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BozBoy

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Joined September 2018

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And Nasarini hesitated because his inside man, Arnold, didn’t get up quick enough. All of this theory relies on having players with adequate physical preparation.

Why the Wallabies were caught short in Johannesburg

Nasarini was held in place by Mtwarira because Mtwarira straightened before he passed. Had Nasarini dropped back Mtwarira would have run straight through, he had to wait till Arnold was in place. Trying to shut down the overlap was the correct decision, keeping in mind too that the decision had to be made in a couple of seconds, and that he doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head to see Hodge.

Same goes for the forwards in the DHP mistake, it is easy for us to suggest they cover for it but undoubtedly harder when you are on the opposite side of the ruck, marking your own man.

Why the Wallabies were caught short in Johannesburg

Daniel Herbert suggested that Fisher gets involved, I think it is a long shot that he would at this stage though.

Why the Wallabies were caught short in Johannesburg

A couple of observations:
Prior to the turnover that led to the Boks first try, De Jager illegally grabbed Kepu after after Kepu had passed to Fainga, and wrestled him around the back of the Wallabies ruck. This took Kepu out of play and delayed Hooper getting to the ruck. LSL tried to protect the bull when Fainga was tackled, but a good tackle by Mbonambi on Fainga lead to Fainga landing on LSL’s leg and taking him out of play. Hooper, who was sluggish and who could also have called out De Jager’s offside, off the ball play to the ref, was the only one in a position to prevent the turnover but was too late.
Nasarini’s hesitation to tackle appeared to be at least partly a consequence of Arnold taking too long to get up and cover Tendai, forcing Nasarini to cover both for a crucial split second.
The common theme in both of these instances is speed, both Hooper and Arnold were too slow to react in crucial circumstances. Neither is lazy and the rest of the pack was sluggish all game too, so I suspect that it might have something to do with Cheika’s old fashioned physical training regimes. See this link, the comment about athletic trainers at 3 minutes is telling.
https://www.rugbydump.com/news/michael-cheika-on-the-secret-to-success-and-how-he-used-to-get-involved-at-leinster-training/
Regarding Dane Haylett-Petty’s poor decision to hit the ruck and open up the blindside, it doesn’t come across in the still but it happened so quickly that none of the forwards could reasonably be expected to react. DHP made a poor decision, but it was noted that other backs had done the same thing during the game, indicating a training issue.
The forwards were responsible for leaving the blindside open on the second try. I think it was partly case of them getting caught by the speed and aggression of the Bok’s movement, partly defensive miscommunication and partly the very odd decision to all stand around the tackled halves like they were playing ring a ring a rosie. It seems to me that they are a team than is used to being entirely dependent on Pocock for turnovers, and that the coaches have not trained them to fill in in his absence.
As such don’t think you can draw the conclusion that any one selection made the difference, there clearly are systematic coaching issues that are causing the problems.

Why the Wallabies were caught short in Johannesburg

“The nature of the loss was always going to give way to the call for mass change…”
I’m going to have to disagree with you on this Brett. From what I have read, at least on the Roar, most people understand that the players are being let down by poor coaching. Your example of the failure to use the big boots to clear from the Wallabies end of the park is instructive on this, Matt Burke has spent the last three years talking about how the Wallabies need to do that. If Cheika won’t listen to a World Cup winning fullback on the bread and butter of his trade, do you think he is going to take notice of anything we write?
Unfortunately the horse has bolted on the only change that really matters. Those of us who are sufficiently obsessed with the technicalities of rugby to spend time dissecting what went wrong will have plenty of material to work with, but in 2019 there ain’t gonna be no warm inner glow of success for us Aussies. I’m looking forward to the ABs vs Boks match though, the South Africans are looking like their old selves so it should be epic.

Address the structures rather than attack the scapegoats

My hypothesis is based on the fact that Cheika’s training methods injured four key players in the Super Rugby pre season, more in Wallabies camp and on this video.

https://www.rugbydump.com/news/michael-cheika-on-the-secret-to-success-and-how-he-used-to-get-involved-at-leinster-training/

The comment about the athletic trainers about three minutes in is very telling.

The Wrap: Are the Wallabies cursed? Too right they are

“…and ring-in prop Harry Johnson-Holmes acquitted himself well on limited preparation.”

I reckon this is another indicator that Cheika has over trained the rest of his team, with his science-free hill running regime. I was shocked at how flogged the tight five looked.

