Dwyer's View: Boks cop another hiding - Green and Gold Rugby
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Dwyer’s View: Boks cop another hiding

Dwyer’s View: Boks cop another hiding

In the words of the New Zealand commentator, the Springboks were given ‘a good old-fashioned bath’ by the All Blacks, to the tune of 40 points to 7 in Wellington last night. In their first two Tri Nations matches this under-strength Springbok team have conceded 79 points to 27, including 11 tries to 3. Even allowing for the absence of many first-choice players and conceding that perhaps only five or six of this squad will be in their first-choice 22, this must count as a disastrous start for their defence of the World Cup.

By half-time, I was writing ‘lethargic versus dynamic’ in my notes, and, although the Springboks did have a few moments during the game – captain John Smit’s 28th minute try was one of them – that pretty much sums up the match.

During the build-up for the match throughout the week, the common thread of the New Zealand media discussion was we’ve got to do at least as well as the Wallabies last weekend. I’m inclined to think that they did this – although each of the victorious teams did it somewhat differently. The Wallabies relied on individual brilliance to initiate points scoring raids, whereas teamwork was pretty much at the heart of all that New Zealand achieved. Having said that, I’m not underestimating the individual brilliance of some of Dan Carter’s work – in fact, I think that Carter had his best game of the season, in a welcome return (for New Zealand fans) to his brilliant best.

The fundamentals of All Black play remain first class! Lines of attack, catch-and-pass skills, soft hands, excellent support (which also gives numbers at the tackle), realignment (in both attack and defence), leg-drive and impact in the collisions — their performance had it all. When New Zealand had the ball – especially on turnover ball – it looked as if someone had pressed the fast-forward button, such was the urgency of their attack. Two of the fastest players on the pitch were both Springboks – Mvovo and Basson – but you would never have known it. Only young Patrick Lambie seemed capable of injecting consistent pace into their attack and their defence frequently looked ponderous, indeed as it did against the Wallabies the previous weekend. By the 55th minute, the Springboks had missed 18 tackles – and it went downhill from there!

On counter-attack from the much-vaunted South African kicking game, the New Zealand play started with never less than four and frequently more! That their defence was generally also rock-solid speaks volumes for their commitment. I always say that counter-attack is ‘purely a state of mind’. There was certainly no problem with the state of mind of this group! At the break, Wayne Smith had said that he was looking for ‘more dynamic play in reigniting our second strikes’, and two tries came from this in the next 25 minutes. It’s not hard to imagine that the rewards for such hard work and quality execution will increase further as team selection settles down in the week and months ahead.

The All Black scrum was dominant, but this was not a quality Springbok front row. The Wallabies were equally dominant. Wyatt Crockett seemed to stay within the laws of the game – he was penalised in the last scrum of the first half – but perhaps he was not under pressure. This is his first season back in the All Black jersey after Stu Dickinson found him so often at fault a couple of years back in Milan. The All Black selectors seemed to agree with Stu and not with Paddy’s petulant reaction!

I’m certain that these same selectors would love to have Crockett in the team. His work around the park is outstanding, but penalties can lose you important matches. This scrum dominance also allowed them to use their favourite ‘8-9’ – McCaw to Cowan – launch-pad for several successful starter plays. They often used Nonu off Cowan – a definite threat to the defence – or Carter on the second-line plays. I’m not a huge fan of second-line plays, because lazy attacks often overrun the decoy role. New Zealand execute them beautifully!

Their lineout was certainly competent, without being dominant, and they were able to mount several telling driving mauls – no mean feat against any South African team. Ali Williams continues to regain ground lost with a two-year injury lay-off. I think that he is now playing better than ever.

Special reference must be made of the accuracy of execution of the All Black play – loose or tight, wide or close, open or blind side. In the last quarter, they must have had four or five different combinations – with Smith, Nonu, Williams and Carter all shuffling out in the centres, then Slade and Weepu filling the halves, and Messam at No. 8. It made no difference at all to their fluency or accuracy. In the 70th minute, with a variation on one of their favourite themes, they executed beautifully for Muliaina’s soft hands to put Guildford away, then back inside for the supporting Slade to score unopposed. Well done!

