Underarms, Catamarans and Food Poisonings

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

After the disappointment of two consecutive losses, All Black fans will have enjoyed last night’s 29-point thrashing of the Wallabies even more. This time it was the Aussies who looked impotent, with no answer to New Zealand’s domination in all areas of the game. The return of Ritchie McCaw was vital, but all the players showed an increased urgency, particularly around the tackle. Tactically New Zealand was superior, and when the Wallabies returned after halftime following a poor first half, they had no idea how to get back into the game. Graham Henry has had a hard time recently, but this performance reflects very well on him. As the game came to an end you could see what it meant to him.

Tony Woodcock had a blinder, scoring two great tries. Dan Carter was his typical genius self, kicking for territory particularly well. Mils Muiliana yet again having a sublime performance. In my opinion he has been one of our best performers all season. Our forwards completely dominated Australia’s, especially in the set pieces. Our scrum was far superior. Even our lineout was dominant!

I’ve heard many people question Ma’a Nonu’s place on the team, but I’m not sure what he has to do to silence his critics. I think he has been great this season and was brilliant last night. Perhaps his lack of a kicking game is seen as a weakness, but he frequently breaks through the opposition defense, challenging even the best midfielders. Not quite Tana Umanga, but important nonetheless. 

This year’s Tri Nations is looking to be one of the most exciting competitions in years, with each team potential victors. I think South Africa still have an edge, with the competition now moving over to the republic. Australia are going to struggle to win in South Africa, which they will need to do. The All Blacks still have to play one more a game in South Africa, and then another in Australia. Both games New Zealand are capable of winning, but only if we play with the same hunger to win as last night.


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