Archive for All Blacks

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

ABs(29) vs Boks(32)..What can you do then ?


Well after the dance, it was all down hill !

Well done Boks 3-0.

How did they do it ?
1) Kick to known ‘fubbles’ in the ABs back line.
2) Defend like the Greeks.
3) Take 3 points within 60m.
4) Play the new rules, by forcing mistakes in oppositions half.
5) Exploit the lineout advantage.
6) Played off a structured platform. NOT a ELVs hangover style.

What the Boks didnt do. The ran no back line moves, little phase play, little pick and go.

What the ABs havent learnt
1) ELVs for forward play ended before the Tri Nations.
2) Mauls are back.
3) Lineouts are important.
4) Passing skills are important.
5) Catching up and unders are important.

What the Coaches got wrong.
1) Selections of players that are not performing at this level (Donald, Rokocoko)
2) Failing to combat the rolling maul (Hansen is hoping IRB ban it, so he wont coach it, or maybe he cant.)
3) Stupid tactics: Chip kicks in our own half, poor kicking game, poor player selections.
4) Merry go round of swapping positions between Carter and Donald. Experiments in the live test match arena are not on !

What the NZRU have got wrong .
1) Appointing a failed coaching team.
2) Carter Sabbatical.
3) Transforming NZ rugby from structured form of the game to an ELV game. That failed.

Some Points.
1) With out Carter this team is worst ABs team in years.
2) Scrums are adequate.
3) Lineouts are poor.
4) 2nd five eights is open to any one who can take it.
5) Ma’a Nonu is a Ken Worth truck at 5 miles per hour.
6) Joe Roco is hopeless, in attack, defense, under the high ball. But hey he had a great game Auckland vs Northland. So the coaches re selected him.

RWC 2011…we are toast !

Building a team is like RED WINE, a team ages over time and gets better and gets better, dont shake it or stir it !

Monday, August 17th, 2009

ABs: Last Chance Rokocoko !

Source: Carter named to start against Wallabies

The ABs Team for ‘Dance of Desperates’ in Sydney this Saturday !

             1.                Tony Woodcock (55 Tests)
             2.                Andrew Hore (40)
             3.                Owen Franks (4)
             4.                Brad Thorn (30)
             5.                Isaac Ross (6)
             6.                Jerome Kaino (20)
             7.                Richie McCaw – captain (73)
             8.                Kieran Read (9)
             9.                Jimmy Cowan (25)
             10.             Dan Carter (59)
             11.             Sitiveni Sivivatu (37)
             12.             Luke McAlister (27)
             13.             Conrad Smith (28)
             14.             Josevata Rokocoko (57) : WTF !
             15.             Mils Muliaina (74)

COMMENTS: Can ‘Dan and Luke’ give us some magic. Neither have good form if any at all at the highest level in the last 12 months. Guess you gotta start somewhere.

Please Luke no more intercept passes for the opposition !

Good Luck ABs !

UPDATE1: This is why Henry selection methods are flawed. Joe Rokocoko scored two tries againts an not so good side, and Henry claims that Joe is back in form for the ‘big stuff’. What an arse ! What bullsh*t spin! Reko Gear should have got the nod !

Source: Rokocoko ‘saves his bacon’ in Kerikeri

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

ABs: Weepu too FAT !


Weepu, the Ab’s second choice half back who’s form that has been lacking,  is a FATTY !

Half backs must be like spring chickens running around the paddock !

Weepu has not been doing the fitness work ! If he cant measure up he should not be in the squad !!

Too slow, due to too much weight, huff and puff around the paddock…dont believe me…watch the next game !

Monday, August 10th, 2009

ABs: The sky is falling!

Source: All Blacks are not panicking  – Toby Robson


Dan Carter rushed back into the ABs !

The frail egos of the coaches need a win, to get the ugly NZ public off there back so they can spin ‘the ship is on course’ bullsh*t again !

Dan is good, but Dans ability is a band aid over the other short comings of other players. The most obvious short coming is confidence and the decision making that goes with it under pressure. And of course playing a stupid ‘circus rugby style’ when the players selected dont have the skills. The team needs a simply ABC pattern to crawl up the paddock, to get in position to apply pressure and SCORE !

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Abs are DOOMED !

Yeah I know I have been on Henry’ case, but in the last year: what is the game pattern, failed selections, poor tactics under pressure.

The AB’s under Henry is on a down hill trend ! The top two inches of the coaches rugby brains have gone to mush !

Henry can find it in himself to walk away, ego is way to large !


ABs are doomed ! Sorry to say that, but I hope the players defy the coaches tactics and play percentage rugby, and toss this idea of high risk circus show rugby style !

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

AB Coaches: Dunce hats!


