Wallabies v Wales
14 June 2003
Ref: Mark Lawrence
Wallabies 30 def Welsh 10
I was left feeling slightly frustrated with the game as I believe that the Wallabies held back a gear as they didn’t want to highlight their true potential and all of their options before they play England. At no stage did it look as though the Wallabies were going to lose.
The Welsh to their credit showed some grit and actually used the ball well it just that they couldn’t finish off their opportunities so it made them look like an old toothless dragon. Both Gareth Cooper and Colin Charvis were by far their best players as they were tireless but alone they are not going to win it. The Welsh backs just couldn’t hack it out wide and they were really vunerable. It was the total reversal of last week against the Irish when the gaps were all inside.
Sailor had fun with his two tries and the first one was a beauty. After a mountain of possession by the Welsh, to then cough-up the ball and watch some back run the length of the field, must have really pissed off the Welsh forwards. While the break down the same side and then Latham’s kick for Sailor was a bit of razzle-dazzle that highlighted the difference in the backs.
Flatley looked very good in everything he did except his goal kicking. Perfect one week, pathetic the next. However, his ability to break the line and then pop the pass up made me think I was watching league. His ability to distribute the ball is better than anyone else in Aus in that no. 10 and his pass out to Latham, that enabled Latham to score, as he was being tackled was beautiful. It just makes his suspension all the more harder to swallow and I think Chucky’s comments about how “it was in the best interest of the team” should be written on a large pole and then inserted in the orifice he is speaking out of. “Go Vladding” might help some people locate which orifice I am talking about. Hell the bloke has just given us an excuse if we don't beat the Poms.
The biggest problem about this whole Chucky thing is that unless we got an expat coach from o/s or an assistant domestic coach, I can't think of who could replace him in the domestic ranks from our head Super 12 coaches. As I have some questions about Slack's ability to choose the best team from his players, NSW has just replaced Dwyer and Dwyer won't get it again, I am not convinced that Nucifora has got what it takes and I couldn't stand another ACT coach. So from the expats we have Knuckles who will never be the Wallaby coach as he pissed off far to many people, Matt Williams still resembles a porcupine (all those knives in his back from his stint with NSW) and is going to be coaching Scotland after the RWC, Lane is still in SA and no doubt there is a bit of an open wound over that. The only options could be one of the Ella brothers as at least it would be high wide and handsome rugby.
The forwards were on the whole good but Paul has got to nail his lineouts and Cannon's impact off the bench really makes him look as though he should be starting. However, for once I actually agreed with who got the MOM award. Sharpe was outstanding. His hard work and ability is going to really provide the platform for the Wallabies for many years to come.
Waugh had a good game but he does look as though he is really working on a comb over or a film extra as a zombie. However, he may be required to fill in for a bit longer depending upon what happens to Smith off field. Hell he could always just use the Rifkin defence! It's a brain tumour and I can't go to jail!
I though Mark Lawrence did a good job in the controlling the game and took no #### and let the game flow so it was more interesting to watch than the one before that left a gutted NZ public. However, I think the AB supporters will be in a far better mood on Sat night after their team puts 50 on the Welsh.