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  # 2131405 22-Nov-2018 01:20
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There wouldn't be any fun in sport if you couldn't (argue about) discuss what you watch :)

 

Passion and emotion makes everyone say things that aren't necessarily based in fact, me more than most. What I don't like about sport is that we tend to go straight to criticizing peoples motivation and character rather than acknowledging that the opposition are really good and sometimes do a better job.

 

The fantasy of sport is that willpower can get you over the line. Sometimes this is true but rarely. Usually it's skill and better organisation. I've been around a few international sports people and almost universally they are hyper competitive and desperate to win. Some of them are just better at at it than others and display their emotions differently.

 

I used to be very emotional about sport in my younger days, and still am during the games. I've found what I enjoy now is the chess match and really understanding what is going on. I've also been known to be a contrarian but that's a whole other story....


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  # 2131452 22-Nov-2018 06:26
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Then you will know that the last eight world championship chess games were drawn and the ninth (of 12) is currently locked at equal.




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2132107 22-Nov-2018 18:30
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Interesting team to play Italy. I think that they are playing a very different team than they had orginaly planned.

 

I think it is very interesting that they are playing the Hurricanes 9 -10 -12 together with Read and McKenzie. If they are wanting to have a look at a different pattern one that could be a signal. Laumape will certainly get them going forward, it is whether they lose too much in defense. 

 

This is also a very big test for Fifita, Tuipolotu and Jordie Barrett. They won't get to many more chances to push a claim. Playing Barrett on the right wing is interesting, I'm guessing they are doing this as emergency cover for Smith so they can still play

 

This could be great or frustrating but there is alot here to watch.




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  # 2132523 23-Nov-2018 10:57
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Handle9:

 

Interesting team to play Italy. I think that they are playing a very different team than they had orginaly planned.

 

I think it is very interesting that they are playing the Hurricanes 9 -10 -12 together with Read and McKenzie. If they are wanting to have a look at a different pattern one that could be a signal. Laumape will certainly get them going forward, it is whether they lose too much in defense. 

 

This is also a very big test for Fifita, Tuipolotu and Jordie Barrett. They won't get to many more chances to push a claim. Playing Barrett on the right wing is interesting, I'm guessing they are doing this as emergency cover for Smith so they can still play

 

This could be great or frustrating but there is alot here to watch.

 

 

It's a complex thing isn't it? They are trying these new patterns, and this new line is an interesting one as you say, however I don't expect Italy will test this particularly well. I'd be surprised if they can put 75% of the pressure on us that any of the top tiers do, and if they can, I expect it to be for a relatively short time. It's not really tested properly and you can't really judge it until it's tested at the top level. 

 

McKenzies ability to evade defenders is something to behold, but there are so many areas he isn't any where near as good at as many of the other full backs in NZ. Aerially he looks brave but flawed, and defensively, he is still far far from what I'd expect of a test fullback despite his improvements. 

 

He has another year, but essentially, reallly 4 more tests. Chiefs look likely to play him at 10 so I don't see him getting the chances to improve this significantly during SR. His size is also a factor I believe as well. If Jordie Barrett was playing the way he did for the 'canes in 2017, and his game could lift, I'd feel more comfortable with him in that position and McKenzie off the bench to tear holes in tired defenses in the last 20-25 minutes. The issue I have right now is that the results aren't flowing as well from their newbies.

 

 




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  # 2132597 23-Nov-2018 12:15
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I do think Ben Smith is a very good Fullback (though for the AB's he is for my money, better on the wing). I hear the phrase words best, but is he really still? His year has been a little less fantastic than previous. Folau seems to be playing better right now, and he is certainly better in the air.

 

 


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  # 2132606 23-Nov-2018 12:36
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Handle9:

 

Interesting team to play Italy. I think that they are playing a very different team than they had orginaly planned.

 

I think it is very interesting that they are playing the Hurricanes 9 -10 -12 together with Read and McKenzie. If they are wanting to have a look at a different pattern one that could be a signal. Laumape will certainly get them going forward, it is whether they lose too much in defense. 

 

This is also a very big test for Fifita, Tuipolotu and Jordie Barrett. They won't get to many more chances to push a claim. Playing Barrett on the right wing is interesting, I'm guessing they are doing this as emergency cover for Smith so they can still play

 

This could be great or frustrating but there is alot here to watch.

 

 

 

 

Going to prove nothing. Italy are a 30+ worse team than either England or Ireland.

 

B Barrett will get the space that he doesn't get against good teams so will look better but it might not actually mean anything

 

 


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  # 2132685 23-Nov-2018 13:14
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Proof is a matter of interpretation so it's hard to argue with anyone who thinks the game result is unimportant. More so when that result is seen to carry little or no weight in predicting the winner of the world cup next year.

 

The All Blacks should post a bigger winning margin than the Wallabies did last week. My only concern will be if the All Blacks lose.


 
 
 
 




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  # 2133534 24-Nov-2018 23:33
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Has Gatland ruled himself out of contention for the AB's coaching job if/when SH steps down? When Wales were on the rise (which feels a little like Ireland now) it was what every article was talking about. I am not suggesting he is the best/good choice, simply that he hasn't been mentioned in a single recent article regarding the AB's job. 

