never seen policed but it is still in the rule book.

                But no doubt about it he is very good at what he does.

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 7:41pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

                I do think we’re straying into the propaganda of the Joe Marler ‘angling’ era again Derm/Kane!

                Ireland players are coached to be technically proficient at cleanout, and they are among the very best at it in the world.

                If there are clear and repeated examples of foul play, they need to be flagged up rather than the same allegations just being repeated ad nauseam.

            • June 13th 2018 @ 10:02am
              Fionn said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

              Please substantiate that claim, Kane.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 10:14am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                he will probably bring up head below shoulders which has been disproven multiple times

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:04am
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

                How has it been disproven PeterK?

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:08am
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

                PeterK is 1/4 right.

                You aren’t allowed your head below your waist, not your shoulders like hes claimed.

                But saying its been disproven multiple times doesn’t mean it has been. It’s a rule that needs to be better policed as ultimately it is in there to protect players in those situations.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:10am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

                because it is not a ruck thats why.

                It is only a tackle, if it was already a ruck then he would not be able to use his hands.

                Ergo no ruck , no offence of shoulders below hips, doesn’t apply to a tackle.

                If the ruck has formed around him AFTER he has his hands on the ball it doesn’t matter that his shoulders are below hips.

                That is why it is never penalised since it should not be.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:11am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:11am | ! Report

                Kane – wrong again.

                The law

                15.3
                Players involved in all stages of the ruck must have their heads and shoulders no lower than their hips.

                NOTE heads AND shoulders.

                Coreect that I misrote the original head below shoulders than was a typo, i meat shoulders below waist.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:14am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

                Kane – this has been explained to you every time you bring it up, it doesn’t apply since a ruck has not formed, it is only a tackle when he goes for the ball using his hands.

                If it was already a ruck then they tell him release or no hands anyway (or penalise him).

              • Roar Rookie

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:18am
                piru said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:18am | ! Report

                Don’t the new laws now specify one player over the ball is a ruck?

                I thought that changed after Italy played silly buggers

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:27am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                Piru – that is a common misconception.

                They changed when an offside line was created . not when a ruck formed.

                Offside lines are created at a tackle when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball, which is on the ground. Each team’s offside line runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball. If that point is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.

                What they changed in the ruck was the tackler having to come through the gate.

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:31am
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

                You said head below shoulders, which unless you’re upside down is very hard to do. You never mentioned hips.

                Whats the new definition of a ruck PeterK?

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:37am
                kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

                You are correct Piru,

                Here’s the wording from the World Rugby website:

                “5. Law 16 Ruck
                A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside lines are created. Players on their feet may use their hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives, no hands can be used.
                Rationale: To make the ruck simpler for players and referees.”

              • Roar Rookie

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:37am
                piru said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

                They changed when an offside line was created . not when a ruck formed.

                right, thanks that makes more sense

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:38am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:38am | ! Report

                Kane – Yes I agreed I miswrote it. I meant head and shoulders below waist buts lets focus on that yeh?

                It remains it has been proven you are wrong on this time and again.

                No new ruck law changes that it is still a tackle.

                So Pocock is allowed to use his hands AND have his head and shoulders below his hips, no ruck has formed yet.

                The change was to offside lines not when a ruck forms.

                Do you you understand yet? Or are you going to keep bringing this up everytime Pocock plays very well trying to discredit him.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:47am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                Kane – No that is spreading false news, the common misconception.

                Look at the actual laws.

                The ruck law changed
                1) tackler must come through the gate
                2) ball cannot be kicked through the ruck

                The TACKLE law was changed to form an offside line when 1 player is over the ball contesting. It used to be a ruck forming created the offside lines.

                That web site has cause a lot of confusion.

                The tackle law.

                law 14.10

                MAY 2018 LAW AMEND

                Offside lines are created at a tackle when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball, which is on the ground. Each team’s offside line runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball. If that point is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:48am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

                Kane – so you going to keep bring this false claim up again and again?