This was a genuine, top class performance and all starting players, plus the four of the bench who got reasonable game time, making significant contributions. Carter was great, but my man-of-the-match was Andrew Hore. I read that Graham Henry intends to bring in the ‘big guns’ next week, including Keven Mealamu. He’ll have to be very good!

I don’t want to disappoint my Kiwi readers, who consider it sacrilege to criticise any part of any All Black performance, so here goes! I don’t understand why so many All Black forwards are allowed to drive over the ball or the ball-carrier at the tackle and go to ground, sealing off any opportunity for their opponents to get at the ball or to counter-ruck. It could almost be described as ‘crawling’ over the ball/carrier, although it’s much more dynamic than that. I also don’t understand how they are allowed to be on the wrong side of the tackle – I mean 180 degrees on the wrong side – and interfere with opponents who are attempting to defend the play. Among others, there were two beauties: McCaw around the 14th minute and McCaw and Crockett in the 48th minute.

  • boogieblunt

    Bob Dwyer you are the man! i love your rugby commentary and because of you i now watch all tests with a note pad furiously scribbling notes down as the action unfolds( looks at bit stupid down my local Waverley Bowling Club, sitting with Kev the Bat !) it really helps in digesting what is actually happening all be it on telly ( cant see whats going on out wide much) but Bob you are the man ive read your book winning ways and even though your an Aussie and worst of all a Randwick man…its not your fault. Much respect general. Go the All Blacks!

    • Richard

      Bob, if you left out every exclamation mark it would be a better article. Please don’t use them anymore!

  • chriscullen

    I disagree with one point Bob, I thought Ali Williams was again poor after a very average effort last week.
    I was hoping for your prediction for this weeks game.

  • Doug Dew

    It would be great to see Bob coaching a Super 15 team, or Argentina when they join the four nations

  • bill

    I’ve had my sprays at the woefullness that is the boks outlander troupe, but f*ck them, rather discuss the relative merits of the abs, ‘bees vs the same shit opponent. Abs, agree with Bob, wonderful rugby culture and skill base, efficiency is THE word when describing the abs. And it’s an efficiency that will put anyone under pressure, so it moderates what you might expect from anyone that comes against them.

    However, as red or gold tinted as I may be I saw more magic in the ‘bees performance than the blacks against the same opponent.

    • bill

      Why the abs don’t have Guildford as fb, Jane and Ranger on the wings? I’ll never understand. I’m a fan of Mils, and he showed some wonderful composure yesterday but really, what planet r the ab selectors on?

      • Robson

        On planet Earth Bill. Guildford was rattled by the Reds when he had to go back for the ball. In contrast Mils shows no such lack of composure under any circumstances. But Mils has got a long (of almost 100 test matches) gold plated history of superb skills, coolness and strength and that is really the difference between he and anyone else that aspires to play fullback for the ABs.

        • Mike Ireland

          No comparison–Mils is a far safer and better choice than Guildford; however, when Isreal Dagg returns (not far off, I suspect), Henry will be hard pressed to play Mils over Dagg as Dagg is a game breaker, and Mils has lost a step–and while he is still extremely competent, he is not an electric fullback, now, like Dagg is (and like Kurtley Beale is).

  • bill

    Shame about Joost, pleasure to watch him.

  • bill

    I would’ve hoped the c*nt had been cultivating a beer gut on a beach somewhere and yelling at the telly as a another generation of reprobates failed to measure up to his own standards.

  • KingofDubai

    Mils has seen better days. Beale will school him next weekend. Go WB

    • bill

      I can only surmise he’s there to provide a steadying hand, leadership, and awareness of what a pro does in prep 4 the young fellas.

      • Jay

        There’s also the fact that people said pretty much the same things about him last year after the Super 14 and he produced big time for the AB’s and was the leading try scorer.

        • bill

          Jay, he’s a absolutely wonderful player, natural footballer, which allows him to take advantage of what’s in front of him. But he’s past the point of creating for others the way he used to. I just don’t want see him hang on too long.

        • Jay

          Did you miss the lovely touch pass to Guilford that set up Slade?

        • bill

          I’d left the pub by that time mate, just shat off with the boks effort.

        • Jay

          Fair enough, I was on the verge of changing the channel a few times too. Real shame to see a TN test (or tests more accurately) reduced to such a farce.

