Trinations decider 2011 - Suncorp Stadium - Brisbane
The omens are not looking good for an All Black team that creaked into gear after a scintillating start by Australia. This game had many ups and downs. Some moments of pure genius and joy (the Australian backline). And also some moments of complete crap (the entire All Black team in the first half, bar Nonu who played like a hero when all around him were losing their heads and blaming it on each other).
We were beaten by a better team who were more committed. The New Zealand backline cannot match this Wallaby backline which is just sensational. What I would give to have a Will Genia on our team when what we have in place is Piri Weepu who seems to think a great tactic is waving his arms around a lot and shouting meaningless instructions instead of grabbing the ball from the bottom of a ruck and releasing it - quickly - to his backs.
When it comes to karma, I do so hope that it catches up with Quade Cooper next month. What is his obsession with Richie McCaw? Anyone that knees the New Zealand captain in the head is no friend of mine, ever again.
Other depressing things about this game? Keiran Reid is injured. Possibly Richie too. Dan had a shocker, particuarly in the first forty. There were several All Blacks on the field who looked passed their used by date. Is this All Black team too old with our Brad Thornes and Ali Williamses. And what of Mils Muliaina. He has been a great servant to NZ but I have been saying for a year at least that he is selfish with the ball, and slow. He cannot be the first choice fullback when Israel Dagg is in the wings. But he will, because with Woodcock, Graham Henry loves these two incumbents. I think this loyalty is misplaced. One last moan. Zac Guildford. I haven't seen him play well when the chips are down. My heart today is breaking for Hosea Gear.
Glimmers of hope? I've never really see Victor Vito play before, and I thought for a young, inexperienced All Black, he stepped up to the mark. Ditto Nonu who was my man of the match. It was heartening to see an All Black fight back and we did win the second half (grasping at straws now). As for that old NZ foe Wayne Barnes? I give him a pass mark. I don't think he did too badly at all. Plus - he's no longer New Zealand's main foe. That baton has been passed on now, to Robbie Deans and his young team of Wallaby young guns.
Watch a post match interview with Graham Henry to see what he thought of the game