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Thread: Wallabies missed Grand Slam narrowly but laid platform for World Cup in 2011

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    Wallabies missed Grand Slam narrowly but laid platform for World Cup in 2011

    Bret Harris


    THE not-so-woeful Wallabies have returned from their weird and wonderful tour of Britain and Ireland, having gone excruciatingly close to achieving their first Grand Slam in 25 years.


    As fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper said on arrival at Sydney Airport yesterday, Australia was only three points short of winning all four Tests against England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

    One more point against Ireland (20-20 draw) and two more points against Scotland (9-8 loss) would have been enough to secure the 2009 Wallabies a place in Australian rugby history.

    If anyone had told the side before it left for the tour that the only loss it would suffer would be to Scotland, they would have thought it was a joke.
    But their mixed results on this tour were a microcosm of the team's inconsistent performances under coach Robbie Deans over the past two years.

    At once, the results show what the Wallabies are capable of and how far away they are from what they are trying to achieve.

    The ARU will conduct a review of the tour, which will take a hard look at the coaching staff, management and players.


    ARU boss John O'Neill has stated that Deans' job is safe and so it should be.
    Obviously, Deans has not lived up to expectations as far as the win-loss record is concerned, but it would be foolish to discard him now.

    Instead, the ARU should be looking at ways it can provide Deans with more support and resources.

    Deans has culled several veteran Wallabies and has introduced exciting new talent such as openside flanker David Pocock, halfback Will Genia, prop Ben Alexander, fullback James O'Connor, inside back Quade Cooper and second-rower Dean Mumm.
    He has also found a leader in blindside flanker Rocky Elsom, who will not let anything get in the way of the team's success.

    Sure, Deans has had some trying moments, such as the sacking of winger Lote Tuqiri for off-field misbehaviour and strained relations with star five-eighth Matt Giteau, but he is moving this young and talented team in the right direction.
    "It's evident that this group has a really exciting future," Deans said. "It would be great to be part of that.

    "It's a very exciting group. They are great to work with. They have been fantastic on and off the field.

    "They are as frustrated as you that they didn't achieve something that hadn't been done for a long period of time, but they have laid a good foundation stone for the future."
    If you are only as good as your last game, then the Wallabies can justifiably feel good about themselves after their 33-12 win against Wales in Cardiff last Sunday.
    Ashley-Cooper, one of the shining lights of the tour, described the win against Wales as a turning point for the Wallabies.

    "There was a lot of pride and character on the line in that Test and that game was a turning point, leading into next year," Ashley-Cooper said.
    "It was disappointing against Scotland, but Wales was one of the best games I've ever been a part of.

    "After the draw in Ireland, it was really tough to handle, but we really came together.

    "In that last week with nothing to lose I think we showed that camaraderie."
    Asked how the Wallabies would perform if the World Cup was held tomorrow, Deans said: "It's not going to be played tomorrow. We'd be a shot. I think we've shown that through this year. We just have to add that consistency, which comes with experience."

    Hopefully, the Wallabies will start to move forward towards the World Cup.
    If you turn too many corners, you will end up going around
    in circles.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1225805932526

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Narrowly?! That's stretching it abit..

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    Veteran Contributor The EnForcer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenyaQuin View Post
    Narrowly?! That's stretching it abit..

    That's what I was thinking too!

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    they only lost the grand slam by 3 points...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    they only lost the grand slam by 3 points...
    Check the record books next year and see if you can find that anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    they only lost the grand slam by 3 points...
    Or two games out of four, to be more accurate.

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    Nup... Northern Hemsphere tour was sucessful in many ways, especially talent depth...

    I prefer the "glass half full" mindset... lost Grand Slam series by 3 points is a fact, equivalent of a miserable a drop goal... Fact: only lost 1 match by 1 point... Fact: Only let in 2 tries against Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England scored no tries.... Wallabies score more points for than against 69/50.... thats 19 points ahead...


    now drink and be happy things are on the up...

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    Not saying there wasn't some good things to take away from the tour but losing the Grandslam by three points is not a fact, it is crap. By that logic, we beat Wales by lots so therefore we won the Grandslam - it is just not how these things are measured. It is pretty simple; four matches and you either won or you didn't. The Wallabies didn't twice and the actual scores are forever irrelevant.

    Still, they will probably get another go in 25 years time or so...

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    Try the argument at the World Cup: "Well, we only lost by 3 points, but we won the previous game by 10, so we should go through!"

    There were some positives from the NH tour - with so many injuries to first-teamers we got some indication of depth - good in some areas, poor in others.

    I was wondering what the best line-up would be, if everyone was fit. My thoughts were: Robinson, Moore, Alexander, Sharpe, Mumm, Chisholm, Pocock, Elsom, Genia, Barnes, Ioane, Giteau, Mortlock, Ashley-Cooper, Shephard.

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    Assuming we are talking right now, then I would say:
    Robinson, Polota Nau, Alexander, Sharpe, Horwill, Elsom, Pocock, Palu, Genia, Barnes, Ashley-Cooper, Giteau, Mortlock, Ioane, Shepherd

    Moore, Kepu(?), Mumm, Smith, Burgess, Hynes, O'Connor

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Assuming we are talking right now, then I would say:
    Robinson, Polota Nau, Alexander, Sharpe, Horwill, Elsom, Pocock, Palu, Genia, Barnes, Ashley-Cooper, Giteau, Mortlock, Ioane, Shepherd

    Moore, Kepu(?), Mumm, Smith, Burgess, Hynes, O'Connor
    Honestly, how in any way without bias can you pick Shepherd if you are talking about right now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Endurance View Post
    Honestly, how in any way without bias can you pick Shepherd if you are talking about right now?
    I was under the understanding that the team was barring injury......even hurt, Shep is by far the best fullback in Australia.

    Who would you put there?

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    C'mon the

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh View Post
    Try the argument at the World Cup: "Well, we only lost by 3 points, but we won the previous game by 10, so we should go through!"

    There were some positives from the NH tour - with so many injuries to first-teamers we got some indication of depth - good in some areas, poor in others.

    I was wondering what the best line-up would be, if everyone was fit. My thoughts were: Robinson, Moore, Alexander, Sharpe, Mumm, Chisholm, Pocock, Elsom, Genia, Barnes, Ioane, Giteau, Mortlock, Ashley-Cooper, Shephard.
    Shephard?

    ---------- Post added at 17:06 ---------- Previous post was at 17:05 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    I was under the understanding that the team was barring injury......even hurt, Shep is by far the best fullback in Australia.

    Who would you put there?
    Shephard? ... is a latte short of fat...


    Now it wasn't the RWC it was a rebuilding tour 2 years before the cup gentlemen... 3 points, 1 loss, lets do better next year...

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    I'd prefer they count it as two positive results out of four......neither statement is wrong, but one is mealy-mouthed justification, the other is a frank admission of how far we are away from where we want to be.

    In RWC we can win every game by one point or 50 points, is matters not a cracker in a knockout tournament it's "W"s that count!

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    C'mon the

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    I'd like to add that if Shep can get back to his best in 2010 the Wallabies could do with a winger...

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