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Thread: Matt Giteau on edge of greatness

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    Arrow Matt Giteau on edge of greatness

    Bret Harris | June 06, 2009


    AT some point in the career of a great five-eighth there is a crowning moment that marks his place forever in the annals of the game.

    You think of "King" Barry John playing sublimely for the British and Irish Lions against the All Blacks in 1971. Mark Ella magically scoring a try in every Test on the Wallabies' 1984 Grand Slam tour of Britain. Dan Carter taming the Lions in 2005.

    All indications are that Wallabies five-eighth Matt Giteau is poised to have his moment etched in gold some time between now and the 2011 World Cup.


    Entering his second season as a regular Test five-eighth, Giteau is poised to join the pantheon of great No10s.

    The 26-year-old has matured as a playmaker and has developed his skills under Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

    It is hard to escape the feeling that something special is about to happen for Giteau and the Wallabies team he is directing.

    "I thought 21 was my golden period," Giteau quipped. "There are younger guys coming through so it makes you feel a bit older. You feel you have to take a bit more leadership and a bit more seniority among the group.

    "I'm feeling more comfortable in the role. I continue to develop. I'd like to think that each year ... surely once you get old you are going to start to go downhill, but I want to continue to develop and just continue to play the best football I can, week in week out.

    "Consistency is the biggest thing. That's all I really seek is just that consistency of playing good football."

    Giteau had played the majority of his Super and Test rugby as a twinkle-toed inside centre, but Deans identified him as the man to take over from Stephen Larkham as the Wallabies' chief playmaker.

    While he continued to be a dangerous runner, Giteau developed his passing and kicking skills to a new level.

    Under Deans's philosophy of playing what is in front of you, Giteau also learnt to trust his own tactical nous.

    Along with halfback Luke Burgess and inside centre Berrick Barnes, Giteau is helping to develop an impressive tactical decision-making unit.

    Giteau's leadership ability was tested at the Western Force in the Super 14 this year when dramas surrounding coach John Mitchell and his alleged troubled relationship with the players arose.

    And he played some of the best rugby of his career after he made his announcement to return to the Brumbies next year.

    "A weight was lifted off my shoulders," Giteau said. "I wanted to prove to the boys I was still committed to the Force while I was there."

    Giteau's ability to direct the Wallabies' operations will also be enhanced by the fact that he is now more familiar with Deans, who arrived at camp in Sydney last year two days after guiding the Crusaders to victory over NSW Waratahs in the Super 14 final.

    "I'm much more comfortable with Robbie now because when you first meet someone you've always got that little bit of awkwardness, but now we are a lot more comfortable.

    "It's not just me, but the whole squad. Everyone is a lot more familiar with him.

    "The more familiar you are with someone the more comfortable you are, the more you are willing to offer things up.

    "Robbie is always listening. He will listen to anyone's opinion.

    "When you first come into the team you just want to fit in and see exactly where Robbie is at.

    "After having a whole year under him I kind of understand how he likes to play and where he wants to take the team.

    "It certainly makes my job easier in directing."

    The Wallabies face a testing schedule this year, but Giteau's ambitions are quite straight-forward.

    "To make things pretty simple you want to win every game," Giteau said. "Win the Tri-Nations and things like that. The Bledisloe. They are obviously big goals.

    "Our immediate goal needs to be to keep improving, developing as a side. There were times when we were playing good football, but it wasn't for that consistent 80 minutes.

    "The biggest goal for us is to play that consistent, good 80 minutes of rugby. When we do that there is a lot of confidence among the squad that we can beat anyone on our day."

    Giteau will have the opportunity to showcase his talents when the Wallabies play the Barbarians at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight in what should mark the beginning of a new, golden phase in his career.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...015651,00.html

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    I still think he's the World's best 12 playing as a passable 10.

    I'm waiting for him to shut me up on that though. Indicators for me will be
    1 His pass, Kick, Run ratio. I still think he doesn't involve other players enough to be a great 10
    2 the quality of his kicking game, In the modern context, you can't be even a serviceable #10 without a great tactical kicking game, and I just don't see that from Matt ATM, his short kicking game invariably spears over the touchline and his long kicking game usually doesn't.....in my understanding of the game, that's the wrong way around. Short kicks are meant to attack the opposition with chasers threatening to pick up the ball and long kicks are meant to slow down the game for a lineout and gain ground.

    I accept that there are circumstances where this philosophy isn't perfect, but not every kick!

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    C'mon the

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    The 26-year-old has matured as a playmaker and has developed his skills under Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
    Bret Harris really doesn't like the Force does he?

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    [/QUOTE]

    Harris is just identifying that Gitaeu was Deans first choice Flyhalf.... he could have chosen Barnes or another up and comer... I don't think he is being negative about the Force but noting Giteau's development during the Wallabies last year... negative about the Force.

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    I think that maybe Deans hand was forced last year due to Berrick being injured so much at the start of the test series. Otherwise we would have seen Berrick there more and if the reds do the right thing a play Berrick at 10 next year I think Matt will be under all kinds of pressure IMHO. I agree with Gigs he is the world’s best 12 adequately filling a whole in our team at 10.

