All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Grant Baudi » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00


Hi

Has anyone read Mark Keohane's latest coloumn, should provoke a response or
too

http://SportToday.org/+Keohane

      All Blacks take sole ownership of choker tag

      Okay, so they have Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga and Jonah Lomu (every
second or third game). They also have an impressive war dance, a jazzed up
version of the haka that still has its theatrical appeal, and their playing
strip is among the most marketable in the professional game.

      The All Blacks, though, don't have the aura of yesteryear. The only
tag the current lot carries around is that of choker.

      Whenever it has mattered in the past 18 months, the All Blacks have
bottled on the big occasion. They have choked, both as individuals and as a
team. The Bledisloe Cup decider in Sydney, the World Cup semi-final in
London, the 2000 Bledisloe Cup 'final' in Wellington and the possible
Tri-nations decider in Johannesburg.

      On each occasion the All Blacks, a corporate giant in the professional
age, have crumbled like a start-up one-man band. John Hart, the soft target
for a baffled New Zealand public, was blamed for the World Cup semi-final
defeat against France.

      Hart was the reason the All Blacks folded when the heat was on. Hart's
corporate image was not that of the All Blacks. He had made them soft and
vulnerable. I heard all the theories. The only common denominator was Hart.

      Yet, anyone privileged to have been at Twickenham when France
embarrassed the pride of New Zealand knows that it was a lack of heart among
the team and not simply a coach called Hart that attributed to the dramatic
collapse.

      The All Blacks lacked ticker and mental strength to beat the French.
They also did not have it within to rough it out. The French spoke gleefully
of how they looked into the eyes of so many All Blacks and saw fear and
confusion. This was arguably the greatest insult levelled at the 1999 World
Cup squad.

      A few months earlier we had seen a similar kind of confusion when an
organised and clinical Australian team destroyed the All Blacks by a record
28-7.

      A team, fashionable for the amount of time they spend on the cover of
magazines, did not have the guts or the character to get up for the most
cherished prize (outside of the World Cup). The then captain Taine Randell
spoke of being 'out-passioned' on the day?

      If a team can be 'out-passioned' playing in front of 100 000 plus
people and when playing for the biggest trans-Tasman rugby union prize, then
you have to ask serious questions about the make-up of character in the All
Blacks.

      On Saturday it was again a case of being 'out-passioned'. Again, look
to those who make up the balance of the side. New age professionals who,
with the exception of Cullen and Umaga, would not have got an invite to an
All Blacks training session a decade ago.

      Justin Marshall, quoted in the New Zealand Herald, as saying the team
all felt they would have beaten the Boks by 30 points if they played them
the next day, should be embarrassed about such a comment. Games of
importance have to be won on the day they are played.

      I know every All Black felt that had they played the Boks on the
following day in 1995 they would have won the World Cup. They did not.

      And when given the easiest run-in to redeem themselves four years
later, the All Blacks choked in an even bigger way.

      The All Blacks used to pride themselves on an ability to win away from
home. It was what separated them from every other team.

      This is now gone. The All Blacks, in London, Sydney and Twickenham,
looked as average as Scotland on tour. Actually, that is being harsh to
Scotland, who never lack for heart.

      When I was in New Zealand recently with the Boks, New Zealanders
seemed to have forgotten the diabolical exit from the World Cup. They were
patronising about the state of Springbok rugby.

      Victories against a shocking Tonga and an average Scotland, combined
with an upset win in Sydney and a lethargic one against a Bok team coming to
terms with a new game plan, apparently heralded the coming of a new All
Blacks era.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. The class of 2000 are every
bit the pretenders that went to the World Cup in 1999.

      What is different to this team than last year's? Not much. The front
row is overrated, the second row is not good enough and while Josh Kronfeld
may be past it, Taine Randell is showing more an more that he may never have
it.

      Ron Cribb, at No 8, has all the talent. It is questionable whether he
has the maturity or mind to realise his potential. A bite, a punch, a kick .
they come with the Cribb package and a television camera could end his
career before teams have to worry about it. Cribb has it all . or does he?

      At halfback, Justin Marshall still plays too many bad ones to convince
me he is back to the player who claimed the mantle of world's best in 1996
and Andrew Mehrtens, for all his tactical know-how, is a defensive
liability.

      Alama Ieremia is the best of New Zealand's midfielders but he
continues to struggle because of a lack of quality partner. Umaga and Cullen
are lethal and Lomu, when he decides to get involved, is a unique specimen.

      So what has changed from last year? A lot less aura and a lot more
vulnerability, that's what.

      Sydney, Twickenham and Johannesburg . not one-off flukes but
confirmation that the All Blacks of today are as fragile as every team they
have buried in their rich tradition.

