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'Just shaving the uprights': Gordon backed to handle Wallabies goal-kicking

By AAP
Carter Gordon of Australia lines up a penalty during The Rugby Championship & Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium on August 05, 2023 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Peter Meecham/Getty Images)

As a regular winner of Melbourne’s highly-coveted blue jacket, Carter Gordon can rise to the challenge of handling the Wallabies’ goal-kicking duties at the Rugby World Cup, according to Rebels attack coach Tim Sampson.

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The Super Rugby mentor believes the 22-year-old has the skills and steely mindset to carry the high-pressure role when the Wallabies open their tournament in Paris against Georgia on Sunday, September 10 (AEST).

In a crucial statistic, Gordon only succeeded with one from five kicks at goals in their World Cup warm-up against France as they fell 41-17.

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But Sampson, who was the Western Force coach before joining the Rebels and has been integral to Gordon’s meteoric rise, said while the five-eighth didn’t usually handle Melbourne’s goal-kicking he was a very capable ball-striker.

Super-boot Reece Hodge, who missed World Cup selection, is the Rebels’ first-choice kicker.

“We have a competition with our goal-kickers in the pre-season and like the Masters golf has a green jacket for the winner, the lads went out a bought a blue blazer from the op-shop and have a weekly competition and whoever got the highest percentage would take the blazer home and Carter kicked very well and got to wear the jacket,” Sampson told AAP.

“He struck them well against France and they were only just shaving the uprights but they were important in terms of scoreboard pressure.

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“He works extremely hard and I’m sure he will be doing that.”

Sampson said Gordon, who has only played three Tests, didn’t get the usual volume of practice during the 2023 Super Rugby season as Melbourne managed his training due to hip flexor and groin niggles.

Gordon didn’t appear rattled by the misses at Stade de France with Sampson saying his ability to shrug off mistakes is a strength.

“That was probably the growth in maturity that I certainly saw this year in Carter.

“To accept that, as a young flyhalf, he’s going to make mistakes and it’s obviously key that we learn from from our mistakes but in his position as a 22-year-old flyhalf he’s going to make mistakes.

“He’s worked hard on that, within that mental space, about how to respond and react to when something doesn’t go his way.”

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Wallabies coach Eddie Jones made a bold call to leave veterans Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley out of his World Cup squad, leaving Gordon to predominantly wear the No.10 jersey.

Sampson said Queensland-born Gordon was up for the responsibility of being Australia’s main playmaker.

“He certainly won’t shirk away from that,” he said.

“He’s very robust physically – we saw that this year in Super Rugby, where he carried a lot of a lot of the load for us as well.

“It will be a challenge for him, and something different to be playing this volume of rugby at the back end of the Super Rugby season through the World Cup

“I do think he will be able to handle it and I’m sure Eddie and his staff will manage him wisely because he’s so important.”

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finn 4 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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S
Simon 6 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

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