Preview: Wallabies v All Blacks 3
All Blacks

Preview: Wallabies v All Blacks 3

Preview: Wallabies v All Blacks 3

I’m sure that the Wallabies will overcome the (supposed) hoodoo voodoo and defeat the All Blacks sometime soon. 

However, I have my doubts whether it’ll be this weekend or even this year. I reckon the smart money would be on 2011.

It would be a seismic 7.1 on the Richter scale if the Wallabies actually got home over an all-conquering All Blacks in Sydney this Saturday.

The Kiwis have been a 15 point better team than the Wallabies so far this season (that’s the aggregate points difference between them).

The unknown is: how much better have the Wobblies become since they’ve been on the road and can their past inconsistencies be that easily overcome?

For those that think this test is a dud root dead rubber for the Kiwis, then think again.  The All Blacks have plenty to play for and they’ll be wanting to make a statement.

The expectation from home is that there will be a 10thconsecutive win over the Wallabies and, to be honest, this team is not rated that highly in the Shaky Isles.

I guess that’s one of the reasons why they’ve ‘rested’ some of their front line players. I’ve noticed a degree of hubris and condescension in their media that only a nine game winning streak could bring.

However, the earth has moved for the Wallabies in the past few weeks. They’ve been purposeful, shown more character and have flowered to some extent, especially on attack.

In fact, they’re looking increasingly like a team that is headed somewhere and this bodes well for future enterprises – the Spring Tour comes to mind.

The Wallabies are playing a similar style of expansive, expressive rugby as the All Blacks but the obvious point of difference between the two sides is defence.

To allow the Springboks back into matches from seemingly unwinnable positions exposes a defensive frailty and a worrying lack of composure that the All Blacks will fully exploit.

Then there’s the fatigue factor. Traditionally (certainly at Super 14 level) teams flying back from South Africa have difficulty coping with the turnaround later in the week.

Jet lag and time zones take quite some time to filter through the system. Hopefully they were wearing sunnies on the way home?

The All Blacks will be as fresh as daisies after their three week break and a cunning injection of new blood.

That’ll mean Robbie will definitely be needing to use all his bench again.

There are a couple of enforced changes to the Wallaby squad this week. Lakkie Turner is plucked from Seven’s heaven and comes into the starting XV for an injured Drew Mitchell.

And on the bench, Huia Edmonds gets a callup for the suspended Saia Faingaa. I thought we might have seen the last of Huia but no, he gets another taste of international rugby.

For the All Blacks there’s only one injury change and that’s Aaron Cruden in for Dan Carter.

There has been some rotation. Victor Vito is on the blindside flank for Kaino, Piri Weepu at halfback for Cowan, Owen ‘Otto’ Franks for bro’ Ben and Izzy Dagg on the wing for Smokin’ Joe.

Colin Slade, Anthony Borich and Rene Ranger come onto the bench.

Cruden lacks experience and is defensively weak (that evens things up). I think they’ll miss Carter but let’s not underestimate him – he plays a lot like QC.

I can’t see the other changes seriously weakening their side. On the contrary, Weepu and ‘Otto’ probably strengthen it?

This will be the proverbial (and clichéed) defining test for both teams. For the Wallabies: to show themselves exactly how far their deposit in belief has moved forward.

For the All Blacks: to maintain the continuing psychological and physical edge that Ted and his team have over the Wallabies.

I want our guys to give a good account of themselves and to show us there has been incremental improvement.

A bonus would be Bam Pocock outplaying Sir Richie on the night (who becomes the most capped All Black captain ever).

A win looks a bridge too far to me but you can see that there is building going on, not quite the crumbling edifice it threatened to be early on.

Not seismic, but building nonetheless. All Blacks by 9.

Wallabies:

Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau, Lachie Turner, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Ben McCalman, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom (c), Nathan Sharpe, Mark Chisholm, Salesi Ma’afu, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson

Reserves:

Huia Edmonds, James Slipper, Dean Mumm, Richard Brown, Luke Burgess, Berrick Barnes, Anthony Faingaa

All Blacks

Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Israel Dagg, Aaron Cruden, Piri Weepu, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (c), Victor Vito, Tom Donnelly, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.

