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Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old September 14 2013, 01:31 PM   #136
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Yeah, the match was ruined shortly after half time after Bismark du Plessis received his second yellow card and thus a red as well, meaning we were playing a 14-man Springbok side for the rest of the match. Not to worry as the All Blacks seemed determined to play with as few players as possible in the last 10 minutes, with Keiran Read sent off for a professional foul in the NZ 22 - what the fuck was he thinking? - and Ma'a Nonu committing a late shoulder charge on Jean de Villiers - double what the fuck was he thinking? The man seems determined to try and be sent off in as many matches as possible this year, might have something to do with the rumoured move to France as no NZ franchise wants to touch him with a 10 foot pole anymore - nevertheless we got through on top even after losing Dan Carter early in the first half and Israel Dagg at the start of the second, not to mention Julian Savea failing the concussion test late in the second half and Sam Cane coming off to go to the blood bin about three times. All tries except Patrick Lambie's late in the second half were scored by forwards for a change, 29-15 at full time.

Australia managed to scrape past an Argentine side that just seemed to be going through the motions, the famous South American scrum seemed to be held at bay by the Aussie forward pack remarkably enough, way too many errors from both sides to be celebrating anything though, 14-13 at full time.
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Old September 15 2013, 09:25 AM   #137
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

White and Hooper aside, I thought we were pretty ordinary, actually. The defence came good (not before time) - it was a remarkable effort to keep Argentina at bay as long as we did - but otherwise I can't say I was impressed. The scrum was ordinary and got worse when the replacements came on and while the forwards lifted their collective game in general play they need to perform at scrum time.

It certainly wasn't a performance that any other major international side is going to be concerned about, and does nothing to convince me that significant improvement will happen any time soon.

I liked the look of White. There was none of the hesitation that's been so apparent in Genia's game this year - no two-or-three-steps-then-pass nonsense, just clearing the ball and keeping the momentum going (until someone stuffed up). He overdid the kicking at times but as run-on debuts go, that was impressive.

Cooper actually made a proper, legitimate tackle at one stage, which was one of the more extraordinary sights I've ever seen in a rugby game. Of course he was swatted aside like a bug for the rest of the game and did pretty much nothing, but nothing new there. He has to go.

Really not looking forward to our return encounters with either SA or Argentina.


Seems as though the Test across the ditch was...err...interesting. That return bout should be a beauty.
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Old September 25 2013, 03:26 PM   #138
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

And the Brumbies lose another head coach...Jake White has apparently asked for a release from the final two years of his contract. Not clear as to why yet, but he has made it clear he wants to be a national coach again and I wonder if he's got something lined up.

Not thrilled by the news and how un-thrilled I am will depend on the reasons behind his leaving. At the very least I can be happy with the fact he is leaving the place better off than when he arrived.

Oh, and Ewen has made several changes for the game this weekend. Horwill (returning from injury) and Tomane (replacing JOC) come in which isn't a surprise, nor is Robinson (in for Scott Sio) on the bench (only surprise might be him not starting). Bit of an extra shuffle in the backs with Cummins also injured, so AAC is on the wing and Kuridrani starting his first game at outside centre. Also some new guy on the bench, who I'm sure is a QLD Red, but too lazy to look up his name right now. There will be some surprise over a non-change with Nic White starting again and Genia on the bench.

Hoping that like the second AB game it will be a bit closer, though with it more to do with Wallaby improvement rather than opposition being off.

Last edited by Jono; September 25 2013 at 03:54 PM.
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Old September 26 2013, 09:05 AM   #139
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

The White thing is a bit of an eye-opener. He made a lot of noise at one stage about seeing out his contract, doing what he wanted to do there, other jobs weren't in the equation until he'd done those things etc etc - and now this. If it's really about spending time with his family at home in SA, that's reasonable and understandable. If it's some sort of dummy spit about not getting the Wallaby gig...well, that's another matter. Ultimately, the truth of the matter really isn't any of anyone's business anyway. It does give McKenzie a level of security that, so far, he hasn't even begun to earn. That part's somewhat unfortunate.

I really, really hope O'Connor never wears a Wallaby jumper again.

