Tri Nations 2011
Reading Duncan Johnston's article in Stuff this morning, one might have been forgiven for thinking that the All Blacks had won today's match against a fired up Bok team. Johnston writes:
Wings Hosea Gear and Isaia Toeava were lively when they got a sniff, there was more to centre Kahui's game than just his powerful finish for the try and Sonny Bill Williams put in some big hits in defence.Colin Slade took a while to get into the game but grew in confidence though, but two missed goal kicks were disappointing when New Zealand were so desperate for points.Liam Messam and Adam Thomson had big defensive games and crucially looshead prop Tony Woodcock got through 70 minutes
I think on this article, Johnston, like a fair few representing the All Blacks on the field today, should be fired from his day job.
No self respecting NZ rugbyhead should be celebrating any All Blacks in a team that only managed to put five points on the scoreboard (never before in my lifetime!)
The blessing in disguise is hopefully we've been able to sort the wheat from the chaff in this incredibly frustrating and quite torturous match (particularly the second half, what a load of pants). Sure, NZ crossed the chalk which was more than an impassioned South Africa managed to do. But our execution was sloppy and so frustrating.
In my opinion there are several journeymen that should be ejected from the team now and a few that shouldn't have any more second chances.
I'm tired of Liam Messam. His posturing before the game but his complete lack of anything else during the game. Likewise Adam Thompson - I keep waiting for him to be as good as the hype that surrounds him. Jimmy Cowan had the speed of an old lady on a zimmer frame (as evidenced by the opening minute try that got away). Andy Ellis is no great shakes. Toeava made some breaks but he fluffs his lines constantly in the test arena and how many chances does he get? Ali Williams is not the player of old. John Afoa seems a nice guy, but we want more on the rugby field. And Sonny Bill Williams. Well, we all desperately want him to be the player we've heard he is, but where is he in these games? I haven't seen him yet and I think the clock is ticking.
Credit to South Africa and their committed defence. They were more passionate. But will their win have done them and their delusional coach many favours in the long run. I don't mean to be ungracious (but basically, I'm hurting and as this is a NZ blog, I shall have a wee moan). We had the possession, we had the territory. We got over the gain line. It was our execution that let us down poorly and Morne Steyn's boot. But our execution. Egad. So annoying. It was more than annoying. It was crap! Five points!?
One last thing. I can't put the boot into Colin Slade. I felt sorry for the guy. It would be awful if the whole country turned on him two weeks out, like they've done in the past with Stephen Donald. Truth was, Slade made lots of mistakes. I don't know why he continuously kicked the ball back to the Boks (and in our very own half too half the time!) But I want to give him another chance. After all. We don't have another back up this late in the game. He needs confidence. We need to start praying.
Ending on a positive. Israel Dagg. He made a few terrible errors, but he has to be in the RWC squad.
Five points!?!? Five points?