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  # 2281046 22-Jul-2019 07:46
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I prefer Robertson over Foster for HC. Foster is too much of a safe pick and while continuity is good, like going from Henry to Hansen, I think Foster is a step too far. I believe NZR needs a bold selection this time and what more can you do than win 3 super titles on the bounce.



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  # 2281091 22-Jul-2019 09:04
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MileHighKiwi: I prefer Robertson over Foster for HC. Foster is too much of a safe pick and while continuity is good, like going from Henry to Hansen, I think Foster is a step too far. I believe NZR needs a bold selection this time and what more can you do than win 3 super titles on the bounce.

 

 

 

It's a tough one. I worry a little that the pressure of the top job would be bad for Robertsons free-spirited nature and that that could affect his coaching. I'd rather see a graduated introduction, but having said that, I rate Robertson very highly and feel he deserves higher honours. I do get your point and in some ways I agree, however, Foster is also an excellent coach, has earned the right to be head coach too, and continuity has it's benefits. 

 

I'll be reasonably happy either way.


 
 
 
 




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  # 2281093 22-Jul-2019 09:09
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tukapa1:

 

If the selectors pick Read to play the crunch games in the World Cup then I think that will go a long way to be our undoing.

 

Read was good in his day, but that day is gone when you compare him to our other options.

 

You've got to play both Savea and Cane as starters, and you can't play them both with Read because you need a physical number 6.

 

Savea was the form loosie of Super Rugby (by some margin), and we know what Cane continues to bring.

 

 

Disagree about Read. For a long time he was suffering from neck-related injuries and those are pretty much behind him. He was excellent for the Crusaders this year. 

 

I'd be interested to see what 6-7-8 Read, Cane and Savea looks like. I do also wonder if Savea could play 6 since we don't really have anyone clearly putting their hand up. 

 

Either way, Read will play if he isn't injured, Hansen has been pretty clear about that. 

 

Savea has been excellent all season, I do agree entirely with that, he would be pressing as our best player so far.


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  # 2281095 22-Jul-2019 09:14
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networkn:

tukapa1:


If the selectors pick Read to play the crunch games in the World Cup then I think that will go a long way to be our undoing.


Read was good in his day, but that day is gone when you compare him to our other options.


You've got to play both Savea and Cane as starters, and you can't play them both with Read because you need a physical number 6.


Savea was the form loosie of Super Rugby (by some margin), and we know what Cane continues to bring.



Disagree about Read. For a long time he was suffering from neck-related injuries and those are pretty much behind him. He was excellent for the Crusaders this year. 


I'd be interested to see what 6-7-8 Read, Cane and Savea looks like. I do also wonder if Savea could play 6 since we don't really have anyone clearly putting their hand up. 


Either way, Read will play if he isn't injured, Hansen has been pretty clear about that. 


Savea has been excellent all season, I do agree entirely with that, he would be pressing as our best player so far.



Read is still the best lineout loose forward in the world. When the All Black lineout is under pressure they throw to Read and will do it over and over. His defense is still amazing as well. His running game isn't as strong as it used to be but he is still world class.



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  # 2281262 22-Jul-2019 11:25
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Handle9:

Read is still the best lineout loose forward in the world. When the All Black lineout is under pressure they throw to Read and will do it over and over. His defense is still amazing as well. His running game isn't as strong as it used to be but he is still world class.

 

 

 

I agree re lineout and defense and with some match time I expect to see more from him. I don't love his captaincy, but I do think he is learning all the time, and I believe we will see this improve this year. 

 

What he brings in intangibles to the team can't also be underestimated. Probably not the same way Richie did, but similar.

 

I do not believe he will be excluded. I am hoping Sam Whitelock gets the captaincy next year, I prefer him to Sam Cane, though I rate SC as a player and leader too. 

 

 




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  # 2281824 22-Jul-2019 21:21
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The Australia SA game was interesting to watch. Australia was there own worst enemy. Every bit of momentum they had was destroyed by awful passing, and somewhat by handling errors. NZ are guilty of it too and I'll say again that BB's worst attribute is his simply awful passing.  Australia never were able to hit a ball at pace, they were jumping in the air to collect a pass or falling to catch one too far forward. It was painful to watch. Cheika had a meltdown over the yellow card which I thought was a little tough, but the whistle had gone. He really needs to be concentrating on his players and stop blaming the referees every game. It's so offputting.  The SA B team was very good I thought. Not world-class, but very solid. I suspect SA are going to be a problem for us. They seem to be carrying their momentum on from last year. There is a good bond between them as evidenced by how they celebrated the debutants scoring and encouraged them on the field. Beale made a massive difference for Australia when he came on.

 

 

 

@Handle9 what do you think the chances are that the AB's would go for a 6-7-8 of Savea, Cane and Read? Todd could come off the bench but he isn't the impact player that Savea would be against tiring legs, and I am not really sure who else we could bring off the bench. I'd have considered Taufua if he was in contention, he is a physical player that almost always makes the advantage line.  It's not clear how long Squire will be away for or if he is even intending to be available for the RWC. I have a suspicion he may have indicated to SH he wasn't really available for that, but would probably answer an SOS if it came down to it. 

