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Speaker: KICK IT! We won 1-1!

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  • Hadyn Green,

    I totally understand celebrating a draw. Though my used-to-rugby-watching interest was waning with the lackluster passing between the backs and the goalie.

    Watching Twitter explode straight after the goal was fun though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I had cause to write a Facebook status update matching the title of this post not once, but *twice* yesterday.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    by correy but that was a glorious feeling...tears way after bedtime.

    and how about Elliot in the first half? Until he got the bash a few times he was your store bought midfield general.

    and great work at the back, well with a few minties moments from Paston excepted. Nelsen has ice in his veins, never anything less than classy.

    The future looks great for Reid. If he keeps standing out the cheque books will be all a-flutter. I'd say a few clubs will be looking at Herbert and Smeltz as well.

    First equal...huzzah.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Nelsen has ice in his veins, never anything less than classy.

    He was superb.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    Woohoo, go Tackhead. Sharp as a needle, Mr Darlington. Interesting to read the positive feedback on Simon Elliott, he was kinda the glue in the end, but for long periods of the first half I was cursing his inability to get the weight right on some of his passing (although I suspect my language at the time was less generous). Let's just say I would have replaced Elliott with McGlinchey at HT. But then, that's why Herbert is in SA and I'm here contributing to a blog. Standouts for me were Nelsen, Reid, and Smeltz. Impressed with Smeltz's hunger for work, tracking back etc. And oh, that cross. Bertos also got through a power of it. And yep, Reid clearly has a big future in the game.

    Since May 2009 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    yep, thought Bertos worked hard, but mostlyfelt his delivery was fairly ineffective. and I think a lot of players were having trouble with the weight of their wellying - maybe the wind and/ or the ball?

    for Italy I'd like to see us drop to two up front, maybe lose Fallon, and bring on McGrinchey as another attacking midfielder. From what I saw Fallon's greatest contributions came from his elbows. Hopeful long balls ain't much chop against big, organized central defenders.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    but for long periods of the first half I was cursing his inability to get the weight right on some of his passing

    Exactly. Lots of comments about how he had a great game. I thought he was terrible in the first half. Lots of set play kicks that were too low or off target. Seemed to play better in the second half - certainly defensively - but I think we had less set play opportunities as well.

    I thought the three defenders were the players of the game. Slovakia should have had twice as many opportunities with their skill and pace. Reid made up for losing his man on the Slovakia goal with a great shot block in the second and the goal.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Also, I thought it wasn't until the last five minutes that NZ figured out a way to get the ball from the midfield up to the strikers without kick and hope long balls. Long balls across the field to the opposite wings seemed to work well, created lots of space several times. Might be something they should look at more of depending on the Italian structure.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    So anyway, who do we want in the second round?

    Probably better to avoid the Dutch. Although they're not that flash at penalty shootouts. Yeah, we can take 'em.

    Quarter-Final could be tricky though. Brazil are waiting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    how can you possibly say Elliot was terrible? when was the last time we had anyone stand up in central midfield and look like he has the remotest idea of what he's doing?
    he obviously ain't Zidane, but he looked for work, made himself available and did a good enough job to attract some rather nasty hacks.

    I don't think he has anything to be embarrassed about.

    that our defenders stood out should be no surprise at this level. we are what we are...minnows.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Elliott was good. You can tell that by the way the Slovaks worked out that he was the guy to hack.

    We played our best football in the last 15 minutes when we actually shelved Route 1 and started playing it through the middle. That’s when Nelsen really took hold of the match.

    BTW, I do wish someone up high would tell Fallon to stop using his elbows like that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    At one point in the second half I clearly saw Nelsesn smiling as he defended against a Slovak attack. Even one goal down he was loving being at the world cup.

    Well before he scored I was thinking the Reid looked the business and ignored the fact that he couldn't quite get to the header in time to stop then opening goal. They All Whites have to be a shoe in for the Halbergs now!

    @Simon: yeah I think Brazil will be where we really have to knuckle down and try hard to win. Do that and the cup's as good as ours.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    how can you possibly say Elliot was terrible? when was the last time we had anyone stand up in central midfield and look like he has the remotest idea of what he's doing?

    Well secondly, I have no idea.

    Firstly, if your job is to take all the set play kickoffs and get them coming in to the strikers at head height, that's a pretty important job given that this is a primary way that NZ is going to be able to score.

    Whether it was the ball or the altitude or he just wasn't on form, he didn't get this right in the first half. Most came in too low the Slovaks intercepted them and kicked or ran them out. It was clearly frustrating him when it was happening and the commentators made mention of it.

    I couldn't make a well-informed comment about the rest of his game, but this seemed to me to be an important part of his job.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    BTW, I do wish someone up high would tell Fallon to stop using his elbows like that.

    In fairness, he's probably had a lifetime of his Dad yelling 'elbows! use your elbows!' at him.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    @LegBreak - I suspect that someone "up high" will tell Fallon to stop using his elbows like that ... his name is Cannavaro and it'll occur in the next match in a candy-from-a-baby type fashion.

    Since May 2009 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Firstly, if your job is to take all the set play kickoffs and get them coming in to the strikers at head height, that's a pretty important job given that this is a primary way that NZ is going to be able to score.

    It was messy play alright. The shots almost never went where the midfielders sent them, only in the general vicinity, and the strikers almost always tried to shoot from too far out - taking shots that were difficult for those a class above them. When they came right in they showed some danger.

    In a way however the messy style of play suited this game. The Slovaks gave plenty of space, and there was almost always an unmarked man in midfield, who could give a long high pass into the middle. And full credit to a sustained defence. Even though NZ's ball control was lacking, they did close down space near the box effectively.

    Paston was... I didn't know whether to laugh or cry whenever he touched the ball.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    his name is Cannavaro

    Am I the only one whose attention tends to slide sideways when Cannavaro's mentioned? Yes?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Thanks, Emma. Suddenly I feel like an ugly fat loser. ;)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    No complaints on the Slovak goal then?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Suddenly I feel like an ugly fat loser. ;)

    Weird, that's not what it makes me feel like at all.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Jonty,

    @Emma -- gosh, you're a hussey, Emma.

    Katikati • Since Mar 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    gosh, you're a hussey, Emma.

    Aw, thank you. And I didn't even post Portugal in their official underwear. Frankly, the feminisation of rugby has some catching-up to do.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    @Emma -- gosh, you're a hussey, Emma.

    Oh, come off it. There is nothing wrong with admiring hot naked men.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Frankly, the feminisation of rugby has some catching-up to do.

    Ahem, Dan Carter.

    I have to say that I've been a little underwhelmed with the presence of women in the whole FIFA media-show however. Apart from Theron pulling names out of a hat, and Shakira shaking her thing on stage, I haven't seen women anywhere. It's like they don't play football.

    Do they?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

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