Reserves:

Corey Flynn, John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Jerome Kaino, Jimmy Cowan, Colin Slade, Rene Ranger

Referee: Mark Lawrence (J. Kaplan C. Du Preez M. Goddard)

Weather forecast for Sydney on Saturday: Fine weather 12 – 21C

Game: 8.00pm start AEST – venue ANZ Stadium, Sydney

  • Bradley

    I’m surprised that Brown kept his spot on the bench with Hodgson back in camp and I assume fully fit. Who covers Pocock should the worst happen? God knows what a mess of 7 Brown would make. McCalman isn’t a 7 and we know Rocky isn’t a 7 either. Hodgson is our only backup. What are you thinking Deans?

    • Lance Free

      Brown was originally an openside flanker and I think would give a pretty good account of himself if that’s the style of ‘fetcher’ rugby he needed to play.

    • realist

      Another pretty ordinary Wallaby team which should be outclassed by the All Blacks “B” team on Saturday night. Some of the Wallaby selections are quite strange and there is a lack of strong defence and toughness across the board. The win against South Africa was good for morale but the Springboks are playing dreadful rugby at present and this should not lull the Wallabies into a false sense of security. -

      • Who would be the better selections?

        • 123abc@rugbyweb.org

          Cameron Shepherd, Peter Hynes, Scott Higgenbotham, Ben Daly, Laurie Weeks, Rod Symons, Al Baxter,

        • dave

          I think the reason there hasn’t been wholesale changes across the board is the reason given for Lachie Turner coming in instead of the less than fully-recovered Hynes, and that is that he’s been training with them for the entire tour to SA. To bring in sweeping changes would only threaten to destabilise the team. As in Turner’s case he’s familiar with the moves etc. And let’s face it – although he had a couple of below average performances last year he was good for the tahs. But above all he’s a decent footballer who has plenty of pace, gives it his all and will now be very, very hungry.

        • realist

          Wallabies are going backwards. The team has more 7s players than genuine test players. Selectors and coaches must be on something illegal to come up with this odd combination. The players will do their utmost – pity the selectors have let Australia down again.

        • Bradley

          I’m unable to reply for some reason to 123abc, so it’s going here.

          Sheperd is injured again. Hamstring I think during a club rugby game on the weekend. That guy can’t get a break from breaking.

  • Good honest thoughts Lance. I think Cruden will be the weakness for the AB’s for sure. That could be enough to close the gap between these two teams. I am looking forward to a close game. AB’s by 7.

  • Barbarian

    Also think Dagg could be a weakness, think Joe Rok was playing very well. Dagg is a bit showy, a bit arrogant, and looks like a player who could seriously implode if his confidence is shot on the big stage.

    • Spike

      Agree with the showy and arrogant, but not with the confidence should he have a bad game. He has loads of skill and talent, and will be the starter by World Cup time IMHO. Reminds me of a young Jeff Wilson. Barring injury, he should be a great one.

  • chriscullen

    Sure Cruden is no Carter but many (including me) think Dagg is a superstar in waiting unlike Rokocoko who is a has been.
    Cruden is classy and will have lots of Hurricaness around him with Weepu,Nonu,Smith and Cory Jane making it 5/7 in the backline.
    Apparantly Weepu will be goalkicker

    • Joe_Mac

      This Carter injury could be a big blessing in disguise for the AB’s. Come next year’s WC if Carter were to get an injury they will be screwed. If cruden does well, it may give them confidence that his replacement can do the job.

      Hopefully QC makes him look like a clown!

  • ozrugbynut

    Goes almost without saying that its another very important game in terms of momentum leading into 2011. The hoodoo needs to be broken, but it won’t be in this game.

    Shame Hynes was not ready for a comeback, but Turner has been on the fringes and deserves a run in the absence of any other specialist winger. I do however have doubts about his size at this level.

    Still feeling sorry for Higginbotham. Hopefully he will be right for Hong Kong.

    Genia will need to play an up tempo agressive game to counter Weepu. Might see Burgo come on sooner if energy isn’t to required levels.

    It will be the usual show in Sydney – more Kiwis at the game than Aussies, no home ground advantage, no passion in the crowd.

    Too much class in the starting 15 and bench – ABs by 13.

    • realist

      I think Hynes was available but not selected in the 22. Strange as they do not have an outside back on the bench and could use his strong defence?

      • Lance Free

        When I updated the post today with the teams (before publication – I substantially wrote it on Monday/Tuesday), I had written ‘specialist winger Lakkie Turner’.

