How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?



  • It strikes me that at present, I find it really hard to know what the AB's will deliver at the moment?

    Maybe its just a post-2015 thing, where you knew what you would get, and most other teams were nigh-on unable to do anything to stop us.

    Bit right now, we are so helter-skelter, I don't know how an AB's game will go.
    the first three halves vs the BIL, we were direct & ruthless and actually when we can be direct and clinical/ruthless we're pretty awesome.
    However sometimes, it feels we're try to do shit without earning the right at the moment.

    Also, I don't think our long-fabled fitness is all its cracked up to me, I recall reading an article about the AB's where Nick Gill said the gains they make year on year, got the AB's to a point where they were almost super-human.
    Because we've so many 1st or 2nd year players now, its unrealistic to think we have that same level of fitness.
    Its not unrealistic to think Coles, Whitelock, Retallick, Read, Cane, A.Smith, Beaudy, Crotty, Ben Smith, Dagg typically look like our best, because they have the conditioning.

    What does anyone else think?



  • @westcoastie I'd describe it as reactive.



  • i'd describe it as 'kicking the ball away too fucking much'.



  • I've been convinced we've been playing within ourselves this season - I think it's a bit like the pool games during the WC where we definitely kept our powder dry.

    Even so, we're still playing badly at the game plan we're playing, which sucks eggs and balls.



  • @nostrildamus
    Personally don't think reactive is a good space to be in. We definitely haven't dictated terms enough this year.



  • @nepia
    But keeping our powder dry two years out from the RWC?

    Maybe my expectation that we can deliver a brutally efficient game style (such as the first test v BIL, first half v Wallabies in Sydney) and that we can do that for a full 80min isn't realistic.

    Frustrating watching us do some things very clinically and clock up the points and then just stop doing whats working.

    Watching the replay on Prime right now, the first half, we mostly controlled the game - whatever Cheika did in the shed worked very well.



  • Which would've just been "stop kicking aimlessly, you aussie mongs"



  • I'd also like to see us get un-involved with the niggle. Let the score-board do the talking. Bloody iPhone generation - too easily distracted.



  • @westcoastie there was a moment in the match when Coles cleaned past the ball, and then I think 3 Wobblies started to niggle him and he had to give each of them a push.

    As to the topic...Crusader-ball circa 2015, lots of side to side rugby expecting an individual moment but ending with minimal penetration or creativity.



  • @taniwharugby
    I wouldn't mind seeing Codie Taylor be given a few more starts, with Coles dropping to the bench. CT went really well vs the BIL I thought...

    Ahh was that the Crusader vintage where Toddy wouldn't play DC at 10?

    Its mostly coming back to leadership ain't it?
    I was going to state that things are starting to smack of Hansen getting too cute with selections, but then the loss v Ireland, BIL & Aussie were all our best available teams at the time.

    We've had such a golden run of it since late 2009, and mostly since that EOYT 2004...it wouldn't hurt to cop a couple of losses per year - its been our historical average anyway - although I'd rather we just keep winning.



  • Record since Chicago last year...

    Played 15, 11w-1d-3l record.
    The expected big wins over Italy & Samoa, typical margins over Argentina (15-20pt margins), 1x big win over Sth Africa, 1x big 50min vs Australia.
    Other victories over Ireland, France, SA, Aust. & BIL by varying degrees of closeness
    Losses were by 3, 5 & 11pts.

    So losing 1 in 5 in the last year, vs 1 per year for the last 10 years...



  • I think the ABs are trying to change their style/game plan based on where they think the rules/interpretations of rules are currently at in order to really hit their straps in 2019.

    I think what I saw yesterday was the ABs lowering their point of impact in tackles for example. A lot more "ankle cutters" or waist high hits, rather than the previous chest high attempt at a dominant tackle. This means the opposition will get dropped but will have the chance to off load/recycle but also means less chance of an AB YC/RC from a poor (or slipped up) tackle. This may mean that while we continue to expect both backs and forwards to be able to play the jackal, we have to rethink the openside role again....but I think Cane would adapt if necessary, just like McCaw adapted to a changing role over time.

    I think also the ABs think pace/elusiveness is the answer to a new style of game and this smothering rush defense but have yet to figure out the rest of what that game means. Their non-injury/retirement/off-to-Europe-to-earn-big-euro forced picks kinda suggest this. DMac brings elusiveness. Reiko brings pace.

