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ThugbyFan

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Joined February 2016

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Rugby tragic who asked mum what the score was at moment of birth. Best match ever = Sydney Olympic Stadium, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heoO_5MvZ0w

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Hi Back of Neil and thanx for the reply. I guess you can say you don’t have as many scars as the great man so that’s a blessing.

As for Wales, I’m sure Nic the Bishop will love the wind-up after last week’s effort by his Welsies in London. I see they have closed the roof for the return match.

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

NB, It didn’t help the WB that their only decent prop, Ben Darwin, had to retire just prior to RWC2019. But the England pack was the gun team in that 2002-2004 period and deserved the WC (sadly!) 🙂

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

Hi Funbus, Sorry for the late reply as been afk for a few daze. Thanks for those thoughts and in general I fully agree with your take on the England team. Say what you might of Fast Eddie but he has filled in the gaps in the backrow and back three and the Poms are a team to be feared. On their day they can belt anyone.

The Welshies are losing players left, right and centre and they just don’t have the back-ups that NZ, England and SA have. I think they will be battling to get out of the group stages. Fancy that if the world rankings have them as numero uno by then. LoL

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

John, (a great name as same as mine); I thought Ardie Savea played an enormous game. 17 tackles, 9 carries (most off the ruck edges) making 60 m with 1 break and 2 offloads and 1 turnover. On the other hand Sam Cane was a tackling machine, but was pretty quiet in rucks and carrying the ball. I would expect one of them to the bench next week and a big bruiser to slot into #6.

And yes, J.Goodhue off at 18 minutes meant you had two inside centres for most of the match. In defence it was like they had just met each other.

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

As much as I was rapt in the WB win in Perth and like every Aussie am watching with glee as the kiwi media sink the slippers into the AB setup, I don’t think Auckland or the RWC2019 is a lay-down misere yet. Some notes from the Perth game;

The AB team was a dog’s breakfast of trying to shoehorn in all the best players rather than select the best team. It’s almost as if they are copying the WB selection sheet of the last few years.
– Most of the AB losses in the last 3 years have been when B.Retallick was not playing.
– The AB version of Pooper, aka CanSav, weakened the team in other areas. This is pretty much what most folks have been saying on the Roar about the Pooper since JC played fullback in the Bethlehem 1st XV. The AB really missed a big body at #6 to complement the speed/tackling of S.Cane/A.Savea.
– B.Barrett won World Player of year at #10, NOT at fb. End of story, punt R.Mo’unga back to the bench.
– Just like DHP is a fb and that’s it, these days Ben Smith is just a fb, certainly not a winger.

The WB held the ball and won the game. They should still coach and have up their sleeve an occasional short well-aimed kick into space over the rush defence with well-organised and savage chasers to rag-doll/ruck the catcher. I almost chundered at the 70 min mark when W.Genia took the lazy way out and kicked 25 m straight down the AB cover defender’s throat. Not a chaser in sight. ARGRHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

What is also still scary is the number of outside backs with poor tackle returns. Koroibete 4 tackles from 7 attempts, JOC 6 from 10 attempts, R.Hodge 2 from 6 attempts, K.Beale 5 from 8, M.Toomua 3 from 4 and T.Banks 0 from 3 attempts.

And let’s not kid ourselves, the 1st try was fortunate in that ALB only just missed catching the long pass from CLL, he catches it and it’s an easy 50 m run to the line for him. It looked like his fingertips brushed the ball, that’s how close the intercept was. Instead JOC’s run and sleight of hand and R.Hodge’s try made it a 14 point turn-around. And fyi I was OK with A.Smith’s pass to R.Ioane for his try. Take in Newton’s Law of Inertia when looking at the video.

But the WB forwards, oh my my if they weren’t so ugly I could kiss them. They trucked the ball up with power and their tackling was ferocious. The AB game plan of stealing all the ruck ball just didn’t work as the WB big bodies just shoved them off the ball. The AB couldn’t win the pill, instead they tackled themselves to a standstill.

That’s where the match was won!

And now for Auckland. Expecting a monster AB side to try to Gozilla-trample over the WB. Bring it on!

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

Agree with Andrew fully. In fact I said on Brett’s Thursday tip article “Most of recent AB losses have been when B.Retallick isn’t playing, which more than anything shows us just how good the bloke is.”

