All Cracks

Talk about hysterical:

Scott Robertson looks the man to step in and resuscitate these ailing All Blacks

Ailing? They lost one game!

Any hope Steve Hansen’s assistant, Ian Foster, had of stepping into the top role almost certainly went down the gurgler with the All Blacks’ threepeat prospects at Yokohama’s International Stadium on Saturday night.

I wondered who the Kiwis would use as a scapegoat. They couldn’t very well turn on Steve Hansen, who had delivered them everything (except for a series win over the British & Irish Lions, hehehe). None of the individual players had done much wrong, except maybe Sam Whitelock who gave away a couple of silly penalties and they’re not going to turn on him. So it falls to Hansen’s assistant who, of course, is suddenly unsuited to work in rugby ever again.

New Zealand Rugby must learn too. It must understand that all good things come to an end and it is time for some freshness in these All Blacks.

This is written as if the All Blacks were made up of a bunch of ageing has-beens resting on their laurels from earlier victories. Players like Jack Goodhue (aged 24), Jordie Barrett (22), George Bridge (24), Richie Mo’unga (25), Scott Barrett (25), and Anton Lienert-Brown (24). Yes, a right team of unfresh veterans, that one. Whereas the team which won in 2015 had Richie McCaw, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Dan Carter, and Kevin Mealamu who were all over 33. Whatever the problem was with the All Blacks yesterday – and if we’re being honest it was a brilliantly trained and prepared England not letting them play – it wasn’t a lack of freshness.

Robertson, the charismatic, hugely successful former All Black and Crusaders coach, appeals as the logical successor. He is a modern thinker, an innovator and a motivator, and he has the midas touch. His franchise has won everything from the minute he toolk over.

The Kiwis have lost one game and they’re already in full-on panic and looking for a saviour. They should try being Welsh for a while. We get to a RWC semi-final with a brilliant coach and play as if it’s a dead rubber against a side which looks equally uninterested.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden fights back tears of grief as Steve Hanson explains why he started Scott Barrett at 6. A month of national mourning has been declared, and new laws have been introduced making sharing of the match footage on social media punishable by up to 5 years in prison.


18 thoughts on “All Cracks

  1. Yep the Wales Boks game was a damp squib alright. I didn’t rate the AB Poms game yesterday either, all credit to England they are looking invincible and they would have to be quids in against the Boks if they played the same as they did today.

    I thought the quarter finals were far more entertaining than the semis with the Boks looking far better last weekend than today. Maybe they will rise to the occasion next weekend otherwise it will be a pushover.

  2. Spot on, Tim. btw, have you seen the all black cover of today’s NZ Herald?
    Scroll down in this link to the Mail:

    I don’t know what match Bardon was watching yesterday, but it wasn’t the match in Yokohama. Ian McGeechan has a rather more accurate and literate appreciation of the NZ v England match – and he’s a Scot:

    Tim, sorry your chaps went out – but it was a pretty dismal affair, wasn’t it? I hope England don’t allow themselves to get smothered by yet more Bok boot and grunt on Saturday.

  3. Don’t forget that here in sunny New Zealand by the flyover, Rugby substitutes for religion, patriotism, oxygen and Mom’s apple pie (OK, I was joking about the apple pie – that is American). The All Blacks are discussed and analysed more fully than Trotsky, Marx and Engels would discuss the more obscure aspects of their religion.

    If you are NOT bothered by sport DO NOT turn the radio on over the weekend.

  4. Coach Foster had an unfortunate tendency to have very good teams that crack at the big game. The year the Chiefs made the finals was embarrassingly like the semi-final.

    There are a lot of Kiwi rugby fans who have never wanted Foster anywhere near the All Blacks. I’m a fully signed up member of that group thanks to the shit he put me through with the Chiefs.

    It is one game, but if that’s a stick with which to beat him so someone else gets the job, then I’m all for it. If he gets the gig expect a lot more historic defeats for the All Blacks.