      What makes it worse for the All Blacks is that the public knows it,
the opposition is equally aware of it and the All Blacks, themselves, know
(deep down) that they haven't got it.

      It is why they take cover behind playing matches the next day. The All
Blacks are in denial. It is why they believe they can beat a team by 30
points when they know the game won't be played.

      As a unit they still have the arrogance of the world's best when off
the field. On it, they are more a take off of the school bully who always
gets pumped the moment someone as big (if not as talented) stands up to him.

      New Zealanders can lull themselves with the pretence that they still
set the standards in world rugby. It will have been 16 years since NZ won
the World Cup come 2003 - and the only standard the All Blacks are setting
is in how to ***on the big occasion.

      Currently, it is played three and won three in the World ***
Championships . four if you add the 1995 World Cup final.

      by Mark Keohane in Cape Town

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M1TE&.#EA`0`1`(#_`,# P ```"'Y! $`````+ `````!`!$`0 ($A(]I!0`[
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All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Marc L O'Brie » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00

These are both very good articles !!
Quote:

> Hi

> Has anyone read Mark Keohane's latest coloumn, should provoke a response or
> too

> http://SportToday.org/+Keohane

>       All Blacks take sole ownership of choker tag

>       Okay, so they have Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga and Jonah Lomu (every
> second or third game). They also have an impressive war dance, a jazzed up
> version of the haka that still has its theatrical appeal, and their playing
> strip is among the most marketable in the professional game.

>       The All Blacks, though, don't have the aura of yesteryear. The only
> tag the current lot carries around is that of choker.

>       Whenever it has mattered in the past 18 months, the All Blacks have
> bottled on the big occasion. They have choked, both as individuals and as a
> team. The Bledisloe Cup decider in Sydney, the World Cup semi-final in
> London, the 2000 Bledisloe Cup 'final' in Wellington and the possible
> Tri-nations decider in Johannesburg.

>       On each occasion the All Blacks, a corporate giant in the professional
> age, have crumbled like a start-up one-man band. John Hart, the soft target
> for a baffled New Zealand public, was blamed for the World Cup semi-final
> defeat against France.

>       Hart was the reason the All Blacks folded when the heat was on. Hart's
> corporate image was not that of the All Blacks. He had made them soft and
> vulnerable. I heard all the theories. The only common denominator was Hart.

>       Yet, anyone privileged to have been at Twickenham when France
> embarrassed the pride of New Zealand knows that it was a lack of heart among
> the team and not simply a coach called Hart that attributed to the dramatic
> collapse.

>       The All Blacks lacked ticker and mental strength to beat the French.
> They also did not have it within to rough it out. The French spoke gleefully
> of how they looked into the eyes of so many All Blacks and saw fear and
> confusion. This was arguably the greatest insult levelled at the 1999 World
> Cup squad.

>       A few months earlier we had seen a similar kind of confusion when an
> organised and clinical Australian team destroyed the All Blacks by a record
> 28-7.

>       A team, fashionable for the amount of time they spend on the cover of
> magazines, did not have the guts or the character to get up for the most
> cherished prize (outside of the World Cup). The then captain Taine Randell
> spoke of being 'out-passioned' on the day?

>       If a team can be 'out-passioned' playing in front of 100 000 plus
> people and when playing for the biggest trans-Tasman rugby union prize, then
> you have to ask serious questions about the make-up of character in the All
> Blacks.

>       On Saturday it was again a case of being 'out-passioned'. Again, look
> to those who make up the balance of the side. New age professionals who,
> with the exception of Cullen and Umaga, would not have got an invite to an
> All Blacks training session a decade ago.

>       Justin Marshall, quoted in the New Zealand Herald, as saying the team
> all felt they would have beaten the Boks by 30 points if they played them
> the next day, should be embarrassed about such a comment. Games of
> importance have to be won on the day they are played.

>       I know every All Black felt that had they played the Boks on the
> following day in 1995 they would have won the World Cup. They did not.

>       And when given the easiest run-in to redeem themselves four years
> later, the All Blacks choked in an even bigger way.

>       The All Blacks used to pride themselves on an ability to win away from
> home. It was what separated them from every other team.

>       This is now gone. The All Blacks, in London, Sydney and Twickenham,
> looked as average as Scotland on tour. Actually, that is being harsh to
> Scotland, who never lack for heart.

>       When I was in New Zealand recently with the Boks, New Zealanders
> seemed to have forgotten the diabolical exit from the World Cup. They were
> patronising about the state of Springbok rugby.

>       Victories against a shocking Tonga and an average Scotland, combined
> with an upset win in Sydney and a lethargic one against a Bok team coming to
> terms with a new game plan, apparently heralded the coming of a new All
> Blacks era.

