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Speaker: Quantum Competition

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  • Hadyn Green,

    Oh, and may I nominate Anton Oliver for Dork of the Day for this OTT military metaphor

    Well we do a Dick of the Week on the Dropkicks and I think that those headlines will be mentioned.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    but I'm not blaming him (any more)

    Let's face it, we should've been 25 points up so that a couple of bad calls wouldn't matter.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    OMG... you did not just go there, girlfriend! Howlingly vulgar at the best of times, but the timing was rather unfortunate, don't you think?

    Heh - Onetime John(ny) Farnham manager Glenn Wheatley, who once attempted to score a gig for his suppurating protege at Australia's official Gallipoli celebrations (Murray McCully thought it a great idea at the time) is now doing time for tax fraud.

    Seems fate may have a way of dealing to those who conflate sport 'n showbiz with the glammier aspects of war & death.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Docherty,

    <quote>Anton Oliver reckoned the All Blacks' dressing room had the same stench of death as a World War 1 battlefield. The veteran hooker has developed a passion for New Zealand's war history and read The Massacre at Passchendaele and All Quiet on the Western Front during the past few weeks in France.<quote>

    Chris Laidlaw's first interview after the 9am news yesterday was about Passchendale and he ventured the same horrible analogy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Jaysus. I'm disappointed, but... a little perspective wouldn't go amiss. The *Great War*? Seriously? This is why history should be compulsory at school...

    This is also why I have declared a week-long moratorium on all NZ mass media (apart from you guys). I even turned off National Radio this morning. Couldn't bear it.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Kennedy,

    "A good team can be beaten by bad officiating; a great team overcomes it"

    Tongue was firmly in cheek, however great teams (tonga ?), dont need 30 seconds.

    go with

    Let's face it, we should've been 25 points up so that a couple of bad calls wouldn't matter.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    After sleeping on it, I've decided watching my beloved Hawkes Bay defeat the hated enemy from Hamilton in front of a raprurous crowd of supporters in Napier yesterday far, far outweighed the All Black loss. Seeing a crowd of staid provincial types spontaneously burst into song, hearing the chants of "Hawkes Bay, Hawkes Bay" give a thrill to my heart and a small tear to my eye. The game also demonstrated that you don't need pampered highly paid, high performance show ponies for a great contest - just two evenly matched sides, a passionate crowd, a fine day and a desire to play rugby. The provinces are the warp and woof of the game in this country, and they'll be packing McLean park long after Mr. Murdoch & Adidas pack up the circus tent and take their millions elsewhere.

    My last comment on the All Black quarter final is simple. As long as our means and ends are not in alignment, we will continue to lose like this. Our means are to play like the Harlem Globetrotters because that feeds our rugby hubris and our rugby conceit that we are the best and have nothing to learn from anyone else; Our ends are to win the rugby world cup. At the end of the day, the team that wins the RWC has to play so-called (by us in our arrogance) "ugly" rugby. If the All Blacks had beaten France 15-9 all penalties in a tight game we wouldn't be calling it "ugly" this morning. And for anyone thinks we are not incredibly arrogant when it comes to rugby answer me this - why is it, after four years of meticulous planning and over fifty million dollars of expenditure, when it came to the last five minutes of the quarter final we didn't have a drilled set move to drop a goal? And why, in such a tight game, did we not have a Sean Ftizpatrick or a Zinzan Brooke chipping away at the refferee to get us a critical penalty? My view is the reason why is we think we are above that sort of thing, we are to good to bother to milk a penalty out of the ref - we can score tires and we just need a level playing field referee wise and we''ll demolish anyone. Hopefully this defeat will teach us some rugby humility. If we want to win the RWC then instead of exulting in 40 plus point wins between cups, lets pick a team that isn't to good to mix it with the mortals,that kicks it's penalties, take it's drop goals, works the refereee and realises that winning sometimes requires cunning and that victory by foul means is as sweet as victory by fair means at this level.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    You know, considering our record over the past few years, I am going to have to disagree with the idea that anyone on the All Black team displays 'arrogance' or 'hubris'. The media: yes, arrogance and hubris all over the show. But not the team. It's all very well to say 'play a different style or be proved arrogant' - but if you keep on winning, as we do, with the style we were using before (even against France!), why on earth would you change it?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Viva Los Pumas!!
    19-13

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    victory by foul means is as sweet as victory by fair means

    I was with you til then.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    After (very) briefly waking up this morning hoping it was all just a horrible wretched nightmare, I actually started to feel much better about things as the morning has progressed.