Arnold for example has a wonderful SR season but looked physically broken in the first 10 minutes. It meant that he was too slow to get into the defensive line and the first two tries were the result, the second one with him being burned by one of the Bok’s enormous loosies. Kepu looked knackered too and Rodda was uncharacteristically invisible. It really showed up with the way the Wallabies got marched around at scrum time.

I am afraid that the die is cast for the season on conditioning issues alone, yet there is plenty of other things going wrong. The way they tried to spin and run the ball from their own five metre line when they pinched a lineout was a joke, the Boks were manned up one on one and are one of the best teams at the breakdown in the World, while the Wallabies have several excellent long range kickers. Not using them to clear the ball was idiotic. The same goes for the way players were diving into the breakdown when it was unnecessary and exposing the defence.

It looks to me like they train by the numbers, with no element of “playing what is in front of you”. I can’t see that changing till they get a new coach.

The Wrap: Are the Wallabies cursed? Too right they are

Kerevi has been playing 80 minutes at altitude and was, as always, one of the hardest working Wallabies on the park. Getting burned by a reserve halfback with his fresh legs that close to the line was nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever.

The Wrap: Are the Wallabies cursed? Too right they are

Fair nuff. First start so hopefully he will get another go and improve.

Wallabies haunted by Ellis Park curse

Not really harsh on Arnold, you can see what I mean in the first two tries. He isn’t a lazy man though, so I think it is s training thing.

Wallabies haunted by Ellis Park curse

Harsh on Banks, he didn’t set the World on fire but he did his job, getting a try assist, making three from three tackles and kicking well from touch. I don’t think we can say Beale would have done better if he had started and at least on the first try assist he was made to look good by some good scrappy work by Toomua.
Arnold was gassed within the first ten minutes, his passivity and poor decision making in defence directly contributed to both first half tries and his subsequent chase was poor. Too be fair none of the tight five looked 100%, I wonder if Cheika’s 80s era fitness methods have something to do with that.
Agree on Foley’s field kicking but I suspect Cheika told them to keep the bull in hand. The way they passed it wide with their backs up against their own line and the Boks manned up one on one was comical and is why I reckon the lack of kicking for field position was all Cheika. With players like Hodge, DHP and Banks, all with big boots, it was madness not to use them at altitude.
Oh well, we are used to madness ????

Wallabies haunted by Ellis Park curse

The way the season is going, I don’t reckon anything is a big call.

Wallabies haunted by Ellis Park curse

I reckon they should put O’Connor to 13, his footwork would be just the thing for the rush defence.

Wallabies haunted by Ellis Park curse

I hate the sort of mobbing behaviour that Goodes suffered and think that it is worthy of discussion. However, to characterise Australia as one of the most racist countries in the World because of it is ignorant and offensive. There are countries around the World where people still kill each other over race and others still where dominant ethnicities still have formalised legal privileges, that minorities do not share. Modern Australia in contrast is a nation built on immigration, if we had comparable attitudes to race that simply could not have happened.

The World Values Survey has researched racial tolerant by country and Australia comes out as one of the most tolerant, people can see the map below.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2013/05/15/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-racially-tolerant-countries/?utm_term=.eb981d0840f5It

I think these conversations need to be had, but it is incumbent on all participants to have made an effort to know what they are talking about.

The Final Quarter reaction – I lost faith in Australia

Good article Will.

The Wallabies having the option to take the contest to the air would make sense. I am pretty sure that Shaun Berne would still be smarting from having the Stormer’s rush defence unpick his flat attack with the Rebels this season and will want an alternative going as a counter. That said if Foley can get the flat attack going, and one thing he isn’t scared to do is to take the ball to the line, the Wallabies three big Fijian ball runners could be devastating. I would also love to see Banks roving and hole running like he did for the Brumbies.

Whatever the case the Wallabies need to finish their tries efficiently. It is when they get bogged down in multiple phases, that teams like the Boks get turnovers and eventually wear the Wallabies down to score. Cheika and Berne said they are emphasising basics in the lead up to the season, which is good, so hopefully that pays off.

Nic White and Tom Banks to give Wallabies a post-Folau kickstart

Yeah, I seem like to remember him running behind the opposition a lot, but the stats don’t show it. Perhaps it was his support play I was thinking of.