        But then I thought – is he? He’s another utility? Wing, fullback and I saw that he was playing club rugby the other day at outside centre. It’s that ‘total rugby’ thing again. I guess it gives them options.

        Hynes is reportedly still injured. Lakkie’s a good player and deserves another shot. I’m hoping the style we are now playing encourages him to back himself instead of kicking it away all too frequently.

        • Garry

          Lance

          Wouldn’t it be great if Shmoo was taking a ‘forced injury’, to rotate some new blood into the squad. But that doesn’t sound like Deans’ style/inteligence.

      • Garry

        I think Hynes was available but not selected in the 22. Strange…

        Another of the strange ‘reverse blooding’ policy of the Deans regime.

        Pull up hard on those reigns Dingo.

    • The Rant

      Pretty sure Turner’s got more size than both JOC and KB. His defence is usually pretty good as well.

      He’ll play solid – no less and hopefully a bit more.

      I’ll be jumping off the golf course after 9 holes and forgoing a fancy free lunch to see this game on a shitty computer screen – not cos i think we’ll win – but becuase i think that we can win.

      C’mon!

      • ozrugbynut

        From ARU stats:

        Turner 88kg
        JOC 88kg
        KB – 94 kgs

        I do believe JOC punches well above his weight. Take his run to the line over that french forward in the June internationals as an example.

  • Pedro

    I think if the Wallabies start well then they’re a chance, I don’t think they could handle the same treatment as they recieved in melbourne.

    As usual I will be most worried about the scrum, if that holds up they could match the kiwis most other places (other than an exposed cooper on defense). Also the centres of new zealand are the best pairing in the world and arguably ever, big test for AAC.

    I think (weather permitting) it will be fast and loose with probably a few yellow cards with nothing for either side to gain (lose?) but pride and momentum.

    Surprised they rested Kaino, that guy looks the goods.

    Wallabies by three / -15

    • Roland

      Are you joking. Best centre pairing ever? Theyre not even the best in the world currently. I would take DV and Fourie over Knock on Nonu and Conrad “run of the mill” Smith. In fact, I think Gits and AAC will carve that centres channel up come saturday.

      And best of all time: Heres three Australian combo’s that would have/actually did run circles around them.
      Horan/Little
      Horan/Herbert
      Gitea/Mortlock
      Throw in some other kiwi combo’s on the 90’s, throw in O’Driscoll/Darcy combo from Ireland, there’s been a couple of flash french centre combo’s. Mate I think Nonu/Smith have a lot to prove untill you give them that title.

      It’s up front I am worried about. Cannot wait for some of our big boys like Ben A, TPN, Cliff, Horwill and Vickerman to come back next year. I know everyone is sick of hearing those names, but all 5 of them are 115kg+

      • Pedro

        Come on man, did you even watch the saffas play the all blacks? DV and Fourie got pwned.

        I said arguably the best ever, arguably, for Fouries sake, I didn’t need a list of posible contenders for the crown.

        I do however share some interest in your idea to “mate i think nonu/smith”, although not from the same homo-erotic stand point that you no doubt do.

        • Joe_Mac

          Best ever? If they were to win the WC in 2011 maybe but right now they have won the TN in 2010 and Bledisloe 09/10…

          Hardly a best ever list of acheivement’s against an aeging Boks team and an injury depleted Wallabies team.

  • Linus

    It’s hard to argue with your logic when you’re 0 from 9.

  • Lee Enfield

    Can’t say I will ever tip the All Blacks over the Wallabies, even if all the evidence suggests I should. Wallabies to win by 15, the All Black defence will have more cracks in it than a road in Christchurch.

    • Lance Free

      And all the evidence suggests you should Lee. Maybe this is when the Wallabies are at THEIR most dangerous – when we least expect it?

      • Garry

        when we least expect it?

        click, bang ?

  • Pants

    Home ground advantage will give it to the Kiwis. Yes I know its in Sydney.

    • Garry

      Is it at the SFS, that’s close to Bondi.

    • Springboche

      Over the 107 years of tests there, Sydney hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the ABs:

      ABs v Shackle Draggers at Sydney: P49 W28 L19 D2 57.1%

      • ozrugbynut

        Its not the city, its ANZ stadium and its the fact no one could be ar$sed going there except the die hards and the kiwis. No atmosphere, no home ground advantage.

        Plus a few ghosts from 03…

  • chequebalance

    Wallabies by 38, then -7, then 12, then to win by 3.

