Monday, September 26, 2011

Apples With Apples

So with the French put to the sword the thoughts now swing to the knock out stage and the inevitable question: can we win the whole thing?  An interesting thought crossed my mind - how does the present team stack up against the team that lost the quarter final on 2007 - here's the match up

New Zealand 2007
1 Tony Woodcock           1. Tony Woodcock - is building nicely into form

2 Anton Oliver                 2. Keven Mealamu - a more dynamic player than Oliver, better lineouts

3 Carl Hayman                 3. Owen Franks - close call - the young up and comer maybe has it on defence

4 Keith Robinson              4. Brad Thorn - no contest - Thorn had another massive game on Saturday

5 Ali Williams                   5.  Sam Whitelock - there on form and as good as Ali ever was

6 Jerry Collins                  6.  Jerome Kaino - a more complete player and leading the defence

7 Richie McCaw (c)         7.  Richie McCaw - the game has changed - but look at the stats - still great leading the team in tackles, hit ups and metres gained - he's a better captain this time round as well

8 Rodney So'oialo           8.  Kieran Read - miles ahead lets hope he gets back

9 Byron Kelleher             9.  Piri Weepu - has the big game temperament Byron lacked

10 Dan Carter                10. Dan Carter - has learned how to drop kick

11 Sitiveni Sivivatu         11.  Richard Kahui - such different players - I like the creative solidity of Kahui

12 Luke McAlister         12.  Maa Nonu - is he the most in-form back in the tournament?

13 Mils Muliaina             13.  Conrad Smith - well he's a actually a centre so...

14 Joe Rokocoko           14.  Corey Jane - at his best Joe was amazing but Jane is so constructive

15 Leon MacDonald       15.  Israel Dagg - on a different planet


16 Andrew Hore             16.  Andrew Hore - not at his best yet

17 Neemia Tialata           17.  Ben Franks - maybe a close run thing but a difference in ticker for sure

18 Chris Jack                  18.  Ali Williams - streets ahead as an impact lock

19 Chris Masoe               19.  Thompson/Vito - both are better

20 Brendon Leonard        20.  Ellis/Cowan - both are better

21 Nick Evans                 22.  Colin Slade - a toss up here - Evans never quite stepped up, Slade has yet to

22 Isaia Toeava                22.  Sonny Bill Williams - more game and makes less mistakes

Overall?  A better team I think in 2011.  Although to be fair that quarterfinal team had a younger Smith available (the 2011 version has bulked up and has greater physical presence) and Mils available for fullback.  The selectors were so in love with Leon though they wanted to find room for both.  No such sentiment this time round.  Mils is dropped and Dagg is in.


Rhett said...

Is this what you blog has come to?

BJ said...

serious journalism and research?

BJ said...

Like the logic behind so many of the selections for the Canada game

Rhett said...

Ok, so here's where I don't agree...

1. 2011 Tony Woodcock is unfit and out of form and can't hold up a scrum. I think he's the worst performing AB at present.

3. Hayman was one of the best AB props ever. Franks is probably out best prop in 2011, but he's still young. Promising though.

8. I wonder if the view of So'oialo is clouded by his average form late in his career. At his peak he was really great. But agreed, Read is better.

9. I think Byron was a better all round halfback than anyone we have now and that's born out by the selection roundabout in that position in recent years. But I really like Piri and agree on his temperament.

11 & 14. At their peaks Sitiveni and Joe were better than Jane and Kahui at scoring tries, no doubt. It's a hard comparison though because the game has changed and Jane and Kahui are allrounders who you'd probably have in the team over those guys in 2011.

21. Nick Evans was probably one of the top 5 ABs at the 2007 RWC. If he'd stayed around we'd have him as Carter's backup ahead of Slade any day.

...Otherwise I agree. :-)

Now go back to writing about the emerging church or something. :-)

BJ said...

the emerging church is dead...