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Gutsy stuff … it’s just a shame the game was such a shocker

Hats off to Robbie Deans’ rag-tag team – a moral victory, no question.

But what a pity such a ‘‘watershed’’ result – albeit a numbing, tryless draw — should, for the most part, be greeted with so much doom and gloom.

How ironic – given the odds stacked against them – that rather than rejoicing in the fact that the beleaguered Wallabies may have, finally, turned the corner, so many observers were left bemoaning the reality that the game, the code itself, had run into a brick wall.

Let’s be brutally honest, though. Those last few heart-stopping minutes aside, that was pretty turgid stuff.

So where to from here? Well, Europe, of course. And that’s a whole new ball game.

Whether we like it or not, any calls for radical changes to the game’s structure – one of the more interesting  proposals a seven-phase game a la rugby league’s six tackles — are bound to fall on deaf ears internationally.

Which leaves the Wallabies with a heavy responsibility to get their own house in order — starting, obviously, with finding a backline capable of rediscovering the art of scoring tries.

That must have been a chastening experience for the record-chasing All Blacks. But make no mistake. They’re a quality outfit and they’ll bounce back – in style.

The Wallabies? Until they have a full complement on deck, I suspect there could be a bit more pain before any meaningful gain.

x               x               x

If Robbie Deans was always going to be up against it because he’s “a bloody Kiwi”, I wonder what Australian cricket fans make of Mickey Arthur plotting the downfall of his once-beloved Proteas.

No one, I’m sure, would doubt the man’s professionalism as he prepares the Australian squad for the upcoming Test series against a team he guided to an historic series victory here only four years ago.

But hearing that distinctly South African accent when he’s talking things up is — well, yes — distinctly odd.

— Peter Thomson


2 Responses to Gutsy stuff … it’s just a shame the game was such a shocker

  • John Wagner says:


    In my humble opinion the first change to the so-called Laws of Rugby is to get any defender who is not TIGHTLY bound in the ruck/maul to be 5 (maybe 10?) metres behind the hindmost foot.
    At present, an attacker is brought to ground thus preventing any further forward movement, and this allows the defending team to commit only 1 or 2 to the breakdown, Therefore the “hindmost foot” of the one (or two) defenders is only a couple of feet behind the advantage line, and the attacking team then resorts to countless boring pick and drives. The backs seem to use the ball mainly in counter-attacking situations.

    I would also like to see the following tried (not too sure if it would work). When a defender commits a breach in his defending 22, use only a short-arm penalty, but give that defender a yellow card, thus encouraging the attacking team to run the ball to score a 7-pointer.

    On that point, how about abolishing conversions altogether?
    Or at least take “time off”. How often do we see a prop fall over thev line near the posts for a 7-pointer, while a brilliant back-line try sending a winger over in the corner is often only a 5-pointer?

    Open for discusion??

    John Wagner

  • Admin says:

    Wag, I’m happy to see us kick a few ideas around here, when time allows. If you’re not already, I’m sure you’d also enjoy airing your views on a website such as The Roar (

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