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Armchair Halfback

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Joined December 2019

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Armchair Halfback is the musings of a long time rugby tragic - a devotee and thinker about all things pertaining to the running game.

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of course John Gallagher was born in England to Irish parents and played for Ireland A near the end of his career. Not to forget the great Dave Gallaher, who captained the Originals who was born in Donegal Ireland and arrived in Auckland in his early 20’s.

NZ rugby has enough talent to turn this around

young Finlay? arrived as a lad so must have a NZ passport..

NZ rugby has enough talent to turn this around

sure – Steve Devine played for the AB’s in recent times and NZ has a close relationship with PI, can’t think of any Poms who played for the AB’s on residency, though I’m sure you will enlighten me.

NZ rugby has enough talent to turn this around

Jager is down the pecking order a bit with Newell in the AB’s squad. Perhaps it’s a bridge too far to choose a residency qualified Irishman for the AB’s. Not quite kilted kiwis or saffa scotsman…

NZ rugby has enough talent to turn this around

tough times smoothy – if you exclude wins over USA and Italy, the AB’s have lost 6 of their last 8 tests and 4 of them to NH opposition, sobering stats indeed. NZ is still the most exciting rugby nursery in the world, but SA and France are perhaps ahead in their ability to produce test match talent. A new coach and captain will help the AB’s heaps but selection policy is a problem with selection of test players out of form and out of position. Maybe time for a New Zealand style ” Giteau law”?

NZ rugby has enough talent to turn this around

Thanks Harry – I guess it’s managing that balance between player safety and killing off the game as a spectacle. Interesting that you say: “South Africa is one of the least carded teams in world rugby over the last decade.” Be great to pack that more, statistically, at some point. You could suggest there is less NRL influence, but the same might be true of Argentina – yet Lavinini alone must be the most sent-off player in test rugby. Perhaps the solution is run with the 20 minute red card and increase suspension durations for dangerous head contact?

Cash hungry thinking vs. deep pocket fears: What's driving the north-south divide on 20 minute red cards

AB’s play a faster, more attacking style of rugby. Boks and French play a power game grounded in NRL style defensive structures.

ANALYSIS: Lacking belief and constrained by uncertainty, the All Blacks are suffering in the land of the long dark cloud

Usually when the AB’s are struggling a bit, all they need to do is increase the tempo of the game and that stresses opposition defences. Both a combination of improved defensive work by oppositions and a decline in confidence and patience by the AB’s sees their traditional get out of jail card become less effective.

ANALYSIS: Lacking belief and constrained by uncertainty, the All Blacks are suffering in the land of the long dark cloud

The Irish do make lots if errors (particularly a couple of bombed tries in Dunedin) but Faz seems to be happy with that choosing speed over accuracy.

ANALYSIS: Lacking belief and constrained by uncertainty, the All Blacks are suffering in the land of the long dark cloud

Hey JD, it is a worry especially when the AB’s come up against better teams and bigger packs in the months leading into next year’s RWC. Ireland are relatively lightweight and struggle against the power games of France and South Africa. An AB’s decline will see the game drift more and more into a version of NRL

ANALYSIS: Lacking belief and constrained by uncertainty, the All Blacks are suffering in the land of the long dark cloud

Maybe – the pack are all Irish born. Hansen (who qualifies anyway because his mother was born in Ireland) is in because Conway is injured, Aki is in because Ringrose got poleaxed by Ta’avao. Robert Baloucoune is as good as James Lowe, just Faz likes a winger who can kick long.

REACTION: 'Like we didn't know each other' - Foster facing heat as Ireland stun All Blacks with famous series win

I think you’ve missed the point of Saili’s systemic commentary on Irish rugby back in 2016. Not all of it is Foster’s fault though the best sledge was O’Mahony in Dunedin telling Cane that he was a crap imitation of Richie McCaw.

REACTION: 'Like we didn't know each other' - Foster facing heat as Ireland stun All Blacks with famous series win

I’m reminded of the comments by former All Black and one time Munster centre Francis Saili: “There’s an opportunity for them to do (win) so in Chicago and Dublin in November. To be honest, I can’t see the day coming any time soon. I can’t see it in my head. You have to be truthful, although 2013 was a very close one. You almost took us then so there is hope. Back home in New Zealand, the skill level is a lot better than it is here (in Ireland). I am just being brutally honest. What is happening back home is way up there – it is run down from a young age coming through and is consistent throughout the years,”
“There are a lot of things but I’m not in a position to say anything about that. The weather is a factor. It is a big factor. Back home, you’re playing on nice sunny days, you can throw the ball around and that’s the kind of game – free-flowing, getting offloads away, and you can see that if you’re watching the Super Rugby”…

REACTION: 'Like we didn't know each other' - Foster facing heat as Ireland stun All Blacks with famous series win

Nice work Nick – apparently Rory Arnold has been released by Toulouse, time for the Wallabies to break open the piggy bank?

The empire strikes back! How the north made history in round two

Thanks Nick – be interesting to see what value Nick Frost brings to the Wallabies lineout this weekend. Very impressed with the Wallabies last Saturday, they showed lots of character and even a little confidence to to back themselves in spite of the banana skins thrown their way. Lolesio looks to be maturing well which is excellent too.

Coach’s Corner: Global season structure can't come soon enough to reveal true balance of power

Will be an interesting test series against Ireland. Could be tough for them at the end if a long season and a dip in form at by their URC/HC teams at the pointy end of the NH season.

The Super Rugby Pacific impact XV

Nice work Highlander, in many ways it was an enjoyable and mostly competitive trans Tasman – snd perhaps even more so if the Reds has more luck and less injuries. Be interesting times for the AB’s after a relatively poor season in 2021, particular when is NZ rugby has more talent than patience and for good reason too…

The Super Rugby Pacific impact XV

Sorry Nick – jolly spell check.. Your thoughts on why Eddie overlooks Radwan (aka Radian) would be awesome… 😁

Coach’s Corner special: what will England bring to the party in July?

Hi Nick – I’m mystified that Radian gets overlooked by Eddie. Any issues I’ve been missing?

Coach’s Corner special: what will England bring to the party in July?

or should I have said a bargain at twice the price… 😂

Coach’s Corner special: what will England bring to the party in July?

to paraphrase Oscar Wilde: “to get one second row sent off against NZ may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose another looks like carelessness…” 😂

Coach’s Corner special: what will England bring to the party in July?

That’s him!

Coach’s Corner special: what will England bring to the party in July?

Might have been referring to myself, 😂 but yes there was a time when Irish players would “get injured” the week before a 6N trip to Paris.

Coach’s Corner special: what will England bring to the party in July?

A bargain at half the price!

Coach’s Corner special: what will England bring to the party in July?

He had one barmstorming run in that game, not really enough.

Coach’s Corner special: what will England bring to the party in July?

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