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Wallabies
12-10-07, 10:00 AM
Wayne Smith | October 12, 2007

Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill declared yesterday it was time to reward the heavy lifters in the front row.
The most glaring deficiency in the Australian team exposed by last weekend's quarter-final loss to England was the lack of quality props. It is probably no overstatement to suggest that had England loosehead Andy Sheridan been wearing a gold jersey instead of white, the Wallabies would have won pulling away. But, as former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones observed this week, Sheridan is a product of a British system that prizes, and judges, props almost exclusively on their scrummaging ability.

That is unlike Australia, where any likely-looking front-rowers are judged primarily on their footballing ability, with scrummaging a secondary consideration.

The failed cup campaign has left Australia with no option but to mimic the British model and that means providing meaningful incentives for front-rowers to become world-class scrummagers.

At present, the big money contracts are showered on the backs, with winger Lote Tuqiri and centre Matt Giteau the two highest-paid players in the country, although second-rower Nathan Sharpe is also in the vicinity.

The props, by contrast, would be among the lowest paid of the Wallabies, which is not to say they aren't being paid salaries most Australians would fantasise about.

"The reward systems have to be appropriately adjusted to make sure it's not the winger who always gets the big money," O'Neill said. "The heavy lifters will ... that's what's going to happen in our backyard."

O'Neill was caught pleasantly by surprise by The Australian's revelation Springboks coach Jake White was interested in applying for the Wallabies' coaching position.

"That's the first I've heard of it," O'Neill said. "The job's been advertised and it's open to all comers. The interviews are set down for the 9th of November."

While confirming his interest in the job, White said he would not allow himself to be distracted by such matters while the Springboks are in the running to win the World Cup. O'Neill was not perturbed by the fact that no contact had been made.

"There's ways and means of making contact and if he's genuinely interested, I'm sure we'll find out about it," he said. "Nothing is in, nothing is out. It's a genuine worldwide search for the best possible person."

Robbie Deans remains the preferred option but if, as expected, the six-time Super title-winning Crusaders coach is offered the All Blacks job instead, then the position of Wallabies coach is wide open.

White's late entry to the list adds an intriguing dimension. His coaching credentials are among the best in the world and will look a lot more impressive if the Springboks go on to win the World Cup. He would find Australian rugby's often murky politics a stroll in the park after negotiating the minefield of South African racial politics for the past four years.

Seemingly the biggest concern he would have to overcome is whether the cultural divide between the Springboks and Wallabies would be too wide. Whoever wins the Australia job can expect an increased workload because O'Neill is a firm believer that our players need to play more rugby.

The ARU boss claimed the Wallabies only had four hard matches all year to prepare themselves to confront England. The English however, had played two high-pressure knockout matches, against Samoa and Tonga, leading up to the quarter-final, this after being smashed 36-0 by the Boks in an earlier pool game.

While there is no doubt the Cape Town Test against South Africa and the two Bledisloe Cup Tests fully extended the Wallabies, it is debatable whether the so-called crunch pool game against Wales in Cardiff deserves to be rated as the equal of the Tri-Nations fixtures.

It could be argued that Australia over-estimated how strong the Welsh were and paid the price for believing they were further advanced in their forward play than they actually were.

O'Neill intends putting up with no further second-string sides being sent by northern hemisphere countries to Australia for the June series, even if that means cancelling tours and replacing them with credible opposition from the South Pacific or, just as likely, lobbying SANZAR to expand the Super 14 to play six-team finals series.[/b]

About time!

Brodizzle
12-10-07, 10:16 AM
They way they harped on about Dunning I doubt it will make much a difference....it's one thing paying props more, it's another choosing good ones...

aussie1st
12-10-07, 07:59 PM
About freakin time. And I hope they stick with the system of picking props for their scruming ability first and not their stepping or running one.

Juggernaut
14-10-07, 10:38 PM
Rodney Blake must have been laughing his guts out after the England game.

melon
15-10-07, 04:50 AM
Rodney Blake must have been laughing his guts out after the England game. [/b]
He definitely should have been. I'm sure he did and still does feel cheated. I was fuming when he wasn't taken away even after proving to be up to the standard even surpassing the other props when Connolly watched a couple of his club games.

YKNGR
15-10-07, 05:11 AM
i Hate watching the wallabies play because the front rowers keeps on collapsing the scrum...-.- gives away penalties, a good thing for the opponent but bad for us viewers. so boring seeing a ugly fat pig going down onto his knees and seeing George Gregan crying a river about it.

nam97
15-10-07, 05:15 AM
<div class='quotemain'> Rodney Blake must have been laughing his guts out after the England game. [/b]
He definitely should have been. I&#39;m sure he did and still does feel cheated. I was fuming when he wasn&#39;t taken away even after proving to be up to the standard even surpassing the other props when Connolly watched a couple of his club games.
[/b][/quote]

Lol, don&#39;t kid yourself. "Rodzilla" would have been crushed by Sheridan and co even if he was there.

