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  Reply # 1404225 12-Oct-2015 11:35
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blair003:
trig42: I haven't watched the IREvFRA game yet - those of you who did, what chance do you give Argentina against the Irish? The extra days off (and for the ABs too) may make a difference as well.

As for the ABs game v Tonga. In my view, the All Blacks came out in the second half playing their 'top' game. Play for territory, keep possession, release the backs when ready. DC had a good game, and the ABs look so much better when he attacks the line. SBW and Barrett were great off the bench also. Hopefully the squad is in their Happy Place, and the pieces of the jigsaw are coming together.

AUvWAL - Awesome defence by Australia, inept attack form Wales - no excuse for not getting points there. I think their Halfback to take the blame there. I still think they have a chance to knock SA over, but it will be hard.


Also don't underestimate the impact Brodie Retallick had in the second half. It may not be pretty like SBW and Barrett, but his work rate in the tight hitting and cleaning out rucks was very noticeable when we decided to go up the guts starting early in the second half. We will need that if we are going to win the big/tight games.

Someone earlier in the thread said Woodcock was past it. I think we will miss him dearly at scrum time in the big games coming up.. he is actually a very big loss especially when you consider the strength of the other scrums including the resurgence of the aussie scrum.


Agree re Woodcock. I am actually a little worried about the AB's for the 2016 season.




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  Reply # 1404447 12-Oct-2015 15:18
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BTW I stand by my claim that Ben Smith is a much better Winger than a Fullback. He isn't a bad fullback (though I haven't been overly impressed with him in the past 3 matches), but he is an EXCELLENT winger. 

Our guys seem scared by the high ball. I may be incorrect, but I think we only took 1 cleanly against Tonga.

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  Reply # 1404458 12-Oct-2015 15:35
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networkn: BTW I stand by my claim that Ben Smith is a much better Winger than a Fullback. He isn't a bad fullback (though I haven't been overly impressed with him in the past 3 matches), but he is an EXCELLENT winger. 

Our guys seem scared by the high ball. I may be incorrect, but I think we only took 1 cleanly against Tonga.


Who are your wingers and fullback then?

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  Reply # 1404460 12-Oct-2015 15:40
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Dagg and clones of Dagg. 

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  Reply # 1404464 12-Oct-2015 15:43
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lxsw20: Dagg and clones of Dagg. 


Yeah, but hes not in the squad and can't come in as cover so its a bit of a waste of time to continually say Ben Smith is a better winger, unless he's saying e.g. Barrett or Slade should start at fullback, in which case I wonder what the makeup is for the wings and bench.



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  Reply # 1404465 12-Oct-2015 15:43
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blair003:
networkn: BTW I stand by my claim that Ben Smith is a much better Winger than a Fullback. He isn't a bad fullback (though I haven't been overly impressed with him in the past 3 matches), but he is an EXCELLENT winger. 

Our guys seem scared by the high ball. I may be incorrect, but I think we only took 1 cleanly against Tonga.


Who are your wingers and fullback then?


Well my first choice isn't available, however ultimately from the current selection PROBABLY

Savea, Barrett, Smith with NMS/Slade on Bench. Naholo probably wouldn't see pine again unfortunately. I don't get the feeling that experiment paid dividends the way we hoped it would. I see him better for the AB's next year after another year to mature and get used to the AB's environment.



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  Reply # 1404475 12-Oct-2015 15:49
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networkn:
blair003:
networkn: BTW I stand by my claim that Ben Smith is a much better Winger than a Fullback. He isn't a bad fullback (though I haven't been overly impressed with him in the past 3 matches), but he is an EXCELLENT winger. 

Our guys seem scared by the high ball. I may be incorrect, but I think we only took 1 cleanly against Tonga.


Who are your wingers and fullback then?


Well my first choice isn't available, however ultimately from the current selection PROBABLY

Savea, Barrett, Smith with NMS/Slade on Bench. Naholo probably wouldn't see pine again unfortunately. I don't get the feeling that experiment paid dividends the way we hoped it would. I see him better for the AB's next year after another year to mature and get used to the AB's environment.




Yeah it may not have paid dividends for Naholo yet, but that doesn't mean it was the wrong call. I think NMS was equally an experiment which by the looks of your selection we both believe it has paid off.

I think there was and there still is a real risk of us having a team that was too safe and over the hill/on the wrong side of the hill. We need some x-factor around the park so we don't get stale - being safe and doing we have done over the past 3 years won't win us the world cup.



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  Reply # 1404479 12-Oct-2015 15:58
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blair003:
networkn:
blair003:
networkn: BTW I stand by my claim that Ben Smith is a much better Winger than a Fullback. He isn't a bad fullback (though I haven't been overly impressed with him in the past 3 matches), but he is an EXCELLENT winger. 