>       Nothing could be further from the truth. The class of 2000 are every
> bit the pretenders that went to the World Cup in 1999.

>       What is different to this team than last year's? Not much. The front
> row is overrated, the second row is not good enough and while Josh Kronfeld
> may be past it, Taine Randell is showing more an more that he may never have
> it.

>       Ron Cribb, at No 8, has all the talent. It is questionable whether he
> has the maturity or mind to realise his potential. A bite, a punch, a kick .
> they come with the Cribb package and a television camera could end his
> career before teams have to worry about it. Cribb has it all . or does he?

>       At halfback, Justin Marshall still plays too many bad ones to convince
> me he is back to the player who claimed the mantle of world's best in 1996
> and Andrew Mehrtens, for all his tactical know-how, is a defensive
> liability.

>       Alama Ieremia is the best of New Zealand's midfielders but he
> continues to struggle because of a lack of quality partner. Umaga and Cullen
> are lethal and Lomu, when he decides to get involved, is a unique specimen.

>       So what has changed from last year? A lot less aura and a lot more
> vulnerability, that's what.

>       Sydney, Twickenham and Johannesburg . not one-off flukes but
> confirmation that the All Blacks of today are as fragile as every team they
> have buried in their rich tradition.

>       What makes it worse for the All Blacks is that the public knows it,
> the opposition is equally aware of it and the All Blacks, themselves, know
> (deep down) that they haven't got it.

>       It is why they take cover behind playing matches the next day. The All
> Blacks are in denial. It is why they believe they can beat a team by 30
> points when they know the game won't be played.

>       As a unit they still have the arrogance of the world's best when off
> the field. On it, they are more a take off of the school bully who always
> gets pumped the moment someone as big (if not as talented) stands up to him.

>       New Zealanders can lull themselves with the pretence that they still
> set the standards in world rugby. It will have been 16 years since NZ won
> the World Cup come 2003 - and the only standard the All Blacks are setting
> is in how to ***on the big occasion.

>       Currently, it is played three and won three in the World ***
> Championships . four if you add the 1995 World Cup final.

>       by Mark Keohane in Cape Town

>  [Image]


 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Paul Ker » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> These are both very good articles !!

I'd just like to say........................................shit I think my phones
being tapped.

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Mr Sceb » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00


<snip a lot of brave words from a team that have finally won a game this
season>

Quote:
>       New Zealanders can lull themselves with the pretence that they still
> set the standards in world rugby. It will have been 16 years since NZ won
> the World Cup come 2003 - and the only standard the All Blacks are setting
> is in how to ***on the big occasion.

Yeah we do. And why? Because for the AB's results have never been the
ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to play to the highest level. Try this
zen: Is it better to be the best, or to know you're the best?

The AB's know they are the best, and that is what makes them the team that
everyone wants to beat. There has been times that NZ has had some ordinary
teams, 92-94, 86 spring to mind, but it doesn't matter. There is no doubt
that they are not playing at the levels they demand of themselves, and they
are the first to admit it, but that WILL change.

IMO the present demise that we are seeing is a result of a loss of a
significant number of players. If we look beyond Fitzpatrick, Jones, Bunce,
and the Brooke brothers from the test side, there is also John Leslie from
Otago who is sorely missed in the midfield. It is the loss of NZ 'A' level
(next tier down from the AB's) players to more lucrative pastures, that has
seen a marked decline.

Is it the end of the world? I believe not. NZ's problem was that they won
their games first up, rather than at the end of the 3N. If they had lost the
first two matches but came back to win the next two, there would not be the
same level of self-flagellation that we are presently witnessing. But coming
back to the original zen, it is because they (and everyone else) know they
are the best, the post-mortems and the incessant calls to respect the
heritage are resounding like a clarion around the rugby world. And when the
call is answered, the rest of the world will sit in awe again. Bold words?
Not when you consider that this "team of chokers" has still held (arguably)
the best Aussie team ever to 2-2 since '98 and SA 3-2 (including the WC
loss) during the same period. I wonder what that says for all the rest.

Quote:
>       Currently, it is played three and won three in the World ***
> Championships . four if you add the 1995 World Cup final.

I think that Suzie had something to do with that "choke". ;)

Mr Scebe

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Ferdi Greyli » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00



<<>Has anyone read Mark Keohane's latest coloumn, >>

This guy is an arsehole.

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Marc L O'Brie » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00

Quote:


> > These are both very good articles !!

> I'd just like to say........................................shit I think my phones
> being tapped.

As if they'd have anything to gain....
 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by bob » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00

Quote:
> zen: Is it better to be the best, or to know you're the best?