    The sun is shining. Life goes on etc. Summer is well on its way, I had a lovely day yesterday playing in the sun with the kids. We seem to have - with some dishonourable exceptions - developed a greater sense of national perspective and humour about where rugby should sit in terms of national identity etc etc yada yada

    So relaxed and accepting of the cruel vicissitudes of sport (it is just a game after all) was I that I just made the terrible mistake of ignoring my own advice, and reading what our good friend Stephen Jones had to say

    Sigh. Wish I hadn't done that :)

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "...It's all very well to say 'play a different style or be proved arrogant' - but if you keep on winning, as we do, with the style we were using before (even against France!), why on earth would you change it?..."


    Except we haven't kept winning, we've not won a rugby world cup since 1987. Now, if you decide that the RWC isn't important then what you say is true. but given that the entire game is now buoilt around the four year RWC cycle, to ignore the world cup would be an absolute mistake. So winning the RWC is nowadays everything - and so we need to pick a team that will win the RWC, not win everything in between.

    victory by foul means is as sweet as victory by fair means

    "...I was with you til then..."

    So lets posit this. Would that referee been as bad for the Wallabies with George Gregan in his ear? Would we have lost if we had milked a few penalties shots as a result of sly, dirty, Fitzpatrician cunning?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And why, in such a tight game, did we not have a Sean Ftizpatrick or a Zinzan Brooke chipping away at the refferee to get us a critical penalty?

    Good point. It's hard to imagine George Gregan failing to cajole one out of the ref in such circumstances.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    You know, considering our record over the past few years, I am going to have to disagree with the idea that anyone on the All Black team displays 'arrogance' or 'hubris'. The media: yes, arrogance and hubris all over the show. But not the team. It's all very well to say 'play a different style or be proved arrogant' - but if you keep on winning, as we do, with the style we were using before (even against France!), why on earth would you change it?

    Totally agree Danielle, from what I've seen, the players and coaches have shown nothing but class, respect, and honesty. That goes for the French team too, who haven't gloated at all.

    If anything, its the media war between the aging hacks of the NH and SH thats more immature and acrimonious than anything that goes on between the young sportsmen on the field.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Would that referee been as bad for the Wallabies with George Gregan in his ear? Would we have lost if we had milked a few penalties shots as a result of sly, dirty, Fitzpatrician cunning?

    Thats a good point too - that is still the thing that amazes me about the game itself, France had 25% territory, 25% possession, made four times as many tackles, and didn't concede a penalty for the last 60 minutes of the game!!.

    Say what you like about the ref, thats phenomenal defensive discipline. And maybe, given that discipline, a penalty or two needed to be "encouraged" to keep the score ticking over.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I know I'm starting to sound like I'm reading from the Big Book of Sporting Cliches, but hindsight is 20:20, isn't it? Why would you play an entirely different game for the World Cup if you've beaten everyone up and down for several years running? You're not supposed to think 'hey, the cosmic joke is out to get us again, we should change play accordingly'. You're supposed to think 'hey, we can beat these guys. The way we usually do'. Otherwise it's all crazy, superstitious second-guessing, isn't it?

    The point is that we didn't suck, and it's silly to say that we did, and that our strategy was completely wrong. It wasn't wrong. We just lost the game. It happens.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    (Heh. I've turned into one of these 'we' people, unconsciously. I mean, *the All Blacks*, the team I support, lost the game. Not me, personally.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    All tournament, the ABs have looked okay when they're good, and awful when they're not. Really awful. No ideas, no structure, no nothing... they've never done anything that made them look likely to get past the semis anyway, and they were just unlucky to meet a top team in the quarters, rather than Argentina. I think Tom's Harlem Globetrotters comment is spot on. How could they not seem to have a game plan for the last 30 or so minutes? It was baffling to watch.

    That being said, there were moments of sublime rugby, like the two ABs tries. But those aside, frankly I enjoyed the Fiji vs SA game, where SA demonstrated flexibility, composure, intelligence, and actual rugby structure despite almost being wiped away by the wonderful Fijians: they stopped, regathered, worked out what to do and did it.

    There's no point going on about the refereeing, but I'd like really like to be able to trust the referee to run the game in such a way so as not to not allow one side to gain between 50% and 75% of their points unfairly.

