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Francis Foo

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Joined August 2014

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PLayed rugby union for university in mid 1960s to mid 70s.

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Looks like a good balance squad to get the Pumas to return back into the wilderness.

I am just happy that two of my favourite players are continuing to be in the Wallabies squad. Andrew Kelloway and Pete Samu.

They both shone when they had the ball and they defended their lines pretty well. Pete Samu had been instrumental in setting up opportunities for the few of the Wallabies tries whenever he came off the bench.

WALLABIES TEAM: Leota the No.6 bolter, McMahon overlooked, Hodge starts and JOC on bench

I see a zen-like calmness in 2021 Quade Cooper than the Quade Cooper of yesteryears.

Of course, as a collision sport, the game demands 80 min of aggression to win the ball back. And aggression is what the young blood has plenty in the team. Especially aggression to punch the other guy in the face.

But the modern game, where each set of play is mostly based on what had been scribbled on the drawing boards the week before, including moves for open unbroken play been strategised, demands patience in the whole team to execute them

Here’s the problem: Patience needs to be developed, instilled into each member and to be practiced by the team. Question: Can this be taught to the team without losing the much needed aggression. I don’t know

Patience and aggression are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Perhaps we can look at enhancing “calm-aggression” by individual players by sending them to learn kungfu under a good kung-master. “Calm-Aggression” is taught in the deadly Chinese Kungfu martial arts, where you keep your presence of mind under control ALL
the time during attack and defence while you make those series split-second decision to bring down your opponent. But that can be hard to teach to apply on the rugby field.

What Dave Rennie did in its place is to bring someone who is able to evoke a sense calmness to the team by his style of play and if there is a sense of calmness in the team, reckless and indisciplined aggression will be subdued.

That to me, is the major contribution of the 2021 version of Quade Cooper. besides his boots and his quirky ways of offloading the ball when he is tackled.

And that to me is the master stroke of coach Dave Rennie to tame the mountain of men of the Springboks who come at you really hard like wounded bears.

But will that also work against the All Blacks? Yes.

But against the AllBlacks, the Wallabies need to fix their stupid indiscipline they showed during games against the Springboks.

To date, its stupid indiscipline, Dave, it is those too frequent silly indiscipline that loses games by the Wallabies .

Tom Banks' unlucky break opens the James O'Connor door

Yes, get rid of the Giteau Law.
Rugby Australia is not doing any favour to the code.
The chaps in suits in RA had been the problem not the solution to the current state of hopelessness in Australian rugby.
If the Giteau Law cannot be removed, then steps should be found to remove the current deadwoods in Rugby Australia.
Clueless organisation… and that is why the Wallabies is like a box of gold tied to a rock and being stuck at the bottom of the sea for more than a decade while other teams are enjoying the sunlight.

'There's so many guys OS who could play for Australia': Kellaway says 'scrap Giteau Law'

Peter K
Yes. Too many dumb mistakes and silly indiscipline. They don’t think well, do they?
At this level of the game, players like Swinton, Hodge and Faingaa should know they have to also use their brains too , not just depending on brawns in the hustlings to win the ball back. You don’t see much that kind of indiscipline in the ABs.
They seem to shut down their brains and not allowing them to function while ramping up the muscles in a reflex-response of the moment. I don’t know how you can teach that at training sessions.
The last thing you want these three to be around is in the last 10 minutes of the game.
I agree these three should sit out for the rest of the games against the Boks and to give them quiet time to reflect how they are capable of making their team to lose the game.
One other thing, the Wallabies got to
stop this nonsense of readying themselves to fall to the ground with the ball the moment the opponent touches them.
Wallabies players are bringing into these Test Matches their touch
-rugby training sessions.

MATCH REPORT: 'He's a big game player. He said I've got it and he nailed it'