 

 


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  # 2133923 25-Nov-2018 18:58
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It was a fun and reasonably interesting romp against Italy. Positives for me were the play of Jordie Barrett and Fifita, the maul defense and some interesting short balls in the midfield. It was also good to see Coles get through his 4th game in a row. Saying that I don't think that they would have had the space to play short in the midfield like that against a Tier 1 rush defense. They also played inside off 10 a lot which was good to see.

 

The flood down the short side is becoming  a real weapon with two really nice tries this year (Jordie Barretts first try against Italy and Beuaden Barretts score against Australia when Reiko Ioane went very direct from a scrum. I think this will continue to be a key part of the first phase plan. (It's also how England scored their first try against us in the Twickenham test so it's not unique).

 

The concerns were the continued errors of the forwards. Tuipolotu is a real weapon with the ball in hand but he just drops the ball too often. Scott Barrett had the same problem. Some of it is the short balls at the line but the standard hit up ball that gets dropped isn't really good enough. Some of the penalties were bizarre but  the drop off from the top referees (Barnes, Pepper, Owens etc) to the second tier is a big one.

 

I thought the way they used Laumape was a bit odd. His best skill is attacking the line directly and getting fast go forward ball but most pof the ball went to Anton Lienart-Brown. Maybe they were using him as dummy runner but it was a little strange.

 

Jordie Barrett was really good and looked very comfortable on the wing. If he is a viable option then they can play Smith at fullback and it gives them 3 very capable aerial players. They used Beauden Barrett early as the left hand fullback (outside of their 22 the All Blacks normally play two fullbacks and Aaron Smith as a sweeper with 12 players in the defensive line) which helped nulify the early box kicks. I think we'll see that a bit more as well.

 

A nice wee game and a good way to go into a really interesting world cup year.




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  # 2134207 26-Nov-2018 10:14
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I found this game quite frustrating. Our unforced errors are really bugging me now. So many blown opportunities. Also surprised about Laumape not being used in what I'd consider as his strongest way, I don't know if they are holding that back, but surely other teams will have analyzed it and prepared for it somewhat already. I agree our forwards were really average.

 

Italy barely fired a shot and never reallly looked like scoring. 66 points is a decent haul, but this game felt like a nothing because it's impossible to guage anything from it. Still too much aimless and poor from hand kicking and I might throw something at the screen if I see another crappy distribution from DM or BB. Surely passing is one of those core skills you expect people to nail. Poor passing really interrupts our flow, more so in my opinion that a marginally slower distribution from the base of the ruck. Almost every teir two team manages passes that are slightly in front of the reciever and at a hieight that doesn't require picking up from the bootlaces or jumping into the air!

 

 

 

Having said that, it was good to see some expression of the team in some of the tries. Lots of little cool bits of play.

 

Whilst this year has been full of frustration, I will miss watching Rugby as I do each year around this time. It seems a long time till Super Rugby.

 

Let's hope the plan that is said to be in play materialises in 2019 and we can put in a good strong result at the RWC.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  # 2135205 27-Nov-2018 12:43
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A sad reason for Schmidt not to put his name forward as AB's coach. I wish him and his family well. 

 

Scott Robertsons name has been mentioned in a few articles, though he has repeatedly said he isn't ready for that, and I'd agree entirely. He has had great success as  a coach and has made the step up to Super Rugby pretty successfull I think most would say, but I think putting that on him now could be a mistake. 

 

I guess that leaves Foster (likely) Gatland (likely) and a few of the current or former SR coaches.  Of those I'd *probably* say either of Gatland or Foster would get the Nod. Foster may be seen as a legacy coach esp if you suscribe to the thought that the current team looks stale. I think a decent part of the success of SH has been his time spent under Henry. 

 

Fosters chances of taking over will be largely dependant on results at the RWC. If the plans that are being developed coming to fruition, I think it's fair to say those fears would be considered largely unfounded, but if we don't manage to evolve or improve, then the perception would possibly be, that new eyes are required. 

 

 


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  # 2135603 28-Nov-2018 08:13
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networkn:

 

Scott Robertsons name has been mentioned in a few articles, though he has repeatedly said he isn't ready for that, and I'd agree entirely. He has had great success as  a coach and has made the step up to Super Rugby pretty successfull I think most would say, but I think putting that on him now could be a mistake. 

 

 

 

 

Agree about Scott Robertson. He needs 3 more seasons at the Crusaders. Including 2020 and 2021 when they will be re building after they lose Franks, Moody, Whitelock, Todd, Read, Crotty etc. That will give a really good indication of his ability and the knowledge he needs to be a success.




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  # 2136440 29-Nov-2018 10:03
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Some nice tries in the Japan Russia game.

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A4F3a63_QA

 

 


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  # 2136513 29-Nov-2018 11:14
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networkn:

 

Some nice tries in the Japan Russia game.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A4F3a63_QA

 

 

wow! pretty impressive attacking moves by Russians, but one-on-one defense :(.

 

Barrett should take couple kicking lessons too :)

 

Yes, I'm Russian :D





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