Source: Sorry Graham Henry, denial is not the solution – Toby Robson

Graham Henry think the game plan was fine? Steve Hansen doesn’t want to call in a specialist to help with the lineouts? Wayne Smith believes long kicks are a waste of time?

It has the same delusional tone as comments this season on the form of wing Joe Rokocoko and the “international class” of first-five Stephen Donald.

Rugby is a game of territory because it’s easier to score points when you are in the opposition’s half. To deny such tenets of the game is dangerous

Dummies guide to winning rugby games:
1) Territory
2) Pressure
3) Possession
4) Once pressure and territory achieved spin out wide.

Grant Fox and Auckland did this for years ‘bread and butter’, easy peasy.

Winning rugby tactics havent changed for a 100 years. Call you Grandma, she could do a better coaching  job!

NOTE: Players are fine in my book, I see there error as 75% with the coaches. Tactics must be selected that equal the players skill level aligned with weeks of training.  The instructions issued before Durban were just wrong, AGAIN !

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Henry: This is what scares me !

When Henry’s under pressure, a loss from the previous week, dodgy team playing performance in most recent games. These are some of the tactical blunders Henry’s mob undergoes:

1) Select players who have had no rugby, and are expected to perform at the highest level: Brendon Leonard

2) Select tactics that only super men against a weaker team can execute. That’s run it wide, or chip kick and near every opportunity.

3) Select in the words of Henry himself a high risk strategy when the opposing team have excellent goal kickers.

4) Selecting a game plan that could possible be called ‘high risk’ in the first place.

5) Knowing your up against the best lineout in the world, selecting a shorter No8 over a taller No8 (ie Sooialo vs Read).

6) Chip kicks are extremely high risk, a short kick nearly 90% of the time gives the ball to opposition within the 10 yard circle that the kick was made. Have you ever seen a lessor team beat a better team with this tactic, no never ! Its is only used when it is known an opposing player often is out of position and clear space is available to have a chance to get the ball back.

This is not Henry first tactical blunder: The other most obvious blunder was ABs vs France RWC 2007, when the call came for ‘play for a penalty’ in the second half. What AB team plays to get penalties? Will next blunder be ABs vs Boks RWC 2011?

Ask your self this : What is the ABs game plan? What pattern do the ABs fall back on when times are tough? 

A: There isn’t one, Henry jumps around tactics at will. The players become jack of all trades patterns and master of NONE !

The the most successful ABs coach Grizz Wiley (25 winning test matches in a row) formed a game plan (pattern) that all knew how to play when the heat was on. This is what Canterbury had  under Robbie Deans, and this what he is trying to do with the Aussies.

Coaches are to blame more so than players. I call on the players to defy the coachs instructions and play percentage football.

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

ABs: Richard Loe : Nail on head !

Source: All Black coaches need to step up or walk away – Richard Loe

God Bless him…has he a coaching whistle !
(NOTE: These comments were after the 1st test against the Boks, not the second, still relevant dont you think!)


The issues are:

Selection – why was Brendon Leonard playing? Answer, according to Graham Henry: To give him a game. But this was a test. Against the world champions. Leonard had a nightmare. If he needed a game, there was the Waikato club final and then the Air New Zealand Cup. You don’t play test rugby unless you are ready for it. This has happened time and again. Jimmy Cowan had to play.

Tight five – I felt our tight five simply weren’t aggressive enough and, for much of that match, seemed as though they were awed by the physicality of the Springboks. That’s mental toughness. Yes, the players involved have to wear some of the blame for that but it is also a coaching basic – to provide the environment from which that belief comes.

Lineouts – we are still (still!) having huge problems at the lineout. Our throwers are not finding the mark and, for some reason that escapes me, our jumpers do not contest the opposition throw. I have spoken to ex-All Blacks and coaches up and down this country and none of them knows why we are not contesting. Jason Eaton must have been the worst sub in the last decade but he at least jumped and won one ball – probably against orders.

Basics – we are still struggling with basics like restarts and kick-offs and, when the All Blacks lost the test last weekend, it was down to organisation (or lack of it). Piri Weepu took an age to organise players and then threw a shoddy pass. But this is the All Blacks. Weepu should not have to organise players like that. All Blacks should know what to do in such situations – they should not have to be organised. Not when they are paid that much and when they are coached by so many coaches.

The backs – our back three looked hopeful, at best. Mils Muliaina has had two or three very quiet tests now and Joe Rokocoko just isn’t doing the business. Their confidence looks down. Conrad Smith was really the only back to shine although Stephen Donald did okay.(BLOG: What are you smoking ?)

If the three coaches can’t do it, maybe it’s time to sever the links. Many people have said that Colin Cooper and Ian Foster aren’t up to the job but I am beginning to think that they would at least bring in some new thinking – they couldn’t do much worse.Or … I hear Warren Gatland is on holiday in Waihi.

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Chain Of Command: Fractured !

