Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Excusez-moi?

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  • ScottY,

    Everywhere in the world rugby is on a roll. Everywhere except here. Rugby in New Zealand is in crisis.

    Tom, let's not forget it was one bad game. That's not to say all is rosy. But (except for World Cups) the ABs have been the team to beat for the last several years.

    Now if we fail miserably next week I'll agree there's a problem . But we've seen this before. Much wailing and teeth-gnashing, followed by a smashing of the opposition the following week.

    Give it a week. Then, if there's no improvement, we march on NZRU heradquarters and demand Henry's head on a pike.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Let's also not forget that in previous years France have sent down weak teams, diminished by their domestic competition. Outside of the World Cup it's been a while since the All Blacks faced a full strength side. This wasn't the best possible, but it's better than it could have been.

    Ultimately, even though I'm disappointed with a loss, a little more evenness in rugby is in the long term good for the game internationally. It's not good for overseas audiences to see their teams always losing to the All Blacks, and it's not good for New Zealand to feel like they deserve to win.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Ultimately, even though I'm disappointed with a loss, a little more evenness in rugby is in the long term good for the game internationally. It's not good for overseas audiences to see their teams always losing to the All Blacks, and it's not good for New Zealand to feel like they deserve to win.

    Who invited you? Go sit in the corner.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    A personal positive: Thank you, Julien Dupuy, for showing that a guy who weighs 4kg more than me CAN play international rugby, and play it well.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Thank you, Julien Dupuy, for showing that a guy who weighs 4kg more than me CANplay international rugby, and play it well.

    He's injured

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    He's injured

    One stitch?! I thought he'd still be able to play.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    Pop quiz: Can anyone actually remember the last time the All Blacks scored an intercept themselves?

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Pop quiz: Can anyone actually remember the last time the All Blacks scored an intercept themselves?

    Grant Batty 1977?

    Good question though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Grant Batty 1977?

    Cullen in that famous Bledisloe game v. the Aussies where we scored three tries in the first ten minutes and then they came back but Lomu scored the winning try in the second half?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    Cullen in that famous Bledisloe game v. the Aussies where we scored three tries in the first ten minutes and then they came back but Lomu scored the winning try in the second half?

    That was the one I remembered.

    We've certainly thrown a lot away though - Mortlock in 03, Whomever Rodney threw it to in Rustenberg, McCallister on Saturday.

    Deeper backline maybe? Get a halfback who can pass quicker?

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    Don't think Cullen got an intercept in that game but here it is in all its glory (unfrotunately with Aussie commentators)

    Greatest game ever
    (sorry cant work out the embeding)
    I remember being hoarse after this game I was screaming so much

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    even though I'm disappointed with a loss

    At least the Aussies and the poms can't taunt us with "the All Blacks always peak between World Cups".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    So where is the new talent? Where is our much vaunted "depth"?

    Competing extremely successfully on the international stage. I don't think there is any other rugby nation which could have suffered the sustained loss NZ has and still be the world ranked number 1. On the same day that the ABs went down, England minus a few players on Lions duty lost to Argentina (who themselves lost key players after 2007). England's playing and financial resources dwarf NZ's but they cannot seem to get it together on a sustained basis (yet). Keep in mind the All Blacks only pick NZ based players (therefore playing with one hand tied behind our back). We don't compete on a level playing field but we're still there or thereabouts. That is a huge tribute to the quality of the playing and coaching systems.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 91 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    Everywhere in the world rugby is on a roll. Everywhere except here. Rugby in New Zealand is in crisis. It is the typical New Zealand disease - a featherbedding complacent monopoly in denial with no answers except to blame the customers leading to more and more disinterested disgruntled and just plain bored fans

    Now here I think you do have a point Tom even if I think you're overstating it. The NZRU needs to consider why someone like me a former player and coach is no longer engaged enough to go to either a Super 14 or NPC match in the past two seasons. The only time I groaned in my recent holiday in Rarotonga was when I heard about the Super 15.