So basically you are asking whether it is better to actually do something or
whether to just think that you can do it.
Hey cool, stick me in the boks team I think I can score 30 tries and run
over Lomu.
I know I can. I know I can. I know I can.
 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Marc O'Brie » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> > zen: Is it better to be the best, or to know you're the best?
> So basically you are asking whether it is better to actually do something or
> whether to just think that you can do it.
> Hey cool, stick me in the boks team I think I can score 30 tries and run
> over Lomu.
> I know I can. I know I can. I know I can.

Because you're a Bok you know you can? Can what? Run over Lomu ? Cool, that
sounds like a common occurance :-)

Score 30 tries? Sounds like just another NZ dream again :-)

Marc

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Grant Baudi » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 04:00:00

Yeah - I thought so -any NZ views on he subject?



Quote:
> These are both very good articles !!


> > Hi

> > Has anyone read Mark Keohane's latest coloumn, should provoke a response
or
> > too

> > http://SportToday.org/+Keohane

> >       All Blacks take sole ownership of choker tag

> >       Okay, so they have Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga and Jonah Lomu
(every
> > second or third game). They also have an impressive war dance, a jazzed
up
> > version of the haka that still has its theatrical appeal, and their
playing
> > strip is among the most marketable in the professional game.

> >       The All Blacks, though, don't have the aura of yesteryear. The
only
> > tag the current lot carries around is that of choker.

> >       Whenever it has mattered in the past 18 months, the All Blacks
have
> > bottled on the big occasion. They have choked, both as individuals and
as a
> > team. The Bledisloe Cup decider in Sydney, the World Cup semi-final in
> > London, the 2000 Bledisloe Cup 'final' in Wellington and the possible
> > Tri-nations decider in Johannesburg.

> >       On each occasion the All Blacks, a corporate giant in the
professional
> > age, have crumbled like a start-up one-man band. John Hart, the soft
target
> > for a baffled New Zealand public, was blamed for the World Cup
semi-final
> > defeat against France.

> >       Hart was the reason the All Blacks folded when the heat was on.
Hart's
> > corporate image was not that of the All Blacks. He had made them soft
and
> > vulnerable. I heard all the theories. The only common denominator was
Hart.

> >       Yet, anyone privileged to have been at Twickenham when France
> > embarrassed the pride of New Zealand knows that it was a lack of heart
among
> > the team and not simply a coach called Hart that attributed to the
dramatic
> > collapse.

> >       The All Blacks lacked ticker and mental strength to beat the
French.
> > They also did not have it within to rough it out. The French spoke
gleefully
> > of how they looked into the eyes of so many All Blacks and saw fear and
> > confusion. This was arguably the greatest insult levelled at the 1999
World
> > Cup squad.

> >       A few months earlier we had seen a similar kind of confusion when
an
> > organised and clinical Australian team destroyed the All Blacks by a
record
> > 28-7.

> >       A team, fashionable for the amount of time they spend on the cover
of
> > magazines, did not have the guts or the character to get up for the most
> > cherished prize (outside of the World Cup). The then captain Taine
Randell
> > spoke of being 'out-passioned' on the day?

> >       If a team can be 'out-passioned' playing in front of 100 000 plus
> > people and when playing for the biggest trans-Tasman rugby union prize,
then
> > you have to ask serious questions about the make-up of character in the
All
> > Blacks.

> >       On Saturday it was again a case of being 'out-passioned'. Again,
look
> > to those who make up the balance of the side. New age professionals who,
> > with the exception of Cullen and Umaga, would not have got an invite to
an
> > All Blacks training session a decade ago.

> >       Justin Marshall, quoted in the New Zealand Herald, as saying the
team
> > all felt they would have beaten the Boks by 30 points if they played
them
> > the next day, should be embarrassed about such a comment. Games of
> > importance have to be won on the day they are played.

> >       I know every All Black felt that had they played the Boks on the
> > following day in 1995 they would have won the World Cup. They did not.

> >       And when given the easiest run-in to redeem themselves four years
> > later, the All Blacks choked in an even bigger way.

> >       The All Blacks used to pride themselves on an ability to win away
from
> > home. It was what separated them from every other team.

> >       This is now gone. The All Blacks, in London, Sydney and
Twickenham,
> > looked as average as Scotland on tour. Actually, that is being harsh to
> > Scotland, who never lack for heart.

> >       When I was in New Zealand recently with the Boks, New Zealanders
> > seemed to have forgotten the diabolical exit from the World Cup. They
were
> > patronising about the state of Springbok rugby.

