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Speaker: It's the recrimination I don't need …

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  • giovanni tiso,

    [Brazil,] who went to several of those interim world cups with absolutely fantastic teams (Socrates, Falcao, Zico anyone?), and who for five long tournaments discovered to their cost that playing the prettiest football doesn't always win you the game.

    Sadly, the beautiful and romantic game often loses to the prosaic, ruthless, and pragmatic :)

    Yes, they brought in stodgy, dour Carlos Dunga and it started raining world cups. Then again, the ABs under Henry had it all - a tremendous backline and a steely, formidable forward pack - and on paper ought to have been able to play both kinds of game equally well. But then, come crunch time, they seemed uncertain on which tactic to employ. It helps to know who you are, I guess.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Are you saying that the ABs couldn't have won the game yesterday?

    No, I'm saying the ref had an undue and disgraceful influence on the outcome. And dispute your assertion that it is correct for a ref to favour the host team.

    Like I said earlier, the serious game-changing decisions (tries/yellow & red cards) ought to be confirmed by the TMO.

    And the ABs need to get some really good sports psychology onboard to help them deal with these pressure games.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 455 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Richard, I see you've adopted Socrates as your gravatar. It's a nice choice. And the French team led by Michel Platini in the 1980s was also an incredible side.

    It sounds strange to say it but maybe the ABs just weren't ruthless and clinical enough?

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And dispute your assertion that it is correct for a ref to favour the host team.

    I'm not saying it's correct, I'm saying it's what happens, way more often than not. If you don't expect it, or if you freeze when it happens (a-la Azzurri against Korea in 2002), then you're going to be in trouble.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Warwick Eade,

    The pick and go grind was the way to go against a very resolute French defence. It was expertly executed by the AB’s and it got them into many scoring positions.

    They just didn’t realise they were playing in a game without the offside laws. In any other test we would have seen 4-5 kickable penalties for the AB’s in the final 60 minutes.

    The ref bottled.

    Nothing wrong with the AB’s psych.

    Kind of the opposite in 2002 where the ref didn't bottle and stood up and awarded a legit penalty to minnows that Italy never expected would be given because they were playing minnows.

    Auckland. NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Peter: But no England team has ever gone into a football world cup touted as the dominant team and favourite in the way that the ABs were before this tournament. Brazil usually and the Dutch in 1978 and 1974 but never England.

    True, the dominance doesn't tie up but I was trying to say that England had their best chance to get the 1966 monkey off their backs in 1990 and failure to do so looks to me like they may never actually do it. In successive tournaments they've been getting worse.

    Likewise, I feel no optimism about our future chances seeing this one get away. If the AB's next year are without...
    Oliver
    Hayman
    Jack
    Robinson
    Collins
    Thorne
    Kelleher
    Weepu(?)
    McAlister
    Mauger
    Muliaina
    Howlett

    ...and possibly others. How do you think we are going to go over the next few years?

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 884 posts Report Reply

  • JP Hansen,

    It's interesting and amusing to compare the coverage of our loss on the front pages of Stuff.co.nz, nzherald.co.nz etc with the coverage of the Aussie loss across the Tasman from the Rugby States' newspapers:

    Sydney Morning Herald

    Canberra Times

    Queenslan Courier Mail

    Waitakere • Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    They just didn’t realise they were playing in a game without the offside laws. In any other test we would have seen 4-5 kickable penalties for the AB’s in the final 60 minutes.

    Yeh, that's the question that should've been asked of Paddy O'Brien. 'What the hell's happened to offside, Paddy? It's disappeared on your watch!'

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 884 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Kind of the opposite in 2002 where the ref didn't bottle and stood up and awarded a legit penalty to minnows that Italy never expected would be given because they were playing minnows.

    Nothing wrong with that initial penalty. The ref totally lost his cool in extra time, starting off when he red carded Totti for supposedly diving in the box while looking at the action from 50 metres away. Again, an inexperienced guy, like yesterday, who under pressure started favouring the home team. I wasn't particularly shocked then, and I certainly wasn't shocked yesterday.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The pick and go grind was the way to go against a very resolute French defence

    I think history may prove otherwise.

    And if McCaw thought we had such good cause for a penalty he should’ve pointed this out to Barnes. He was criticized after the MCG shambles for not doing that; surely the best prepared All Black side of all time should have sorted that part out?

    When we ran the ball in the first 20 minutes we looked dangerous.

    And BTW, is there seriously anyone out there who still thinks the McAllister check was purely accidental?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And BTW, is there seriously anyone out there who still thinks the McAllister check was purely accidental?

    He himself admitted it wasn't, that he merely positioned himself and held his ground in the other guy's running lane - surely the definition of what obstruction is? You do that kind of stuff near the try line at your own peril I would have thought.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Warwick Eade,

    You cannot compare one yellow card decision with wholesale removal of offside from the game - there's no comparison. The Azzurri were complacent, the ABs were stitched up.

    Auckland. NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And the Ottawa Senators are 3-0-0. It's early days, admittedly.

    You don't often get to gloat in NZ, so I'll just say...

    DUCKS! 4-1! The Stanley Cup! Haha!

