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New Zealand Rugby Team Watch

FrankLind

Colin Windon (37)
ABs - realistic possibilities. (for Rugby Championship not France)

15 - Dagg, Smith B.
14 - Piutau, Smith B, Ranger
13 - Smith C, Ranger, Smith B
12 - Nonu, Ellison (if back)
11 - Savea J
10 - Carter, Cruden, Barrett
9 - Weepu, Smith, Perenara, Kerr-Barlow
8 - Read, Vito
7 - McCaw, Cane, Braid L, Todd M.
6 - Luatua, Messam, Shields
5 and 4 - Retallick B, Whitelock S, Romano, Bird, Retallick C (please please drop Ali Williams)
3 - Franks O, Afeaki (Faumuina might be back by then??)
2 - Hore, Mealamu, Flynn (bolter Coltman??)
1 - Woodcock (woefully out of form), Frank B.

I think Aussie are a great chance of taking the Bledisloe this year if Hansen doesn't get things going properly. Especially if Mackenzie is appointed.
 

Rassie

Trevor Allan (34)
When will Jerome Kaino be playing again? If there is one guy I miss and really enjoy to watch play then its him. Fantastic player.
 

USARugger

John Thornett (49)
Rassie

He's still signed on with Toyota over in Japan for another year. He's also in his 30s now so not sure if we're going to see him in the Black again. It's looking like Luatua may be shaping up to fill his boots in the coming years.
 

FrankLind

Colin Windon (37)
You don't think TKB is higher up the pecking order than that?

Yeah, missed that. thanks. Provided he recaptures his form before he broke his jaw, I'd say he is second behind Weepu. It depends if Hansen still wants to play the same game plan as last year, in which case A Smith might be preferred. I hope not.
 

qwerty51

Nathan Sharpe (72)
There's surely got to be concern about how shit some of the top ABs are playing.

Woodcock, Hore, Mealamu, Aaron Smith, Gear, Nonu and Dagg have all been awful. Then there's Carter and Read who have barely played and who knows how good McCaw will be on return.

That said, Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick are killing it, the best locking combination in the world easily.
 

SaderCheif

Jimmy Flynn (14)
Yea some concern but some players step up when they put on the black jersey. Nonu is a prime example. Shithouse super season, great rugby championship.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 

sammy3191

Bob McCowan (2)
Really concerned about the AB's this year given the Super 15 results. If the Wallabies can bring their Super rugby form to the Lions Tour and then the Rugby Championship we could be a world of hurt.
 

Dan54

John Eales (66)
I agree if Rugby Championship was being played now we may struggle, I more inclined to save the worrying until it getting nearer test time.
 

Bullrush

Greg Davis (50)
There's surely got to be concern about how shit some of the top ABs are playing.

Woodcock, Hore, Mealamu, Aaron Smith, Gear, Nonu and Dagg have all been awful. Then there's Carter and Read who have barely played and who knows how good McCaw will be on return.

That said, Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick are killing it, the best locking combination in the world easily.

Mealamu has hardly played at all - hasn't even started a game yet so I'm prepared to give him some time.

Nonu is Nonu. He hasn't been absolutley awful but his mistakes get highlighted pretty quickly. Put him in the AB jersey and he seems to lift his game.

Aaron SMith has been terrible but he's hardly a mainstay AB - he only started last year and we still have pretty serviceable 9's in Weepu, Ellis, Perenara and TKB.

Gear?! Has he been horrible?

Dagg hasn't been impressive -interesting to see if he gets better in the ABs. The Crusader team isn't it's usual clinical self this year.
 

USARugger

John Thornett (49)
The one concerning thing about Mealamu is when he did come on her made some stupid mistakes that put the Blues under tons of pressure near the end.
 

Rassie

Trevor Allan (34)
There's surely got to be concern about how shit some of the top ABs are playing.

Woodcock, Hore, Mealamu, Aaron Smith, Gear, Nonu and Dagg have all been awful. Then there's Carter and Read who have barely played and who knows how good McCaw will be on return.

That said, Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick are killing it, the best locking combination in the world easily.
I really think that is a bit harsh. Especially on the Highlanders. They are ranked as one of the top sides attacking its just that final ball getting over the try line that is missing and that final ball possession is not as clean as it was last year. And the one who was responsible for that and just shows what a big hole he left is Adam Thompson. His speed was invaluable to them.
 

ACT Crusader

Jim Lenehan (48)
I'd say Hosea Gear has been a shining light in a very average Highlanders team. I'd have no worries about his form.

Can't agree with that Braveheart. He's got to be the most frustrating NZ player I've watched this year. He cuts back infield when he should be taking a defender on the outside; losing the ball in contact far too often; only glimpses of him backing himself; poor defence (which has never been a problem in the past).

IMO he is low in confidence and the last two games it has shown where he has just tried too hard.

I would say Ben Smith and a fit Kade Poki have been the shining lights.
 

BDA

Peter Johnson (47)
Anyone who knows anything about Super rugby knows NZ teams are notoriously slow starters. They certainly arent travelling that well at the moment but i still expect them to have two strong contenders come finals time. Aus might still only have one team in the finals. early days.

Certainly on current form you have to say the two most impressive side in the comp are both Aus teams. The Saders will try to do something about that this weekend.
 

RoffsChoice

Jim Lenehan (48)
I feel Anscombe is the future, if only for his goal kicking. How many games have the All Blacks won because Carter could line up those kicks from the sideline and keep the points ticking over? How many games could they have won if drop goals had gone over? And judging by the available players, Anscombe is the man.

Not only that, but he is a pure playmaker, even from fullback. Tries just appear when he is around and his ball distribution is perfect. But his defense is solid as well, he is the second best fullback in NZ after Ben Smith.

After last year, you saw just how good a solid forward pack is for the playmaker. The Blues forwards were dominated all year and Anscombe struggled as a result. Now the Chiefs forwards are dominant and he is on fire. The All Blacks forwards are only really challenged by the South African, English and French forwards, all others are childs play for the All Blacks.
 

Ruggo

Mark Ella (57)
I think the AB's will fire despite lack of form at super rugby.

the locking combination of Retallick and Whitelock is formidable and balanced. The front row looks a problem but hard to right off given the level of experience in it.
 

Rassie

Trevor Allan (34)
I feel Anscombe is the future, if only for his goal kicking. How many games have the All Blacks won because Carter could line up those kicks from the sideline and keep the points ticking over? How many games could they have won if drop goals had gone over? And judging by the available players, Anscombe is the man.

Not only that, but he is a pure playmaker, even from fullback. Tries just appear when he is around and his ball distribution is perfect. But his defense is solid as well, he is the second best fullback in NZ after Ben Smith.

After last year, you saw just how good a solid forward pack is for the playmaker. The Blues forwards were dominated all year and Anscombe struggled as a result. Now the Chiefs forwards are dominant and he is on fire. The All Blacks forwards are only really challenged by the South African, English and French forwards, all others are childs play for the All Blacks.
A kiwi doing a drop goal? You forgot the pact that was made in 1959 I think and the promise to the Kiwi supporters after they beat the Lions? They were outscored with tries and won with having a better boot. The Kiwi public was furious and since that day they made the promise never to win like that again. So do not blame Carter for just honoring it.
 

Dan54

John Eales (66)
Naa mate , we decided if we had to kick 6 penalties to win, we would, and then just go crook when anyone does it to us!!:p
 
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