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taylorman

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Joined February 2015

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Support Auckland and the Blues. live in Wellington

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Well Chris I’m yet to be convinced the leopards have changed their spots when it comes to World cup time. Against those that mattered in 2015 England, Ireland and Wales scored eight tries TOTAL in the six matches that mattered (assuming the ONE Ireland scored v Italy is counted) so one can go on and on about the fact that they ‘play an open game’.
Likelhood is that against those sides that matter they will again revert to type. You really think Englands (or Irelands, or Wales) game in this years crucial pool matches will be described as:
“England play very attacking rugby with many line breaks and scoring plenty tries”.
NO CHANCE.
Theyll all hold onto whatever they have and protect it like the crown jewels of England, hoping to score points in the process.
have things changed that much since 2015 in that respect. I doubt it.

The battle for the mind with psychologists for England and the Waratahs

I’d back the Crusaders to win the 6 nations if it were on a home and away basis.

Easily.

The battle for the mind with psychologists for England and the Waratahs

Yes but I bet they couldnt wait to see the back of him after a while.

The battle for the mind with psychologists for England and the Waratahs

Yes agree, makes me like him even less now… 🙂

The battle for the mind with psychologists for England and the Waratahs

I guess mud sticks. Especially that really hard to get out of the cracks mud.????

The battle for the mind with psychologists for England and the Waratahs

(Secret there is just to say ‘YES!’ RT) 🙂

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Yes was all a bit weird. Was a good Tahs win and good on them for ending the run. Perhaps the week prior was a bit different for them all but they’ll come back and win strongly through the rest of the comp. Wouldnt say that as convincingly for any other team anywhere. This years saders looks even stronger than last years. And for teams like this, losses can be good.

The battle for the mind with psychologists for England and the Waratahs

Yeah re ABs I think last year it was more a mater of sticking with plan A for the sake of plan A.

I think they’ll have it when it matters, and thats WCup time. Versus France they opened up and crushed them with every trick in the book then immediately switched to a game that suppressed the Boks completely and kept them scoreless and snuffed by Carters boot, and dropped goal.

Vs Oz in the final they did a bit of both, including a dropped goal and long range tries. I Dublin two years ago they adopted a smash em up mode.

So if theres one side that certainly has more than one ‘plan’ its the ABs. For them I think its more about knowing when and which to use, but leaving a general focus on your ‘plan A’ as they did in pre-world cup year. They have to know how far they can stretch it. Any plan which involves considerable kicking is going to need to improve as its been poor without DC.

The battle for the mind with psychologists for England and the Waratahs

Saders was a bit weird, the game wandered along waiting for them to do something and they kinda just never really did. If there’s one thing about them is this wont turn into a collapse in the same way the northern teams do after a run (waiting on Wales to have their bad hair days any minute now 🙂 )

Blues, Chiefs and Canes won, Saders and Landers lost, whens the last time the northern sides did that? Very surreal weekend for kiwi sides. Chiefs and Reds on an odd high at the moment…whats going on there?

Think I’ll just put it all down to the water going around last weekend. Nothing else explains it all any better. 🙂

The battle for the mind with psychologists for England and the Waratahs

As culturally naive we were pre 70s by beegees and certainly frasers era we were a bit more aware of the pacific island factor by then.
Yes the boks won one in 37 but they never won a series again as the game matured and although apartheid served to make boks stronger it also made us weaker.
We were even told not to select Maori players on bok tours to NZ so it wasnt us that brought politics into sport, but we certainly contributed to ending it.
Now we have the reverse with the quota but thats a situation that SA needs to resolve itself.
Quotas are partially about punishment it seems but apartheid was about oppression of a race of people/s.
Anyway, thats been done far too much here. So we move on

The ethnic diversity of the All Blacks

Well its news to me that kiwis thought BG and Fraser were Maori.

‘Most people’? Well I can categorically state that that was not the case.

The ethnic diversity of the All Blacks

Be interesting to see who loses their streak first- Crusaders or Wales. Likely to be Saders with the more frequent number of games on now but in terms of number of matches from here in, a close call.

Emotional Crusaders set to face Waratahs

Yes one of very few real AB stars of the early 70’s, scored some amazing tries for Auckland in his career too.

The ethnic diversity of the All Blacks

No, the reality is they just look better up there. Playing at lower levels, lower opposition tends to do that.

How will Michael Cheika solve the talent versus toughness equation?

