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New Zealand Rugby Team Watch

Jeffrey

Chris McKivat (8)
I think the point is Dan54, frankly the team is in a different spot than it was under Hansen.

Given how they went against Boks, Ireland and France last year, plus Super form so far this year - there's a real case to be made that there should be a real cleanout in the ABs and new blood should be brought in.

I don't expect it to happen yet mind you but there's an awful lot of ABs from last year that based on both their test form and Super form in the last 12 months look either past it, or just not up to it.

I expect Fozzie to roll with basically the same squad through to the RWC 2023 but that doesn't mean that those calling for change are wrong.
There are quite a lot of impediments to AB improvements.

1) is the innate 4-year WC cycle. With the WC next year, Foz is very unlikely to get the sack. So we're stuck with him, even though 2020 was bad, and 2021 saw us lose to the truly top teams. Our record is upheld by playing the Aussies multiple times, and also a lot of commercial matches.

2) there is an argument for everything. AB coaches tend to be more defensive, not without logic because of people have different views on how the ABs should play and who should be playing. But if we fuck up, we can always go with "we're building combinations"; "remember 2009? We got pumped by the Boks but won the WC in 2011"; or worse, "we've been disrupted by Covid (even though every other country also has)". No matter what, there is always an ostensibly reasonable argument

3) Inertia on the biggest names. Codie Taylor is complete smuck these days. Complete smuck. Laulala is a lazy fucker who isn't even that hard. Whitelock looks like he has clocked too many KMs in the engine - and for some reason he never runs onto the ball, he's always taking it standing still; Retallick looks worse than his rookie year. Moody is always moody. half the backs still can't tackle, but are you going to drop Smith or Mouanga or Jordan? The big names have more leeway.

4) "if you're so great why aren't you the AB coach?" For some reason, a good number of kiwis are often quite defensive of the ABs. After years of winning everything, it has become unfathomable that we might not win many things.

It's a tough job to be an AB coach. You're always expected to win. That's just not possible.
But at least show us you have made improvements. You have thought it through, you have a plan, you have developed and diversified.
No. Since 2017, we still try to out-pass a rush defense even though it does not work.
We're still shite at generating forward momentum in the tight.
We still do not rush on defense, ceding ground for line integrity, and then losing more ground because we're weak in contact.
We have no real imagination on attack. the flyhalf doesn't loop, there are no decoys. We just try to get it to the wing.
We still have the 2 forward side-by-side pod system, where, invariably the rush swallows, pushing us behind the gainline.
We rightfully dumped Owen Franks because he can't carry. But the props still can't carry. Has anyone seen Furlong, Genge, Baille or Kitschoff?
 

Dan54

Rod McCall (65)
While another well thought out write up Jeffery.I actually disagree with your No 4 , after years af winning everything, I actually think many kiwis have come to expect it and so tend then only in their mind see the ABs will lost because they are no good, and can't accept that sometimes other teams just have better players etc. This is unfortunately the arrogance that continual winning causes in so called fans. While I strongly agree ABs need to improve because you don't wait for teams to come back to you, you have to get better than them.
Do they need new players/ Probably, but to say someone is shmuck, lazy fucker etc etc is easy way out, without saying who is better, and why etc.
I think Taylor has slipped behind Samisoni at hooker, hey but who was calling for Samisoni for ABs last year? I never recalled it until Fozzie and co picked him, then everyone was an expert and knew he was the one. Same with Josh Lord , I got laughed at for suggesting he looked fairly good, he gets picked in ABs, and suddenly everyone putting him ahead of Sam W, (who I also reckon is looking burnt out), and much as I been on the Lord train, he still a year owo off being a top lock. And before I get jumped on, I only say that because he seems to be not quite up to a full 80 minutes yet, I a real fan of Vai'i ahead of him just now. Props I still not real sure who should be starting, I reckon Ofa T would be one and Angus Toeava will be there on bench, I also think Lomax is developing into a good prop, De Groot etc etc are all there or thereabouts, just wonder if they still a year or 2 off being at best. Backs I still haven't worked out who I prefer, but believe the whole 'rush defence' thing is a thing the press have come up with (like Warrenball etc) that has become the catchcall for people who don't realise we have always had teams come off line quick, and I believe the answer is quick passing to second player or first receiver taking ball to line, AND loosies being right up jacksie for quick ball. See rush defence I reckon doesn't work against quick ball, notice how Blues beat Crusaders, they did it with lightning quick ball, and defence can't rush up if they backpedalling. I actually quite strongly disagree with you on flyhalf doesn't loop. I not sure how keen on Mounga I am, but that is one thine he does do a lot, Havili etc are almost always first receiver when he playes, and he loops around them, or even when he passes he does tend to do it well.
I probably wrong mate, but as I say I try not to say what is wrong without trying to say how I think it should be fixed. (probably comes form years of coaching etc)

But you know what I like , we have an opinion whether right or wrong (probably usually wrong lol) and we express them.
 
