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The Roar

Oliver Matthews

Roar Guru

Joined September 2013

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"It matters absolutely who wins the game, and not at all who won"

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Appreciate the feedback and will double check my spelling in future. Simple slip up this time. One thing though – if you are going to criticise passionately someone’s ability to write then it’s best to check your own wording in that critique. “ABs captains name” should probably have at least one apostrophe in there surely?

In terms of the yellow card decision – I do think that it was an over reaction from the referee. I think it is perfectly justifiable decision from the ref and that it sits within an acceptable interpretation of the rules. However I also believe that rugby is a complex game where there is a great deal of nuance to the rules and the way they are policed.

I think that the ref could have pulled Latu and Hopper (jokes – Hooper) to one side and said if this sort of thing happens again with any of your players then they are off. The game wasn’t out of control at the time, a statement didn’t need to be made from the ref, it wasn’t a big dust up. It was a big of pushing and shoving. I’m not at all suggesting that we allow punching or kicking or chicken winging as has crept into NRL. But I think the referee didn’t need to send Latu to the bin for this. The range of incidents which result in yellow and red cards is just too broad in my opinion.

Fortunately in this instance the yellow card didn’t really impact the result of the game but, like I say, in my opinion, the push from Latu didn’t warrant a yellow.

To say that allowing Latu to go un yellow carded is the same as allowing players to kick and punch might perhaps be a bit of an exaggeration but hey, this site is all about opinions.

Different country, same result: All Blacks sweep Bledisloe Game 3

But isn’t that the point – the rules are not capable of covering all nuance of a situation and so we look to the refs to make a judgement. There are subtleties to many rugby situations where refs have to weigh up a range of factors and make a decision. I’m saying that in this situation I feel that it was the wrong call to yellow card a player for that situation. I’m not saying that the ref’s decision wasn’t justified by the rules but I’m saying that there is enough grey within those rules for the ref to make a more nuanced decision.

Seven talking points from Bledisloe Game 3

One of the biggest issues that has haunted the Wallabies and will continue to do so is their lack of quality and depth at #10.

Looking at the top fly halves around the world at the moment where would he be ranked?

Barrett is better. On club form Mo’unga is better. Sexton is better. McKenzie is more dangerous in attack but also more of a risk and the same could be said of Finn Russell.

We could go on through the rest of the international fly halves but what is clear that ever since the Final of RWC 2015, Foley has been in the second tier of those at the top of the game currently.

You can’t expect a team to win big games consistently with an average fly half. England made a surprisingly good go of it in 2016 and 2017 with George Ford but he’s been found out and the England side are struggling now.

Foley is not unleashing the potential in the Wallabies back line. He’s not got a strong kicking game out of hand. The fact that he’s also got a very hot and cold pack in front of him of course makes it harder but that’s not a good enough excuse.

What’s just as concerning is the fact that he’s under absolutely no pressure from any other fly half options!

Folau-less Wallabies will struggle to fire a shot at Eden Park

Full Match Report
The All Blacks have beaten the Wallabies by a good margin, 38-13, in the opening game of the Rugby Championship and take a 1-0 lead in the Bledisloe. It’s a cliche as old as sport itself but it really was a game of two halves – one the Wallabies will be encouraged by and one that they will pay specialists to help them forget.

That first half was both impressive and frustrating for fans as both sides put in great defensive performances but struggled to find rhythm with ball in hand.

As usual there will be discussion about how the All Blacks get the benefit of the doubt with the referees. Early in the match Waisake Naholo could easily have been shown a yellow for a tip tackle on Israel Folau but Jaco Peyper decided not to ask the TMO and felt that a penalty was enough.

The All Blacks were out of sorts in attack in the opening 38 minutes – they struggled to create opportunities which is partly down to a surprising number of handling errors from them but mainly down to a well organised and fast defence from the Wallabies. In the same fixture last year the Wallabies were doing realistic impressions of turnstiles as the All Blacks ran in try after try but today the Aussies were ruthless and organised.

In attack both sides struggled to find any rhythm and while each had periods where they put together long sequences of phases, neither really made much ground or punched damaging holes.

At the 38 minute mark it was 6-0 to the Wallabies and the All Blacks were starting to look a bit concerned. But as is said so often the 10 minutes either side of half time is key and the men in black delivered. A try either side of half time broke Aussie hearts and the swing between halves had begun.

The second half not only saw the Kiwis score early with a try on debut for Jack Goodhue in the 44th minute, but also saw the Wallabies defence unable to live up to the standards of the first half. They fell of tackles and were slower on the rush up. The All Blacks took full advantage and scored 2 more tries soon after Goodhue’s meaning that the lead was far too big for the Wallabies to hope to chase down.

While it was always going to be hard for the Wallabies to keep up their defensive pace, the area that cost them this game was their set piece. They conceded penalties at the scrum and their line out became a weapon for the Kiwis. Seven lost line outs on their own throw is criminal at this level and you just cannot hope to give the All Blacks so much ball and not pay for it.

As the game went on the gulf between the two sides became more evident. Whereas Foley struggled to get involved in the game and have an impact, Beauden Barrett’s control over the match just grew and grew. Where the All Blacks were able to reduce the handling errors of the first half, the Wallabies were dropping balls and giving away possession. When the Wallabies had the ball they looked passionate but lacked creativity. When the Kiwis had the ball they looked clinical and ruthless.

Jaco Peyper will be in a lot of people’s discussions about this game – the referee will come in for a lot of flack for how he didn’t penalise the All Blacks but in the end the Wallabies made things far too hard for themselves.

