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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at Hamish McLennan, David Campese firing shots at New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks, How the Wallabies look to break the Eden Park hoodoo and a pair of signings for the proactive Force.


Resurgence

Wallabies fans celebrate a try. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Wallabies fans celebrate a try. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

RA CEO Hamish McLennan believes that the positive showing from the Wallabies proves that they can hang with their Kiwi counterparts on a domestic and international level.

With the NZR looking down on Super Rugby Australia with their ‘expression of interest’ jibe, this was thrown right back in their face last Sunday when the Wallabies arguably outperformed the All Blacks.

McLennan was proud of the performance that they put, telling rugby.com.au that it has vindicated their position to not cave to their demands.

“This is the first step in a four-year journey to France, but it proves that we are competitive against one of the world’s best teams,” McLennan told RUGBY.com.au.

“I was really pleased that our guys showed courage and tenacity.

“From day one we’ve defended our players, and this proves how flawed New Zealand’s thinking was and it’s a joke.

“We feel completely vindicated on all counts, and we were right.”

McLennan pointed to the buzz that has returned to the sport, the Wallabies and the Bledisloe Cup as proof that rugby was starting its resurgence.

“There is a resurgence and it’s happening now,” he said.

“Dave is brilliant and most importantly he reflects humble, hard-working attitudes which is what rugby’s all about.

“This is the point to rugby; it’s the only major winter sport where you barrack for your country with passion,

“The Wallaby jersey is iconic and rugby in Australia is not going away.

“It’s (the Bledisloe Cup) creating the buzz. The team reflected the diversity that we in Australia have, which is terrific, and the players were tenacious and as a country, that’s what we should be known for, and they did us proud on Sunday.”

Breaking the hoodoo

nic white try wallabies

Wallabies halfback Nic White has emphasised the importance of focusing on their own gameplan and reactions as they look to break a 34-year hoodoo at Eden Park against the All Blacks on Sunday.

Whilst there were a lot of positives to come out of the match, White admitted that they were disappointed with their inability to close out the game, conceding that they let the win slip through their hands.

“A little bit disappointed was the initial reaction after the game,” he told reporters.

“We had opportunities there to finish that game and it would have been nice but at the same time, there’s a bit of confidence knowing that we are heading in the right direction.

“There’s a fair bit for us to clean up heading into this game so there are a lot of areas to improve on but there is a fair bit of belief in that what we are doing is the right stuff.”

The job now becomes significantly harder for Dave Rennie’s side, with the second test heading to Eden Park, where the Wallabies have not tasted victory since 1986.

Whilst White was adamant that the All Blacks would come back strong, they were focused on their own reaction from the draw, rejecting claims that they would be drawn into a false sense of security like last year.

“The All Blacks have always reacted after a performance that they don’t feel like was very well but we’re talking about our reaction this week,” he said.

“I think this is a new group and we are trying to talk about the reaction we want to get out of the game on the weekend that we feel like we should’ve taken a result.

“We know a lot of the commentary will be about what they are going to bring this week so we’ve got to make it about us and what we can bring.”

Campo fires shots

David Campese

David Campese

Wallabies legend David Campese has launched into the All Blacks, claiming that their once fearsome aura is long gone.

With the NZ’s undergoing a major transformation at the playing, coaching and board level, Campo believes that this has caused NZ to become arrogant and complacent.

“Everything happens off the field before it happens on the field,” Campese told Stuff on Monday.

“They came out [NZ Rugby] and have been so arrogant [about Super Rugby], and I’m sitting there thinking ‘you know guys, you’re going to fall on your sword very soon’, and it’s starting to happen now.

“That All Black is aura is gone. The younger guys are not composed, they’re not the same.

“I’m sorry but [Ian] Foster…I don’t think he’s going to last.

“If you [NZ Rugby] were confident, why wouldn’t they give him a four-year contract?”

