Before the game I make a passing comment that the Pumas are a bit like the French tough forwards and willingness to throw the ball around in the backs to try and create something. Well the more I watched the more I was convinced about where their forwards derived their influence from. I mean the deep tissue facial massaging on Cockbain while highlighting your manicured nails on his eyeballs would have warmed the cockles of any French player.
The number of injuries before the Wallabies even left Australia was a concern. No Lyons, no Latham, no Sharpe and no little Kefu. Comments concerning the difference in standard between the NPC (which I enjoyed courtesy of Foxtel) and the ĎPremier Compí will not be entered into because it is embarrassing.
But of course the backline is still a bloody shambles with nearly everyone in the wrong position. God damn it Chucky you had the perfect chance to try and see how good Rogers could be at no 12 and put both Herbert and Burke back in their proper spots at 13 and 15. But no. At least Finegan wasnít playing.
Anyway back to comments on the game the Puma supporters provided a ground covered in green paper squares and after the game a set a gallows for their kicker. I mean they had the perfect opportunity to gut the Wallabies if one of their forwards had got hold of Felipe Contepomi and KO'd him and then given the kicking duties to anyone else. They went from an attacking Puma really giving it to the Wallabies to an old toothless neutered tom as soon as the kicker took over.
The Wallabies played crap with two notable exceptions. T. Kefu who was everywhere and should be given the Qld captaincy next year and Larkham who provided plenty of opportunities and nearly got himself a nice try.
Exceptions also apply to Tune who put in an attacking burst down the sideline until tore his hammy in two and the reserves who put in good accounts for themselves. Well Windhole at least had a go in the first half but I donít really remember him in the second.
There are still problems at the breakdown (at least Crofty came on and had fun ripping the ball out towards the end) hopefully this can be resolved with Lyons playing in 6, the scrum looked at least partially stable but I canít wait until Sharpe is better, and the lineouts were positive despite the lack of 1m.
But the backline play was depressing. It was the perfect opportunity to try new moves and attack a backline that isnít renowned for their defences. I mean how many tries did SA put on them and the best they could do was one.
I was a bit surprised that the yellow cards only started at the death of the match (bloody cheating Kiwi ref. It will be just like last year and the Wallabies will only win when they have some impartiality) and I think Mortlockís reaction and bitching for a Butch James special would deserve a ďplankĒ nomination if the winner wasnít already decided. (Nice article Nathan)
The end of season trip is looking decidedly scary with the number of injuries after that game. At least they should win against Italy.