Then of course S.Barrett’s red killed off the contest. The poor forwards were bu99ered from all the tackling. Barrett himself attempted 12 tackles in just 39 minutes, which reflected how much ball the WB had. Only 1 WB (N.White) attempted more than 10 tackles in the whole match. Every starting AB lock and backrower tackled themselves into the ground. To compound their woes P.Tuipulotu was on for the last 31 minutes. His contribution, apart from weight in scrums, was 6 carries for 2 metres and ZERO tackles off 1 attempt. In other words the others had to lift their game to cover for Passenger Patrick. No wonder they had no gas left for the few moments they had the ball.

For Eden Park, Shag has to (a) find a lock who can input as well as Barrett, (b) Cane at #7 and Savea as power backrower off the bench, (c) bring in a big-bodied #6 such as L.Squire or S.Frizzell to crunch WB runners and improve the lineout, (d) find room for a Crusader S.Reece or B.Ennor and punt the Crusader R.Mo’unga to the bench (e) put Ben Smith where he belongs at fb, (f) BBBBBBB got world player at #10 so put him there.

Easy as, I’ll forward the invoice to NZRU. 🙂

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

Hi Neil, welcome and I always love the comments from the Old Brexit Dart. Good to hear comments from other perspective as well as some pearls of wisdom of play in the NH. And it’s always great when you and that Welshie Nick the Bishop get together on Roar blogs. 🙂

So why I am saying hi is I, and I’m sure the other Roar penguins from the Antarctica, would love to hear your input on England’s chances in the RWC2019, perhaps even a wind-up on Wales. You’ve played in the tournament (*&%$##@ Jonny Wilkinson field goals) so would have a far greater appreciation of what’s going down with preparations etc etc from a personal and team view.

What about it cobber? we Aussies might then forgive you for 2003. 🙂

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

Mung, I have said for ages that K.Beale should be nowhere near 5/8 or inside centre as he is just an open gate in the front line, his defence is atrocious and led to N.Gray’s “musical chairs” which did bu99er all except cause tiredness and confusion. However I can live with him at fullback as it’s not like he has replaced a tackling machine (I.Folau), in fact it’s almost an improvement as at least Beale gets his body in the road and slows down the ball runners. Where I fear for Beale at fb is taking high kicks in traffic. He dropped one against the SB, but then again so did T.Banks and DHP.

Checking through the match stats showed this in defence:
S.Kerevi 70 mins 6 tackles 0 misses 100% tackle efficiency
J.O’Connor 80 mins 6 tackles, 4 misses 60% ” ”
M.Koroibete 80 min 4 tackles, 3 misses 57% ” ”
R.Hodge 80 min 2 tackles, 4 misses 33% ” ”
K.Beale 80 min 5 tackles, 3 misses 63% ” ”
M.Toomua 12 min 3 tackles, 1 miss 75% ” ”
T.Banks 10 min 0 tackles, 3 misses 0 % ” ”

There are some pretty horrible numbers there. Jack Maddocks got punted to Shute Shield because of his defence and Banks is heading the same way. It’s almost as if Tom Banks is the new DHP, great fullback but at sea on the wing.

What we know after the Wallabies' stunning Bledisloe 1 win

All the WB starting forwards played well and got between 7-9 from me. M.Hooper was MotM with a 9 from me but R.Arnold was not that far behind. A.Coleman and T.Tupou got a 6 from me, an excellend score for subs. And just how good are the bench props, Fan-bl00dy-tastic! though again poor Luke Jones saw the last 4 minutes playing lock and basically unseen.

With the ball retention and go-forward by the piggies, the backs were able to dance. N.White was very good (8) and kept the AB defenders guessing but some of his passes were slow while S.Kerevi played great footy but lost a mark because he bombed 2 tries. JOC and CLL both got 7 and showed their class. The really pleasant surprise was how well K.Beale and M.Koribete played. I admit that I have bagged both as not up to International Rugby level but they earned their plane ticket to Japan. Even M.Toomua put in an excellent 17 minutes after subbing CLL.

A question, CLL looked pretty ginger when he came off. Anyone heard anything on that score?

