The rub from Dublin: Wallabies, watch out

Plasmodium Roar Rookie

By Plasmodium, Plasmodium is a Roar Rookie

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    I reached out to some mates in Dublin for their opinions of the Brisbane game and their forecast for Saturday’s game in Melbourne.

    They told me that the guys at their rugby pub, steadily sinking the black stuff, were naturally about losing Game 1 but were full of grudging praise for the Wallabies, namely David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Will Genia and Kurtley Beale – and those who hadn’t watched much Super Rugby were amazed at Israel Folau’s aerial skills.

    They were a little miffed at Joe Schmidt for not fielding a stronger team because now the pressure’s on them to save the series. They have to play catch up rugby, and that can engender mistakes. But they’ve put the loss behind them and are feeling confident knowing that their best squad will run out under AAMI Park’s domes.

    But what is their best squad? What’s their best starting 15?

    There were many opinions, but the consensus was Dan Levy, a handful at six foot three and 106 kilograms, will come in at flanker, and the athletic Tadgh Beirne, six foot six and 107 kilograms, will also slot into the back row to give the Wallabies competition at the breakdown.

    Adam Coleman

    (Albert Perez/Getty Images)

    They reckon Schmidt will attack the Aussie lineout by starting Dev Toner, the human stilt, in the engine room. At six foot 11 and 130 kilograms, he’s a great lineout thief and almost impossible to beat on own throw.

    In addition, the Irish feel that the Wallabies backs aren’t the only ones who can run the ball. They feel their backs will have a shiny new look with Johnny Sexton and Garry Ringrose starting and very possibly young flier Jordan Larmour in for an out-of-sorts Rob Kearney.

    Some of the older, slower drinkers were more concerned with how Ireland will adapt to the Aussie style displayed at Suncorp. They doubt that Michael Cheika will come up with any surprises, and if they’re right, then Joe Schmidt’s the one who’ll say, “Hey presto!” and pull something new out of his top hat. Does Cheika know what that will be? We’ll find out in the first 20 minutes.

    Anyway, stay away, rain. Let’s hope referee Paul Williams gives both sides a fair shake and that the other Kiwi, television match official Ben Skeen, will restrict himself to answering Mr Williams’s questions.

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • June 14th 2018 @ 12:55pm
      Old Bugger said | June 14th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

      Yes, it was mystifying to see JS’s team selection last week but hopefully this week, he will choose his No 1 side. Based upon those selections last week, I had an inkling that the WBs would come out all guns blazing and catch the Emerald lads, on the back foot. And so it proved…..however, I’d suggest this week will be a totally different game plan by the Irish boys to starve the WBs possession and take it up through the middle before releasing it to the backs. I wonder, if the Irish forwards will adopt the ABs tactic, to nullify Pocock…..?? We will see soon enough won’t we….??

    • June 14th 2018 @ 3:02pm
      Faith said | June 14th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

      There is a forecast of rain which surely plays into Irish hands as it slows the game down. If Oz take this one they are comfortably back as an RWC contender … and so it will be interesting how they go in RC …

    • June 14th 2018 @ 9:53pm
      Dublin Dave said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

      Good to see Dan Leavy come into the back row, an out-and-out scrounger at number 7. He should offer a bit more competition to Hooper and Pocock at the breakdown than was the case last week. Second row, and reserves should be a bit stronger too. Toner is a beanpole in the lineout and Tadgh Beirne, back in Ireland after a successful sojourn for the Scarlets in Wales, will be itching to impress at international level should he come off the bench.

      The centre pairing looks a bit more balanced. Last week Ireland played two 12s. Now Henshaw reverts to his more customary inside centre role with Ringrose coming in to the 13 position, which for more than a decade was the preserve of a certain Mr O’Driscoll. All inheritors of that jersey will be cursed by comparison to the great man and it doesn’t do Ringrose any favours to be labelled, as he has been, with the title of the “New BOD”. Certainly in attack he has some of the same acceleration and elusiveness as his illustrious predecessor, but in defence there is no comparison. Which is probably why he has as few caps as he has. That’s something Australia could exploit.