He believes that the All Blacks are not the same side without the likes of Kieran Read, along with questioning their approach to the Super Rugby discussions.

“You take Australia away and New Zealand wouldn’t be anywhere near where they are,” Campese said.

“They’re lucky we’ve played against them year in, year out. We’ve helped them as well.

“Unfortunately over the last couple of years we had a lot of problems off the field, which is why we were s*** on the field.”

“[But] I watched the game and the All Blacks have lost something. They didn’t have that composure, and they panicked a bit, which they normally don’t do.

“Kieran Read not being there. He was big loss.”

Couple that with a Wallabies side no longer ‘afraid’ of the All Blacks, and ‘Campo’ gives them a major chance of breaking the Eden Park hoodoo.

“I think they can back it up,” Campese said.

“Harry Wilson, he’s played against New Zealand at under 20’s and beat the All Blacks.

“He’s beaten them. In ‘82 we played New Zealand under 21s in Sydney and beat them by a massive score

“We came through a system where we head beat their junior teams, so the senior teams thought ‘who cares?”

Ready to go

Andrew Ready enjoyed scoring this try against his old team

Andrew Ready enjoyed scoring this try against his old team

The Force continue to re-sign the bulk of their squad from 2020, with forwards Chris Heiberg and Andrew Ready signing contract extensions with the club.

The former Red Ready has signed a two-year deal, while South African veteran Heiberg putting pen to paper on a one-year contract.

Heiberg was pleased to stay in his ‘home’, thanking the Force for allowing to continue playing in Perth.

“WA is very much my home. I have been here for quite some time and have really grown to love it here and made some incredible friends and memories in this state,” Heiberg explained in a statement.

“Being with the Force over the years has been such a unique journey, but one that I have been able to share with some of my best friends, which makes it so special. We are such a close group and through everything, we have become closer.

“I’m so grateful to Sambo (head coach Tim Sampson) and Hodgo (head of rugby Matt Hodgson) for showing faith in me and keeping me here for another year.

“I can’t wait to continue playing in front of our passionate fans. Our supporters are really something special and it’s so good to know we have their support.”

With Ready emerging as one of the Force’s best during the Super Rugby Australia tournament, he is excited to push himself against new recruit and Argentian international Julian Montoya.

“This year was massive for us being back in Super Rugby and for me personally getting another taste of it,” Ready said.

“I’m really excited about the experience the club is bringing in from around the world into the squad. To be able to learn from those players is going to be awesome.

“Having Julian Montoya come to the club is also exciting for me, I want to be able to push myself to higher honours within Australian rugby, so hopefully we can push each other to improve our games.

“It means a lot to see us building something special. There’s a lot of care here within the Force culture. We are a family, everyone’s respected no matter what your experience.”

  • Steve

    Ugh I all the Aussie talking heads would just shut up about the All Blacks.

    I don’t disagree with McLennan, but he needs to be careful tying Australia’s bargaining position too closely to one-off Wallabies performances. If they get whooped this weekend does that mean we are less worthy to participate on a level footing?

    As for Campo, well….he’s doing everything he can to make sure the Wallabies lose this weekend

    • onlinesideline

      Way too soon. It was a draw and media already cocky.
      They just cant cork it.

    • Geoffro

      I’m loving the banter and don’t mind our people firing off.Off course,if we are getting whooped we are less worthy in NZs eyes of participating.There is going to be more bums on seats and viewership this week because we brought it to them in Wullingtn and thats what counts these days.As for Campo…when was a positive attitude and some optimism harmful ?

    • Happyman

      Mate one game does not change things but truthfully we are playing with house money.
      With a limited build up every Australian supporter would have taken a draw and a loss in NZ. I said to my son during the game that I would have taken a draw as we only have to win two of three not three of four.

      • Steve

        I’m not denying the performance from last weekend I thought it was great – just that it doesn’t seem that prudent for a CEO to be tying his negotiating position to a single result which could disappear as soon as this weekend

        • onlinesideline

          Yep, sometimes you just don’t need to say a thing. This moment was one of them.

