Wallabies Updated (Again) - Part 2 AND 3 Of The Users Guide

The good news is that Robbie Deans has made only minimal changes to the Wallabies starting line-up for the third test, so being the lazy bugger that the Rolling Maul is, here's an edit of part 2 to bring it up to date:

The Rolling Maul is committed to providing uneducated British and Irish Lions supporters and those new to the Wallabies with all the information they need to be able to sledge them mercilessly.

So here is (are) the sequel(s) to Who Are These Wallabies? - A Users Guide just in time for the second third and deciding test against the Lions:


FORWARDS

Benn Robinson
Robinson is the only front rower the Wallabies have who is consistent in a good way. He's a good scrummager and holds his own in the rucks and mauls. Recently he's added running skills and frequently bends the line or slips away a neat offload and thus makes space for teammates to run through.
Deserves to be there rating  8/10

Stephen Moore
Games 1 and 2 pretty much told you everything you need to know about Moore. A solid lineout thrower and good in tight where it matters, but is OK at best in open field, the place where Tatafu Polata-Nau, who is injured, excels. gets the gig by default, but won't let anyone down.
Deserves to be there rating  6/10
Tatafu Polata-Nau will be the starting hooker in six weeks rating  9/10

Ben Alexander
It's a mystery to the Rolling Maul how Alexander keeps getting picked to start test matches. He's not the best at anything he does except for maybe scoring tries which is a great asset but not the greatest aspect of front row play. Needs to improve all other aspects of his play, and really should be starting from the bench where he could have impact.
UPDATE - Whaddyaknow - he improved. Must read the Rolling Maul!
Deserves to be there rating  4 6/10

James Horwill (c)
A Typical captains knock(s) from Horwill in game one and two where he led by example, mowing down opponents and charging into rucks (studs first if necessary) and coming out of it battered and bleeding (not to mention the eyeballs of the ruckee). You need players like this, even if they aren't spectacular and don't set up too many try scoring opportunities.
Deserves to be there rating  7/10

Kane Douglas
More steady improvement from Douglas in games 1 and 2. He's yet to play a blinder for the Wallabies though has had a couple of great games for the Waratahs. Needs to step up and really seal his spot in the team.
Deserves to be there rating  6/10

Ben Mowen
Not a bad debut (and follow-up) from the likeable Brumby captain, indeed he was showing leadership in the way he played both matches and settled the midfield once injuries took their toll and it all threatened to go pear shaped in game 1. Set up Folau's second try (in game 1) with a perfectly timed pass and was generally where he needed to be when it mattered.
Deserves to be there rating  7/10

Michael Hooper
It's impossible to rate Hooper's game 1 performance because he spent most of it in the centres trying to cover for injuries. He may be fast and have great hands but he's not a centre, so don't blame him for not being as dominant in the rucks as you'd normally expect.
Deserves to be there rating  7/10

George Smith
Legend. It's a label that time poor journalists and bloggers love to instill on any player who plays a few good season in a row. Well G Smith has played a couple of great decades in a row so it's a label well earned and deserved. Michael Hooper shouldn't be too disappointed to be warming the bench for a player of Smith's calibre. His chances will come.
Deserves to be there rating  9/10
Legend rating 10/10

Wycliff Palu
It's probably a normal human thing to play favourites. Every class has its teacher's pet, and Palu has certainly benefited from being the kind of powerful player that Robbie Deans likes. He's stuck with Palu despite all his injury dramas over the years, and from time to time Palu has repaid his faith. But he's no spring chicken, and now it's probably one injury too far. The form isn't there, but he was busier in game 2 than game 1 and the team seems to think he matters.
Deserves to be there rating  4 5/10
Will end up in traction rating  8/10

BACKS

Will Genia
It's a sign of how ineffective James O'Connor was in game 1 (and to an extent in game 2) that Genia could step up and have a blinder, yet still the Wallabies lost, despite the Rolling Maul's statement that if Genia plays well the Wallabies will win. Nonetheless, the statement holds for game 2, he's that important to the team. He just needs a bit more support from the forwards and outside him to make it happen.
UPDATE - It happened. The forwards stood up, the backs just stood around dropping balls. Robbie Deans claims that was the plan, they were pushing the ball and that's all that mattered. They won. He was probably right.
Deserves to be there rating  10/10
Legend rating 8/10

