Australia vs Tonga

Unbreakable

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Australia -

1. Tedesco
2. Gagai
3. T.Trbojevic
4. Mitchell
5. Holmes
6. Keary
7. Cherry-Evans
8. Klemmer
9. Cook
10. McLean
11. Cordner (c)
12. Kaufusi
13. McGuire

14. Hunt
15. J.Trbojevic
16. Frizell
17. Woods

Tonga -

1. Hopoate
2. Tupou
3. Jennings
4. Kata
5. Fusitu'a
6. Lolohea
7. Hingano
8. Fifita
9. Havili
10. Taukeiaho
11. Pangai Jr
12. Manu (c)
13. Taumalolo

14. Katoa
15. Fonua-Blake
16. Ofahengaue
17. Terepo
 
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Not a meninga hater but bloody hell he cant be serious picking the same side. They will probably win (due to the lack of halves tonga have) and this will be used to justify picking these players again for another 3 or 4 years...

Hunt is benifitting greatly from the michael morgan-rule (play enough games and chances are you will eventually play a good game, totally justifying the 3-4 years spent “developing” you by taking up a spot in the team whilst doing nothing, or in hunts case playing abysmal-disaster prone footy). This rule works, when you have c smith, lockyer or thurston to pull your teams ass out of the fire...

Turbo’s attacking prowess is massively blunted at centre, its wing or fb or nothing for mine. If gagai cant defend their at least swap them around in attack and then tell gagai to pass the ball.

Woods cant make the starting side of the sharks without injury but hes good enough for the australian side? Ridiculous. I think meninga is a good rep coach who does what he needs to do to get the players to play to their best at that level-no more- but he will need to get his act together big time without future immortals no longer saving games every year..
 

Super Freak

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Why would Meninga make changes after a rare loss to NZ?

It’s a new side. There were always going to be some problems to start off with, but with more games they will start to click and wipe the floor of their opposition.

I can see Tonga giving Australia a bit of a scare but ultimately they won’t have the class or the skill to match the Australian side when it matters.

Australia 13+
 

Big Pete

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Everyone in that Australia 17 is playing for a future jersey. If they lose against Tonga, I could see over half that team missing out on future Kangaroos selection. Under that pressure, the Australians have to rise to the occasion.

They will have their work cut out for them, that Tonga side means serious business.

I've never been this excited by a standalone Test match. Usually they're another day, another Australian victory but this game is going to be a defining moment in a lot of player's careers.
 
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Super Freak

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This game is sold out.

I hope this is a close game or Tonga win, because if Australia absolutely flog them then I can see crowds dropping in the future.
 

Sproj

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Everyone in that Australia 17 is playing for a future jersey. If they lose against Tonga, I could see over half that team missing out on future Kangaroos selection. Under that pressure, the Australians have to rise to the occasion.

They will have their work cut out for them, that Tonga side means serious business.

I've never been this excited by a standalone Test match. Usually they're another day, another Australian victory but this game is going to be a defining moment in a lot of player's careers.
But who else is there to bring in? It doesn't seem like there are a lot of star Aussies around anymore.

The NOT selected team:

1. Holmes
2. Oates
3. Roberts
4. Inglis (but he isn't getting any younger)
5. Cotric / Mansour
6. Munster
7. Cleary
8. RCG
9. Friend (this is a hugely problematic position without Smith)
10. Napa
11. Crichton
12. Gillett (isn't getting any younger)
13. Joffa (he isn't even playing there at club level)

I know I've missed a ton but it isn't like the field is streets ahead of other countries anymore.
 

Big Pete

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But who else is there to bring in? It doesn't seem like there are a lot of star Aussies around anymore.
Following on from your list: Kalyn Ponga, Michael Morgan, Wade Graham, Josh Addo-Carr, Blake Ferguson, Anthony Milford etc. The Australian selectors won't have to look far for alternatives. So if any of these players are under the illusion that they've booked their spot for the 2021 World Cup, they're in for a rude awakening.

I don't believe the selectors picked a bad squad either. There are a few incumbents who can consider themselves lucky but the selectors are obviously trying to build a culture. For all this talk of how Mal can't coach, he sure built a brilliant culture at the Maroons.
 

johnny plath

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NZ and Tonga would kill to have the kind of depth we have.
to a degree, but I seriously struggle to find a decent front row pair and rotation out of whos available for Aust. Is Vaughn the only non available option that would challenge our ordinary front row? Can't think of anyone really missing out, which for me is a big part of why NZ beat us last week... no go forward at all.
 

Big Pete

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to a degree, but I seriously struggle to find a decent front row pair and rotation out of whos available for Aust. Is Vaughn the only non available option that would challenge our ordinary front row? Can't think of anyone really missing out, which for me is a big part of why NZ beat us last week... no go forward at all.
If Matt Lodge can keep his nose clean and continue to improve as he did throughout 2018, he'll be there. The other guy who I think is capable, but needs a big off-season is Junior Paulo. Paulo was one of the best front row forwards in the game in 2016 and one of the most fearsome ball carriers in the game. If he can get back to that kind of form, he'd have to be considered for the rotation.

I don't share the concern with our current middle forwards. The problem with Australia is that they had 31% of the football in the first half and the Kiwis were just better drilled with the football. The forwards struggled somewhat early in the second half, but I'd put that down to a poor bench rotation than anything else. The Kangaroos needed more size on the paddock and having Woods, Trbojevic and Frizell all in the middle at the same time prevented Australia from making the inroads they needed.

Granted if Australia put in another poor performance, I can see the likes of McLean & Woods coming under heavy fire. Klemmer will retain his place because he's the best meat and potatoes prop in the game.
 

Alec

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Yup, and after listening to the NZ commentators cream for 2 hours straight on Fox Sports last weekend, I may even watch it on Nein this arvo.
CH9 will be creaming too, just about other things. Just gotta choose a cream you want all on your face while watching/
 

Broncs_Fan

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Can see Tonga being competitive for maybe 25-30 minutes when they do their passion/physical effort. Then they'll get whipped. Australia will have a field day out wide.

Australia something like 40-8.
 
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theshed

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How the fu— does Woods make the Australian team? He’s not even the Sharks best bench forward.


He may be the most overachieving player of all time.
 

Broncs_Fan

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How the fu— does Woods make the Australian team? He’s not even the Sharks best bench forward.


He may be the most overachieving player of all time.
No idea. He didn't deserve to get picked in the squad but he had an ok game last week.
 
Can see Tonga being competitive for maybe 25-30 minutes when they do their passion/physical effort. Then they'll get whipped. Australia will have a field day out wide.

Australia something like 40-8.
I think (hope) your underestimating the passion, pride & commitment of our Island neighborhoods.
IMO Tonga are single handedly changing & lifting the profile of international RL. I take my hat off to them. I'm grateful to be more excited about an international game for as long as I can remember.
Go Tonga!
 

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