MotM vs Australia III



  • 3 votes as usual.



  • BFA, BB and Ardie.

    Not far off Reiko Ioane. Todd was excellent off the bench.



  • BB, Taylor and Ioane.



  • Reiko and the props. The scrum was the only thing i was happy with



  • BB, Taylor and BFA, special mention for S Barrett (my 4th pick) and Todd, who was excellent from the moment he came on. Mo'unga also good off the bench. Should have got more than 12 minutes.



  • BB getting a bit more love than I thought he would.
    I went Taylor, BFA and the really tall guy in the 7 shirt.



  • It's time to talk about the midfield. And, Kieran Read.

    It's time for change

    As I mentioned during the game, our midfield is slow. Sadly, SBW now looks like an NRL back rower playing in the midfield. He can cart the ball up and got rid of it in the tackle a few times, but didn't create anything of note, and was easily beaten by attacking players - he just couldn't cover the space at times. According to ESPN stats, he had five 'offloads' (and beat one man), but it seems that passing the ball out the back of your hand (e.g., at 7 minutes) counts as an offload, and of course doesn't consider whether the person is in a worse position (e.g., Crotty's 'offload'). This season, SBW has been consistently missing tackles, and this game is not different - missing 3 while making 7, plus he also conceded 3 turnovers and gave away a penalty. It's getting harder to justify his value to the side, and if one player has to be dropped, I'm starting to think he's the first to go.

    On the other hand of course, how much value is Crotty giving? Well, he had a night to forget - my only real memory is him giving an ill-advised offload. He ran for all of two metres in 60 minutes.

    So, it seems clear that this midfield doesn't provide as much value as it should. With Goodhue coming back, it seems the the first choice must involve him, but the bigger question might also be whether either of Crotty or SBW should remain or whether ALB should come in. He made one terrible miss to start - although others also made poor tackles on Kerevi (e.g., Taylor). After that, he did well, running for 18 metres with one clean break,.

    Where is the love for Liam Squire?

    I was surprised to see Read getting votes in MOTM thread. One of the things I noticed at the game is how slow he suddenly looks. If you rewatch the game, you'll see that he is still throwing himself about, and he scored a good try off the scrum, but he was also the only loosie not making dominant tackles (Todd was excellent for this when he came on, btw). Furthermore, he just isn't covering the field - an example comes from the Oz break at 41 minutes. He's defending two out and is no where to be seen in cover, leading to their break out and eventually a five metre scrum. He made 9 tackles, but missed 3, and as usual (recently), he led the team in giving away penalties. I'm hoping that he either just needs a rest, or is still building back up in his return, but alternatively the question could be asked: Is he going to ever be as good as he one was? I can't see him lasting beyond next year's WC as first choice on current form (I hope I'm wrong), so why aren't we developing a replacement?

    Dominant tackles and in-close runs are the key things I noticed when I watched Squire's performance - just what we are looking for from our six. He made 7 tackles, with no misses, but the impact some of those tackles made (e.g., 43 minutes, 53 minutes) was the key point for me. He also did well to run over Beale, of course, but I gave him a MOTM vote for his tight work, where I think he did very well.

    That's also true of Ardie, who I thought was great, making hard metres and stopping guys with dominant tackles (e.g., at 48:30). Athough Todd came on when we were playing 14, he was also very good, with one excellent support run where he touched it twice, one tackle leading to a turnover, another dominant tackle, and a held-up attempt that slowed their ball.

    So, right now, I think we just need a return to better form from Read and we would be looking very strong up front, given the strength of our props, and locks.



  • @crucial

    I thought Taylor was a bit rocks and diamonds - missed 2 or three tackles (one bad one), had one underthrow, gave away a penalty, and was a bit lucky with the handbags not to get himself in trouble.

    The props were also good at their core roles - the scrum looks good - but it's also worth mentioning that we got zero metres out of the starting props - with four missed tackles (2 each). Turns out we got no metres from the replacements either! I wonder if this is because we were playing very flat and trying to go around them.



  • I've felt that SBW and Crotty have been a bit rusty due to lack of play and so haven't been 100% behind the promote the young guys ... but I'm leaning to their day is done. Despite some of his fluffers Crotty is pretty ineffectual these days and SBW is feat or famine and mostly famine. Fit and in form these two are great. They're both not fit or in form. It probably would have been best to leave them behind and play ALB, Goodhue and Laumape on the tour, and then they could have been fit and primed for next years Super campaign and if they fired then they could have come back in easy peasy.

    Still haven't done my rewatch so unsure at the moment who the top 3 were.