> >       Victories against a shocking Tonga and an average Scotland,
combined
> > with an upset win in Sydney and a lethargic one against a Bok team
coming to
> > terms with a new game plan, apparently heralded the coming of a new All
> > Blacks era.

> >       Nothing could be further from the truth. The class of 2000 are
every
> > bit the pretenders that went to the World Cup in 1999.

> >       What is different to this team than last year's? Not much. The
front
> > row is overrated, the second row is not good enough and while Josh
Kronfeld
> > may be past it, Taine Randell is showing more an more that he may never
have
> > it.

> >       Ron Cribb, at No 8, has all the talent. It is questionable whether
he
> > has the maturity or mind to realise his potential. A bite, a punch, a
kick .
> > they come with the Cribb package and a television camera could end his
> > career before teams have to worry about it. Cribb has it all . or does
he?

> >       At halfback, Justin Marshall still plays too many bad ones to
convince
> > me he is back to the player who claimed the mantle of world's best in
1996
> > and Andrew Mehrtens, for all his tactical know-how, is a defensive
> > liability.

> >       Alama Ieremia is the best of New Zealand's midfielders but he
> > continues to struggle because of a lack of quality partner. Umaga and
Cullen
> > are lethal and Lomu, when he decides to get involved, is a unique
specimen.

> >       So what has changed from last year? A lot less aura and a lot more
> > vulnerability, that's what.

> >       Sydney, Twickenham and Johannesburg . not one-off flukes but
> > confirmation that the All Blacks of today are as fragile as every team
they
> > have buried in their rich tradition.

> >       What makes it worse for the All Blacks is that the public knows
it,
> > the opposition is equally aware of it and the All Blacks, themselves,
know
> > (deep down) that they haven't got it.

> >       It is why they take cover behind playing matches the next day. The
All
> > Blacks are in denial. It is why they believe they can beat a team by 30
> > points when they know the game won't be played.

> >       As a unit they still have the arrogance of the world's best when
off
> > the field. On it, they are more a take off of the school bully who
always
> > gets pumped the moment someone as big (if not as talented) stands up to
him.

> >       New Zealanders can lull themselves with the pretence that they
still
> > set the standards in world rugby. It will have been 16 years since NZ
won
> > the World Cup come 2003 - and the only standard the All Blacks are
setting
> > is in how to ***on the big occasion.

> >       Currently, it is played three and won three in the World ***
> > Championships . four if you add the 1995 World Cup final.

> >       by Mark Keohane in Cape Town

> >  [Image]

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Bobs » Sat, 26 Aug 2000 23:35:03

And what has SA won in the last couple of years?

Perhaps he should look at his own shit before inspecting someone elses shit.

Quote:

> Hi

> Has anyone read Mark Keohane's latest coloumn, should provoke a response or
> too

> http://SportToday.org/+Keohane

>       All Blacks take sole ownership of choker tag

>       Okay, so they have Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga and Jonah Lomu (every
> second or third game). They also have an impressive war dance, a jazzed up
> version of the haka that still has its theatrical appeal, and their playing
> strip is among the most marketable in the professional game.

>       The All Blacks, though, don't have the aura of yesteryear. The only
> tag the current lot carries around is that of choker.

>       Whenever it has mattered in the past 18 months, the All Blacks have
> bottled on the big occasion. They have choked, both as individuals and as a
> team. The Bledisloe Cup decider in Sydney, the World Cup semi-final in
> London, the 2000 Bledisloe Cup 'final' in Wellington and the possible
> Tri-nations decider in Johannesburg.

>       On each occasion the All Blacks, a corporate giant in the professional
> age, have crumbled like a start-up one-man band. John Hart, the soft target
> for a baffled New Zealand public, was blamed for the World Cup semi-final
> defeat against France.

>       Hart was the reason the All Blacks folded when the heat was on. Hart's
> corporate image was not that of the All Blacks. He had made them soft and
> vulnerable. I heard all the theories. The only common denominator was Hart.

>       Yet, anyone privileged to have been at Twickenham when France
> embarrassed the pride of New Zealand knows that it was a lack of heart among
> the team and not simply a coach called Hart that attributed to the dramatic
> collapse.

>       The All Blacks lacked ticker and mental strength to beat the French.
> They also did not have it within to rough it out. The French spoke gleefully
> of how they looked into the eyes of so many All Blacks and saw fear and
> confusion. This was arguably the greatest insult levelled at the 1999 World
> Cup squad.

>       A few months earlier we had seen a similar kind of confusion when an
> organised and clinical Australian team destroyed the All Blacks by a record
> 28-7.

>       A team, fashionable for the amount of time they spend on the cover of
> magazines, did not have the guts or the character to get up for the most
> cherished prize (outside of the World Cup). The then captain Taine Randell
> spoke of being 'out-passioned' on the day?