    What's the solution? Well accept that in professional sport there is only room for two tiers: club/province and international. Just as All Blacks don't play for their clubs anymore so they won't for the NPC sides. Does that mean scrap the NPC? No. I'd go for an 8 team NPC to replace the current NPC/Super 14.

    The Saffas are determined to protect the Currie Cup and Joost van der Westhuizen made an interesting comment on the post Super 14 ReUnion show in South Africa. He wanted the Bulls to "kick on to the next level" ie the Currie Cup. Much as the Saffas are proud to have won the Super 14 it clearly ranks below the Currie Cup. Did you know that those perennial Super 14 cellar dwellers the Cheetahs and Lions have both appeared in Currie Cup finals in the past three years? (They met in the 2007 final).

    So let's tell the Aussies to eff right off and sort out their own competition and put the NPC top of the pile again. Ditch the Super 14 but replace it with a 12 team Southern Hemisphere championship held in one country over a five week period. The top 4 NZ, 4 SA, 2 Aussie plus one of Argentina and the Pacific Islands would compete. (the 12th place would be a floater allocated to the best performing country). 4 pools of 3 teams then semi-finals and final (but like the 7s there would be a Bowl and Plate competition).

    I'm not a fan of the repetitive Tri-Nations but it is a big earner so I'd cut back the Tri-Nations to its original format of one home and one away. It should be held in September/October followed by the EOYT. The new double round NPC (ie home and away) would begin in March/April with the Southern Hemisphere comp in July/August.

    Key to this DON'T allow the TV moguls to dictate the entire schedule and devalue it by overexposure. Limit live screening in cities where matches are being played (or at least until say 75% of tickets are presold).

    Just a few thoughts - whaddaya reckon.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 91 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    We were gleefully shouting "Don't worry, it's no holds barred!"

    I believe what you were shouting was "There are no rules. There are NO rules".

    At one point a man in front of us turned around with an incredulous eyebrow raised, as there were about 6 french players offside, and at least 3 of us just nodded sagely at him.

    Not that I am blaming the ref, though.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    At one point a man in front of us turned around with an incredulous eyebrow raised, as there were about 6 french players offside, and at least 3 of us just nodded sagely at him.

    Quite. I think offsides at the breakdown seemed particularly glaring because that's like the last remaining sin under the version of the ELVs we've been watching in the S14.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    At one point a man in front of us turned around with an incredulous eyebrow raised, as there were about 6 french players offside, and at least 3 of us just nodded sagely at him.

    I liked him!

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Greatest game ever

    Bizarre to see both Tana Umaga and Sterling Mortlock playing on the right wing, when they both ended up being so successful at 13.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Pop quiz: Can anyone actually remember the last time the All Blacks scored an intercept themselves?

    Luke McAlister scored an intercept try in the same test match that was famous for the Lote Tuqiri spear tackle on Richie McCaw.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    The lineup for this week looks a bit stronger, with Kaino and Conrad Smith back. A couple of injuries (Thomson, Hore), but on balance slightly stronger I think.

    But the bench looks decidedly weak. Let's cross fingers and hope for no more injuries. If so who in the country will be left standing for the next game?

    (Graham, if you're reading this, I haven't played for a few years, but I'm available if needed)

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Except he's playing numbers 6 and 8 in their wrong positions.

    Same old mistakes....

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    Except he's playing numbers 6 and 8 in their wrong positions.
    Same old mistakes....

    “You’ve got to be able to adapt to different scenarios, and there’s not too much difference between the 6 and 8 roles nowadays. You’re a ball player either way.”

    Read said it himself in the latest Rugby News - Before the French test team was announced.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Poole,

    Except he's playing numbers 6 and 8 in their wrong positions.

    Nah, Kaino was rubbish when he played 8 for the All Blacks last year, and was considerably better on the blindside.

    Not to say that Read is going to be any better, and I do wonder why Henry picked four specialist 6's and no 8's in his squad.

    Since Dec 2008 • 161 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Once you rule out Sivivatu, who's next in line as a #8 in NZ though?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    Once you rule out Sivivatu, who's next in line as a #8 in NZ though?

    HAH! Now that'd be interesting to see.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

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