            • June 13th 2018 @ 11:27am
              Phil said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

              Kane,a bit like Ritchie used to do,eh bro?

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:33am
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report

                Yes that’s correct Phil. But the change of ruck laws have made it happen more often now than when Richie played.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:36am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                No Kane not at all.

                What ruck law change?

                The only one that the tackle has to come back around the gate?

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:49am
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

                This one: https://www.worldrugby.org/news/266973?lang=en

                PRESS RELEASES
                Six law amendments added to global trial as northern hemisphere programme gets underway
                Covering the areas of scrum and tackle/ruck law, these changes will be trialed alongside five previously confirmed laws and will come into effect on 1 August in the northern hemisphere and 1 January in the south.

                5. Law 16 Ruck
                A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside lines are created. Players on their feet may use their hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives, no hands can be used.
                Rationale: To make the ruck simpler for players and referees.

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:56am
                Fionn said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                But if you’re the first man in over the ball you create the ruck by going over the ball, right? Wouldn’t that mean that, given how cause and effect works, the action of going for the ball creates the ruck, which means that you would already have had your hands over the ball before the ruck was created nonetheless? Not sure if I explained myself well there.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:56am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                Kane – Repeat THAT press release is WRONG.

                Look at the actual laws, they are online.

                Law book over rules a press release.

                Law 14.10 the tackle law was changed.

                Look at the law on forming a ruck , it has not changed.

                It is law 15.2 forming a ruck now under the simplified laws.

                A ruck is formed when at least one player from each team are in contact, on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground.

                Law 15.16 is now

                Players must not:
                Pick the ball up with their legs.
                Intentionally collapse a ruck or jump on top of it.
                Intentionally step on another player.
                Fall over the ball as it is coming out of a ruck.
                MAY 2018 LAW AMEND

                Kick, or attempt to kick, the ball out of a ruck.
                Sanction: Penalty.
                Return the ball into the ruck.
                Take any action to make opponents believe that the ruck has ended when it has not.
                Sanction: Free-kick.

                Tackle law 14.10

                MAY 2018 LAW AMEND

                Offside lines are created at a tackle when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball, which is on the ground. Each team’s offside line runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball. If that point is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:56am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                Fionn – No you need 2 players over the ball to create a ruck as always, that hasn’t changed.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 1:09pm
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

                I’ll admit PeterK I wasn’t aware the trial laws had been voted in in May, I was wrong.

                But that press release was right they were the rules trialed from November 1 last year and are the current laws for the Super Rugby and were supposed to be for the RC although that may change.

                So since November everyones been playing that one man makes a ruck and will continue to do so until the competition they were playing in finishes.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 2:37pm
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                Kane – I think only the NH played that way and why the ruck interpretation by refs was so different.

                I think the experience above and the impact of an earlier ruck in other areas like entry had unintended consequences.

                All they wanted to do was make offside lines earlier and they realised they could do this with the tackle law.

                That is why super rugby has been reffed differently , and the june tests, they all obey the laws as written and not a press release.

                It is much better defined the way it is now with the ruck law reverting to how it was.

              • June 13th 2018 @ 3:06pm
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

                The laws were trialled in the Southern Hemisphere as of Jan 1 all our sub unions received a list of all the trialled laws that were distributed to our clubs etc.

                I’ve seen other countries have done the same.

                I can guarantee what was briefed to the sub unions came from NZRU via an official document from WR not a press release. Do you think it’s at all possible when they adopted the 12 trialed laws that it may have been altered upon review

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 3:27pm
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

                Kane – thats what I am saying is they reviewed the impact of the ruck law on the nh when there was virtually no contest at the ruck as NB has described and so changed it to the tackle law.

                What I am also saying it would also be why in super rugby the interpretation by refs has been as per the amendments I cut and pasted.

