Blues fans getting their excuses in early this year
Of course they have the hardest schedule. They can't play themselves now can they.
Fucking loved that. The Northern Territory is a special place, still has a sense of humour, and is not shy about taking the piss.
Brilliant stuff. Weird too as every female I've shown that to thinks it's funny and not offensive - when the complainants say it is "offensive to women in general" I wonder who they are reffering to?
Karl tends to miss a lot of tackles. Great scrummager but Moody is still the better all round prop. It's Perry that concerns me, hopefully they will opt for Ofa as the bench loosehead cover instead.
Joe also has a habit of getting penalised at very inopportune moments. I don't think it will matter much.
The Lions aren't going to squash our forwards like they did to the Maori, and last night as well. The Blues, while early in the tour, matched them up front (and even shaded them in certain areas) but were able to break the Lions open with skill. That last try to win it was fucking great, but also high risk on a couple of occasions.
I am not overly concerned about the need for a rock solid defensive midfield, as i don't think they are bringing anything any of our midfield options would be able to deal with. However someone who can unlock that rush defense with an in-contact offload would be invaluable.
Something has gone badly wrong if we are relying on that level of magic to win this test. I'm surprised to hear the "x" word popup considering the dark days we used to live in, where the ball would be shoveled out to our flair players in a vain hope that they did something with it.
I was hugely impressed by SBW for the Blues, but his option taking is still ropey at times. Against Samoa, he blew the final try when a regulation pass before contact would have easily sufficed but instead chose to take contact and offload forward. And in the first half he had ALB free on his inside but again chose to take contact and throw a poor flick out the back in contact that fortuitously fell on Barrett's foot. If it wasn't for Barrett's ridiculous skillset that would have been a blown try too.
These seem like minor qualms but the All Blacks have been successful by nailing the basics first and foremost. That means making the pass at the right time, not by executing miracle balls, even if they do happen occasionally too.
If they are happy with Crotty's fitness then I'd start him. He is still ahead on the pecking order, Maybe if SBW didn't choose to play sevens last year, he'd be number one...
@Rocky-Rockbottom said in 2017 Bledisloe Cup & Rugby Championship (4 Nations):
you know you're shit when a fan (THIS ONE) would rather have the operatic diva Wayne Barnes, with his ruinous brain-corroding fuckhead history, and still one giant clanger a game, ahead of any of those non anglais le speak "we 'ave a deal" French fucktards.
Didn't want to have to look Read and co. in the eye after his disgraceful efforts in the last two tests so has decided to fake a calf injury.
That's a very good rugby article for an academic.
No wonder our rugby culture is so strong when even our nerd elite have such a thorough appreciation of the game.
Funny... All over the news here about the monster South African forwards. Didn't I see a stat flash up to show England pack at 920 vs 900?
I don't think the Boks weights are accurate.
Going by wikipedia weights they say 937kg. Which seems more accurate.
Also had 6 forwards on the bench.
No lose scenario for us
England win, then it's up to us to beat a Bok side who we've beaten four times on the trot for a chance to beat England in the Final
NZ win - hopefully as convincingly as they did against Ireland - and we can be grateful that England won't lift the trophy
Gonna put it out there that losing tomorrow is a lose situation for you.
The kiwis are confident and expecting their team to win comfortably, in most cases anyway. Who would blame them? But I feel England will be a very very tough proposition. This will be a tight game. If I was a betting man, I'd give this one a skip.
If the Fern is a gauge of AB fans expectations, then I think you’ve missed the mark. I think most were confident against Ireland (I certainly was), but against England there is an unpredictability combined with a solid foundation that will test any side.
Look I can’t even bring myself to say “Bring on En...” Nup, can’t do it.
We'll beat them by 13+
As for consequences if we lose. Hansen will be tarnished a little bit, but not that much. Foster won't become coach, and there will likely be a wholly new coaching panel appointed - hopefully including Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown.
Read's career will be somewhat tarnished I think. He'll be remembered as a captain that didn't quite live up to the hype.
I doubt there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth like in 1999 and 2007. We have won two in a row and got the monkey off the back.
I think the team has to go deep, otherwise Hansen's career as headcoach will be revisited - we've been on the downhill since Carter and McCaw left, couldn't set on a midfield since he lost two greats, loved SBW too much, chased away the obvious Kaino replacement, couldn't get the best out Barrett, waited to long to get rid of Franks (alternatively, should never had got rid of Franks), picked the wrong side for Ireland - leading to their first win, couldn't beat the Lions. I think anything less that a final puts all of these questions on the table.
Edit: Couldn't get world class assistants, couldn't find a way to beat the rush.
I'm sure there are more.
Feel like it could be a very busy day for our backrow - Cane needs to get the better of Van der Flop and make sure he can't flop all over our ball. Savea needs to increase his chat and get in Nige's ear before his opposite number, Peter O'Moan-ey. Similarly, Read needs to win the running metres battle over his opposite, CJ Sub-Standard.
What about Sexytoes, Past-his-best, Grindshaw and Ring a Rosey? Surely they get a look in?
We avoid Barnes and Garces.
No complaints with Nigel Owens officiating of the All Blacks to date.
Wasn't Owens in charge against SA in SA when they bypassed protocol on a try decision when it screened at the ground?
That was Clancy.
Owens had the Wellington test last year and one of the tests with Donald at 10 in 2009. Maybe one more Bledisloe loss in there somewhere?
Clancy, the Irishman with the French name? Figures
For the longer term TSFers, the above was written by the same bloke who wrote the legendary piece about how the AB's were shit before we destroyed France in 2004.
Secondly, for all the criticism that the UK rugby media (rightly) gets, when they decide to do it properly, their research is usually very strong.
Thirdly, given Walsh's usual ego-driven writings, I'm rather surprised he hasn't written more of his own opinions on the last 4 paragraphs ...
No that was Simon Barnes who wrote that piece.
Scotland should have this Samoan team on toast, but again heat might be a factor and particularly for this NH side.
Especially with Rey Lee-lo out. He was playing well before the YC and his attack is a class above his teammates (except TNW)
Edit - oh my God the tweet it embedded above is horrible, what the fuck. Appears to have been taken from a game that never happened which is bizarre.
The bottom tweet reminds me how much I miss Richie. There was something reassuring about seeing him leading the Blacks out.
So they've got 3 left.
- Has to be 95
- Wilkinsons droppy
Am stuck for 3rd given the French debacles, 2011 and Jonah have all been done.
Further up the list
Oh ok then. Wilko droppy was number 3.
That leaves Mandela at 2 and... SBW giving away his medal at 1