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ukkiwi

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I agree with a lot of what you’ve said here Ben, particularly your comments around Tu’ungafase, Deallende/Kriel and the learning for those young guys. It also cements the winning belief/mentality in these young guys that the older guys have and builds trust that their team mates will step up and do the job.

Another thing that shows the belief this team has (which while watching is incredibly frustrating) is the ability to stick to a game plan. while screaming at the constant box kicking when we haven’t had any ball, sticking to the processes as Mr Hanson says seems to pay off. My concern is, what is plan B?

I have a concern with Tuipulotu’s basics, for me he’s guaranteed to drop a pass when running on to the ball, every one can tank one but i’m pretty sure he drops one every time he plays whether it be for Auckland, the Blues or the AB’s.

I think Faf DeClerk coming off was the most noticeable difference for me, his passing and the speed of his pass is what we’ve seen from A Smith over the last few years which gave the boks continuous front foot ball which meant a speedy recycle which meant front foot ball and the whole virtuous circle kept rolling forward.

I think this is the boks’ biggest worry, their bench. Do they have the depth in key decision making/play making areas? At this stage, I don’t think so. You can all the talent in the world but without a cohesive and world class 8,9 10 combination you’ll never be world beaters. Just ask Tana Umaga and the last three or four Blues coaches.

Savea try seals NZ comeback over South Africa

what a wonderful idea – i mean who can deny the resounding success following the expansion of Super Rugby. There’s solid thinking of ‘we have a premium product – lets do more, we could make more money. Doesn’t matter if we water down our product we’ll just sell more of it cheaper!’ The problem is when it’s too watered down it doesn’t matter what the price is – no one will buy.

There are not enough quality teams to justify a 20 team tournament – this is a ridiculous idea. If there’s a concern about a blowout between someone like the AB’s vs Canada imagine the AB’s meeting Germany!?!

The idea of having a cup/plate/bowl finals series is a nice theory but I imagine it would be a logistical nightmare and hugely expensive to stay on and compete for another three or four weeks. This could make the competition cost prohibitive for smaller unions – then what – do you replace them with the next best team who can afford to go?

Crazy idea expanding this quality tournament and reducing its value.

Rugby World Cup set for big shake-up with expansion on the horizon

you’ve pretty much summed it up for me there. On Sky Sports in the UK Michael Lynagh asked the same questions on Saturday and compared it with the Steve Waugh captained test team suggesting 3 day victories got boring for fans. The difference here is, unlike a 3 day grind in to inevitability, we get to watch a harmonious and cohesive wave of skill showcased over an 80 minute period. When they win ugly (like 2016/17) it’s not as enjoyable but those are the usually the games where the opposition has really stepped up and put the pressure on. Those are the close games that give you the thrill of the competition.

I will never tire of the AB’s winning it’s too good to watch.

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

i disagree with the statement France ‘have shown great heart in this series when things have gone against them’. While they played pretty well in the second test when down to 14 men, France have absolutely fallen to pieces when the yellow card in the first test.

France lost it in the third test just before 1/2 time when the left winger made a break setting up an assault on the AB’s line and there was no punch in the French attack, they were shuffling the ball from side to side, each of them waiting for their team mates to do something. after that attack I knew they were in for a thrashing.

I do agree the AB’s clicked in to gear and Scott Barrett was awesome, I also agree they have some real talent, Teddy Tomas is unbelievable at finding space.

All Blacks flatten France to win series 3-0

Dangerous tactic – the sunwolves clearly can score points. If they get their defence together it could be interesting.

The first month report card for 2018

I think the only reason the Aussie teams look better prepared to face kiwi rivals is they haven’t played any yet. After watching the Rebels notching up the w’s I agreed with you but watching them leak 50 points when a team has them under the pump suggests the challenge will be greater than any of them expect. I think the side best prepared to take on the kiwi teams are the Reds, i’m not saying they’ll win the games but a game built around working hard for each other and the jersey and defending as if your life depended on it is what it is required to compete, unfortunately for the reds, you also have to score tries.