                The refs were probably told to do it that way, it was more what was intended and lo and behold the law reflects that.

            • Columnist

              June 13th 2018 @ 3:36pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

              All good 7’s tend to be good talkers who can persuade refs their way is the right way 😀

          • June 13th 2018 @ 9:02am
            ClarkeG said | June 13th 2018 @ 9:02am | ! Report

            well tackling could be going the same way…concede or risk suspension.

          • Columnist

            June 13th 2018 @ 3:34pm
            Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

            It’s not the same at all Morsie. What the lawmakers were trying to outlaw was neck wrenches, which were common at the time. A cleanout player would grab the neck, wrench it away from the ball, and ofc the body would follow (if it was sensible).

            It was prolonged and violent contact – now the cleanout players can start around the neck/shoulder area as long as there is no wrenching of the head/neck in the action of removing.

            A few people have mentioned these incidents to me in the game now – do you have examples of what you mean?

            • June 13th 2018 @ 5:50pm
              Morsie said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

              I screen shot a bunch of them Nick but couldn’t see how to post them here and deleted them. Take a look at the contests from a the game. There are some shockers.

        • Roar Guru

          June 13th 2018 @ 10:14am
          PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

          NB – So the refs are going to allow a dangerous action on the neck because of the poor excuse of ‘what else can they do?’

          They can remove the legs thats what they can do, remove his base.

          If they are too late then bad luck they should be penalised or carded if the use the neck to lever him off. It should be black and white.

          Whys is it deemed against Pocock that a break is made wide when he is cleaned out of a ruck, surely that is not his fault nor happened because he is at the ruck, correlation does not equal causation IMO in this case.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 10:27am
            mick said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

            Strongly agree with this!

            If the problem is that you are playing against a jackal you could also pick a jackal and try to beat them to the breakdown? Concede that sometimes you will lose and sometimes you will win.

            You could also just let them pick up the damned ball and then tackle them.

            There are so many options that don’t involve neck rolls or conceding penalties.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 11:06am
            Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            This should be an easy one for you PeterK since its “been disproven multiple times”.

            If you are in a ruck and your head is below your waist how exactly are your legs available to be removed?

            • Roar Guru

              June 13th 2018 @ 11:16am
              PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:16am | ! Report

              explained multiple times, he got into position at a tackle BEFORE a ruck has formed around him.

              This does not make it illegal since he was in position before the ruck formed.

              Try remembering what has been explained to you so many times.

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:34am
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                I thought the new rules stated that as soon as one player was on their feet over the ball it was a ruck?

                This person is Pocock. He is allowed to place his hands on the ball before anyone else arrives, but he cant lower his head below his waist

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:52am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

                Kane – you clearly thought wrong.

                The new LAWS creates an offside at the tackle, not a ruck.

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 3:48pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                I think some concrete examples from the game would be very useful at this point to take the debate further – any offers?

            • Roar Guru

              June 13th 2018 @ 11:17am
              PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

              the remove his legs by driving on his side and 1 hand grabbing his leg behind the hamstring and lifting up and rolling him over legally , not using his neck..

              • June 13th 2018 @ 11:34am
                Kane said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                So coming through the side then?

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 11:51am
                PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

                at least it is safe, and they allow attackers a lot more leeway to come through the side.

                Besides you can enter over the ball and still grab him from the side.

                All you have to do is enter beside a player so quite legally get at pocock from the side as long as you joined from behind the last feet.

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 12:57pm
                Ralph said | June 13th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

                Or, if you are Bismark or Thor, you just pick him off the ground and gently place him to one side.

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 3:50pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

                To Ralph

                Or, if you are Bismark or Thor, you just pick him off the ground and gently place him to one side.

                If only it were so easy to pick up a rhino 😀

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 5:29pm
                Ralph said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                Thor versus Rhino.

                It’s something I would like to see!

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 5:33pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

                Battle of the Titans R!

