George Gregan will quit international rugby after next weekend’s match against Wales, according to The Daily Telegraph‘s Peter Jenkins this morning.
should see this great player bow out with an incredible 118 test caps
and two final wins under his belt. The decision to retire should
also guarantee his selection this one last time when support for his
position seems largely limited to coach Eddie Jones, who certainly has
his own problems.
A win’s a win, especially when you’ve lost
seven in a row, but aside from avoiding a place in the record books for
losing, there wasn’t much comfort for the Wallabies in yesterday’s
defeat of Ireland. Jones tried to talk it up, but the Australian rugby
press is rightly treating it as lacklustre.
The best indication
of the match can be had from the Irish media – a level of disgust that
Ireland was so poor as to not defeat a beatable Australian side. Unlike
the previous week’s thrashing by the All Blacks, there was no credit
given to the Wallabies for being much good, just Ireland letting itself
down. For example, Peter O’Reilly in The Sunday Times:
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The frustrating bit was that the Wallabies were clearly
there for the taking. Their performance in the first half betrayed an
utter lack of self-belief, which has been eroded in the course of their
record run of defeats. Even their much-vaunted back line ran
falteringly, their timing shot to pieces.
But it’s time to get
real. Ireland are no more than a fair to middling international rugby
side — and that’s when their two world-class players are fit.
30-14 score, three tries to one, looks good enough but doesn’t tell the
story. Ireland won the first half 6-3 and were unlucky not to be up by
more while Australia was fortunate not to have Lote Tuqiri at least
sin-binned for what looked like a shoulder charge that took Malcolm
O’Kelly, one of Ireland’s best forwards, out of the game on a stretcher
in the 18th minute. It wasn’t the only luck Australia had with the referee.
scrum generally held solid, but was still thrice embarrassed by the
Irish. George Gregan played his now-usual game – enough said – and this
time it wasn’t behind a pack that was going backwards at 100mph.
seemed the Wallabies might have cracked Ireland’s lineout calls in the
second half, suddenly stealing some important throws that turned the
game along with Chris Latham’s individual effort for a 7-pointer and
they finished comfortably.
Yes, a win’s a win and in another
second division fixture next weekend the Wallabies should get another
one over Wales, which would allow us to claim bragging rights as the
fifth-best side in the world – if there is anything to brag about in
The Sunday Telegraph
disclosed the ARU is hoping former coach Rod Macqueen might have some
answers that Eddie Jones doesn’t. And the best line about the present
coach can be found on Irish subscription site unison.ie by Observer
writer Brendan Fanning:
His candour about the pressure he is under sounds like a
man talking about the electric chair in a state with no capital
punishment. There is no ready made replacement waiting for his job, and
he knows it. He just happened to be the one holding the baby when the
nappies ran out.
Meanwhile, in the first division, it sounds like the All Blacks’ victory over England was a pulsating game. Too bad neither Foxtel or Seven broadcast it.