Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Discussion in 'Sports and Fitness' started by Jono, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  2. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    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?
     
  3. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  5. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  6. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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: Nov 3, 2013
  8. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    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
     
  9. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  10. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    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 :devil:
     
  11. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Superficially, a 50-20 result looks pretty good. In reality, it struck me as being very similar to the second Argentina Test - a better side than Italy would probably have beaten the Wallabies on that showing, and we definitely wouldn't have troubled a top-shelf team. It doesn't inspire much confidence ahead of the encounter with Ireland, anyway.
     
  12. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was going to say the same thing about the Italy game and the last match against the Pumas. It was a potential danger game where the opponents didn't live up to what they showed earlier in the year. Italy was underdone for sure and wouldn't have helped and poor goal kicking meant that they weren't able to peg the Wallabies within sight and apply real scoreboard pressure after the Wallabies quick two tries put them in front.

    It was at least a general improvement over the England game. Ireland should be a tougher ask, but I'm not sure how to read them at the moment. They had a decent win against a not quite full strength Samoa, but were absolutely terrible in the Six Nations, but I guess so was France and they looked more likely to beat the ABs than the Wallabies did this year.
     
  13. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    English "journalistic" comedy gold, as repeated by the SMH. I needed a laugh when I read it, and it delivered in spades.

    I'll be astonished if the All Blacks don't wipe the floor with England this weekend. I'd like to have a fraction of that confidence about our game.
     
  14. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Meh, English rugby and overconfidence go hand in hand, it's about as predictable as our media's overconfidence whenever we face France, apparantly nobody remembers the last world cup final around here. Motivation won't be a problem for our guys after last year, and with a three game test against England next June now would be a good time to go for the jugular and nip it in the bud for at least the next year. I hope we win by 20, but I'll take a win by 1 point if that's what it takes, the best thing about the test in Paris was that we now know what exactly to improve on after a three week hiatus by the core All Blacks group.
     
  15. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Yeah, I was going to be considerably more sarcastic about the article but it's so predictable there wasn't much point acknowledging anything other than the comedic arrogance of a subset of English people. Every country has those, of course, but the English versions seem to be even more pathetic than most.

    Still not looking forward to our game. :borg:
     
  16. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    The All Blacks win a massive game 30-22 in front of a sell-out crowd at Twickenham. After a converted Savea try in the second minute we dominated the first quarter of the game with a Keiran Reid try, leading 17-3 at one point. England struck back to lead 22-20 at the end of the third quarter, before another brilliant Savea try and penalty by Cruden sealed the deal. Sad to see Carter limping off for his 100th test, at this rate he will be lucky to get to 105 with the numerous injuries he's had over the last couple of years. However, we need just one more big game this year next week against Ireland to seal of a perfect 14 wins from 14 tests this year. Pity the game will be played on Monday morning NZ time so I guess I'll have to catch up on it on Monday night instead.
     
  17. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wallabies won 32 - 15 and for the first time in a while they did it without allowing the opposition to score a try.

    The Irish forwards will be feeling a bit sheepish today after all the talk of dominating the Wallabies pack, particularly at scrum time only for them to be the ones under pressure and to even get shown up by a seven man Australian scrum. The Wallabies even reversed the feed on an Irish defensive 5m scrum and with their feed resulted in a try. The scrum did still give away 4 penalties I think, 2 for early engagements and 2 for the looseside collapsing so it was still far from perfect.

    As good as that sound it has to be measured against the fact Ireland were pretty poor. In fact it was the type of performance that wouldn't be out of place for the Wallabies during the RC, off the pace, static defence, wobbly scrum, poor ball skills, not aggressive enough forwards. They looked very much like a side that only won 1 6N match earlier this year.

    As for the Wallabies too many penalties given. They went into the second half only 3 points up despite scoring 2 tries because of it. They also spent 18 minutes a man down. Hooper got a yellow in the first half and Kuridrani got a red card for a spear tackle in the 72nd minute, he also will have to wait and see what the IRB match review committee has to say after any further suspension. Against a better opponent you'd think that the number of infringements by the Wallabies would have been made to pay more dearly for them.

    Scotland next. It will be interesting to see how Ewen approaches it and whether he sticks to the "have to field the best side for every game" or if he takes the chance to rest some players. Of course with the Kuridrani situation he might have to make a change anyway. AAC went down during the game, but he did play on for maybe 10 before he was subbed, hopefully it isn't anything serious because if both of them are out it would cause a big problem with who plays at 13. Hopefully it won't come to pass.
     
  18. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    I've only seen the second half but that looked mildly decent, albeit against a rather atypical Ireland side who usually have a go at any and all cost but who looked pretty lifeless. It was quite novel to see our scrum shunting an opponent about and I can't for the life of me remember the last time I saw a Wallaby try from a rolling maul.

    Even so it wasn't a performance that would frighten the really good sides. I'm okay with seeing us string together consecutive wins for the first time in what seems like aeons, though.

    Scotland have made us look stupid on several occasions in recent years. I won't be at all surprised if that happens again, but maybe there'll be another pleasant surprise.
     
  19. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looks like McKenzie is going to need to make a few changes as the team has stood down 6 players over late night drinking last week. AAC, Cummins, Polota-Nau, Robinson and Gill will be having an enforced break for the Scots game with Ryan missing the Wales match since they need props for the Scotland game. Puts even more pressure on the Kuridrani IRB hearing tomorrow with AAC definitely out for a match.

    It doesn't end there, in total there were 15, pretty much half the squad, involved with 5 getting a written reprimand and the other 4 a verbal one.

    Crazy stuff, but I guess as a message it does show that McKenzie is ready to back up his talk of straightening up the culture there. Questions will be asked as to why it took a week for this all to come about and I'd say it happening mid-week might have saved them, earlier and Ewen wouldn't be able to rely on the team disruption defence.
     
  20. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Dublin is a quite fabulous place (as is Ireland in general - anyone who gets any sort of opportunity ought to go there) and I can understand people wanting to get out and experience it, but there's a time and a place and given all the dramas with certain people around the team and alcohol / ignoring team protocols / whatever, it wasn't a particularly bright move (to say the least). It'll be interesting to see what happens next.