              • Roar Guru

                June 13th 2018 @ 5:54pm
                Fox said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

                I think Thor would be wise to run and fast against a Rhino – even Lion prides don’t mess with a full grown male unless they are starving and it usually winds up with a couple of dead Lions and Rhino wandering off. They are serious mothers!

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 6:12pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

                Thor’s too old to run away now Fox… 🙂

          • Columnist

            June 13th 2018 @ 3:46pm
            Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

            NB – So the refs are going to allow a dangerous action on the neck because of the poor excuse of ‘what else can they do?’

            No Peter, they allow neck/head action which isn’t dangerous, but target the actions that are (a bit like the modifications with the ball in the air, where we’re seeing fewer cards currently).

            No of course it’s not Pocock’s fault the break is made. It’s the lesson of the All Blacks all the way back in 2011 – if you can pin DP down, target him as the tackler, play away from his side of the field or clean him out quickly, the defence as a whole becomes more vulnerable.

            It’s because he’s so good at slowing or turning over ball that these situations become more important – and the WB defence establishes its own rhythm based on his ability to do it!

            • Roar Guru

              June 13th 2018 @ 4:10pm
              PeterK said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

              Ah ok, well thats the fault of the WB defenders becoming complacent and nodding off.

              Can hardly put that at the feet of Pocock as a downside or held against him.

              • Columnist

                June 13th 2018 @ 6:15pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

                Just the impact of a great player on his team. Team-mates learn to rely on him stealing ball, or slowing it down for 3-5 seconds, and when that doesn’t happen it can result in malfunctions. Not a criticism of DP.

            • June 14th 2018 @ 9:23am
              Morsie said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

              I didn’t want to sit through the entire game again.
              Here’s 2 – at 13.00 and at 33.20. I’m sure if you want to you can sit through the game and find more

              Three times during the game Pocock had his head gear ripped off. That’s not coincidental.

              • Columnist

                June 14th 2018 @ 4:04pm
                Nicholas Bishop said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

                Can’t find anything on those timings Morsie – on the second one at 33:20, Australia are in fact in possession!

        • June 13th 2018 @ 12:29pm
          MitchO said | June 13th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          A bit different between driving straight through and grabbing a piece of a player and twisting. As a retired front rower I have a great deal of respect for protecting player’s necks. A punch in the face never hurt anyone.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 5:20pm
            ThugbyFan said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

            Bleedin oath MitchO, as the league bloke on tv says “BRING BACK THE BIFF” LoL

            You sound like a front row mate of mine from East Beast days. Any 2nd rower or flanker with arms through the scrum and playing with his hooker’s face was almost guaranteed a punch in the head to stop it. Often the ref would simply say “that’s one all, now stop it both of you”.

            I am not condoning or promoting violence, but the old ways sure stopped a lot of “tom foolery” in rucks and scrums. Now you have a depend on 10 camera angles and a fair-minded TMO. 🙂

            • June 14th 2018 @ 10:54am
              MitchO said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:54am | ! Report

              Yeah Thugby a bit of self policing works well enough and no one really gets hurt. When I was pretty young an old front rower teammate told me “If you mind your manners they will let you live”.

            • Columnist

              June 14th 2018 @ 4:06pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

              Now you have a depend on 10 camera angles and a fair-minded TMO

              ….which is why everything is noticed and you cannot get away with the biff anymore. Sadly.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 5:22pm
            ThugbyFan said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

            Bleedin oath MitchO, as the league bloke on tv says “BRING BACK THE BIFF.” LoL

            You sound like a front row mate of mine from East Beast days. Any 2nd rower or flanker with arms through the scrum and playing with his hooker’s face was almost guaranteed he would “step in” to stop it. Often the ref would simply say “that’s one all, now stop it both of you”.

