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Thread: Wallabies v Wales preview

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    Wallabies v Wales preview

    Greg Clark's Wallabies preview

    By Greg Clark
    November 25, 2009 What a difference a week makes. I was expecting the Wallabies to beat Scotland and set up the chance to go through the Grand Slam tour with an unbeaten record.
    Now reputations are on the line with just one Test to play against Wales.

    I won’t dwell on last week’s dismal display at Murrayfield because so much has already been said and written by so many. It gave me no joy to be criticising our National team but I’m afraid there was no alternative.

    If the players and coaching staff are unhappy with the criticism they don’t have a leg to stand on. What was produced by the third ranked team in the world was simply unacceptable and un-Australian.

    Losing 9-8 to the ninth ranked Scots was one of our worst results in the professional era. Right up there with the 61-22 loss and the 53-8 hiding by the Boks in 1997 and 2008 respectively. There was also that demoralising 43-6 loss to the All Blacks in 1996.

    I received an email this week reminding me that even Tottenham managed to score more points in the English Premier League compared to the Wallabies in Edinburgh. Yes it’s going to take some time to get over this latest loss.

    So now we look ahead to this weekend. With the Grand Slam dream well and truly shattered and the chance of an unbeaten tour of Ireland and the UK gone, the Wallabies are now playing for pride and their careers in some cases.

    A win over a very capable Welsh side at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will go a long way to restoring some hope for the 2011 World Cup, but a loss will mean it’s back to the drawing board amid plenty of soul searching and back stabbing.

    People remind me that we hit rock bottom in late 1997 when the Wallabies lost to the Argentina Pumas who were nowhere near as competitive as they are nowadays. Two years later Australia won the World Cup.

    But the team in the late 90’s was so much better than this year’s squad. Half of the team would have been included in a World 15. Take your pick from names like Burke, Tune, Little, Herbert, Horan, Roff, Larkham, Gregan, Kefu, Wilson, Finegan, Eales, Giffin, Blades, Kearns and Harry.

    On current form only Rocky Elsom, Benn Robinson and Adam Ashley-Cooper would rate some consideration for a World Selection. Maybe Matt Giteau on one of his better days but certainly not on his efforts this past month.

    So while two years seems plenty of time to turn things around, the big question is whether we have the players to do it. I just hope that some of this year’s squad that has had their confidence hit for six can rediscover their best form in the Super 14. Let’s also hope that some new talent emerges.

    I would like to think that last week’s humiliation will spark something special from the Wallabies. Surely they don’t need any more motivation when they play Wales in front of a packed house on Sunday morning our time.

    They need to get off to a good start like they did against Ireland and then keep it all together for the full eighty minutes. The scrum should be fine but the line-out could be a worry again.

    Our backline must run straight and not crab sideways. Keep the ball in hand and support the ball carrier instead of kicking aimlessly. Discipline will also need to be good because Stephen Jones is a fine Welsh goal kicker.

    I personally can’t see Australia winning this if you go on form. Wales proved very competitive against the All Blacks, had a scrappy win over Samoa but then thumped Argentina last week.

    They would love nothing more than back to back wins over Australia in Cardiff. I hope for the sake of the Wallaby players and the coaching staff that last week’s loss was simply an aberration. With an end of season review already confirmed by the ARU, a win this weekend is paramount. Good luck to them because they’ll need it.

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

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    Wow! Public negative comment about the million dollar man!
    I think it is a little unfair his comparison with '97 as, though I agree they all retired as greats of the code, in '97 they weren't all of that stature and I think to compare apples with apples you would have to include Barnes, Sharpe, Pocock, Smith, Genia and Giteau with Elsom, Robinson and Ashley-Cooper, and maybe O'Connor, to even the ledger somewhat for the same period of the RWC build up and their respective careers.
    Still short of that fine squad of players he mentions, but not as short as he implies.
    As for this weekend, it was always going to be a huge match, regardless of the lead up results, now it is all the more harder.
    I believe they can win this match however, it will be a true indicator of the heart of this squad, the leadership of their new Captain and their personal pride to stand up and be counted.
    Under the circumstances, there should not be a single player run out who isn't prepared to be carried off on a stretcher in exhaustion in their endeavour to make up for what has been a massively disappointing season based on results, which, at the end of the day, is what history will judge them by.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Wow! Public negative comment about the million dollar man!
    I think it is a little unfair his comparison with '97 .
    Some very concisely made and accurate observations. Seems young Matt has some issues affecting his attitude. Another Kiwi coach who won't tolerate any bullshit, possibly?

    Whatever, he's not alone. Maybe he'll regain some form when the next captaincy contender comes back into the team, hopefully at 10. He can then just accept the order of things under Deans, move back to inside centre and concentrate on breaking the line.

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    Champion welshrugbyfan's Avatar
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    I've obviously watched a bit of Wales this year.

    We've got nothing really on offer. I'd expect the Wallabies to still be to good for us. Even against a very poor Argentina outfit we didn't look a smoothly run outfit.

    The Wallabies are very good in defence and I don't think Wales will even score a try against them.

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    Is that WRF or is someone speaking for him a la TEF?

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    Nice try WRF, it's not April Fools

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    Quote Originally Posted by welshrugbyfan View Post
    I've obviously watched a bit of Wales this year.

    We've got nothing really on offer. I'd expect the Wallabies to still be to good for us. Even against a very poor Argentina outfit we didn't look a smoothly run outfit.

    The Wallabies are very good in defence and I don't think Wales will even score a try against them.

    OK mate....who are you and what have you done with WRF??

    How much vCash will it take to release him?


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    Well WRF that was the most clumsy attempt to lull us into a false sense of security ever.

    I'm not buying it for a second, Wales will be a stern test, and any Wallabies who aren't fully committed will have their lack broadcast to the world a couple of weeks before they're sacked, dropped or shifted.

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    C'mon the

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    Champion welshrugbyfan's Avatar
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    I'm just being a realist. Last year we had a much better team and we just made it over the line thanks to Mortlock knocking himself out, Ryan Jones not getting yellow carded and a dubious penalty goal to win the game.

    I really think the Wallabies will win based on their defensive line.

    If I say this I won't be disappointed if we lose.

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    Champion Contributor jazza93's Avatar
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    Wallabies by 20!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazza93 View Post
    Wallabies by 20!
    Spend your 400,000 Vdollars on it.

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    Champion Contributor jazza93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Spend your 400,000 Vdollars on it.
    haha, great idea.

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