Quade Cooper delivered and returned the favour to coach Dave Rennie .
Kudos to coach Dave Rennie. What makes a great coach is the ability to size up the opponents’ game and trust his instincts on what it takes to bring down the opponent. Against the World Champ, it looked as though his instincts flew in from outer space in his reliance on the person named Quade Cooper.
The sad story in all the 3 Tests against the AllBlacks is this: there were so many near misses due to dumb and silly amateurish mistakes plus schoolboyish on-field indiscipline by the Wallabies which could have altered the flavour of the whole game. Against the AllBlacks, that frequency and number of infringements is not only an unforgivable sin, its a jail-time crime. It exposed the Wallabies to the AllBlacks that this Wallabies team was very short of individual skills of a standard needed to take down the AB following coach Rennie’s game plan.
Coming back to the Springboks: The Springboks is a totally different monstrous animal to be tamed and coach Rennie decides he needed a different ringmaster in the cage . He found that in Quade. Nobody knew why that is so before the game.
All that Quade did during the game was to be seen around the paddock and he just did the necessary to keep the game moving along, nothing heroic, yet his presence calmed especially his younger teammates.
A “ collective zen-like peace in the come what may” was perhaps what coach Rennie felt was sorely needed to infuse into the Wallabies team in order to tame the brutish Springboks team and bring it to its knees. That is, a zen-like calmness in the team to allow self-belief to take hold for the full 80 minutes.
All Quade said to his captain, in the dying minutes before he put his foot to the ball to change the scoreline was, “I GOT THIS”. And that by itself is sending the message to his fellow teammates on the field: “ Trust yourself and have that self-belief inside you when the ball is in your hands”
That is all that is needed from Quade for Australia to sleep well after the game.
Man, he certainly has matured after 4 years in the rugby wilderness.

MATCH REPORT: 'He's a big game player. He said I've got it and he nailed it'

McDermott needs to talk to Will Genia as often as he can to understand Quade Cooper’s style of play. Quade’s unpredictability is what makes him stands out from other 10s.
Will Genia had the uncanny understanding of Quade’s game on the field and that is why they both ruled the roost when they were with QLD Reds.
Furthermore, the Wallabies backline must develop that split second presence of mind to back Quade at 10 especially at loose scrums and in open play. Otherwise Quade’s presence on the field will be under utilise and the backline won’t gel.
Secondly, I am glad to see Peter Samu back in the squad.
I was perplexed why Rennie took him out of the squad in the first 2 tests.He was one of my first 23 Wallabies against the AllBlacks.
Peter Samu has a high work rate, great runner of the ball from the base of the scrum. Perhaps Peter Samu needs to do more is find and create opportunities more often for himself and to make his present felt on the field. He has the size, the build and muscle to intimidate.
I am not sure whether Peter Samu is an effective impact player coming from the bench. I see him as a no. 8 or no 6 in the starting lineup for at least the first 60 minutes.
One last point. There must be a reason why the Wallabies suffer from the horrible recurring indiscipline disease, resulting in giving away free penalties when they are poised to score inside the opponent’s 5 m line or making silly infringements while defending their own 5m line. That seems to be the familiar feature of the Wallabies game in recent years. It is like watching schoolboy rugby.

CONFIRMED: Quade Cooper returns for Wallabies at No.10, Rodda starts, two debutants

My faith in Andrew Kelloway as a potentially outstanding Wallaby remains intact when I wrote about his first game for the Waratahs years ago.

Wallabies DIY player ratings from Bledisloe 2: The results

I had backed Kelloway way back
to be in the Wallabies when he first came out for the time for Waratah. The reason is he is able to play rugby as he sees it in front of him just before and when he got the ball. The kind of mental skill that makes players like AllBlacks McKenzie and Mounga shine on the field.
More games for him with other Wallabies will enable him to sharpen his akills and allow him to know his team mates’ style of play.
In rugby, you are only as good as how well you are able to familiarize yourself and complement your skill with each of your team mates style of play and vice versa.
Kelloway has shown he can improve with each game and he still has a lot in reserve to give.

WILL GENIA: We have to back ourselves when the game is still there to be won

Ben O’Keefe should be red carded by the Judicial Committee, If not, the Judicial Committee will be seen as complicit in harming the Rugby code and debasing the game.
At the minimum, Ben O’Keefe should be banned from refereeing future games involving the Wallabies for the next 5 seasons. This is for his own good.
There is absolute certainty the Wallabies supporting crowd in the stadium will boo him off the field from the first whistle.

'We owe it to the sport': How and why RA will fight to have Koroibete cleared at judiciary

Fact: The TMO is patently useless. He must be having a coffee break during the infringement and then eating dougnuts while reviewing the video clip.

The ref had on his mind on going home early.

'We owe it to the sport': How and why RA will fight to have Koroibete cleared at judiciary

Dave Rennie’s decision to make major changes after the 2nd Test was a stroke of brilliance.
He backed his players and they returned a big favour with a remarkable win with 14 players for 75 minutes and losing 2 key players in the wings, one of them his star player given a ridiculous and highly controversial RED card.
There is much to look forward with this young team led by this new coach.