        • Dally M

          I disagree. He’s trying to get every cent he can out of a new TV deal and looking for a new sponsor, he needs to be talking it up & putting the pressure on NZ to come back to the table for a trans-Tasman comp.

        • onlinesideline

          yeah but is he signing the deal this week ?
          If yes, then fair enough but if not lets see how things unfold. How will he look if there is a blackout in a few days.

        • Dally M

          I don’t think we will see a blackout like the days of old aka 2019.

          Rennie has had the team for what, a whole 3 weeks, and I think we can all agree it was a performance that we can build on, with a bunch of young players yet to come through.

          And i don’t think it was a case of an overall ‘poor’ performance from the AB’s either i.e. unforced errors. It was more the pressure from our defence dictated how well they played.

          I don’t think there is the same vibe over there that there was last year i.e. we played poorly but next week we will come out and smash you. There seems to be a lot of talk about selections, the coach, the captain etc.

        • onlinesideline

          Mate I essentially agree BUT this is the test. We have felt like we have had their measure before. True, there were always glaring structural faults across the board. in past 8 years especially. It only takes a couple of counter attacks, a drop ball, a refs decision and the boys may loose a bit of confidence. I truly feel a large part of the AB machine is having the physocological wood of their opponents. The kiwi crowd also know how to stir the pot and put the boot in. The nearlies propoganda is quite remarkable. Its a brand built around instilling fear from the pre-game hokey pokey to the uniforms, to the AB demeanour of the silent do-oer from the southern Alps leaving his sheep to inflict some pain on the international stage, only to return back to Daisy and baabaaa on Monday morning. But once there is a crack it can shatter very quickly because its all in peoples minds. The way to beat the ABs has always been complete contempt in their face defence. We nearly did on weekend.

        • Dally M

          Very true, but we in that position on the weekend, a mistake and they were in. We were down, but the boys seemed to have better belief and trust in what they were doing, that they could get that back.

          I suppose not having to run it out of the 22 off the kick off immediately after helped the psyche.

        • onlinesideline

          yep 13-3 to 13-13 was a great sign. Belief and a kicking game and we also never really cut loose either. The ABs did actually, so that will = some good tries coming our way. Daugunu is a real threat. He’s like Sefa but slipperyer. I liked Pastramis on ball beligerence. We so need this in the back line. Some agressionnn.

        • Who?

          I hear ya.
          But if SA bail on TRC today, he may well be negotiating a deal for this year’s RC tomorrow! So…..?

        • Hambone

          And it looks like they will arrive fashionably late to the party..
          To late to tap jamie J and his giant killers to fill the void ?
          Now that would add some spice to the broadcast deal. Add a cheeky 20M to the ratings

        • Dally M

          What about a combined PI side, made up of players from NZ and Aus, outside of the squads, who have not been capped by either country?

        • Who?

          20 million in Japan to the ratings, but I’d expect less money for the tournament’s broadcast deal.

        • Hambone

          I’d be looking north instead of west. The saffas are definately doing the same.
          They have been swinging their biltongs around for longer than the new unzud management across the ditch anyway.
          Capitalise on last year and bring them in.

        • Who?

          I hear you, I’m just not sure that doing it last minute in a panic’s the ideal situation.

        • Hambone

          They pulled out of the 10 nations (or whatever it is called) They might have a core of a team in place. Japan could be incorporated into a bubble, worth picking up the phone now the saffas are stringing us along again.. anyways just spit balling

        • Who?

          I don’t disagree, and it’s probably something we should’ve been considering earlier in the year had RA not been too busy destroying itself from within.

          Something that pretty well no one’s mentioned….
          I hope, wherever she is, Raelene felt proud and content on Sunday night. She rebuilt the age division programs. She got her Director of Rugby. She got her new Head Coach. And we’ve just seen our best result in the Shaky Isles in 19 years. She didn’t get the respect she deserved, but hopefully she can at least enjoy seeing the result of her hard work.

