All Blacks 85 - Romania 8
As I type this the Wallabies are 13 - 0 up at half time against the spirited Canucks. Hee, hee. Only 13 points up. If this were the All Blacks (jump back an hour and forget it's daylight savings), the New Zealanders with a second string Carterless outfit went into their half time break against the gritty Romanian 'Oaks' 36 - 5. Somewhat better than the Wobblies I should say.
The All Blacks played well tonight. Masoe had a blinder. Both McAlister and Evans showed why Henry's much moaned about rotation programme may soon start paying dividends (especially considering Carter could be out for a week or three). It would be great to see everyone stop harping on that the All Blacks are a one man team and that without Carter we're nothing at all. That's rubbish (Frank Bunce should know better), and if you're finding it difficult to swallow Frank, take a gander at Nick Evans. The man has class and more than steps up to the mark.
Keith Robinson returned and miracle of miracles, he didn't get injured. Mealamu, Toeava, Ellis and Mauger all put their hands up for quarter final selection. Thorne worked tirelessly as usual, Collins was his usual potent self and even Lauaki didn't do too bad. Rokocoko was hungry and duly rewarded with two stunning tries. The bustling subsitution of McCaw and Hore upped the tempo even more.
Ok, I'm getting over excited. I've been at the pub and it's late. But the All Blacks played clincially tonight, and Romania, although they were never going to be a threat played physically (rewarded with a try from a rolling maul on the All Black line in the second quarter). France (at this point I can't imagine it being Ireland or Argentina) will be a different proposition altogether. But tonight the New Zealanders did well. A big tally for a team that is beginning to show, they have a big heart. Roll on Cardiff.
Oh BTW - eight minutes into the second half - Australia still only have 13 points on the board. Come on Oz - that's a bit slow isn't it?