Rugby World Cup 2019 - How are we tracking?



  • So, this is the team we put out against Argentina in the first match of the 2015 RWC. I'm pretty certain it was the best we had available.

    T. D. Woodcock
    D. S. Coles
    O. T. Franks
    B. A. Retallick
    S. L. Whitelock
    J. Kaino
    R. H. McCaw (C)
    K. J. Read
    A. L. Smith
    D. W. Carter
    S. J. Savea
    M. A Nonu
    C. G. Smith
    N. R. Milner-Skudder
    B. R. Smith

    RESERVES
    K. F. Mealamu
    W. W. V. Crockett
    C. Faumuina
    V. V. J. Vito
    S. J. Cane
    T. T. R. Perenara (Edit: as per below, T. N. J. Kerr-Barlow was on the bench for the play-off games)
    B. J. Barrett
    S. W. Williams

    ....and here, based on what we picked for Saturday's game, is what the coaches probably think is out best team (though it's still something of a work in progress):

    J. P. T. Moody
    C. J. D. Taylor
    O. T. Franks
    B. A. Retallick
    S. L. Whitelock
    L. I. J. Squire
    S. J. Cane
    K. J. Read (C)
    A. L. Smith
    B. J. Barrett
    R. E. Ioane
    S. W. Williams
    E. J. Goodhue
    B. R. Smith
    D. S. McKenzie

    RESERVES
    D. S. Coles
    G. K. Tu'inukuafe
    N. E. Laulala
    S. K. Barrett
    A. S. Savea
    T. T. R. Perenara
    R. F. Mo'unga
    R. S. Crotty

    Based on the form those guys at the top were in during that RWC and the form the current guys are currently showing...where are we better? Where are we worse? And if the two teams played each other, which would win?



  • @chris-b said in Rugby World Cup 2019 - How are we tracking?:

    So, this is the team we put out against Argentina in the first match of the 2015 RWC. I'm pretty certain it was the best we had available.

    T. D. Woodcock
    D. S. Coles
    O. T. Franks
    B. A. Retallick
    S. L. Whitelock
    J. Kaino
    R. H. McCaw (C)
    K. J. Read
    A. L. Smith
    D. W. Carter
    S. J. Savea
    M. A Nonu
    C. G. Smith
    N. R. Milner-Skudder
    B. R. Smith

    RESERVES
    K. F. Mealamu
    W. W. V. Crockett
    C. Faumuina
    V. V. J. Vito
    S. J. Cane
    T. T. R. Perenara
    B. J. Barrett
    S. W. Williams

    ....and here, based on what we picked for Saturday's game, is what the coaches probably think is out best team (though it's still something of a work in progress):

    J. P. T. Moody
    C. J. D. Taylor
    O. T. Franks
    B. A. Retallick
    S. L. Whitelock
    L. I. J. Squire
    S. J. Cane
    K. J. Read (C)
    A. L. Smith
    B. J. Barrett
    R. E. Ioane
    S. W. Williams
    E. J. Goodhue
    B. R. Smith
    D. S. McKenzie

    RESERVES
    D. S. Coles
    G. K. Tu'inukuafe
    N. E. Laulala
    S. K. Barrett
    A. S. Savea
    T. T. R. Perenara
    R. F. Mo'unga
    R. S. Crotty

    Based on the form those guys at the top were in during that RWC and the form the current guys are currently showing...where are we better? Where are we worse? And if the two teams played each other, which would win?

    I really hope SBW has played himself into form by 2019, if not we'll wait until 2023 to see how he's tracking



  • Personally, i think only Whitelock and Retallic are better now than the 2015 equivalent.



  • @mariner4life

    Yeah, I've said on here many times that I think the 2015 team was much better than the current team, and from looking at that, it's fucking insane how good that team was. For us, questions about the front row (TH), six, HB, midfield, wing/FB and even then I feel like our many of our first choices aren't as good as 2015 (7, 8, 9, 10, 15). Probably the only positions I'm sure we are better are 4 and 11, thanks to BBBR development and Ioane.



  • @gt12 said in Rugby World Cup 2019 - How are we tracking?:

    @mariner4life

    Yeah, I've said on here many times that I think the 2015 team was much better than the current team, and from looking at that, it's fucking insane how good that team was. For us, questions about the front row (TH), six, HB, midfield, wing/FB and even then I feel like our many of our first choices aren't as good as 2015 (7, 8, 9, 10, 15). Probably the only positions I'm sure we are better are 4 and 11, thanks to BBBR development and Ioane.

    Is Ioane considerably better than Savea was at his best though ?



  • @mn5

    Was Savea at his best in 2015?

    He had one cracker against France, but was quiet after that. NMS was the form wing, and I'm sure we discussed whether Savea should have held his place?

    I'd suggest that Ioane would have killed it at that tournament if their places were swapped.



  • @gt12 said in Rugby World Cup 2019 - How are we tracking?:

    @mn5

    Was Savea at his best in 2015?

    He had one cracker against France, but was quiet after that. NMS was the form wing, and I'm sure we discussed whether Savea should have held his place?

    I'd suggest that Ioane would have killed it at that tournament if their places were swapped.

    True. I'm probably thinking 2012-2014 when he was pretty unstoppable. His peak period was pretty standard for an AB wing now I think about it.



  • @gt12 Yep, Savea was average in 2015 and had one good game against a crappy French outfit.



  • If you are comparing the teams and not individual players against themselves, then the reserves props now (Tu'inukuafe and Laulala) are stronger in their core roles (scrums) than Crockett and Faumuina were, but obviously not as mobile around the field. Otherwise the 2015 pack is much stronger. But I'd take 2018/19 Coles over 2015 Mealamu.

