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Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old June 23 2013, 08:05 AM   #76
Orac Zen
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Really disappointing result in the end. We did well to get so close to the Lions with such a ridiculous injury toll, but yet again poor goalkicking has cost us dearly. A lot of past players and so-called "experts" in the media like to gibber on about running rugby and how much better it is than kickfests and blah blah blah, but the fact is that at Test level a top-shelf, consistent goalkicker is essential and we do not have one. In fact, we haven't had one since Matthew Burke and he retired almost a decade ago. It's embarrassing and irritating to see this happen time and again. I was surprised Barnes wasn't next in line after Lealiifano's misfortune; he's only marginally more consistent than the other two but it may have been enough.

A few other things stood out. Genia should be tied to this country by whatever means necessary for the term of his career. Folau proved he was worth the risk - great hands for the first try and great feet for the second. Mowen had a terrific debut (again, a pox on those officials / coaches responsible for signing that no-hoper Elsom to the Tahs and thus letting Mowen go). O'Connor did nothing - the only time I realised he was on the field was when he was lining up kicks at goal, and his cheap shot at Beale after the game ("I’m not putting any pressure on Kurtley at all...") was beyond pathetic. Barnes was very ordinary while he was there (the kick that led to North's try was appalling) and as usual Palu did very little. It was a pretty ordinary surface for what's supposed to be one of this country's premier sporting venues (I feel sorry for Beale, but then again he should have nailed the earlier shot).

And the Lions were pretty good considering they didn't have a halfback. It was a terrific game, well worthy of the hype and anticipation. It just had the wrong result.

Horwill has been cited for stamping, and Tapuai, Mogg and Smith have been called up (that hysterical screeching even NCC can hear from across the ditch is all the Cooper fanboys whining that he hasn't been included). We only have a week to regroup; here's hoping we can.
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Old June 24 2013, 06:08 AM   #77
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Horwill was cleared, not surprisingly. The incident didn't look like much. Interested to see Smith coming in when the injuries were to the backs. Bit of a blow to Hooper and Gill as it says they didn't stand up as much as Deans wanted them to when Smith is called in when its still quite doubtful if he'll be alright. I can't say I remember either of them effecting a turnover, though Hooper was stuck in the centres for nearly half the match.

Glad to see Mogg joining the squad and I forgot Tapuai existed so surprised to see him instead of A. Fainga'a. It will be interesting to see the team in terms of who is fit and what Deans does about the no.10.
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Old June 24 2013, 08:51 AM   #78
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

To add to the general sense of complete and utter farce operating in Australian sport today, Ioane is now the subject of an arrest warrant. He may not be fit anyway but it's hardly going to assist preparations for Saturday.

I'd ask what next but I don't want to know. Geez.
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Old June 24 2013, 02:20 PM   #79
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

The Ioane thing is ridiculous. How he, or his management, allowed him to miss a court date is pretty unbelievable. News in is he is out for the next test with both Barnes and McCabe. AAC and Leal are in the hope to be ready category at the moment, hopefully they make it.
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Old June 29 2013, 01:21 PM   #80
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Wow, can't believe we won that. Thought when Halfpenny was lining up on halfway we'd lost it, I was so sure given his quality and my house went nuts when it fell short. I sometimes wonder if supporting the Wallabies is shortening my lifespan because they give my heart a work out far too often.

After so much it was a nice simple move with powerful straight running by AAC that got us over the line. Leal also kicked fantastically and glad to see that history didn't repeat and we didn't win it because of kicking.

The Wallabies went wide too early often and the Lions weren't ofter troubled by that and too many ineffective inside balls. The Wallabies were guilt of not putting in enough into the tackle and Warbuton was massive in taking advantage of that. A lot of drop ball as well, but they still had the majority of possession. That needs to tighten up because with around 65% of possession they shouldn't be chasing the game.

No injuries thankfully and hope that continues through the week, though I think Horwill might be gone with the IRB appealing its decision that he was not guilty. You think given they have done that he'll be out next week. It will be interesting to see whether Deans puts Smith in. Hooper was completely outplayed by Warbs over the ball and I don't remember him effecting one turnover, though his defence and running was solid.

Warbs was the only injury and it looks like he might miss, so we're looking at both captains missing the decider, which isn't what you want. Questions about Warbs before would be silenced because Warbs has been a giant in these two tests so he's a loss even if he wasn't the captain.