            I am not condoning or promoting violence, but the old ways sure stopped a lot of “tom foolery” in rucks and scrums. Now you have a depend on 10 camera angles and a fair-minded TMO. 🙂

    • June 13th 2018 @ 5:35am
      KCOL said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:35am | ! Report

      Nice clip. Reminds me of a young Giteau or OConnor.(James). I am assuming that the commentators are speaking Gaelic?
      Good analogy with the 17th hole. That game ran on a knife edge for 80 minutes. And I dare say that Schmidt learnt more in that 80 than Cheika did. Partly because he has to to keep the series alive.

      Great analysis of Pocock’s game, Nicholas.

      • June 13th 2018 @ 10:27am
        jameswm said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        I think Chaika would have learned a lot:

        – keep more possession in the first half
        – less short kicks that give possession away
        – sort the lineout
        – Ireland can be bullied physically
        – Folau is better than Ireland in the air
        – we need to exert our scrum dominance more, force penalties from it, make it clear to the ref early that we are dominant. And given our reserve hooker and TH are better scrummagers than the starters and also very good around the pitch, bring them on earlier

        Schmidt would have learned:

        – the Aussie backs are lethal with a bit of space
        – the Aussie forwards are stronger and tougher than we gave them credit for
        – the Aussie scrum is better than we gave them credit for
        – Folau is better in the air than we realised
        – Pocock is better on the ground than we realised
        – we need to do more of taking ages to release the tackled player, get in the way of the guys cleaning out, holding Hooper and Pocock down, coming in the side for clearouts, pushing the off side line at scrums and rucks etc

        • June 13th 2018 @ 10:31am
          Fionn said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          I agree with most of that, but I do not expect Ireland to be bullied physically this week. They will be highly motivated and play their best team.

        • Columnist

          June 13th 2018 @ 3:54pm
          Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

          Should be a cakewalk for the Aussies by that token then James – hope you’ve put your money on… 😀

        • Roar Guru

          June 13th 2018 @ 5:46pm
          Derm McCrum said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

          Is that the difference in thought processes for Australian and Kiwi coaches, James? 🙂

      • Columnist

        June 13th 2018 @ 3:52pm
        Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

        Thanks KCOL – and yes they are indeed speaking Gaelic. It’s a good language in which to listen to contact sports (even if like me you don’t understand a word of what’s being said!)

    • Roar Guru

      June 13th 2018 @ 5:42am
      Kia Kaha said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:42am | ! Report

      Nice analogy, NB! That seagull would’ve broken my heart. Not to mention my wedge.

      The inclement forecast may warm the hearts of the Irish. Let’s see if the rain suits their game plan better. The Wallabies have proven that they can be effective in the wet and bring physicality to the collisions but I think their attacking game is better suited to the dry.

      A slight tweak is required but it was an impressive first-up performance.

      • Columnist

        June 13th 2018 @ 5:51am
        Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:51am | ! Report

        Yes I think I recall seeing that incident with the seagull too, I might even have been in the US at the time (though not in Florida!).

        Yes the balance will be interesting on Saturday. The WBs were very good but Ireland can do more to improve their team via new personnel- and I hope Australia gets to see the best of talent coming through Ireland atm, like Leavy, Ringrose, Larmour and Tadhg Beirne.

        • June 13th 2018 @ 7:05am
          handles said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:05am | ! Report

          • Columnist

            June 13th 2018 @ 7:27am
            Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:27am | ! Report

            Cheers Handles!

          • June 13th 2018 @ 11:41am
            Phil said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:41am | ! Report

            Interesting stuff,Handles,but strange rating Tiger as number 4 chance to win the US Open.He has done nothing on his comeback so far to warrant that,not to say that he couldn’t win.They included him but left out Jordan Speith as top 10 chances!

            • Columnist

              June 13th 2018 @ 3:56pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | June 13th 2018 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

              Strange rating Tiger as number 4 chance to win the US Open.

              I wondered about this too – there seems to be a lot of groundswell for him to become ‘the man’ again, but little evidence of it happening…

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