Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rhett's Rugby Rant

Alright, so a first for my blog, a request for a topic! From Rhett the blogless one. He's so dying to talk about Rugby I will post...

First up Chris Rattue is a prize pillock. Today's article saying he will cheer the opposition in Wales on the AB tour is crazy and unpatriotic. There's a big difference between expressing a point of view about coaches and tactics and selections and turning your back on the national side. Go dropkick yourself Chris.

Moving to the most interesting part of the selection announcement, the coach reshuffle. This is how I see it:

  • Its a demotion for Hansen - Henry, the only coach who has actually succeeded in his specialist area of defence, moves into the trouble area of the lineouts - already his media offensive has been highly effective - lets hope his coaching is as good;

  • Its a demotion for Smith - he loses the backs and gets defence instead - now Smithie just work the old axiom "if it ain't broke don't fix it". The problem with Smith is he is full of great ideas but is a crap coach. Remember the flat backline anyone? I can see it now: "We are working on a new defensive strategy. Basically we are turning our backs on the opposition so that we are ready for pop kicks over the top and in a better position to chase opposition players who breach our first line of defence...we're calling it the back flatline....";

  • The only curious piece in this is Hansen getting the backs. Now the first point in his favour is that he was a back, despite his porcine tendencies towards front row physique. And he was coach of a successful Crusaders unit back in the day, who were masters of the counterattack. Of course if it doesn't work we can all just flush the dunny and move on...

As for the players? Kind of predictable in most areas:

  • Sad but expected move on Ross - lets hope he can still run when he comes out of the gym

  • A pleasant surprise on Messam

  • A shock on Delaney when everyone was picking the Manawatu lad, but the distinguishing features of age and a decent kicking game are revealing...

  • A big surprise with De Malmanche omitted. I'm picking this is Henry's first foray into "owning" the forwards - if I'm going to coach the lineout you better believe I am not going to pick someone who can't throw the ball in...

  • Ben Smith was the selectors way of making sure NO ONE got the full team right...lets hope its not another roll of the dice aka Wulf, Gear, Tuitavake etc

  • Guildford is rewarded for solid form and he has in Kirtonese language - "gas" - there's a novelty in recent AB sides a winger with pace...

Thats all from me - have at it Mr Snell! Or we could meet for coffee and gasbag about it all :)

Oh and while I am now officially being solicted for blog posts would anyone like me to blog about the politicisation of the family unit and a critique of aspects of rights theory especially as applied to women?


Rhett said...

Thank you. I love that t-shirt. I believe Radio Sport is selling them. They are using a dance remix of that quote as a jingle at the moment.

As for the coaching reshuffle, I would have preferred a reshuffle which shuffled Smith and Hansen out the door. Henry is a good coach. But I'm just as worried about Smith's wacky theories on defense as you are. Hopefully Hansen won't do too much damage.

On De Malmanche... your point is a good one. I noticed how they seemed reluctant to even let him come off the bench at times. And then after the All Blacks games finished he decided to take a 3 week break rather than return to Waikato. Attitude problems? I just think he hasn't proven himself. Corey Flynn is a good choice, I reckon.

On some of the other new caps. Guilford is great. I hope they give him a chance. You'd have to think that Guilford and Jane are our best wing options at present. Or, perhaps Guilford and Sivevatu with Jane breathing down Mils's neck for the Fullback spot. People have a tremendous amount of goodwill for Mils but you'd have to think if he doesn't perform on this tour he will go the way of Rodney at No. 8. Having said all that, Jane really does deserve to start, doesn't he?

On the bolters... sometimes I just can't understand these coaches. Leaving out Gear and taking Smith? Why not take Wulf if you are looking for a kicking, defensive wing? And Delany!? A 27-year-old journeyman rather than a bright young talent. Gosh, if they are so set on taking Donald, surely they have the "average, mostly secure and steady" first five role filled? And with McAlister as back-up... Not sure why they didn't take Cruden.

And last but not least, glad they are taking Messam. Surely thsi shuts the door on Rodney? A loose-forward trio of McCaw, Thompson, Reid with Messam coming off the bench for more impact looks pretty darn good.

BJ said...

Personally, I think this is a "thanks for your efforts trip" for Rodney and Donald. Joe is a bit unlucky to miss out on the gravy train especially with the belief that has been shown in him this year. A third first V was always going to be a weird option unless as you say they went for youth. I can only think that they see Delaney ahead of Donald on form. The selections will be telling indeed in the "minor" games to see who gets the starting spots.