James O'Connor
O'Connor is still benefiting from Robbie Deans' snubbing of Quade Cooper and the lack of alternatives to play at five-eighth. So Deans has surrounded O'Connor with other playmakers to take the pressure off. How this differs from hiding Cooper at fullback in defence is a mystery. If it works, they're both geniuses, and the reality is that it didn't work in game 1 but still could've won the match. Marginal improvements may be all that is required.
UPDATE - It worked! Sort of.
Deserves to be there rating  5 6/10
Deserves to be five-eighth rating  3 5/10
Legend rating 4/10

Joe Tomane
The Wallabies are starting to look more like the Brumbies and less like the Waratahs and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Brumbies are the most successful Australian Super Rugby team of the past couple of years but not the most flashy, and that's just fine when it come to test Rugby. Could Robbie Deans be morphing into Jake White? Could Jake White be the next Wallabies coach (you heard it here first).
Deserves to be there rating  6/10
Jake White deserves to be Wallaby coach rating  7/10

Christian Lealiifano
You can't rate a Wallabies career that reads injured before it got started. Twice. The partnership with Tomane will be vital and could me the making of the team. It worked for Jason Little and Tim Horan and we haven't seen the like of it since. It's about time. His goal kicking will be vital too.
UPDATE - It was
Deserves to be there rating  8/10

Adam Ashley-Cooper
The best fend in the business and having his best season in years. Ashley-Cooper is surrounded by playmakers to run off and set up. He's the cog that could make it all happen or be the one to cash in and take the glory. Either way, it's all good.
UPDATED - He cashed in
Deserves to be there rating  8  9/10

Israel Folau
There is nothing that the Rolling Maul could say about Folau that hasn't already been said by others who get much more web traffic. Suffice to say, if he wants to stay with Rugby there'll be zeroes as far as the eye can see.
Deserves to be there rating  9/10

Kurtley Beale
He's back. Silenced any fears about his inclusion from his first touch (and all subsequent touches) and proved the Rolling Maul's point that Berrick Barnes should have started from the bench in match 1. Probably should have worn longer spikes, but the reality is that the Wallabies were lucky to be in a position to win the game in the first place. If he can be out at 4am eating fast food but still perform, he's a legend.
Deserves to be there rating  8/10
Legend rating  7/10

RESERVES

Saia Fainga'a
He'll do.
Deserves to be there rating  6/10

James Slipper
Made a difference to the scrum when he came on (both games) and unlucky not to be running on with the starting side.
Deserves to be there rating  8/10

Sekope Kepu
Ditto. Could Australia finally ge getting a good crop of props?
Deserves to be there rating  8/10

Rob Simmons
Limited opportunities in the first test (more in the second), but a classy sub.
Deserves to be there rating  7/10

Michael Hooper
Didn't do a lot wrong in either of the first 2 matches but we are talking about George Smith here, so fair enough
Deserves to be there rating  8/10

Ben McCalman
Another player returning from injury with huge raps. Looked the part before he got injured and will have a role bashing Lions and running over them late in the game when the knife needs twisting.
Deserves to be there rating  7/10

Liam Gill
Outshone Michael Hooper in game 1, but Hooper was out of position in the centres so that's not his fault.
Deserves to be there rating  8/10

Nick Phipps
Oh for the days when the Wallabies had the class of Chris Whittaker on the bench. Deans would probably prefer Luke Burgess but he has to get European Rugby (ie kicking) out of his system first.
Deserves to be there rating  5/10

Rob Horne
Time for Horne to step up and take a match by the scruff of its neck. Does anything else have scruffs? Just wondering.
Deserves to be there rating  6/10

Jesse Mogg
Was competing with Folau for a fullback starting spot until Folau ended up on the wing and Barnes and then Beale got the gig. Will be interesting to see if he can transfer Super Rugby form to the biggest international stage.
Deserves to be there rating  7/10

Comments

DefB said…
When my boys play doggie and master, the doggie's name is always Scruff. Just saying.

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