Source: Silence proves golden as All Blacks staff wired for sound – Greg Ford

You may or may not be aware, but nothing said on the field misses the coaches ear piece. So who is in charge ‘during a game’, what happens when Richie McCaw says ‘Stuff that idea, where doing it this way!’, I wonder.

With Coaches reputations at stake it would seam they are in no way prepared to allow the players to stuff up there idea of how things should go on the field. I wonder who has the ‘Privy Council’ decision to make the final call.

Lets roll back time to RWC 2007. All Blacks vs France, quarter final. In the second half  the points weren’t coming and Wayne Barnes was not helping. So the call game down from the coaches to milk a penalty. This saw the ABs play 20 boring minutes of pick and go hoping for the French to put a hand in or be offside so that a penalty could be awarded for Dan Carter to kick. In the end the penalty did not come. But the point is, what All Black team ever had a strategy to play for a penalty, it should be attack, attack and then attack some more.

I fear micro management of the game from 50 yards away by the coaches in there high corporate boxes, how can any player become a leader if mother is watching over you. It is like having a parrot on your shoulder. Leadership is not built this way. But I guess you cant stop Coaches being nervous about the pay checks not to be an echo in the players ear !

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

ABs: Coach’s re appointed to RWC 2011


    NZRU position

For 6 years the players having been hearing the same record. For the same 6 years the ABs back line has done little to impress. Smith at least should have gone ! The NZRU board and Tew dont have the mental muscle to understand why a change was need.  There are strong odds the ABs wont win the RWC in 2011 (or get to the final), and that will mean this coaching team has the good odds of being two time losers at RWCs. A shake up of the coaching team would bring new blood into the thinking behind the ABs, chance missed !

My picks:
1) R McCaw wont be a RWC due to injury (concussion).
2) Not having an understudy to Dan Carter will be ABs downfall.
3) Tight five skills lost in the ELVs years could cost ABs dearly.

But I wish them the best of luck.

Monday, June 29th, 2009

MAINS WARNING : We should listen !

Source: Mains calls for Henry to go 

The calls for Graham Henry to step down as All Blacks coach have started.

Former coach Laurie Mains says it is hard to judge from the outside, but he is having trouble trying to pick up the pattern the All Blacks are trying to play.

“That sort of says to me that the pattern’s too complicated for the players to accurately implement. If that is the case, that will impact the skill part of their game, I think, as they start to force things.”

He respects what Henry has done in his time, but his contract should be severed this year. He says six years is too long to coach a national team.

“To be fair to Graham he’s had some great successes as a coach, but every team he’s coached, towards the end of his time with them, they’ve dropped away.”

Mains has cited the examples of the Blues, Wales, the Lions and now the All Blacks where Henry has been involved. He says Chiefs coach Ian Foster, Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper and even Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder could be considered as alternatives.

“I was really impressed with the way the Chiefs put their games together this year. They played aggressive and sensible rugby.

“I was terribly impressed with the way the Crusaders – and they were a young team – came away very strong towards the end.”

Mains adds Colin Cooper is very experienced.

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

ABs: Pre Tri Nations, we are in the shit !

Source: Best to Luke out, Stephen  Gregor Paul

Luke MacAlister was horrible as first five vs Italy, Stephen Donald is an ugly first choice to start the Tri Nations tournament. Isaia Toeava keeps on getting selected when he cant catch or talk to anyone on the field, and bomb near certain tries. ABs injury list could fill a hospital ward.

SA looks very strong, AU looks a close second, and we stutter along firing a blanks, expect loses and lots of them in the next 6 months. I dont see this is as a bad thing as it will create focus on the NZRU board to kick butt, and allow a build up period before the RWC 2011.

Nervous, you should be ! Good luck to the ABs may the cream rise to the top.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

ABs: Henry the HeadMaster thinking …AGAIN !

Source: Graham Henry gaff was sheer stupidity – Jonathan Millow


Weepu was undoubtedly speaking on behalf of the team when he gave a bittersweet post-match interview.

“I probably would not have kicked the ball out had I known, and kept the ball in hand.

“Obviously we weren’t told about the six-point margin and I guess we need to be more prepared.

“Most of the boys thought it would be like the Bledisloe Cup, you have to get two wins before you can take the trophy from the team that holds it.”

Let’s not beat around the bush here. This is a massive howler by Henry. He treated his team like babies. He needed to put all the cards on the table and then recommend or instruct a course of action.

Henry’s defence was he didn’t want to burden his “young side” with having to do any more than secure victory.

One question remains. How would we all have reacted had the All Blacks lost the test attempting a miracle ball in the final minutes?

The answer? We would have expected victory to be sought first and not compromised by seeking a winning margin. But we also would expect the players to be up to speed.

