Rugby news, Wallabies: Dave Rennie, Michael Hooper, Argentina, Tri-Nations


Matt Burke says the Wallabies’ 2020 Tri Nations campaign, while not a complete failure, has prompted a re-evaluation of whether the team is truly capable of taking their game to another level.

It was a series of false dawns, with a close call against the All Blacks and tight win at Suncorp followed up by disappointing losses.

Dave Rennie blooded promising rookies in an exciting sign for the future but Burke says the Wallabies may have to face the brutal reality check that they cannot go to another level.

Who are the Top 100 Most Powerful People in Australian Sport? Subscribe now to find out >

Wallabies & Pumas draw again!

2:19



Source link

Australia vs Argentina, Dave Rennie, Reece Hodge, rugby news


Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has lamented his side’s “dumb errors” after Australia finished their calendar year with a second-consecutive draw against Argentina.

The Wallabies secured the Tri-Nations wooden spoon after a 16-16 draw against the Pumas at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday evening.

Ironically, Australia would have won the title if they had mustered back-to-back wins against Argentina, who for several years have been considered the weakest side in The Rugby Championship.

Read Next

“What was a draw paying today? $1.15 maybe,” Rennie joked after Australia’s third draw in six Test matches.

“It feels a little bit different than the draw a couple of weeks ago, mainly because we found ourselves down on the scoreboard by 10 at one stage and by seven when we got a red card.

“The boys did show a lot of character to fight their way back into that in challenging conditions and kicked smart in the second half and able to squeeze out a draw and almost steal it again.”

Australian referee Angus Gardner awarded four cards in Saturday’s Test match, including a shock red card for Wallabies forward Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the 60th minute.

But considering Australia boasted 70 per cent possession and 79 per cent territory, Rennie understandably perceived the draw as another missed opportunity.

Reece Hodge of the Wallabies.
Reece Hodge of the Wallabies.

“I think all of those games shouldn’t have come down to a last-minute penalty attempt,” Rennie said.

“The Argentinians are very good at hanging in games — they don’t play an enormous amount of footy and the conditions probably suited them a fair bit tonight and we had to resort to a fair bit of kicking.

“There’s no lack of heart and no lack of effort, but we’ve got to be way more clinical.

“We’ve defended pretty well over the last few weeks, so we’ve made strides in that area, but as I’ve talked a bit, about our discipline was disappointing tonight.

“We allowed them to squeeze us a bit, and we made some dumb errors and got punished for it.

“We won one out of six if you look at it from that perspective … it’s disappointing but I guess we’ve got an understanding of where we’re at.”

For the third time since October, Wallabies fullback Reece Hodge missed a long-distance penalty goal in the dying minutes, denying an Australian victory.

“I feel for him because he kicked pretty well,” Rennie said. “The quality of that conversion from out wide to level it up and there wasn’t too many people lining up to take that shot.

“So yeah, it would have been nice if he was able to convert that, but it is what it is.”

Sports Reporter

Sydney

Nic is a passionate sports reporter and cricket addict. He completed a Bachelor of Media at the University of New South Wales in 2018, and has since worked as a digital content creator at Fox Sports before join…

Read Next



Source link

Tough to draw conclusions when assessing first season under Rennie


Nic White, James O’Connor and Matt To’omua have all shown they can flourish at Test level when given a clean bill of health. They will be a key trio moving into next year but only started two of the six Tests alongside one another.

In To’omua’s absence, Hunter Paisami has been an enormous find at inside centre. He will apply pressure to To’omua and Jordan Petaia at outside centre next year.

Petaia has endless potential but is still prone to far too many errors. More minutes at the highest level will only help improve that.

Head-scratcher: Captain Michael Hooper can't quite work it out either.

Head-scratcher: Captain Michael Hooper can’t quite work it out either. Credit:Getty

Marika Koroibete is a world-class winger. Tom Wright has proven he can consistently fire, and Suiliasi Vunivalu is waiting in the wings.

Up front, Petrus du Plessis has started to work wonders with a scrum that is becoming a weapon, largely thanks to Taniela Tupou and James Slipper.

Matt Philip has morphed into one of the first players picked by Rennie, and both Harry Wilson and Rob Valetini will be Wallabies for many years to come.

Individually, all of the above are positives.