    • Scoot

      What, no yellow cards? Sounds like a boring game ;-)

      • chequebalance

        Actually we score 3 tries to get back to plus 12 while Bam Bam is off for pointing out that he got penalised for the same infringement that Rictchie just committed. After a quick word to Ritchie the ref decided Bam should be sent for dissent. He spends his 10mins giving piggy back rides to fans and teammates 3 at a time around the ground.

  • Sean Gautusa

    I’m hard-out nervous about this Test….. I think the ABs need to wallop the Wallabies to keep them doubting their own ability to consistently perform. I think even if the Wallabies run the ABs close it will serve to strengthen their mentality in the big games and on the bigger stages to come next year.

    In saying that, I don’t know that the ABs can do that. Not so much because of the changes but because the Wallabies definitely looking dangerous on the attack!

    • Garry

      I think the ABs need to wallop the Wallabies to keep them doubting their own ability

      I think the WB’s need to be walloped by the AB’s to remove the current coach.
      ;)

  • Nutta

    Pedro and anyone else who keep banging on about the AB centres being the “best ever”

    2 words

    Horan Little

    Wake up to yourselves. They’re not bad – I’ll give you that – but “best ever”?!?!? Get off the drugs man

    • Pedro

      I said that they are the best pairing in the world and “arguably” the best ever.

      Furthermore I will never get off the drugs, I don’t make life choices like that on the advice of a nutta.

    • chequebalance

      I agree. Although if you were Irish you could be saying O’Driscoll and D’Arcy (still playing, so maybe AB pair not even the current best)??
      But for me it is Horan & Little.

    • Garry

      In the context of this era, perhaps the poor opposition that we’re providing them is making them look better than they should be?

    • MattyP

      Or even Bunce and Little.

  • Groucho

    On your last few blog posts, Lance, I’ve been a naysayer but this time I think you’re spot on. This Wallabies team is developing towards next year. This game is a bridge too far.

    BUT GO WALLABIES!!!!!!!

  • Have hope guy’s, Cruden’s been doing some serious bench warming and (from memory) he’s only played one full game in the past month, Dagg’s defence has not really been tested thus far. Colin Slade is an up and comer but could he drive the ship if Cruden gets injured?

    Playing against an Aussie team that should be pretty fired up after beating the Bok in Bokland, I’m thinking this could be a very close game… and can’t wait.

    Looking forward to seeing Rene Ranger get a run, looks promising, very.

    • Garry

      5 of the 7 AB backs come from the one S14 franchise.

      I’m sure the combinations will perform very well.

      It’s gonna be a cracker. Let’s hope for a dry track, and the WB forwards step into them. Hand-bags please.

      Carrrn Wobblies. WB’s by 25 at halftime, and 2 on the bell.

      • Brax

        Though that particular S14 team are well known chokers. Wob’s by 10

  • bones

    There is a decent chance the ABs will be off the pace for the first 30mins, given that they havent played for some time. Aussies will have a lot of adrenalin from last weeks win. Henry said after last week’s game that the Springboks gave the Aussies the chance to express themselves, and they did it beautifully. Meaning that the ABs will not allow the Aussies to have quick ruck ball – they will go offside everytime to slow it down to prevent a 7-pointer.

    So if the Referree acts each time and penalises the ABs for blatant obstruction and illegal slowing down of the ball at the rucks, and then yellows them for repeat offences and any slowdown near their line, we can win.

    We need to put the ABs backline under pressure via quick ball and backfoot ball for them, and then see how good they look. Pretty average I think you will find, especially without Carter.

  • Mavrenick

    In think the loss of Carter has been understated in most reports I have read. Sure Cruden is ‘the next best thing, a proven winner (under21’s world cup skipper) and has come back from testy cancer, but we have seen what happens when you lose your number 1 fly half.
    The crusaders without Carter can appear aimless, the Wallabies without Larkham in the day were a shadow of their running selves, and as we recently saw the difference QC makes.
    Carter alwawys makes the right decision and executes it with perfection, whether it be a game changing kick, a break or goal from the touch line.

    Sure you would prefer winning against their best, but i will take a win over the AB’s anyday and its not as if we are without some of our best!

    Plus, with the Old Boys Rugby Choir to gee the crowd up during the anthem (am hoping they do the 2nd verse as well) we may see the atmosphere at Stadium Australia / ANZ back to the days when Cathy got GOOOLLLLDDDD.

