The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement

ANALYSIS: Frosty the go man is 'a player every nation wants to unearth' making an Eales-like run at RWC

29th October, 2022
Advertisement
Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
Expert
29th October, 2022
109
5960 Reads

Nick Frost. There’s 206cm worth of reasons why you have to see the bright side to the Wallabies despite the torture they twist into every Test they play.

The most inexperienced player in the starting line-up was arguably their best in the gutsy 16-15 escape against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday morning (AEDT).

His upside is huge just like his frame.

Why the zeal? Well, the Wallabies have a lot of players of the type that every other top nation has. They are players that don’t differentiate the Wallabies as having anything extra. Tellingly, in a number of cases, it shows what the Wallabies don’t have.

In Frost, the Wallabies have a figure that every country is hoping to unearth. He’s a towering figure but with the athleticism to make marks everywhere.

He stole lineouts to mess up the Scots, he dished off a lovely pass in the lead-up to the solitary James Slipper try, he covered ground to contribute. Earlier, this season we’ve seen him charge down kicks, surge into holes with his speed and back up as a support.

All are big ticks.

The Wallabies have lurched so much on the win-loss rollercoaster this season that it often obscures the gains when they are there.

Advertisement

A beanpole named John Eales emerged 15 months before the 1991 World Cup and was instrumental in the Wallabies winning the game’s biggest trophy.

The Frost timeline is similar. He may be the skyscraper who has emerged at the right time to help the Wallabies win a sudden-death quarter-final in France next year.

In Australian rugby, we have to first be realistic before talking fancifully about trophies and finals.

Wallabies vs Scotland was a Test between teams ranking No.9 and No.6 in the world. And it showed. You have to fix a whole of execution errors before thinking any differently.

If this were a weekend at Wimbledon, you’d be enthusiastic about the Wallabies winning a tense, tight five-setter between unseeded players on an outside court before the cameras crossed to a Federer vs Nadal blockbuster on centre court.

The scraping and heart shown by the Wallabies to claw back from a 15-6 deficit at Murrayfield must be rated highly. Coach Dave Rennie has that quality embedded in this team for us all to admire.

Advertisement

The Roar experts Brett McKay, Harry Jones and Jim Tucker discuss the Wallabies’ win in the Instant Reaction Podcast

The Wallabies are still a team of moments.

You had to love Tate McDermott’s early 20m dart from the ruck base, the maul-defusing defence, Taniela Tupou forcing a penalty over a Scot holding onto the ball, Slipper turning try-machine in the 2020s and Bernard Foley’s four-from-four goalkicking. There were moments from returning Michael Hooper as well with his mopping up of ball at lineouts and link play.

You had to hate no one backing up McDermott’s break, the dire ball presentation at ruck time in the first half and bungles in execution on attack. The skill execution was cringeworthy off a scrum when an average McDermott pass and an average Hunter Paisami pass turned into Foley being hammered and coughing up the ball. Oh, how Hooper would have loved to catch that bullet-like Nic White pass and burst clear in the final 10 minutes.

Advertisement

This is a five-Test tour and there were pessimists out there tipping a one-from-five ledger.

This Test against the Scots was always a real 50-50 Test on the trip north. It played out that way too because it was a toss up to the final missed penalty goal by the Scottish flyhalf.

Full credit to the Wallabies. It’s a valuable win that can only help confidence.

The reality is the Wallabies are now heading to the spotlight of centre court. They are still unseeded and playing the title favourites from France in Paris.

They were lucky so many unforced errors went unpunished at Murrayfield. It won’t be the same in Paris where the Wallabies have to tidy things up or pay the consequences.

Frost was playing just his sixth Test at Murrayfield. He’ll keep getting better. Let’s hope we get to see him play beside another point-of-difference lock in Will Skelton, at least for part of this next Test. Now that would be an exciting potential pairing.

close