        • Hambone

          Also built a fund of wealthy benefactors to help retain the young blood coming through today. Good ole Rupert’s boys failed putsch all with the end goal of driving the value of broadcast deal down to next to nothing. Kearns and co should hang their heads in shame

        • Dally M

          Suspect that is the players saying the aren’t ready, and not willing to risk their No. 1 ranking playing whilst underdone versus SA Rugby saying you need to go or no one is getting paid for a long time.

        • Who?

          I’m sure the players are complaining about that, but I’m also thinking that SARU’s looking thinking, “The 6N’s wanted us to come play an 8N’s tournament this November… And our best players are largely based in Europe… And we’d probably get more money for playing in Europe……..”

        • Dally M

          Do they want the Boks up North though? I doubt any of the 6 Nations teams would want them in and kicking their asses every year.

        • Who?

          I’m sure they were invited. And given everyone’s beaten the Bokke in the past four years (ignoring last year), I don’t think they’d be worried.

        • McWarren

          And if there is a blackout and had said nothing then he would have missed the only opportunity he had.

        • Damo

          I kind of think this is about the demands of the media as much as anything. Once upon a time a test would be played on the weekend. Next day report on the game in the paper. Maybe mid week a media opportunity with pictures of the boys training or whatever. Then end of the week, teams announced, pundits commenting on who will win & why. Then the next test.
          These days we have a hundred media organisations trying to fill continuous news cycles, always digging for controversy and grabbing anyone and everyone who has an opinion. Our own site here is part of that of course. The draw on the weekend was, given the All Blacks and Wallabies relative records in recent years, a bit of a “man bites dog” story, so they are all over it. I suppose we should be happy someone wants to report on rugby.
          Hopefully Rennie and the boys can shut most of the noise out and, like teams in the past, just get on with the challenges at hand.

        • onlinesideline

          think we’re safe with Rennie on that front. Boy do we need a few years of this. I know its been said alot but how needed is his demeanour at the helm. Think we have all been culturing traumatised.

        • Damo

          I’m looking forward someone who was inside the tent writing the (unauthorised) MC biography. “Ya Know What I Mean”- The Michael Cheika Years. It will make for some interesting reading- although we will probably have to look on the Fantasy shelves to find it.

        • Yowie

          The events book will probably be described in an apparently random non-chronological sequence, either as a stylistic tribute to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, or just because that’s the best the editors could do with MC’s initial drafts/notes.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          That’s gold

        • laurence king

          Read Catch 22 in 1975, 19 years old and what a book. Well, couldn’t say Cheika does not have pretentions to greatness. Not there yet.

        • laurence king

          Kinda like treading on dog poo and then finding that you walked it through the house. Don’t want to read about it, re-visit it or think about it. Lol

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I think the talk was well thought out. Even if the ABs do win well this weekend (I’m hoping they do sorry) I still think the game showed that NZ and Aus need to be closer not further apart.

    • numpty

      Yes, I was perplexed when McLennan praised Rennie for being humble and keeping his head in the game (good!), and then proceeded to carry on like a pork chop saying how cocky NZ were and that Aus is on the up after one game (bad!).

      • Yowie

        John O’Neill’s “We hate the English” bit of pork-choppery before the 2007 World Cup game worked out really well too.

        • onlinesideline

          another missed opportunity from a wayward kick

    • Hambone

      From what I read 500K + ratings.
      I expect that to climb this Sunday on the back of that epic test match and the top notch banter at the water cooler.
      Even with a loss the ratings are there, this during afl and mungo finals week.
      I say bang the drum hambo, as loud as you can, the train is leaving the station its time to jump onboard.
      The boys are building, even with a loss at “coopers catch” stadium it won’t take the shine off the ratings. They are playing with to much mettle, they are in the fight.
      People are talking, kiwis are crowing, even the trolls are out in force. For a “second tier” code classification (Rupert’s words not mine) from a pay TV service that can’t even turn a profit with out some much needed corporate socialism, im comfortable throwing it all on red and letting it ride. What do we have to lose?