But without the gold-coloured glasses, there are some harsh realities Rennie and his coaching staff will undoubtedly confront over the summer.

While the key 9-10-12 combination was forced to change far too many times through injuries to O’Connor and To’omua, the Wallabies failed to produce enough points.

Loading

Their attack in both matches against Argentina was stale. It was pouring rain at Bankwest Stadium, but the Australians still coughed up far too much ball.

The lineout is still prone to errors in key moments and in critical parts of the field.

A world- class hooker, lock, fullback and enforcer in the back row are still required.

And the defensive showing against the All Blacks in the losses at Eden Park and ANZ Stadium was disastrous.

Rennie has time on his side. And the normal international season will resume in 2021.

But without the gold-coloured glasses on, one win from six Tests hasn’t been the sharpest of starts.

This time next year, Wallabies fans will know whether they can call upon the one word which has kept them coming back to the well for the last two decades – hope.

Sport newsletter

Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox each day. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Source link

Tough to draw conclusions when assessing first season under Rennie


Nic White, James O’Connor and Matt To’omua have all shown they can flourish at Test level when given a clean bill of health. They will be a key trio moving into next year but only started two of the six Tests alongside one another.

In To’omua’s absence, Hunter Paisami has been an enormous find at inside centre. He will apply pressure to To’omua and Jordan Petaia at outside centre next year.

Petaia has endless potential but is still prone to far too many errors. More minutes at the highest level will only help improve that.

Head-scratcher: Captain Michael Hooper can’t quite work it out either. Credit:Getty

Marika Koroibete is a world-class winger. Tom Wright has proven he can consistently fire, and Suiliasi Vunivalu is waiting in the wings.

Up front, Petrus du Plessis has started to work wonders with a scrum that is becoming a weapon, largely thanks to Taniela Tupou and James Slipper.

Matt Philip has morphed into one of the first players picked by Rennie, and both Harry Wilson and Rob Valetini will be Wallabies for many years to come.

Individually, all of the above are positives.

But without the gold-coloured glasses, there are some harsh realities Rennie and his coaching staff will undoubtedly confront over the summer.

While the key 9-10-12 combination was forced to change far too many times through injuries to O’Connor and To’omua, the Wallabies failed to produce enough points.

Loading

Their attack in both matches against Argentina was stale. It was pouring rain at Bankwest Stadium, but the Australians still coughed up far too much ball.

The lineout is still prone to errors in key moments and in critical parts of the field.

A world- class hooker, lock, fullback and enforcer in the back row are still required.

And the defensive showing against the All Blacks in the losses at Eden Park and ANZ Stadium was disastrous.

Rennie has time on his side. And the normal international season will resume in 2021.

But without the gold-coloured glasses on, one win from six Tests hasn’t been the sharpest of starts.

This time next year, Wallabies fans will know whether they can call upon the one word which has kept them coming back to the well for the last two decades – hope.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Source link

Wallabies, Australia vs Argentina, Michael Hooper captain, news, rugby, Dave Rennie


Michael Hooper bluntly rejected suggestions his time as Wallabies captain is coming to an end as the gutsy flanker prepares to lead the Australian side for the final time in 2020.

Speaking to media ahead of Saturday’s rematch with Argentina, Hooper shut down lingering rumours he might give up the armband – or potentially have it taken away – with a passionate defence of his captaincy.

Watch Australia v Argentina in the last match of the 2020 Tri Nations. Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly>

Simmons last test for Aus?

1:02



Source link

Why Rennie thinks Hodge could be a long-term No.10


“Reece’s selection is as much around the goal-kicking and other aspects to get him on the field with James coming back,” Rennie said. “Rabs [O’Connor] hasn’t kicked a lot of ball in the last month so Reece will have the goal-kicking duties and do a lot of touch-finding and so on. He’s played a lot in the back three, he’s played a lot of fullback for the Rebels, so it’s not an unfamiliar position.”

Hodge steered Australia to victory against the All Blacks in Brisbane and was one of the side’s better performers in the 15-15 draw against Argentina a fortnight ago in Newcastle.

But the big question moving forward is whether Hodge, who has now played in every backline position for the Wallabies except halfback, is a genuine five-eighth prospect.