COMMENTS : France beat us AGAIN !. They have the wood on the ABs in the tough games, or so it would seam. Remember the horrible loss at the last Rugby World Cup, where the tactic was to play for 20 min to get a penalty that never came rather than get a try, then after that a failed setup for two drop goal attempts in the last 10 minutes. These tactics all came down from the coaches box. And we are still seeing the same blunders, it must be French that bring out this stupidity from Henry’s mob, why is he so dumb. Age, stuck in his old ways, lost confidence, worn out, years of talking to children at school..who knows. There is a black cloud over the ABs and it’s not good. Blunder after blunder by Henry’s mob is a worry. Just scroll down this blog and see the selection blunders this season so far.

Monday, June 15th, 2009

ABs: The team for the Cake tin, vs France 2nd Test !

NEW ZEALAND: Mils Muliaina (captain), Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Joe Rokocoko, Stephen Donald, Jimmy Cowan, Kieran Read, Tanerau Latimer, Jerome Kaino, Isaac Ross, Brad Thorn, Neemia Tialata, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock. Reserves:Aled de Malmanche, John Afoa, Bryn Evans, George Whitelock, Piri Weepu, Luke McAlister, Isaia Toeava

COMMENTS: Are you freaking kidding me, this guy has had more chances than Bill Clinton with White House Interns ! Give me a break ! Drop him from the squad for the season(s) !

Na not this coaching mob, to be an All Black consistency of performance is NOT REQUIRED !

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

ABs will no longer work for small cheques !

Source: All Blacks “won’t play” Air NZ Cup – Neil Reid

Henry says…

“If they are playing Super 14, the Iveco Series, Tri-nations and the end of year tours; there are 15 games I think again for the All Blacks this year.

“Then there is another 13, possibly 15, Super 14 games.

“That is getting up to 30, when you have pre-season games. Can they play anymore games than that?

“So something has to give. And I think the decision is that the All Blacks won’t play Air New Zealand Cup unless they have been injured and need to make sure they are right for rugby above that level.

“I think that decision has been made over the last few months.”

After many years of low involvement by the ABS in the NPC they have finally been removed completely from the NPC. I never forget Murray Deaker telling Jock Hobbs that taking ABs out of NPC would destroy the base of the game in this country, and Hobbs response was that ABs would never be removed from the NPC. Well that’s until the almighty dollar entered the room. Henry is not innocent he has has for decades bent union rules to get what he wants is some examples : NZ players playing for Wales that had incorrect birth rights (Shane Howarth – Granny Gate,  Players removed from Super 14 in the world cup year (Cotton Wool Club).

Its a shame that this has happened, it is now even more imperative that a 22 game competition like the “Australasin Cup” become a reality, as this will allow a full match up of professional,semi professional and amateurs players to see who has the goods.

UPDATE: More Henry rule bending, Luke MacAlister does not qualify to player for ABs in this years coming Tri Nations as he will not play in the current Super 14. The NZRU have this rule to ensure professional players qualify for AB selection and dont get any ideas about manipulating the NZRU to get the best deal for there bank account. Well Henry needs him (due to Carter injury), so do you really think the NZRU rules mean anything any more, they dont! They are expendable for the almighty dollar. Luke is bums on seats and TV ratings ! EVERY THING IS NEGOTIABLE AT THE NZRU. If the rule is broken or a ‘dispensation’ is given to Luke, then every professional player will see that the NZRU is weak and will bend if you have the upper hand.

From a selfish point of view, I would like to see him play in the Tri Nations, and he will, but principles are principles, so if the NZRU integrity is to be defended he should not.

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

All Blacks(29) vs Wales(9): It was a FM!

Q: One painting is by the famous artist Jackson Pollock, the other is by an elephant, one is claimed as a master piece, the other is not. Which is the master peice? 

A: Here.

The divergence of spin with the view points of these painting is amazing, ranging from the fantastic art performance of Pollock to absolute ridicule for the elephant. To me they both represent what I got sent home for in disgrace as a 6 year old by my art teacher, a FM (Note: FM is defined as f**king mess!). This to me mirrors the same viewpoints of how well rugby union is representing itself as a physical contest game. Cheerleaders out there, mainly TV paid idiots say how great the game is, while those fans that have been watching the game for over 20 years see a deterioration of what was once a great contest of tactics and strategy to a dumbed down ‘run up and bash’ slash ‘force back’ style of oval ball game.

[ Just in case you missed my point: The art world (ie TV paid commentators) look at a Jackson Pollock (ie rugby union) with praise, yet those that know better (ie 20 plus years rugby fan) just see it or what it is, a FM! ]

As a game, I am just not a fan of league, but I could not leave the TV screen as the Kiwis fought to win the world crown (or 3 nations crown). Then some 8 hours latter I watched the ABs vs Wales game, and there are some striking similarities:

  • -For a large minute count of the 80 minute game both teams line up againts each other in two horizontal lines.
  • -Neither game has real lineouts: a quick pass in by league from one player to another; in union a quick pass in by one player to a small group of players. Both are pretty much the same as a contest, or no contest.
  • -Both teams run and bash hoping for the other team to miss a tackle, that usually results in points being scored.
  • -Scrums are having less and less importance: either as to there failure of execution or they are less frequent.