      • onlinesideline

        mate you’ve sold me

  • Westo

    Campo. I’ve met him a few time’s and people’s opinions are divided mainly cause of some of the shot that ones out of his mouth. But hey, this time round I do t mind it. We are slightly ahead, we are positive, we have the young bloods, the kiwis are nervous as this is new for them. I like the vibe. Bring on the weekend and may we have a fairly reffed game ( or at the very least, biassed for the wallabies)

    • Geoffro

      Dont mind Campo.He generally calls a spade a spade and which has alienated him a little from the ARU and NSWRU clique a bit I think (even though he turned out for Randwick for years) He’s also been well involved in grassroots rugby which I admire

      • numpty

        Campo after bled1 last year – ““They’re [ABs] really worried over here and they know there’s a bit of pressure. We’ve [WBs] almost got our hands on the Bledisloe Cup and I think we could be looking at something that hasn’t been done for many years.”

        • Geoffro

          He wasn’t the only one.Lets hope history doesn’t repeat,I do think we’re in better shape

    • numpty

      Aus hasn’t earnt the right to be cocky, so I don’t like this chat from Campo and McLennan at all. This chat carried on after bled1 last year as well, and then reality bit. Stay humble and understand the job is far from done. Once the WBs win the bledisloe and break the eden park hoodoo, then they might have a leg to stand on.

      • Westoout

        Yeah your right, but I’ll take a week of pleasure if you don’t mind. It’s been pretty crap under Cheika and the 19RWC was poor including the officiating for AUS teams. That Wales game: fuck me.

        • numpty

          Oh absolutely enjoy the win and no doubt the boys played well. But ballooning that out too NZ is now in disarray and the coach isn’t up to it, they’re behind the 8 ball etc etc is a bit much for mine.

        • Yowie

          I remember from a Roy & HG Origin simulcast from “back in the day” when Qld were losing, Roy concluding very seriously:

          Well I think this is the end of Origin football in Queensland.

        • Geoffro

          drier than the Simpson..hilarious

        • Geoffro

          Sure,even in our heyday at the turn of the century each game against them was still tight run , so to think were not up against it is delusional.To hope that we are at least a shot after more than a few years them mostly expecting to and most often flogging us……it could all come crashing down of course but even if it does , I still maintain we’re in better shape than we have been for a bit regardless of where NZ is.It is their national sport and they’re never going to be far from the top of the standings

      • Mica

        Your handle belies the sense that you talk numpty. ;)

        • numpty

          Even the sun shines on a dog’s a** some days Mica.

        • Mica

          LOL

  • onlinesideline

    Why do I have the feeling that the soft underbelly of the ABs is the coach, his appointment which most players didn’t agree with deep down, the ignored Crusaders coach who clearly can coach, is young and mentally right there ? This is a weakness that the Wallabies can crack. If they fix their breakdown, throw straight, put their kicks out and continue with this defense right up the guts, then the darkness could fumble their way into nightmare territory with split ball midfield and we could watch the AB legacy unfold in front of the whole nation.

    Short options on NZ Dollar with strike price .60 US Cents by November – any takers ?

    • Geoffro

      ABs a bit like the public service in their coaching aye,being more like seniority over performance in their selection .May bite them in the bum

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Nah I disagree with that. From what I’ve heard the main issue was similar to Deans vs Henry in that Robertson didn’t have a confirmed team with him. Lots of promises but no actual team

        • Geoffro

          What, “you’re a brilliant young coach but none of the senior incumbants want to work under you”..hmmm…:) just kidding

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahahahahaha I think that in the nZRFU scenario a coach is meant to have a team and be able to articulate te role of each person and how they will move forward. Robertson had the ideas but not necessarily the confirmed people he would be working with.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          What does that mean “didn’t have a confirmed team with him”? Does a coach have to supply all asistant coaches too?

