It’s amazing how one game can change everything in world rugby. Less than a week ago and the Springboks were invincible world beaters that were so far ahead of the rest of the teams in the world, all we could do was stand back in awe and admiration. This week and the Wallabies with an injection of passion and desperation, blow that aura of invincibility to smithereens. How quickly the tables can turn with a fickle media and public.
Already the sniping at Springbok talisman John Smit has begun. (Maybe there is a point to this considering he was annihilated by a scrum that has up until very recently, been a world laughing stock). The murmur of usual clichés have started to gain in volume: ‘The boks are poor travellers, they don’t know what to do when someone applies pressure to them, they’ve got a stupid coach’ etc etc. It just goes to prove that any team, no matter how fearsome, is only as good as its last game.
Good news for the Tri Nations too. This means the last two games won’t be dead rubbers – although the All Blacks will have to play out of their skins and score four tries in each match to have any hope of retaining the trophy. Call me a pessimist but I can’t see how it will be possible with the current players in the All Blacks. Especially if Henry decides to continue tinkering with his backline and playing everyone out of position. Dan Carter is the world’s best number 10. Why would Henry play him at 12? And what impact can an out of form Mils Muliaina possibly make at centre? He has struggled in his own position, so what kind of cutting incisiveness will he make at centre? Not much I should imagine.
If Henry picks the slovenly Tialata who I see is back training with the squad, well then I’m going to trot off to the TAB and put some money on the South Africans myself. I thought the silver lining from the losses we have had this year would be that Henry would shave the players from the team who turn up but clearly look like they can’t be bothered. We need to get rid of the dead weight. Not keep on flogging a dead horse by playing inept players with no brains for the game or passion.