Saturday, 21 July 2007

all blacks win the bledisloe and tri nations cups for 2007

In an encounter that can only be described in those greatest of rugby clichés as 'a game of two halves', the All Blacks brushed aside their first half jitters in torrential rain to overcome a passionate (but in the end outmuscled wallaby team) in the final Tri Nations and Bledisloe cup encounter of 2007.

The final score was fourteen points between the two teams but the All Blacks had to work hard for this - particularly after a mediocre first half where the Australians held most of the possession and play. A half time break (where one can only assume old Ted read the riot act to the boys in black) saw the NZers come out rejuvenated for the second forty. They took the Wallabies on up front and played a more intelligent game plan, helped effectively by Carter's goal kicking accuracy of 7 from 8 and adaption to the wet and slippery Eden Park conditions.

Brendon Leonard brought extra fire to the All Black back line after Byron Kelleher was replaced in the third quarter. Leonard is a gritty and confident player and on current form to me seems like the number 1 halfback New Zealand currently have. The lineout improved dramatically with the introduction of Keven Mealamu for Anton Oliver, but as ever this lineout remains (along with the centre combinations) a major concern for this team.

For John 'Knuckles' Connelly and his Wallabies - they could rightfully feel a little hard done by a couple of refereeing calls that didn't quite go their way - but this is rugby and the bounce of the ball is part of it. For Henry and his band of merry men - they now have two important trophies in the cabinet and a psychological boost going into September/October.


Nursedude said...

I think the AB's just hit a different gear in the second half. One thing for sure, Matt Dunning was having a nightmare game at prop in the scrums-I don't know if Hayman was just delivering that good of a blow, or if the Wallaby prop was not able to get ahold of Hayman's Jersey. He sure could not get any decent binding, to be sure.The thing with this AB side is that they can beat you playing wide open rugby on a fast track, but their shear physicality can see them through on a wet pitch like we saw on Saturday.

Ferdy said...

Yes Nursedude - it was great to see the forwards turn up and really play in that second half. I agree with you too about Matt Dunning - helooked like he was going to burst towards the end in some of those scrums!

Amy said...

I agree with you about Brendon Leonard, it's good to see some newbies in the lineup, they are bringing freshness and some oomph to the game.