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Pool C - Australia, Ireland, Italy, Russia, United States

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
My new Aussie backline after watching Barnes' kicking

Genia
Cooper
JOC
Beale

11 AAC
14 Ioane

Barnes 15

Edit Barnes must play and should either be 10 or 15 - they are the only spots where you can have a kick first mentality that he has. He was a terrible 12.
Only issue I have with my backline is whether cooper can handle the defence - at 13.
 
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HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
I'm honestly not sure whether Barnes fits in the team. I don't think Cooper is best served being played in the Centres. I'm also not really sure what the Aussies' game plan is in terms of territorial kicking against better teams. I thought they looked a bit undercooked against the Yanks last night; maybe trying to get rid of the cobwebs that formed against the Irish. Too many utility backs, and not enough specialists, maybe?
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Yep good post heef,

Return of Barnes relieves Australia's Rugby World Cup pain - Rugby World Cup - NZ Herald News

This article seems to suggest the backline worked better with Barnes in command. I think he is a better 1st 5 than a centre. So if he is to play then I think Cooper should move elsewhere.

All this said you have valid points and I think that Aussie should be shooting for stability at this stage of things rather than making major reshuffles such as cooper playing out of position. So I side with your view after consideration rather than mine.

I do think Aussie is going to struggle without a genuine goal kicker though. And this is what caused my post.

I think if they do play Barnes at 2nd 5 like the article suggests then they won't beat anyone.
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
None of these place kicking options last night are good enough on the evidence they put up, but I think Barnes, Beale and Cooper are all better at place kicking then they showed last night. Barnes hit a couple of nice ones shortly after he came on, but went off the boil shortly after.

Odd to see Samo on the wing for the last 10 minutes.
 

Uppercut

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I'm guessing it's Wishful thinking, but would anyone give Italy much chance of upsetting Ireland?
Of course. We have a tendency to play to the level of our opponents and we were seriously lucky to beat them last time the sides met.
 

JBH001

International Regular
Barnes needs to play with, ideally, AAC outside him. He should slot in at 12 and inter-change, IMO, with Cooper at 1st 5. The real issue though is the Australian forwards, Pocock has to return and enough has to be done for parity with the South African forwards. Frankly, I am doubtful that I will see this happening.

Australia had best pray that Italy pulls off an upset against Ireland.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Barnes needs to play with, ideally, AAC outside him. He should slot in at 12 and inter-change, IMO, with Cooper at 1st 5. The real issue though is the Australian forwards, Pocock has to return and enough has to be done for parity with the South African forwards. Frankly, I am doubtful that I will see this happening.

Australia had best pray that Italy pulls off an upset against Ireland.
I agree - Pocock's influence to this Australian side is vital, as is Ioane's. I don't have a problem with Barnes starting at 12 (I think both McCabe and Anthony Fa'ainga are pretty average centes so he doesn't exactly have much competition) although I've been saying for a while that JOC would be better utilised at 12 than his wing spot. When Ioane's back I'd start JOC at 12, with AAC at 13, and Mitchell and Ioane on the wing.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Brilliant scrummaging from Italy tonight against the US, unfortunately almost all other aspects of their game were pretty poor; I think Ireland will match them up front so I'm really struggling to see possible areas that the Italians could exploit. Personally I'd still like to see a NZ vs Australia final so I'll be hoping Italy do pull off a miracle win against the Irish, although I certainly wouldn't bet on it happening.
 

Uppercut

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Without having seen it, I wouldn't pay much attention to the Italian scrum's performance in that particular game. The US have been beyond a joke at set pieces all tournament.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Without having seen it, I wouldn't pay much attention to the Italian scrum's performance in that particular game. The US have been beyond a joke at set pieces all tournament.
Oh of course, Italy's dominance has to be taken with the mindset that the US have constantly struggled with the scrum throughout the tournament. But its certainly not the first time Italy have come through matches, even against the very top tier of nations, and impressed with their scrummaging.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Very interesting line-up for Australia for their match against Russia - Samo on the wing, no reserve backs except for two half-backs (!) as well as two hookers on the bench. I remember New Zealand had a similar problem towards the end of the group stages in 2007 with Mealamu and Hayman covering flanker and lock respectively, but those issues look minor compared to the Wallabies' injury concerns at the moment.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
If a 21-17 second half scoreline against Russia is part of this grand plan Ripper, then your Wallabies are certainly progressing nicely. ;) Hope Drew Mitchell's ok, seemed to pull up badly with a hamstring injury; after the progress he made to even get to the World Cup that'd be such a shame if hes then ruled out before the knockouts.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Depends a lot on how fit the likes of Beale, Ioane, Mitchell, etc are, as to whether Australia are really the 'weaker team' for their quarter final match in all likelihood against SA. Pocock seemed to come back well in the match this afternoon and he makes a massive difference to the Wallaby side. Moore and Sharpe also didn't feature in the loss to Ireland and surely both will start in the quarter final. If the Wallabies can get their best players on the park, its an even contest against the Boks IMO, who have had a tough group stage which I imagine will catch up on them at some point.
 

ripper868

Cricketer Of The Year
No No, SA are the definite favourites. We couldnt catch a cold at the moment - as shown by the second half vs Russia - the miugs were just too cold for us to get our hands on them.

Terrible showing in the second half. Obviously will need to be better than that to win the comp...my team for the rest of the tournament would be something like this:

15: Morahan
14 Davies
13 A Finger
12 Tapuai
11 Ioane
10 Cooper
9 Genia
8 Samo
7 Robinson
6 Higginbotham
5 Simmons
4 Horwill
3 Slipper
2 S Finger
1 Daley

With:
16 Moore
17 Alexander
18 Sharpe
19 Pocock
20 Farr-Jones
21 Mike Harris (shhh - he's aussie now)
22 Jono Lance
 

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