Rodney Blake or not, you&#39;d still struggle.

melon
15-10-07, 05:15 AM
and seeing George Gregan crying a river about it. [/b] Why do you watch the Wallabies play then?
George Gregan won&#39;t hassle your petty self anymore because he has reitred from international rugby.
You&#39;ll notice all decent scrum-halfs do the same, just not as good as George. Its all about strategy and gaining every possible advantage.

Fushitsusha
15-10-07, 06:07 AM
<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'> Rodney Blake must have been laughing his guts out after the England game. [/b]
He definitely should have been. I&#39;m sure he did and still does feel cheated. I was fuming when he wasn&#39;t taken away even after proving to be up to the standard even surpassing the other props when Connolly watched a couple of his club games.
[/b][/quote]

Lol, don&#39;t kid yourself. "Rodzilla" would have been crushed by Sheridan and co even if he was there.

Rodney Blake or not, you&#39;d still struggle.
[/b][/quote]

Rodney Blake is certainly not the best scrummager in Australia. Shepherdson is a much better tight-head and I thought he stood up well against Sheridan in the first half of that match. The problem with the front row was Dunning consistently taking it down. He&#39;s always done this.

Anyways, hopelly Baxter and Dunning have played their last tests for Australia.

However, another problem with the Australian scrum is the locks. Sharpe has always been lousy at scrumtime and Vickerman isn&#39;t much better.

melon
15-10-07, 08:19 AM
<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'> Rodney Blake must have been laughing his guts out after the England game. [/b]
He definitely should have been. I&#39;m sure he did and still does feel cheated. I was fuming when he wasn&#39;t taken away even after proving to be up to the standard even surpassing the other props when Connolly watched a couple of his club games.
[/b][/quote]

Lol, don&#39;t kid yourself. "Rodzilla" would have been crushed by Sheridan and co even if he was there.

Rodney Blake or not, you&#39;d still struggle. [/b][/quote]
How was I kidding myself? I was merely saying hes better than some of the props Australia took. Read whats there, not what would be there in order to make a decent post :)

Regardless, Rodney Blake would have played better than Dunning and Baxter.

Justin P
15-10-07, 11:18 AM
if Rodney Blake didn&#39;t played in the world cup it&#39;s a shame because he was just better and heavier than every other prop in australia

BokMagic
15-10-07, 05:13 PM
Well, the biggest problem for the Aussies is a quality scrummaging tighthead. You guys are pretty well covered at loosehead, too bad Connolly doesn`t rate Nic Henderson, he`s a very powerful scrummager in my book. And of course, what Jeremy Paul might lack in terms of contributions in the loose, he more than makes up for in scrummaging ability. True about a big, powerful tighthead lock, someone in the Garrick Morgan mould would be nice, but there ain`t too many around right now.

But really, I think that if you guys are looking for one area of immediate improvement, get rid of Mike Foley as scrumming coach asap. While it might be true that the Aussies have never been the world`s strongest scrummagers, before Foley you guys were masters of the quick channel 1 strike. The ball got to the no.8 almost right on the "engage" call already. And while Australia weren`t necesseraly the strongest scrummagers in the world, you guys were close to the smartest.

But since Foley came along, the Aussies have been trying to take on the opposition scrums- and I would rather stick to what works well for you guys. The more athletic players worked well for the Aussies in the past, as long as they kept on with their quick channel 1 strikes. Why change something that worked perfectly well before it was tampered with?

Juggernaut
15-10-07, 09:49 PM
But really, I think that if you guys are looking for one area of immediate improvement, get rid of Mike Foley as scrumming coach asap. While it might be true that the Aussies have never been the world`s strongest scrummagers, before Foley you guys were masters of the quick channel 1 strike. The ball got to the no.8 almost right on the "engage" call already. And while Australia weren`t necesseraly the strongest scrummagers in the world, you guys were close to the smartest.
[/b]

and if anyone remembered, Fiji did this in their match against the Boks.

We knew we couldnt compete with their pack so the Smart option was to get it quickly to the No.8, pick up & drive forward and form a ruck....and we did it well.

All thanks to the brilliance of coach Ilie Tabua, a former Wallaby forward himself from that era BokMagic was talking about.

Fushitsusha
16-10-07, 01:06 AM
Well, the biggest problem for the Aussies is a quality scrummaging tighthead. You guys are pretty well covered at loosehead, too bad Connolly doesn`t rate Nic Henderson, he`s a very powerful scrummager in my book. And of course, what Jeremy Paul might lack in terms of contributions in the loose, he more than makes up for in scrummaging ability. True about a big, powerful tighthead lock, someone in the Garrick Morgan mould would be nice, but there ain`t too many around right now.

But really, I think that if you guys are looking for one area of immediate improvement, get rid of Mike Foley as scrumming coach asap. While it might be true that the Aussies have never been the world`s strongest scrummagers, before Foley you guys were masters of the quick channel 1 strike. The ball got to the no.8 almost right on the "engage" call already. And while Australia weren`t necesseraly the strongest scrummagers in the world, you guys were close to the smartest.


But since Foley came along, the Aussies have been trying to take on the opposition scrums- and I would rather stick to what works well for you guys. The more athletic players worked well for the Aussies in the past, as long as they kept on with their quick channel 1 strikes. Why change something that worked perfectly well before it was tampered with?
[/b]

Agreed.

