The Roar
The Roar

Bluesfan

Joined March 2010

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Havili’s best position is on the bench as he is so multi skilled and can slot from 10 through to 15.

However AB’s still looking for that 12 – with ALB probably a more natural centre, however let’s hope next years Super comp will through up someone. We are deep in depth for 13 with any number of players but 12 since Nonu has being a problem position.

What money would the AB’s give to have someone like Aki (who understand AB’s were keeping an eye on prior to leaving for Ireland) in at 12.

All Blacks make 14 changes for Ireland showdown as Barrett retains key role

Sure you will be super proud when one of your Maori All Blacks runs in a try for Ireland!

Pretty obvious really that Ireland is in reality the ancestrial home of Polynesia….

Aaron Smith gets shock call up for last two games of Spring Tour

Only 3 Kiwi players playing for Ireland – so it’s sorta Irish BaBa’s vs AB’s

Aaron Smith gets shock call up for last two games of Spring Tour

Smith to me is clearly best 9 in the world, Dupont is a bit like TJ, great player but not a great 9.

Just as can be seen by how average AB’s can be without being released by Smith’s speed to the breakdown and his pass.

Watching Dupont by comparision – really impressive around the field and offers so much, but his passing is average and as TJ has shown with the AB’s, if you 9 does not have the required core skills of a half-back, then it can really create issues for your team on the field.

World Rugby's player of the year award is back: Who's your pick?

Watched the France vs. Argentina game and thought Ben O’Keffe was very impressive in his ability to communicate to the players (even though his French and Spanish was not there).

Used to think he was extremely ordinary, but he does seem to be getting better.

Finally good to see Angus Gardner back as well, as he is one of the better refs going around.

You aren't imagining it... proof the Wallabies were hard done by

After watching Karl Dickinson, Luke Pearce and Matthew Carley recently, thought they were all very ordinary and really nothing to get excited about, some of their calls in the recent games involving AB’s and Boks and Italy were average at best.

Will be interested to see how Luke Pearce goes this weekend when he is the ref for the AB’s vs Ireland game.

Personally think Wayne Barnes is No.1 ref by a decent margin. Would be happy if he reffed all the AB games.

You aren't imagining it... proof the Wallabies were hard done by

best No. 7 I have seen play.

McCaw, Pocock, Smith etc – great 7’s but don’t even get near Jones in his Prime.

Amazing thing to think about is he kicked off his career as an amuteur, would hate to think how good he would have being if he was brought into fully professional environment from day 1.

McCaw was probably the most mentally and physically tough player I have seen, but was daylight between him and Jones in regards being a rugby player.

Sir Michael Jones: Perfectly balanced both on and off the field

What’s impressive with Oz loose forwards is that they are building with both size at 6 and 8 and then mobility at 7.

In a year or two, it looks like DR will be able to select loose forwards around his requirements/gameplan to play it fast/loose or tight – dependent upon the team that the Wallabies are facing.

If DR can get the team that he wants on the field (Intergrating Oz, Japan and European based players) – Wallabies could really be building towards something special.

Are the Wallabies on the road to their back-row nirvana?

Given the mobility that Topou Vaa’i showed on Saturday and that he looks to be a pretty big unit, maybe the Chiefs should give him a try at 6?

Has all the physical attributes/size etc you need – circa 120Kg and 198cm and if he clicked in the position e.g. mobility, he would be a step above in the physical stakes vs current AB 6’s.

Blindside is rugby's new most influential position

Until they get found out by a powerful pack like the Boks or coming up France.

That all 3 players can play at 7, means we have a very mobile and fast backrow – which is all well and good until you come up against the likes of the Boks.

If we play that looseforward trio, I can see a very tough evening against the French and with a smallish 6 we might get found out abit.

What a balanced All Black loose forward trio can deliver

WR can enforce Reg 9 – but what happens when it comes to recontracting time?

That’s why the clubs are not saying players can’t go – it’s the players themselves, fully aware that their future remuneration is dependent upon their actions, have pulled the pin on the tour.

Think about Q.Cooper – how many more million dollar contracts does he have in him – do you really think he is going to put a Million dollar contract at risk for a tour to the UK?

'I'm hurt I couldn't please everyone:' 'Vulnerable' Quade Cooper on decision to choose club over country

People should not be surprised around this issue.

As soon as you start to select players from off-shore and where you are not the main generator of income for the players, well your ability to control who you can select for the Wallabies is limited.

Personally think RA has 2 choices:

1. Select players from Oz only – This however effectively ensures a very weakened side Wallabies side and ensures an inability to challenge for titles etc, noting however a positive is that you do maintain control over your player base and availablity for Wallabies.

or

2. Select players from off-shore, but accept that “selection” and “availablity” is no longer in RA’s control and accordingly learn and structure the Wallabies to accept this structure.

It’s not an easy situation either for RA or the players, however if the Boks can make this policy work, then so can RA.

What has being surprising is how ready RA has being to dump on the players publicly etc. Personally think it’s dumb PR from RA – why?

Well because in life, sometimes in life you are a Price Maker or Taker – in terms of off-shore player availability, RA is a Price Taker and should remember that.

They need to continue to build links/bridges with the players and clubs to ensure their availablity, get that right and then long term, Wallabies can again grow into being a strong force in World Rugby.

'We want guys who are desperate to be Wallabies': Rennie reacts as Cooper chooses club over country - Beale, Lolesio return

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?

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