  5. Thanks for the background on Foster, Chester. I only started watching Super Rugby in 2011 so wasn’t aware of who he was. I hope the AB’s don’t hire Scott Robinson though, I rather like what he’s done for my preferred team, the Crusaders.

  6. Steve Hansen is New Zealand’s Ricky Ponting:

    A fully capable deputy during an era when the majority of the team were the best players in their position/skill in the world.

    But then, just as those once in a generation players retired, he was handed the big job and was found lacking.

    Hansen’s 2015 World Cup was with a player group and structure Graham Henry had built to win in 2011. For 2019, he had to build his own team and playing style and was unable to.

  7. As I said elsewhere, its amazing how ordinary the ABs look when the opposition don’t pay due respect by dropping back a meter and giving them space to play.

    There’s no doubt they’re still a great team and will stay at the top of rugby, but they’re starting to loose that air of invincibility which gives other teams belief, half the battle when playing great teams.

    And another thought, having a national scapegoating exercise after one loss, in a semi-final where anything can happen, will put undue pressure on future managers and teams and make them more likely to make mistakes and lose. Its also disrespectful to England who played very well.

  8. Ardern is such an offensive racist. The hair must be fully covered, not all poking out like that. And make up? And a woman ruling a country???

    Curse her islamohobic cultural appropriation.

  9. If it don’t have ice, sticks and pucks, it’s futbol, or baseball or some such piffle.

  10. For Arden read Ardern.

    England has a secret weapon for the final — Bok coach Rassie Erasmus who, despite being convincingly shown in Super Rugby that kicking away possession from the base of the scrum is a Bad Idea, has pulled the same tired trick out of his sleeve for RWC 2019. I’m looking to make a killing betting on England.

  11. I’m looking to make a killing betting on England.

    England at 8/13 today. You’d need to stick a lot of cash on to make a killing.

    I didn’t rate the AB Poms game yesterday either

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Of course you didn’t.

  12. >Steve Hansen is New Zealand’s Ricky Ponting:

    Ponting was given the top job before most of those once in a generation (or more) players retired. He was found wanting (in 2005, mainly) before they retired, and should have been sacked at about the same time they went. Yet he was kept on for years and years and years and years and years after that. That was when the people in charge of Australian cricket had clearly lost the plot.

  13. “England odds now 8/13.”

    I say old chap, our lot could be a sitting duck with numbers like that.

    But I am sure that things can only get better for our English lions, just as long as Bill of Ockham doesn’t publish one of his notorious, poisoned chalice like hubristic England innit posts.

    Take it away Peter………………..

    “Walk my path
    Wear my shoes
    Talk like that
    I’ll be an angel then
    Things can only get better
    Can only get better, now
    I found you”

  14. England 8/15. Yarpies 9/4. Not worth a bet.
    Wales at 71/2 is attractive odds. Don’t put too much on it but NZ might field a second XV + Kieran Reid
    England by 21+ points is 11/1 which is realistic if the weather is kind.

  15. Jamie George the English hooker thinks that the odds are far tighter than the bookies do.

    “And he believes his side will also need to be at their best when the tension is at its highest if they are to beat the Springboks in Yokohama on and seal a second Rugby World Cup triumph for England following their 2003 success.

    Fine margins isn’t it?, George told reporters at England’s hotel in Tokyo.

    A big thing that I have thought about is your ability to perform your skill under the highest pressure,” the British and Irish Lions international added.

    If you think back to that super over and the last run out – Jason Roy’s throw – he had to pick the ball up first, the ball is coming to him at speed, he’s done it a thousand times before but doing it under that pressure, knowing that he needs to get it there in that moment… Jos Buttler taking the stumps.”

    PointsBet is offering a free first punt on their App if you are interested. You could vote with your heart and make nuffin in the final, or get creative on the 3rd & 4th play off and make a bob.

    Cash if you die, cash if you don’t.

  16. Jolly well sitting duck alright, their scrum got us a beauty.

    This is a far bigger upset than that damned Kruger fellow escaping over the border with our gold.

    Not to worry, things can only get better.

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