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Rhys Bosley

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Joined September 2018

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Both have better tackle effectiveness stats than either Samu (77%) or Valentini (73%), with Naisarini being on 83% and Wilson 80%, and Naisarini has forced either a penalty or a ruck/maul penalty for each game he has played. You can see what the latter can do in defence last year with the Wallabies, he is very abrasive. Both can jump too, they just don’t tend to because there are preferred options in their team.

I don’t think the Wallabies would be giving up anything significant in defence over other available options, to get that combined dynamism on the park. The options it would create for the Wallabies would give opposition defences nightmares.

The raw and the cooked: Canberra candidates at number 6

He was definitely responsible for the first try. Samu was focusing protecting the side of the ruck from a pick and drive as he should have been, and Valentini as the next player out strayed too wide and allowed a gap to open. He made no appraisal wheresoever of the threat and no real attempt to tackle.

In the second try he was the one defending next to the ruck and Kuridrani was the one who committed the same error, which was pretty poor from a player of his experience given what had just happened., so I will grant Valentini that.

The raw and the cooked: Canberra candidates at number 6

Good article Nick and I agree that Valebtini is very raw. When you get to look at him in defense, take a look at the two tries the Chiefs scored against the Brumbies. He was targeted by Chiefs backs in both cases, he lacks a good defensive read to know when to rush up on the fast men as yet. I can’t can’t see that being acceptable for the Wallabies until corrected.

Samu looks like he has the most to offer at 6 at this stage, though he may find it hard to keep his spot as the younger players improve. Once Wilson improves his error rate, I actually like the idea of of shifting Naisarini to 6 and playing him with Wilson. I think they are complentary, Nsisarini is more effective in the maul and breakdown, but Wilson is better at getting it away to his teammates. I reckon they would be a devastating pair.

The raw and the cooked: Canberra candidates at number 6

1: Slipper
2: Fainga
3: Tupou
4: Neville
5: Salakaia-Loto
6: Naisarini
7: Hooper
8: Wilson
9: Powell
10: Toomua
11: Koroibete
12: O’Connor
13: Kuridrani
14: Nawaqanitawase
15: Hodge
16: Fitzpatrick
17: J.P. Smith
18: Alaalatoa
19: Phillip
20: Samu
21: McDermott
22: Lolesio
23: T. Wright

Pick your Wallabies team for... whenever they play next

Dixon had his first tests at the same time as Squire and Savea, Wikipedia attributes that as the reason he didn’t go further. Hardly the most credible source, but it does make sense that that would be the reason.

I reckon that Hanson was susceptible to a bit of Cheikaesque fascination with “X-Factor” players, who were deficient in other aspects of their role. A. Savea, Sony Bill, DMac, B. Barrett at 15 …. all flashy footballers who nudged out players who had better fundamentals in their preferred position, like your example with Cane in defence. The ABs were so good that they got away with it for years, but got found out in the end.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

I reckon Squire and Dixon were both players who could have made a difference to the result of the WC semi. Losing Squire couldn’t be helped, but I never understood why Dixon didn’t get selected by the ABs.

I remember him absolutely dominating the Brumbies in one of the quarter finals in Canberra a few years back, especially in the lineout but he was great around the park too. I wonder whether being in the same Super team and position as Squire, unfairly impacted his chances?

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

Well if Savea wants to start again he needs to learn to play 7, because he is too small for a first pick six or eight. If you see some of the dominant hits, cleanouts and line breaking runs in tight that Squire made in the black Jersey, you can see what the All Black’s were missing with Savea. Those traits are exactly what is needed in a 6 to help win the battle up front.

Savea is like Hooper, fast and skilled enough to exploit gaps like a centre would, but that shouldn’t absolve him of having to do his core duties. He has the body to make a good seven if he focuses on learning the role, but he will never be a top class 6 or 8.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

Still too lazy to provide any evidence of your own Fionn. The smart alec nitpicking gets very old, very quickly, people aren’t here to provide you with entertainment.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

He should play at 7 or on the bench.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

“That doesn’t necessarily mean he was impressive though? It just means that the All Blacks picked him for 2.5 years”

Oh good grief …

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

“Was Squire ever that impressive though?”
I’ve demonstrated why he was impressive, first pick six for two years and a 20 from 23 win ratio. If you want to dispute it and show us why Cane/Savea was a better choice, you should do your own research beyond “from memory”.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

The fact that Squire was the first choice starting flanker for the All Blacks, with a 20 from 23 win tally, is the proof. Hanson only strayed into using dual open sides once Squire was out of the picture.