He has made just three appearances there at Test level and rarely been used at No.10 by the Rebels but when asked what his best position was, Rennie made the call that five-eighth could be his home.

“I think he could be really good as a 10,” Rennie said. “He’s a big man, [has] a big kicking game, can carry in those transitional areas, defends well in there. If he could square things up and play on top, he’s got all the attributes. He’s done a really good job for us.

“We’d really like him to play more 10 [at the Rebels]. You’ve obviously got Matt To’omua who has played a bit of 10 for them but we see him more as 12 who plays 10. That would be great but they may decide to play Reece in midfield or elsewhere. We’ll certainly have conversations but in the end those guys will do what they need to do for what’s in the best interest for their side and I’m OK with that.”

Rennie has one win, two draws and two losses to his name ahead of the final hit-out of the year.

Near misses in Wellington and Newcastle still sting and Rennie will be desperately hoping that if Australia get in a position to win the game, they don’t let it slip.

“We’ve had a couple of Tests we should have won and didn’t. We ended up drawing them. That’s frustrating but the key for me is we learn from it,” Rennie said. “A win on the weekend will mean that we’ve got more to build on but certainly we had a chance for silverware if we got it right a couple of weeks ago.

“We’ve talked a lot about this being a springboard to next season [and] not talking about it being the last Test of the year.

Loading

“When we were up 15-6 [against Argentina] we needed to force them to play and chase the game a bit. If we’d plugged the corners even for another five minutes it would have made a difference. Ultimately what we want is just a quality performance.”

The match could be Rob Simmons’ final Test in a gold jersey given he has signed a contract to play for London Irish.

Despite having more than 60 Tests to his name and being eligible to return for the Wallabies, Rennie indicated that next year wanted to pick the bulk of players from within Australia.

“We’re not going to bring an enormous amount of players back from overseas,” Rennie said. “It will really depend on where we’re really thin. Ideal scenario is that we’re grabbing everyone from our competition. To that end, it could be his last.”

Wallabies (1-15): Scott Sio, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Matt Philip, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Harry Wilson, Nic White, James O’Connor, Marika Koroibete, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Tom Wright, Reece Hodge

Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Angus Bell, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Rob Valetini, Jake Gordon, Irae Simone, Tom Banks

Argentina (1-15): Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Julian Montoya, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Matias Alemanno, Marcos Kremer, Santiago Grondona, Facundo Isa, Rodrigo Bruni, Felipe Ezcurra, Nicolas Sanchez, Emiliano Boffelli, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Matias Orlando, Bautista Delguy, Santiago Carreras

Reserves: Jose Luis Gonzalez, Mayco Vivas, Juan Pablo Zeiss, Lucas Paulos, Francisco Gorrissen, Gonzalo Bertranou, Domingo Miotti, Santiago Chocobares

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Source link

Tri Nations, Australia Wallabies vs Argentina Pumas: official teams, Dave Rennie, Reece Hodge, Noah Lolesio, James O’Connor


James O’Connor will return to the Wallabies starting XV at fly-half after overcoming a knee injury that kept him out of Australia’s draw with Argentina two weeks ago.

O’Connor’s injury forced coach Dave Rennie to shift Reece Hodge into the No. 10 jersey.

Hodge remains in the side, shifting to fullback and forcing Tom Banks out of the side for Saturday’s clash at Bankwest Stadium.

He makes up the back three which contains Tom Wright – one of the Wallabies’ finest performers since his tryscoring debut in Brisbane – and Marika Koroibete.

Watch Australia v Argentina in the last match of the 2020 Tri Nations. Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly



Source link

Tri Nations, Australia Wallabies vs Argentina Pumas: Teams, Dave Rennie, Noah Lolesio, James O’Connor, Reece Hodge


Unless records are smashed this week, the All Blacks will be lifting the Tri-Nations trophy and Australia’s drought will continue.

But don’t go trying to tell the Wallabies that Saturday’s meeting with Argentina in anything less than a mere formality.

“We’re taking this game as a must win game for us,” the returning James O’Connor said.

Watch Australia v Argentina in the last match of the 2020 Tri Nations. Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly

James O'Connor is fit and ready to go. Picture - Andrew Phan/Wallabies Media.
James O’Connor is fit and ready to go. Picture – Andrew Phan/Wallabies Media.Source: Supplied



Source link

James O’Connor’s Wallabies return leaves Dave Rennie with Reece Hodge selection headache


“Being an older player now, you put a lot of work into your body off the field and you just want to do the little things right.