'That wasn't about rugby, it was about heart': Brave 14-man Wallabies' stirring win

The French player put his head DOWN when he was about to be tackled, and of course, in that situation Korobete’s shoulder will touch the French player’s face.

How do you expect Korobete to do otherwise at that split second, especially when the French player saw Koroibete coming in high apeed in front of him snd he decided to lowe hus upper body DOWN when he was about to be tackled,

A RED card for that ??

Did the ref expect Koroibete to crawl below the French player’s belly button at contact?

How LOW should you tackle when the opponent put his head.down when he is about to be tackled?

While it is fine to protect the head of players, but under this situation, either the rule is an idiocy or the referee in this instance behaves more like a hanging judge.

The rule, without any meaningful clarity and secondly the ridiculous subjectivity of the referee’s interpretation of the rule, simply spoil the whole game ( or any game) and basically debase the rugby code.

'Absolute travesty': Outrage over Koroibete red in Wallabies v France decider

The RED card was a rubbish decision. Period.

'Absolute travesty': Outrage over Koroibete red in Wallabies v France decider

Wallabies should watch the AllBlacks v Fiji game, if for any reason, it is to learn just one thing from the ABs: The All Blacks players DON’T run 2 meters with the ball and fall onto the ground the moment the Fijians touch them. You got to actually force AB down to the ground with the ball or have to literally drag them down to the ground to release the ball. Tue Wallabies must get rid of this habit of continuing to play lazy rugby with the ball.

As for half-back Tate McDermott, he must make his presence felt behind thd scrum… all he got to do is watch how Aaron Smith dictated play… or learn from Will Genia.

Tate McDermott knows how important his job is in the French decider

David,

First thing to resolve is whether we can agree that there is a need for change from the last 2 Tests on how we are going to go about to win the Third Test against France?

If we can agree, then we have to leave it to Dave Rennie and his team to work out what that change would look like, whether it is team combination, or chsnge of game plan, or both. This is because, we, ie the spectators. don’t have the inner details on the circumstances surrounding Rennie’s mostly young charges in the gold jersey.

So, I for one, would hesitate to try to second-guess Rennie and his coaches on what type of changes that need to take place before the game to beat
France this Saturday.

Easier to know after the end of the game whether those changes work.

We, after all, as the Americans like to say, are expert Monday morning quarterbacks ( in our case, Sunday morning rugby captains).

Wallabies bring in the changes, but is it the right call?

Right call or not, change becomes an imperative if a repeat strategy did not achieve the desired outcome.

Worse to be burdened with accusation of insanity or stupidity, i.e.doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.

Any intended change always carries a risk, but it is a calculated risk, if experience is used as a gauging tool.

Wallabies bring in the changes, but is it the right call?

Russ.
Great piece. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Good insight. A thoughtful perspective on why the Wallabies are forever chasing after the All Black’s coat tails.
Wallabies’ coaches need to think outside the box , and think real fast, to get the Wallabies out of the rut.
Current methods are not working as shown in the last 2 Tests.
To be brutally frank, the score after Tuesday should have been 2:0 with France taking the silverware, and they should be making some day trips this week and enjoy their stay in Australia.

Keeping up with the trends and the importance of having more than a Plan B

Will Genia.
As always, you write with so much insight as a PRACTITIONER of the game at the highest level.
I hope Dave Rennie and his brain trusts read what you have to say. They should rope you in during strategy planning and for on-hand mentoring for our relatively inexperienced half-backs playing at Test level.
Allow them to get into your head so they can think like you once the first whistle goes off.
That is assuming Aussies (a) are willing learners and (b) able to take tough and frank criticisms of their weaknesses (not sure about this, from my experience), and (c) are able to shelve their egos temporarily.

WILL GENIA: 'Absolute machine', 'Slow under pressure', the Wallabies' good, bad and ugly

Agreed.

As I indicated Toomua was off the mark in this game. When he left for the blood bin, Rennie could have asked him to stay on the sideline. But Rennie must have realized he was still crucial to have him still in the field to provide the link from Lolesio to the outside.

WATCH: The powerful scrum that won France the second Test against the Wallabies

Its true. He did not meet the requirements of the immigration conditions laid out in our immigration legislation.
The law is the law… giving special exemptions to be made an Australian citizen would be a mockery of our laws. He holds NZ citizenship.
It is different when giving PR status to aliens.