>       If a team can be 'out-passioned' playing in front of 100 000 plus
> people and when playing for the biggest trans-Tasman rugby union prize, then
> you have to ask serious questions about the make-up of character in the All
> Blacks.

>       On Saturday it was again a case of being 'out-passioned'. Again, look
> to those who make up the balance of the side. New age professionals who,
> with the exception of Cullen and Umaga, would not have got an invite to an
> All Blacks training session a decade ago.

>       Justin Marshall, quoted in the New Zealand Herald, as saying the team
> all felt they would have beaten the Boks by 30 points if they played them
> the next day, should be embarrassed about such a comment. Games of
> importance have to be won on the day they are played.

>       I know every All Black felt that had they played the Boks on the
> following day in 1995 they would have won the World Cup. They did not.

>       And when given the easiest run-in to redeem themselves four years
> later, the All Blacks choked in an even bigger way.

>       The All Blacks used to pride themselves on an ability to win away from
> home. It was what separated them from every other team.

>       This is now gone. The All Blacks, in London, Sydney and Twickenham,
> looked as average as Scotland on tour. Actually, that is being harsh to
> Scotland, who never lack for heart.

>       When I was in New Zealand recently with the Boks, New Zealanders
> seemed to have forgotten the diabolical exit from the World Cup. They were
> patronising about the state of Springbok rugby.

>       Victories against a shocking Tonga and an average Scotland, combined
> with an upset win in Sydney and a lethargic one against a Bok team coming to
> terms with a new game plan, apparently heralded the coming of a new All
> Blacks era.

>       Nothing could be further from the truth. The class of 2000 are every
> bit the pretenders that went to the World Cup in 1999.

>       What is different to this team than last year's? Not much. The front
> row is overrated, the second row is not good enough and while Josh Kronfeld
> may be past it, Taine Randell is showing more an more that he may never have
> it.

>       Ron Cribb, at No 8, has all the talent. It is questionable whether he
> has the maturity or mind to realise his potential. A bite, a punch, a kick .
> they come with the Cribb package and a television camera could end his
> career before teams have to worry about it. Cribb has it all . or does he?

>       At halfback, Justin Marshall still plays too many bad ones to convince
> me he is back to the player who claimed the mantle of world's best in 1996
> and Andrew Mehrtens, for all his tactical know-how, is a defensive
> liability.

>       Alama Ieremia is the best of New Zealand's midfielders but he
> continues to struggle because of a lack of quality partner. Umaga and Cullen
> are lethal and Lomu, when he decides to get involved, is a unique specimen.

>       So what has changed from last year? A lot less aura and a lot more
> vulnerability, that's what.

>       Sydney, Twickenham and Johannesburg . not one-off flukes but
> confirmation that the All Blacks of today are as fragile as every team they
> have buried in their rich tradition.

>       What makes it worse for the All Blacks is that the public knows it,
> the opposition is equally aware of it and the All Blacks, themselves, know
> (deep down) that they haven't got it.

>       It is why they take cover behind playing matches the next day. The All
> Blacks are in denial. It is why they believe they can beat a team by 30
> points when they know the game won't be played.

>       As a unit they still have the arrogance of the world's best when off
> the field. On it, they are more a take off of the school bully who always
> gets pumped the moment someone as big (if not as talented) stands up to him.

>       New Zealanders can lull themselves with the pretence that they still
> set the standards in world rugby. It will have been 16 years since NZ won
> the World Cup come 2003 - and the only standard the All Blacks are setting
> is in how to ***on the big occasion.

>       Currently, it is played three and won three in the World ***
> Championships . four if you add the 1995 World Cup final.

>       by Mark Keohane in Cape Town

>  [Image]

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Tama McConnel » Sun, 27 Aug 2000 06:05:49


<SNIP>

He is right, this current team definitely doesnt have the same aura of All
Blacks past (but then neither do South Africa). We do tend to look for
scapegoats, a lot of New Zealanders seem to think it is still just a
selection problem - that changing one or two or three players will make all
the difference.  I am starting to believe its due to the loss of a lot of
our "second-tier " ( or so-called "second-tier:) players (like Leslie,
Surridge, Gardiner, Stensness...) maybe they would never have been All
blacks, maybe some hould have been, but they definitely provided competition
for places, and the local games were that much harder.
 If people still think we can be the best in the world again, and still lose
top players at the rate we do currently  (this year Mayerhofler, Cashmore -
who knows who else) - they are sadly mistaken. We will never become
hopeless, but we wont be like the AB's of old anymore.