        • bill

          Yeah, one of my favourite games was after the first tri nations was completed and the ab’s stayed on for another match against the boks? Zinzan and that twat hooker and all their mates out on their feet in the last ten minutes and still repelling the boks like some rendition of rorke’s drift and this is the shit we get repaid with. F*ck me. Wake up to yourselves boks.

      • bill

        I was kinda hoping that was the rationale for Gerrard’s inclusion in our squad. But having seen Beau n Samo r out of our next match I’m left?…. well completely pissed off quite frankly. I have a fair bit of faith in Robbie, but believe him and his cohorts r pulling the wrong rein there.

    • Steve

      I love how, now that there are some exciting attacking players in the WB’s everyone has an obsession with individual brilliance. There is no doubting the individual talents in the Wallabies at present, but I am yet to see then work as cohesively as the current AB’s outfit and Mils is crucial to this.
      I would actually say the Current AB’s back line looks very similar in make up the 1999 Wallabies team and the Current WB’s have a similar look like the one below
      Justin Marshall
      Walter Little
      Carlos Spencer
      Christian Cullen
      Jeff Wilson
      Jonah Lomu
      Tana Umaga
      This back line lost all their TriNations matches and 5 in a row in all in 1998 (the worst losing streak in AB history).
      There is no doubting the resources available to Robbie Deans but balance makes a winning team. You can all the Beale’s / Cullen’s you like but if you don’t have a good mix they might create but they might also cost.

      • Steve

        Also forgot to mention, for those who are all excited about Qlds win and thinking Super Rugby has any bearing on the Test Season 1998 is also the year NZ had 3 teams (out of 4) in the Super Finals with Canterbury beating Auckland in the Final.

      • bill

        I like the comparison of cullen to beale, but that’s all it is, a comparison. Beale is light years ahead of Cullen. For mine this WC is more the ‘bees to lose than it is anyone else’s to win. Think Daley/Holmes have to be in the mix though. Hard workers!

        • Jay

          Light years ahead? Dunno about that. He’s a more skillful ball player, but Cullen was a far better runner, I reckon.

        • Chriscullen

          You are seriously deluded , and the wallabies are the wallabies not the bees.

        • Steve

          I want some of what your smoking!!
          This is a comparison of the players at the same age
          Mat Pts Tries Conv Pens Won Lost Draw %
          Beale 16 41 7 0 2 10 6 0 62.5
          Cullen 41 161 31 3 0 31 9 1 76.82

          Check out any highlights package on Cullen on youtube the guy was a freak and only a bad knee injury in 2001 prevented him from become perhaps the best fullback of all time. He retired from Test football at only 26 having scored 46 test tries, at the time 3rd best on the all time record. Beale is up and coming but he is definitely no Cullen yet.

        • bill

          I’m familiar with Cullen’s antics. He was a pleasure to watch. Still think Beale is a different animal, but I can understand him being rated higher than Beale. It’s the idiocy of comparing players, it doesn’t work, but it attracts me anyway.

  • Alan Grouse

    I had to turn it off, was sick to death of seeing McCaw and co rule the breakdown illegally. Its a disgrace and the inept officiating ensured any contest was non existent. The ruck inside the SA 22 not long after Afoa went down injured was pure comical with McCaw running into it from the SA side.

    Best team in the world no doubt about it but what they get away is ruining any match they feature in for me

    • bill

      Never been a fan of Rolland, black’s far better tonight though. The boks would’ve struggled to register anything above zero f*king kelvin.

    • Garry

      ” Best team in the world no doubt”,

      and their ability to get away with indiscretions,

      are intrinsically linked.

      • bill

        mmm maybe, also think it’s their achilles heel, ’cause they can get shell shocked when it doesn’t work out 4 them.

    • fr3ak

      Couldn’t agree more, I can only assume that there is an inside joke for the ABs that they do the opposite of whatever McCaw’s message from the ref is. You could see him saying “roll away” several times after he and Smit were warned in the first half but it just continued.

      The try saving tackle and subsequent turnover made on Ralepelle was a spectacular example, Mils made the tackle, let go came back from the right side and then promptly fell over onto the Boks side and sealed off the ball entirely, meanwhile McCaw helps to tackle, never releases the player, also lies near the ball with his hands in the ruck and all of this 1 metre from their own line. It was criminal.

