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. Continue reading


Sonny Bill on the run… this time not on the field

Sonny Bill Williams controversial departure from the Bulldogs for a $3million contract with Tana Umanga-coached French rugby side Toulon has provided the sport with yet another controversy. I am not by any means an expert on rugby league (but am keen to get someone who is to contribute to this blog), but his departure will leave a big hole in the sport and does nothing to improve the game’s appeal. The NRL have lost a crowd pleasing fan favourite and the New Zealand Kiwis have lost a future star. League followers must be now used to having the sports biggest stars leave the code for union, with the Wallabies the greatest benefactors of the switches. And as he is now a rugby player, he joins along list of New Zealand rugby players moving to Europe chasing the big dollars. So his move is nothing new in that respect. It is the way he is has left that really irritates those who love the game. Continue reading

First back to back defeats since…

2004 apparently. Seems like ages ago. All Blacks fans are used to their team winning, so following the defeat the the Boks in Dunedin, last nights 35-19 loss to Australia in Sydney is likely to cause fans to reevaluate the belief that the All Blacks are invincible. New Zealand showed glimpses of great rugby, against a solid Wallaby side, but could not keep it up for the full eighty minutes. The Wallabies started far stronger, up 17-5 at half time, and finished far stronger. In the last half an hour the All Blacks threw away a 19-17 lead, with handling errors and poor tackling gifting the Wallabies a confidence boosting win and some valuable competition points. Continue reading

Finally it’s here! Deans v Henry!

To be honest I don’t really care who coaches Australia. I will care if he turns them around and makes them competitive in 2011, but I think it takes more than a coach to make a team great. A coach can only work with what he’s got, and Deans only has so much to work with at the moment. There are a lot of gaps in the Aussie team, particularly up front and not as much depth as they would like. Historically New Zealand have had incredibly depth, but are also tested at the moment, with so many great players gone overseas. Thankfully this match we will have Williams and Thorne back as locking partners which, especially as McCaw looks as though he won’t be back, gives us some of the experience we missed against South Africa in Dunedin.

So with Australia seeing off the Boks last week, what can we expect in Sydney on Saturday? Continue reading

Green or Gold?

I can’t pick it to be honest. Although the Springboks managed a remarkable win against the All Blacks in Dunedin, you can never write off the Wallabies, especially at home. Rarely has an encounter between Australia and South Africa been so intriguing for All Black fans. South Africa come off their surprise win, and it will be interesting to see if they can back up last week’s effort in Australia. The Wallabies are of course coached by New Zealander Robbie Deans, so All Black fans will be keen to see what we really missed out on. Australia showed glimpses of class against France and Ireland, although neither team was really impressive opposition, and will need to step up big time against a confident Springbok team keen to back up last weeks solid performance against a severely understrength New Zealand side.

If the Boks win, the Tri Nations is as good as wrapped up, unless the All Blacks can pull off a seemingly miraculous win in South Africa, after they’ve won in Australia. They are always bonus points too, I suppose (when was the last time a team got one for four tries?!). Continue reading

Silver lining on a deflated black cloud/The art of losing
July 12, 2008, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Rugby | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’m gutted about last night’s All Black loss to the Springboks, but remarkably less disappointed than I thought I’d be. I really did think they would win comfortably, but in the end our lack of depth was showing. And we did not expect Januarie to come up with that try!

So our record 30 home game winning streak is over, as is our 10 year stretch of home wins against the formitable Springboks. Worse still, we have let the South Africans feel like worthy world cup winners! But it is not all bad. There are some silver linings. And hey, we’ve been winning in the republic constantly over the last 10 years, so it is long overdue the Springboks fronted up over here! Continue reading

It looked like it was in the bag until…

Januarie breaks through the All Black defence, chips ahead, recollects the ball and then bam! Springbok try. Before hand I was feeling confident, five points ahead, and Victor Matfield in the bin for a high tackle. Only five or so minutes to go, we should hold out. Instead, a last minute drop goal attempt from Dan Carter was charged down and the All Blacks lost to South Africa at home for the first time in 10m years and the first time ever at Carisbrook. Continue reading