    The positives: No more abysmal McKay/Fox/Whetton commentary? Was devastated to hear their voices when switching on Scotland vs. Argentina. They're stupid, smug, self-satisfied, and appear to assume that EVERYbody watching is a NZ fan. Fox laughed when Scotland missed a crucial penalty. By comparison the other lot, including Simon Mannix, are enthusiastic, balanced and professional, and a joy to listen to.

    The positives: No more interminable back-to-back Telecom/Powerade/Ford/Weetbix/Air NZ commercials? Please for the love of god.. this rampant commercialism has gotten out of hand, and is embarrassing. How the advertisers think that this is an effective use of their advertising $$$ is beyond me. It's horrible.


    The positives: An England/Argentina final?

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Hey, a France - Argentina final would have a certain symmetry to it - first and last game of the tournament.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Sorry to bang on about it as well Danielle, but it isn't hinsight. To come back to it, we've crashed out of three world cups now. We lost in 1995 to drop goals. Johnny Wilkinson won on drop goals in 2003. World Cups are decided by men like George Gregan and Martin Johnson working the referee and by having a simple game plan executed with ruthless efficiency. The All Blacks used to play like that, but Stephen Jones is right - nowadays we think we just have to turn up and if the referee gives us a fair playing field we'll win every time. I have nothing but respect for the humility of our players and grace with which they have accepted defeat. But our system is wrong.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Shit, reading that back, I didn't mean to sound so harsh on the players and coaches; I love the Henry and ABs and I badly wanted them to win; they played wonderfully for 50 minutes of the match and I feel terribly for them that lost like that; I respect their grace and humility in defeat and I hope that NZers as a nation will behave themselves and treat them well when they come home.

    My point was really that I don't think their game and abilities are all they're cracked up to be. Even the "minnows" they played in the pools made them look ordinary for periods of time, and when it came down to it, there was no apparent plan B for dealing with the French when plan A fell apart.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Stupid,

    Hey, a France - Argentina final would have a certain symmetry to it - first and last game of the tournament.

    yes I agree, although the French loss to Argentina could be what made it possible for France to beat the AB's. The difference is that France had their slaughtering early on in the tournament, the NZ "sudden death" lesson happened too late.

    Does anyone know if the Referee Judicial Board publish results of their investigations into sub-standard reffing at RWC? Or is it strictly in-house stuff?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    As an amateur ice hockey referee, views on the performance of Mr Barnes over the weekend interest me. Rugby is a very complex game, and positioning and viewing the action is very crucial as a referee.

    In ice hockey, we have one referee, and two linesmen, but the roles are quite different. The linesmen cannot interfere in the running of the actual game and call penalties, so if the referee misses it, it just gets missed. I'm always surprised when a linesman doesn't help the referee out in rugby. That's what your flag is for, surely?

    The difference between winning yesterday, and losing yesterday, is pretty slim. Yes the referee probably is that difference, but that's not something you can control.

    What I think the All Blacks have lacked for most of 10 years now, is leadership. After the 2003 World Cup, I wrote the following as part of a long web post:

    The other problem I see in the team is leadership. Thorne has been the captain for a while now, and like Randall before him, I think he's only a good leader of a winning team. The England game earlier this year was a fine example of this. The English team, two players down, played about five minutes of superb rugby, holding the ball, controlling it, well-led, and knowing exactly what to do... Against Australia, New Zealand had spent all their time in possession battering the Australian line, never once did Spencer chip over the top. Maybe the fault is with Spencer, but clearly the game plan set out before the game wasn't working, at some stage the captain has to make a decision to change the plan - that's why you have a captain on the field as well as a coach off it.

    For me the defining moment of the game was a little earlier. The All Blacks had been pick-and-going for about 8 or 10 phases, crawling their way down the left side towards the French line. Everything was working well, a crash over try was looking likely. And Kelleher passes the ball left to So'oialo, who wasn't expecting it, and drops it. The tactics changed and the opportunity was lost.

    So for me yesterday, the same as 1999 and 2003 was about a failure of leadership. Decisions were made (or possibly not made), and they didn't work out. We tend to lose these close matches when the pressure is really on. I think that's what we need to fix.

    Also, I don't think #7 is the right position for a captain. Too often, by the nature of the position, he's buried at the bottom of a ruck. Halfback and first-five.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Perhaps at this level the coach of each team could be entitled to a limited number of challenges (say 1 per half) of the ref's descion based on the TV coverage. An appeal to the TV ref like for tries.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Perhaps at this level the coach of each team could be entitled to a limited number of challenges (say 1 per half)

    ::coughAmericanFootballcough::

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

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