I agree that Scott Barrett should not have been selected at 6, that doesn’t change my view that a proper 6 would have been better than Savea.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

The Cane/Savea duo only came into being because Liam Squires was unavailable for selection, had he been it would never have seen the light of day. I also think the smaller English loosies would have struggled to dominate the way they did had he played in the semi instead of Scott Barrett, he combines physicality with speed and stamina in the way a six needs too.
Personally I think that one of the biggest mistakes that Hanson made during his tenure, was to leave Elliott Dixon on the outer. He is a bloody good six and the perfect backup to Squires.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

Thanks Nick. I also stumbled across this recent Hooper “X-Factor” moment, it may be a case that he has them so often that they become more expected than marvelled at.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

Yeah, I agree about LSL, he likes to attack and has too much to learn in terms of his defensive reads and organisation to play six, unless he is prepared to put his Wallabies prospects on the back foot. He would be better off sticking to lock, I reckon if he focuses on that he would almost be a guaranteed start in place of Arnold/Coleman.
We will have to agree to disagree on the dual 7s arrangement, at one stage or another those “best back rows” that utilised that arrangement played other tier one teams using the same approach, then got beaten to the cup by the team that used big back rowers. Du Toit and Vermeulan a devastating point of difference throughout the tournament and in my opinion prove that the formula of a rangey 6, a shorter 7 and a beefy 8 provides the best 8. Scott Fardy said as much when you interviewed him and he sounds like he knows his business inside out, so I believe him.
The only instance where I can think the formula can be tampered with is if there isn’t a test quality 6 or 8 with the right build available, but we have a genuine all round “pocket rocket”, aka McMahon, Samu or Savea. Those players are athletic and smart enough to make up for a lack of height in the lineout and a lack of bulk in contact.
McMahon in particular did very well alongside Hooper while Pocock was overseas. The mistake that was made was a failure to recognise that he was actually a better player than Pocock in the 6 or 8 position, with Pocock just playing as a second 7 and leaving the team unbalanced.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

In Australasia we call players who are that big and fast “wingers”.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

“Which brings me to the second point, you rarely if ever see Hooper make a big play. It is quite remarkable that after a long career with the Waratahs and Wallabies that there no big plays, match-turning plays, can be remembered about his play.”

Spiro, outstanding Michael Hooper plays that are burned into my memory were:

-Blasting Julian Savea into touch with a covering tackle in the Wallabies 2015 win in Sydney.

-Sprinting 30 metres and dodging around several English defenders on the kick off to perfectly time a huge hit on the receiving player in one of the games in Australia in 2016, with a penalty generated by Sean McMahon and Stephen Moore who followed on.

-Keeping pace with Will Genia off the back of a disintegrating Wallabies scrum, taking a pass and then sending one across to Bernard Foley, who then scored in the 2017 close call for the All Blacks in Dunedin.

There have been a lot more, they are just the ones that I immediately remember and I can’t say that I can immediately and explicitly remember three great plays for many players, like I can in that instance.

I agree that we haven’t seen as much of that in the last couple of years, but then Hooper was captaining a team that was dysfunctional, due to a Wallabies coach who was completely out of his depth but too stubborn to admit it. He has also captained a poorly coached Waratahs outfit for that entire time. That would be exhausting and I frankly find it amazing that the bloke shows up and “only” leads the tackle count every week like a metronome, it is hard to look brilliant in a team that isn’t but he still manages to look the best of the lot of them.

I reckon under a good coach like Rennie, Hooper will shine.

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

Thanks Nick, that was a good read.

Wright is awesome, aside from his footy I have read that he was a top student at school and he speaks really well, so it is great to have a captain and a player who has what it takes in the top three inches. However, I don’t think he is going to replace Hooper as the Wallabies first pick seven this year or even next, Hooper has too much experience, drive and class to give up his spot that easily and I can’t imagine Rennie being the sort to discard a player like that. I think with a proper back row instead of the silly dual sevens arrangement, plus a better coach, we will see that the best of Michael Hooper to come.