Nic Henderson was having an excellent year in the Super 14 and even the Sydney Morning Herald had him in their Top XV of the year. He can also cover both sides of the scrum.

Another prop Australia will need to look into is Salesi Maafu. Bigger than Blake, and more aggressive than Shepherdson. Unfortunately he has a temper. But he&#39;s a powerful scrummager and a hard tackler.

And what happened to Beau Robinson? He was the best prop at the Waratahs and got looked over in the Wallabies for Dunning and Baxter?!

The big mistake for the Wallabies was believing their scrum had gotten better when in fact the Springboks had gotten worse. This year the Boks haven&#39;t been as powerful against the bigger teams at scrumtime and Australia tricked itself into believing that Dunning was actually doing something.

While many people used to criticise Bill Young for his scrummaging techniques, it was their sneaky tactics that helped Australia&#39;s scrum in recent years. He wasn&#39;t the strongest scrummager, but he was the smartest scrummager, and the opposition hated him for it.

Anyways, Australia need to begin rewarding players for their form and talent. Rather than just going back to the same tired old players who contribute nothing. There were so many players this year who deserved an opportunity in the earlier tests and were instead looked over for weaker players. The likes of Josh Holmes, Jone Tawake, Lachlan Turner, Nic Henderson and even Digby Ioane deserved more opportunities.

And despite being THE BEST Australian player in the Super 14 this year (in my opinion), why was Hoiles only given two starting opportunities all year? In one of those starts he was awarded &#39;man of the match.&#39; I simply don&#39;t understand why such a player of his ability isn&#39;t being used more.

Maccaweeny
14-01-08, 07:29 PM
http://www.infos-des-medias.net/mt4/mt-static/FCKeditor/UserFiles/Image/image%20people/chris_crocker_britney_alone.jpg


LEAVE DUNNING ALONE !!!!!!!

Hamster
02-03-08, 04:30 AM
Agreed the wc 07 selections were a farce, we should move on though. I don&#39;t think Deans will make the same mistake as Connoly and Co.

I like Blake watching the Reds lately he isn&#39;t the best scrummager and opponents target him in the loose play, cos he hasnt get the agility and cant take on players who sidestep him.

If Baxter plays another test for the Wallabies I will cry, if Dunning is the starting loosehead this year for the Wallabies I will cry, there are way better players out there as mentioned Nic Henderson, the guy that debuted for the Tahs on the weekend and Alexander who played for the Brumbies last night, the &#39;find&#39; of the ARC looks good..

we should just go to Argentina and find another topo rodriguez or a noriega who will balance our scrum again COS ITS A JOKE NOW.

j3zz4
19-03-08, 03:58 AM
http://www.infos-des-medias.net/mt4/mt-static/FCKeditor/UserFiles/Image/image%20people/chris_crocker_britney_alone.jpg


LEAVE DUNNING ALONE !!!!!!! [/b]





Damn straight leave him alone! Dont you guys know, every international team needs a prop who can kcik drop goals (ala his infamous S12 drop goal). Dunning for Prime Minster!!!!!! (......of New Zealand)

Mr Schlapp
12-04-08, 01:38 AM
the wallabies scrum is sick as a dog and no amount of money will fix it. it takes time and a change in mindset for something like this to happen. Australian kids grow up playing backyard football not in mud and slime but on hard dry grounds so they learn to throw balls around and run and evade, not pack down in the tight

O'Rothlain
12-04-08, 01:41 AM
There is no reason they shouldn&#39;t have a competitive scrum. They have the size and strength...just obviously not the push on technique and skill. The latter two things can be taught. Incentives do help.

Prestwick
12-04-08, 06:52 AM
There is no reason they shouldn&#39;t have a competitive scrum. They have the size and strength...just obviously not the push on technique and skill. The latter two things can be taught. Incentives do help. [/b]



Agreed, and even lightweight packs can put the push on. Ireland&#39;s pack never was one of the biggest but because of the immense skill and technique, they can put much bigger front rows under pressure and get a good push on.



What you need is a five man scrum training dream team: One man from England, one from Italy, one from Argentina, one from Ireland and one from South Africa to parachute into Australia and teach their forwards in a crash course.

Haj
18-04-08, 01:47 AM
Definitely!! Peeps tend to blame the front row but if the other guys in the pack arent pulling their weight (*cough* sharpey and smith *cough*) then what do u expect.
George smith is the worst. Its all well and good if ur richie mccaw sitting behind a dominant pack.

Anyways the front row dilemma has been solved!!!
Dunning will be the new Tighthead for the wallabies!! SWEEEEEEET!!! lol

snooch
23-05-08, 08:08 AM
Definitely!! Peeps tend to blame the front row but if the other guys in the pack arent pulling their weight (*cough* sharpey and smith *cough*) then what do u expect.
George smith is the worst. Its all well and good if ur richie mccaw sitting behind a dominant pack.

Anyways the front row dilemma has been solved!!!
Dunning will be the new Tighthead for the wallabies!! SWEEEEEEET!!! lol
[/b]

Dunning? eh.