      • bill

        Refs responsibility. Can’t blame ‘em 4 trying it on.

        • fr3ak

          Oh absolutely it is the ref’s responsibility but it’s still pretty cynical and it destroys the spectacle of the game. If you can win without cheating then why cheat?

        • bill

          @freak totally agree. But what better than beating these f*kers @ their own game. They better be concerned about Simmons and Horwill, best 2nd row on the planet currently.

      • Jay

        See what you want to see I guess – McCaw wasn’t involved in the tackle, Carter was. McCaw seems to enter legally and then Pienaar pulls him off his feet and after watching that replay a bunch of times I can’t see any evidence of him playing the ball off his feet.

        MIls cheated his arse off though, yellow card material – he drives through off his feet and doesn’t roll away, which allows the next wave of AB forwards to drive over the ball.

        • fr3ak

          I stand corrected on the tackling but I didn’t say he played the ball I just said his hands are in ruck, what he is doing with them is something only Mr McCaw and god (of the dark arts) knows :) he could have gotten out of the ruck if he wanted to but he decided to lie around on the side, he certainly wasn’t helping the situation.

          It was just the inconsistency of the refereeing that annoyed me, how can you warn/penalise so many players in the first half and then appear to ignore the rule in the second particularly in a situation like that, I wouldn’t say penalty try but yellow card at the very least.

        • Jay

          He was trying to play the ball while on his feet and was pulled to the ground and held by Pienaar. He wasn’t interfering with play where he was, from my view.

        • Patrick

          I don’t get it, this is South Africa of all teams, Bakkies would have eaten Millsy’s right arm off for that kak, why did this bunch settle for just watching him?

        • Roland

          Bring back rucking and our old mate Ritchie would probably attempt this once more in his career. Bring it back! This is just one of the many problems that rucking solves

        • bill

          Rucking, meh. It’s a bit over the top to break someone’s hand just because they’re slowing your ball down. Unfortunately the refs are, idiosyncratic, at times.

        • RJ

          Thats the point, he wont do it, unless he likes showing his girlfriend his sweet azz new ruck marks after every game.

        • bill

          When I was a schoolboy rugby player no saturday was complete if you didn’t have a set of train tracks from being rucked. Done my fair share of amatuer mountaineering as well.

          Little different when it’s 110 kilo guys inflicting the damage though, always hated to see guys injured in that situation for something the ref should controll.

  • Gnostic

    Thanks yet again Bob.

    As I noted earlier today in the forum I was watching the Taranaki V Auckland ITM cup game and noted the continual interference of offside players with players arriving at the ruck. At one point a tackler rolled clear of the tackled player about half a metre, preventing a long placement of the ball, his team mates competed strongly for the ball but didn;t quite win it, then as the attack half back moved to clear the ball he “rolled” further clear of the ruck taking out the halfback’s legs. This all took place in 10 to 15 seconds and seeing it at ITM cup level proves to me that this type of illegal behaviour is coached in NZ. It is a blight on the game and I truly hope to see offenders penalised.

    • BloodRed

      That’s a strategy the Crusaders used repeatedly against the Reds (probably also against most other teams they played). Tacklers roll “away ” the wrong way and then sit up infront of the incoming halfback. On ocassions standing up and letting the cleanout drive them back into the ruck and over the ball. Was so repeated I figured that the refs don’t see it as illegal? They can’t possibly be missing it.

      • Alan

        yep i reckon that behaviour is coached and encouraged over there – they are getting away with it! why wouldn’t they continue doing it

        The onus is on the opposition

        Mirror what they are doing, up the aggression smashing the cunts who loiter or get in the way and have Rocky constantly in the Refs ear reminding him

  • Jon

    I couldn’t find anything around the 14th minute where McCaw did anything illegal. I’ve looked back and forth. Care to tell the exact time? Thanks

    • unionfan

      He took down the Boks second row when the latter tried to tackle #9 while being off side (ahead of ruck and not attached to anyone)

  • Robson

    I was trying to watch the game from the kitchen – one sided test matches make you hungry – so I didn’t actually see what McCaw did to inspire strong words of criticism towards him from Kiwi commentator, ex All Black, ex Crusaders and ex McCaw team mate – one Justin Marshall.

