The Roar
The Roar

Kia Kaha

Roar Guru

Joined September 2014







I am an avid All Black fan living in Madrid far from my native land of the long, white cloud but all too near to everything related to football. Speaking about rugby is my necessary outlet.



Gutted. Brilliant planning and execution by England. Deserve to be in the final. NZ lost the physical battle up front and were chasing the entire game.

All Blacks all over: England knock New Zealand out of Rugby World Cup

Think it’s a good move. Our line out against Ireland was overshadowed by the scoreboard. My only concern is Barrett has an annoying tendency to give away needless penalties that relieve pressure. With Tuipulotu at lock cover we also get a big unit that can shift bodies and carry well.

Cane champing at the bit to get on, however, is something we don’t get to see all that often. His extra bit of pace should be welcomed. Usually he’s tired out by dominant tackles early on. Sabra and Scooter must take that responsibility as Cane does the work that breaks the opposition pack.

All Blacks spring make surprising line-up change for semi-final against England

Still have the shakes thinking about that game but, indeed, a prime example!

Five talking points from New Zealand versus Ireland

The important thing is you made it. And you know what to expect from Wales.

Winning against that much off-field as well as on-field momentum is not to be sniffed at. It was far from pretty but it eventually proved to be effective.

Now to think up something a little more proactive. Because I agree Corne, if SA enter a slugfest with Wales, Wales’ chances improve out of sight.

Boks best Blossoms: South Africa into semi-finals

Credit to the conditioning team. Brodie and indeed the whole team looked sharp. That’s not easy to pull off.

Forwards and in particular Read and Moody shook off indifferent form and had superb games.

The problem with a performance like this is that it’s inevitably followed by a tighter game. See 2015 semi, 1995 final for examples.

Mentally it’s tough to get into that mindset. But tactically the opposition do everything to prevent NZ from doing the same thing. That invariably means slowing the ball down at the ruck and squeezing play to the centre of the field.

So I expect the semi to be a close affair and will come down to moments. NZ have the edge in that regard being able to score points when it matters but England have an impressive defence. They will need to be tired out and that all points to the forward exchanges and the ability to dictate the pace of the game.

Five talking points from New Zealand versus Ireland

Yeah, when he’s given free rein at the back to enter the fray when it’s on, it just suits him better particularly against the teams with solid defence.

No luck for the Irish: All Blacks into semis with 46-14 win

Great performance. Pressure was on and NZ tend to respond well when the heat goes on.

Didn’t let Ireland into the match early on as they grow in belief and performance if you give them a sniff.

NZ attack, crisp and sharp. Will need the same against England but think Mo’unga at 10 controls nicely the back line interplay and cross field kicking when it’s on. Leaves Besufy to do what he does best and takes the pressure off in terms of kicking and passing.

NZ get a solid workout but England are fresh after missing out on France. Cracker of a game.

No luck for the Irish: All Blacks into semis with 46-14 win

Surely you jest?

Japan, Scotland get World Cup go-ahead

Saw this comment this morning:

“I’m on mah Wii… Just wishing I could play a game todeeeeeeeeeeeey…
Uh huh Uh huh Uh huh Uh huh
Yeeeeeeees I’m on my way from misery to happiness
Uh huh Uh huh Uh huh Uh huh

Perhaps an amusing prediction based on the perception that all Scotland needed was for this game to go ahead.

Jamie Joseph will have other ideas. It’s true that Scotland were building nicely after their poor showing against Ireland. But I have the feeling Jamie Joseph has been targeting this game to make a statement about just how good his charges are.

As a rugby fan, I’m relieved to see a highly anticipated pool match is going ahead. Scotland has always been my sentimental favourite but who cannot be enchanted by this Japanese side and their wonderful fans?

Not an easy situation though when your country has just been through a terrible natural event causing deaths and untold destruction. Hope they don’t feel the pressure to perform for their people.

Japan, Scotland get World Cup go-ahead

Nice, Harry.

With the humid conditions making the ball grip like a proverbial bar of soap, accurate kicking is definitely a smart move.

It is one thing to find a fractured defence and it is another thing to exploit it. That four-minute spell shows the importance of taking your chances when the opportunities present themselves. I agree that SA kept their shape in defence and didn’t wilt in the closing quarter.

But NZ discipline was good and opportunities to mount scoreboard pressure didn’t come up as often as SA would’ve liked. SA lacked creativity on attack and they couldn’t force errors or penalties enough to make up for those two conceded tries.

It took the All Blacks one half to win Pool B

SA didn’t even get a bonus point.

They were down 3-0 and should’ve been down 6-0 but they claimed the lead and never relinquished it.

Certainly was close and the momentum swung the way of the Springboks in the second half until those two penalty kicks made it too big a mountain to climb.

All Blacks resist second-half SA resurgence would be closer to the truth.

All Blacks scrape past Springboks in Rugby World Cup clash

He has two sabbaticals in his time at the Blues. Think that’s going to be more a disruption than a blessing. Richie Mo’unga will be rubbing his hands together…

Hurricanes finally add some steel to the pack and Beauden leaves. Got to feel for them and TJ will be distraught.

Blues need a halfback signing as well. Beauden is going to find it tough going to come in halfway through the season and build a combination with someone completely new.

Definitely a good signing for the Blues but how long will it take to pay dividends?