However league showed it has a few advantages over union in game structure:

  1. The league attacking team seam to form up better for attack, the forwards group together, and the backs spread out wide. In union the backs become forwards at the first ruck, and forwards become backs. Nearly always in union the attacking backline has several tight five member standing in the mix. In defense there is no recognise split between forwards and backs, it just a field wide trench defence.
  2. League has less foolish kicking. Union is plagued with the force back game of up and unders to break the field wide trench defense. Or should I say kick and hope.
  3. League mainly due to (1) above, have more occurrence of formatted attacking backline moves (loops, dummy runners, overlaps, etc). Remember the great days of back play by the of the Aussie Brumbies, this style of play no longer exists at such frequency in union as backs and forwards are mixed in attack far too often.
  4. The backs in league tend to attack from depth with pace (ak Brumbies play), in union as the forwards and backs are mixed, and the slow prop forward just cant make this skill grade.
  5. Less wasted time in scrummaging.

This blog is about what rugby used to be like, rugby’s best years from 1985 to 2003 seam to be forgotten, the advent of these ELVs have seen the game morphed into school yard bull rush slash force back style of rugby union. YOU MUST read my foundation posts to understand my argument.

Dont believe me, then ask your self this question: How often do you see pure back vs back contest. Answer: Very infrequently. Classical back play seen in the most recent 20 years has been removed from the game by pure stupid rugby rule setting.

Well done ABs, well done Kiwis. However the best form of the oval ball game was won by league this weekend. Rugby union continues down it’s ‘Jackson Pollock’ phase, a FM !

They may say the game was an ‘tight contest’, and hence the lack of rugby beauty, well bullsh*t comes in many forms, all ABs games this year can be grouped in the above comments.

Dam IRB rule making idiots.

UPDATE1: Having the quick lineout is acceptable, but having short lineouts is getting to be ridiculous, why, it just allows the tight forwards to stand in the back line as possible first receiver for a run and bash. Calling a short lineout hard on attack in the opposition 22 is a great for the defence not the attack as it allows defenders to spread out wide. How does a short lineout make more space out wide, or allow an even one on one contest with the backs (thats center vs center and wing vs wing just in case your have forgotten the good old days), this is a place where the AB backs have consistently beaten there opposite over the years. I don’t think the game would miss short lineouts if we went back to full lineouts only, but if IRB want them, then I insist that the forwards stand within the 15 meters from the touchline and 15 meters from the touchline restart. Otherwise how else can the backs find more space at set piece.

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

ABs – Non Playing Team (a waste of NZRU money)

The ABs tour this summber is 35 players. With a heap of non playing members.

Source: Lots of help at hand as ABs empire expands – Greg Ford

  • D Shand – Manager
  • G Henry – Head Coach
  • W Smith – Back Coach
  • M Bryne – Back Coach (Kicking)
  • S Hansen – Forward Coach
  • N Cron – Forward Coach (Scrum)
  • D Robinson – Medical (Doctor)
  • P Gallagher – Medical (Physio)
  • D Shepherd – Medical (Massage)
  • N Gill – Trainer
  • G Enoka – Psychologist
  • A Rogers – IT
  • E Collins – Bags
  • J Locke -Media
  1. Black – Approved to travel.
  2. Red – Not Required to travel, as preparation completed before leaving.
  3. Blue – On call, or use locals when required.
  4. Pink – Are you freaken kidding me, players can fill this demand.

Plus other types like

  • Adidas hangers on
  • NZRU managers hangers on

…”By the time they’re all factored in, the team, plus its entourage, swells to more than 50. The logistics of managing a world-class sports team such as the All Blacks is now akin to a company in the army.”…

My Comments: That’s a ratio of 1 playing person to 1.4 non playing person. The NZRU does not understand cost controls, they are fat cat love to spend business model. Dont mention the failed high performance department, and the need for forex hedging to make profits.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Cotton Wool Policy – Status Active.

Policy Execution 2006 – Selected All Blacks are not to play in NPC.

Policy Execution 2007 – Selected All Blacks are not to play in Super 14, as well the NPC.

Policy Execution 2008 – Selected All Blacks are not to play in NPC (Dan Carter NPC final).

Henry and his mob, is soooo protective of their turf that his law goes, or maybe the NZRU have signed a contract that Carter must play in the Hong Kong game other wise NZRU revenue is reduced. Remember the Beckham deal when he played in Wellington, David had to play 57 minutes or more other wise fees would be adjusted. I wonder does Dan Carter have a Beckham clause ! Is he bigger than the game in NZ, or maybe the money thinks so !

