test match for the Wallabies to the 2002 season and it's up against the Maoris at Perth. Straight away I see three major problems:
firstly Perth is one place the VC can not kick. Still not happy with that decision Barge;
secondly we are playing the Maoris; and
thirdly I have to suffer the Ch 7 commentary team. It becomes a real struggle not to hit the mute button as I want to hear the refs comments but can’t stand those idiots. Comments like “he is a tall referee” has nothing to do with the game.
Lets looks at the Maoris for a moment, they were their own worse enemy against Qld and then got a deserved win against NSW. The movement of Spencer from fullback back to his proper position of flyhalf did wonders. By the way anyone remember that article way back in April where I stated that the Tahs wouldn’t win another game after they played Qld? Guess who was correct on that one! False modesty! Gloat! Gloat!
So I thinking it should be a wallabies win but it should be entertaining as the Maoris have show a willingness to throw the ball wide and attempt open up the opposition up.
Well the game is on. I have only just started to digest the Irish efforts against the AB’s. (I think the Southern hemisphere sides should stop sending our rejects (players and coaches) north as those Northern bastards are improving rapidly.) When beautiful Qld passing: Flatley to Herbert and Herbert to Sailor allows the Wallabies to score their first try.
Sailor seems to be revelling in the Aussie ‘A’ and Wallabies opportunities where the ball gets wider faster than in the Qld game plan. (Is this why McBain got the McArse?). He is scoring more tries and appears to be getting more involved.
After the Wallabies opened up the Maoris easier than finding a corrupt NSW copper, I was thinking it might be a try scoring nightmare for the Maoris. However, after the opening entertainment:
the try by Sailor;
Flatley’s highball for Herbert; and
Latham running through the Maoris faster than a dodgy curry in Thailand the game stalled in intensity for a while. In fact I thought I was in laa laa land there for a bit until the pills kicked in, damn flu making me feel like a zombie.
Flatley was everywhere that night and the amount of time he spent at halfback has me wondering if Chucky has him in mind for another role? However it didn’t take long for the Maoris to also work out who was the essential pivot and the headhigh shots began. Bloody dirty Maoris ……
However, being a true Qlder and defying pain ‘old Flats’ didn’t stay down for long. After the first high shot his sensational long flat and quick passing game gave Herbert the space and time to put in the perfect grubber kick (a bit like most of the Irish kicking) for the VC to score.
The second high shot was even worse and Gibbs was dully awarded a yellow card. Only this just seamed to piss Flatley off and the next opportunity he charged through the Maori backline, sat Spencer on his arse with a neatly timed fend and scored a well deserved solo try.
So if you look at it Qld scored all the tries (for those who don’t know its still State of Origin time in that other code so any opportunity to bait the Southern inferiors must be taken).
Unfortunately after that ‘Chucky’ started to ring through the changes and the Ch 7 commentary team lost track of who was coming on or off, so I lost track who was actually on. Yes I know the idea is to blood a couple of players and see what they can do but the Wallabies game fell apart. A few comments on the changes:
You always need a proper no.7. Lyons should not be playing there as he was totally ineffectual and he should be playing in the number 6 jumper. Smith was dynamic and always in the right place where Lyons was MIA. Go Crofty , who will be captaining the Aussie ‘A’ side against France, force you way into the Wallabies.
Cockbain should not be on the field again; and
Rogers was less than inspiring and Herbert will have the IC spot sewn up against France.
However, it just wasn’t the poor form of the Wallabies towards the end of the game. The Maoris stood up and those three tries in four minutes really brought the game alive in the dying minutes. But if Tune was there they wouldn’t have been targeting that wing. The Wallabies started to look even shakier as the VC’s WA kicking curse came back.
In summary the Wallabies failed to remember that the Maoris play with pride and unless you drive the stake deep into their heart they will jump back up and bite you in the arse. Goddamn vampirish Maoris just when you think they are dead and buried…. Perhaps this was what was needed against the the Irish?
Side note well done to that other Qlder, Sharpe who had a strong introduction to
test international rugby. Some of his passing was crisp and he did plenty of work.