    The problem is that when trying to find a new style game, shit happens, players get selected that might remind you of Ben Blair style midgets but I guess its good they are trying to move the game forward while everyone else (looking at you England) tries to be what the ABs used to be.



  • @dingo

    Going low in the tackle situation makes sense. We did make up for it by more than smashing a few aussies last night...

    Going to be interesting to see how our 12-13-14-15 and bench make up settles.
    I think 9-10-11 Aaron, BB, Rieko is our clear best if available.

    But whe ends up our first choice midfield of SBW, Crotty, ALB, Laumape, Goodhue will be interesting (i just hope they get time to settle and form a combo as only Crotty & Goodhue are in the same Super team - so don't get that Nonu & Conrad luxury of developing a combo at lower levels.
    Then our 14-15 from Dagg, Dmac, Ben Smith, JordieB, Havili, Naholo - wow.

    I think Dmac will be our bench option moving forwards (playing the 2015 BB super-sub role) Ben Smith stays if current form continues to 2019. I think we're better served with Jordie at the back...

    I would like to throw a Laumape/Jordie 12-13 combo in from left-field...Jordie says he prefers midfield...I'd like to see it at super level at least.



  • @westcoastie said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    I would like to throw a Laumape/Jordie 12-13 combo in from left-field...Jordie says he prefers midfield...I'd like to see it at super level at least.

    How is Jordie's tackling at 15?



  • @nostrildamus I'd say not bad, but he pulls off some outrageous clangers. Loves face-butting the turf.



  • The ABs dominance upfront relies mostly on BBBR. Without him, the AB forwards are struggling. Not having him and BB against Australia were the decisive factors in the defeat IMO. Everything seems easier when they are on the paddock.



  • @cgrant I've heard of a couple of 15s who may have made a large difference last night. Some accountant and some sheep guy.



  • @cgrant said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    The ABs dominance upfront relies mostly on BBBR. Without him, the AB forwards are struggling. Not having him and BB against Australia were the decisive factors in the defeat IMO. Everything seems easier when they are on the paddock.

    Not just Retallick, but let’s not underestimate the work that Moody and Franks do in the tackle and at the ruck. Both our first choice props are far more physical and effective than the two that started last night. Not that they aren’t good players, but it’s a big step down IMO. Add to that the ball playing (both) and running (Moody).

    We didn’t see much of the short passing game between forwards that has been an important feature for us breaking the defensive line and getting metres up the middle. Franks, Moody and Retallick are all used in those plays.



  • Staid. Stale.



  • Is it a tactic of Smith to slow it down at ruck time and not pass the ball until he has his offensive line in position?

    TJ seemed to have more speed at clearing tucks whereas Smith likes to yell and set it up. I just wonder if that gives the opposition time to setup.

    Guess this can also come down to the forwards breaking the advantage line and presenting go forward ball.

    The fact SBW made so few metres tends to indicate the D line was well set and he was just running into a wall.

    We seem very bi-polar this year, brilliance mixed with complete shit.



  • Tbf add in Moody, Frank's, BBBR, BB, Dagg and BFA and it changes quite a bit.



  • It feels like we want to play uptempo but we don’t have the players to execute particularly our midfield. We are still looking for the right combination of 10,12,13 and with or without Barrett I don’t think we have it. We might get better mileage with Crotty at 12 and SBW at 13 but the other way round is a failure . it is also is a reason we have been so ineffective in the red zone over the past couple of games. Also think our kicking game is about 30% less effect if Ben Smith is not playing, no one can challenge in the air consistently like him. Agree with poster who said Coles should be on the bench. If Coles is not showing his X factor I think Taylor is just better in the tight and Coles would add more impact off the bench.



  • @chimoaus you can counter the Smith hesitation with Perenara coming on and firing the ball all over the fucking show. The big negative this season has been handling, especially under pressure and maybe that points to @westcoastie 's fitness line, although I wouldn't be quite so sky is falling...



  • @bones
    Except the Dagg guy now seems to be a full time wing, but to be fair, the AB's template against most sides since 2011 is for our 14 to be a wing/fullback.



  • @bones
    I don't think the sky is falling, clearly when everyone is available we can play some brutally clinical and nearly untouchable rugby.

    The global commentary about needing to do something about the AB's being so dominant is rubbish (Henry & others) - I think us being so far ahead raises the bar for others to aspire to. The Aussies are building, hopefully that continues, the Poms & Irish, SA at home and we've come back to the pack with some of our guys out, and not just any guys, some of the best in the world - Moody, Franks, Retallick, Barrett & Ben Smith.
    Whats that saying to be the best in the world, you need 5 best in the world in their position players, take those guys out, and we still had Coles, Whitelock, Read, Aaron Smith, Ioane - we're doing ok.



