> Eh? I saw plenty being made by the AB's myself Rick...
Well, not as many as the previous week. Few first-generation mistakes, as it
were. Very few losing lineouts, turnovers in rucks etc.
> Now I'm convinced you've been watching a different game old son. The
> All Black forwards were basically over-powered by their opponents. That's
> one of the reasons we conceded so many turnovers, and why the ***y
> ball came back so slow from every single ruck, barring a few at the
> very end.
We obviously have different expectations from the forwards. You have
criticised the All Black forwards for their performance, but really, they are
still getting enough ball to the backs for most other teams. They are not
dominating as they once did, true, but teams shouldn't always count on their
forwards to dominate. If they get parity, the backs then have the job of
converting possession into points. The All Black forwards performed
adequately in the set pieces, and while they missed Kronfeld and generally
failed to make headway in the loose they conceded very little turnover ball
in rucks and mauls and did not suffer much by comparison with the Australian
loosies, in my view.
If our backs had performed with moderate competency we would have won this
game, but they did not. It is with them I lay the blame.
> How about Sloane and Smith? They've been effectively coaching backline
> and forwards with Hart in a more managerial role apparently. Why not blame
> them (ignoring facile "buck stops here" reasoning). Maybe its these guys
> who've been spending time teaching the team wonderful "innovations" like
> getting Jonah to feed the ball at the scrum, take a ponderous pass from
> Randell, and then get nailed 1m short of the advantage line by 5 Wallaby
It all seems very strange. I don't know how the coaching panel manage their
jobs, but it seems obvious to me that you play to your strengths. Not once
did Jonah Lomu, in form and a wonderful strike player, get the ball in a
positive attacking siuation. Instead, Merhtens had obviously been instructed
to put high ball over the Australian back three! Why? Why give a safe
defensive lineup and a potent attacking lineup gift ball to run back into the
All Blacks? Did Hart think Burke and co were suddenly going to panic and kick
sideways for touch?
Wilson and Cullen made some wonderful breaks purely on their own intuition
from broken play -- imagine what they could have done with quick ball in
space to move from set moves. But they never got any. Ball or space.
Maybe Hart is just too clever for us all and is deliberately setting the team
up to lose knowing that this is the best way to motivate this
attitude-challenged team to win the world cup.
-- Rick Boyd
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