The June Internationals talking points: Everyone gets a bench spot

England coach Eddie Jones has thrown down a defensive gauntlet to the Wallabies ahead of the 2nd Test in Melbourne. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: The first weekend of international rugby down this neck of the woods has resulted in two results that two countries were kind of dreading.

But if anything, the Wallabies and Springboks’ losses have really added some spice to this second weekend of Tests; try and imagine the build-up if England and Ireland were touched up last weekend.

As a result, the anticipation for the Tests in Melbourne and Johannesburg is far more pronounced, which will, in turn, be matched by the level of nervousness of the respective supporters.

It’s another big weekend of international rugby, and here are the talking points for the weekend’s fixtures.

Attitude: it’s all in the mind, not the body

‘History and passion will get us home’, was the underlying message to Reds fans in this News Ltd photo last week. It didn't even get them close...

‘History and passion will get us home’, was the underlying message to Reds fans in this News Ltd photo last week. It didn’t even get them close…

The Roar: After listening to Western Force coach Michael Foley make some really interesting points about adjusting attitude within his side after two losses, it was interesting to take in the Queensland Reds’ build-up to their grudge match against the Waratahs on Saturday night.

To me, the Reds are playing like a team with all the wrong priorities. Where desperation to add one to the ‘win’ column will solve everything, and the manner with which they get that win is unimportant. The result is no evident direction, no shape, one-out runners not making the advantage line, and a backline standing so deep you were excused for thinking the wingers was dropping back for the counter attack.

There are multiple and valid excuses why the Reds are in this current predicament, but their attitude and priorities going into games at the moment is terrible.

Three Points: Confusion Reigns

Yellow Card: Steve Walsh awarded a try on Saturday night, only for it to be overturned...

Yellow Card: Steve Walsh awarded a try on Saturday night, only for it to be overturned. I didn’t realise it could happen, either..

ESPNscrum.com: Four of the seven losing teams picked up bonus points for margins less than seven points, and the Lions and Rebels had one last crack at victory that lasted for several minutes beyond the final siren. I did tip the Bulls in the Scrum preview and on Footytips, but I know I had the Sharks in other comps and forums. And I wasn’t confident about either tip.

What it does confirm is that this 2015 Super Rugby may well be the closest ones yet. How many teams that you had given little chance to now sit in the top six? Yeah, me too. And we’re in for more surprises and tipping heartache before the season’s done, too, I’m quite sure.

This week’s three points:

  1. Could the Western Force pack cost Michael Foley a Wallabies job?
  2. TMO try over-rulings may or may not be OK
  3. The Ominous Chiefs. Discuss…

The Coaches: Michael Foley

Michael Foley: "My first exposure to professional coaching was the day after I played my last game." Image via Western Force on Facebook

Michael Foley: “My first exposure to professional coaching was the day after I played my last game.” Image via Western Force on Facebook

ESPNscrum.com: I had the pleasure of chatting with Western Force Head Coach, Michael Foley, recently and it turned into a really good interview piece for ESPN Scrum that I’m pretty proud of.

Foley’s depth and detail of answer make the interview what it is, and like all good chats, we spoke for about twice as long as I expected to. Which, of course, is better than it taking only half as long…

We covered numerous topics, including building culture, staff and player recruitment and whether James O’Connor fits in the new culture at the Force, Foley’s transition from player to coach, changing trends in the game, and some pretty candid responses to who might be the best players he’s coached.