The Roar
The Roar


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Joined October 2018









Both men are key for New Zealand. Their experience and run production is crucial. They do need a good foundation from Latham and Raval as this Australian pace attack will get their tails up if they strike early.

Veterans Taylor and Williamson remain NZ's heartbeat

Thanks Brett. Totally agree we should be meeting more in test matches. The schedulers have missed a trick I think as New Zealand has worked their way up the rankings under the radar. There would have been some good opportunities to squeeze in more test series. The close proximity of the nations you would think this should be a simple exercise.

My concern for NZ in this series is the lack of match practice in Australia especially with a pink ball. The squad is good enough. Also hope we do not get overawed by playing in the cauldron of Australia.

The trans-Tasman series gets its long-overdue top billing

Hey Nicholas. Thanks as always and a good time to this article. I liked the part where you highlighted Laulala and Whitelock not being in the correct position. Shows if one or two players are slightly out of position how the flow of attack can be affected.

Personally I was hoping Robertson would have been given the role. He would have freshen up the All Blacks at a much needed time. I hope he does not get an International gig somewhere else as I think he is destined to be an All Black coach. He does have a big task this year with the Crusaders being less experienced that previous campaigns. Would be a great achievement if they go four in a row.

I will be waiting with great anticipation on who Fosters assistants will be. That would have been a key player for him.

Tony Brown would have been a good man to have to brighten the attack up but can totally understand his loyalties to Joseph and Japan (imagine they are well looked after there).

Did the All Blacks pick the right successor to Hansen?

Well said Harry. Erasmus was smart in the style he created for the Springboks in his tenure. Really suited what he had to work with. I also agree Razor would be more open to new ideas and his fresh way of thinking plus his personality would have benefited the All Blacks. I think whoever Foster has as his assistants got him over the line. I hope Razor does not get lost to NZ Rugby.

Did the All Blacks pick the right successor to Hansen?

Gutted Robertson did not get the gig. His fresh approach would have done wonders I reckon for a team that would have been deflated after the semi-final exit at the World Cup. In saying that I will back Foster to do the job as he would have learnt a lot in his time under Hansen. A good opportunity for Foster to prove some critics (including myself) wrong. I also think Foster may of had a better coaching team. So will be interested to see who that is once confirmed.

Ian Foster pips Scott Robertson to be named new All Blacks coach

Thats true and surely he would want to be loyal to Razor. I rate Mooar as a coach.

Ian Foster pips Scott Robertson to be named new All Blacks coach

This is definitely one of the best New Zealand teams we have had. However touring in Australia is a different ball game. We will see if New Zealand can finally step up across the Tasman. I look at the 2015 test series as well as the 2015 World Cup final we seem to get shell shocked at Australian venues. Hopefully not this time.

All three of Boult, Latham and Nicholls are capable of making key contributions. Boult needs the ball to swing. He is coming into this series under an injury cloud and he may not play in Perth which would be the test for him to lay the marker down. Latham will be facing the best pace attack in the world at the top of order and is also carrying an out of form Raval with him. He will need to bat long periods in this series. Nicholls will like playing in Australia as he is a good hooker and puller. Just needs to ensure hes in control of the extra bounce.

My concern is we havent had a warm up game with the pink ball and played on an Australian surface leading up to this series.

Hopefully the Black Caps can do it.

Kiwi reputations will be made or destroyed this Aussie summer

That would have been due to him batting superbly well in what was a low scoring affair. I just think what Bracewell did that day was better and deserved the accolade. Glad they have changed that system.

Ten classic Australia versus New Zealand Test moments

The 2001 series was very hotly contested. A number of moments that didnt go the way they were suppose to would have decided that series. I remember Langer being hit on the pads early in Test 1, which looked plum being given not out. Even though it was three draws the quality of the cricket was superb.

2011 in Hobart was a great test. An absolute nail-biter. I still wonder how Doug Bracewell did not get man of the match.

Ten classic Australia versus New Zealand Test moments

Interesting call and to be honest I can see why you have suggested Scott Barrett. He is a quality hard working footballer. He has a good opportunity this season leading a Young Crusaders forward pack and should get regular starts for the All Blacks in 2020 with Retalick being on sabbatical and Whitelock being managed more carefully (I would imagine).

I have always thought Whitelock as the next choice given his success with the Crusaders and his experience. However I am not sure if we will see too many more 80 minute efforts out of him in high intense games. I would probably be more inclined to go with Sam Cane and Beauden Barrett as vice-captain. Aaron Smith could be a smokey as well. First choice player, plays in a key position and would lead by example.

Why Scott Barrett should captain the All Blacks

The other advantage Wagner has is that he is fit and can bowl long spells. He bowled a 13 over spell in the UAE last year. He is constantly at the batsmen which helps him get wickets. He offers a point of difference with his short pitched barrages.

I do feel Australian batsmen in their own conditions will be more adept to play short pitch bowling. I just hope New Zealands top order can handle Australia’s pace attack.

Wagner will use Bodyline tactics against Australia

Thanks as always Nicholas.

Hopefully the Wallabies sure up their defence moving forward. As much as I love the All Blacks putting big totals on them for the good of the game they need to be more competitive in Bledisloe Cup matches. Dare I say it even if they can somehow get their hands on that trophy next year will actually make the Trans-Tasman rivalry a lot better.

Faf De Klerk is a nuisance on defence. He pops up everywhere. A very crafty ready of the game and is instrumental for the Boks.

Dave Rennie’s Wallabies must mount a case for the defence in 2020

Lyon has troubled our batsmen a bit over the years, so from a New Zealand point of view we are going to need negate him well. Another Australian player hitting form at the right time. Warner and Starc are also timing their run well for a good crack at New Zealand.