    But it must have been very obviously illegal because Justin was not impressed with it at all and, furthermore, had no hesitation in saying so.

    • Steve

      Fair point but I will note unlike the jingoistic Aussie commentators, Marshall has never been afraid of critising “his team”, in fact now they have gotten rid of Mexted the NZ commentators are pretty unbiased in their call of the game.
      However everyone needs to take a cold bath on the whole cheating thing, As a Kiwi supporter I have wasted many an hour yelling at the TV because George Smith, Phil Waugh, David Pocock were on the wrong side of a ruck.
      If there is one truth in Rugby the opposition will always cheat to win, and your team are always hard done by with the ref’s calls

      • Robson

        If you were yelling at the TV Steve I hope it took some notice.

        As a Kiwi I would say that it’s the duty of all open side flankers to push the perimeters of the law and I would also say that the lad from the Hakataremea Valley – whom my sister in law used to baby sit for – is no more guilty than the rest. There is always, however, been the suspicion in the back of my mind that he gets away with it more than the rest.

        Maybe he is better at it.

        • Steve

          Small word Robson my mother used to Baby sit Richie’s Dad, well small valley at the least!!
          I think Richie definitely pushes the laws but as you say all opensides do hell its written into their job description, he is probably a much better man manger than most and if he feels the ref is either going tough or light adjusts his game accordingly. Doesn’t make him any more of a cheat just a smart player, the other 2 players who was fantastic at this were George Smith and Neil Back, Back probably being the most cynical

  • Goldie

    I agree with you about unpunnished discretions Bob, it always frustrates me when a player gets away with things, but at the end of the day, whether they try to cheat intentionally or not, it’s the ref’s responsibility to keep everyone on the straight & narrow. Can’t understand why so many ref’s say that’s the last warning, but the cards still don’t come. Bit disappointed in your final comments though Bob, you make it sound like it’s the All Blacks fault they are not penalised for their indiscretions. They aren’t going to penalise themselves now are they? Come on, if you are going to have a go at anyone, sort out the ref’s. There’s 3 sets of eyes watching what’s going on, how come they never seem to see what you see? You sound like you are bleeting on when you make these comments and the reason you do is that you always make it sound like it’s the fault of the players, but you seem to forget it’s the role of the officials to make sure the game is played within the bounds of the rules.

    • ooaahh

      I have a theory that the AB’s get away with murder as their jerseys are black and therefor far harder to see in peripheral vision and also harder to see at the bottom of a ruck or mall. It’s just a theory though.

      • People laugh it off, but I’m sure it’s a factor.

        It’s the reverse concept of players who want to stand out bleaching their hair. Black is a non-colour and just fades into the background. Gold and other bright colours stick out.

        • Steve

          Maybe that’s why the Poms have picked it up, cause if anyone plays on the wrong side of the ruck….

  • Nick_Brisbane

    Why a good rugby team like the ABs have to resort to cheating is beyond me. My TV is in danger from flying objects at times.

    Who is the ref on Saturday?

    • Patrick

      B Lawrence, are you excited?
      Backed up for the return match in NZ by Kaplan …

    • Jay

      It’s Craig Joubert.

      • Raugee

        Yeah, it’s Joubert. I think he’s one of the ones with a Richie blind spot. Along with the fact that AB are #1, at home, at a ground they haven’t lost at since ’94, it’s going to be a hard day at the office for the WB. Still, the WB play with a lot of self belief. I’m picking 2 tries apiece with Carter kicking 1 more conv and 1 more penalty so AB by 4. 23 – 18. It’s sad to say but no Bledisloe for us yet but these young WB have plenty more years in em.

        • bill

          Oh ye of little faith!

          Naa, hope we see a great effort by both sides after the hairy east german porn the boks have dished up. Don’t really care about the scoreboard, just give us a game lads, I’m sick of this Eddie Jones type crap. Go out there and create some magic.

        • Robson

          Yeah, I’m for the magic too. I just hope that the Wallabies have a spoonful more of it than the All Blacks. I was at the match in ’86 (I think it was) when the Wallabies last won on Eden Park and although I didn’t enjoy it much that day, today is another day and my allegiances have long since changed. I hope that Saturday is a day when the monkey goes out the back door.

