Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Numbers Game

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  • Tom Semmens,

    I don't think the Springboks are all that. Anyone of the Southern Hemisphere teams would have easily beaten the Lions. British rugby is poor and looking good against even the Lions isn't that hard.

    The Bok's worked their "A" team to a frenzied peak for the first two tests and the Lion's series showed that the Springboks have got zero depth on the bench. De Villiers is not a good coach, and he is up against to two REALLY good coaches in Henry and Deans. Remember also that the Bull's players peaked when won the Super 14. A lot of them will be carrying injuries/running on empty by the tri-series. I suspect we'll see a lot of form drop off and then their lack of depth will see them embarassed.

    Despite all the cocky Aussie hype, they are not as good as they - or us - think they are. They are only strong in a few positions and their stars are all getting old. They've got a lot of "pick and hope" still going on in selection. One or two injuries and/or a bit of pressure and they fall apart. Saturday showed us that. We've allowed our worship of Deans to blind us to the glaring deficiencies in Australian rugby. Henry has now out thought & out coached Deans for at least the start of a second season - in particular, Deans poor use of the bench compared to the AB's coaches was striking.

    The All Blacks themselves are not a vintage unit, but at last some new talent seems to be emerging. Owen Franks and Issac Ross look real prospects and if Aaron Cruden comes on in the Air NZ Cup he'll go the Europe at the end of the year, and by the look of things he is the best prospect for ages.

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I think South Africa will be tough over there, but I think the best thing going for us is their coach at the moment. Clearly mad, and not helping his team before, during, or after games.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    de Villiers is mad as a hatter. Which at least is entertaining.

    I used to enjoy the coaching stoushes between NZ and Australia, with the Aussie coaches accusing us on a yearly basis of being cheats and thugs. Deans is just too nice and it's boring.

    But de Villiiers is the real deal when it comes to explosions of the brain.

    I also love the fact that this year's Tri-Nations looks like a battle between three pretty even teams.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I also love the fact that this year's Tri-Nations looks like a battle between three pretty even teams.

    Agreed.

    Our worst tackler was Corey Jane (attempted four and made one, with no assists) not a good look for our fullback cover

    Not good and I'd not noticed - he did take a high balls well though I thought he had a quiet game. I wonder if he'll be picked for the Boks since I understood he was picked to specifically counter the Wallabies anticipated kicking game.

    Also, though I think Thorn's doing great in defence, I wonder if he's as good in the line-out as he needs to be. When I watched the game a second time, it was very noticable that the lineout forwards deliberately don't look at the thrower, presumably to disguise their intentions. Perhaps if they all looked at the thrower, the disguise would be as effective but the timing would be improved?

    If you're reading this Steve Hansen, I'm happy to accept a couple of tickets to the Sydney game for the hot-tip...

    We've allowed our worship of Deans to blind us to the glaring deficiencies in Australian rugby. Henry has now out thought & out coached Deans for at least the start of a second season - in particular, Deans poor use of the bench compared to the AB's coaches was striking.

    I don't know about this ... yet. The Wallabies could well have won that game were it not for a missed pass (Barnes) and mistake at a tap-and-run (Palu) and less inexplicable penalties at scrum time (one for certain seemed entirely inexplicable). Deans bench didn't perform whereas Henry's did and they don't have the depth we do - Weepu and Mealamu were particularly effective. Still, I think both teams are as close as they've ever been only I expect we'll lift at a faster rate than they will (not least of all because of Carter's return).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Deans is just too nice and it's boring.

    He's not nice, he's just dull

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    The general downward trend of points-scored for all three teams can possibly be attributed to external factors like senior players leaving for Europe or the recent rule changes.

    Or the coaches dawning realisation that 2/3s of all games will be played in conditions entirely non-conducive to expansive, risktaking rugby - at night during the middle of winter. Apparently the scheduling is arranged to accomodate Euro TV, but surely there comes a point where progression to dull defence orientated grinding styles dirves away more of an audiance than a breakfast kickoff attracts.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    What about that bit where GH went all mental in the coaches' box, about the time the Aussies butchered the try. He looked like he'd discovered an extended family of Wetas in his trou.

    Come to think of it, there was awesome swearing from both sets of coaches.

    Big sporting stories for me were the All Blacks being not quite as shit as everyone's made out (I was awfully nervous for Stephen Donald), Tom Watson, and Hayden Roulston getting third on Sunday morning's stage.

    With the Tour De France, The Open, The Ashes and the Rugger, this was a beautiful, beautiful weekend to spend on your arse. Luckily Auckland turned on some fairly shitty weather to facilitate. Sportreview jr getting sick helped me watch the Ashes climax too; I love that little guy :)

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    The Wallabies could well have won that game were it not for a missed pass (Barnes) and mistake at a tap-and-run (Palu) and less inexplicable penalties at scrum time (one for certain seemed entirely inexplicable).

    I agree. Either team could easily have won that game, and had we lost, I expect we'd all be sitting here bemoaning the referee.

    So now what? Well first, Henry is going to enjoy that beer.

    And he deserved it. I hope somewhere Stephen Donald, who stood up and played, despite the shellacking he took in the media last week, also got one. And good to see Mr McCaw sticking to the water (although you can't see that in the photo).

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Also of note, the English beat the Aussies in the Ashes test at Lords. I really don't understand the appeal of the Ashes

    I love the Ashes, but I can't explain it either, past the basic appeal of 'beat the Aussies'.

    And speaking of ‘roid rage David Beckham was taunted by LA Galaxy fans

    I simply cannot understand how he survived a Mancunian upbringing without getting his pretty face regularly smashed.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    And he deserved it. I hope somewhere Stephen Donald, who stood up and played, despite the shellacking he took in the media last week, also got one.

