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Thread: Give Giteau another run at halfback

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    Give Giteau another run at halfback

    Mark Ella | October 24, 2009


    Article from: The Australian
    WALLABIES five-eighth Matt Giteau is fast becoming the conundrum of Australian rugby.
    He is without a doubt the team's most skilful player and against second-class opposition he plays with arrogance that comes with being a great player but up against the likes of South Africa and New Zealand he fades into obscurity.
    Ever since he started playing senior rugby, there has been debate over which position best suits his freeflowing style and, once again after seemingly having settled into the No10 jersey, the questions are still being asked.
    As a youngster in Canberra Giteau played most of his football at halfback.
    Under former Wallabies coach John Connolly, Giteau managed more than a few Test matches at halfback and he played well.
    At the Brumbies and then with the Wallabies he was content to play outside Stephen Larkham who was a natural on-field leader and Giteau revelled at the chance to learn and improve his game.
    Playing at second receiver demands a great deal of commitment and discipline but there isn't the pressure of setting the depth of the attack nor accepting the overall responsibility of the decision-making process.
    But his passion was to become Australia's next great No10 after Larkham and to a large degree Giteau has achieved this, but in sport the fans only remember you by your last game.
    And right now no one wants to even talk about the Wallabies let alone Matt Giteau which is a sad but true reflection of their poor Tri-Nations performances and the dire state of Australian rugby which includes our Super 14 teams.
    At five-eighth, Giteau is a competent player but under pressure against teams such as the All Blacks and Springboks he falls back into his old habits of standing much deeper, running sideways, rushing his kicks and like a deck of cards the Wallabies come tumbling down with him.
    The set-piece executions by Giteau and the backline are generally good but their alignment under pressure quickly begins to fall apart at phase play isolating the tackled player out wide which is not helped by the current size of many of our backs.
    When the Wallabies were beaten by the Springboks in Perth on the last weekend in August,
    Giteau was moved to inside centre after replacement Quade Cooper came on as five-eighth and immediately he had more time and space.
    During that game the Wallabies looked flat and the game only opened up after Giteau moved to inside centre taking long passes from Cooper at full pace. Finally he was hitting the ball with purpose.
    But to everyone's surprise coach Robbie Deans kept Giteau at five-eighth for their return match in Brisbane and Giteau and his teammates did the impossible and defeated the Springboks.
    But two weeks later in Wellington the Wallabies produced their worst performance of the year, allowing the All Blacks to dictate every facet of the match. If I were Deans I would have asked why the Wallabies refused to get out of second gear from the kick-off and how lacklustre his players were.
    When the Wallabies wanted and desperately needed their senior players such as Giteau to show courage, determination and leadership, they got nothing.
    Former league convert Mat Rogers never really settled into rugby because he could never cement a position in the starting line-up and he spent more time on the bench than on the field. Giteau is heading the same way because Deans will have no choice but to continue his experimentation during the tour to Japan and Europe.
    Berrick Barnes must come into the No10 position because he has greater vision than Giteau and although Deans has opted to rotate the two players the time has come for consistency and no more switching. Young James O'Connor is a promising player but the Wallabies will get much more out of him at inside centre rather than isolating him at fullback.
    If fit, Digby Ioane has proved what a competitor he is and in the absence of the injured Stirling Mortlock he could be an option at outside centre or wing, although it seems Ryan Cross has the inside running for the No13 jersey.
    Adam Ashley-Cooper should start at fullback and there is no shortage of wingers.
    So where does that leave Giteau? I would give him another run at halfback because he can run, pass and kick and is too valuable to have on the bench, although his versatility could be an advantage towards the back end of the game.
    Given space, Giteau is in a class of his own because he plays instinctively and rarely makes mistakes one on one, scoring himself or setting up tries for his team-mates.
    But this season playing at five-eighth he is being restricted and the pressure continues to build. Rugby, even at the elite level, should be fun and it would be nice to see Giteau smiling

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...015703,00.html

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    i actually thought this was well written and insightful.. whether or not its a practicle option .. well thats up to Mr Deans..

    but i like the idea

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    it's not a bad article. but i duno if it has any merit. would gits even want to play there? how many times has he said he wants to be 10.
    IMO if he is to play anywhere else. i'd say a straight swap with him and barnes. problem solvered

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    I'm finding that sadly through life there are times when your heroes say stupid things.
    It's been done, we have an excellent #9 in Genia, the time has past, he is the best #12 in the world, play him there, period.

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    The probelm with Giteau playing at 9 is the same as one of the problems with him playing at 10- his long pass simply isn't good enough. Only Genia (and maybe Sheehan) of the current crop of 9s have the requisite bullet pass IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    Mark Ella | October 24, 2009
    As a youngster in Canberra Giteau played most of his football at halfback.
    Under former Wallabies coach John Connolly, Giteau managed more than a few Test matches at halfback and he played well.

    But his passion was to become Australia's next great No10 after Larkham and to a large degree Giteau has achieved this
    You'd think a man with a rugby pedigree like Mark Ella would have actually watched the games before commenting upon them

    Giteau at #9 was such an unmitigated disaster that even a coach as insightful as John 'let's get Lote to play for Qld for nothing' Connoly had to concede it was a mistake. Gitreau at #10 is hardly great, sure he's the next flyhalf, but we'll have to wait for another one to come along before we have our next 'great'.

    I'm with Burgs, he's the world's best #12, tell him to harden up and play where he's picked!

    ---------- Post added at 18:28 ---------- Previous post was at 18:26 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    Mark Ella | October 24, 2009
    So where does that leave Giteau? I would give him another run at halfback because he can run, pass and kick and is too valuable to have on the bench, although his versatility could be an advantage towards the back end of the game.
    Given space, Giteau is in a class of his own because he plays instinctively and rarely makes mistakes one on one, scoring himself or setting up tries for his team-mates.
    But this season playing at five-eighth he is being restricted and the pressure continues to build. Rugby, even at the elite level, should be fun and it would be nice to see Giteau smiling
    While I'm bagging Mark Ella, does this make sense?

    He's at his best given space, so let's make him play the whole game with his head up the backrows ass!

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    C'mon the

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