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Thread: Wallabies halves Luke Burgess, Matt Giteau must improve communication

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    Wallabies halves Luke Burgess, Matt Giteau must improve communication

    Wallabies halves Luke Burgess, Matt Giteau must improve communication

    From Wayne Smith in Paris, France
    November 22, 2008
    LUKE Burgess and Matt Giteau are good talkers, to say the least, so it was something of a surprise that the lines of communicaton between Australia's halves broke down at Twickenham last Sunday.
    One of the few discordant notes of the Wallabies' otherwise melodious win over England was the number of times half-back Burgess was "sacked" by the defence when he couldn't decide which way to go after taking the ball from the ruck base.

    Given how quickly Burgess gets to each breakdown and burrows into the ruck in search of quick ball, there is never going to be a lot of time for a "heads-up" reconnaissance before he sets off for a dart. That's where he needs to hear plenty of chatter, five-eighth Giteau the player best placed to provide it.

    "They have to make sure they're on the same page," assistant coach Jim Williams said. "They have to work on their relationship, on their communication. That's one of those things that can happen.

    "The better relationship they have, those situations can be handled the right way. But it's a work in progress."


    Watch the Wallabies play France in Paris LIVE on Fox Sports 3 from 7am on Sunday 23 November


    Given that Burgess and Giteau have started only eight Tests together - although they had a virtual ninth in tandem, after Giteau came off the bench early to replace the injured Berrick Barnes against Italy - the partnership already is showing signs of blossoming into one of the great halves pairings in the Australian game.

    Burgess has struggled with flu all week and has been quieter as a result.

    "When he's well, he's an irritation, like all good No.9s," Williams said.

    But it is Giteau who is developing into the real irritant as far as opposing sides are concerned. Giteau might be playing his first full season as a Test five-eighth, but he bears arguably the heaviest individual load of any player in the side.

    "The way we play, he is an integral part of our game," Williams said. "He makes a lot of decisions. His kicking and goal kicking are excellent. He carries a lot of responsibility and has handled it very well."

    In terms of skill mix, Williams places Giteau "pretty much in between" Australia's two foremost five-eighths of the past two decades, Michael Lynagh and Steve Larkham.

    Although both were pretty much complete players, Lynagh will always be remembered for his tactical kicking and Larkham for his ability to take the ball to the line and then deliver the perfect pass to the right runner.

    In Giteau, the Wallabies have a five-eighth who is becoming the total package.

    Ironically, given that he has made his reputation mostly as a ball-runner, Giteau's field position game is causing the French most concern going into the Test at Stade de France.

    Indeed, the French were complaining on match eve that their own officials had sabotaged them by agreeing to a 9pm kick-off, which they are convinced will favour the Wallabies - and all because of Giteau.

    "A dry pitch, no humidity would have been better," France flanker Fulgence Oudraogo said.

    "We want to play a wide game whereas the Australians like to kick the ball for territorial advantage and don't take risks in their own half."

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,...-23217,00.html

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    Giteau likes to disguise his Flyhalf intentions until the last moment by standing deep in the pocket behind the ruck before stepping into position to receive the 9ís pass...

    Taking a closer look at Luke Burgess's play, he is quick to the breakdown however it appears his peripheral vision is narrow. The result is his pass is often not on target as Giteau steps into the receiverís position and he finds it difficult hit the moving target. Burgess maybe able to improve his peripheral vision with further training and game time with Giteau but perhaps at this level it is not possible. There are eyesight exercises, which help to expand peripheral vision.

    Nevertheless itís a good example why its often best to take a Halfback and Flyhalf combination from the same club, obviously when possible, as they build a greater understanding each time they play. A good example of this halves understanding was Gregan and Larkham who played together for 10 years, additionally Crusaders halves Andrew Ellis and Dan Carter combination has helped the All Blacks in recent years.

