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Thread: Baxter and Dunning 'will bounce back', McKenzie.

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    Baxter and Dunning 'will bounce back', McKenzie.

    McKenzie is paid to get the most out of his Squad and part of that is supporting his players but he is either living in denial and in for a major shock this S14 season or he realises they are a lost cause but that he has few other options.
    Take the circumstances to start a rebuilding year Link. Dunning is out and Trestle is a joke. Put the same faith that most of the Australian viewing public has in Robinson and blood your new colossus in Jeremy Tilse.

    Baxter and Dunning 'will bounce back', McKenzie.

    Adrian Proszenko
    Sunday, January 21, 2007, c/o Rugby Heaven


    Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie predicts forwards Al Baxter and Matt Dunning will be able to put the darkest day of the careers behind them with powerhouse Super 14 seasons.

    The heavyweight props copped the brunt of the criticism for the Wallabies' inept scrummaging during a 26-16 loss to England in Twickenham in November 2005 and have struggled to rebuild their reputations since.

    The English pack monstered the Australian forwards in the infamous London encounter, constantly driving them backwards in scrums and rolling mauls off lineouts.

    England controlled the scrum to such an extent that Baxter was sin-binned for repeated infringements, and Dunning was carried off the field on a stretcher in a neck brace after a scrum collapsed.

    Rubbing further salt into Australia's wounds, the French referee ordered uncontested scrums because the Wallabies were too weak. (To my knowledge and recollection that is entirely unfair, the uncontested scrums were ordered because there were no remaining qualified International Props left on the Bench. Although, as a technicality, Polota-Nau had played most of his rugby prior to '04 as a Prop and had only recently become a Hooker however, Jones must have decided not to expose him.)

    McKenzie said the ongoing criticism had fired up the pair to prove the knockers wrong with standout performances for the Waratahs this year.

    "We've got some maligned players in the scrummaging area," McKenzie said. "Matt Dunning and Al Baxter have been on the wrong end of some publicity over the past 12 months.

    "We have some guys with some agendas to correct and change.

    "I've got no doubt they'd be sorry individuals if they weren't stung by the criticism. I think a lot of that criticism has been ill-informed.

    "A lot of people jump on the bandwagon on those things and [Dunning and Baxter] paid the price for a scrummaging performance 15 months ago that other people were also involved in but don't seem to be scarred or tarnished with. They've got some specific agendas there and we'll certainly be enhancing their contribution."*

    McKenzie said Baxter's omission from the Wallabies' 47-man training squad for the World Cup provided him with further motivation.

    "Al Baxter played some very good football for us last year after that [2005 Wallabies] tour," McKenzie said. "Last year was his best Super 14 season and he was involved with the Wallabies for every Test match. He's got something to prove."**

    *I don't have an agenda, I just recognise crap when I see it! The point is Link, when Baxter and Dunning are not involved those "other people" are members of more successful scrumagging units, certainly stand up for your own but surely you need to open your eyes if you believe these two are International Props?!

    **Never a truer word spoken, he needs to prove that he can hold up a scrum before he ever see's a Wallaby jersey again!!!

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    I respect ewan as a former player and excellent coach, but his continual refusal to acknowledge the fact that Baxter is shit annoys the shit out of me...I would normally edit myself but in this instance i feel it is appropriate to say what i feel...I have never in my life seen a player in international rugby collapse a scrum as repetitively and needlessly as this useless piece of shit...If the idea was to Crouch,Hold,Engage, touch the ground and try to regrip he would be a star, but that isn`t the idea is it....CRAP,CRAP,CRAP...

    My apologies to the little tackers who may read this, but you must understand as a frontrower this really gets under my skin and i need to vent my spleen as a release mechanism, thankyou for your understanding...

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    Quote Originally Posted by frontrow
    ...I have never in my life seen a player in international rugby collapse a scrum as repetitively ....
    Except Bill Young but he did it on purpose to save our scrum from being exposed and he had it down to an art form so he rarely got penalised for it.
    But totally agree frontrow

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    What Bill young lacked in looks he made up for in cunning, at the coalface...

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    With 100% the opposite applicable to Trestle
    The other name developed for him in my Rugby circle was Captain Huff n Puff but Trestle stuck better.
    Never seen an International player so full of bravado and focused "passion" during anthems and the Haka, even squatting for a scrum, and yet have so little ticker when it came to the job of being a Prop.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    I hear you mate, he looks the part, just can`t actually perform...

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    Spot on Burgs and Frontrow.I could live with Dunning in a pinch as i think he has more to offer than Trestle.They will never play for the Wallabies again, i'd suspect.

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    Dunning's twisted his knee so he's out for 8 weeks or so.. Tilse is likely to be on the bench so we should start seeing what he's got.

    As for Al........ he's actually been pretty good for the 'Tahs, he gives a lot around the field...

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    ...gives a lot of grief, he's the biggest sea-gulling lump of wasted oxygen I've ever seen around the field, both live and on watching replays in the hope I may have been wrong
    He waits around for that big tackle or run that he never actually makes like he's some super Openside rather than jamming his head in the traffic and pushing like any other self respecting Prop in International Rugby.
    With all due respect Moses, he would have had to have improved 100% to even rate a mention since last year, don't let those powder-blue coloured glasses blur your vision

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    I will forgive you for that one moses as you are a devout Tahs man, maybe that is why you believe he contributes to them, but the reality is mate, he cannot play in the position he is supposed to...He may well be able to tackle and ruck and maul, christ, he may even be able to run the ball, but the reason he is on the field is to play prop, specifically loosey, of which he is crap at...I`m not having a go at him for fun, i base my opinion on experience, and from witnessing his woeful performances week in and week out...Against experienced opponents he struggles, and the smarter ones will beat him everytime by exposing his weaknesses every time...the ones who aren`t smart just have to play well and even they have a good chance of gaining the upper hand...I really cannot understand why no one has taken him aside and trained him on these weaker areas in some vain attempt to correct his mistakes, beats me...I don`t mean to offend my fellow tah supporters, but he is sheit...

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    Agreed on all accounts Burgs and Frontrow except... I dont think Link is that great a coach... In fact I think he cost the Tahs a spot in the final last year through piss poor coaching. The pick and drive was working on the occassions that they used it, retaining the ball in hand and then unleashing the backs would surely have been the order of the day. Instead Link chose to employ a kic kthe ball away gameplan, which although was not even remotely working in the first half he continued to use... In his defence it was just one game... But it was the biggest one of the year and it was a forgettable performance.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    Interesting point rodent, and i am not going to argue it either as it does have merit...

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    rather than bounce, I would have thought Dunning would make more of a "SHPLODGE!" sound ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodent
    In his defence it was just one game... But it was the biggest one of the year and it was a forgettable performance.
    What's that line in the entertainment industry Rodent, only as good as your last performance
    I agree, the tactics that day were totally out of place for the skills set of his team.

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