I'd love for the Wallabies to smash the Lions next week so my heart can have a rest, but no chance of that happening. There is absolutely nothing in this series.

Last edited by Jono; June 29 2013 at 01:51 PM.
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Old June 30 2013, 08:48 AM   #81
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Yeah, that game was real heart attack material so I can only assume mine is in reasonable shape since I'm still here. Not every kickfest is boring, although the ref got just a bit carried away IMO.

Lord, we made that difficult for ourselves. So many handling errors and stupid passes and the like; every time we worked ourselves into a decent position someone would drop the damned ball or pass it to an invisible person. Still, we played what little rugby was on show in the game and deserved the win.

I, too, was quite convinced Halfpenny would drill that kick. Thank God even he can miss occasionally, even with Neil Jenkins in his pocket every time he lines up a shot. Warburton was extraordinary and the tide definitely turned when he went off.

And O'Connor, despite that pass, isn't the answer at 10. There has to be a better option, and his name isn't Cooper.

The other day I said this:
Orac Zen wrote: View Post
I'd ask what next but I don't want to know.
Well, now we know what's next - the Horwill thing. How completely and utterly pathetic. The British and Irish media whine and the IRB jumps to do their bidding. Yet more crap from the northern hemisphere and yet more proof they do the sport far more harm than good. I agree that Horwill won't be playing on Saturday - they'd hardly go to all this trouble just to re-confirm the original finding - and that's a disgrace IMO.
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Old July 2 2013, 09:55 AM   #82
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Glad to see that the Canadian QC upheld the original decision. Nice to see the IRB rightfully looking stupid (or at least more stupid).
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Old July 2 2013, 11:22 AM   #83
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

I want an israel Folau backpack
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Old July 3 2013, 09:09 AM   #84
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Jono wrote: View Post
Glad to see that the Canadian QC upheld the original decision.
Incredibly enough, he's actually an English QC living in Canada. They couldn't even get someone genuinely independent.
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Nice to see the IRB rightfully looking stupid (or at least more stupid).
It boggles the mind that they keep managing to find ways to look even more imbecilic. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the original decision, it was arrived at properly and competently. Which is more than one can say for the IRB.


Meanwhile, big call from Gatland and co to drop O'Driscoll. He hasn't exactly had a stellar series but even so. He's quality and always has been. It's a pity we won't see him again.
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Old July 4 2013, 09:47 AM   #85
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Smith back into the starting side for the first time in a couple of years. Wonder what his contract situation with Santory is and if he'll be available for the RC or if this might end up being his final test.

Gill is the one who misses out and has been dropped along with Horne with Ben McCalman coming onto the bench. Not really a big fan of McCalman, but given Palu's fairly average run so far I can see why you'd want a loosie that can cover no.8.

Probably haven't been this excited for a Wallabies match since 2011 RWC semi-final against the ABs, though unlike back then I genuinely believe that the Wallabies can win.
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Old July 4 2013, 12:09 PM   #86
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

During a soundbite on the news earlier Smith seemed reasonably certain this is his last hurrah. Still not 100% convinced about him just wandering back after three or four years and getting a start, but I won't complain too loudly. Yet.

I remain hopeful rather than confident about Saturday. O'Connor isn't a 10; I hope Deans' persistence won't end up biting everyone on the arse.
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Old July 6 2013, 12:46 PM   #87
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

15 to go and the Lions up by 20, I'm going to call it now. The Lions put on their best performance and the Wallabies put on their worst. Lions looked far more desperate and had the intensity, so maybe the Lion's call that the Wallabies played their grandfinal last week might not be too far off it.

Jesus, they just scored a pathetically easy try to Roberts with a simple run from a lineout.

This is an incredibly disappointing way to end the series. Can't help but think what could have happened if Beale wore better boots or Leal played out the first test, but in the end the best team has won the series.

Edit: The Lions got another try and it was 41 - 16 in the end. Not the ending anyone would expect to such a close series. The forwards were absolutely dominated, the scrum was a shambles and the backs didn't get anywhere near as much ball as they needed. Even when they did have the ball the Lions defence was outstanding.

Shame to see Folau get an injury, but Mogg stood up well in his debut. Made a good break, but lost the ball in a fantastic ankle tap. He also took over a lot of the place kicking and his tactical kick into the Lions corner was an example of what he can bring.