The Wallabies will talk of positives and foundations to build on but in truth there are just as many questions as ever about whether this set of players and coaching staff have what it takes to compete at the top level. Ireland made them look average over the three match series and the All Blacks showed the gap in class in the second 40 minutes today. The Wallabies can likely kiss goodbye to the hopes of regaining the Bledisloe this year but they must, absolutely must beat the Springboks at least at home and the Pumas home and away in this championship. This could be beyond them though and a year out from the World Cup they could find themselves in a very tricky position.

Fans will await news of how Folau recovers from an ankle injury that saw him leave the field early. Fans will also await an explanation of why Folau was not used more at restarts and in open play – he’s the Wallabies best attacking weapon and they have to get him in the game more.

The All Blacks will be disappointed that they started so slowly and while they only conceded points during that first half they will know that they were not up to scratch.

Next week will see the return leg over in Eden Park and you have to say that the result will be similar if not worse.

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Full Time
80‘ – The All Blacks have beaten the Wallabies by a good margin, 38-13, in the opening game of the Rugby Championship and take a 1-0 lead in the Bledisloe.

The Wallabies would have started that second half with real hope that they could grind out a win here but in the end they got blown away as they went on and won the second half 35-7.

Where the Aussie defence was ruthless and organised in the first half it began to tire almost straight away in the second half and the All Blacks found the rhythm their were lacking in the first 40 minutes.

A lot of talk post game will be about the Aussie set piece and especially the line out – they lost 7 of their own throws and that is crazy to give the best team in the world so much ball.

Game 2 promises to be an exciting one but the Wallabies have to be better at keeping their own ball.

Full Match Report to come.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 38

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

80‘ – Wallabies line out fails again – that’s 7 of their own throws that they’ve lost.

The ABs will have the chance to end the game here and although Barrett looks to kick wide to Naholo for one last chance the big winger takes it into touch as he gathers the ball and the ref blows the whistle.

That was a crazy second half.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 38

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

78‘ – Wallabies win the scrum but then lose the ball and the ABs counter again.

Naholo gets it out wide and steps out of a tackle and is away.

ABs are now deep inside the Wallabies half but the Aussies do well at the breakdown and look to counter.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 38

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

77‘ – Wallabies restart again and ABs have it.

Just 3 minutes left.

Wallabies earn a turnover at the ruck though and they will have a scrum about 25m out from the ABs line.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 38

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Conversion
76‘ – Barrett slots this one and that’s a big lead now.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 38

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Try
75‘ – Naholo has his second try for tonight!

Gaps appearing in the Wallabies defence and the passing has tightened up a lot from the ABs. They get it out wide and Nahlolo is able to dance through one gap and then out pace a couple of defenders to score.

That all came from another poor set piece from the Aussies.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 36

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

74‘ – 6 minutes to go and the ABs manage to gather the short kick off – strange we didn’t see any of those short re starts when Folau was on the field.

Wallabies lose another line out and the ABs have the ball on the Aussie 10m line.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 31

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

73‘ – Barrett misses the conversion but that’s surely the game.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 31

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Try
72‘ – TMO is reviewing…………TRY!

Naholo has another to his name and the Wallabies are broken hearted. They are furious about how the All Blacks stole the ball at the recent maul and then that really looked very tight with that TMO call.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 31

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

72‘ – Oh this could be another try!

A great kick ahead from Barrett finds space behind the Wallabies and Naholo has run on to it and scored but was the big winger behind the kicker???

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

72‘ – Wallabies keep working hard and looking for a gap but a loose pass from Beale is taken by Goodhue and the ABs have a chance.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

72‘ – ABs kick ahead and Maddocks gathers for the home side.

They have the ball and up just inside their own half.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

71‘ – Wallabies line out works this time and they have it.

Maul doesn’t go anywhere so they look to use it.

But the All Blacks have come through the middle and stolen the ball!

ABs now in possession and looking to counter.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Penalty
70‘ – Wallabies scrum holds up and even earns a penalty.

What will they do? 10 minutes to go?

They go for touch

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

69‘ – ABs throw not straight!

Could this be the chance the Wallabies need?

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

68‘ – Wallabies know they need to strike again quickly.

They are forcing the ABs back with a good kick to touch and the Kiwis will have to throw in inside their own 22.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Conversion
67‘ – Foley gets the conversion – we’ve got 13 minutes left and it’s a 13 point game.

Australia: 13
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Try
67‘ – Maddocks has scored his first international try on debut as he finishes a great counter attack!

Is there still time for a great come back?

Australia: 11
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

67‘ – Uh oh – this could turn nasty!

The All Blacks are beginning to find space and their runners are beginning to tear the Wallabies up a bit.

The ABs are up into the Wallabies 22 and this could be another score!

OH NO – it’s stolen! That’s great play from the Wallabies – what can they do here?

Australia: 6
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Conversion
62‘ – Barrett has another conversion and that’s 26 unanswered points from the ABs.

Australia: 6
New Zealand: 26

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog

Try
62‘ – Oh that’s nice – Brodie Retallick has got the ball out wide, drawn Foley nicely, given the dummy and is clear and through to the line.

That was a nicely worked try from the All Blacks.

To make matters worse for the Wallabies Folau is hobbling from the field and looks like he’s gone for the night.

Australia: 6
New Zealand: 24

Wallabies vs All Blacks: Bledisloe Cup Game 1 live scores, blog