Loading

“I came into this campaign and I was given a lot of responsibility and I was very happy with how my game was moving forward and my game was progressing and how we were growing as a team.

“To be cut short and forced to watch from the sidelines, it was very tough.”

O’Connor’s calming presence was sorely missed in the record breaking loss to the All Blacks in Sydney – when untried debutant Noah Lolesio started at five-eighth – but in the fortnight since, Reece Hodge has done an admirable job at No.10.

In O’Connor’s eyes, the Rebels star has done enough to earn a start elsewhere in the backline.

“I think he’s definitely earned his spot and [should] stay there [in the starting XV],” O’Connor said.

“I’m not a selector so I won’t be pretending where I would put him but I have my ideas and we will see where that plays off. He definitely deserves to be out on the field somewhere.

“In saying that, we still have some really damaging centres that have been doing a really good job for us and the back three as well.

“I’m happy I don’t have to make that decision.”

The makeup of the Wallabies backline is certainly a conundrum for Rennie.

Hunter Paisami has started to built a powerful pairing with Jordan Petaia in the centres and while the Wallabies started their campaign viewing Hodge as a centre – or a back-up five-eighth – the one position Rennie has not been able to find the right man for is fullback.

Loading

Tom Banks hasn’t set the world on fire and Hodge’s top notch form at No.10 – as well as his reliable strike rate off the kicking tee – could prove valuable against an Argentinian side that seeks to turn every Test into an arm wrestle.

Whether Rennie opts to keep Hodge in his starting XV remains to be seen but O’Connor isn’t expecting an enormous overhaul, despite the Tri Nations trophy now being all but out of reach.

“We’re taking this game as a must win game for us,” he said. “It’s very important for our campaign moving forward and for moving forward as a group.

“We’ve spoken about it a lot. It’s not just about finishing the year in this way.

“It’s almost about spring-boarding us into this whole campaign.

“It’s been a huge year for us with COVID, coming together, new coaches, new group, and I think one thing we haven’t spoken about a lot is there has been huge growth – off the field and on the field.

“Now it’s just about transferring it and those little margins – ticking the scoreboard over.”

Sport newsletter

Sports, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to the Herald‘s weekday newsletter here and The Age‘s weekly newsletter here.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Source link

Wallabies vs Pumas, Dave Rennie, Reece Hodge


Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has bluntly accused his squad of getting “bored” during the second half of Saturday evening’s tryless draw against Argentina in Newcastle.

Despite comfortably leading 15-6 in the second half, costly turnovers from Australia allowed the Pumas to make a late comeback at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez kicked three consecutive penalty goals to tie the scores, with the uneventful Test match ending as a dismal 15-15 draw.

An Australian victory would have put the Wallabies in the best possible position to clinch the Tri-Nations Cup.

“Really frustrated, really disappointed,” Rennie told reporters after the match.

“At 15-6 we had control of the game, we had chances to pin them in the corners. We had a fair bit of success from kicking, but it looked like we got bored of it and overplayed and turned the ball over and brought them back into the game.

“It’s disappointing, we should have closed that out, and really we’ve got ourselves to blame.

“We didn’t execute that well enough in the second half.

“It’s an area of our game we’ve got to be better. We’ve put a lot of work into our kicking strategy, and clearly it’s just not instinctive all the time yet.”

Wallabies fly-half Reece Hodge was granted an opportunity to retake the lead in the 78th minute, but his penalty goal attempt flew wide of the posts.

“I feel like I’ve let the country down, so it’s a pretty tough one to take at the moment,” Hodge told Fox Sports.

“Obviously we were up 15-6 and had our chances to seal that game. I guess inaccuracy and poor game management from our game managers let us down. Especially in that first half we created a lot of opportunities, it’s just inaccuracy in the last passes and movements that let us down.

“It was 9-6 at halftime, but with the weight of possession we had it should have been 15 or 20, and it’s a credit to the way that Argentina defended also.”

The Wallabies will face the Pumas for their final Tri-Nations fixture on Saturday, December 5 at Bankwest Stadium.



Source link