Sunday, 12 September 2010

The wheat from the chaff

All Blacks 23 - Wallabies 22

The Wallabies had everything to play for after their energising victory in South Africa a week earlier.  Sure, they would be tired but at home, playing against a Carterless New Zealand outfit that had the Tri Nations in the bag, this test was always going to be a good chance for them.

And for a long time in this match it really looked like they were going to do it.  With stars like Kurtley Beale and Lachie Turner in the Australian backline, the green and golds looked the more threatening team with ball in hand in the first half.  They were assisted by an All Black side that was playing at its worst.  Errant lobbing passes, butter fingered passing, wayward kicking. It just wasn't clicking for us.

For New Zealand there was also no rub of the green in this test. I'm sure Australian rugby supporters would disagree with me, but it appeared that Mark Lawrence missed an awful lot and the bounce of the ball was definitely going Australia's way.   And incidentally, who else isn't tired of the merciless hate campaign being waged against Richie McCaw.  It seems that now whenever the All Blacks win, it's all down to McCaw getting away with murder. Well here's a note to all the McCaw knockers. It's not the case.  Our number 7 is simply streets better than your number 7 so nya nya nya nya nya. Stick that one up your jumper and please stop moaning!

Cruden's first start has been heavily criticised.  An altogether smaller guy than anyone else on the pitch, he was bullied heavily by the Ozzies off the ball.  I think he showed some nice touches however and showed some resilience.  Colin Slade coming on in the last twenty injected a new dimension and I'm glad he shone.  I've often wondered why he hasn't been selected before.

There were plenty of All Blacks last night that didn't put their names up for honour.  There are some that I'm finding myself wondering why they're even in the team.  Corey Flynn of course is the main culprit. I could only groan when Mealamu limped off the field knowing it was now going to be an even harder night at the office.  Thank God Flynn didn't score a flukey try (you know, one of those ones where he often finds himself on the wing) and we had to witness his arrogant little chicken 'I've scored a try' dance. That would have been more than I could take.

Muliaina butchered a try by - you guessed it - not passing.  He seems to have a resistance to passing to his teammates - although he is rather fond of the hospial pass.  I feel like I'm the only All Black supporter in the world that is getting more and more annoyed with him. Please next game, watch him and see what I mean.

Speaking of overrated - what must the Ozzies be thinking of Matt Giteau at the moment?  The most expensive player, I don't think I've ever seen a game where he lives up to his press.  Whatever way, the Wallabies need to find a new kicker, and pronto too.

We missed Joe believe it or not. Izzy Dagg has star quality, but defensively he was found wanting on the flanks. 

Kaino is the most underrated All Black. As far as I'm concerned, he came off the bench and helped save the game for us.

So well done to the ABs and well done to the Wallabies.  It was yet another thrilling game of rugby that had everyone on the edge of their seats.  Sorry to Oz that we beat you again, for the 10th time.  (But really, I"m sorry but I'm not that sorry).


From the bottom of the ruck said...

It was a great game - I had the AB's down for a loss, but they were full value for the win. As soon as the Wallabies started kicking and not running that was the end of them. Kaino had a massive impact, Vito looked a bit lost out there. And Slade looks like the new Carter understudy.

Blair said...

Wow what a game. I hate to say it but I have never felt comfortable with Cruden, he doesn't have the frame and the right headspace at the moment. Slade seemed a lot calmer.

Agree with Lawrence, he had a howler. Should really have been a binning or a penalty try when Mills got close, he got in the way during Ashley Cooper's try, gave away a stupid penalty at the end of the half. But we didn't panic and showed our superior fitness. I still don;t think the Aussies have that killer edge. Look at it in the two SA games and ours they have given away big leads. They must be kicking themselves. Still 10 in a row is no mean feat, pls we have beaten them 18 times in the last 20. McCaw has only lost 6 games as captain. Still I guess if they lost the one that counts it will all be forgotten...

Anonymous said...

They always moan about our excellent number sevens. Remember how much of a cheat Kronfield was supposed to be.

slugso said...

Agreed. Kronfield, McCaw ... they change the rules of the sport to knobble our best 7s. The ultimate compliment?

Ferdy said...

Hey guys - great to read your comments. I"m sorry I haven't replied for a while. I've found gainful employment and so haven't found the time.

Agree with you Blair about Cruden. I think he's got some time to come. But I still think he shows some brilliance, a younger, skinnier Nick Evans maybe?

As for Richie. There is no-one to match him. Is he the greatest All Black NZ has produced?