    Now returning you to your scheduled rugby misery.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Warwick Eade,

    And if McCaw thought we had such good cause for a penalty he should’ve pointed this out to Barnes.

    Yes, I think if had Gregan been our half back we would have won the game.

    In all football codes you are allowed to hold your ground. If you run at a defender he doesn't haveto get out of the way - it's absurd.

    Auckland. NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    You play to the ref’s interpretations Warwick E (and the ref was consistent on the offsides) It’s just simple denial to say we were stitched up,

    As for the complacency bit; which one of the following was not complacent?

    Picking a clearly unfit Keith Robinson for the quarter final with the logic that he needed to be match hardened for the “games to follow”. Complacency mixed with arrogance, and motivation for the opposition. Unbelievable.

    Dan Carter’s causal cross-filed kick from inside his 22 towards the end of the first half. Premature showing off.

    An obvious lack of analysis into the French strengths and weaknesses. For a side that had so much coaching input, you could have expected some appreciation of the opposition, rather than totally relying on your own efforts.

    The contrast in passion between New Zealand and the French side, who was under so much pressure and criticism from home… Did the players actually believe the predictions from the likes of Mains and Fox that this would be a 30 point drubbing?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    You don't often get to gloat in NZ, so I'll just say...

    DUCKS! 4-1! The Stanley Cup! Haha!

    Dude, that is HARSH.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    He himself admitted it wasn't, that he merely positioned himself and held his ground in the other guy's running lane - surely the definition of what obstruction is? You do that kind of stuff near the try line at your own peril I would have thought.

    I'm not a rugby referee, but my understanding of the rule is that he's entitled to run a line a reasonable amount of time after the kick has been made. He has a second or so to stop and change his line.

    And he's entirely justified in being in the other team's running lane. You're not required to get out of their way, that's their problem, they have to move around you.

    It's obstruction is he moves into their lane when he could avoid it, or holds him back without the ball.

    The question really is, was McAlister entitled to be at that place. If he's entitled to be at that spot on the field, that length of time after the kick, then the French player has just ran into him, and that's tough luck for the French guy.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Andy Milne,

    I'm saying the ref had an undue and disgraceful influence on the outcome.

    Exactly right. It was the ref who stopped us scoring tries despite our glut of posession. It was the ref who decided we should let Rokocoko and Sivivatu become passengers in the second half. It was the ref who decided we should persevere in trying to grind out a forwards try when we were 20metres out from the french line and a drop-goal was on. It was the ref who decided McAlister should wait til he was 50 metres out before he remebered the other way to score 3 points. It all makes perfect sense now - WE WUZ ROBBED! Just wait - Barnes will get a gold watch from the Presidend of the French RFU for a job well done.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Warwick Eade,

    One thing saldly lacking in rugby punditry is actually discussing what happened on the field. Passion, mongrelness, corporateness, pampering and arrogance has to be given a context on how we lost the game on the field otherwise its just hot air.

    The tight five (including Robinson) owned the French at scrum time, in lineouts and at rucks (mauls were more even I think) . The cross field kick had no outcome.

    We lost, that happens. Did we deserve to lose? In '99 and '03 yes. Yesterday the ref's decisions (well documented already) on the field were the overwhelming difference. Everything else is trivial in comparison.

    Auckland. NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    To me the McAlister action (all the more so the way he explained it) looks exactly like the picture here, except he had his back turned to the guy. I still think it was harsh, mind you, but not out of this world.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Warwick Eade,

    Question boils down to this: Is there any point where you guys would consider that that referee calls made the difference between winning or losing?

    Sure the ABs could have been better (that's their cross to carry no matter how well they win). And they regularly lose to better teams on the field. But from a 2 point margin, where there's a 17 point swing from the ref.....the best team lost.

    Auckland. NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Warwick Eade,

    except he had his back turned to the guy

    Except he had his backed turned to him is a decent sized exception.
    Even backhanded I cannot see Luke McAlisatiar with his arm across the chest.

    (I guess then we're not arguing about McAlistair's right to hold his ground.)

    Auckland. NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Luke modified his line (slightly) to be in the way of the French guy.

    Just as well it was an average kick in the first place; otherwise he’d have conceded a penalty try.

    Hard Man Robinson was pretty anonymous throughout in a game that should've suited him. The Crater kick was part of a period of play where we couldn't clear it from our line leading up to the first French points; HUGELY SIGNIFICANT in the balance of the match. That is discussing what happened on the field

    The rest of my points are to echo what Andy Milne is saying.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Breaking News: This is almost the final straw.

    I’ve just heard former All Black coach Graham Henry say on TV the Luke sin-binning was significant because it occurred when the All Blacks were on top.

    If we were so on top, why were we illegally obstructing players to stop a try being scored?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Picking a clearly unfit Keith Robinson for the quarter final with the logic that he needed to be match hardened for the “games to follow”. Complacency mixed with arrogance, and motivation for the opposition. Unbelievable.

    You make some good points, but what exactly did Robinson do wrong, or not do that Jack would have? We won all our lineouts and six of theirs, so I can't really see that the problem was at lock.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

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