The Roar
The Roar

Bluesfan

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People have spoken about Foster a lot and his shortcomings (if they do exist etc) – however a lot of pressure will be on John Plumtree the AB Forward coach.

Big question from this tour will be how the forwards perform and are they moving forward as a unit. Personally have serious doubts around Loose forwards and their lack of impact when faced with physical opposition and then our Props – do we actually have WC props or do they flatter to deceive in looser games only to be found out when the going gets tough?

The Thursday rugby two-up: What needs fixing this spring?

This is just the reality that Oz have to face now that they select players who are based off-shore.

Reality is that even though these tests are being played in international window and required to be released per WR rules, clubs just have to tell the players that they won’t be happy if they disappear off to England and that if they want another contract – they know what they have to do.

All Wallabies can do is grin and bear it and continue to build bridges with the clubs, because all the power is on their side.

It’s not nice or fair but it is just one of the realities of life when you start to select players from off-shore and hopefully this will not be an issue during a WC year.

'They were nervous': Rennie confirms Kerevi, McMahon, Hodge OUT of spring tour and serious doubt over Quade

Really – I would fancy Oz backs over England and if brought in French players, Wallabies have a very good pack – Skelton in particular could really add some omph off the bench.

However with Kervei and McMahon both out of the tour – they are major losses and yip, would now probably favor England – however again, their prep for this game is pretty limited.

ANALYSIS: Eddie Jones facing acid Tests as Wallabies and Springboks aim to pile on his misery

Yip, just saw the news that Kervei and McMahon are both out of the tour.

Guess it highlights the issue re: picking players from off-shore and the requirement that they need to keep their paymasters (the clubs) happy.

Makes it hard I guess to create team cohesiveness, if you are having to swap the teams/players around to much.

Though should add that the Boks seem to have this pretty well covered.

ANALYSIS: Eddie Jones facing acid Tests as Wallabies and Springboks aim to pile on his misery

Oz and the Boks really should be favored for these games, when you consider that they have respectively being playing together now for a number of months and the reality that England will only be playing a weakened Tongan side before Oz.

Then with Eddie Jones trying to introduce new players and coaches, if he pulls off a win vs. Boks and or Wallabies he is doing extremely well.

However the reality is probably that Jones is probably happy to drop a game or two if he can find a game changer in one of his new selections with an eye to the all important WC coming up in a number of years.

What might be good to watch, if the Wallabies select/bring in the likes of Skelton – could it be the Wallabies dominating the English pack for a change?

ANALYSIS: Eddie Jones facing acid Tests as Wallabies and Springboks aim to pile on his misery

Think a lot of credit should be directed J Joseph and T Brown’s way – really do have AB Coaches writtern over them and do wonder if you threw in a Scott Robertson or Joe Schmidt if that would turn into the next AB coaching dream team.

For the Wallabies, got the win and that’s all they needed to do. Tick the box and move onto the Nth and hopefully some more victories.

Would not be surprised if their win streak goes for a few more games – let’s remember couple of these sides like England will have barely any prep, which should give Wallabies a bit of an advantage come game day.

‘False narrative’: The BS construct that does my head in about the Wallabies’ winning run

Yip, must say do rate Papali’i – however where his best position lies not to sure.

The Thursday rugby two-up: Spring Tour hopes and dreams

Yip, they are all great players – however they are very much interchangable – personally think whilst that will be the backrow (Savea to be added in the mix) – think we need to find a big unit – to often in these big games we are getting physically dominated etc.

Real pity that Liam Squire never really delivered due to injuries etc – big man with speed and could hurt you in defence and attack.

Until we find that missing link in the loose forwards – AB’s are going to find it very difficult against the really physical sides.

The Thursday rugby two-up: Spring Tour hopes and dreams

Sotutu/Jacobson looks to have all the skills – but are they big enough to compete at the top level?

They and Savea all look to be in that 105-110Kg bracket and think we are missing that 115/120Kg either at 6 or 8.

When we have 3 loose forwards that can all interchange between 6, 7 and 8 indicates we have lot’s of loose forwards who are all very similar in size and skill set etc.

But which of our current loosies intimidates the opposition like running into the shoulder of Collins or Kaino?

The Thursday rugby two-up: Spring Tour hopes and dreams

So who do you think will be the next long term 8 for NZ?

Devan Flanders and Mikaele-Tu’u from Hawkes Bay and Hurricanes/Highlanders look like they have a big future – plus both have one advantage which is that they are pretty big units.

Saw Mikaele-Tu’u playing for Hawkes Bay recently and he looked like he had put on some serious beef..

The Thursday rugby two-up: Spring Tour hopes and dreams

Saw a rumour that Ma Nonu could be signing up as well.

Bit old at 39, but will be great for the young players to have around.

Moana Pasifika sign second ex-Wallaby for inaugural season

What I think is pretty key is that with the current Wallabies squad plus French players being brought in, is that the Wallabies are bringing some serious size to their pack.

And rugby is still a game that will reward you if you can pair that size with some speed/strength.

Give it another season or two and this Wallaby team could be right at the top, only issue that I can identify as a weakness is the lack of a WC ten, in that O’Connor and Cooper are effectively stop gaps whilst Oz try and bring through some of the younger generation 10’s through.

Issue however is that I don’t see any 10’s in Oz who I think have the ability to grow into being an “elite” international 10.

How Dave Rennie’s Wallabies are pushing the limits in contact

Understand your comments but must say in the AB games it’s pretty hard to remember him making any impact?

Strange because Boks clearly have the stronger pack and he made a big impact vs them but not the AB’s.

