Monday, November 13, 2006

Proud to Be a Kiwi

What a weekend of sport! The All Blacks thump the French. The Kiwi League team smashes the Pomes! The combined scores of both opposition teams fails to exceed 10...thats a thrashing for the northern hemisphere. Thats without mentioned England's loss to Argentina...oops I just mentioned it...while I am mentioning it - thats Argentina AWAY - they play at least 50% better at home - this truly is a woeful English team.

Remember the Kiwi league team nearly beat Aussie after a disappointing start to the Tri Nations - but now they have comprehensively outplayed the Pomes twice. We can only pray the Aussies wake up and beat the Pomes next week (I know that doesn't feel right to me either) so that we get the final against the Aussies - which we will win.

The AB's seems head and shoulders above the rest of the world right now. Not that I overrate a bumbling French team whose lineout play and defence were lowert han club level. Even so, you'd have to say the AB's still have a lot of improvement in them - this was not a vintage performance from them even though it was a crushing victory. The scrum was destructive and the scrambling defence superb. But the first up defence was tested by the French at times - Luke McAlister probably played himself out of a first pick place at second five for the World Cup. The lineout was adequate but flattered by an awful French lineout. On attack there were some issues with fluency - again it was the counterattack and individual brilliance which opened the French up. So I won't get too carried away with this performance but nor will I jump on the "AB's are peaking too early" bandwagon. They will need to be even better to take the world cup next year.

The selectors are threatening to pick their first XV next week for the second test against the French - here's my effort:

MacDonald
Sivivatu
Gear
Smith
Mauger
Carter
Kelleher
Soi'alo
Collins
McCaw
Jack
Robinson
Hayman
Mealamu
Woodcock

Reserves: Weepu, Nonu, Muliaina, Tialata, Oliver, Williams, Masoe

Williams is very unlucky - he is playing very well - I just like Robinson's hardness and reliability at lineout time. McAlister is also very unlucky not to get a bench spot. But with Mauger able to shift into 1stV and no other fullback on the field you've got to give Mils a run. In a straight swap with Nonu, the big man gets the nod as a genuine impact player - especially against northern hemisphere teams who just can't handle the psychological and actual impact of a player like Nonu.

Bring it on!

11 comments:

onscreen said...

Yawn.

BJ said...

Now do I yawn at X Box, movie or book reviews?

Or was that in response to the message last night?

Steve Goble said...

We may not be much at sport, but at least we can spell pommies!

:)

BJ said...

Well when I was in school (a long time ago) we were taught that "POME" was a slang term for "the English" bestowed on those convicts arriving in Aussie - derived from the acronym Prisoner of Mother England...

A "Pomme" is an apple...

A "Pom" is one half of a "pom pom"

So I've always spelled it that way...

Steve Goble said...

That would make sense - I guess it got corrupted with time. Fine sermon on Sunday by the way!

BJ said...

ty

Rhett said...

Muliaina
Sivivatu
Rokocoko
Smith
Mauger
Carter
Kelleher
Soia'lo
Collins
McKaw
Jack
Robinson
Hayman
Mealamu
Woodcock

Reserves: Weepu, McAlister, McDonald, Tialata, Williams, Masoe

Very similar... I don't rate Nonu one bit and I think it's a joke he's starting this week. The guy definitely doesn't seem to have a lot going on upstairs.

I agree McAlister is hard done by, but what a player to hold in reserve. I'd day if there is anyone who should be fighting for his place then it's Mauger, who I think is a tad overated.

It's obvious the team for this weeks test is not the top 15.

BJ said...

I agree on McAlister but i thought he did his chances no good with 2 bad misses on defence - Nonu is not great in that department either but he's better at second V than centre on defence. I have to say if we were playing South Africa or Aussie I wouldn't even have Nonu in the reserves - but northern hemisphere teams don't handle big island boys running at them.

MacDonald for Muliaina is a real toss up - MacDonald just appeals as the slightly more solid in defence which is desirable against a kicking prone northern hemisphere team. But then one might argue Mils is great on the counter attack. Of course MacDonald is no slouch running it back either and I think Mils is best in set plays where he is great in feeding his outsides. Which means I'm not that worried if he's at centre.

When it comes to Joe, if he's on form I'd have him ahead of Rico, but right now I'd say Rico is shading him.

Is this the best XV? Well apart from Nonu, you'd have to argue it could be in the selector's eyes and they say he is the form 2nd V. Mils has had a number of runs at centre so you can't really call that a rogue selection - he is one of the 15 best players - its just they have 2 awesome fullbacks.

Anyways - I'm thinking of turning this into a sports blog...

Steve Deur said...

DOWN WITH THE FRENCH!
DOWN WITH THE POMES!
Thanks for the world sports update.
We only get American stuff here. :)

Steve Deur said...

PS - I chose to use Brett's spelling since he is smart. :)

Steve Goble said...

I chose to use Dictionary.com's. :)