Best match of year for Akira but with little support. Thought Tucker was very effective first half. Plummer added a bit when he came on.
Papalii did some good things but the onfield leadership seemed to be the biggest problem. Lost composure everywhere...
Now that I think about the Blues’ shellacking this morning, I was struck by the Sky interview with Beauden Barrett ahead of the game. Asked about the game day ritual he sounded exceedingly chilled - talking about a nice lie-in and the extra space granted by being away from home and the kids. There was time for a leisurely breakfast and catchup with the US Open on TV before a team chat around lunch. Maybe this was their way of not being overawed by the occasion. But from what we saw on the field the result was they came on so ‘underawed’ and mentally unprepared they had no answer for the Crusaders’ intensity.
That sounds like BB's intensity for the last 3 years regardless of who he's playing for tbh.
"Clown's in a minefield" was headline put out by one journo which gave me a good laugh.
The Blues were just beaten soundly at every contact area in the game, lacked physical intensity to match or mental fortitude to dig in and fight in the trench's and instead went for the miracle off-loads just gifting the ball back to the Crusaders.
Have the Blues changed up their attack in the last 2-3 matches? The backs seem to be aligned deeper and there seems to be more forwards doing pick and goes or running lines very close to the breakdown.
As mentioned in the press conference it was working in the first half before the errors/frustration/whatever
Blues flanker Dalton Papalii was red carded in the 15-3 defeat to the Crusaders early in the second half but the sequence of events after the high shot has left ex-All Black John Kirwan scratching his head.
Kind of 2 things jump to mind anyway,
1 Shouldn't assume what was said etc, (to be honest I never thought anything of it until read these posts)
2 Hell even a bit of verbals is ok anyway, I mean Gregan's '4 more years" to Kelleher was even enjoyed by other ABs (admittedly because many thought Kelleher was piston wristed gibbon), but hell as my son used to say playing cricket and, if you let verbals worry you it was time to take up knitting..
Agh that was a tough watch. So many handling errors. So many stoppages. Highlight of the first 23 mins was the all to rare these days scything run from BB, cutting the defence to shreds. Thought he played well actually, made some good decisions, when to run, when to kick, when to take points. Choat ran/tackled himself to a standstill. Have been impressed with him over the last couple of games, would be interested to see his tackle stats. Suafoa also put in a good shift. And Plummer was pleasantly surprising, is beginning to put his stamp on that 12 Jersey with vision and distribution. That 51m kick was sweet. Roger who? Looked tough going in the heat, and one the Blues will be pleased to get out of the way without serious injury I think. Those vuvuzelas were bloody annoying.