Robinson shouldn't have been dropped in the first place but his return is a bit of a surprise (to me, anyway). How the other changes work out remains to be seen. I hope we have a go and it isn't another embarrassing blowout.
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Old September 28 2013, 06:28 PM   #140
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

SA won comfortably 28 - 8 after going into half-time 23 - 3 up. Looking at just this you could think the Wallabies had a better second half as it was 5-all, but really they didn't have that much of a better second half as South Africa played half of the second half a man down in the forwards. In fact there were 4 cards, 2 to each and both losing a man in either half, though the SA first half card was at the cusp of half time so they went the first 9 minutes of the second without a player.

The Wallabies did score a try, but it was a mix of decent vision from Cooper for a long kick to his winger and a very lax SA backline not paying attention and paying from a quick lineout.

Scrum was again a mess. It looked better when Robinson came on, but it also benefited for extended periods against 7 men. Lineout was quite bad with poor delivery to the scrum half and then Sia'a not throwing straight when he came on.

Nic White will be blasted for kicking too much (which I don't disagree with), but I don't doubt he was given orders to kick a lot. Genia came on at half time and they ran it more, but again Australia was chasing a lost game and had a numbers advantage. All that said, I doubt McKenzie will start White next week against the Pumas.

With the cards it isn't hard to figure out it was a spiteful match, though any time you play against SA it tends to be that way due to how they often approach their rugby. The media here will probably but it in a better light than I have, but still not a lot of improvement for the Wallabies over McKenzie's time and they are still looking like they are the fourth best team in the RC.

As for the Jake White situation, I'm still waiting to hear what he has to say, but I'm still on the forgiving side of the fence at the moment. As for his replacement, I guess it shouldn't be surprising to see the media bring up Dean's name, but I have to wonder if he would want to return to the Australian rugby scene given some of the stuff he had to put up with over the last 5 years.

Last edited by Jono; September 29 2013 at 05:29 AM.
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Old September 29 2013, 08:17 AM   #141
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

I watched the first half when the game was replayed this arvo, and it was so dire I decided to go outside and do something productive rather than watch the rest. It continues to boggle my mind that so many of these blokes have reached the highest level of the sport - and be paid accordingly - without being able to execute some of the most basic skills under any sort of pressure. Is it really that hard to catch and pass a football? To hold onto a football in contact? To watch some of our blokes you'd think it was a near-impossibility to do those things.

Not looking forward to the Argentina game at all.

Deans would have to be completely insane to even contemplate coaching in this country again. The backdowns ("of course McKenzie being Australian had nothing to do with anything" blah blah blah) issued by Pulver and that maroon-eyed dickhead who writes for the Murdoch broadsheet are just copouts that no one with any intelligence whatever would believe. I'd say it's far more likely that one of their own will get the Brumbies gig - it's just a matter of which one.
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Old September 30 2013, 05:52 AM   #142
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

All Blacks won a scrappy match and got a four-try bonus point thanks to another brilliant induvidual performance by Ben Smith right on full time. Meaning we just have to deny South Africa a four try bonus point of their own next weekend to take the RC again this year, although I'm hoping we do a lot better than that! Although the conditions were quite wet in La Plata there were so many errors from both the Pumas and us that I'm convinced we would have lost had we played South Africa this week. At least Richie should be ready to run onto Ellis Park next weekend, although Sam Cane again showed he's worthy of wearing the 7 jersey. Our scrum was looking very shaky in the first half, even giving away a scrum penalty at one point, thankfully it got better after half time. Looking forward to finally having the epic test we were promised next weekend!

As for Jake White, I wonder if there's any truth to the rumor I heard he was seeking to become head coach of the Pumas next year?
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Old October 6 2013, 02:01 AM   #143
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Wallabies have a massive 54 - 17 point win. I was ready for a loss, but the Wallabies put it together far better with passes sticking, a better set piece and solid defence. Argentina did suffer from going for too much too often and had several good opportunities die. Where the game probably turned was from about the 8th-12th minute where Argentina got 5 penalties, 4 off a scrum 5m out, Slipper got binned as a result, but as Argentina started to work the scrum forward poor ball control by the 8 saw it slip out of the scrum and Hooper pick it up. At that point it was 7-0 to the Wallabies and if Argentina did punish the Wallabies there the crowd would have been into it heavily and they might have played with a bit more composure, which went away when they had to chase the Wallabies growing lead as the game progressed.