 

 


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  # 2281839 22-Jul-2019 22:13
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The problem with both Savea and Taufua is that they aren't an option at lineout time. The All Black lineout is world class with 4 jumpers. If they go to three it's much more difficult.

Scott Barrett's injury is really unfortunate as I'm pretty sure he would have had at least 2 games at 6. If he can defend the scrum effectively he'd be a great option there.

 
 
 
 




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  # 2281846 22-Jul-2019 22:28
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Handle9: The problem with both Savea and Taufua is that they aren't an option at lineout time. The All Black lineout is world class with 4 jumpers. If they go to three it's much more difficult.

Scott Barrett's injury is really unfortunate as I'm pretty sure he would have had at least 2 games at 6. If he can defend the scrum effectively he'd be a great option there.

 

Yes, I forgot for a moment of Barrett. They are expecting him back for the RWC, but probably not with any test matches under his belt this year, right? 5-6 weeks was the report early July.

 

SH has expressed the opinion he would rather not play him at 6, but I imagine SB would do it if asked. It's far from ideal to ask him to play 6 right off coming back from injury.

 

 




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  # 2283177 25-Jul-2019 08:23
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Many Rugby Fans wet dreams will come true on Saturday as Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barret take the field at the same time, at first five and full back respectively. 

 

6 7 and 8 were a somewhat surprising selection with Ardie not even on the bench.  Interesting Coles is on the bench. Ben Smith and Ioane are in what are their preferred positions for me. 

 

I was surprised to see Aaron Smith on the bench, though for me TJP had a stronger SR Season. 


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  # 2283227 25-Jul-2019 08:43
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I like the team.

 

Little surprised Savea isn't there. Is Ryan Crotty still injured? They are trying a few options I guess in the loosies, not many games to go before the WC.


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  # 2283230 25-Jul-2019 08:46
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This is still an experimental team. I'd expect to see the "first choice" team against Australia, maybe in the second test.

They don't need to see Savea, Cane, Smith etc. They badly need to find their 6, 12 and back 3.

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  # 2283753 25-Jul-2019 21:53
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Some of the media coverage today is farcical. The Herald story below makes Mounga out to be a proven world class test player. He's started 4 tests and has a long way to prove himself at that level.

He's a very good player who is dominant at super level but there's a big difference between Super Rugby and consistent domination at test level.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12252782



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  # 2283754 25-Jul-2019 22:01
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Agreed, though he has a lot of the qualities that the proven world-class first fives have had before him. I'd back him to become one of our best. This will be by far his biggest test and I hope people don't pile on if he doesn't have an amazing game (or gush too hard if he does). Wonder who will do the place kicking, presumably him... 

 

Right now, for me, what I want to see is real forwards dominance. We haven't had a really strong forwards game in a couple of years I don't think. I am not sure we will get it this game (This is the first game of the year for many AB's in the forward pack). Gain line advantage is what I want to see, good accurate clean outs and minimum of set piece parity. Discipline would also be something I want to see improved. 

 

Having said that, the Boks have come a long way with their own forwards. I am predicting this could be a Titanic game.




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  # 2284791 28-Jul-2019 11:27
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Well, as expected, with the Crusaders on their first game of the year things were still pretty rusty. Business as usual for the June Series. The errors were frustrating and killed a lot of our momentum. Our defence was very solid for 97% of the game and in the second half things seemed noticeably better and accurate. Discipline was reasonable, though Sam Whitelock's behaviour was pretty average and we were lucky to get the penalty in that situation and for it not to be reversed as a result of that.

 

Dual Playmaker thing has some promise and I expect a couple more games and BB and RM won't be tripping over each other. RM was clearly targetted, however, I feel the forwards could have afforded him a bit more protection early in the game.

 

Watching Retallick going off made me feel sick to my stomach, his chances of featuring in the world cup are now slim at best I believe. 

 

SBW looked ok for the 50 minutes he was on. Considering how little Rugby he has had.

 

A draw was disappointing but probably a fair representation for the game. It will be interesting to see what AB v AUS looks like in 2 weeks time! 

 

 


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  # 2284800 28-Jul-2019 12:39
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Bearing in mind that this game was giving the other half of the World Cup squad a run, it was a typical ‘first game’. Introducing the players to the increased tempo of test rugby over and above Super Rugby is important for the entire squad.
Remembering that Cane and Savea were missing from the loose forwards, Crotty from the backline, I believe the online doomsayers that are giving up the World Cup already are being a bit premature. And that players like Ioane haven’t played since the Super conference games finished, so are bound to be rusty.

Lock is shaping up to be the biggest worry. I need to rewatch the play where Retallick was injured to see if he hurt himself entering the ruck and was then sucker punched, or injured by that clean out. There were plenty of clean outs beyond the rucks worthy of a penalty.

Edit: Just looked at the play that caused Retallick’s injury. It was the way his arm was caught by the SA number 8 joining the ruck and Retallick was trying to extricate himself when hit from the side (illegally in my view) and sent sprawling. But the Boks were playing under advantage, so went back to the penalty.
I do believe seeing Guz going off like that did deflate the team.




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