        • Geoffro

          Yep,just a surfboard and a boombox dont cut it

        • Andrew Luscombe

          But if you give plumb jobs to your mates you’re in. Cool. Institutionalised nepotism.

          Director of Rugby seems to be a worthwhile role if it means the coach has to justify key decisions.

        • Geoffro

          way of the world man,no matter what sort of corporate/political bullshit spin is put on selection processes

        • onlinesideline

          did for the Crusaders – 4 times

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I’m not sure on the actual rules but a coach coming on with a confirmed team will probably be a stronger proposition than just coming in as coach with a risk of not knowing who else is on the team. TBH I’m not sure I agree with it and I think all positions should be up for grabs and be interviewed for separately with maybe the coach being on the panel for the other positions

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I’m not so sure the players don’t agree. There’s nothing I’ve seen or heard that says that and I’d be careful of reading too much into the words from those who wanted Robertson. A lot of the reports are just moaning from those people and not actually factual

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan. Hahaha go Campo. Trouble is I’ve heard this so often in the past and yet…….

    I agree with McLennan that this game means that the NZRFU needs to change their approach to working with RA, which I’ve thought all along was wrong anyway. I personally think that NZRFU and RA need to work closer together and stop all this bullshit. I’m happy that they disagree on things but lets keep the dirty laundry out of the press it makes both sides look like cocks.

    Be interesting if NZ comes out with any changes this week. I understand Savea may be injured and personally I’d like a few anyway. BB at 10, JB at 15, Ralph and Reece on the wing, ALB and Goodhue at 12/13 with Luamape on the bench Reiko to bench or out although if he does play at 13 I’m not too unhappy with it.

    • Christopher

      I hope Caleb Clarke is kept on the bench.

      • Mica

        Out of the entire squad – He was hopeless when he came on! (now where is that sarcasm font??)

      • MichaelA

        He was impressive in his brief time on the field. We will need assertive defence so he gets as little room to work as possible.

    • RedSheep1989

      is Laumape injured still?

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I think he’s ready to go these days but maybe lacking game fitness so introduced off the bench

    • Dally M

      I can’t see Foster making that many changes, despite the fact they would be the right ones.

      It would mean admitting he got it wrong in the first place, and i can’t see that happening after 1 game.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        It’ll certainly say something about the man. Admitting mistakes and moving on is a sign of confidence and maturity not weakness but so many people think it’s being weak and then reinforce failure. I hope Foster is better than that

        • BarneySF

          Although Cheiks would never admit he’s wrong AND he’d make a ton of changes week to week!

    • Who?

      Whitelock’s undergoing the concussion protocol after copping a headknock… Beaudy’s a 50% chance.

      • Geoffro

        Shame if they lose their most effective forward and back

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Bummer. No excuses accepted

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Bugga

      • Hambone

        Whitlock is no mere mortal. I expect him to line up for the blacks even if he had a limb missing.
        Absolute beast of a bloke

        • Who?

          It’s not a question of his mortality, though. It’s a question of time and the protocols. 7 days doesn’t leave much wriggle room.

      • Tomthusiasm

        Josh Ioane’s been called up as a back up. Mo’unga has to get surgery to remove the target on his back!

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Very good

  • Crescent

    In some respects I wish the talking heads would shut up, as to quote a delightful Hossverb – one swallow does not make a wife. We have been here before, and been disappointed.

    On the other hand, it is about time we start to have some belief in the team, because I think Rennie is building something that we can take some pride in, and start to believe in. A failure to break the Eden Park hoodoo will not put an end to this hope – the way the team plays will be critical factor.

    If we improve the accuracy at the breakdown, support the ball carrier properly and kick with intelligence and purpose, that will make a hell of a difference. Will be great if we see the team improve on last week in terms of play, and hopefully the scoreboard will follow.

