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  # 2174299 7-Feb-2019 10:40
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Handle9:

 

England Ireland was a really good game. England got up comprehensively at the end but it was in the balance going into the last 10. England were brilliant in defense and their kicking game gave Ireland problems. 

 

Conor Murray had a horrible kicking day and Ireland were pretty bad in the air.

 

This is a very wide open world cup. It'll be a great finish to the year -  I couldn't really care less about super rugby but the international year will be amazing.

 

 

 

 

It has been noted in a few commentaries subsequently that Off-Side is really more of a suggestion now, than a rule. Both teams were offside the majority of the time in defense and it's making Rugby a defensive game rather than offensive.

 

I agree that it's anyone's cup to take, though I think if the AB's can fix their attacking issues, and can get back to their mental fortitude, then we are probably on track to see a tri-peat.




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  # 2174692 7-Feb-2019 22:45
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I felt a slight loss of respect for Steve Hansen after hearing his comments toward Michael Cheika the other evening. Most untoward and unprofessional, and quick frankly, well beneath him. 

 

There is simply no need for him to comment, Cheika says enough on his own to raise eyebrows. 

 

There seems to me, to be a slight loss in the tight discipline of the AB's in the past few months. I hope it gets knocked on the head and soon. One of the things I am proudest about as an AB's supporter is how we conduct ourselves.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2174747 8-Feb-2019 00:28
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networkn:

 

Handle9:

 

England Ireland was a really good game. England got up comprehensively at the end but it was in the balance going into the last 10. England were brilliant in defense and their kicking game gave Ireland problems. 

 

Conor Murray had a horrible kicking day and Ireland were pretty bad in the air.

 

This is a very wide open world cup. It'll be a great finish to the year -  I couldn't really care less about super rugby but the international year will be amazing.

 

 

It has been noted in a few commentaries subsequently that Off-Side is really more of a suggestion now, than a rule. Both teams were offside the majority of the time in defense and it's making Rugby a defensive game rather than offensive.

 

I agree that it's anyone's cup to take, though I think if the AB's can fix their attacking issues, and can get back to their mental fortitude, then we are probably on track to see a tri-peat.

 

 

I don't really see our (backline) attack as a big issue. Our forward packs ability to win the gain line is much more of a concern for me. Ireland showed last year they could match, or beat, the All Black pack for fitness and England just beat Ireland with two makeshift locks in the second half. The ability to gas the opposition pack has been a key to the All Blacks for a long time. If that has gone we have problems.

 

England have a lot of variety in their running in the pack, mainly due to their props both being excellent runners. We are a bit more predictable than them, especially as Franks is pretty much a non-entity with the ball in hand.

 

It's going to be an interesting year and the six nations has started at a very high standard.




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  # 2175694 9-Feb-2019 23:27
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I was disappointed to read that Jordan Taufua has decided 2019 is his last year in NZ. He will be heading overseas in November. He is still hoping to make the AB's this year, but as much as I like him and think he would be an excellent AB, I think they are better to invest in players who want a long term All Blacks Career. Having said that, given it's a cup year and we expect to lose some of our senior players at the end of the year, so long as he is in the best form, he would be viewed as similar to those others who are leaving.. I do wonder how much continuity the AB's will be looking for/need. I do believe the Crusaders will be worse off without him, but I do some loose trio talent coming through the ranks and signs are promising with people like Ethan Blackadder.

 

 

 

Anyone care to predict how the Blues will go this year? I hope they do better, but not better than the Crusaders :) 

 

 


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  # 2175712 10-Feb-2019 08:47
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I believe all the Super teams will be affected this year by how much their All Blacks are held back in preparation for the RWC.

Taufua is a loss to NZ Rugby, but I can't blame him for seeking his fortune overseas.




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  # 2176232 11-Feb-2019 10:38
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Taufua is a loss to NZ Rugby, but I can't blame him for seeking his fortune overseas.

 

I think without the broken arm that stopped him from playing despite being selected, he may well have stayed, who knows, but I also can't reallly blame him, even though I am quite disappointed. 