Good performances across the park. Folau got a hat-trick with the only slight blemish when he got turned inside out when Argentina scored in the first half. Tomane had the bashing winger role that Ioane occupied and had his best game, scoring a try and bending and breaking the Pumas line a number of times. Kuridrani looked more comfortable and was solid in defence. Cooper had a good game, save his usual intercept pass and poor option leading to the 5m scrum where the Wallabies lost Slipper. Genia was much better with fast service. AAC scored a try and was solid, but overshadowed by Tomane due to Tomane's role giving him more involvement. Leal continued to be the solid and kicked well, but only played around half the game picking up an injury late in the second.

The forwards were also good, the lineout worked well and following the 5m incident the scrum worked pretty well despite spending a 1/4 of the game one man down. Simmons was the other man sent off for taking out a man without the ball and using no hands to do it. Hooper and Fardy were again the two stand outs in general play.

However, in two weeks the Wallabies have to face the RC champions, the ABs in NZ. There was still enough rough in their game against Argentina that a side like the ABs would punish far more heavily. I expect another loss to the ABs and the question would be if the Wallabies crumble as badly as they have when the good sides really put pressure on them.

Saw the highlights of the SA vs AB game. Looked like a good match and congrats to the ABs on a deserved win.
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Old October 6 2013, 08:04 AM   #144
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

A better performance in many ways, but better opposition would have punished the still-present and very ordinary defensive lapses and the various other errors served up along with the good stuff. The breakdown was the best it's been in ages - again, probably the product of the opposition as much as our improvements in that area (I can't imagine McCaw, Read and co allowing the kind of latitude we got this morning). The scrum functioned well - no mean feat against (a somewhat weakened) Argentina - as did the lineout. Genia played more like himself and the rest of the backline had good moments; even the human turnstile did something useful on occasion.

Thing is, we'll need to play a hell of a lot better than that to get near NZ in a couple of weeks. Hopefully we can, but I won't hold my breath.

From all accounts the game in Joh'burg was one for the ages. Good for NZ for picking up a win at one of the very few venues they don't often succeed at.
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Old October 19 2013, 10:33 AM   #145
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

3-blot to the All Blacks. No surprise whatever there. Again, it was a better effort from us in some ways, and dismally familiar in many others. The same sorts of stupid errors that have been a "feature" of our play for far too long cropped up again and again and against that calibre of opposition there was only ever going to be one result.

So ends what, overall, has been a pretty disappointing season for the Wallabies. Hopefully the spring tour will yield better results.
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Old October 20 2013, 06:20 AM   #146
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

As Orac said, it was a mixed bag, but it could have been worse and thought for a while the margin would be considerable. So while it was nice it was closer that has to be weighed against the fact that the ABs never looked to be really in trouble of losing the game.

The forwards were a bit invisible in the sense the no one really stood out (apart from when Moore got blitzed by Dagg). Hooper needs to work over the ball, the Wallabies were completely lacking in the absence of Fardy who was pretty much doing the hard yards in it.

With the backs, Cooper had his best game for a long time, though this was a nothing game, but the question is whether he can back it up against England were there is actually something to play for. As a Brumbies supporter it was good to see Kuridrani have his best game. That intercept seemed to give him confidence and he played much better in the second half. Still a fair bit for him to work on, like his decision making in defence (same as Folau), but he had a pretty decent game.
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Old November 2 2013, 06:07 PM   #147
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

That was a pretty average game with England winning 20-13. Australia looked in the box seat and then a absolutely inexcusable touchie howler, England goes just about the length of the field to score to tie up the game 13 a piece. I know I really shouldn't be surprised by what happened next: the Wallabies lost the plot. A few minutes later England benefit from what should have been an obstruction to get 7 ahead and that's the game.