VOTE: Wallabies DIY player ratings from Bledisloe 1

Well at least I got one correct last round. Let’s see how we go on Saturday:
As much as I would love to predict the Wobblies, I think a spluttering AB will just get up for the win. Most of recent AB losses have been when B.Retallick isn’t playing, which more than anything shows us just how good the bloke is. If the AB continue from their last 2nd half display then it may be a long evening for the men in gold but I think this WB side is starting to gain confidence in each other and playing as a team. An interesting pick for the WB, reading M.Cheika’s comments about JOC at outside centre is almost a throwback to when R.Deans picked JOC at 5/8th against the BI Lions. O’Connor (and Deans) copped a lot of flak from that game but I thought JOC played ok in a badly beaten side. I would expect O’Connor and S.Kerevi to be swapping around during the match anyway.
Good to see Adam Coleman getting a run and R.Simmons punted. Obviously the question for the quantum physicists to ponder was “Just how many marshmallows can a WB pack endure?”

I cannot see a fired-up SB side losing to the Puma, although the Pumas will put up a better game than against Australia 2 weeks ago. The SA side want the momentum for RWC2019 and have plenty of firepower on the bench to finish the game off. Perhaps close score at half time, maybe even the Pumas riding the crowd’s fervour to be leading by a few points, but the SB to storm home.
In short: them &%##@+! kiwis and the South Africans.
Sure thing: The two French referees to have everyone scratching their heads and pondering disaster for SH teams in Japan.
What I want to see; two close matches with all 4 teams able to hold their heads high with some hope for Japan. Also wanna see James O’Connor scoring the winning try. Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, We all have to live in hope! 🙂

The Rugby Championship Week 3: Someone clone the trophy

Humey, like me, just can’t wait to see the return of those line-out terriers N.Hanigan and R.Simmons smashing into those wimps from Fiji and Wales at RWC2019. And think of the shivers of fear coursing through their veins as mighty Tommy Robertson enters the fray. 🙂

James O'Connor confirmed to start in Bledisloe 1 as Wallabies make shock change at hooker

Peter, I read somewhere that Jack Dempsey is wounded. Shoulder I think, ie: if the ethanol has not completely wiped out my neurones.

I too am a fan of Liam Wright but looking at his profile on the Reds site, he is 192 cm tall and only 97 kg. That’s shorter than I.Naisarani and if that weight is accurate then too light for an international blindside. Considering his lack of top notch experience and small frame then I would say that his best position is as squad injury cover. I would prefer Pete Samu to Wright at this time. Having said that I now see that Ardie Savea is listed as 95 kg, a real pocket rocket.

It looks like the selectors are either sold on LSL at #6 or he is their next best and waiting for D.Pocock’s return. It’s a bit rough on Luke Jones who is only seeing the last 10 minutes if he is lucky.

James O'Connor confirmed to start in Bledisloe 1 as Wallabies make shock change at hooker

Hi Nobrain, may the Puma vs WB match be entertaining. And btw ethanol is a clean fuel. I was never much chop “after a long period of abstinence ,…” 🙂

The Rugby Championship Week 2: Up on blocks

Good comment Nuisance. Thanks for that as I was never too sure of how long does altitude training take to be effective. The WB match tactics also were pretty naive and all things said a SB victory was on the cards, their forwards were magnificent.

However the WB players looked like they had 5kg lead shoes on after about 35 minutes. That 1st half was played at blistering pace.

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

Well I proved one thing last week. Tipping from the heart is a mug’s game. Zip from two was my return. Let’s try this week!

The All Black machine to score a decisive win to show the SB that they are the boss at RWC time. Forwards win matches and the SA pack is on fire atm and it’s going to be a battle almighty in the piggies. I think the SB eight will just shade the AB pack in size, toughness, speed and nous but the defence of their outside backs will negate any advantage won in the forwards. I would say coach Hansen has put R.Mo’unga in at 5/8th to rip the SA rush defence and his chip kicks into space will send the SA backs into “Lady” ga-ga land.

A massive WB improvement will get them over the line against a very tough Puma side. I am going to stick with my excuse last week that coach Cheika flogged his players too close to the SA match. That or someone put mogadons in their half time drinks as the mob that struggled around the park in the 2nd half was not the same mob that stretched the SA defence in the 1st half. Yes their tactics sucked at times, no-one seriously attacked rucks and the WB backs had no clue how to cancel out the rush umbrella defence of the SA but the WB were certainly in the race from their efforts in the 1st half. This week’s team is a better side, though I still think T.Banks or H.Speight should be on a wing but the coach loves M.Koreibete and like K.Beale will forgive his “occasional” sin in defence.