UPDATE1:The NZRU is forecasting $3M profit, there is no way they can allow Dan Carter not to be there, no way they can risk his injury in the NPC final. They also know that the next 12 months will be hard, so is this prudent, or are the NZRU board just cowards. I am sure Dan would love to play for his province.

 Source: ABs drive NZRU towards $3m profit – Marc Hinton

..”The financial squeeze may be on, but the New Zealand Rugby Union is still forecasting a $3 million profit for the year, largely thanks to the big-money generating games the All Blacks are soon to play in Hong Kong and at Twickenham”..

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Did anyone notice ! Less and Less All Blacks in the NPC.


Or did anyone notice that there was actually a NPC on this year, did anyone actually go to a game ?$#!$!??##

Dan Carter is too busy (cotton wool club) to play in the Final, god bless him. The NPC used to be a premier event, now it ranks less than secondary school rugby, as its not the best versus the best by region. I believe that’s why crowds are not what they used to be. (Note: Secondary school rugby is fierce and no quarter is given and a great watch.)

The NPC will be a pure non professional competition running along side more and more super rugby, maybe next year or latter. The Ranfurly shield gets as has much National fever as as the Ellerslie flower show, I mean who really cares.

The NZRU must realise that the rugby fan is intelligent and wants the value competitions with strong match ups by the best in the business (NZ Players). Why, cause that’s what we had before rugby went professional, so we want it back, god dam it !

UPDATE1: Source – Wallabies fit, All Blacks match fit – Duncan Johnstone

..”The All Blacks wider training squad went through two tough sessions on Auckland’s North Shore on Tuesday and face a game against the New Zealand Barbarians in Henderson on Wednesday.”.. [While NPC finals are on]

My Comments: As you can see training runs are more important than NPC games. The money sought from the Honk Kong match for the NZRU is deemed more important than that for NPC final revenues to the regional unions. Henry has said the game in HK is too important to allow his players play in NPC.  So more matches in far off lands, means more diluted competition strength for the local fans, good on ya NZRU, shaft the local fan why don’t you !

[Note: The reader must realise that the revenue earnt by the NZRU in NZD peso is not as attractive as revenue in EURO, USD or POUND. Dear NZ fan, you are just not wealthy enough to get the cream of the sport you love, that will now be sold elsewhere for real cash.]

I remember the great Colin Mead’s saying he played a test on the weekend, club rugby in the middle of the week then a regional game the following Saturday. Why have things changed so much, well its down to: over preparation, over analysis, more control to coaches, less delegated responsibility to leading players. More live action in real game time is more than enough for player fitness and training. This is of course how the massive local fan base in New Zealand started, ever wonder were its going now, not so massive local fan base, that’s what !

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

For Sale : All Blacks play anyone, anywhere, anytime !


Source: Mile High beckons for All Blacks – Greg Ford

The New Zealand Rugby Union has confirmed it was “in dialogue” with the United States Rugby Union and “may” stage one of next year’s Bledisloe Cup matches against Australia in the US.

Although the concept is in its genesis, the old Mile High Stadium site in Denver, Colorado, where the US Rugby headquarters is based, has been designated as the likely venue. The NZRU recently started a formal relationship with the US union as the US is a market it’s keen to tap into.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said: “We’re looking at a number of possibilities [for next year’s Bledisloe Cup]. Denver is one of them. But as I said, we’re in the very early stages.

 …”test matches in the US could become a regular part of the landscape”..

NZRU board is pimping out the All Blacks, for cash. Rugby should be between nations, thats tribe vs tribe at either home or away (the other tribes home). Yet a new trend is developing, performance for cash. The NZFU board have miss managed the NRFU finances through the failed RWC campaign and high performance departments that failed. So the ABs must now dance for their supper

This is a shameful trend. Maybe we should live within our means, reduce NZRU staff, cut salaries, and plan the business correctly. I wonder how many coaches out there would coach the ABs at half the pay the current Henry’s mobs is getting, plenty ! And why the need for 3 coaches and all the hangers on, Grizz managed 50 test match wins in a row by himself! The NZRU are spinning a web of bullsh*t to keep their happy well padded lifestyles going.

If it wasn’t for a $4 million forex hedge in the 2007 financial year the NZRU would be in so much red ink, the ABs would have been selling cake and lemonade at the end of your street.

Sure, we have the RWC in 2011, buts that’s a long time away, and a headline for the NZRU to hide behind, so don’t be fooled. The NZRU board and CEO (current and previous) have failed the NZ rugby public.

Before rugby went professional, there was the call to replace the NZRU board with people who new business. Well that has failed, bring back those who know rugby first, business second, find those with a love of NZ rugby more so than idiots with there grand plans of stupidity.

