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Just my random thoughts on the match...
The effort was there from the Wallabies but they were outplayed by a far superior side. I can't name one Wallaby who outplayed their AB counterpart, having said that even McCaw put up an equally matched performance to Pocock who was easily Australia's best.
Pocock put in a great effort but some selections didn't really justify the faith shown.
I must say the second half could have turned out to be a whole lot worse for the Wallabies but they showed some good character and must be applauded for that.
I thought Rocky didn't have the best night leading the troops, hopefully he has learned a lesson from it. A change it captaincy wouldn't be ideal at this stage IMO - shades of the Pakistani cricket team.
Genia needs to stamp his authority in the game a bit more, he seems to be shut off quite easily and with a player of his quality he needs to step up a bit.
Oh and the ground was a disgrace.
what a game. terrific ball in hand attitude.
Genia was a bit off, Rocky is a **** captain, Mitchell...just silly and looked to be our most dangerous when on the ground.
Will get done by 60 in NZ tbh...Tri-nations and bledisloe wrapped up.
Yes, that was my point - the material is see-through which ensures the grass still sees some sun.
Pocock was man of the match for me - but you can't give it out to a losing player I guess. Thought he just managed to outplay McCaw.
Genia needs a kick up the backside. With his team hot on attack Genia likes to build up the drama by waiting with the ball at the back of the ruck for 3-5 seconds before finally passing it out. The ABs can see he is going to pass it - his team can see he is going to pass it. He waits - and then he passes it.
I think it takes away from the momentum of the attacking team.
Australia would be better off if Barnes didn't have as strong a kicking game - with the ball in hand and numbers to burn Barnes did a little grubber kick into touch instead of running it. Run the ball already Berrick. Also felt that Giteau passing the ball to Berrick for him to make a clearing kick rather than Giteau kicking himself was a mistake when it lead to that charge down.
I think the bounce of the ball favoured the ABs in this game. I am hoping for a closer game in the rematch.
Some of my random thoughts on the game.
I think this AB team is looking like it might be our finest since Fitzy's ABs of 95-97. This team has a strong spine in terms of skill and experience in key positions, for example, Woodcock, Mealamu, Thorn, McCaw, Carter, Smith, and Muliaina. What is even better is that all that experience is starting to show in composure and leadership on the field, in a way it did not in Cardiff in 2007. It is a bit ironic for Deans that some of the core players of the AB spine were picked by Mitchell and himself during their tenure as AB coaches 2001- 2003.
Unless they have an off day, or the opposing team has a blinder I don't see any other team beating us this year. Only SA at home qualify as any sort of threat. I'd even go so far as to say this team represents our best chance of winning the WC since 95 but it is a whole year away and a lot can happen.
As to Australia, they simply weren't good enough but they didn't help themselves by making silly mistakes (not finding touch or claiming lineouts for instance). Although I was glad they didn't run up the white flag like they did in Wellington last year and toughed it out when a man down - it would have been so easy to crumble. But only their backrow looked to be of a similar calibre to the AB backrow and that, more at the breakdown and with ball in hand than on defense. Their backs hardly figured on attack, and their tight 5 simply dont have the mobility and power to pose a consistent threat in the tight or the loose.
Big issues for them next week. The key, I think, is to focus on the tackle area and maybe even implement league style gang tackling backed up by swift clearing by supporting players in order to slow attacking play and even strip possession. Easier said than done, of course.
I think that SA - Australia and the rest of the world play at 120% of their abilities in the world cup. Opposition will be a lot sterner next year when the other countries finally bring their A game. And the problem is that the ABs will be expecting to beat them and won't motivate themselves properly for the game and will get taken by surprise.
In the interests of Trans-Tasman rivalry, how about giving me a 11.5 point start for this weekend?...you get mine for 1.5 weeks if AB's win by 12 or more, I get yours for 1 week if Wobbles win (or lose by 11 or less) (inflating the odds ftw)