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Dctarget

David Codey (61)
Can someone explain how Codie Taylor's form has dropped off a cliff? He's only 31 and was one of the best hookers in the world two years ago.
 

Marce

Banned
Inertia on the biggest names. Codie Taylor is complete smuck these days. Complete smuck. Laulala is a lazy fucker who isn't even that hard. Whitelock looks like he has clocked too many KMs in the engine - and for some reason he never runs onto the ball, he's always taking it standing still; Retallick looks worse than his rookie year. Moody is always moody. half the backs still can't tackle, but are you going to drop Smith or Mouanga or Jordan? The big names have more leeway.
This is a BIG issue for me
 

KiwiM

Vay Wilson (31)
Can someone explain how Codie Taylor's form has dropped off a cliff? He's only 31 and was one of the best hookers in the world two years ago.

Some believe that he has simply been burnt out by being overplayed by Razor the last few Super seasons. The backup hookers Crusaders haven't had a ton of game time in recent seasons (unless injury enforced) hence why Makalio shifted south to the Highlanders.

Combine that with a pretty heavy AB toll the last few seasons (Coles has often been injured) then this is the effect.
 

zer0

Ken Catchpole (46)
Just go full based 1987 and select the highest level Auckland team, then sprinkle in a few provincial representatives to maintain the veneer of a national team. Jobs a good un.

You can thank us later, Cantabs*.



*Hereby defined as anyone south of Pukekohe and outside the super south Auckland exclave suburb of Nelson.
 
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KiwiM

Vay Wilson (31)
It's a tough job to be an AB coach. You're always expected to win. That's just not possible.
But at least show us you have made improvements. You have thought it through, you have a plan, you have developed and diversified.
No. Since 2017, we still try to out-pass a rush defense even though it does not work.
We're still shite at generating forward momentum in the tight.
We still do not rush on defense, ceding ground for line integrity, and then losing more ground because we're weak in contact.
We have no real imagination on attack. the flyhalf doesn't loop, there are no decoys. We just try to get it to the wing.
We still have the 2 forward side-by-side pod system, where, invariably the rush swallows, pushing us behind the gainline.
We rightfully dumped Owen Franks because he can't carry. But the props still can't carry. Has anyone seen Furlong, Genge, Baille or Kitschoff?

Very well summarised.

Baffles me after 5 or so years in the ABs that McLeod is reappointed as defence coach.

in addition to being a selector Schmidt is going to be involved in strategy/tactics etc as well so will be interesting if there's some fresh ideas.
 

Dan54

Rod McCall (65)
Some believe that he has simply been burnt out by being overplayed by Razor the last few Super seasons. The backup hookers Crusaders haven't had a ton of game time in recent seasons (unless injury enforced) hence why Makalio shifted south to the Highlanders.

Combine that with a pretty heavy AB toll the last few seasons (Coles has often been injured) then this is the effect.
I reckon there a bit in that too kiwi, I reckon it has been Sam W's problem too, they have been hammered hell out of.
 

Jeffrey

Chris McKivat (8)
While another well thought out write up Jeffery.I actually disagree with your No 4 , after years af winning everything, I actually think many kiwis have come to expect it and so tend then only in their mind see the ABs will lost because they are no good, and can't accept that sometimes other teams just have better players etc. This is unfortunately the arrogance that continual winning causes in so called fans. While I strongly agree ABs need to improve because you don't wait for teams to come back to you, you have to get better than them.
Do they need new players/ Probably, but to say someone is shmuck, lazy fucker etc etc is easy way out, without saying who is better, and why etc.
I think Taylor has slipped behind Samisoni at hooker, hey but who was calling for Samisoni for ABs last year? I never recalled it until Fozzie and co picked him, then everyone was an expert and knew he was the one. Same with Josh Lord , I got laughed at for suggesting he looked fairly good, he gets picked in ABs, and suddenly everyone putting him ahead of Sam W, (who I also reckon is looking burnt out), and much as I been on the Lord train, he still a year owo off being a top lock. And before I get jumped on, I only say that because he seems to be not quite up to a full 80 minutes yet, I a real fan of Vai'i ahead of him just now. Props I still not real sure who should be starting, I reckon Ofa T would be one and Angus Toeava will be there on bench, I also think Lomax is developing into a good prop, De Groot etc etc are all there or thereabouts, just wonder if they still a year or 2 off being at best. Backs I still haven't worked out who I prefer, but believe the whole 'rush defence' thing is a thing the press have come up with (like Warrenball etc) that has become the catchcall for people who don't realise we have always had teams come off line quick, and I believe the answer is quick passing to second player or first receiver taking ball to line, AND loosies being right up jacksie for quick ball. See rush defence I reckon doesn't work against quick ball, notice how Blues beat Crusaders, they did it with lightning quick ball, and defence can't rush up if they backpedalling. I actually quite strongly disagree with you on flyhalf doesn't loop. I not sure how keen on Mounga I am, but that is one thine he does do a lot, Havili etc are almost always first receiver when he playes, and he loops around them, or even when he passes he does tend to do it well.
I probably wrong mate, but as I say I try not to say what is wrong without trying to say how I think it should be fixed. (probably comes form years of coaching etc)