What I do want to see is more WB players contesting rucks. M.Cheika has now been the WB coach for 5 years and it STILL has not dawned on the goose that good teams have ruck monkeys throughout the side, they don’t depend on just 1 or 2 players in traditional positions (mind you one trad role of an openside used to be ruck monkey and that has been tossed aside). Even wingers, 5/8ths and centres are expected to not only enter rucks but to be serious in pilfer, taking out opponents and slow down of the ball. I am not on my knees praying for the return of D.Pocock as the game has moved on. For starters he is too slow and injury prone. One individual, not matter how good he is, is not going to steal more than 3-4 rucks and is going to be belted into the next galaxy trying to slow down opposition rucks. Until the WB coach brings that into training and has a more rounded team, the WB will always struggle in the possession game.

Sure Thing. Any yellow/red card against any angelic WB player and coach Mickey will declare the Christian version of j1had against the whole WR referee fraternity.

The Rugby Championship Week 2: Up on blocks

Waxy, I think you have to admit that T.Banks was suspect under the high ball with any pressure. Mind you K.Beale is a guaranteed dropsie in those situations.

I cannot for the life of me understand why they had slow DHP on a wing and speed merchant Banks at fb. Swap them around and its a better fit.

That being said, I would have turfed DHP (and M.Koroibete when available) and had H.Speight on one wing anyhow. If not Speight then Super Sefa. At least those two blokes have speed and rugby nous. Somethings I thought essential for wingers.

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

PK, Fionn and SMI. For mine the SB locks and backrowers won them the match. They gang-attacked every ruck, 2-3 big bodies hitting at speed. The ever-slowing WB forwards had no answer. You would need 4 of D.Pocock/L.Wright to survive that onslaught and personally I doubt if Pocock has the stamina/speed to keep up in such a test match.

Stats have M.Hooper winning 1 turnover but it likely was not a ruck steal as every time I saw Hooper near a ruck, he was blasted off it quick smart.

The SB rarely kicked in the 2nd half as they knew the WB were not going to steal the pill. And you can’t win if you don’t have it.

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

Connor, B.Foley missed 5 from 10 tackles while Elton J missed 3 from 10 but his team won the match easily. Do you think they will kick EJ from the SB team?

What is disappointing with S.Kerevi is the number of times he loses the pill. But this could be seen as indicative of poor backup and ruck defence by the Wobblies.

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

GP, it was late at night but I’m sure there was another WB player on SK’s right. Perhaps N.White.

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

Spot on Geoff, to me it looked like T.Tupou was “squaring up” on R.Elstadt for his shoulder charge into an Aussie rucker but your 2nd paragraph says it all. Just dumb play right in front of the ref! Whether a yellow or a penalty turnaround, it’s plainly stupid.

Reminds me of S.Moore’s brainsnap against England in 2016 which resulted in a WB penalty being turned around.

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

Still Missing, your description could also apply to our “high IQ Politicians”. Isn’t Trump a self-professed genius? LoL

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

Poor DHP had a terrible match even if he scored half of Australia’s tries. At 61 mins for some reason he dived into the ruck contest feeling safe as his opposite winger was “locked” into that ruck. Upon realising it was a lost cause and the ball was out, he tried to get back to his wing spot except a crafty SB grabbed his arm and stalled him. As DHP fought to get free, another SB grabbed his leg. Excellent foresight by the SB piggies as DHP’s absence left a hole as large as Sydney heads between the ruck and sideline. The SB halfback saw “Xmas in July” and went in for an easy try. I can’t see how you can blame M.Toomua to cover for DHP’s stupid play and smart work by the SB.

At halftime on the blog I commented that if the WB kept up the pace of the game, the SB big men would tire. A modicum of luck/foresight/skill (circle appropriate) and the WB could have been up by 10 points at half time. However as the match went on it was the WB players who seemed slower to the gainline in both attack and defence, as if they were incredibly tired. I wondered then if coach Chieka had killed the players on the training track. To be sure, the number of injured players on the pre-match plane back to Oz suggests brutal training sessions. Seemed a waste of a lot of money, flying about 50 folks (players + coaching) to SA and keeping them in hotels for nearly 2 weeks then kill them before the match.