    In-bloody-deed. That bloke copped way too much crap from the French/Italy tests and did well against the Aussies. He made the odd error but kicked well, passed well, ran to the line... Cowan too deserves praise for his work (though I still love Piri...)

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Slevin,

    And speaking of ‘roid rage David Beckham was taunted by LA Galaxy fans
    I simply cannot understand how he survived a Mancunian upbringing without getting his pretty face regularly smashed.

    He didn't have a Mancunian upbringing. He's from Leytonstone.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    I love the Ashes, but I can't explain it either, past the basic appeal of 'beat the Aussies'.

    Isn't that enough?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I love the Ashes, but I can't explain it either, past the basic appeal of 'beat the Aussies'.

    Isn't that enough?

    Not really. I don't much care for the English either

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I simply cannot understand how he survived a Mancunian upbringing without getting his pretty face regularly smashed.

    He didn't have a Mancunian upbringing. He's from Leytonstone.

    I lived in Leytonstone for a year or so. Substitute it for "Mancunian" and Emma's point is still valid.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    The appeal of the Ashes? It's sport. It's about winning and losing. Or in Cardiff, thrillingly drawing. It's as simple as ... people really caring about the result.

    It's not about growing the brand, enhancing the franchise, and optimising market share going forward. If you don't understand the Ashes, blame the All Blacks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    As regarding Contador and Lance: of course Contador's going to win. Yes, it would have been drastically romantic if Lance had come back and done it - I can hear the Rocky theme playing now - but realistically, Contador is younger, fitter, and arguably a better racer (Contador's won all three major Tours, Lance won the TdF by concentrating on it with surgical precision and ignoring the others). The main question was, when would the split come? I'm slightly surprised that it came so early - I was somewhat expecting them to battle it out until the penultimate stage on Ventoux. Then again, Contador might just be hedging his bets against the chance of losing time in Thursday's time trial stage.

    And it's a real pity about Mark Cavendish. Four stage wins so far, and a serious chance at getting the green jersey, and then one dodgy sprint and he's basically out of contention. I'm just hoping that he takes the final stage on the Champs-Elysee on Sunday.

    Anyone want to venture an opinion on whether Bradley Wiggins will get a podium place? I don't think he can win it, but the way he's riding at the moment, a top 3 finish is a definite possibility.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    past the basic appeal of 'beat the Aussies'

    While I think Freddie Flintoff is a bit of a posing knob, I'm loving the various incarnations of 'throbbing forehead' thunderous looks that this series is inducing in Ricky Ponting ........

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Not really. I don't much care for the English either

    I'm conflicted.

    As a seven year resident in Australia (though neither a permanent resident nor citizen), I really should support the Aussies... and I might, were it not for the fact that they're an arrogant bunch led by a moaning captain (I'd except Hussey from that general characterisation, perhaps Katich too).

    But then, I can't barrack for the Poms, I just can't as they're an equally arrogant bunch full of nobs and toffs like Pietersen... he really is a git, might be the biggest of the lot of them...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    @jackelder, yeah Wiggins can stay there. He's the undisputed Slipstream leader now, there's some great riders in that team (including Millar, my fav) and they'll look after him. Being a great time triallist won't hurt either.

    Off topic, but I like their kit too.

    @richardllewellyn here's one for your cubicle wall.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I find it hard to imagine Contador having doped. The risks are simply too high, for a man who works as hard and consistently as he does.

    A friend who does some work for WADA tells me that the race against new doping techniques isn't one they're doing well in. Where they're concentrating their efforts in monitoring blood profiles and the whereabouts of top riders.

    If anyone has a right to be upset about the fans, it's the cyclists. After the most recent climb, I don't want to watch anymore. What other sport allows spectators onto the field of play, to hit, throw things at, and get in the way of, shoot the players, and cross the road fatally? It's an absolute debacle.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    Anything stuffed down Nathan Sharpe's pants is worth looking at.
    Thanks for the picture.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    If anyone has a right to be upset about the fans, it's the cyclists. After the most recent climb, I don't want to watch anymore.

    I saw Contador lash out at one of those idiots. What morons.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What other sport allows spectators onto the field of play, to hit, throw things at, and get in the way of, shoot the players, and cross the road fatally?

    That was nuts wasn't it? Needed some police officer to stick his arm out as they ran past chasing the cyclist. "Oops sorry son! Didn't see you there. What were you doing running on the road anyway?"

    A cyclist wouldn't be the first athlete to be on their way to a win in a big international event only to be screwed over by a fan. Vanderlei Lima got attacked by a nutter while leading the Athens Olympics marathon and recovered to win bronze (and the Pierre de Coubertin medal for Sportsmanship after the race).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    What other sport allows spectators onto the field of play, to hit, throw things at, and get in the way of, shoot the players, and cross the road fatally?

    That was nuts wasn't it? Needed some police officer to stick his arm out as they ran past chasing the cyclist.

    Sometimes having a policeman around is not the solution.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Needed some police officer to stick his arm out as they ran past chasing the cyclist. "Oops sorry son! Didn't see you there. What were you doing running on the road anyway?"

    While understandable, that's a bit of an unfortunate comment, as a 61-year old lady was killed by police motorbike during Saturday's stage.

    But yeah, they're very exposed. Let's not forget that Eddy Merckx had to pull out of what could have been his sixth tour victory after being punched in the kidneys by a fan. Or the incident the other day, where our own Julian Dean was shot with an airgun.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

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