Now, at this point it would be so easy to just blame the refs, I definitely had some choice words at the TV while watching. However, the refs aren't the ones not performing at scrum time, or at the breakdown or throwing silly passes. The Wallabies had 15 minutes to close down England and they should have, but this is still not a team that really knows how to graft out a win when things get bit tough. The English commentators said what has been said several times this year, "winning is a habit and the Wallabies are in the habit of losing."

Genia's performance wasn't great, reminded me of 2010. He was great against the ABs, and then in the next match against England he was off. While I like to point out how often Cooper throws an intercept, Genia and his box kicks are a nightmare this year. He gotit charged down (for the millionth time this year) on the Wallabies try line and England scored. If Ewen sticks to what he has done so far Genia won't be starting next week against Italy.

The forwards were bleh. Fardy again looked good, but he was stretched off just before the try that evened up the game. The only other forward that stood out as having an impact was Douglas when he came on. He really ripped in, which is good to see. Timani was a bit missing, so maybe Douglas getting a start wouldn't be a bad thing either. I must have a Hooper blindspot. The guy won the John Eales medal but I swear he hasn't done much apart from a break in the Lion's game. I'd throw Gill in, especially if Fardy's injury is worse than a slight concussion. We need someone to work over the ball. Oh, and get Polota-Nau in quickly. Moore could probably do with a rest on the bench, I'd also say Mowen too if he hadn't just been made captain. A revolving door of leadership is not going to help...plus that would mean Cooper would be captain and I'm not ready for that.

Overall, disappointed (plus tired and slightly drunk) in the outcome and the performance, particularly in the second half. Given how this year has panned out might have to start crossing body parts to hope they get 2 wins out of this tour. Stupid sport, making me care about things...

Last edited by Jono; November 3 2013 at 07:08 AM. Reason: A sober run through to make it make a bit more sense
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Old November 3 2013, 12:32 AM   #148
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

After a slow start the All Blacks 'development team' win handily against Japan 54-6. Good to see Japan keeping within 1 point for the first 25 minutes of the match, before we finally gained some traction and scored three tries within 5 minutes. Carter had a good return match, nailing all of his kicks for goal and making a few nice line breaks. Kerr-Barlow finally had a good moment when he put Barrett over the try line with a nice kick in the second half, I'm still not really sold on him as an international though, wish TJ Perenara would stop getting injured and finally get some game time for the All Blacks, later on this tour hopefully. Ben Smith had another good game - first as a starting centre though - as did both Piutau and Halai, and McCaw looked good wearing the unfamiliar black 8 jersey. Good to see our defense held the Japanese out from scoring a try for the last five minutes even as Cane was sin binned in the 81st minute.

Next up will be France in Paris which will be a whole different kettle of fish compared to this week. At least it will be playing at a decent hour (9am NZ time), unlike the England and Ireland games which will both be played in the middle of the night, guess I'll just have to watch the replay in the morning for both of those matches
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Old November 3 2013, 08:26 AM   #149
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

I didn't see the game but it doesn't seem as though I missed anything - just more of the same. The refereeing blunders were pretty bad but blaming the ref is almost always pathetic...and McKenzie appears to have taken that line, at least in part, with the media. Le sigh.

There was comedy from the England captain who apparently believes the Wallabies are a "big scalp" in rugby terms. Priceless stuff.

The grand slam was only ever a very vague possibility but this is still a really disappointing result. Australian rugby has gone backwards this year, which given we didn't start from a particularly good place is impressive in a dismal sort of way.
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Old November 10 2013, 06:10 AM   #150
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

All Blacks win a tight game and survived a late French surge to come out on top 26-19 in Paris. The first half being made up entirely of traded penalties to make it 9 all at half time, Charles Piutau shows why he's been selected by being involved in both NZ tries, scoring the first and setting up Keiran Read for the second. Les Bleus hit back immediately after the second and were camped on our try line for most of the last 10 minutes, a scrum penalty at full time giving us the win.

And man were the scrums a shambles all game, not because either side were particularly bad, but the turf just came up in sheets every time a scrum was set. Now on to Twickenham to take on England, I for one am hoping for revenge after the bloody nose they gave us last year
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