The WB played good footy in the 1st half and looked dangerous, but in the 2nd half the SB had figured out if they didn’t kick the ball back to the WB then the WB had no way to win the pill except off mistakes. It sounds simple but so difficult to do for 40 minutes of fast furious footy.

For mine the match winners were (a) how magnificently the big bopper SB locks and backrowers hammered into the rucks and (b) how the inside backs choked off B.Foley and wide ball with 3 flyers out of the line forcing the ball carriers back into the waiting arms of the piggies. The ruck defence was insane. Yes, those SB rush defenders were borderline onside and constantly hit Foley and others with late tackles but they weren’t pulled up so the match officials considered it legal (I can only remember once for offside and never for late hits). End of story, well played to SA. I will comment that eschewing short kicks over the top of rush defenders or behind their wingers is madness. But “it’s not the Australian way!” Ridiculous.

A lot of the WB errors came off game pressure. The WB just could not steal any SB ruck ball and had an almighty battle to keep their own ball. The WB scrum technique seemed light also, constantly giving up ground and/or points. The less said about T.Tupou’s “get square” on R.Elstadt’s shoulder charge into the ruck, the better. Any chance the WB had was extinguished right there and for sure Tupou needs a good kick up the K.Pass with mucho stern words. Thank gawd they held their lineouts and mauls or it would have been Murder on the Veldt!

In short, the Boks were far too good. They preyed on every WB weakness and should be congratulated, Well played.

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

Admittedly I have the benefit of seeing the team sheet prior to the match and reading the wisdom/blarney of the Experts but I reckon that as a lowly guru that I need a sporting chance. So here goes:

Like The Man Near the Snowy River’ aka Brett, I think the new-look Wallabies will do the Springbok Reserve team. The battles of the stitched-up front rows and collisions between the monster centre combos will be worth the price of admission. Both sides will take the 1st half to learn and remember the name of the bloke next to them as well as the game plan. My major worry with the WB is the scrum gets monstered giving up loads of possession/metres and penalty points to the SA kickers. The other major worry has one of my fav gripes with the WB for years, and that is all up-n-unders/box kicks MUST be followed up by an organised group of savage chasers to pressure the catcher into errors or lost ruck ball. The main two weaknesses in the SA team that I see are the halves Jantjies “twins” are both fairly “hit or miss” sort of players and the wingers and fb can be very suspect under the high ball.
We just need a couple of front rowers to survive the Cheika training field.

And just to show you that a bloke who tips the Auckland Blues 9 times in the SR2019 tipping contest is should seriously be measured for the backward white coat, I will go with Nobes and tip a fired-up Argentina side to do the mighty AB. Any team with F.Isa, A.Creevy, T.Lavanini, P.Matera and J.Montoya in the piggies cannot be taken lightly. Add that the conductor Nic Sanchez will be combining his tricks with the speed merchants and its a formidable team. Mind you the AB team is no slouch. The human MacTruck called Ngani Laumape will cause many bruises and likely breakouts and the Puma scrum will likely bend under the man with his own gravitational field aka Ofa Tu’ungafasi with lots of powerful beef in the 2nd and 3rd rows. It should be a great game.

So am going for stunning glory or like Icarus will burn out in an inglorious crash. WB and Pumas to win!

On a side note, am super pleased that Jordan Petaia is returning to rugby via the bench for his Brissie club Wests in Premier Rugby. Other notable returnees are Filipo Daugunu also Wests and Chris Feauai-Sautia for Souths against Wests. In Sydney Konrad Hunt (Gordon) is returning also. It would not surprise to see J.Petaia selected on the wing for the WB vs Samoa game.

Finally I noticed a RA website article titled “Wallabies in line to receive bonus for making Rugby World Cup final”. Mate if the WB get to the final, they deserve bl00dy sainthoods! 🙂

The Rugby Championship Week 1: Blow out the cobwebs

Good comment Brett. I think most of Australia is fairly pleased, considering all the injuries and crazy M.Cheika selections over the years, but I am still at a loss to figure how the Gang of Three selectors could “kidnap” AAC from his Aged-Care home and leave the best “winger with a rugby brain” aka Henry Speight-Beer at home watching the match on tv.

Was Henry carrying an injury also?

The Rugby Championship Week 1: Blow out the cobwebs

Melburnian, ear ear, I ‘ear you! 🙂

The Rugby Championship Week 1: Blow out the cobwebs