Our guys seem scared by the high ball. I may be incorrect, but I think we only took 1 cleanly against Tonga.


Who are your wingers and fullback then?


Well my first choice isn't available, however ultimately from the current selection PROBABLY

Savea, Barrett, Smith with NMS/Slade on Bench. Naholo probably wouldn't see pine again unfortunately. I don't get the feeling that experiment paid dividends the way we hoped it would. I see him better for the AB's next year after another year to mature and get used to the AB's environment.




Yeah it may not have paid dividends for Naholo yet, but that doesn't mean it was the wrong call. I think NMS was equally an experiment which by the looks of your selection we both believe it has paid off.

I think there was and there still is a real risk of us having a team that was too safe and over the hill/on the wrong side of the hill. We need some x-factor around the park so we don't get stale - being safe and doing we have done over the past 3 years won't win us the world cup.


I don't know if I think it was the WRONG call, but I think he was in a year too early (In hindsight). I don't think he handles the pressure just yet, and I am not sure he is 100% fit either. I am potentially wrong, and if so, I am ok with that.

NMS, I am not 100% on him yet, but probably 75%, I'll be happy if he performs well next game, that will satisfy me. 

I am less concerned about age/staleness than some, I disagree our "old" squad couldn't take the cup, but the reality is you can never know for sure. I don't really see anything in the AB's performance from the new guys that any other quality player for the AB's has done before, if you have any examples you can cite
where you disagree, I'm happy to consider them.

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  Reply # 1404483 12-Oct-2015 16:11
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networkn:
blair003:
networkn:
blair003:
networkn: BTW I stand by my claim that Ben Smith is a much better Winger than a Fullback. He isn't a bad fullback (though I haven't been overly impressed with him in the past 3 matches), but he is an EXCELLENT winger. 

Our guys seem scared by the high ball. I may be incorrect, but I think we only took 1 cleanly against Tonga.


Who are your wingers and fullback then?


Well my first choice isn't available, however ultimately from the current selection PROBABLY

Savea, Barrett, Smith with NMS/Slade on Bench. Naholo probably wouldn't see pine again unfortunately. I don't get the feeling that experiment paid dividends the way we hoped it would. I see him better for the AB's next year after another year to mature and get used to the AB's environment.




Yeah it may not have paid dividends for Naholo yet, but that doesn't mean it was the wrong call. I think NMS was equally an experiment which by the looks of your selection we both believe it has paid off.

I think there was and there still is a real risk of us having a team that was too safe and over the hill/on the wrong side of the hill. We need some x-factor around the park so we don't get stale - being safe and doing we have done over the past 3 years won't win us the world cup.


I don't know if I think it was the WRONG call, but I think he was in a year too early (In hindsight). I don't think he handles the pressure just yet, and I am not sure he is 100% fit either. I am potentially wrong, and if so, I am ok with that.

NMS, I am not 100% on him yet, but probably 75%, I'll be happy if he performs well next game, that will satisfy me. 

I am less concerned about age/staleness than some, I disagree our "old" squad couldn't take the cup, but the reality is you can never know for sure. I don't really see anything in the AB's performance from the new guys that any other quality player for the AB's has done before, if you have any examples you can cite
where you disagree, I'm happy to consider them.


Yeah we will never know for sure, but it is certainly a risk. In the past the RWC has been won by a team on the up (apart from England in 2003) and our team is most definitely not on the way up. We have peaked and we will soon go through a mini rebuilding phase - just look at all the senior players who will be gone next year. Smith, Nonu, Woodcock, McCaw (I assume), Carter and potentially a couple of others. Basically the core of our starting team of the past 5-10 years.

This doesn't mean we can't or won't win, I still think we are the strongest team - it's just a risk. In the past couple of years I would have said that if we play to our potential and our opposition plays to their potential, we would definitely win - and that has been proven in results. That is less clear now though.

And it's not a matter of new players doing something the old guys haven't done, its a matter of the new guys doing it now whereas the old guys did it in the past. Normally older guys bring different qualities to new guys and you need a balance of both. NMS and Naholo were picked to try and get that balance.

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  Reply # 1404484 12-Oct-2015 16:15
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Assuming the back-line this weekend is: A Smith, D Carter, J Savea, M Nonu, C Smith, N Milner-Skudder, B Smith. Who are your back reserves?

Barrett has to be there IMO. Does that leave Slade out? SBW needs to be there too, as does TJ Perenara. Two more back reserves? Leaves Three for the forwards? or will they go 4/4 back/forward split?



