Rugby Report Card 70 - Changing the Guard - Green and Gold Rugby

Rugby Report Card 70 – Changing the Guard

Rugby Report Card 70 – Changing the Guard

Blake and James break down Ireland’s victory over the All Blacks, discuss how the Wallabies are tracking on the European tour and take some questions from the great unwashed

  • From NooZealand

    Peter O’Mahony – The New Zealand Herald – The All Blacks are going to awake tomorrow with the cold, sobering realisation that they failed in Dublin to be the team they wanted to be and the players they aspire to be.

    Then a second wave of hurt is going to land when they have to take on board that Ireland, as things stand, are a better team. More disciplined, more certain about what they are trying to do and the biggest kicker of all – better under pressure.

    That’s the bit that’s going to hurt the most – that Ireland were mentally stronger. Ireland were more accurate and more composed and not just by a little bit. By quite a lot.

    • Caeliv Donnelly

      Today was definitely the worst hangover I’ve ever had.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah no bias in that report. I actually think Hansen is spot on. NZ is developing new tactics to beat the rush defence and they aren’t there yet. Nothing to worry about

  • Bakkies

    The only card that should have been dished out was for repeated NZ infringements.

    Schmidt made the players do a five minute lung busting drill after 2013. To me it was more of a decision making error that costed that match. Ireland kicked the ball to touch with a knock on advantage. Didn’t get the ball back. The sensible option was to take another phase then eat up the clock at the scrum.

    The blue print has been there since 2012 when England smashed up the All Blacks in the contact and pushed them in to mistakes. Ireland did that for 78 minutes the following year and in 2016. Probably the best half you would ever see against NZ it was about 30-8 to Ireland at half time.

    • skip

      Whitelock could have been binned twice for deliberate fouls, both of which were entitely cynical & the kind a team decides to have a player commit as they’ll probably just get penalized and not more.

    • Ed

      It is one thing to have the blueprint, but another is to have the players, the coaches and the ability to perform it.

    • Richard Patterson

      Not certain the blueprint to beat the All Blacks has really changed in 30 years Bakkies. You have to dominate the physicality, you have to go through them on attack and you have to be organised and clinical in defence. Oh – often it requires all 23 squad players, for 80 minutes total. Many try — few get to conquer it. Ireland have shown they can. All credit to them.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate the blueprint hasn’t changed since the start of rugby. It’s just that other teams struggle to get there. Alternatively it could just be the eternal squeal about referee bias and the conspiracy in World Rugby that they change the rules to suit NZ. At least that argument never gets old

      • Bakkies

        Things have changed a lot since France beat the ABs mostly without the ball in 2007. Particularly with the laws and guidelines changing frequently.

        The way SA won in 2009 with their strong maul, field position and relying a lot on drop goals to turn the scoreboard is no longer in use. Most teams don’t have wingers that have Habana’s pace to score long range tries against the run of play against NZ. They were the only team at the time that physically could match NZ at the breakdown.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate we’ve got wingers who can do that.
          I do get that the game has changed but I think fast moving defence, intensity and commitment has always been part of the game

        • Bakkies

          Who’s we?

        • Kiwi rugby lover


  • Kiwi rugby lover

    A great win by Ireland and one they certainly deserved.

    I’m not sure that all the calls against NZ are as warranted as what is being written and spoken about so often in the media. While I understand that the whole world is looking for NZ to fail, and fail they did on Saturday, honestly to see this as a “changing of the guard” and somehow meaning “the world is catching up to NZ” and all the other shit dribble that is being spewed is just rubbish. I think the issue for NZ is that the top 3 or 4 teams have never been actually that far apart, it’s just that playing Australia the Boks and Argentina, teams that have all been going backwards, means we haven’t actually been tested in the last few years.

    The great thing for us is that the leadership team in the ABs will look at this, learn from it and come up with a plan for RWC.