  • rugbyfreak

    I agree with you Mav – the AB,s are not the same force without DC , or Richie for that matter. This is definately the WB,s best chance to beat them this season.
    I reckon if either Carter or McCaw found themselves injured come RWC time next year the playing field would be altered drastically.

  • Come WRC 2011 and DC or Ritchie is injured… that could be really bad for us (and if Stephen bloody Donald made it back into the AB’s that would be really f^&king bad for us).
    But you take the good with the bad… sadly (at least neither of our countries have to put up with PDV).

  • Tangawizi

    I hope this South African refereeing combo does a better job than what we saw in Melbourne. At least Kaplan is the only survivor from that debacle.

    The Reds won a high scoring encounter controlled by Mark Lawrence in the Super 14’s. Hopefully the Wallabies produce a similar result on Saturday night.

    I will be flying down from Brisbane on Saturday morning and bringing the GOLD out to Homebush. Hopefully there’ll be plenty of others doing the same.

    I think we have a better chance of winning this game than we did of winning of the 2003 World Cup semi-final & so does the TAB. Go the Wallabies!!!

    • Lee Enfield

      I am flying up from Adelaide and will have the Gold on, so there will be at least 2 Wallabies supporters there.

  • dave

    I’m definitely holding out hope for a WB win. It’s a head versus heart type thing.
    I think the ABs having 3 weeks off can go a little way to negate the WBs 1 week turnaround from SA. It doesn’t always play a role, especially in the big games. After all the Reds beat the Bulls after 3 weeks in the republic. Granted the Bulls weren’t at their best but still.
    I think the loss of DC is huge. No doubt Cruden will step up somewhat but it’s an impossible ask to fill the boots of DC especially while under test pressure. DC’s in a class of his own – impossible to replace.
    The WBs need to sure up their defence though and I think that is where this test will be won or lost. It almost always is. The ABs have a great defensive system as their TN record has demonstrated. And their attack is simply awesome.
    But blind loyalty and the idea of the ABs beating us again is too difficult an idea to entertain, so WBs by 3.

  • Joel

    Lawrence is the Wallaby ace in the hole. A man who has highlights likes being the centre of attention and we could definitely see some yellow flashes.

    The thing is the Wallaby one-up defence is so poor that they don’t have to break the law with their big, running forwards.

    What’s the weather report for Sydney on Saturday?

  • Pants

    Even without Carter, we still have Smith, Nonu, Jane and Muliaina to contend with. Nonu has to be the most devastating centre in the world at the moment. They’ll just run hard and straight at us and eventually the missed tackle count will start to creep up.

    I can’t help but think Henry is toying with us. He has absolutely nothing to lose anymore. The ABs have beaten us 2 different ways this season and it wouldn’t surprise me if they do it a different way again. He alluded to not allowing us to express ourselves. If I were him i’d focus on not letting us score points in the first 25 minutes. We know what happens for the rest of the game. We generally concede around 30 points between the 25 – 70 minute mark.

    Both teams attack are great and on par but the ABs defence is much better than ours and their composure has been way better than ours. The composure may be affected by the loss of Carter but they’ve still got so many calm heads in their team.

    We’ll need to find real composure if we’ve got a chance to beat the ABs. Unfortunately i think our defence is just too leaky at the moment for us to win this one and we don’t have an 80 minute game yet.

  • In my view the IRB is being a bit precious with regards to the All Blacks and the Haka.
    Being allowed what amounts to two national anthems, and now the threat of a fine if their feelings are hurt should the opposing team choose to return the challenge.
    I seem to remember one test nation, (Ireland in 1989) advancing right up to the Haka in their reply without any IRB action.

    • chequebalance

      It’s ridiculous to insist that a team is to “stand motionless and make no reaction” during the Haka! I enjoy the Haka and the pride that the Kiwis show as they do it, but to make someone stand there in the face of what is essentially a challange is crazy! I feel it should be up to the oppossing team or player to do whatever they want during the haka, whether that’s tying their boots, scratching their nuts, or taking pictures for their Facebook page. Everyone has pre-game rituals, but i don’t expect someone to be forced to watch me piss as it’s what i do before a game. I will chip in a fiver to help pay the fine if the wallabies can come up with a response that the IRB deems against the rules.