  • Pie Thrower

    Cans omeone help me here? I noted a number of times during the game McCaw does the following when on defence: Enters a ruck or maul from behind the last mans feet so legally joins it. Binds very loosely with his hand and then (whilst still bound) walks around the side of the ruck/maul to intefere with the ball/halfback etc. It seems offside to me.

    Strictly speaking he is bound, enters correctly etc – but is it within the laws of the game?? Can’t say I have that great an udnerstanding of the finer points of the laws any more.

    Can anyone shed any light on this?

    • BloodRed

      Pretty sure that is illegal. The wording is something along the lines of “must come thru the ruck”. Skirting around the sides is just another example of taking whatever the refs will let you get away with.

    • Steve

      Sorry for the doulbe post meant to put this in as a reply
      The 2 IRB laws relating to ruck entry state:
      A player joining a ruck must bind on a team-mate or an opponent, using the whole arm. The
      bind must either precede, or be simultaneous with, contact with any other part of the body
      of the player joining the ruck.
      Players joining or rejoining the ruck. A player joining a ruck must do so from behind the
      foot of the hindmost team-mate in the ruck. A player may join alongside this hindmost
      player. If a player joins the ruck from the opponents’ side, or in front of the hindmost teammate,
      the player is offside. A player may bind onto an opposition player providing the player
      is not otherwise offside.

      There is no clarification (5 in all on Rucks) in the rules regarding remaining bound, so according the the rules so long as he enters bound from the last feet and initially binds with his arm he is then free to “come through” but sure;y any opposition worth their salt would be protecting the ball to prevent this from happening. If you don’t like a player on your side push the F%er off it!!

  • BDA

    I’m yet to watch the game but all this talk re the Blecks behaving badly at the breakdown doesn’t surprise me. They have always pushed the limits and often take advantage of referees who seem to have misconceptions that because they are the best side in the world, what they are doing is legal.

    I still remember a Bledisloe cup game a few years ago when the All Blacks forwards were charging in to clean out the ruck and just continuing on and taking out opposiiton players 1 or 2 metres behind the ruck. It was the most outragous move I’d ever seen from test pack, but the ref just let them continue, i guess because he felt like the All Blacks had the upper hand anyway.

    There is no denying the Blecks have a great forward pack, but I think they go out there initially and try to get every advantage possiible at the breakdown, disregarding the rules, more so than other teams. This “crawling” or driving/diving through the ruck that bob describes above was also a feature of the crusaders play this year.

    • Steve

      No where in the Laws does it say you have to stop once you have passed the ball so long as you are still bound to either your own or opposition player you can go as far a you like, as the law below states. Infact often teams get caught out by over committing allowing the opposition a second chance to come in from behind the players who have gone all the way through.
      Shit if you are that bad the opposition is able come right through the ruck and gain a further 1-2 metres then you lose the ball clear and simple.

      • MattyP

        Potentially it’s obstruction though?

  • Steve

    The 2 IRB laws relating to ruck entry state:
    A player joining a ruck must bind on a team-mate or an opponent, using the whole arm. The
    bind must either precede, or be simultaneous with, contact with any other part of the body
    of the player joining the ruck.
    Players joining or rejoining the ruck. A player joining a ruck must do so from behind the
    foot of the hindmost team-mate in the ruck. A player may join alongside this hindmost
    player. If a player joins the ruck from the opponents’ side, or in front of the hindmost teammate,
    the player is offside. A player may bind onto an opposition player providing the player
    is not otherwise offside.

    There is no clarification (5 in all on Rucks) in the rules regarding remaining bound, so according the the rules so long as he enters bound from the last feet and initially binds with his arm he is then free to “come through” but sure;y any opposition worth their salt would be protecting the ball to prevent this from happening. If you don’t like a player on your side push the F%er off it!!

  • Robson

    Changing the subject a trifle, like Bob I thought that the ABs execution against the Bokke was immaculate. They looked to be in fantastic form. Up until last Saturday night I would have called the match at 50:50. But by next Saturday the Wallabies will have had 10 days in camp together and I’m pretty sure that one of the focus points of their training will have been on going up another several notches from the Saturday before last. However, until their form is finally revealed on the paddock I think that the ABs are maybe a percentage point or two up on the Wallabies. But like politics, a week between test matches is a long time and the Wallabies will be in no doubt abou the magnitude of the task that lies ahead of them.