      Conway is a promising enough wing, although he has been promising for some time now. Larmour didn’t get much opportunity last week to show what he can do, which on the evidence of his Leinster form is quite a lot. Although this is a different level.

      Anyway, all this should be academic because as I posted elsewhere, Ireland should go for territory and drop goals. Rugby is all about playing to the opposition’s weaknesses and not to their strengths. Pin the Aussies into their 22 like we did last week and rack up the points, like we didn’t.

      Ireland might even score a try or two as well. COYBIG!!!

    • Roar Guru

      June 14th 2018 @ 10:37pm
      Corne Van Vuuren said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:37pm | ! Report

      It is all about the attitude in defence and the intensity at the breakdown, I think the Irish may have sniffed a weakness in the Aussie line out which have fewer real line out options and can thus be a tad more predictable.

      I suspect Irish will kick less, or at least not towards Folau, which means they will have to build phases and retain posession.

      Will be i teresting to see Irish tactics this weekend.

    • June 15th 2018 @ 9:28am
      Bob wire said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      So some big units have been named for the green, will they handle the pace of the game, which will be quicker than they are used to? We’ll see soon enough. I’m looking forward to seeing Leaavy ply his trade, have heard good things about him.
      Wallabies by 8.

    • June 15th 2018 @ 2:21pm
      Suzy Poison said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      As a neutral, it will make fascinating viewing.

      Brisbane is never a happy hunting ground for visiting teams. By the location of Saturday night’s test really favours Ireland. It’s going to be Irish weather in Melbourne. Raining with a top of 12 degrees, minimum of 7. Around 9 degrees at the stadium, on the night, I would guess. Also Ireland team selection will mean a serious improvement.

      I still think Pocock (I incorrectly thought he was 8 last week, but he played 7) and Hooper together does not work. I think Hooper needs to come off the bench. Secondly it really depends on the ref. Other refs would have penalised Pocock a lot more. But good for him, getting away with murder. (Kinda like Richie is his hey day) I think Ireland will improve at the breakdown and dominate the lineouts.

      Joe Schmidt, is according to my Kiwi mates the next Kiwi coach in waiting. He is a crafty fellow. I think Ireland got caught out by two things in the first game. The pace of the game. Remember they were leading with 15 minutes to go. Super rugby is faster. Fact. Secondly, the box kicking strategy, went straight down Izzy’s throat. They won’t do that again.

      I think Ireland will edge the second test, and take it to a decider.

      • June 15th 2018 @ 3:55pm
        Puff said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

        Suzy P, both teams will have to make adjustment to be competitive at AAMI Park. With Melbourne weather been unpredictable and this weekend appears to tick all these boxes. To win Ireland can’t afford to be wasteful in the possession stakes, the team with the softest hands will grind this one out.

      • June 15th 2018 @ 4:00pm
        Puff said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

        Suzy P, both teams will have to make adjustment to be competitive at AAMI Park. Apart from Melbourne weather been unpredictable and this weekend appears to tick all these boxes. To win Ireland can’t afford to be wasteful in the possession stakes, the team with the softest hands will grind this one out.

      • Roar Guru

        June 15th 2018 @ 4:23pm
        Timbo (L) said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

        Suzy,
        There have been a number of game analysis done showing how effective the “Pooper” is as a defensive strategy in open space. It doesn’t suit my narrative, but I can’t change the facts.
        My beef is what happens when the opposition forwards hang onto the ball and bust through, or have a lineout or a rolling maul. For me the sacrifice in those aspects of the game aren’t worth the gains in the midfield. With the big boys coming into the green machine, I predict a different outcome..

        The commentators and coaches complain about how the tight 5 under performed where in fact, the just weren’t staffed properly.
        I saw those cracks appearing in the first 35 minutes of the first game. I fear they will be a Crevasse by the end of Saturday night.

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