All Blacks smell Wallabies prey at Suncorp

A loss to the All Blacks would be the one thing to top off the week from hell for the Wallabies.

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But it could also be the one thing that will finally allow rugby followers to actually have something to say about events that occur on the field for this Wallabies unit.

The Wallabies need fans to have a different focus, we have all heard enough of the crap that this week has offered.

For the All Blacks, this week’s preparation has been called one of the most low key test weeks for an All Blacks side in recent memory.

The squad is set and ready to go, and Beauden Barrett will once again be given the starting role. The Hurricanes first five needs to perform in a little more convincing fashion tonight after not exactly offering any mouth watering performances since being given the run on.

The first was understandable in the rain and wind in Napier, but Barrett is yet to solidify his claim for the regular kicking option even after being given two free goes at the role following Aaron Cruden’s big night on the town last month.

Balance, calmness, and low key is hardly what the feeling will be inside the Wallabies camp tonight in Brisbane.

Because honestly, could the off field issues be any worse?

You’d have to imagine that the Wallabies will throw everything including the kitchen sink on the field tonight as they bid to get that elusive win over the All Blacks.

With all the controversy, some may even have forgotten that one Quade Cooper makes his return to the Wallabies tonight, against his favorite team no less. It wouldn’t be a stretch to also say that many would suddenly remember at kick off that tonight sees Adam Ashley Cooper make his 100th test start.

That’s how bad these issues involving Kurtley Beale, Ewen McKenzie, and Di Patston cloud the Wallabies.

But what should be on the minds of Wallabies fans is concern.

The players in this team have openly and publicly backed Kurtley Beale, and if you look at Beale’s rap sheet of past trouble making, it is absolutely staggering that anyone in the side is fighting Kurtley’s corner. This mindset, perhaps even culture that is running rampant and seemingly growing in the Wallabies camp is unhealthy, and the All Blacks will be more than happy to take full advantage during this evenings test match.

Ewen McKenzie and his men must be asking, “how in the hell do we pull this off?”.

If it is possible, if the off field dramas can possibly be put on the back burner for just 80 minutes, the Wallabies formula to beating the All Blacks will be the same tonight as it has been so many times before.

The playmakers are there, and the ability has always been.

Time and time again we have seen the Wallabies get into positions to score tries, tries which would put the All Blacks on the back foot either very early on in a game or midway through the second half where in recent memory, the Wallabies have began to either claw their way back, or implode completely.

The Wallabies, tonight more than ever before need to come out of the sheds with a hiss and a roar and make a statement from the kick off.

Anything less, and the All Blacks will run away with the match.

Full coverage of tonight’s third and final All Blacks/Wallabies test for 2014 will be live blogged over on michaelpulmanlive.tumblr.com

Wallabies situation a shambles of immaturity and half truths

It is high time that the Wallabies became a team that is talked about for issues that actually happen on the field.

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Head coach Ewen McKenzie may or may not lose his job after this weekend.

But Di Patston, the woman at the centre of this firestorm, has been revealed to be not so clean after histories of past work and previous lawsuits surfaced after Fairfax media’s investigations.

Texts revealed this week show that the issues between Beale and Patston began when the Wallabies playmaker began circulating images of naked overweight women with comments attached directed to Patston.

One comment was “Di who wants a go f**cking this?” sent by Beale in a text message.

During the fallout, much speculation has also surrounded Ewen McKenzie’s personal relationship with Patston, a former ARU staff member. McKenzie missed training when he personally drove Patston to the airport, but strongly refuted speculation that the relationship had any intimate history.

Patston recently quit the ARU sighting stress.

But to be honest, the discussion of an affair between McKenzie and Patston was started by the media, and continued the media. Driving a distressed work partner to the airport isn’t grounds to assume a relationship.

It is time some in the media started writing about the facts, and if no facts or said qoutes point to any possibility of an intimate relationship between two people, don’t then speculate otherwise.

Questions have been raised of Patston’s qualifications for the role with the ARU in the first place, and it was revealed today by the Sydney Morning Herald that Patston had been involved in a spider bite lawsuit years ago, where she tried to sue her employers for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Can it be said that Patston shouldn’t be blamed for any of this situation involving Beale?

Potentially so. But reports do state that her employment history isn’t exactly glowing either.

Wether McKenzie leaves his role as Wallabies coach is really a pointless discussion at this stage, as is talk about if Kurtley Beale should be exiled from the team or not.

The fact is, this is just another off field incident which has again involved a player with a previous track record of getting into trouble. Who knows why these issues are happening. Beale’s claims in the text messages of being sorry for his actions towards Patston are clearly false, as the two became exchanged in a verbal altercation mid flight weeks after those texts were sent.

Is the team environment toxic?

Again this week, a respected Wallabies rugby personal (in during this controversy) stated that the team environment in the Wallabies was actually better under Robbie Deans than it currently is under Ewen McKenzie.

God only knows that happens next.

Off field professionalism is lacking in Wallabies side

The Kurtley Beale incident is just the latest in a long line of off field issues that have seriously hindered the Wallabies from being able to achieve their full potential on the field.

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No matter how good a player is, antics like the one during the flight to Brazil are unacceptable, it damages the reputation of the team, and is far from the standard level of professionalism that anyone would expect from a professional sportsmen such as Kurtley Beale.

The Wallabies have been a side that has choked in the biggest games on a yearly basis since 2005, barring the victory over the All Blacks in Brisbane which sent a warning to the rest of the rugby world just prior to the World Cup in 2011.

The actions of certain players off the field are contributing factors in the reasons why the Wallabies are not playing to their potential.

This side is not getting the positive results that they constantly set themselves up for.

The Wallabies get into viable positions on the scoreboard to win matches, only to completely implode in the final twenty minutes and lose. The Wallabies are brilliant at creating opportunities to score tries, but lack the execution, and some believe that this can be put down to key players getting too excited when panic sets in within 5 metres of the try line.

Off field related incidents have occurred with Kurtley Beale before.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported this morning that alcohol was not a direct factor in the Kurtley Beale incident where he became involved in a verbal altercation with a member of team management.

But alcohol issues have been an issue before.

According to the SMH, anyone and everyone in the Wallabies team are allowed to drink directly after a test match, no matter what the result.

Potentially, this current standard gives a mentality to the team that while it sucks to lose those big games, like the one this past weekend against the Springboks, the results don’t really matter too much at the end of the day.

It is also relevant to point out that many of these cases which has seen the Wallabies side embroiled into sudden controversy have involved players, Beale included, who’s selections in the starting line up are already questionable enough.

With Quade Cooper, a controversial man himself, set to re-enter the Wallabies side as soon as the All Blacks test in Brisbane, this Wallabies culture again needs some serious work done to it.

Alcohol not directly related to Beale flight incident with woman

Yet another off field incident drama has hit the Wallabies, and again it is Kurtley Beale under the spotlight.

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Reports indicate that the Beale was involved in a verbal slanging match with a member of the Wallabies team management, business manager Di Patston, during a flight to Brazil as the side prepare for this weekends clash in the final round of the Rugby Championship.

Patston has since left the tour following her incident with Beale.

It is understood that alcohol wasn’t a direct reason for the altercation, but Wallabies spokespeople have confirmed that the team were drinking the night before following the loss to the Springboks in Cape Town.

Wallabies coach Ewan McKenzie has said that the situation between Kurtley Beale and Di Patston was “complicated” and wouldn’t comment any further.

Beale is still available for selection ahead of this weekends matchup against Argentina.