    This promises to be a fiercely contested match. Right now I don’t think I would put any money on either team.

    • Steve

      In one on one situations I like the look of the Wallabies but if the AB’s are given anything like the room that rubbish Bok team gave them, the width at which the AB’s play will have them in trouble.
      My prediction if the game gets a bit loose and they are allowed to counter attack the WB’s are better than 50:50
      If the AB’s hang on to the ball, there kick chase is spot on and play the game with as much pace and precision as last weekend the WB’s are in for a long night.

      • Serious?

        Agreed – this is going to be a rip snorter.

        Both teams are playing top level rugby, and I really hope the match lives up to all it’s expectations for the sake of rugby.

        In my opinion, probably the most glaring difference between the two teams if you were to compare both matches against the South Africans was how much the All Black reserves added (Afoa aside of course), and how much the Wallaby reserves detracted from their respective performances. Both Weepu and Slade, lifted the overall intensity when they came on and added subtle variations in attack that asked more questions than their predecessors had moments before they were subbed. Whereas the Wallaby reserves let in some very soft points and a fair whack of intensity was lost upon their arrival. So, it’ll be very interesting to see how Deans uses his bench on Saturday. On the flip side, I thought kick-off receipts and defense around the ruck fringes by the All Blacks was decidedly ordinary. Genias eyes would have lit up watching the replay of Saturdays game.

        Roll on 2am Saturday morning in the Peruvian Andes, if that fuc.ken donkey rubs his arse against my cable TV connection again he’ll be dog food.

        • Adori

          LOL – classic.

        • Quality

  • Garry

    In respect to the breakdown, we may have been given an early insight to how the Nth Hem refs deal with the indiscretions. Ref Rollard had obvious had a gutful of it by halftime, feeling the need to speak to both captains. Yet in the second half, no yellow cards were handed out.

    If this is a general sign of what is to go on, then a sh*t fight it will be. These players are not innocent, and will push to the boundary and some.

  • Jimbo81

    South Africa deserve a penalty tri and McCaw deserved a yellow card for the cynical play – killing the ball by joining the ruck (3 meters out from the line) from an off-side position, then diving on the ball, followed by three other Allblacks, who then proceeded to get up and impede the half-back. BLATANT cheating! I demand the ref be sacked – that sort of rubbish shouldn’t be allowed at test level – and this is a world cup year for F’k sake!

    • Garry

      Expect a Paddy public apology in the next coming week.

      Yeah, not likely.

    • damo15

      Mate, calm the f-ck down. Did you see one of the Boks clearly break away from the maul and tackle Richie from the wrong side when the Blacks were scoring a certain try?

      Reffs make calls and miss calls all the time. The Boks were well and truly smoked. Nothing would’ve changed that.

      Just bring on next week!

  • kiwi fan

    With due respect guys. All sides push the laws. Sit down with a rule book and watch the Wallabies. They infringe left right and centre. I know this is an Aussie blog, but still… It’s so ovcer the top it loses credibility.

    Winging isn’t one of the most attractive Australian rugby traits. Why is it that successive focus on the individual rather than the law. Fair enough if you think players going of their feet, not rolling away and entering rucks from the side is an issue.

    If you want real credibility on this issue you have to analyse both sides, and your own team. Which leaves me thinking the comments in the article are aimed to stir debate or to reinforce preconcieved, prejudiced views.

    I should point out that Bob’s one of my favourite coaches and I always admire his teams, his knowledge and his style. I really like the current wallabies.

    • ozabraod

      OZ will need to pic the correct team to win won’t they

    • ozabroad

      Mate go on ALLBLACKS.com anmd ull read crap from a bunch of whingers.

      Im not really interested in the analysis of richie. Its simple for the wallabies. Dont let them do it. Knoc em ova if they are in the way and make it hurt, so thye dont do it again.This may not be easily done nut should be the mental approach. Give them nothing

      • Kiwi fan

        Fair comment re allblacks.com and dealing with Richie. Agree on both counts.