    Again, the 2015 backs are better. For the sake of accuracy, TKB was the reserve halfback in the knockout games.

    How many centurions will be in the likely starting XV next year compared to 2015?


  • Banned

    The hilarious thing is that a heap of Ferners were freaking out and hyperventilating about the 2015 team up until the French game. Even guys like BFA and Carter were copping it. NMS was shit as well apparently. Looking back that is arguably the best ever AB RWC team.

    Given the unsettled midfield (which even settled couldn't hold a candle to Nonu-Konrad), AS2015 being better than the 2019 version, DC being better than BB, the absence of God and of course the unbelievable 2015 bench, I can't see how 2019 can be considered better overall. But the 2019 vintage should still be good enough to win. They won't be in another league like the 2015 mob though.



  • Was the 2015 team more settled? Possibly. Pack was sorted. Only 14 was contentious, that's biggest difference.
    2019 is still a very good team who can win wc but issue is combination I think. Who are our best midfield and back three?? We have great players but who will win WC for us?
    I am not sure at this stage. Maybe crotty and goodhue with ALB off bench. Back three changes for me weekly, but for me Barrett, Ben and Reiko (although they never will)



  • 2019 is a huge step down in the loose forwards.

    To be expected though, the 2015 players were the best of the professional era.



  • Is there much point comparing the current team to that all time great 2015 team?
    Next year they will be up against completely different teams in a completely different context.

    I think the main issues we have been facing the last 2 years are still there.
    6 is still a question mark. Squire looks to be in the lead but he is so often injured and has yet to prove he can play at the level required against the best teams.

    Midfield is still pretty unclear with lots of options but we don't appear any closer to having a settled first choice combo. Mainly due to frequent injuries.

    The back three combination is also an unknown. Dmac was meant to be the secret weapon super sub but appears to have been promoted to starting 15.

    My main concern is that we seem to lack a bit of "rugby brain" when it comes to tactics when things aren't quite working. We look great when thing work and we blow teams away but things aren't coming off we seem to persist with high risk, low percentage plays like cross kicking and offloading in contact.

    It may be a case of keeping the powder dry but we haven't seen a really tight game plan since it worked so well against the Lions in the first test.



  • I'm guessing that we need to prepare for Sam Cane being unavailable?



  • @98blueandgold said in Rugby World Cup 2019 - How are we tracking?:

    Was the 2015 team more settled? Possibly. Pack was sorted. Only 14 was contentious, that's biggest difference.
    2019 is still a very good team who can win wc but issue is combination I think. Who are our best midfield and back three?? We have great players but who will win WC for us?
    I am not sure at this stage. Maybe crotty and goodhue with ALB off bench. Back three changes for me weekly, but for me Barrett, Ben and Reiko (although they never will)

    I dunno, I think it's easy to look back on 2015 with rose-tinted glasses when thinking about how "settled" they were. Off the top of my head, I can think of the following of areas where we had real selection doubts:

    • Loosehead prop, where Joe Moody replaced Tony Woodock during the RWC itself.
    • Lock, where we took only 3 locks to the tournament and, effectively, had Kaino as Whitelock's and Retallick's backup.
    • First-five, where Dan Carter (who ended up as the best player in the world that year) was lucky to get selected after 2 years on injury and / or poor form and had to rely on Cruden being injured out of the entire year (and we'd also had, at various times, Carter, Slade, Barrett and Sopoaga playing in the no. 10 jersey).
    • Back three, where we had an out of sort Savea on one wing, with two newbies in Milner-Skudder and Naholo in the mix too (with guys like Jane and Dagg having filled the right wing spot for the previous three years, but then failing to make the tournament).


  • @junior I wouldn't say Carter was lucky to be selected for the RWC. By the time the actual RWC squad was selected it was after the ABs had demolished the Wallabies at Eden Park and Carter produced a performance that was clear that he was back.



  • Question

    If we win the World Cup next year, does that diminish the careers of those guys we would consider all time greats?

    If we were able to lose all of those amazing players in one hit, with barely a hiccup, go on to 4 more years of winning everything, and then retain the Cup, does that kind of validate the "they only look great playing in a great team" crowd?



  • sorry

    Discuss



  • @tim said in Rugby World Cup 2019 - How are we tracking?:

    I'm guessing that we need to prepare for Sam Cane being unavailable?

    We are nearly there in the Forwards, but as Tim said we need to be prepared for Sam Cane not being available. Lots of cover at 7 though. I'd love to see Akira Ioane brought in for a couple of tests. He is fantastic ball-carrier who could have a significant impact at the RWC.

    Half Back is my biggest worry. England, Ireland and South Africa have much better players in that key position. Both Aaron Smith and TJP struggled on Saturday. TTT isn't ready yet.

    A couple of changes are needed in the backs. SBW is yesterday's man. He no longer has the pace to break the line. Crotty or Laemape are better options at 12. George Bridge should come into the squad and could start on the Right Wing, allowing BFA to go back to Full Back.



  • @mariner4life said in Rugby World Cup 2019 - How are we tracking?:

    Question

    If we win the World Cup next year, does that diminish the careers of those guys we would consider all time greats?

    If we were able to lose all of those amazing players in one hit, with barely a hiccup, go on to 4 more years of winning everything, and then retain the Cup, does that kind of validate the "they only look great playing in a great team" crowd?

    I"ll bite.

    Nope.

    For further discussion, wait until I have had another wine or two 🙂

    Seriously, though, that team was full of players who were dominant at the top level for a decade or more. Their legacy is not tarnished. I reckon we're less than 50% likely to win the next cup; it's insanely hard, and there will be tough, tight games on the way. Not confident -- hopeful ,but not confident


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