    • Mica

      Have a working lineout would be nice too.

      • Crescent

        Absolutely, but I didn’t want to get too greedy in a week.

    • Reinforce

      I do agree with you Crescent. I was in Perth where we towelled them only to be gutted the following week. Bite toungues, see how this week plays out as to whether this is a false dawn or the beginning of something special.

      I did see something different about them though – there was something about their work.

  • Yowie

    …but it proves that we are competitive against one of the world’s best teams,” McLennan told RUGBY.com.au.

    Love it.

    • Timbo

      talk about poking the bear, or in this case, useless, flightless bird that has no predators. It’s the NZ equivalent of the Quokka, which is actually cute

      • Yowie

        Whereas a wallaby has got a vicious streak a mile wide. It’s a killer!

        • Timbo
        • Geoffro

          Must read wiki contribution Had me on the edge of my seat

        • Yowie

          I’ve had time to read that only just now – pure gold!

        • Geoffro

          Mate,you can bounce em but evry now and again they can really fuck up your car (and day)

  • Ads

    Look without wanting to go all Lion King on you all – it’s the circle of life.

    A team does well. They have some generational stars. Those guys retire. The team has residual ego. The management has inflated self-opinion. It all turns to shit.

    This cycle happened to Aus cricket. And it feels (IMO) it is happening to Kiwi Rugby now. Like Aus Cricket, NZ rugger has the domestic systems in place to recover. But they need to lose the dickheads (NZ management to me) and rediscover the friggin privilege it is to be a prof sports person.

    • UTG

      I think the comparison to Aus Cricket is very apt. We’ve had periods of invincibility but they’ve often been followed by slides back down the rankings. It appears some NZ supporters (and a lot of them appear to be in NZRU) seem to think they’re immune to these cycles.

    • Hambone

      Spot on

  • bob

    Who are the Pumas going to play for warm up games? South Africa are complaining about not enough game time but at least they have some unlocked games,
    Half of the Argentina team has had the Rona and played no games in ages. They are already in Australia so are they playing QLD or NSW or something anyone know?

    • Geoffro

      Gonna be extremely tough for them.At least they got Chek on board so you know how hard/well they’ll be training

    • Reds Revival

      They had spoken to RA about organising some warm up games, which was apparently going to include a game against a Super Rugby team.

  • onlinesideline

    did anyone notice our whole squad and coaching team stand on the sideline during the haka ? – tis a new Rennie thing.

    • Geoffro

      Nah,I was standing in the kitchen

      • onlinesideline

        ok … thanks for that

        • Geoffro

          tis a fridge/beer thing…..f##k the haka

        • Hoss

          Gold mate.

    • Reds Revival

      No. They faced them similar to England in a compressed V, but without going over the 10m line.

      • onlinesideline

        im talking the whole squad, the ones not actually playing – check out sidelne when haka was done

  • Bernie Chan

    Jordan Petaia has been passed fit…great news methinks. Will he be on the bench in lieu of Lolesio since Rennie already has 2 players who can play flyhalf in the XV (JOC and Toomua). Would love to see a fully fit Petaia strut his stuff in gold…a threat with and without the ball.

    • Geoffro

      Shame,Im really looking forward to seeing Noah in the test arena but makes sense as Petaia covers a few more positions

      • Bernie Chan

        I’m not saying Petaia will get into the 23 but your logic holds…he covers a couple of positions. Wouldn’t expect Rennie to leave Paisami out after the previous outing?
        Agree that Lolesio is a fab talent but no point in leaving him on the bench…

        • Missing Link

          agreed, Paisami cannot be omitted under any circumstance

        • onlinesideline

          he was good wasnt he – just what the doctor ordered

    • Dally M

      I don’t think we see any changes for this weekend unless there are injuries at training. Pick and stick.

