You blokes have given each one of your players and the coaches a deserved serve, which echo a couple of views I have held since the last exodus:
@taniwharugby said in Bledisloe #1:
@Mokey said in Bledisloe #1:
a SETTLED backline
Yep that would help, but forwards still need to find a way out of reverse and neutral...gone are the days we deal to teams in 2nd or 3rd gear.
How is Mounga supposed to get his game going starting outside TJ one week, AS next, inside SBW then ALB...then there is our midfield, it looks like the days prior to Nonu-Conrad where I think we went 25 tests without starting the same midfield on consecutive tests.
Our combos should be starting to gel now rather than still looking for them.
I was unconvinced by Richie Mo'unga from the start, was drawn back in during the recent Super series (when he employed "the pass to someone else now and then" tool) but have now reverted to my initial reading of him.
He simply does not have the instincts of Beauden Barrett, or Dan Carter and Andrew Mehrtens before him to spontaneously sight and seize opportunity.
This is the second time in a decade that the selectors have experienced what appears to be a surfeit of first fives - last time they fell over one after the other and Sir Graham had to bring Stephen Donald back from fishing to kick the World Cup winning goal. This time McKenzie is out of the picture and now they are merely coaches with very limited options!
At the same time:
@Mokey said in Bledisloe #1:
@taniwharugby Our musical backline i5 a shambles, and it really doesn't help to have Smith at the end. He is a far better fullback, and needs time to gather a bit of steam now. He can't explode from a standing/few steps start, he just 'dances'.
which is ironic because exciting runner Israel Dagg found himself shifted to the wing to make way for Smith's exciting running eight years ago. In my view that mucked the pair of them up and we didn't see the best of either one. Last night Reece Hodge again displayed the profitability of motoring onto the ball, Smith can do the same thing from full back but it is not so easy from the wing.
@ACT-Crusader said in Bledisloe #1:
The backline issues have been a real problem. ...
A number of players in there that have been criticised pillar to post, but it has functioned with the right balance of defence, attack and speed.
But every one of our midfielders including ALB have been injured and we simply don’t have the experienced depth that we’ve had in the past to make a replacement. Part of it is selections and part of it is cycle of player movements.
The Carter/Nonu/Smith combination didn’t play every test but they played a hell of a lot together, but when one was out we had someone that was ready made replacement.
This period has been particularly tough.
Tana Umaga's legacy that. It took years to craft it and how useful it turned out to be.
Anton Lienert-Brown is a skilled and focused student who could do with the same level of attention at second five or centre but that has been subordinated to the uncertainty around the fitness of Ryan Crotty and Sonny Bill.
Now all of that is opinion, of course,
The fact is that last night the Wallabies put together the best first half one could hope to see, thundering forward together and keeping the tempo up all the way to beat the mighty All Blacks, the best there is. They did well and can be well pleased with their effort - congratulations to Michael Cheika for persevering and backing his judgement.