  • @dmx
    I think we're trying to find that Barrett-12-13 combo, its pretty clear BB is our #1 first-five. BB worked pretty effectively with Laumape & Aso at super level, and in 2016 with Crotty & ALB.

    2011-2015 we had Nonu & Conrad and were pretty blessed for what they brought and that experience they had, pretty sure Sopoaga starting AB debut would've been outside A.Smith and inside Nonu. Has Lima even played with SBW before?

    Historically SBW has been at his most effective outside Cruden. I recall struggles outside Carter also, mostly he seemed most effective for the ABs in 2015 outside Nonu.

    Maybe for a guy coming back from his Achilles, SBW should've been our bench midfield more.



  • @westcoastie

    Not sure that I agree, entirely, after Soponga’s performance hard to argue about B.B. being the best 10 in the country but there have been times when the backs looked static outside B.B. and that includes ALB. Offensively SBW and Crotty definitely the worse offensive combo so far. Prior to the last game I thought the backs looked less static with Sopoanga but then he served up that stinker. As I said I am leaning towards Crotty and SBW swapping around. I think Crotty varies his lines better at 12 and it would take a bit of the decision making and handling pressure of SBW.



  • @bones said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    @nostrildamus I'd say not bad, but he pulls off some outrageous clangers. Loves face-butting the turf.

    it's certainly not a strength just yet. dagg is far from the running threat he once was, and he made jodie look pretty silly one on one this year.
    he's just a kid though, and a big, coordinated kid who isn't shy of contact. he'll get there.



  • @westcoastie said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    The global commentary about needing to do something about the AB's being so dominant is rubbish (Henry & others)

    Of course it's rubbish. We just lost.

    Whats that saying to be the best in the world, you need 5 best in the world in their position players, take those guys out, and we still had Coles, Whitelock, Read, Aaron Smith, Ioane - we're doing ok.

    Coles is no where near the form he had last year. Whitelock must be exhausted and Ioane is on the wing.

    @westcoastie said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    @dmx
    I think we're trying to find that Barrett-12-13 combo, its pretty clear BB is our #1 first-five. BB worked pretty effectively with Laumape & Aso at super level, and in 2016 with Crotty & ALB.

    2011-2015 we had Nonu & Conrad and were pretty blessed for what they brought and that experience they had, pretty sure Sopoaga starting AB debut would've been outside A.Smith and inside Nonu. Has Lima even played with SBW before?

    Historically SBW has been at his most effective outside Cruden. I recall struggles outside Carter also, mostly he seemed most effective for the ABs in 2015 outside Nonu.

    Maybe for a guy coming back from his Achilles, SBW should've been our bench midfield more.

    SBW looked pretty good between Carter and Nonu in the RWC final. He certainly one of the better backs on Saturday. There isn't anyone else who is screaming to be selected over him.



  • @dmx and I think the BB-Crotty combo works real well, seems to be better understanding there that BB-SBW



  • @reprobate he's being playing out of his favoured position too...whether midfield or FB is his best remains to be seen...



  • @westcoastie said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    @dmx and I think the BB-Crotty combo works real well, seems to be better understanding there that BB-SBW

    I happen to think BB-SBW complement each other nicely. With Beaudie's speed and SBW's power/ size + offload it creates opportunities. Particularly for a centre/ fullback and winger who aren't over-running the ball.



  • Maybe we will see a BB - JB - Goodhue in midfield next year ?



  • @cgrant said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    Maybe we will see a BB - JB - Goodhue in midfield next year ?

    And if that happens I guarantee there will be a mixed bag of great, good, okay, poor and terrible.

    Midfield combinations need time. Since Nonu and Smith retired we have seen a host of players used with some mixed results. These are all the different combinations we have run with either starting or at some point during a test: Crotty/Fekitoa, Crotty/Tamanivalu, Crotty/Moala, ALB/Fekitoa, Taminavalu/Fekitoa, Crotty/ALB, ALB/B. Smith, ALB/Moala, Fekitoa/Moala, ALB/Ioane, SBW/ALB, SBW/Crotty, Laumape/ALB.

    We had a decent run with the Crotty/Fekitoa combo, but Fekitoa went off the boil IMO and ALB emerge as a player. Only one season of SBW/Crotty and I don't think it's surprising that the jury is still out on them. It has only been one season....