    Itís a shame that Giteau and Henjak didnít get time to further fuse they long schoolboy and Brumbies academy combination and with the Force at Super 14 level. But it wasnít to be. It must have been a great disappointment to both of them as Iím sure that was what they wanted to achieve together at the Force and with the Wallabies. It could have been them out there tonight...


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    i think youre spot-on there mudskipper, i was getting very frustrated with Burgess last week as he just seemed not to find someone to pass to.. it may well have been that gits was standing deeper and therefore fooling Luke into thinking he wasnt available for the offload.

    hopefully that will have been fixed by this weekend as the french are very active around the edges and will probably test him even more than the poms.

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    Burgess has some good qualities... Let's hope he is well enough to the field

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    Player greenandgoldrugby's Avatar
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    Being at the ground last week (did I mention that?...) one of the things that surprised me negatively was the lack of runners coming from depth to give Burgess a decent offload target when he went on those runs.

    If it was because of the titanic battle of the breakdown sucking in the forwards then fair enough, but would have expected the back 3 to offer more options in that regard.

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    Burgess has half has to play with the team...

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    Veteran TOCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    Burgess has half has to play with the team...
    huh?

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    running and not being aware of what is around you doesn't help the team attack...

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    Veteran TOCC's Avatar
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    what you said before doesnt actually make sense..

    Just because Burgess doesnt get the ball to players sometimes doesnt mean its his fault, his being let down by the other backs and forwards, they arent providing him with ball runners or options. His looking up for a forward runner or a back calling for the ball and finding neither, hence him have to do his stuttered runs which do sweet f-all

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    After watching this mornings efforts i am a little concerned for our halfbacks security, he was smothered almost relentlessly as our forwards once again spent the night going backwards more often than not, but the unforgivable pass into deadball that led to the penalty try was horrendous...WTF was he thinking, they actually showed a replay with clear vision of him not under too much pressure, he just hurls it to no-one at all...If the pass was ok we may have made halftime without conceding that horrible scrum that was belted over our tryline, george was lucky not to be binned....
    There is definately a few issues need sorting out...

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frontrow View Post
    After watching this mornings efforts i am a little concerned for our halfbacks security, he was smothered almost relentlessly as our forwards once again spent the night going backwards more often than not, but the unforgivable pass into deadball that led to the penalty try was horrendous...WTF was he thinking, they actually showed a replay with clear vision of him not under too much pressure, he just hurls it to no-one at all...If the pass was ok we may have made halftime without conceding that horrible scrum that was belted over our tryline, george was lucky not to be binned....
    There is definately a few issues need sorting out...
    true. i was thinking during the game that george plays in the french style. get the job done "at all costs" not "by the laws of the game". mind you the french did that to him a bit too (the first half bit where he was dragged by the arm and neck out of the tackle comes to mind). as for your point about the pass, it might have been okay if sharpie was there but as you say, WTF was he thinking?

    we were really lucky that sinbin boy missed all those penalties.

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    Gregan use to do a lot of dummy grabs and pull penalty if the opposition was reaching over, they can only grab him once ball is in hand...Burgess’s awareness needs to improve. Sure sometimes there is not enough player cover, well get smarter then. I’m finding it hard to see him as Wallabies 1st 9 next year unless he improves... Sam Cordingley reliability and Chisholm’s presence in forward play settled the Wallabies in the second half provided a stable platform for the eventual historic win.

    TOCC the halfbacks key role is ball distributor, every other skill the player has is secondary...

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    "that pass" was accidental if you watch it in slow-mo he actually released the ball too late with his one hand causing it to squirt upwards, a rookie mistake none the less but he wasnt intending it to go where it went, contrary to what was being implied by frontrow & B&B.

    I think he should have been replaced earlier than he was, he wasnt as sharp as he usually is thats for sure!

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    Zimeric I agree...the pass nearly cost the Wallabies the match...also he was not impeded look at for the replay on tonight’s FOX…it’s a problem pressure, a momentary choke…

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    I wasn't implying he threw it away, just that it was an absolutely horrendous pass, which i think we all agree on...I still think he has a lot to learn, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet though, he will improve...

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