What I would like to see if for Wright to understudy Hooper in the Wallabies, both as a 7 and as a captain, in the same way that Sam Cane was understudy for McCaw. That way we have a ready made replacement once Hooper retires, or if injury sees him drop out earlier. I can’t imagine his form dropping off in a significant way due to motivation, he isn’t the sort of bloke to allow that to happen, though as he ages if his trademark speed decreases then there might be some questions asked.

On the Reds choice of six, it really almost a direct tradeoff between LSL who is an excellent ball runner but not a great defender out wide, and Angus Scott-Young who is an excellent traditional defensive six. Both of them can jump well though I don’t know how McReight goes in that respect, he is shorter so I see him as either a backup seven to Wright or a finisher who can play across the back row. It seems to me that Thorn likes to give everybody a fair go to start, which I see as being fairly astute man management, so I don’t think the back row we saw in the last game is going to be the last word on the matter.

On LSL at six, I get the impression that he likes the position and that is why he is being given a go there, though John Conolley said in the interview at the link below that he is currently considered too heavy to be a six at Wallabies level, hence the lack of agility in defence. I reckon he needs to decide what position he wants to play, get his body right to play it and compete for the role full time, rather than trying to have a foot in both camps.

https://www.radiosport.co.nz/on-air/radio-sport-mornings/audio/john-connolly-gives-brutally-honest-assessment-of-wallabies-cheika-and-rugby-australia/

The great Australian openside debate: Round 2

I have no problems with people expressing their opinions, it is just that opinions are far more credible when founded on facts.

As sport goes into lockdown, what do you want to read on The Roar?

Break a leg, I wasn’t talking about other enthusiastic amateurs like us committing more than the typical 45 minutes to write a post game rant. I was just hoping that a few more of the folk on the payroll, could give us a bit more than that.

As sport goes into lockdown, what do you want to read on The Roar?

I’d say it is an opportunity to up the quality of articles, rather than churning out opinion pieces, with more fact based research and analysis. Higher quality articles like that will attract more readers and keep people engaged for days.
On rugby lets have some good Nick Bishop analyses of Golden Wallabies matches, with a view to bringing the lessons into the post Coronavirus games.
Also, interviews like the one Nick did with Scott Fardy and perhaps some videos with current players and coaching staff, that would be awesome. The players and coaches are going to have some spare time on their hands, so would probably appreciate the opportunity for some ongoing involvement with the game.
I thought this video with McCaw was very good, perhaps something similar could be set up over video conferencing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqluqSGxCnA

As sport goes into lockdown, what do you want to read on The Roar?

Not the way I saw it, they looked like defensive misreads and miscommunications on his part to me. We’ll see for the rest of the season though.

Half a dozen rounds in, here are six Super Rugby takeaways for Dave Rennie and the Wallabies

“I’d be interested to see if you could point to occasions in matches that indicate a pattern of Valetini lacking defensive nous or agility.”

I can, both tries that the Chiefs scored this year were fast inside backs who targeted Valentini defending next to the ruck. He couldn’t get a hand on either Cruden or Lienert-Brown, it poses a real weakness for the Brumbies.

Personally I hope they keep him there for the Reds game, he will offer rich pickings for our blokes, if they are smart. And the only way to counter that is to pair him with another defender, which exposes the Horsies out wide.

Half a dozen rounds in, here are six Super Rugby takeaways for Dave Rennie and the Wallabies

After all the problems the Wallabies had with LSL at 6, you want to put another heavy defender who lacks agility there? If we are going to do that LSL may as well play there, at least he can jump.
I”d rather listen to the likes of Scott Fardy in his interview with Nic Bishop though and place a defense, jumping six there. Nasarini and Wilson are both power players, we only need one and that player can play at 8.

Half a dozen rounds in, here are six Super Rugby takeaways for Dave Rennie and the Wallabies

“I’d query where you got 72%/how you calculated it.”

Fox stats and it has been calculated the same as for every other player.

Half a dozen rounds in, here are six Super Rugby takeaways for Dave Rennie and the Wallabies