Thats it! We can't win the RWC now. The golden reign is over! Darkness descending upon our national game. Wait for the journos to go batshit...
This is what I find interesting...
In Test 1 v the BIL. We demonstrated a clinically brutal and efficient game - and then we put it away. We've brought it out in patches, the odd half, but thats it.
Some of the reason is Aaron Smith - go back and watch highlights of the AB's 2013-2016 - he used to skip to each ruck. Get it and fling accurate 20m passes and give us momentum - thats just not happening - except today, when TJ did it - what the hell is up with Smith?
Theres so many little 1%-ers we're not nailing, 3 time in tests we've dropped the ball at the end chasing the W, Sam Cane v Australia, Dmac v SA, Retallick v Ireland today. Droppsies at the end don't lose a test but they're a sign we're a. fatigued, or b. not mentally getting it right - why aren't we getting the clarity we used to?
Was Richie such a standard setter and a freak in this regard - he was able to demand it?
I read a story on Read & Whitelock who say they operate differently and don't demand things quite the same - issue?
I really don't believe Barrett is the issue. I think it lies with who is around him.
2016 he was incredible, when he was getting quick ball, and Crotty was on his shoulder.
I think hes shown in the last two tests he can control things and push us into parts of the field we want to be (not without saying, a few of his grubbers were a bit long v England)
I like that we can scramble through game-plans to find one that works - I wonder though - are we getting a bit muddled because we have too many options?
We're a great chance to get the RWC three-peat, we'll win through our pool, quarters will be fine. As long as our coaches get clarity and we sharpen our focus over the summer.
Lastly, what pisses me off, is that we just seem to be playing dumb & loose. The Irish showed the value of keeping possession. If you've got it, they can't score. And thats what happened today.
All of our starters can fuck-off for summer. They don't get to fix it vs. Italy. They can go let that niggly little rock fester all several months.