Tama

:(

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Greig Blanchet » Sun, 27 Aug 2000 09:07:02

On Sat, 26 Aug 2000 09:05:49 +1200, "Tama McConnell"

Quote:



><SNIP>

>He is right, this current team definitely doesnt have the same aura of All
>Blacks past (but then neither do South Africa). We do tend to look for
>scapegoats, a lot of New Zealanders seem to think it is still just a
>selection problem - that changing one or two or three players will make all
>the difference.  I am starting to believe its due to the loss of a lot of
>our "second-tier " ( or so-called "second-tier:) players (like Leslie,
>Surridge, Gardiner, Stensness...) maybe they would never have been All
>blacks, maybe some hould have been, but they definitely provided competition
>for places, and the local games were that much harder.
> If people still think we can be the best in the world again, and still lose
>top players at the rate we do currently  (this year Mayerhofler, Cashmore -
>who knows who else) - they are sadly mistaken. We will never become
>hopeless, but we wont be like the AB's of old anymore.

>Tama

I think it's a familiarity breeds contempt issue. There is too much
top level rugby in the SH at the moment. The team that has benefitted
most from the regular contact has been Australia, while the currency
of NZ and SA rugby has been devalued.

However, this is unlikely to change, so we'd better get used to it.
There's a lot of exciting rugby being played, and a lot of smart
thinking going into strategies and tactics. I still don't think a
truly awesome team has emerged since professionalism, including the
ABs post RWC 1995. Too many close calls, too many errors, too
inconsistent. One day a Porsche, the next day a VW Golf. The current
Wallabies are, to my mind, like a Holden Commodore. They're reliable,
they win races, but at the end of the day, they're unexciting. NZ can
still play like Ferraris or Austin Metros depending on the day, and
sometimes, depending on the minute, but they look a long way from
stamping any lasting authority on the game.

But ... swings and roundabouts - they could adjust to the new dynamic
soon (as of course could everyone else) and we might still see a team
emerge to dominate the early part of the century. From what I've seen
so far, the ABs could be the team most likely, based solely on that
opening ten minutes at Stadium Australia.

As for Keohane, he sounds as deranged as Spiro, and more than a little
panicky. One win, and you can almost hear the SA-an heads swelling.
Roll on tomorrow, go Oz. There's no honour in the ABs winning the 3N
because of some other team's failure, and I just can't bring myself to
say "Go South Africa". Besides, my missus is Australian, so I'd better
earn a few brownie points while I can.

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Michael Mart » Sun, 27 Aug 2000 04:00:00

I think it is other countries - Australia and South Africa have caught
up to the All Blacks in this professional game.

Michael



Quote:
>Hi

>Has anyone read Mark Keohane's latest coloumn, should provoke a response or
>too

>http://SportToday.org/+Keohane

>      All Blacks take sole ownership of choker tag

>      Okay, so they have Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga and Jonah Lomu (every
>second or third game). They also have an impressive war dance, a jazzed up
>version of the haka that still has its theatrical appeal, and their playing
>strip is among the most marketable in the professional game.

>      The All Blacks, though, don't have the aura of yesteryear. The only
>tag the current lot carries around is that of choker.

>      Whenever it has mattered in the past 18 months, the All Blacks have
>bottled on the big occasion. They have choked, both as individuals and as a
>team. The Bledisloe Cup decider in Sydney, the World Cup semi-final in
>London, the 2000 Bledisloe Cup 'final' in Wellington and the possible
>Tri-nations decider in Johannesburg.

>      On each occasion the All Blacks, a corporate giant in the professional
>age, have crumbled like a start-up one-man band. John Hart, the soft target
>for a baffled New Zealand public, was blamed for the World Cup semi-final
>defeat against France.

>      Hart was the reason the All Blacks folded when the heat was on. Hart's
>corporate image was not that of the All Blacks. He had made them soft and
>vulnerable. I heard all the theories. The only common denominator was Hart.

>      Yet, anyone privileged to have been at Twickenham when France
>embarrassed the pride of New Zealand knows that it was a lack of heart among
>the team and not simply a coach called Hart that attributed to the dramatic
>collapse.

>      The All Blacks lacked ticker and mental strength to beat the French.
>They also did not have it within to rough it out. The French spoke gleefully
>of how they looked into the eyes of so many All Blacks and saw fear and
>confusion. This was arguably the greatest insult levelled at the 1999 World
>Cup squad.

>      A few months earlier we had seen a similar kind of confusion when an
>organised and clinical Australian team destroyed the All Blacks by a record
>28-7.

>      A team, fashionable for the amount of time they spend on the cover of
>magazines, did not have the guts or the character to get up for the most
>cherished prize (outside of the World Cup). The then captain Taine Randell
>spoke of being 'out-passioned' on the day?