  • @nepia said in MotM vs Australia III:

    I've felt that SBW and Crotty have been a bit rusty due to lack of play and so haven't been 100% behind the promote the young guys ... but I'm leaning to their day is done.

    SBW and Goodhue would still be worth a trundle. A slowish 12 with massive strength, strong tackling and the offloads could be a thing of beauty with a thoroughbred outside him.

    That said, he needs to get back to his defensive best. Hopefully this is rust rather than a full decline



  • In SBW, the All Blacks now have their very own Sam Burgess or Andy Farrell. An ex-League forward playing 12 and struggling to make ground and create space. Add in his increasing defensive fragility and you have a player who is very lucky to still be playing international Rugby for a top class side.



  • @sparky said in MotM vs Australia III:

    In SBW, the All Blacks now have their very own Sam Burgess or Andy Farrell. An ex-League forward playing 12 and struggling to make ground and create space. Add in his increasing defensive fragility and you have a player who is very lucky to still be playing international Rugby for a top class side.

    Except he's easily been better than those two in the past and his midfield partner who can't be tarred with the ex-leaguie brush has been as cabbage as well.



  • It’s clear that SBW isn’t playing at peak levels although from Hansen’s post match comments they think he’s not far off clicking so are happy to persist.
    Some of the comments are a bit disingenuous as well. He has been making ground, just not so much during attacking moves. He is the go to on exit plays and was making good space, getting the team moving forward again when they had the ball in the 22.
    So he’s ticking one box in his role. Needs to tick more. I also don’t think he combines well with BB.
    SBWs best work comes from 10s that take on the line in structured play. He runs off their shoulder and busts through with the option of an offload to do damage past the defence.



  • @crucial

    He did very well on exit plays, but that was about it.

    The problem with his current play though is that we'd get pretty much the same from Laumape, with maybe a bit more tackle busting and a better relationship with Barrett (Laumape's tackle stats are likely to be about the same as SBW's current stats, I guess, given his defensive weaknesses). Although I hope SBW gets in better form, I don't think he can solve the biggest weakness he has right now - he's slow AF.

    I'm looking forward to seeing him with Goodhue.



  • @nepia said in MotM vs Australia III:

    @sparky said in MotM vs Australia III:

    In SBW, the All Blacks now have their very own Sam Burgess or Andy Farrell. An ex-League forward playing 12 and struggling to make ground and create space. Add in his increasing defensive fragility and you have a player who is very lucky to still be playing international Rugby for a top class side.

    Except he's easily been better than those two in the past and his midfield partner who can't be tarred with the ex-leaguie brush has been as cabbage as well.

    Yep. I'm no SBW fan but he's achieved a hell of alot more in the game than those 2. Pity he chose to commit long term now rather than when he was at his peak (although having said that Nonu became GOAT12 in that time).

    Just regarding 12 I'd really like to see Laumape again. I was excited about what he did in the 2nd test against Aus. His ability to smash the pill up all game and cause hurt to the defence is a huge plus. He's one of those fuckers who everyone hates to tackle and will create holes as the game wears on. This obviously requires him to be used properly.

    But I've been quite vocal about who should be 12. He played there for the NZ u20s and was Mitre 10 player of the year in that position. But nobody will listen dammit!



  • @rancid-schnitzel said in MotM vs Australia III:

    But I've been quite vocal about who should be 12. He played there for the NZ u20s and was Mitre 10 player of the year in that position. But nobody will listen dammit!

    As I said before, TJ Faiane might lack some size at test level.



  • Crotty has been shit for ages but some of you fluffybunnies are so desperate for another slow white boy who is awesome you can't see it. Also sonny bill is our david pocock



  • @nzzp said in MotM vs Australia III:

    A slowish 12 with massive strength, strong tackling and the offloads could be a thing of beauty

    SBW meets the first of that criteria, that's for sure. IMHO, he's too hit and miss on the other things - off-loads and tackling

    My big worry is that less than year out from RWC2019 the midfield doesn't look settled. Perhaps Hansen has some masterplan or he is just hoping SBW & Crotty come good.



  • @mariner4life said in MotM vs Australia III:

    Also sonny bill is our david pocock

    alt text



  • I think Hansen and co have been waiting for the opportunity to play SBW and Goodhue to see how it goes.

    I thought Crotty and Goodhue worked well and given this year seems very much like 2014 v2.0 the coaches have been willing to try quite a few different variations.

    I think they know from the last few seasons that SBW/Crotty, Crotty/ALB, SBW/ALB, Crotty/Goodhue combos are good enough. It’s the other possible variations that potentially look good that we haven’t seen because of injury.


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