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    Leaving the pettiness aside, I think the big concern with Git's is his longevity in the game. A few more of those head knocks he seems to get and the damage may be serious.

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    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post

    Harris is just identifying that Gitaeu was Deans first choice Flyhalf.... he could have chosen Barnes or another up and comer... I don't think he is being negative about the Force but noting Giteau's development during the Wallabies last year... negative about the Force.
    maybe not negative but certainly not giving credit where its due.

    He is giving Deans the credit for seeing Gits as the Future at 10 but this theory is flawed as Gits was already playing 10 at the Force when Deans came along... i'd be creditting Giteau himself and Mitchell for that move not Deans.. as for development.. well Giteau spent half the year in Force colours not the Green & Gold so it stands to reason that at least part of his development as an instictive player has come from playing at S14 level.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The EnForcer View Post
    Leaving the pettiness aside, I think the big concern with Git's is his longevity in the game. A few more of those head knocks he seems to get and the damage may be serious.
    Must've learned to tackle from Stirling Mortlock

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    C'mon the

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    I still think he's the World's best 12 playing as a passable 10.

    I'm waiting for him to shut me up on that though. Indicators for me will be
    1 His pass, Kick, Run ratio. I still think he doesn't involve other players enough to be a great 10
    2 the quality of his kicking game, In the modern context, you can't be even a serviceable #10 without a great tactical kicking game, and I just don't see that from Matt ATM, his short kicking game invariably spears over the touchline and his long kicking game usually doesn't.....in my understanding of the game, that's the wrong way around. Short kicks are meant to attack the opposition with chasers threatening to pick up the ball and long kicks are meant to slow down the game for a lineout and gain ground.

    I accept that there are circumstances where this philosophy isn't perfect, but not every kick!
    Give it up GIGS.... Giteau is a World-Class Flyhalf, every rugby analyst in the World recognises Giteau as one of the best even your own Coach...

    This blind man pretense you occupy yourself with only makes your posts foolish... Once again tonight Giteau was man of the match... and was the only player to break the line and score without a hand on him...

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    you cant fault giteaus MOM performance tonight, all class his running game was spot on.....

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    Champion welshrugbyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slomo View Post
    you cant fault giteaus MOM performance tonight, all class his running game was spot on.....
    You can't judge him against opposition like that though.

    That was a training run against a team of very tired NH players whose season never seems to end.

    Even Mitchell scored twice, that's like saying he's a good winger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by welshrugbyfan View Post
    That was a training run against a team of very tired NH players whose season never seems to end.
    World beaters last week and tired this week? A better excuse would have been that the Barbarians have only been together for 2ish weeks and have largely not played together

    After all that England side isn't missing alot of players on Liuons duties at the moment

    Quote Originally Posted by welshrugbyfan View Post
    Even Mitchell scored twice, that's like saying he's a good winger.
    Even I haven't questioned his finishing ability, it's defence where Drew gets found out and he didn't have alot to deal with last night thats for sure

    But I do agree with the jist of the post, you can't really judge him on a game against a team that has only played together once before. Italy are rubbish so I wouldn't say judge him on that, France only if they send a strong side.

    When does the 3N start again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    World beaters last week and tired this week? A better excuse would have been that the Barbarians have only been together for 2ish weeks and have largely not played together

    After all that England side isn't missing alot of players on Lions duties at the moment

    But I do agree with the jist of the post, you can't really judge him on a game against a team that has only played together once before. Italy are rubbish so I wouldn't say judge him on that, France only if they send a strong side.

    When does the 3N start again?
    The Baa Baa's weren't flash against England, England were pathetic. I think they were thinking about the end of season beer run they were going on.

    France will send down a crap side again and most of their first team will be in the same situation as the rest of the NH teams and just want a rest.

    Italy will try hard but why bother sending them down here.

    Gits is quality there's no doubt about it, JOC is also heading that way and will be as good if not better than Gits.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshrugbyfan View Post
    The Baa Baa's weren't flash against England, England were pathetic. I think they were thinking about the end of season beer run they were going on.
    And yet they smashed the Argies last night?

    There is no question of Giteau being quality, but you yourself said you can't judge quality based on the opposition last night.

    Example: Teams that play together more know what the man next to him is going to be doing in defence. I wonder if try he scored with 2 dummies would have worked against a true Rugby side such as the AB's or the Proteas

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    Champion welshrugbyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    And yet they smashed the Argies last night?

    There is no question of Giteau being quality, but you yourself said you can't judge quality based on the opposition last night.

    Example: Teams that play together more know what the man next to him is going to be doing in defence. I wonder if try he scored with 2 dummies would have worked against a true Rugby side such as the AB's or the Proteas
    Gits has proved he can play against the AB's and Boks in the past.

    Not sure what's up with the Pumas lately something is not right down there at the moment.

    I just meant you couldn't judge his career and include last nights game in that assesment. I think we are agreeing on the same thing

    Maybe the Wallabies are going to have a good side this year? No I can't bring myself to say that, I take it back.

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