I understand the votes for Smith and I think he did play well overall. However, his box kicking is just so far behind Dupont's. I know it is not necessarily his fault, it was the tactic to box kick. But those balls needed to be kicked long and going back to Beauden, Jordan or Mo'unga to do so.
I decided to re-watch this game to have a closer look at the lineouts. As per previous comments about not using Vaa'i as a lineout target, he was used as a lifter with one of the locks to lift the other lock. Examples being the first lineout of the game, and the lineout after Mo'unga made the try-saving tackle on Penaud. That pod worked well because of the extra height of the lifters. What was of more concern was how little the ABs challenged the French lineout. On one of the few occasions we did, the French lost the ball.
Christie wasn't the only ginga who had a shocker. Newell made de Groot look co-ordinated trying to roll away from a tackle. Zero impact.
Beauden actually played well for 60 mins until he and Mo'unga thought that the best option when chasing the game was to kick the ball away.
I still think Bernard Foley's game against England was as good as Dan's against the Lions. He did everything, and tore England to pieces. He was never going to be able to reach that height again, he's not that level of player. But that day against England he was incredible.
Watching the Final just now brought back a lot of memories. We didn't go to a single game, but what a great time we had! Second best experience of a sports event I've ever had, both watching the games in a mate's beer-filled man cave with a group of friends and the whole atmosphere in NZ during the tournament and after the Final.
The only highlights from this tournament happened off the field for me.
I remember driving back in a dazed mix of bewilderment and anger from a mates place and saw some guy get pulled over by a cop for speeding so I guess it goes to show - there's always someone worse off than you.
Anyway my sister called form the UK to see how I was after the game, she hardly ever calls, we're not particularly close in terms of keeping in touch a lot I guess it's a more quality over quantity type of relationship. But at the time I was going through a messy divorce and she knew that the AB's loosing would have hurt so she just called out of the blue to make sure her little brother was ok.
And I guess that call was a bringing down to earth for all the things that matter in life, family, friends and the people that care are so much more important than what any game of rugby is.
I've forgotten close to every other phone call in my life but I've never forgotten that one.
Foster in that article
"He's good, he's realistic… They always feel gutted because they want to give their best and Scott's at the top of the tree when it comes to that.
He's fine, we just go back into process mode now and just try and take the emotion out of it."
Foster doesn't seem to think SB has a tendency to be carded?
Obviously. Because that's exactly what he said ...
Just confirming as that is my reading too but if he doesn't think SB has a weakness re: cards (perhaps his one big major flaw) and going into this tiddlywinks RWC that is a crucial concern ...I am speechless!