  • Crotty ALB looked slick last year...



  • @act-crusader said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    @cgrant said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    Maybe we will see a BB - JB - Goodhue in midfield next year ?

    And if that happens I guarantee there will be a mixed bag of great, good, okay, poor and terrible.

    Midfield combinations need time. Since Nonu and Smith retired we have seen a host of players used with some mixed results. These are all the different combinations we have run with either starting or at some point during a test: Crotty/Fekitoa, Crotty/Tamanivalu, Crotty/Moala, ALB/Fekitoa, Taminavalu/Fekitoa, Crotty/ALB, ALB/B. Smith, ALB/Moala, Fekitoa/Moala, ALB/Ioane, SBW/ALB, SBW/Crotty, Laumape/ALB.

    We had a decent run with the Crotty/Fekitoa combo, but Fekitoa went off the boil IMO and ALB emerge as a player. Only one season of SBW/Crotty and I don't think it's surprising that the jury is still out on them. It has only been one season....

    Poor and terrible ? You seem to exaggerate a lot here. JB and Goodhue are sound.
    For the EOYT, i'd like to see a BB - Crotty - Goodhue combination, but it won't happen, or maybe against Scotland.



  • @cgrant said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    @act-crusader said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    @cgrant said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    Maybe we will see a BB - JB - Goodhue in midfield next year ?

    And if that happens I guarantee there will be a mixed bag of great, good, okay, poor and terrible.

    Midfield combinations need time. Since Nonu and Smith retired we have seen a host of players used with some mixed results. These are all the different combinations we have run with either starting or at some point during a test: Crotty/Fekitoa, Crotty/Tamanivalu, Crotty/Moala, ALB/Fekitoa, Taminavalu/Fekitoa, Crotty/ALB, ALB/B. Smith, ALB/Moala, Fekitoa/Moala, ALB/Ioane, SBW/ALB, SBW/Crotty, Laumape/ALB.

    We had a decent run with the Crotty/Fekitoa combo, but Fekitoa went off the boil IMO and ALB emerge as a player. Only one season of SBW/Crotty and I don't think it's surprising that the jury is still out on them. It has only been one season....

    Poor and terrible ? You seem to exaggerate a lot here. JB and Goodhue are sound.
    For the EOYT, i'd like to see a BB - Crotty - Goodhue combination, but it won't happen, or maybe against Scotland.

    @cgrant said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    @act-crusader said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    @cgrant said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    Maybe we will see a BB - JB - Goodhue in midfield next year ?

    And if that happens I guarantee there will be a mixed bag of great, good, okay, poor and terrible.

    Midfield combinations need time. Since Nonu and Smith retired we have seen a host of players used with some mixed results. These are all the different combinations we have run with either starting or at some point during a test: Crotty/Fekitoa, Crotty/Tamanivalu, Crotty/Moala, ALB/Fekitoa, Taminavalu/Fekitoa, Crotty/ALB, ALB/B. Smith, ALB/Moala, Fekitoa/Moala, ALB/Ioane, SBW/ALB, SBW/Crotty, Laumape/ALB.

    We had a decent run with the Crotty/Fekitoa combo, but Fekitoa went off the boil IMO and ALB emerge as a player. Only one season of SBW/Crotty and I don't think it's surprising that the jury is still out on them. It has only been one season....

    Poor and terrible ? You seem to exaggerate a lot here. JB and Goodhue are sound.
    For the EOYT, i'd like to see a BB - Crotty - Goodhue combination, but it won't happen, or maybe against Scotland.

    No exaggeration. It’s not too much of a stretch to think that there will be some poor or even terrible play given we have seen some of that from the above mentioned combinations.

    I agree they are both good players. But they have no domestic experience together and Jordie has barely got his feet wet when it comes to test footy.



  • Remember that I wrote that for the 2018 season. By then, JB and Goodhue will have an additional SR behind them, plus maybe the June internationals.



  • @cgrant said in How would you define the AB's game style at the moment?:

    Remember that I wrote that for the 2018 season. By then, JB and Goodhue will have an additional SR behind them, plus maybe the June internationals.

    Sure. But Fekitoa seemed to be heading in a good direction too. Until he didn't.

    Even Beauden took way longer than that to settle.

    And Nonu delivered some stinkers on his way to the top.

    You're betting on promise from a handful of games. That is a good way to find disappointment.



  • They are a team that display disinterest that comes with a predictable, consistent squad where no positions are under threat - with none of the cohesiveness.


Log in to reply