Beauden Barrett staying in NZ Rugby, but makes surprising Super Rugby club switch

Stop interrupting. My back needs slapping some more. 😉

That’s a wrap on Super Rugby 2019

Thanks, Brett and panel for a great season.

It was an embarrassingly poor show of picking form but rather a dented pride than a foregone conclusion when playing at home.

Favourite moment. The game in Fiji against the Chiefs. An odd choice for a Crusaders game, but allow me to explain.

A twenty point lead or thereabouts and the Crusaders were cruising.

Then the crowd were entertained with some enthralling rugby. Some rather porous defence but we can put that down to humidity, travel fatigue and, mostly, great attacking rugby.

The Crusaders were humbled but they didn’t lose home ground advantage and they got the kick up the proverbial at the perfect time. It set up the annihilation of the Rebels and served as a reminder that a momentary lapse can prove costly. Plus, it was a cracker of a game in front of an appreciative crowd. In the end, rugby was the winner.

Next year, I’ll be looking out for the Highlanders. Thought they were a bit off colour this year. Ben Smith will leave a big hole but there will be lots of players leaving throughout the franchises. Interesting times. Probably further horrendous picks. But proud to say I finished the year with a perfect round! 😉

That’s a wrap on Super Rugby 2019

Aufragstaktik: The management style of winning teams

Yes, that’s a fair point.

Another thing dynasty teams do well is retain players and coaching staff well. Who would want to go anywhere else where the culture and team environment is so healthy?

To me the Lions suffered in both those areas. If they’d retained all their players or nearly all of them and had the same coaching staff, I do believe they would’ve been wiser.

The 20 minutes where the Jaguares’ fairytale got away

Great summary, Brett.

Composure comes from experience. The more the Jaguares went without scoring, the more that assuredness in defence they exhibited throughout the match deserted them on attack.

Certainly the conditions were not conducive for their intricate attacking play and I think this hurt the Jaguares more than it did the Crusaders. They identified the scrum as an attacking weapon whereas the Jaguares had it much more difficult to attack out wide.

The Lions had back-to-back finals. Something tells me the Jaguares will be back next year. Good luck to them. They will be more formidable for the experience they gained this year.

The 20 minutes where the Jaguares’ fairytale got away

Thanks for a great article, Conor.

I fell upon this just after recently watching your thoroughly interesting interview with Razor and ROG. I really recommend Roarers check it out.

The way Razor draws in his players with a singular vision and then emphasises the player connections ties in with the thrust of this piece: players have an overall vision and know their individual and collective roles in achieving that.

The Crusaders will lose a lot of IP next year but if Razor is still coach, no doubt he will be plugging that void of experience with players from the academy who are drilled in the ethos and knowledge of the franchise.

Aufragstaktik: The management style of winning teams

Gracias, tío. Un abrazo fuerte!

The Wrap: The Crusaders do it once again for Christchurch

Thanks for all your work, Geoff.

Razor is apparently big on connections and that comes across in your article.

They certainly are a bright spot in a town down on luck. They bring great pride and show that resilience and support can be rewarded in the long run.

The Wrap: The Crusaders do it once again for Christchurch

Thanks for all your work, Oliver.

Back in the amateur days, touring sides often played club sides. They were often competitive matches because the clubs played together often and it showed in their combinations.

I’d say most top club sides around the world would trouble most international sides and I don’t see any problem with that. What I do have an issue with is more and more international sides looking like clubs in terms of the makeup of their sides. It should be much more stringent the qualification rules for national sides.

Six talking points from the Super Rugby final

Key moment was the Hall Havili double team on Moroni.

Think it was the same man who arrived a fraction too late to a grubber kick in the second half.

Slight chances but that’s what feeds a team’s belief. Jaguares failed to convert chances into points.

Crusaders had faith in their scrum and breakdown and were able to tick the scoreboard over and hold firm in their defence. Not pretty but certainly effective.

Sharks were able to tick the scoreboard over in their draw. That was the difference tonight.

Jaguares were distraught in the dressing room but that’s how it should be. Need to channel that hurt into wins next season. I expect them to be front runners next season as well but a lot wiser if they reach the finals.

Crusaders fight past Jaguares to make it three straight Super Rugby titles

They’re big losses. Especially in terms of negating the strengths of the bench. You cannot replace experience. The Jaguares will certainly target the new centre pairing.

But Ennor could equally be a more destructive force in midfield than either Crotty or Goodhue. He has deceptive pace and runs good lines.

Mo’unga would’ve been the one loss I would’ve been worried about. Barrett’s mobility will be sorely missed but Romano is physical and has good, soft hands for such a big lump of lumber.

Super Rugby final: A rocky journey to Christchurch

Buen viaje!

Super Rugby final: A rocky journey to Christchurch

Some would say the Crusaders winning again would be boring.

I remember the tedium of being knocked out of the finals in the Blackadder era.

Perspective is everything I guess.

I for one have enjoyed the rise of the Jaguares this year. But now that they face my beloved Crusaders defending their imperious home finals record, there can be only one outcome.

Winning never gets boring. It’s like waking to yet another sunny day. The rain one day will dampen the festivities but you make your hay while you still can.

And hey, winter evenings in Christchurch are not optimum hay making conditions, but that just makes the harvest that much more special.

2pac wrote That’s just the way it is. He only ever dreamed of being known as 2-3peat.

Super Rugby final: A rocky journey to Christchurch