Yesterday\’s Australian Sports Column


THE simple fact is the Wallabies are a better rugby team than England…..

In the space of a few short weeks, England has gone from swaggering to staggering and now, with its last roll of the dice, the best it can come up with to defeat Australia is to pick a pack of bully boys and an endearingly earnest five-eighth who doesn\’t kick heads but goals instead…..

That\’s how it is shaping again tonight, although one senses a historic adjustment in the Wallabies\’ methods. Where in the past they were obliged to use hit-and-run tactics, tonight, boasting a scrum that even rival flanker Lewis Moody concedes may be the strongest Australia has assembled, they will engage England head-on. …..

That\’s not to say that\’s all they will do. There is considerably more to this Australian side than muscle. But the belief within the camp is that beyond the bully boys and Wilkinson, England doesn\’t have much at all…..

Hence, the quickest and most effective way of defeating England is to confront its two great strengths and nullify them.

Sounds simple. And if the Wallabies are anywhere near to achieving their often-stated aim of having the best pack in world rugby, they could indeed do the business tonight with considerable audacity and some alacrity……



7 thoughts on “Yesterday\’s Australian Sports Column”

  1. My experience in both Aus and NZ is the remarkable contrast between the intelligence with which sports are played and the one-eyed stupidity with which they are reported. There are exceptions – e.g. the sainted Benaud – but you have to conclude that the sports journalists think the fans to be ignorant, thick and drunk.

  2. Effing and Blinding

    As an Aussie living in England, I think the Wallabies’ favouritism yesterday was vastly overstated. We have an OK team but long way short of being a great one, and certainly not real contenders. With plenty of youth, we should have quite a few backing up in 2011 unlike a number of other countries.

    Over-optimism was partly due to English pessimism which didn’t seem to understand what happened 4 years ago. Top tight 5, a supergun kicker and the odd incursion from a livewire at the back. You haven’t had that combination together much over that time, and now it is back, it is effective. I wasn’t surprised at the result at all, nor in the manner of the result (a close, fairly dull, tryless English win).

    The Australian press loves playing the big mouth, which I find embarrassing as much in victory as defeat.

  3. Didn’t I read that the Aussie coach had given the England team their propers regarding strength in the scrum?

    Good on him, mate.

    In the meantime, I shall allow myself a brief celebratory moment. Whahoo! Thank you. That will be all.

  4. If Southern Hemisphere preemptive gloating is what you’re looking for then I’d suggest this column from the New Zealand Herald:

    “Hansen reiterated the All Black line that France are potential winners of the World Cup, a side gaining in confidence with danger lurking in every jersey.

    But that sounds more like a man observing pre-match verbal etiquette. France have stuttered all tournament. The flow of old has gone, only to be replaced by something more prosaic, a kick and rush game that has been blighted so far by poor execution.

    The truth is Six Nations rugby is in chaos and only people who have to be given plastic cutlery for their own safety would bet on any of the Northern Hemisphere representatives making it past this weekend.”

  5. May I just make it clear that my remark about “one-eyed stupidity” should not be construed as being in any way a reference to our beloved PM. It really was a reference to the biased crowing that afflicts the airwaves of those lovely Southern lands.

  6. Great weekend so far. This Scot cheered for England yesterday. Fiji so close to amazing us all; now hoping that our boys can give it a lash this afternoon. Time for a quick beer run first…

  7. Some daft Aussie woman was still loudly expounding this line in a Marseille bar during the Argentina v Scotland last night. I pointed out to her that they had in fact lost – apparently, it doesn’t matter, they’re still better.

    Thankfully, most of her countrymen and women were either commendably gracious or silent.

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