Couch potato’s diary

A 24 – 8 win against Argentina first up. Scratchy but promising. A solid performance by the forwards, especially Baxter at prop, David Lyons in place of Toutai Kefu, and David Giffin before the sickening collision of his head with the ground. At least it’s apparently only concussion not spinal.

The backline combination was distinctly lacking, as you’d expect after so much chopping and changing and so long without a real game. But there were quite a few promising signs. Larkham, Rogers and Matt Burke all had great games. Joe Roff was adequate, and Sailor’s only mistake (amidst lots of good things) was to get caught out of position defensively once when the Pumas scored down his wing late in the second half.

For an incurable optimist like me, the Wallabies showed enough to keep me hopeful that they really can retain the World Cup as long as all the cards fall the right way.

Then a quick switch over for the second half of my usual favourite viewing of the week, At Home With the Braithwaites. Each episode feels to me like a finely observed and crafted documentary, made by someone who’s been spying for several years on my family and close friends. What does it mean, I wonder?

Update – this is a demanding weekend for us anally retentive, sports loving couch potatoes. I had to get all my exercise and housework duties out of the way this morning, so I can settle into an intensive afternoon of switching between the All Blacks v Italy match and the Bathurst race warm-ups and Top Ten shootout. Then with a bit of luck I might fit in a hit of tennis, before backing up for the evening to watch France v Fiji and then South Africa v Uruguay. It doesn’t leave much time for blogging, though. As Roy and HG put it, it’s a weekend when too much sport is just barely enough.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Alan
Alan
2022 years ago

It means every inhabitant of the blogosphere will now start importuning you to share your lottery win.

Rob Schaap
2022 years ago

They certainly went for a distinguishing up-market opening ceremony – guess that’s what those smarmy rugger-buggers were getting at when they said Waltzing Matilda ‘wasn’t cultural enough’. That said, I thought the World In Union anthem was terrifically done – I near piped me eye.

Pity they had to go and sing the neshnel ditty just after that … kinda detracted from the high, I thought.

As did most of the game. The Argies have fast backs and don’t use ’em enough – dunno what the story might have been if they spun it wide a bit more in that second half. Thought the ref was very harsh on a couple of those lineout calls and at least one crucial in-from-the-side call, too. Reckon that threw the Argies a bit, meself. The Wallabies’ll get a lot better – but then they’re gonna need to. I predict a few concessions out wide when we face backs who actually get ball, for a start.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

The Wallabies looked to me distinctly the far superior side, which let itself down in its capacity to finish … which is I guess exactly what I hope they are at this stage. Even after they scored, the Argies never looked in any real danger of winning.

Rogers now looks very much the fully integrated union player, as Sailor almost does too. At last, they’re no longer Leagies looking at the game from the outside and gingerly trying to fit in. The lead-up to Sailor’s try was vintage Wallabies. ‘del missed more tackles than Ken has allowed, but he’s always going to be that way … the bet is that he’ll get more than he lets in.

Overall, George’s service (and defence) was excellent, and Bernie was on fire in the first half. I noticed almost no balls to Flats … only two in the whole first half in fact … finally bringing our long lost outside strength into the play for powerful effect – Rogers, Roff, Bourke and Sailor are going to worry every team if they can keep getting that kinda ball. Lyons had his best international to date, and Bill Young stepped up to the John Eales plate to display the forward leadership form that we must have to go all the way. Our breakaways are magic and, having survived that test, the Wallaby front row could be seriously formidable come the deep end of the Cup.

The Argies are a better team than the Wallabies made them look last night … so, yeah, let’s put that one in the pocket. They were never going to be clinical first up and no questions were definitively answered, but there was a vague outline of greatness to grow into. It’s gonna be tough, but I reckon we’re really in it on that display.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Ken, In the real world cup slow starters have a very good record of winning the World cup.
It would be interesting if rugby copies this as well.

On a completely different track who won that by-election up there a while ago?

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Chris, I don’t share your optimism. You can’t win a World Cup without centres, and we aint got none.

What about that Argentinian hooker? Was he ugly, or what!?

cs
cs
2022 years ago

You have a point Dave. I’d have Grey and Burke/Turinui, but I’m sick of typing that … we’ll see … must say the French look fit, well organised, and generally well prepared to me … in stark contrast to the Boks. Can’t see anything going for the Blacks and the Poms, except for their forwards and their backs …

os
os
2022 years ago

I enjoyed only one bitof the All Blacks – Azzuri game (pity about Steve Alessio, got the gig because he has Italian heritage, he knows zippo about the game) … the other Italian dude in the studio saying that like Australia wanting an alternative National Anthem, so did Italy, then riffed off the Amore song … “When you run from ruck and get hit by a truck, that’s a’Maori”.

Well, I thought it was funny anyway.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

I think the fact that Argentina thrashed Namibia 67-14, despite fielding a second-string team, puts the Australian first up win into a more praiseworthy perspective, compared with the opening performances of the other Rugby superpowers. The Wallabies, and to some significantly lesser extent, France and Scotland, are the only teams to have had any real sort of test to date.