All Black World Cup winners disappoint in Super Rugby
The climb to reach the top of a Rugby World Cup hill is hard and long. Once reached, the slippery slide downhill is easy. This is noticeable with the Rugby World Cup Class of 2011 All Blacks.
We watch Super Rugby and it is loaded with many of those All Blacks who played in RWC 2011, yet as Super Rugby players they have fallen from form and commitment. Those with the Blues and Crusaders are most noticeable.
The playing Blues, now one step to the wooden spoon, have used RWC 2011 All Blacks Ali Williams, Mealamu, Nonu, Weepu, Toeava, Woodcock, and Boric in their abysmal outings of six losses and one win.
Faring only slightly better, the Crusaders, playing RWC 2011 All Blacks Flynn, the Franks brothers, Whitelock, Read, Ellis, Carter, Dagg and Guilford have four wins and three losses.
Selectively it could be said that Jimmy Cowan’s performances have been poor by Cowan’s standards, yet players like Jane, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Kahui, Thompson and Hore are still putting in some dynamic performances.
Why are the three NZ franchises, Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders, with the six remaining All Blacks from RWC 2011 players scattered among them, doing so well?
Could it be that the exciting new talent of those franchises is on the hard uphill climb, and the All Blacks of RWC 2011 are on the massive slide down?
Coaches catch the flak of poorly performing teams, and if it continues season after season as it has at the Blues, then yes, Mr Lam, please move on.
However, behind these coaches are the CEOs and selectors, and they too should be held to account and shoulder just as much culpability as the coach, and move on with him.
Mark Hammett was pilloried when he emptied the Hurricanes of Nonu, Weepu and Hore, yet Hammett had the foresight to retain Smith, Jane, Vito and Eaton as his nucleus, then fill the team with young gun hopefuls who have not let him down one bit with their dynamic record of five wins, two losses to date.
Similarly, we have the Chiefs and Highlanders, notorious for doing poorly in Super Rugby, now being the leading lights of the NZ franchises. There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to why these previously bottom teams are now on top and the previous favourites visa versa.
Could this unexplainable phenomena be due to some players thinking that they could play on reputation and now no longer have the heart or desire to give top performances, thereby being a liability to their franchise?
Top rugby is really a game of snakes and ladders. They climb the ladder and slide on snakes. Or are there just old and lazy ones hiding in the grass looking for the quick meal before their eternal bedtime?
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