>      If a team can be 'out-passioned' playing in front of 100 000 plus
>people and when playing for the biggest trans-Tasman rugby union prize, then
>you have to ask serious questions about the make-up of character in the All
>Blacks.

>      On Saturday it was again a case of being 'out-passioned'. Again, look
>to those who make up the balance of the side. New age professionals who,
>with the exception of Cullen and Umaga, would not have got an invite to an
>All Blacks training session a decade ago.

>      Justin Marshall, quoted in the New Zealand Herald, as saying the team
>all felt they would have beaten the Boks by 30 points if they played them
>the next day, should be embarrassed about such a comment. Games of
>importance have to be won on the day they are played.

>      I know every All Black felt that had they played the Boks on the
>following day in 1995 they would have won the World Cup. They did not.

>      And when given the easiest run-in to redeem themselves four years
>later, the All Blacks choked in an even bigger way.

>      The All Blacks used to pride themselves on an ability to win away from
>home. It was what separated them from every other team.

>      This is now gone. The All Blacks, in London, Sydney and Twickenham,
>looked as average as Scotland on tour. Actually, that is being harsh to
>Scotland, who never lack for heart.

>      When I was in New Zealand recently with the Boks, New Zealanders
>seemed to have forgotten the diabolical exit from the World Cup. They were
>patronising about the state of Springbok rugby.

>      Victories against a shocking Tonga and an average Scotland, combined
>with an upset win in Sydney and a lethargic one against a Bok team coming to
>terms with a new game plan, apparently heralded the coming of a new All
>Blacks era.

>      Nothing could be further from the truth. The class of 2000 are every
>bit the pretenders that went to the World Cup in 1999.

>      What is different to this team than last year's? Not much. The front
>row is overrated, the second row is not good enough and while Josh Kronfeld
>may be past it, Taine Randell is showing more an more that he may never have
>it.

>      Ron Cribb, at No 8, has all the talent. It is questionable whether he
>has the maturity or mind to realise his potential. A bite, a punch, a kick .
>they come with the Cribb package and a television camera could end his
>career before teams have to worry about it. Cribb has it all . or does he?

>      At halfback, Justin Marshall still plays too many bad ones to convince
>me he is back to the player who claimed the mantle of world's best in 1996
>and Andrew Mehrtens, for all his tactical know-how, is a defensive
>liability.

>      Alama Ieremia is the best of New Zealand's midfielders but he
>continues to struggle because of a lack of quality partner. Umaga and Cullen
>are lethal and Lomu, when he decides to get involved, is a unique specimen.

>      So what has changed from last year? A lot less aura and a lot more
>vulnerability, that's what.

>      Sydney, Twickenham and Johannesburg . not one-off flukes but
>confirmation that the All Blacks of today are as fragile as every team they
>have buried in their rich tradition.

>      What makes it worse for the All Blacks is that the public knows it,
>the opposition is equally aware of it and the All Blacks, themselves, know
>(deep down) that they haven't got it.

>      It is why they take cover behind playing matches the next day. The All
>Blacks are in denial. It is why they believe they can beat a team by 30
>points when they know the game won't be played.

>      As a unit they still have the arrogance of the world's best when off
>the field. On it, they are more a take off of the school bully who always
>gets pumped the moment someone as big (if not as talented) stands up to him.

>      New Zealanders can lull themselves with the pretence that they still
>set the standards in world rugby. It will have been 16 years since NZ won
>the World Cup come 2003 - and the only standard the All Blacks are setting
>is in how to ***on the big occasion.

>      Currently, it is played three and won three in the World ***
>Championships . four if you add the 1995 World Cup final.

>      by Mark Keohane in Cape Town

>begin 666 invi.gif
>M1TE&.#EA`0`1`(#_`,# P ```"'Y! $`````+ `````!`!$`0 ($A(]I!0`[
>`
>end

 
 
 

All Black Chokers - Mark Keohane on rugbynet.co.za

Post by Mees Roelof » Sun, 27 Aug 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

><<>Has anyone read Mark Keohane's latest coloumn, >>

>This guy is an arsehole.

His observation that the ABs did ***on every big occasion since,
say, 1998 is spot-on. His point isn't new though, as isn't his point
that it might not just have had to do with John Hart, but that there
is something wrong with the players too.

But when you look at the discussions on which new AB team to field,
you might see that many New Zealanders already are thinking the same.

--
Mees Roelofs    (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Planet Pino (RSRU FAQ & Shield) * http://SportToday.org/
To mail me, replace NoSpamForMe with Pino in address

"Declare the republic now, and put this bloke in charge."
   Simon Poidevin, when Eales' kick secured Australia's Bledisloe retention