But you know what I like , we have an opinion whether right or wrong (probably usually wrong lol) and we express them.
Fair points.

BTw there was also an interesting interview with Tom Taylor, the former AB flyhalf today. He talked about the loss of dominance from the ABs from a 2nd-tier angle:
- Kiwi rugby, like the aussies and saffas, are losing talent, especially to the French and English leagues
- as a result, these leagues and the teams that play in them are getting better; he noticed the quality of french rugby improving and on this upward trajectory when he was based in France for the past few years (before shifting to Japan recently)
- So northern clubs are getting more competitive action (frankly, if you watch the Premiership or Top 14, the standard is, dare i offer an unpopular opinion, on average better than Super Rugby. Skill levels are not so far apart, but physicality, intensity, passion, and defence sees quite a major difference)
- lastly, kiwis are tested less and less because we don't get to play the Saffas, who are such a different kettle of fish, at super rugby.

Also fair points made by Taylor.
 

Dan54

Rod McCall (65)
Yep Jeffery thought the Tom Taylor article was interesting, and I like you agree with him pretty much. We in NZ and Aus are probably a little insular, and I believe not having the Saffas/Argentina in super will speed it up I have said before and keep repeating it we are losing our ability to play intense and hard rugby.
And no way is it an unpoular opinion that the games are at leasr as good if not better than super. I read with absolute astonishment in rugby forums when people almost sneer at so called boring rugby etc played there. The weather especially up until a while ago in middle of winter prevented a lot of open rugby except at beginning and eand of seasons, but I believe the biggest chnge that has happened is knowledge of ground care (and in some cases artificial turf) that is allowing games more freedom. It actually the same down here in NZ where we used to play in a fair bit of mud, but look at fields now, they hardly cut up at all.
 

Dan54

Rod McCall (65)
I know it was a thrashing and you can read too much into it, but I starting to think we saw AB midfield last night for Blues. I have never seen him play League etc , but I have to say I really liking what RTS is doing. He not overplaying hand, just seems to do most things pretty well. and Reiko is in fine form, and putting outsides into gaps etc when play calls for it.
I will add if Akira plays a few more games like that he got 6 spot, and probably one of things that pleased me most was in defence last nigh, Rebels set up maul, Akira was on blind side in past years he would of tended to stay there, but last night he dived in and put his weight into stopping maul. It's almost at times him and Reiko feef of each others'energy and both play well!
 

KiwiM

Vay Wilson (31)
New Zealand Rugby are in the midst of creating an NZ A or a second NZ side to shadow the All Blacks from 2022 onwards.

With a huge breadth of players vying for a spot in the national squad, administrators believe that a secondary side will enable enhanced experience and playing time at the highest level for those who miss out on All Blacks selection.

Former All Black Jeff Wilson broke the news on SENZ.

Wilson is a huge supporter of the concept, believing that the addition of a secondary top-level team will change the mindset of selectors, and will inevitably aid the All Blacks in their preparation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“I would say this, NZ Rugby … they’re looking at a New Zealand A, or a second NZ side playing a number of games this year,” Wilson said on SENZ’s Super South.

“I think that group is going to be critical, because there’s going to be a lot of guys who have worn the All Black jersey in the last 18 months who may miss out, and they’re going to get really important rugby.

“There’s going to be another tier, which is going to be really well coached and have a number of games I believe this year.
 

zer0

Ken Catchpole (46)
Replacing the Juniors with the Maori was always a terrible idea for exactly that reason; you're deliberately and needlessly limiting your player pool. Can still roll the Maori out for one-off things like a Lions tour, but NZ A is a much better idea. Particularly if they get to spend a good deal of time with the AB's in training camps and what not.

Related, if they're going down this boring play-the-same-few-sides-ad-infinitum route of this latest rehashed-and-slightly-tweaked WR proposal, then hopefully the NZ A team gets to regularly play against the T2 teams as well. Would obviously have to reside outside the competition itself, but could generate some interest in places the AB's don't get to visit much like Georgia, Spain, and Germany (especially if Segner is there).
 
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