Monday, August 11th, 2008

All Blacks should not be marsh mellows!


Source:  Ice battles back from confidence crisis – Toby Robson

..”Isaia Toeava has revealed his confidence dipped so low during this year’s Super 14 that he “slacked off” in training and lost his fitness before being left out of the All Blacks squad at the start of the season.”…

“They told me to put my head down and go back and work hard with the Auckland NPC team and get my fitness back up there.”

Toeava said the message from the All Blacks coaches after he was dropped had been simple, to get fit again and regain his confidence.

My Comments: If players have a soft inside like Isaia, then they should never wear the black jersey. There are players through out NZ rugby history that have trained endlessly for years for the dream of being an All Black, and  never get selected, unlike today were some players egos are massaged along to keep up the good work, improve this, work on that, carrots along the way to help a player get to his All Black dream.  That’s being so soft, players with marsh mellow interiors should take up backgammon or checkers! Also, using the modern excuse that rugby is their income and communication is required to manage the employer and employee relationship is just soft centre hogwash! You want it, you take it, through performance!

Wayne Smith said in public that Isaia was special, and selected him for All Black duties in 2007. What Wayne failed to judge while making this selection was Isaia lacked of maturity and leadership for the role he was selected (that of All Black Centre). We all saw this on the field as Isaia stumbled in the hard games. To be fair to Isaia he needs more grazing on the NZ rugby farm, he needs 2 or 3 years before he becomes an All Black, if at all. The real failing was Wayne Smith selection abilities. We saw this again in the ABs vs Aussie Tri Nation game at Sydney where Wayne selected the wrong back four combination for an ELV game. (See here : All Blacks(19) vs Australia(34) – Spanked.).

I think Wayne Smith has spent all his lives as a ABs backs coach and should be replaced. After all, he is proving to be a mental flake: conceding recently he was ‘out coached’ by Deans, resigned from the All Black coaching job as the profile was too exhausting, failing to master ELVs back play after watching zillions of hours of 2008 Super 14 video tape, selecting an injured Sivivatu over an in form Howlett for the RWC 2007 quarter final versus France.

Seriously, are you telling me that we dont have a better back coach in NZ ?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

ABs Eden Park Team – The changes – not far enough !


Mose Tuialii and Scott Hamilton.

The team for the critical Eden park test is something like this (Tues 29 July):

  • All Blacks:
  • Leon MacDonald    << Out with concussion, replace with Muliaina>>
  • Mils Muliaina           << Replace with Kahui>>
  • Conrad Smith
  • Ma’a Nonu
  • Sitiveni Sivivatu      << OUT OF SQUAD, Hamilton IN>>
  • Dan Carter
  • Jimmy Cowan
  • Rodney So’oialo
  • Richie McCaw
  • Jerome Kaino          << TO RESERVES, Tuuialii IN>>
  • Ali Williams
  • Brad Thorn
  • Greg Somerville
  • Andrew Hore
  • Tony Woodcock
  • Reserves:
  • Keven Mealamu  << OUT OF SQUAD, Find some one else for god sake>>
  • John Afoa
  • Anthony Boric,
  • Adam Thomson  << OUT OF TEAM, Kaino IN>>
  • Piri Weepu
  • Stephen Donald
  • Richard Kahui

My ABs ELV rugby back 4 would be:Macdonald, Hamilton, Muliaina  and Smith. All can play fullback if required and have ‘rugby smarts’ to handle the critical ELV force back game. You are saying, what drop ‘Sivivatu, are you mad!’. Well he is a one trick pony (fast, that’s it) and rarely does well against the good teams. I need a player that can catch a Carter break, kick and act like a full back and work in combination with the others in the back 4. Also as I am staying win Nonu I will let a little speed go for more smarts, and Hamilton has the smarts.

My Loosies:McCaw, Tuuialii, So’oialo. Tuuialii knows how to play with McCaw and visa versa, the combination strength that these two have from the Crusaders gets Mose selected (or give Jerry Collins a call and say help !).

Note: I am not from Crusaders Country, I am an Aucklander (Jaffa). So no bias there, just smart ELV rugby player selections.

 Go the ABS !

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Prediction – In 3 years the NZ fan will scream for BlackAdder as ABs coach!


After Henry and his mob lose the home RWC 2011 to Deans Aussie mob, the current coaching team will be publically hanged.

 Blackadder will get the call up, the same way Deans got the call up at RWC 2003.

 You heard it here first !

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

All Blacks(28) vs Springboks(30): ABs do a Veitch !


Via a domestic violence scandal Radio/TV Tony Veitch  will lose it all.

The All Blacks last 10 minutes was a major write off, nothing short of disaster. Just like the RWC 2007 quarter final, on the field replacements (injury or tactically) drastically reduced their ability to be effective under huge pressure. The last 10 minutes saw the Boks out think us, out passion us, when there captain was sin binned they stood up like King Leonidas versus the Persians (300 Movie) .

                     loan5003.jpg Truely heroic !

