What’s Wrong With The Wallabies? Pt.2

Berrick Barnes [Waratahs], David Pocock [Force], James Horwill [Reds], James O’Connor [Rebels] and Stephen Moore [Brumbies] – a photo like this gives the impression that Australian rugby talent is distributed equally across all five franchises … it isn’t. If they showed five players from each team, you wouldn’t recognise six of the lads wearing Force or Rebels jerseys.

Before we get into the personnel, injury, tactical and discipline problems that have beset the Wallabies in recent times, it’s important to cast a cursory eye over the structure that supports the international team.

The Mole is of the strong opinion that the ARU have eyes bigger than their bellies when it comes to ‘growing the game’. They’ve expanded for the sake of expanding, not for the sake of winning more trophies.

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Ireland’s Giteau

Leinster’s fine unbeaten run was ended last Friday night by a feisty Ospreys team. While the Neath-Swansea outfit were clearly the more powerful team in the second half – aided by the inclusion of their confidence-charged Welsh Grand Slammers – there were a couple of performances worthy of further discussion from the Leinster midfield backs. Continue reading

George Smith and RWC11

George Smith with his most recent John Eales Medal

Interesting broadcast from Australia’s ABC Grandstand Sport, in which ex-Wallaby coach Eddie Jones, now coach of the epically-named Suntory Sungoliaths, talks about Dingo Deans and why George Smith isn’t at the World Cup … and if he soon will be. Continue reading

The Team That Never Travelled: Part Five, Inside Centre

Plenty of quality centres are missing from the World Cup. Some are the victims of well-stacked strength in their position, some have suffered due to their age profile, and others have been left behind because their coach is bonkers. Continue reading

Ireland vs Australia Reaction: Old Soldiers Never Die, They Just Get Dropped by Robbie Deans

Stirling Mortlock and George Smith Catch Up

A lot of Australian fans are hell-bent on blaming Robbie Deans on absolutely everything that goes wrong for the Wallabies: he’s the head-coach, and a Kiwi head coach at that. The Mole just doesn’t subscribe to that. Deans is a good coach. However, he does have some blind spots. Continue reading

Matt Giteau and Robbie Deans

What sort of team can afford to leave out a 92-times capped 28-year old who has twice been nominated for IRB International Player of the Year [the most recent of these nominations coming a mere 20 months ago in December 2009],  who has scored 624 international points, including a not to be sniffed at 29 tries – of halfbacks, only Joost van der Westhuizen [38] and Dan Carter [equal, on 29] can match or exceed him – and who has started international games at scrum-half, out-half and first centre? You’ve guessed it: Australia. They’re that good, apparently. Continue reading