    • Ed

      A tough part for the NZ coaching team will be they will have one test next year before the world cup, against the Boks in Wellington, that will be the closest to a slog style game. Ireland will have that during the Six Nations and for their sides in the Champions Cup.
      Hansen and co would have learnt more from the past two weekends than from the whole RC/Bledisloe Cup series this year.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        absolutely mate. I’m actually confident that they are on the right track as they have changed their tactics and are still learning them

    • Richard Patterson

      Indeed a fine win for Ireland and a significant step forward for Irish Rugby. In all aspects of the game the All Blacks were 2nd best — there can be no excuses. As the great Bill Belichick is inclined to say after a loss “we gotta play better, we gotta coach better”. That will be the message for this All Black team as they head now to Italy – and then to the summer beaches. Joe Schmidt and the Irish team showed the world the benefits of intelligent preparation, calm thinking on the field and a ruthless efficiency by all concerned – for 80 minutes. It was impressive.

      The final comment though has to go to the crowd in attendance. From the moment the teams came onto the field they were magnificent in their support, and in their respect for the occasion. We could collectively learn a lot here Down Under. One day perhaps….

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely the Irish earned this win and certainly there are no excuses. They deserved it

        • Richard Patterson

          I do wonder if some blame for the All Blacks defeat can be laid at Michael Cheika KRL. I mean see what happens when you have to play 3 games against a poorly coached team? I mean everyone else seems to be piling on the guy. Should there be an extended ANZAC spirit here?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think that’s probably a step too far. It does have merit though and blaming him for more than the Wallaby mess is pretty cool

    • RF

      It’s not a “changing of the guard”, New Zealand is still the #1 team. But it’s no longer a one-horse race.

      As for “the world is catching up to NZ”, Ireland clearly has closed the gap and it wasn’t fortuitous as their defeats in the last few years have been.

      I will give NZ the advantage in the World Cup of course but this is the first time in years that they are not head and shoulders above the competition.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        See that’s what I mean. I don’t agree at all that Ireland are closing the gap. I don’t believe the gap has actually been there especially when playing away from home. A couple of years ago we won from a second goal kick in extra time. If Ireland had held its nerve then it would have won. NZ is always stronger at home and have managed to scrape home away at the end of the year but the games are usually close.
        I’m not taking anything away from Ireland, they absolutely deserved their win. I’m just saying it’s not dire and not unexpected

  • Adrian

    Great effort by Ireland.

    I think we shouldn’t get too carried away, as NZ tend to lose about one game every year.

    At their peak WI cricketers did the same, and Australian cricketers the same after them.

    Eventually both fell away, and it started with losses (plural)

    Eventually NZ won’t be too dog, but I see them winning their next game, and I don’t know who that is against.

    I don’t know who Ireland play next, but if it is any of the top 5, they aren’t certainties…IMO

    • RF

      I don’t think that this result can be dismissed as a one-off or a bad day at the office.

      In 2018 Ireland have been the best team in the world, that’s why they won.

      NZ will have to improve and they will. It’s lonely at the top with no competition and the motivation to innovate and improve isn’t the same as the chasing pack, they are only human.

      2019 is going to be an exciting year for NZ rugby, the first time since the 2011 World Cup (where they were still the only top class team) where they will know they need to improve.

    • Huw Tindall

      Play Italy this weekend so I think that’s a win…..

  • RF

    I don’t agree with the point in the discussion that on any other day the All Blacks would have won. It seems to be just a reflection on the nation rather than the game. Read fumbled a try scoring opportunity, so did Kearney (the safest pair of hands on the pitch. Kearney could have seen yellow (I agree), New Zealand could have seen several. O’Mahony’s catch would be made every time by a player in that position. You could argue if NZ made no mistakes and Ireland made many mistakes and the referee punished Ireland but let NZ off that the result would be different, but you could do that in any game. It’s not balanced.

    If you replay that game 100 times in the exact same circumstances, Ireland would win the majority of the games as in the current environment right now, Ireland are better. A year down the line, I predict New Zealand will be significantly better and I predict New Zealand will win the World Cup.

    This result will be great for New Zealand in the long run as for the first time in about 7 years they have a genuinely world class team who are capable of beating them, not the one-off upsets like Brisbane last year etc. Knowing that this World Cup won’t be a coronation for them, they could really dazzle.


Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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