IMRAN GASHKORI | Sports | Contact

“He’s no Stephen Larkham or Matthew Burke but by Joh, that boy could kick,” he said.

Rod MacQueen looks down at his coffee and then blankly out the window of Nathan’s Cafe in Betoota’s fabled French Quarter district.

Something is on his mind.

“I think the biggest problem with the Wallabies right now is that none of the forwards can kick. Not even one of them. That’s a big tactical shortcoming in my experience as a coach.”

As Australia’s most successful Wallabies coach, his experience should count toward something.

He orders an orange juice from a passing waitress.

“No pulp,” he explains.

“Now, back to what I was saying. I had John Eales wearing the captain’s hat and he was also the B-kicker, as you all know and fondly recall him slotting that penalty to win the Bledisloe all those years ago,”

“But now, say Bernard Foley gets picked up and folded like a card table in a bridge club and has to go off. Who’s going to step up? You tell me. I had a smorgasbord of choices. Fucking socks down Chris Latham? No problems, he could kick a goal from Pakistan blindfolded the long way around the Earth,”

“Matt Dunning? We called him Matt Mehrtens he was that good at drop goals. Larkham? Ever heard of him? Yeah that’s the one, the best fly-half this country has ever produced. He still wants to break Jonny Wilkinsons legs.”

The orange juice arrives at the table.

Rod smiles and leans back in the booth.

“Yeah, that’s what I reckon. That was my secret.”

He takes a sip then spits the juice out on the floor.

“I said no pulp!”

More to come.


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