The travel is huge for these guys, the six nations NH teams have it much, much easier than we do yet we still perform very well. It bodes well in future for World Cup's I think. I mean in the old days, who would fly to SA for one game, then fly back to NZ for a return match? We were over there for weeks and vice versa. No wonder they are shattered for the NH tour, or at least past their best every year. I know they're professional athletes but that much air travel and time zone change affects everyone.
I've been very pleased with the AB's efforts this year, the RC was a huge effort and following on from the WC win it's great to cement it with this season, the boys should be very proud.
It's clear to me though that our game plan needs some adjustment in the face of the type of performances that Ireland and France laid out over the last couple of weeks. If we don't get the ball, or don't keep the ball long enough, we're not going to score as freely in the future. Not concerned it's just a tactical change we'll need to adapt to and try to counter. I'm not sure we're committing enough numbers to the breakdown in situations where we can't win the ball back and opposition is not making mistakes. Need to be quicker to adapt to those situations than doggedly stick to a game plan if it's not working. Not helped of course with Cane injured and a new guy covering.
I'd give the AB's an A- for the year, only marred by losing to Ireland for the first time is 112 years or whatever it is. Still, if the AB's hadn't relaxed, and had squeaked by would we have seen the massive improvement in defence we saw in the last two games? Probably not.
How long do we have to wait for Super Rugby??