The Reds are an interesting one for me, I wouldn’t be suprised if they topped the conference.

The first month report card for 2018

Haha nice one.

The Reds without Cooper makes no sense to me

“If Thorn needs a certain type of player to be able to coach, he won’t succeed as a coach”. I agree with that but a coach can and should demand a certain type of attitude which I think was Beans point

The Reds without Cooper makes no sense to me

“His passing was slow and inaccurate, his kicking was slow and inaccurate. His tactical decision making was terrible. He was the worst player in the team at least a couple of times and cost them games.”

Makes you wonder about Phipps?!

Kurtley: Quade still has plenty to offer Australian rugby

LoL – that’s pretty funny. i don’t agree with you but it’s still pretty funny.

Kurtley: Quade still has plenty to offer Australian rugby

Yes and ditch Italy – introduce promotion/relegation from a secondary competition. Scotland might just about feel secure enough now to vote for it.

Wales happy to fly under Six Nations radar

Agree with that Doc – they don’t have enough to win but could have a major influence on the final outcome through an upset or two. Also, similarly to NZ, they have had to introduce players through injury who now have had a good crack at international rugby and as Steve Hansen said with regard to experience “that’s money in the bank”. good luck to them.

Wales happy to fly under Six Nations radar

So who do I want to see take over Hansen when he eventually retires… someone who represents New Zealand well in post-match media conferences. – while this is an important part of the role it is not the be all and end all. Choosing a coach on this basis could be at the expense of performance. This lesson was learned with Taine Randall as AB’s Captain.

Being a coach involves more than just coaching

This Naisarrani looks the business. Can’t wait to see him play international rugby!

Five talking points from Barbarians vs Wallabies

I’m not sure we’ll ever know.

Please don't mistake relief for hubris

Is your glass 1/2 empty Jerry? Haha

Please don't mistake relief for hubris

Yep – First loss on Eden Park for years was to Waikato NPC semi-final ’92 (Non shield game). Shield loss 17-6 in ’93. The best day ever!!!

Is New Zealand really obsessed with rugby?

Best referee going is a bit of stretch…Jeez

Is there hope for the Wallabies in 2019?

I don’t like your idea NVFS – this effectively makes a club competition out of international rugby. This will soon become the norm and potentially the humdrum. I think the international format is okay good but i would certainly change the Autumn internationals in to 3 test series of one nationan vs another. I guess the issue is all the home nations want to play NZ,Aus, SA and less interest in playing Samoa, Tonga, Fiji.

No, the All Blacks' domination is not bad for rugby

Deon Muir?

No, the All Blacks' domination is not bad for rugby

Both

Western Force win right to appeal axing

Both

Western Force win right to appeal axing

I don’t agree with much of this but i do think the use it or lose it after the first stoppage is a good call.

Law reform: Why the mark and maul rules are outdated

3 points comprehensively covered. Thanks for the good read.

Sonny Bill Williams: Sinner or saint?

I don’t agree with the 20 minute sinbin. Rugby is a team sport and as the old saying goes ‘a chain is only as strong as its weakest link’. I don’t believe the rules need adjusting here, Smith let his team down with an unfortunate challenge.

The part i don’t agree with is the severity of the punishment being determined by the ‘potential outcome’ or likelyhood of injury according to how the player lands. The reason this is a penalisable/cardable offence is you have no control over how the player lands putting him at risk. Because Havili nearly landed on his neck the card was red but given Smith had no control over how Havili landed what is the difference whether he lands on his head or feet? The offence of contact in the air is the same regardless of how the player lands. Like all laws in rugby, it is a strict liability offence and the only mitigating/aggravating factor should be intent. For me it’s a yellow without intent and a red for foul play.

A lot of people seem to giving it to Smith for a ‘dumb’ challenge. To be fair to him, it was an incredible leap by Havili. Havili jumped very late, very fast and was going almost as horizontal as he was vertical, when I saw the front on replay I couldn’t believe the height Havili got considering the trajectory of his jump so I think people are being a bit harsh of Smith. He was pretty unlucky.

The Crusaders and the Lions have saved Super Rugby with a super final