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smoothy

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I’d imagine so. His Chiefs may have been known for their quick-fire running rugby – but they also expertly utilised the kicking game of guys like Charlie Ngatai & James Lowe!

Why the trans-Tasman bubble must include rugby

I can’t help but feel we have followed the Smit/Du Plessis & Hooper/Pocock template of selecting a captain that is NOT the undisputed, best player in his position. I really like Cane, and I’m sure there will be plenty of times that he and Ardie Savea play together – but we will again be moving elite players from their natural positions, and dealing with the issue of ‘balance’ in our loose forward trio…
Unless Ardie was very serious about leaving for the NRL soon, and won’t be available for too long?! 😂

Sam Cane eyeing off Wallabies Tests after being named new All Blacks skipper

That’s my big concern too, Paulo. We’ve heard all about this ‘robust’ and thorough selection process, and yet they don’t seem quite sure if they should commit to the guy?! And now if it doesn’t work out, we have to ‘hope’ that other contenders don’t decide to make other plans for their own future.

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

Maybe. But maybe not. Razor will be off-contract in a couple of years too – and will have more than a few clubs/countries willing to fork out for someone who has already proven his skill set!

Did the All Blacks pick the right successor to Hansen?

Didn’t Brad Mooar only just accept a HC role with Scarlets in Wales? Not sure he’d re-neg on that so quickly!

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

Unfortunately, while there may be an improved option with someone like Gatland – we won’t know what potential damage this could do to our coaching stocks by then. This could send a deterring message to even more of our other coaches – that they would be better served leaving NZ if they haven’t been shoulder-tapped!

We’ve already seen guys like Rennie/Joseph look at the whole thing as a stitch-up – and I can imagine Razor will have more than a few suitors throwing big money at him when his contract ends. We can hope that the pool of options grows – but it could actually be smaller…

Did the All Blacks pick the right successor to Hansen?

As a bit of an update: I’m seeing a few articles popping up this afternoon already (NZ herald & Stuff NZ) suggesting Foster is the ‘done deal’ – and could be announced this afternoon… damn!
I said it a few weeks ago, and I’ll say it again: I’m bracing to lose the Bledisloe next year if that eventuates. I genuinely believe Rennie is that much better, and will make the most of the Wallaby talent to take it.

Did the All Blacks pick the right successor to Hansen?

Did the All Blacks pick the right successor to Hansen?

Thanks NB, it’s an anxious time for AB fans now! One other aspect you didn’t delve into much, would be the public opinion of this selection. In brief discussions with friends/colleagues, I haven’t met one person that really rates Foster as HC material – and his record with the Chiefs still sticks out as a big blemish on the resumé! And while they can’t really be counted on for too much legitimacy, there is a popular saying on NZ rugby forums/comments at present – A.B.F: Anyone But Foster 😂

Did the All Blacks pick the right successor to Hansen?

Every coach, like most employees (or horses) has to have a ‘first time’ in their chosen field. Otherwise, if no one is ever hired without getting experience, it then creates a paradoxical question – how does one ever get said experience?

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

It may seem an extreme call, but I’ll stick by it – with the caveat that it would hinge a lot on who the ABs choose. I believe Rennie is far and away the better coach, compared to Ian Foster – and will have a noticeable impact, even in his first year. However, if Razor does get the nod (fingers crossed) then I think we would hold it, for another year at least!

Dave Rennie inks deal to become next Wallabies coach

I see plenty of disdain from Wallaby supporters – but I genuinely think those tunes will change by the end of next year! And if Foster manages to worm his way into the ABs job, then I think the Bledisloe will change hands in 2020…

I know ya won’t believe us Kiwis, because we’re all in on the world-wide rugby conspiracy – but Rennie in control of a decent group of Australian talent (with promising youth coming through) is a very dangerous proposition, that most knowledgeable NZ rugby fans will not be keen to deal with.

Dave Rennie inks deal to become next Wallabies coach

I reckon the Bledisloe would finally go back to Australia, if that were the case.

Jamie Joseph to stay on as Japanese rugby coach until 2023

Funnily enough, I think that if either Black or Perofeta can show some form, Macdonald may be tempted to use Barrett at #15. I think the Crusaders and Chiefs will be the leading Kiwi teams this year – despite the lock stocks looking a bit thin!

Speaking on positional changes, I have a hunch that David Havili may soon move into the #12 jersey this year (he’s played there a lot for Tasman), which will allow Will Jordan to start. And to think they could have Ennor & Mataele competing for bench spots…

New Zealand Super Rugby teams announce final squads for 2020

“this is in no way the fault of the Saracens’ players or coaching staff” – I’m not so sure that pleading total ignorance is a valid excuse for this exposed behaviour, Nick.