      • As a Kiwi, all’s fair in love and war, walking towards the haka is a damn fine way of accepting a challange. All for it as are most people I know here in NZ. Not sure which idiot thought up the idea that that’s not allowed. If you want to go for it, you got for it.

        Idiots that make up rules… stupid rule.

  • Bullrush

    Dan Carter out is disappointing for the ABs but good to be able to blood Cruden in – and we beat the Wallabies twice (I think?) last year without Carter. Admittedly, it’s not the same Wallabies team…but it’s not the same ABs team either.

    “It’s ridiculous to insist that a team is to “stand motionless and make no reaction” during the Haka!”

    Agreed with chequebalance. A couple of years ago the Welsh team had a bit of a stare-down with the ABs during the haka – it’s was great watching!! Let teams deal with the Haka as they see fit….surely it’s only fair!

  • Thomas

    Higgers still injured? Gees he’s been unluncky this year.

  • Warwick

    Agreed abt the IRB’s view on the haka – yes it is a wonderful spectacle but how do you reckon teams would feel if the IRC instructed opposing teams of the Wallabies to rigidly listen to Waltzing Matilda without any reaction permitted? Opposing teams should be allowed to do what they like when facing the haka – if they offend the AB’s then the AB’s would get even more fired up and it would probably work against the opposing team. Not giving an opposing team a right of reply is clearly showing favouritism to the Kiwis and is indefensible. No wonder the Saffas turned off the mikes and sang Ole Ole Ole. I don’t condone that sort of behaviour but what do you expect when the Bokke aren’t even allowed to flinsh? Didn’t Campo used to deliberately warm up behind the goal lines to stick it to the kiwis? That’s the sort of attitude that is required – no fear!

    • Springboche

      Not giving an opposing team a right of reply is clearly showing favouritism to the Kiwis and is indefensible.

      Mate, us Kiwis want a response to the Haka but respect the oppositions’ right to do whatever they want while the ABs are performing it.

      No way anyone in NZ rugby is backing any sort of restriction on what the opposition can do during the Haka. While we would like a response (aside from the cultural aspect, a response adds to the spectacle) we’re also very much aware that being afforded the opportunity to perform it is a privilege -a privilege that most other teams are denied.

      We like the Haka, it’s part of our tradition and we’d like to keep it. Mandating what the opposition is allowed to do while we perform a cultural dance would be the best way of getting the Haka banned, as well as being inordinately conceited and rude.

  • Garry

    My 2 cents. The opposing players should be able to do what they want during the haka….at their own peril.

    It’s obvious how the AB’s feel about the culture importance of the haka, so any disregard of it will come across as an insult, and perhaps that’s what they are hoping. The haka is intended as a motivator for them, so why enhance it by perceived rudeness?

    Perhaps a surprise would throw them. I suggest go into a round huddle, and then at the very last moment of the haka, a calvery/lighthorse type charge at them (an ode to SSBrown?). Everyone will get something out of it? especially the fans.

    • Springboche

      so any disregard of it will come across as an insult

      It doesn’t really work like that mate.

      It’s unreasonable to expect players from other countries to be acquainted with Maori culture and protocol. In fact, most Kiwis are unfamiliar with the intricacies.

      I don’t know anyone who’s ever been offended by an oppositions’ response to an AB Haka. Some of the responses which non-Kiwis presume could give offence (Ireland encroaching in 1989, Richard Cockerill eye-balling in 1997, Wales standing tall in 2008) are the responses that us Kiwis admire the most. Each of these sides stood up and said “Oh yeah? Well, we’re up for this too and you’re not going to have it all your own way.”

      We want the opposition to accept the challenge. Because when they do, the game is going to be full-on. If they don’t, so be it, it’s their time as much as it is ours and they can do with it what they like.

  • dave

    I posted this in the forum re the haka:

    I think it’s a preventative measure for the RWC in NZ next year. After all they wouldn’t want any “culturally insensitive” episodes while their tournament is being watched by the world.
    I’m calling shenanigans though. Once again the ABs get to do what they want while the opposition are forced to stand there and take it. Sounds like what goes on at rucktime.

    PDV must be chomping at the bit to yell conspiracy.

  • dave

    Also had another thought. Don’t the WBs have quite a few kiwis in their team? Aren’t they entitled to haka it up in response? After all this is precisely what happened when the ABs played Munster. The kiwis in the Munster side lead with a haka of their own. If that was anything to go by the kiwis in the WBs should be perfectly within their rights – as I think only 1 out of the 4 munster boys was an AB.