WATCH: The powerful scrum that won France the second Test against the Wallabies

Hi Ken
The ailments are among those you had mentioned very correctly. They are intera-related including the below par approach Rugby Australia oversee the franchise, which is one of the reasons for the lack of depth of players relatively on our side of the ditch.
There is a gap as wide as the Pacific Ocean the way All Black players play and how they execute their tactical games and the way the Wallabies operate on the field.
What was evident is that the Wallabies players carry forward many of their Super Rugby game habits ( and nothing to shout about them if we see our Aussie teams’ overall performance in the Trans Tasman competition.)
As they say, it is insanity if you keep doing the same thing again and again and expect a different result.
Dave Rennie is deeply familiar with the Kiwi’s approach to the game. As starters, perhaps make each Wallaby player in their free time to pour over and analyse to learn how their counterparts across the ditch play their respective positions. That goes for the Australian coaches too. Nothing embarrassing to learn a thing or two from our opponent who had beaten us comprehensively and had been claiming our underpants in the last two decades. They must have done something right or had found the right formula to be the numero uno by a country mile from all other teams on the planet. They are presently the gold standard.
Dave Rennie has his work cut out with Australian players and it may take more than 5 years to chisel them to have some semblance of the level of the AllBlacks.
This year’s Bledisloe will be about the score the AllBlacks can pile up. That is an inconvenient truth and pretty hard for me to swallow.

WATCH: The powerful scrum that won France the second Test against the Wallabies

I agree. Toomua made mistakes at critical moments and those mistakes very much out of character based on his experience at #10 for the Rebels. The French’s defence and their quick attacking line wee rock solid on the night and forced errors on the Wallabies.
But I give credit to Toomua at # 12 for trying to dictate play especially when the French defence virtually rushed up to put Lolesio out of play when Wallabies had the ball.
Toomua was #10 for Rebels and he played that role instinctively when he realised Lolesio was muted.
During the game, both could have changed positions as situation demanded. Toomua has more experience with ball in hand than Lolesio.
I could sense Toomua’s frustration as the game progessed when the Wallaby backline could not finished off the job after parking in the French’s 5-10 meter line so many times.

WATCH: The powerful scrum that won France the second Test against the Wallabies

Caps for emphasis in place of italics.

How will the Wallabies break down the blue wall?

Time for some serious changes to the Wallabies starting line-up for the 3rd test.
Dave Rennie should know after tonight’s game , and after allowing almost the same players except one, to be in the starting line-up for both tests, on who should be playing in the starting lineup in the 3rd test.
Who he picks for the 3rd test -starting line up will determine whether he had properly diagnosed the problems afflicted by Australian players over the years.
On the 2nd Test:
The only Wallaby player who played like an All Blacks worthy of the jersey is Marika Koroibete.
Those who actually showed up to play rugby on the night were Taniela Tupou, Hooper, Slipper, Toomua. . Most others were on the field to make the numbers
Tom Wright was out of sorts. He played like he did not have enough sleep before the game.
Jake Gordon’s kicks ( core sklll?) from base of the scrum were free gifts to the French. He did not make his presence felt ala Aaron Smith or Will Genia.
Tom Banks’ running game from open field for most part was not threatening to the French. They just knocked him down on contact. Should learn from Damien McKenzie on how to make piercing runs from open field and escape tackles.
The Impact Bench:
The French had already firmed up their game with sufficient confidence to close the game by the time the impact bench were brought in. The Wallabies impact from the bench was completely nullified. By the time they came into the field, the French were ready for them.
Our forwards? They got out-maneuvered in scrum and breakdown, and even in line outs.
The French literally stalemated the Wallabies backline. The Wallabies couldn’t score despite so many times they were inside the French 5 -10 meter line, and worse, lost the ball either for indiscipline or poor ball handling. This is nothing new coming from Aussie players, for those who had watched the Trans Tasman Super rugby.
Indiscipline was all over the paddock especially inside own half, and then losing possession when staying inside the French’s 10 meter line.
Thank goodness for Noah Lolesio’s boots. Other than that Lolesio seemed to have been crowded out and was not having space and time to dictate play as #10.
Despite the narrow score line, the
French had a better overall game, over the 80 minutes.

WATCH: The powerful scrum that won France the second Test against the Wallabies

And the Wallabies did as predicted and lost.

How will the Wallabies break down the blue wall?

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