      Palestine is the only one at risk and even then I think he will get another chance.

      Give Petaia another week training with the squad ready to come in if an opening comes up.

    • Crescent

      I would also love to see Petaia out there in full flight – but we have the risk of him turning into the next Ben Tune – he could do with another week of hard training. Some sandhills and a DJ should be the ultimate test…..

  • Bernie Chan
    • MichaelA

      Its a good read, but I do wish people wouldn’t talk about box-kicking in isolation from chasing.

      All kudos to Nic White for well-judged kicks, but the reason they put so much pressure on the ABs is because several team mates were always in hot pursuit. WBs needed to be doing this years ago.

      • Reds Revival

        Completely agree Michael.

      • Who?

        It’s interesting he pointed out an instance of non-obstruction on a Smith box kick. Because, in the second half, on a Nic White box, Sam Cane changed direction TWICE directly in front of Bin O’Keeffe, causing Hooper to stumble avoiding running into Cane. It was a clear obstruction.

        We’ve only ever done chasing well in patches, and, under Cheika, given it was such a hated concept, it wasn’t consistent. But going into a test in Welly where everyone knew it would be wet and windy, I’m sure Rennie hammered it into them. And then White’s length of kick was perfect.

        That said, even with the success ratio of box kicks resulting in Wallabies ball or advantage, we still saw people complaining on Sunday night, saying, “Nic White box kicked too much – he shouldn’t ever do it again!” There’s a definite bias about it amongst Aussie fans, even when it’s executed as close to flawlessly as you’ll see.

        • Bernie Chan

          I’ll admit I was worried about White starting but happy to have been wrong..

        • MichaelA

          True, which is another advantage of using box-kicks co-ordinated with chasing as part of the game plan – the defenders risk penalties by obstructing our chasers.

      • Bernie Chan

        100%.. the old adage.. the kick is only as good as the chase..

      • Alister Smith

        I think the conditions were also well suited to it with the wind etc creating additional confusion for the players receiving the kicks. I am not sure it works as well on a fine day but I guess the benefit Nick brings is that he has played a lot in those conditions in the NH.

        • Who?

          I think the benefit of Rennie is that he’s open to playing the conditions and the strengths of the players he has. If it’s not windy in Auckland, I expect we’ll see Nic throwing up far fewer box kicks.

  • Dally M

    More than anything I am extremely surprised how much this result has got under the skin of the darkness and their fans.

    This from Plumtree today – “There were some late charges, you guys saw that,” he added. “There were one or two other incidents. But All Blacks don’t cry – we just get on with it, and adjust to how the game is being refereed. That’s in every department – breakdown, set piece … we have to adjust to how the game is being played.”

    If you just get on with it, why mention it?

    Foster & Co. sounding a wee bit like the crew we used to have coaching us pre-Moses.

    • Missing Link

      one or two other incidents, like their own player putting a foot in touch prior to a try being scored? like their own player coming in from the side and using hands in the ruck straight after Reece Hodge’s penalty attempt rebounded. Those are two incidents that could have directly changed the result.

      • Dally M

        I think it’s more they are shitty because we did to them, what they normally do to other teams that causes us to scream at the TV believing the ref can hear us.

        The old adage – can dish it out, but squeal when you cop it back.

  • Alister Smith

    I am reminded of the expression, one swallow doesn’t make the summer with both Campo and Hamish McLennan’s comments. Last year we won the test in Perth by a big score and then copped a hiding. I don’t disagree with McLennan’s push that we should have the 5 teams but I do think we need to temper our enthusiasm a little. We have just had a draw against an All Black side on a wet windy day and their players hadn’t had a game in a little while. So let’s be QUIETLY confident rather than assuming that last weekend’s draw means any much more than what it was. It won’t help us to win this weekend.

  • Like to see Liam Weight and Tate McDermott in the squad for this weekend’s test, but Rennie may rightfully be reluctant to change the team from last weekend.

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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