I think the Black Caps have the squad to be competitive but will need to adapt well to the extra pace and bounce of Australian conditions. They will also need to handle to occasion of playing the Boxing Day Test. I think in the 2015 World Cup Final that got too much for some of our players.

Will be a good series if New Zealand can front up.

Lyon resurgence has Australia ready for Kiwi threat

I love your optimism RT. Been painful seeing them be pretty much the only NZ team to not make the playoffs year in year out.

The Wrap: 2019’s rugby highlights, lowlights and wish list for 2020

Thanks as always Geoff for the superb read. Great wrap of the 2019 season. Hard to believe that Super Rugby starts again on the 31st of January.

Highlight: The Japan vs. Scotland game. The quality of play was superb and the home team winning capture the hearts of the rugby world.

Low-light: Normally an All Black loss in a major tournament would be the case for me, but I do not think they were beating England that day. England set the tone early and the All Blacks just didn’t get in the game. So for me it was the penalties and some of the cards issues around contact to the head scenarios in the early stages of the World Cup. Players were so confused and tentative on where and how they could tackled due to the clarity. As many said there should have been an early warning and I think we would not have seen so many red cards issued.

2020 Hopes: Can the Blues please make the playoffs? Looking at their squad I still think they will be a cellar-dweller of the NZ Conference. Beauden Barrett maybe joining the squad halfway through the season so if they start bad he is coming in with a lot of recovery work to do. I really hope their tight forwards can front up this year and we also see Akira Ioane increase is work rate and avoid any silly niggle. He has a great opportunity to lay down a marker for the vacant All Black 8 jersey especially with Savea missing most of Super Rugby.
On the Super Rugby, I think the Chiefs are genuine title contenders in 2020. Having Gatland coaching, Cruden and McKenzie as dual threats plus a great loose trio. Most of their players who made that late run last year are also back, which will give them some good confidence.

Concert of the Year: Foals at the Auckland Town Hall. I saw Scott Barrett there when he was recovering from his arm injury. He was having a good time. A month later he did get that red card (rightfully so). Yannis from Foals is a great front man.

The Wrap: 2019’s rugby highlights, lowlights and wish list for 2020

Will Jordan has the makings to be a very good All Black. Looks so natural and well-balanced when he runs with ball in hand. He does have a hard task getting to start in a Crusaders backline that has all their starting players back who started in the Super Final though with 6 off the 7 being All Blacks. I also rate Nankivell from Tasman and the Chiefs. I think he could have a breakout year in 2020. Showed great signs this year.

The Wrap: 2019’s rugby highlights, lowlights and wish list for 2020

Daniel Vettorri must have been close. Had a long career across three decades.

The all time best teenage Test XI

Hey Nicholas. Great read as always. I think Sean McMahon is another player that they need to be flexible with and try to lure back. He was let go way too early.

Why the Giteau Law has to be fit for purpose in 2020

Great article Ronan.

What surprised me was CDG’s batting average. He is turning into an exceptional all-rounder. He looked to have matured in the last test against England with a good patient 65. His bowling really aids the Black Caps as if one of the front-line seamers goes down in a test they still have 4 genuine bowlers. He is also one NZ where the big Australian grounds wont faze him as he hits a big ball.

Watling is an unsung hero. He recuses NZ a lot with gutsy innings. His 200 in the latest test was a great show of character. He shows how test cricket should be played. He knows what shots he can play and puts great value on his wicket. I just hope he does not come up against Australia when NZ are 4/50. The Australian pace attack will back themselves to make early inroads into the NZ top order.

Two players offer Kiwis an edge over Australia – neither are Kane Williamson

You did forget to add a series win the UAE against Pakistan in 2018.

Two players offer Kiwis an edge over Australia – neither are Kane Williamson

Shaping up to be a big series for sure. I just hope New Zealand don’t do what they have done in the last previous tours where they were quietly confident but then got rolled apart from the great win in Hobart in 2011. I think given recent times we are more battle hardened now.

A couple of things New Zealand needs to:

1. Start well at the top order and handle the extra pace and bounce that the Australian seamers and conditions will give.
2. Negate Lyon. He has been hard to get away for New Zealanders in the past. If he bowls well we are going to struggle.
3. I think Ferguson needs to play one of the tests especially on a bouncy surface. We need some extra pace as a point of difference.
4. Spinner wise Will Sommerville should be an option as much as Santner had a blinder last test. Sommerville has experience in Australia.

Bring on the Black Caps

That would be the last thing South Africa would have wanted after winning the World Cup. Hopefully they get the a quality replacement for Erasmus. What about Ackerman? Any chance he can be lured back?

The Wrap: Australian rugby’s strange parallel universe

Yeah that’s true Geoff. Both Foster and Robertson were hoping to Brown as an assistant. That seems to be a major blow losing him.

The Wrap: Australian rugby’s strange parallel universe

Superb article Geoff.

The appointment of Rennie was a really shrewd move by Castle and Rugby Australia. That highlights how silly the process of appointing the new All Black coach is when they shoulder tapped 26 coaches to apply and how late they left it in the piece to contact potential applicants.

The Wrap: Australian rugby’s strange parallel universe

I think Rodda would be the man to be be that type of leader Geoff. He’s very industrious on the field.

For an enforcer type in the back row I am not too sure either but one player I think would relish under Rennie would be McAffery. Has a really high involvement in most games I have seen him play.

The Dave Rennie casebook: Can a Kiwi coach the Wallabies again?