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  Reply # 1404486 12-Oct-2015 16:17
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Yeah we will never know for sure, but it is certainly a risk. In the past the RWC has been won by a team on the up (apart from England in 2003) and our team is most definitely not on the way up. We have peaked and we will soon go through a mini rebuilding phase - just look at all the senior players who will be gone next year. Smith, Nonu, Woodcock, McCaw (I assume), Carter and potentially a couple of others. Basically the core of our starting team of the past 5-10 years.

This doesn't mean we can't or won't win, I still think we are the strongest team - it's just a risk. In the past couple of years I would have said that if we play to our potential and our opposition plays to their potential, we would definitely win - and that has been proven in results. That is less clear now though.

And it's not a matter of new players doing something the old guys haven't done, its a matter of the new guys doing it now whereas the old guys did it in the past. Normally older guys bring different qualities to new guys and you need a balance of both. NMS and Naholo were picked to try and get that balance.


100% agree in blooding new players etc, we probably should have been a little more aggressive earlier, but I say this, knowing I've been a proponent of being loyal to those players who have performed so well for so long, so I am contradicting myself. It's a pretty hard balancing act because NZ is so poor at coping with the AB's losing.

I am not certain that we have suitable replacements for some of these guys sorted yet. I think we are OK for Fullback and Wingers. I do believe it moderately likely Dagg will force his way back into the side. Centres I am not convinced about, Read is a great Captain though not Richie McCaw good (No-one is). Not sure that 6/7 are quite right, though I saw a little
of the old Kaino in the second half against Tonga. I am happy with our forwards on the whole, especially hooker. We are exposed a little if Dane Coles gets hurt.

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  Reply # 1404494 12-Oct-2015 16:31
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trig42: Assuming the back-line this weekend is: A Smith, D Carter, J Savea, M Nonu, C Smith, N Milner-Skudder, B Smith. Who are your back reserves?

Barrett has to be there IMO. Does that leave Slade out? SBW needs to be there too, as does TJ Perenara. Two more back reserves? Leaves Three for the forwards? or will they go 4/4 back/forward split?


You never do 4/4. Always 5 forwards 3 backs. The game is won or lost by the forwards.

Worst case scenario use a forward to play wing. No not Vito, Dane Coles. LOL

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  Reply # 1404496 12-Oct-2015 16:33
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networkn: BTW I stand by my claim that Ben Smith is a much better Winger than a Fullback. He isn't a bad fullback (though I haven't been overly impressed with him in the past 3 matches), but he is an EXCELLENT winger. 

Our guys seem scared by the high ball. I may be incorrect, but I think we only took 1 cleanly against Tonga.


I believe the captain dropped more balls than everyone else combined.

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  Reply # 1404514 12-Oct-2015 17:00
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joker97:
networkn: BTW I stand by my claim that Ben Smith is a much better Winger than a Fullback. He isn't a bad fullback (though I haven't been overly impressed with him in the past 3 matches), but he is an EXCELLENT winger. 

Our guys seem scared by the high ball. I may be incorrect, but I think we only took 1 cleanly against Tonga.


I believe the captain dropped more balls than everyone else combined.


 

Read? He has been a worry, but pretty confident they will all come right (Read and Kaino)

My default team is:
B. Smith,  Milner-Skudder, C. Smith, Nonu, Savea, Carter, A. Smith, Read, McCaw, Kaino, Whitelock, Retallick, O. Franks, Coles and Crockett.

On the bench I've got for the backs:
Barrett
SBW
TJP (or TKB)

In the forwards you have Owen Franks starting with Crockett in place of Woodcock, so on the bench it gets a bit tricky. You either have Ben Franks and Charlie Faumuina, which is risking not having a specialist loosehead cover (not sure how effective Ben Franks is on the loosehead side) or you bring Joe Moody straight onto the bench in which case I'd have Faumuina alongside him.

So for the 5 forwards its much harder:
Faumauina
Franks (or Moody)
Cane
Mealamu (or Taylor)

Then roll a dice between one of:
Vito, Romano or Messam. I think it depends on what style of game they want to play. Against the French I suspect we'll go for Romano. If Messam doesn't play vs France I say he won't get another game unless there is an injury. If Vito gets on the bench vs France and plays well off the bench, I say Romano won't play another game at this world cup unless there is an injury.

My concerns: kicking on the day if DC gets injured, and our prospects of winning the world cup if Retallick gets injured.

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  Reply # 1404520 12-Oct-2015 17:10
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Ive never understood why ben franks doesnt get more game time?hes always solid in the scrums and makes lots of tackles and carries

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