Using November as the yardstick for a world cup is bordering on foolish surely. The SH sides are at their worst at AI time. A long season and within that players have already departed north before the AIs.
Youre seriously suggesting Wales are in the ‘sides need to score a minimum of twenty’ school? When they scored the lowest equal tries in this tournament, as many as the side that never won a match?
In their current sequence bar tonga its been ten tests since they scored all of 30.
Painting Wales as a point scoring machine that others must chase is surely a bit over the top. Theyre barely scraping 20 themselves.

Six Nations a personal triumph for Warren Gatland, but not Wales

True, an automatic admission of guilt.

Six talking points from Six Nations Round 5

“all, because anyone who scores less than 20 points in a WC game against the Welsh is going to lose.”

WhewNick, that was close, guess its lucky then that all SH sides scored 20 or more in all 8 finals matches last time out then? ????

Six Nations a personal triumph for Warren Gatland, but not Wales

Yes well you cant expect Hansen to keep up with the frequent NH disintegrations. You have to be up early in the morning for that.

For Wales, they must lose their streak before the tournament in in pool play or it will act against them.

With more than a year of not feeling what its like to lose theyll get smacked when they worst or least expect it. And as weve seen, when recent NH sides lose their mojo, they really lose it. England last year, Ireland this. Wales?

Hansen may start touting Wales but even he will know hed be pushing the ‘corny’ boat out, the way hes parroted the latest ‘this is it’ side each time.

Six Nations a personal triumph for Warren Gatland, but not Wales

They did in 09.

Six Nations a personal triumph for Warren Gatland, but not Wales

You could say that tenfold about Ireland then. 25 to No points at 80 minutes against the lower ranked side? When does that happen?

Ireland on 6N form wouldnt beat any of the SH3, probably 4. Certainly not out this way.

Six Nations a personal triumph for Warren Gatland, but not Wales

Yes they may have forgotten how to lose but for a NH run this has all the signs of peaking way too soon. Theres six months to the tournament proper and now they have the huge X on their back. That always spells disaster unless the year is 2003 and even that great side needed extra time. This side has nowhere near the leadership or skill levels of 03.
The pattern is we get told ‘this time…’ and then the previously unbeaten side not just loses, it completely disintegrates.
For Wales to extend its unbeaten run through to a semi or better is just not going to happen. No way. Theyll probably get taken out in one or more of the upcoming (?) friendlys first.

Six Nations a personal triumph for Warren Gatland, but not Wales

For me the single biggest factor is leadership. Wallabies havent had it for a long time. No one person stands out as the Wallabies leader and on the field theres none of that mini leadership good sides have. The Smiths, Barrett in the AB backs and several in the forwards, both locks, Read, Cane etc.

For me, for Oz, in 2019, Cooper must stand up as the sides back leader, and direct them around accordingly. Foleys a workhorse, forever trying to make the difference. Genias the only semblance of a back leader and in the pack you have Pocock and Hooper.

Hoopers the foley equivalent in terms of leadership in the forwards and the only player that looks to inspire is Pocock, though Im not sure hes 100% ‘in tune’ with his mates. He gives the impression of a loner rather than leader. Perfectionist and soloist.

Thats why I think the Wallabies can never get any roll on. They all toil away as best they can but thats different from having the feeling that the side is being led around the field in everything it does. Cheika says theyre solid but is there any smart and well directed leadership going on that the players respond to?

Six talking points from Six Nations Round 5

In fairness to Gats, and Schmidt, theyve had to work with what they have and win. Gats found several times with the Lions how to do that and picked up at least two 6Ns that I know of where they werent faves, ironically both after the ABs lost to England and now Ireland.

Henry had worse results and after Wales became our greatest coach, the difference between the two was Henry was a top shelf coach here with every trophy multiple times before he left, where Gats has his time from the NH.

No reason he couldnt adapt and pick whats in front of him and the risk would be less in terms of campaigns. But other than that, tend to agree, he looks set in his ways. Just dont think we need that now. Its ideas and energy that will kick this side on, not security and consistency.

Warren Gatland cast as possible All Blacks coach

He has but a few options for oz might have opened up as well but geez thats going to need to be the right person,?willing to risk their career taking the ABs on three times a year. Make or break right there.

Warren Gatland cast as possible All Blacks coach

Time for new energy and ideas. Razor represents the era that played professionally and until now we have had players and coaches from the 80s and 90s. World rugby is currently devoid of ideas. The ABs are struggling to find innovtion, new directions, SA and Oz have gone backwards, and the north are piling on the boring up front, heavy defensive, kicking dogma they always have but now are getting excited about it from their number two and three rankings.

Keep saying it but mediocrity is ruling in international rugby now. Razor represents a new direction and NZ would be mad to pass him over for lack of experience alone.

Can we really sit through waiting for Gatland selected sides for several years?

Warren Gatland cast as possible All Blacks coach