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Diamond Jackie

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It is inevitable that in the nearish future bowling at the head will be made illegal. Other sports are protecting the head – a helmet won’t be enough. Yes I love the battle of the bouncer vs batsman too , but at what cost.

They changed the rules for Bodyline and they will change them again. If not for safety , then it will be for the lawyers and the inevitable future law suits.

Fast bowling, concussions and Jofra Archer

“No way out “ of the Root dilemma , not the series.

England's captain is the Root of their problems

There appears no way out for England. Root is being asked to do too much but there are few feasible alternatives for either an alternate Captain or chief run scorer.

England's captain is the Root of their problems

The Aussies view reviews as to be used to stop the absolute clanger of a decision. They dont use it for gamesmanship. Good on them.

Smith cops sickening blow as Aussies scrap at Lord's

Anything over 150 will be very very hard to chase down.

Smith cops sickening blow as Aussies scrap at Lord's

I don’t actually think it’s quite that bad.
We were right in it for the first 20 but couldn’t convert. Once under pressure plus a couple of typical Piper 50/50s against us combined with All Blacks brilliance we went on the back foot and showed no backbone.
The result was appalling, the consistency of effort was poor but the potential here is decent.
A wet Eden Park is a graveyard for 99% of visiting sides. We shouldn’t be overly discouraged or surprised by this outcome.

Bledi hell! Wallabies walloped by brilliant All Blacks

Yes you can look at the angle of Warner’s bat but you can also look at his record. Not as good in England for sure but overall one of the best Australia has produced in the last ten years. The data supports that.

Warner and Bancroft are floundering

To add Ronan, I believe Bancroft comes too hard at the ball. I remember seeing him live at the SCG a couple of years ago. Very early in his innings he blocked a ball, with the sound resonating all the way to the back of the Churchill Stand… the ball cannoning back to mid-off in a flash. The very best players in England – think Williamson, Root, Smith, S.Waugh etc play late and play the subtle angles. You need a very , very good technique and eye to succeed otherwise in England (even Gilchrist and Warner – two of the best who come hard at the ball have patchy English records).
Bancroft may be able to flay County attacks, but currently at the highest level he does not have the technique to succeed in England.

Warner and Bancroft are floundering

Agree. The other two selectors have given cheika the AAC win but got their way in most of the other selections that really matter.

Michael Cheika sticks solid with winning Wallabies, confirms team for Bledisloe 2

True. Cheika gave Stephen Moore many tests to say good bye. It was lovely and nostalgic and Stephen was one of our greats … but we lost most of those.

Michael Cheika sticks solid with winning Wallabies, confirms team for Bledisloe 2

He can’t. He has two selectors there now to over rule that approach.

Michael Cheika sticks solid with winning Wallabies, confirms team for Bledisloe 2

That’s because you’re likely agreeing with O’connor and Johnson.

Michael Cheika sticks solid with winning Wallabies, confirms team for Bledisloe 2

100%. I feel 2016-2018 are the “lost years@ for Australian rugby. A coach and sole selector showing bad judgement , stuck in a fixed way of thinking while the world of rugby moves forward without him. The wrong players , out of position, chopping and changing.
Remember Foley wearing #12 in Bledisloe 2 in 2015? Hannigan playing all those tests before he was/is ready. All those lock combinations we chopped and changed with. Arnold hardly played a test. Centres playing as wingers. The world’s best 7 playing elsewhere. Fardy dropped early. The great Stephen Moore playing on until 2017 at least I think! Talent getting fed up and going to Europe. generally too many Waratahs. I could go on.
During that time me and my mates and thousands of rugby fans could see it while rugby Australia was idle doing nothing.
Well now we have two seemingly sensible fellows in Johnson and OConnor setting things right and for that I’m grateful and hopeful for the future.

Michael Cheika sticks solid with winning Wallabies, confirms team for Bledisloe 2

2015. Also a World Cup year.

Michael Cheika sticks solid with winning Wallabies, confirms team for Bledisloe 2

Can we PLEASE give Banks a proper go at this level ? He was ok in SA behind a rattled pack. He was superb all season for the brumbies. The guy has talent and potential and if we keep on chopping and changing he will be another one lost to Europe.

Michael Cheika sticks solid with winning Wallabies, confirms team for Bledisloe 2

Overall a very sensible approach keeping the same side and shows a different approach to 2015 when in a world cup year we won Bledisloe 1, changed the side (remember Foley at #12 ?… no I don’t want to either) and were belted in Bledisloe 2. As for AAC in for Banks it can only be to look for a cool head in pressure cooker environment (in my view this rarely works though as ACC may be one of our all time greats, but isn’t any longer).

Overall we are seeing O’Connor and Johnson’s influence shining through which a good thing.

Michael Cheika sticks solid with winning Wallabies, confirms team for Bledisloe 2

We have been good enough in the past with a McGrath/Stuart Clarke combo. If they are each good enough, in combination they will be fine. Hazelwood is more attacking than Sidds

The Ashes: England vs Australia second Test preview, prediction

I reckon Hazy plays instead of Stark. Fine Lords record. Tighter on runs. Can bowl in this match McGrath-style. Good warm up game.

The Ashes: England vs Australia second Test preview, prediction

On the red card. Times have changed. The average player is 20kgs heavier and probably 30% stronger than 25 years ago. It follows that if you want to minimise serious injury you need to be stricter re on field conduct.
Just have a re-look at play in the 1987 World Cup for instance. It is a different game now. Red cards under the current strict criteria are crucial or we will have a fatality on the field or shortly thereafter.

All Blacks only see the red in a Wallabies bolt from the blue

What a racquet ! Grab some Bonox and warm up. Tough start to the day. Bloody logins.

All Blacks only see the red in a Wallabies bolt from the blue

It was one of the best #9 performances I have ever seen. It also served to lift Genia when he came on.

All Blacks only see the red in a Wallabies bolt from the blue

100%. There is nothing like winning to build confidence. The inverse is true of a belting just like we received in game 2, 2015

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

100%. It is a different side picked by a different selection panel. That’s why we got a different result. Mr O’Connor and Johnson take a bow.

Wallabies beat All Blacks after dominant second half in Bledisloe 1

It’s amazing what can happen when you 1)actually pick the best side, based on merit. Think about who isn’t in this wallaby side vs last year.
Well done CLL, white, JOC, MK and a Brumbies tight 5. As a part of this set up the likes of Beale and Latu shone.
And 2) stop using pop gun, terrible kicks to give the ball back to the opposition.

This is a victory for O’Connor and Johnson. They have clearly brought a certain rationality of approach previously missing.

I feel really proud of our national side for the first time in years really.

Nine talking points from Wallabies vs All Blacks

Who would have thought…… Pick the best team available (ie not players who have shown they cannot succeed at this level) and then don’t kick the ball away and get the result. And… the Wallabies were all over the ABs even before the red card.

Nine talking points from Wallabies vs All Blacks