Tom Banks, Nic White named to start as Wallabies side to play South Africa is revealed

You mean this article?
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theroar.com.au/2018/08/29/will-the-wallabies-feel-the-need-for-speed-after-eden-park/amp/
Half the premise of the article was that he was easily run around by a couple of the best backs in the World, Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett. There isn’t a test 6 in the World who could cope with that, you could have swapped Liam Squires on for LSL and the mismatch would still have been too much for him.
The other half the premise was that his reaction times getting off the ground and back into the line were too slow. Fair enough but he had another season under his belt and has been playing good footy, hopefully with a greater degree of fitness and a year’s more experience he will have worked on that aspect of his game.
I don’t think he can reasonably be judged for being found out in one game against the All Blacks, plenty have suffered that.

Tom Banks, Nic White named to start as Wallabies side to play South Africa is revealed

“Big mistake too leave out Beale and AAC in Johannesberg”

Agreed, two of the longest serving players who have never won there should be the first picked …

Tom Banks, Nic White named to start as Wallabies side to play South Africa is revealed

LSL isn’t slow for a 6, he wouldn’t make so many breaks and be such a good support runner for the Reds if he was. He looks about the same as Fardy or Jones to me, so long as he is marking other forwards he should be fine. I reckon the problems he had last year were more to do with the schemozzle of a defensive scheme they used than anything, hopefully that is sorted.

Tom Banks, Nic White named to start as Wallabies side to play South Africa is revealed

It’s good to see three big boots out the back, hopefully Cheika will let them use their kicking game to keep the ball at the Bok’s end of the park. Two long range goal kickers to start with White and Hodge is handy too, with Beale potentially filling that role from the bench.

Cheika might want to ease off a bit from whatever they are doing at training to lead to these injuries, it is s long season and it hasn’t even started yet.

Tom Banks, Nic White named to start as Wallabies side to play South Africa is revealed

Cheika won’t care about the post World Cup cycle. Just like he didn’t care about flogging Pocock last year at the same time as calling the Super Clubs to rest players. Or how he didn’t care about injuring multiple players pre season with his hill runs. Or how he didn’t care about letting his attack coach wear the consequences of his failure as a coach. He will only be worried about trying to get a respectable World Cup result, but I don’t think he even has that in him.

In a RWC year, what are Cheika’s future-proofing obligations?

“Rugby doesn’t need the spectre of Cheika walking away saying he would have done better in the RWC if he had been able to pick his side and play his way. “

If he tries that in then good luck to him, after three years of failure and buffoonery nobody is going to take him seriously. The selectors are only going to improve the Wallabies prospects by standing firm on selections, because they are coming from such a low base.

Also there are fringe players in the squad like CLL, Banks and Powell who have had cracking Super Rugby seasons and deserve a fair opportunity to experience a World Cup. I reckon letting those sorts of players miss out to appease Cheika would stink, with the amount of work these blokes out in they have to know that they are going to get a fair go.

In a RWC year, what are Cheika’s future-proofing obligations?

Despite the transparently poor coaching, most of the Wallabies losses have been fairly close, aside from NZ here have only been a couple of blowouts. That tells me that the playing group is as good quality as the other top nations, they have just been let down by Cheika. Under a decent coach the likes of Wales, Argentina, Scotland and Fiji would be dreaming to think that they could get close to these Wallabies, and we wouldn’t be talking about leaving the World Cup before the semis. More reason why the current situation is so aweful.

Buckle up, Cheika is going for broke on 2019 RWC challenge

I don’t agree that the cattle Cheika has available are a limitation for him. The players available are collectively as good as any of the best teams except for the All Blacks, and even they aren’t as good as they were in 2015.

It all comes down to the coaching and while I think that the new selection arrangements and support will help, I just struggle to see how Cheika has the coaching smarts and attention to detail to turn the squad around in such a short space of time. This recent video where he talks about thumbing his nose at the advice of the sports scientists does nothing for my confidence on that count.

https://www.rugbydump.com/news/michael-cheika-on-the-secret-to-success-and-how-he-used-to-get-involved-at-leinster-training/

I hope I am wrong for the sake of the players and that Cheika pulls off at least respectable season and World Cup campaign, but I am not confident of that.

Buckle up, Cheika is going for broke on 2019 RWC challenge

Fantastic Wallaby, one of the best in his day.

Will Genia opens up about why he's leaving Australian rugby