    • Muffy

      Mate this thread is on a game that didn’t involve the Wallabies, so perhaps this would be the best place to get and insight into what people realy think.

      I have never seen Pocock infringe…NEVER

      I think the Reds are the cleanest team in the S15, EVER

      But…here and now we have the opportunity to watch a game with both eyes open and call it as we see it.

      Not sure how we can have no vested interest in the game and still be called whingers..

      After a WBs or Reds loss maybe..

      • Kiwi fan

        Not sure I agree about the comment with both eyes open. It’s not personal, we all carry bagage. The AB’s play the Wallabies next week and McCaw’s and turn overs are a key component in the game. I doubt few of the rugby playing public are unbiased as far as Richie is concerned. I can’t remember the last time I read one of Bob’s articles where he didn’t throw a barb at the AB’s. He doesn’t need to. I would have preferred it if he had just said:
        1. Crocket is know a genuine option at test level, (rather than he doesn’t cheat as much)
        2. I didn’t like the way the way the ref managed the breakdown, to many people going off their feet and coming in from the side (rather than McCaw’s got to be the biggest cheat on the planet).

  • Jimbo81

    Wallabies by 17!

    • Robson

      Hell I thought you said 171 until I realised that the last digit was an exclamation mark. No specs on this morning. But 17 is still pretty generous.

  • ozabraod

    we need the correct team to beat the ABS dont we.

  • bill

    Personally I think the ARU shouldn’t send the …’bees to South Africa for the remaining tri test. Instead pick a combined 3rd division sub districts side just to show the boks anything they can do we can do and with a great deal more style.

    And to top it off 5 minutes into the game our Captain would announce we’re having a smoke break, but just you (boks) lot continue on, play with yourselves gentlemen, whereupon the water boy runs on with a esky full of beers for our subbies .

  • Footy44

    I reckon AB’s have been watching the reds – their backline looked very slick with ball in front of runner. Compared to crusaders who looked a little pedestrian with sbw and fruen, I think conrad smith was great at out centre to distribute to outside backs.

    Let’s see how good deans is as I think wallabies need to change it up in attack at some stage – if we just hope Cooper magic can take us all the way to the final then we might be putting to much faith in one man.

    If AB’s can match us in backs man for man (9 is only position I see we have distinct advantage) then their fwds will get them over line. We need some strategy from deans just like mckenzie gave the reds!!!

  • Jay

    Ok – can anyone tell me why Bob mentioned Crockett in relation to that ruck in the 48th minute?

  • bill

    Geez, Ben Franks is upset that the wallabies and reds enjoyed their last wins. Well I guess it’s hairshirts and self flagellation aplenty for us because we so require his approval.

  • Suzy Poison

    Bob said:
    “Even allowing for the absence of many first-choice players and conceding that perhaps only five or six of this squad will be in their first-choice 22, this must count as a disastrous start for their defence of the World Cup.”
    Sorry Bob, that’s a long stretch. Concentrating on the Tri-Nations, instead of the World Cup has proven in 2007, to be chasing fool’s gold, it’s too early to tell if this the “disastrous start for their defence of the World Cup” you claim. Further more, when the Boks run out against Wales, they will only contain one player, from Saturday in the run on side, John Smit, and at a push three on the bench. Lambie, De Jong and Danie Rossouw.
    This is pretty much the same Bok team won the 2007 World Cup. They are being rested because, unlike the Wallabies, the Boks are giving teams like Samoa full respect. They realise that they have to play, their first choice team, in every single pool game. To put it bluntly, the Samoan game is far more crucial than any of the Tri-Nation games, same with the Wales game. That is where the focus lies. Meanwhile Australia are skating on thin ice, playing all their best players, after such a long Super 15 season, in every Tri-Nations game. Australia are just two major injuries away, (an injury to say, Pocock or Genia) , from blowing their World Cup. All the European teams are locked away, similar to the A team Boks in training camps. Ireland will come out fresh, and ready for an upset in the World Cup, whilst Australia and New Zealand bash each other to stand still. Lets see who has the correct strategy?

All Blacks

If you don't know Bob Dwyer is the world cup winning coach of the 1991 Wallabies, then give yourself an uppercut. He did a load in between, but he now runs Bob Dwyer's Rugby Workshops, which you can read more about on his site.

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