Will be great to watch him in the Nth Hemisphere and you do wonder how long Oz will be able to retain him playing for Qld, as with his skill package Japan and/or France must be calling with serious dollars.

Is Taniela Tupou top of the props?

Wonder if long term 6 would be an option for someone like Ah Kuoi – bit short for a lock but physically might be the right fit for blindside?

For the Chiefs, pretty decent looking pack if all fit and with Josh Ioane at 10 could be an interesting team next year.

Coach’s Corner Issue 29: Do the All Blacks have a soft centre?

Firstly Lord obviously has massive potential – 2.02M and great skills – that being said however- my point is he is 20 years old, 107Kg – so are the AB’s the cream of NZ rugby or a development squad?

If AB’s had selected Parkinson or Selby-Rickett – that would make sense, big physical guys who can handle test level I would imagine.

But @ 107Kg – if someone goes down injured on the tour – he could potentially be on the bench and is he realistically at the level required?

Coach’s Corner Issue 29: Do the All Blacks have a soft centre?

I think the issue with Retallicks and Whitelock, is that they are WC, however the issue is the forwards around them and their output.

Just look at one of Nick’s clips – where Laulala just watchs as the Boks roll over breakdown and he is hanging out waiting for a pass that won’t happen.

That the AB’s are bringing in a 20 year (who obviously has massive potential) – does indicate that depth at lock is still a concern.

Coach’s Corner Issue 29: Do the All Blacks have a soft centre?

Personally think we are just seeing a reocurring issue with the AB’s – namely that they find it very difficult to deal with physical teams.

Just as in the WC with England and previously with Ireland – if you get in the AB’s faces you find the AB forwards have a soft underbelly (latest is selecting 107Kg 20 year old lock) and then to make it worse AB’s selectors preference is skill over size in the backs and that is cool, as long as you are playing a side like the wallabies (sans Kervei) – however then they come up against the likes of Aki, DMA or Tuilagi?

Frankly if AB’s lose against an Ireland and/or France, think serious questions will be asked about Foster and his team – we already know that the NZRFU were reluctant to roll his contract but effectively hand was forced by likes of Covid etc, so we are locked in with him but when I see the gameplan and his selections, hard to have any confidence in him.

So for me, last two games have highlighted that any idea that we were moving forwards basis Wallabies game has being shown up as a mirage and that effectively we are back at where we were when 2019 RWC ended.

Coach’s Corner Issue 29: Do the All Blacks have a soft centre?

Problem for NZ media is that they exist in a very small media market and need to keep AB’s on side and accordingly access to them – lose that access they won’t have a job for long, so at times honest opinion is hard to come by and think sometimes they are just cheerleaders.

Not sure how they can address it really, because being such a small place and everyone knowing everyone – it is effectively the market that they need to operate in.

How the Wallabies are building cohesion towards 2023

Agree re: NZ size – look at our back bench on the weekend – 2 players both sub 90Kg, which was crazy in my view given the team that we were facing.

Would really love J Barrett to be given a go at 12 – which is where he played U20’s etc.

Has both size and play making ability.

How the Wallabies are building cohesion towards 2023

Personally wonder if Hansen is as good as coach as made out.

As soon as he lost the likes of once in a generation players e.g. McCaw and Carter etc, his results started to fall away.

Realistically that effectively a Baabaas team in the Lions (lost 2 or 3 games on tour vs Super sides lacking AB’s), which will always lack cohesion (see SA tour) drew with the AB’s?

Then some loses to the likes of Ireland and then running into the Ambush in the WC with England, does make you wonder just how good of a coach he actually is.

How the Wallabies are building cohesion towards 2023

Yip, very poor selection from the AB’s for the Bok test.

Havili is clearly not a 12 who can operate against very physical teams, he is effectively a 15 shoehorned into 12 by the Crusaders and now AB’s due to midfield injuries, especially if the AB’s want to pair him with another small centre in ALB.

Havili has done well when the game is open and he can bring his skills into the game but when a 90 Kg runs into 110Kg midfield back that the likes of the Boks, France and Ireland can put out, there is only going to be one result.

How the Wallabies are building cohesion towards 2023

Pretty tough to slot in at 15 given position and kicking requirements. Would imagine that they would start him on the wing and then gradually get him to slot into 15?

That process would take a decent amount of time, especially when no rugby is being played in Oz now till the kick off of Super rugby next year.

So signing him for only 1 year, if they want to put him in at 15 seems little strange – as to convert from league to union and into pretty tough position would take a couple of seasons would expect.

Waratahs sign Sea Eagles star in cross-code poaching raid

Yip have to say that over the past couple of games and watching the AB selections have to question Foster and his team.

Will be interested to see how they progess in the Nth, with real interest on how we go vs France, as would imagine that France will be targeting the AB’s.

Even now with real question marks around the physicality of the AB Pack and they replace Barrett with a 20 year old (Josh Lord) who is cicra 105-110Kg?

Obviously he is a talent but with only 5 Super caps, his time would be better spent doing what Oz is with the likes of H Wilson, having a full off season to work on building out his fitness/strength.

If you consider how Oz have built into the season vs the AB’s – does tell a story and do think Oz have picked up a gem in DR, because given their current track they will be right up their come WC time.

How the Wallabies are building cohesion towards 2023

Yip, just don’t see a lot of upside for a lock who is 107Kg, when/if he comes up against a 120/30Kg monster.

All the off-loading skill in the world is not going to help you in the scrums and maul etc.

Where did all the Kiwi locks go?

Yip, 107 Kg’s – so not exactly power forward. Would imagine Scrum would be on skates if he played.

If Parkinson heads north, who would blame him etc.

Where did all the Kiwi locks go?

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