The last 10 minutes saw the ABs loose a critical lineout on the Boks 5m line, loose possession in the tackle several times and a failed drop goal attempt. Sure the first 70 minutes was a fair contest, but the last 10 minutes was not fair, ABs had the advantage, then they did a ‘Veitch’ (lost it all).

This year you cant expect the ABs to have an unbeaten record because too many players with experience have gone to northern sides.  I am willing to go through the drought while new talent is brought up to standard and I will in no way agree to the call to strengthen the squad with overseas players. In rugby these days it’s about overall squad ability and the ABs have a good ‘A’ side and a not so good ‘B’ side. Some of the players in the ‘B’ side did not stand up and were not All Black grade.

As a Coach you learn the most about your players when your side is going backwards. This was very true in the last 10 minutes, because it was 14 vs 15 players and we were leading by 5 points. The Boks turned this around and won the match.

Some ABs need a re think ..

Keven Mealamu:The real bad, lineout throws were too low, he stood too wide around the ruck allowing Ricky Januarie in the gate for match winning try, to me he looks a little heavy and slow, just not fit enough. In the last 10 minutes his play contributed to the defeat more than others. Once he was a first pick, now I think he should be replaced. Then again the coach did sub off Andrew Hore, why, rotation !

Jerome Kaino: Needs to ‘Zinny’ or a ‘Buck’ up quick. He had a great chance to step up, as the AB second row was very very green, yet he was missing in action. Yes he was ok in lineouts and back of scrum, but that’s not enough. Needs a kick up the jacksee or he’s gone.

Ma’a Nonu:Yes, after a series of very good games, losing critcal possession twice in the last 1o minutes was very poor. His bad game can still surface, he needs to play for 80 minutes in every game at the highest standard. 10 laps around the field !

Sitiveni Sivivatu: In the last two games he has been replaced twice for a player (Leon MacDonald) with a running and kicking game. Playing a strong defensive side seams to highlight his lack of test playing skills (no kicking game). No room for a one trick pony in international rugby. Maybe Leon will be starting in the games to come. Find new blood !

ABs Tight Five: The Bok tight five are big, strong and they won the second half. The number of ABs test caps was partly the problem. The ABs baby locks (Boric and O’Neill) are still in international rugby pre school and it showed. Having Brad and Ali (hope) starting is essential to this years AB’s success.

Coaches: Why, please tell me why, with 10 minutes to go you sub off your performing hooker (Hore) for a cold player (Mealamu), when you only winning by 5 points. The hooker (and halfback) are too critical to the sides performance to be subbed off in a tight game. Henry does not read the tea leaves, this is one skill Deans has mastered better. Old dog same tricks !

On the plus side Carter, Smith, Afoa, Hore, Wolf, Ellis (just), Lauakai stood up. Yes I have bagged the last two, and yes they are getting better, but their on ‘watch’ !

I remember the days when the ABs forwards and Grant Fox could execute a last minute drop goal with ease. In recent times under great pressure we have failed to do this. One of the reasons is player rotation, that’s because in training you never know what combination of players you will have on the field in the last 5 minutes, so how can your rehearse it. In game rotation should be used very carefully.

The Dunedin game was about the RWC Boks showing after being ambushed in the first test, that they have what it takes to win on tour, they must be favorites to win the Tri Nations. The ABs have been exposed, the Aussies have a real chance of plucking the Bledisloe Cup from us ! The thinking power of Henry and Deans will be the greatest show in town over the next couple of months, will ‘international newcomer’ Deans show up the ‘old dog’ Henry, time will tell. Lets hope the Dunedin game will be the catalyst for much smarter thinking in the AB camp. This was the type of game we need before the RWC 2007 world cup, and damn good reality check !

This was truly a great historic win for the Boks, and we let them have it, how is said, the ABs snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Go the ABs, two weeks to sharpen up, no more Veitch’s !!

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Sabbatical Rule Warning: Dan returning under cooked!


    Medium Rare Steak

We all know that Dan is off to play rugby in France and returning for All Black duties in the Tri Nations 2010. It has been said that he is not an automatic selection for the All Blacks on returning, yeah right !

 Consider this statement from Richard Loe A test to warm an old prop’s heart after the AB win over the Boks (on 5-7-2008).

 ..”However, you could say with justification: Victor who? Matfield is acknowledged as pretty much the best lock in world rugby – although Ali Williams blew him away last night – but he looked out of it to me.

That’s what happens when you play club rugby in France and then come into a white-hot test like that”..

Isn’t that exactly what Dan Carter will be doing, wont he be under cooked for critical tests the year of his return. The cost of the sabbatical may be too high !