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  # 2176233 11-Feb-2019 10:40
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So England thrashed France.

 

I don't feel I am as excited as some, because despite only watching the highlights, it felt largely like horrifying defense was largely the cause of this. Some of that comes from pressure, of course.

 

The kick through caused mayhem and their winger certainly made the most of it, he was super quick for sure.

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  # 2176528 11-Feb-2019 15:30
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Stephen Donald will return to the Chiefs with his Zimmerframe as injury cover. 

 

I feel kind of sorry for the Chiefs, they seem to have quite an injury ward this year and last.




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  # 2176616 11-Feb-2019 16:26
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Christ, now Squire is heading to Japan, possibly with a view to return after making bank. At this rate we might be lucky to field 23 :)

 

 




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  # 2177103 12-Feb-2019 12:05
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Man the public and press are fickle, first the AB's were RWC favourites, then Ireland, now England. Seems to change weekly. 




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  # 2177646 13-Feb-2019 13:30
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I consider this guy a world class troll, but I agree with almost every word written here:

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12203442

 

A locking partnership the likes of Retallick and Whitelock will be almost impossible to find again. They are brilliant individually, but on another level together. I don't believe we have found a centers pairing of the same ilk of Nonu and Smith, though I see a lot to like in Goodhue/Laumape, though I have yet to see Laumape unleash the way he does in SR, at test level, in my opinion, because he has been told not to, or because the AB's current game plan doesn't allow for him to be there. 

 

 

 

 


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  # 2177687 13-Feb-2019 14:48
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I'm unconvinced by his arguments. I don't see him as a troll. He's writing an opinion that is designed to get an emotional response.

 

He is pumping up a story which predicts an All Blacks fall from dominance ... but probably only after this World Cup. That sounds much like the very similar narrative we heard after the 2015 World Cup. England looked like they were already real contenders for the crown but their subsequent lack of consistency weakens the case for them to win. We were said to be on our way down because we lost so many amazing players. Many of the same reasons are being trotted out again. Yet three years later we are still considered to be favourites even with a less capable line-up.

 

I'd say the points he makes are not really relevant to who wins any World Cup. Plus I only really agree with two relevant facts:

 

1. Those combinations really are amazing. ... Except that I consider them to be excellent examples of consistent players for the team. At one time, Nonu was so unreliable that many didn't want him in the team and when he wasn't in the team many people didn't want him back.

 

2. Northern resources (mainly due to their riches) are greater and give them more options. ... Except that they have managed to squander the benefits of such an essential advantage many times in the past: failing to develop local talent; sticking with the status quo; allowing short-term or local benefits to override long-term national benefits. Why would that change decisively this time?

 

If the All Blacks win a third time in a row then the shame will be on the northern teams. I'd rather wait and enjoy that possibility. It comes with the promise of another crashing disappointment for the Northern teams. That will set the stage more than any other factor that I've heard.


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  # 2178643 15-Feb-2019 07:57
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Owen Franks is going to

 

Not be surprised to see Moody, Whitelock, Todd and Read also leave the Crusaders at end of this years competition.

 

This may be the best thing for Scott Robertson as it gives him 2 years to re build a team and to show that he would be an excellent All Blacks coach if he gets the Crusaders re build right.

 

 

 

 


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  # 2181110 15-Feb-2019 21:14
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I have to put this out there while the game is still going and the chiefs are leading.
The Highlanders are running obstructive lines on attack just like they (and multiple other teams did) did last season.

Red card unfortunate but to the letter of the law despite what Justin Marshall thinks! But the shoulder charge got Retallick off the field and then the Chiefs fell apart.

And Beaver missing a kick for touch that led to an opposition try must bring back memories.




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  # 2181120 15-Feb-2019 21:44
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A self confessed Highlanders fan so I enjoyed the result. Chief's looked very good for a lot of the game. Highlanders continued last seasons plan of taking chances which often seem to be one time to many.
Happy with the first and last 15 mins where we held onto the ball.

If the Chief's get a kicker the will be right but if they keep missing kicks they have to work that much harder. Made a huge difference tonight.

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