Happy Thursday all.
Being a Wallabies supporter at the moment is a rollercoaster ride the enjoyment of Super Rugby AU. The disappointment of the Super TT and the Bled followed a good patch up until last weekend.
What Does Everyone Who Reads This Article and Will Skelton Have in Common?
We all made the same number of tackles against the English on the weekend. on a positive note he made one more carry than I did. Unfortunately he played 18 minutes..
I think Dave Rennie has used the Northern Tour as a look and see mission of what we have available from those Australians who are playing in Europe.
My verdict on the European based players who were used.
Rory Arnold gets a pass, he works hard at lineout and maul but to be honest I did not feel he added more than Matt Philip
Will Skelton looked disinterested, slow and was frankly poor not up to test standard IMHO.
Kurtley Beale looks past it to me and does not look up to test standard anymore and I have not taken into account the character flaws.
Tolu Latu Reminded everyone of what we were missing when he should have been carded in the his first action with a no arms grass cutter tackle. Unfortunately his lineout throw was as I remembered it Sh1th4use.
Ollie Hoskins Was definitely not on the radar and as a Wallaby fan I would love to see him get another run this weekend as you could see how much it meant to him on the social media channels. I know with Thor and 7As back it won’t happen but I wish it would.
Truth Lies and Statistics
The Stats from the weekend game against the English do not make good reading. From the Autumn Nations Cup Webisite.
It was a terrible game with the ball in play for just over 29 minutes our good friends Jaco and Stuart Berry (both Saffas) certainly enjoyed the use of the TMO and whistle respectively. Stuart Berry officiating has been a blight on the game for ten years.
Some of the lowlights
Time in opposition 22 14 Seconds (Yes that is not a typo)
Bad Passes 12
Handling Errors 15
We also lost the penalty count 18 to 9 our discipline was pretty poor and has been for a ling time.
On a positive note our defence was excellent and kept us in the game and but for a couple of sliding door moments it could and should have been a little closer or even gone the other way.
Looking Forward Australia v Wales
Both teams are rocked by injury so it will be a case of who wants to resurrect a poor season.
James Slipper to Captain Australia in Micheal Hooper’s absence.
A spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday evening Slipper would step up in place of Michael Hooper, with the flanker ruled out of Sunday morning (Australian time) clash with a foot injury.
It will mark just the second time the 32-year-old will captain the side, handed the honour against the USA ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
“It’s obviously devastating losing our skipper Hoops but the boys are very excited (for Slipper), there was a big roar when we heard Slips would be captain,” flyhalf James O’Connor said on Tuesday.
“He’s one of our leaders in the leadership group. He’s been there and done that and everyone can rely on him. He’s got a very steady presence.
“It’s credit to the hard work that he’s put in and how much he leaves it all out there.”
Slipper was forced to move to tighthead in the 32-15 defeat to England, the first time he has played in the position at Test level since 2012.
O’Connor believes this typifies his nature as a player and leader, excited to see him get the opportunity given the journey he has been on since his last stint as captain.
“We asked a lot of him (last week) and we thought we delivered big time in those patches,” he added.
“He’s been on that journey and someone you get around. He’s very authentic, he’s very himself and a great bloke. We’re excited for him to lead us out.
“…He’s a man of action, what he says, he’ll do. He puts his body on the line and that’s why we get around him.
“The job is normal for him. He’s using the guys around him that would normally speak on detail and he comes in with a bit of emotion.”
The Brumbies prop will likely move back to his preferred side of loosehead when the Wallabies confirm their side late Thursday with Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa expected to recover from concussions.
Gordon finding his voice as Rebels build for Super Rugby Pacific
For all of you who think that Australia has no talent coming through I urge you to keep an eye on this young man next season. I have seen him play at club level in Brisbane and like many others I believe he will be a very good player at the next level. From rugby.com.au
Rebels flyhalf Carter Gordon is confident the side can continue to build ahead of Super Rugby Pacific, looking to step up as a leader in 2022.
Gordon was thrust into the starting role during the Trans-Tasman season, establishing himself as their flyhalf of the future.
After a tough start against the Blues, the Rebels showed they could compete with the Kiwi teams in narrow losses to the Highlanders and Chiefs.
This has given the Melbourne-based side plenty of confidence ahead of 2022, with Gordon eager to impose his voice to help guide them around the park.
“I’m coming out of the (Trans-Tasman) season with plenty of confidence having played against the New Zealand teams,” Gordon said.
“They were a bit of step up this year but I think the way the boys are working out there in the pre-season, we’re really chasing them and coming in hot.
“Being a ten, (communicating) is something I need to master and I think I’m really putting in the work in the pre-season and making sure I’m one of the voices the boys can look to.
“It’s something I’m trying to improve on and some I’m getting used to.”
Having settled into the side, Gordon’s confidence has grown after a ‘dream’ debut season, admitting the goal remains the same.
“I was always trying to prepare myself behind the scenes and make sure I was ready to go when I was needed so I think it was obviously a shock having one game and then getting called up (to the starting side),” he added.
“I’ve tried to take it with both hands and really rip in for the team.
“The goal is to win so I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to ensure that.”
The Rebels are relishing the prospect of a settled Pacific campaign, forced to leave Melbourne on a couple of hours notice on numerous occasions over the past 18 months.
With a Super Round slated for AAMI Park in Round Two, the prospect of playing regular games in Melbourne excited the 20-year-old.
“It’s very really exciting, being able to stay at home and our own bed which is always good,” Gordon believes.
“It’s going to be good for our fans and to play in front of family so I’m really excited for it.”
Happy Birthday Michael Hooper
I heard on one of the pods this week that it is Michael Hooper’s birthday He was quoted in the social media post as saying he has not had a birthday at home since he was 18. It does make it clear that the season is a grind and just keeps going.