    And does this rule apply to the the other pacific nations? Do teams opposing them have to stand still and not move while they perform their challenge? Or is this rule just for the precious ABs?
    Oh diddums.

    • Garry

      Perhaps we could come up with our own cultural war dance, that ends with the removal and throwing of the thong.

      • Springboche

        Perhaps we could come up with our own cultural war dance

        As it happens you already possess one. The Wallaby touring sides of 1908 and 1912 performed an Aboriginal War Cry:

        Gau Gau [add opponent’s name and the venue]
        Whir-r-r! Win-nang-a lang (Thur)
        Mu-e-an-yil-ling
        Bu rang-a-lang (Yang)
        Yai!Yai! Gun-yil-lang-yang-yah!
        ——————————————————————————–
        Greetings to [opponent] in [place]
        You are great men We are pleased to meet you
        We think we can beat you
        Come! Let us try!

    • Robson

      Culturally the protocol is that if your group has a haka you may respond with a haka. Matches between schools like Te Aute College, Wesley College (Jonah Lomu’s old alma mater) and St Stephens (when it existed) always featured reciprocal haka – of fearsome dimensions. But a haka should not be performed if only some of your team are doing it; because that lowers the mana of the haka.

  • Robson

    I agree with posters who express the thought that it is unfair for opposition teams to be directed to remain still whilst the haka is being performed.

    In fact it’s preposterous.

    By meekly complying with this directive teams are already sub consciously surrendering part of their “ihi” (power) to the All Blacks, and they have no right of reply. My feeling therefore is that the haka should be banned by the IRB rather than endorsed by way of instructing other teams to stand politely still whilst it is being performed.

    In general terms the haka is a dance of war. It’s used to express a lot of other issues these days but the enemies of pre European Maori didn’t stand still when their opponents performed a haka and that really is the guts of it. How come opposition rugby teams nowadays are required (in fact – directed), to politely stand still for it? There is no question that the haka motivates the All Blacks and if nothing else it provides them with the opportunity for a final warm up.

    Their opposition are afforded no such benefit.

    But there is a way out of this dillemma because I serioulsy don’t think the Wallabies or any other team would willingly want to be disrespectful and run off and have their own game of touch or soccer to warm up with while the haka is being performed.

    Since the IRB insist that the haka is to be respected the way to deal with it is to do just that, but internalise its energy to generate your own deep sense of motivation. Without wanting to blow about it I’ve already suggested to Robbie Deans that he should get the Wallabies to do this. Whether he has or not is something I don’t know.

  • Lance Free

    I think that the IRB have just ‘invited’ the Wallabies to do something in response to the haka. It’s the larrikin in us….

  • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

    Well my Wallaby response to the all mighty Haka would be for several Wallabies to form a straight line and from behind their backs pull out score cards and give the haka a rating.

    You know like 6.2 for eye ball bulging, 6.1 for longest tongue, 6.3 for highest leap in the air ……that sort of thing.

    In all seriousness IMHO the Haka has been seen so often to the point that it is now no longer ‘special’. I doubt if many of todays professional players regard it as anything other than a bit of an entree before the main show.

    • Robson

      It’s special to the All Blacks; make no mistake about it. Which is why I think it’s an issue that needs to be addressed by any team they are playing against.

    • Patrick

      That’s an awesome idea, I love it, it is even better than mine :) If Mortlock was playing he could give them a 0, too – as it is I would suggest that Sharpie have that honour!

      Alternatively they just whip their schlongs out and circle-jerk, that oughta do fine…it’s culturally appropriate too if I remember the maoris at high school correctly…

      • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

        If my reading of ‘schlong’ is correct then it would suffice nicely.

        Actually I tried unsuccessfully to locate a Maori haka on Youtube that I once spotted and offer it as a link. I think it was some kind of reenactment where a large group of Maori were parading & stomping & shooting a British red coat (uniform not guy) with a shot gun while the British representatives waited a respectful distance away showing no emotion what so ever.

        Then out pops this rather white looking Maori & flips his lap lap and showcases his ‘shlong’ aka donger. I was impressed…………but still the Brits were unmoved by it all.

        Now tonight I’m not after the boys to flog the AB’s just as shlong as we win.

        GO THE WALLABIES!!!!!!!!

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  • Lovely post dude, good job. I love this game.

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@@LanceFree

Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

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