Looking towards the Rugby Championship I don't see Deans changing much. The new players he blooded have done well. The biggest question will be whether he continues to push O'Connor at no.10. My Brumbies bias has me wanting to see some more Brumbies join the squad, but really only Nic White has a reasonable chance of making the extended squad.

Also this results will continue the speculation about whether Deans will see out the rest of the year. If the RC is average or a disaster he'll have no hope as there is coaching review after the RC. Wouldn't be surprised if the QLD push for McKenzie starts tomorrow.

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Old July 6 2013, 01:59 PM   #88
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

A weird weekend for rugby, first of all the Chiefs got utterly pantsed by the Crusaders in Christchurch 43-15, almost made me think it was some kind of ruse to manage to lose by that much close to the playoffs, but no they were just that shit. Next up we had the Hurricanes lose to the Highlanders in Wellington in an absolute seat of the pants tryfest 44-49, the men from Dunedin managing to win even after having two players yellow carded during the game, and finally moving off the bottom of the table. And last but not least the Wallabies had an absolute shocker and got thrashed in Sydney by the lions 16-41, that while the Lions didn't have a decent halfback until well into the second half. The Australian scrum went backwards for the majority of the game, and for once even Genia appeared to have an off day. At least you guys got a new quality goal kicker out of the series in Leali'ifano, nailing 100% of his kicks at goal during the three tests. I think it's fair to say Deans will be looking for a new job shortly, and if I were a betting man I'd say Ewen McKenzie will be the new Wallabies coach.
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Old July 6 2013, 02:45 PM   #89
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Even though I think Jake White is a better coach I don't think he'll get the job. Australian fans want the Wallabies to play like the AB all the time and White's South African mentality, which is far closer to European, might be tough to sell. Not to mention the very ugly side of nationalism that has dogged Deans would continue to be an issue. I've already read comments by people at rugby sites that go along the lines of "What's worse than a Kiwi? A saffa" in relations to the Wallabies coaching job.

In the bigger picture it would also be better to keep Jake White at the super level as it would help keep the Brumbies competitive. Australian top level rugby coaching stocks are already pretty thin and if White moved up we would probably see McKenzie leave QLD completely and end up overseas again.

Edit: Just read that Ewen might be going to the Rebels so might not lose him if White gets the job.

Other news from the Rebels is that today they've announced they are cutting O'Connor loose at the end of this year. Even with O'Connor's issues I've found this new surprising because I was under the impression that the Rebels were also losing Beale to the Tahs. Maybe Beale is staying afterall because you wouldn't think the Rebels could afford to lose both of them. As for where next for O'Connor, the Force would probably be his destination if he's to stay in Australia.

Last edited by Jono; July 7 2013 at 07:16 AM.
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Old July 7 2013, 09:35 AM   #90
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Well, after all the hype and buildup that was quite a disappointment, wasn't it?

Bigger issues in offline life just now mean I'm less downcast about it than I'd otherwise be, but what a letdown for all concerned that we saved our poorest performance in quite some time for (arguably) the biggest game in this country in a decade. Meanwhile the Lions were brilliant. They'd have beaten pretty much anyone with that performance, never mind a team that basically had a collective shocker.

It's not often a game is lost at the kickoff but I'd argue we were gone that early. All the work to rebuild our scrum's reputation is gone yet again, and even though I don't rate O'Connor as a 10 no one on earth could have conjured anything with the pack going backwards all night.

Every bit of due credit to the Lions. They clearly were up for the occasion and while I highly doubt they wanted the win more than our blokes did, they certainly gave that impression.

I suppose Deans is gone, which will be a victory (of sorts) for the bigoted jingoists out there (like that maroon-eyed dickhead who writes for the Murdoch broadsheet). The mind boggles at what sort of puerile reactions we'd see if White was appointed. I genuinely despair and fear for this country and where it's heading these days, a far wider and more important issue than who coaches our rugby team but not entirely irrelevant either.

That O'Connor is being punted by the Rebels is...well, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It would be weird to see him slink back to the Force but I doubt any of the other sides would want anything to do with him.

All's not lost. IMO Deans has made some weird decisions but he's brought through a lot of blokes who might not otherwise have had a go. I certainly don't subscribe to the mindless, jingoistic conspiracy theory bullshit that he's destroyed Australian rugby. He's done more good than harm, but the moronic element that seems to be on the rise in this country will never see that. I dread McKenzie being appointed but I suppose I'd better try to start getting used to the idea.

That said, it could be a long RC for Wallaby fans.
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