You noted the precedent of the Melbourne Storm’s punishments – but the real lesson that a club like Saracens (and their players/staff) should have taken from the NRL was that these ‘side-business’ arrangements are not acceptable in the first place!

I’d be very interested to hear whether any of the ‘investors’ had the thought to query the appropriateness of these lucrative offers to go into business with the club owner?!

Fireworks on the fifth: What the Saracens crisis means for the global game

Four finals, three losses – and twenty years since their first and only world cup… And with all that talent and resources to boot! Is it fair to suggest the dreaded ‘choker’ tag fits this England team quite well?

Seven talking points from the Rugby World Cup Final

While I agree with some of Hansen’s opinions regarding this subject (natural Kiwi bias probably) – I can’t help but think the NZRU needs to simply band with other unions who have similar attitudes, and try to make some positive changes WITHOUT waiting on the Northern unions to come to the party.
As a start, how about trying to re-establish a Pacific Islanders team to assemble and tour in July every couple/few years? And set a precedent by offering the Pacific unions a fair share of the revenue!
Additionally, perhaps organise alternative end of year programs based on the same model (a certain % for the visiting team) rather than the same European tour each year. These simply provide those same unions he’s bagging with a full stadium (and full proceeds) to see their team play the ABs.
I think Italy/Georgia could be open to this idea if it means more games against us. Alternatively, look within NZ to create our own products (North vs South Island) to replace Northern tours in some years?
Just a few uninformed opinions obviously, but the fact is the Six Nations are sorted & happy. Re-hashing this conversation over and over won’t change that!

'We need to become global': Steve Hansen takes one last shot at Six Nations sides

Can’t afford to keep our own players with our tiny economy, but can somehow bankroll an international sports conspiracy! 👍

Jerome Garces to referee Rugby World Cup final

Ahwell, it is to be expected by these articles – they are written by fans!

Five reasons why Hansen’s Scott Barrett surprise could be a master stroke

Those people will be in for a rude wake-up call on the weekend.

All Blacks vs England will be one of the greatest rugby matches ever

In regards to ‘advantage’ laws specifically – I’ve actually posted on this before:
The easy-fix to this issue – put a 3-phase limit on advantage! This would provide a balance between objective ruling of the law, and the fluid nature of rugby.

In the case of a knock-on, three phases should allow plenty of time for a team to secure possession – but if they’re being pushed further and further back over a couple of phases, the halfback or ref could simply ‘cut the losses’ and call the scrum.

As for penalties, I think this would provide a great incentive for teams to try tactics/moves that are out of the ordinary (rather than pick & go drives for 5 minutes until a try or knock-on). It would be a bit like a ‘free-play’, where switched-on teams would see it as the ideal time to try their risky plays (switch moves, cross kicks etc.) without the risk of making costly errors.

However, if the field position or game situation makes a kick for goal/corner the obvious solution – then it also prevents a large amount of time being wasted.

The changes World Rugby must make after the World Cup

Ah yes, three “genuine contenders” – and yet two of them shirk away from any pressure to go out and win the damn thing?! 😂

All Blacks vs England will be one of the greatest rugby matches ever

“I am surprised at so many AB supporters feeling it will be a close game” – it would be plain foolish for one to say with certainty that the ABs will win – not to mention suggesting that it wouldn’t even be close. But then again, apparently we’re all arrogant/disrespectful anyway – so I guess it IS a bit of a surprise! 😂

Not waving but drowning: The Michael Cheika era comes to an end

I still think Owen Franks could of served us well as an experience replacement – to come on as a scrum anchor, and give about 30 mins of decent action. While Ta’avao is a more mobile player, I still haven’t seen too much to make up for the scrum deficiencies. I think England have a great mix of ‘explosive’ props starting – and a couple of veterans to come on and finish with a solid set-piece!

Not waving but drowning: The Michael Cheika era comes to an end

You know how it is OB – plenty of those contenders (particularly their fans/media) have spent 4 years saying the ABs aren’t the force they were, and were vulnerable in this RWC. Fast-forward to the present, and all of a sudden those same teams (England, SA, Ireland, Wales) don’t want a bar of the pressure that comes with their fans expecting them to win. The underdog mentality suits the rest of the pack – because they still haven’t learnt to deal with pressure like the ABs!

England at full strength for clash with All Blacks