Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: All Blacks v South Africa – 30/07/11

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  • Yamis,

    Something to ponder:

    In 1999 we beat France 54-7 at Athletic Park. Later that year they blew us out of the RWC.

    In 2003 we dorked Aussie 50-21 in Aussie and then 21-17 at Eden Park. Later they shut us down completely 22-10 and out of the RWC we go.

    In 2007 we savaged France 61-10 and 42-11. And we all remember a few months later they kissed us good bye in Wales and out of the RWC.

    See the theme?

    Since Nov 2006 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yup, but it was just a different game to watch in the second half. A much better performance by the Wallabies, many lessons for both teams there.

    I'm with Gio. There were things to worry about, but mostly the All Blacks' intensity dropped because they had the game won.

    It also seemed to us from the stands that Joubert made some astonishing decisions at the tackle. The turnover that led to the first Aussie trial -- surely the Wallaby player who claimed the ball was never onside?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17936 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Yamis,

    See the theme?

    Yes, we’re too afraid to have confidence in a team that fully deserves it because of the patterns of history.

    When they start faltering against tough opposition I’ll start to worry, but I agree with Gio. The second half of last night was too late for Australia to do anything, so Henry and Co experimented a little, and took a few key players off, and messed with the backline. Even if we hadn’t scored a point in the second half, we would have won by 3. Turns out we won by 16.

    Would it kill us to rejoice a little?

    ETA: Snap-ish.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    It was a different game because it was over. If the Wallabies take any heart from having 'won the second half', they're toast.

    I disagree on both counts. A 17 point lead isn't really that much in rugby, can be reversed in 5 minutes. And beating the All Blacks for half a game is something only a handful of teams can do, definitely something to take encouragement from.

    But, of course, the All Blacks will be learning from that too. And, naturally, thrashing Oz is a very good sign.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8011 posts Report Reply

  • perplexed,

    Come on folks, it was a good win, lets be happy with that. Doesn't prove anything for the WC but what the hey. All the talk before hand was that we would dominate scrums and Wallabies were dangerous in the backs. I would call it no better than parity in scrums (until the last 10 minutes) and we absolutely dominated in the backs, Carter / Nonu / Smith were as good as I have ever seen.

    It did raise a few issues up for me, namely

    1) SBW hasn't made an impact off the bench all year and he only covers for one position - so what is his (rugby) value proposition?
    2) Wyatt Crockett is not yet AB quality, again giving away scrum penalties.,

    Wellington • Since Aug 2011 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    From some stuff I read around the start of the 3N, the ABs were concerned about how they had been getting punished (last season?) for having a too-dominant scrum when the opposition collapsed. This then led them to the concept of not overpowering the opposition but instead holding them up (to prevent the collapse) and taking the chance that the opposition might make something out of the scrum.

    I think this is why (1 of the reasons) Crockett didn't look as effective - he's trying to hold up the man inside him from a position where he has trouble maintaining his bind.

    Anyone else a bit frustrated at how long Piri Weepu was taking to get the ball out of some of those rucks? He looked well short of pace a number of times and his service was slow. He's great off the bench but I'm not seeing him as a run-on half-back.
    Carter and Smith were awesome - like having extra loose-forwards out in the backline.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 552 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I’m sure we can find a fullback to play centre in a key game for the 4th world cup in a row.

    McAlister was the 13 in the quarterfinal in 2007 - certainly not a fullback.

    See the theme?

    It's not a very useful analysis though is it? What would you do different? Do we think that the team aren't going to turn over every stone to ensure that no one beats them? Do we want them not to pound every opposition before the World Cup? It's really a lesson that pre-WC games don't mean anything, and I think they already know that.

    Anyone else a bit frustrated at how long Piri Weepu was taking to get the ball out of some of those rucks?

    +1. The pick and go is looking very ineffectual as any forwards they're dragging into the ruck have time to get out of it and set in the line. The forwards and Weepu need to take a leaf from Mils - every time he got tackled he reached right back and placed the ball a metre behind him while the forwards rolled over the top. Fantastic quick ball.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    What would you do different?

    I think the obvious answer is forfeit all the games. In 1987 the All Blacks didn't play any tests before the World Cup.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Poole,

    Kyle: McAlister was 12, centre was played by Mils who had indeed been shifted from fullback. Something of a sad run we've got going.

    Since Dec 2008 • 161 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    McAlister was the 13 in the quarterfinal in 2007 – certainly not a fullback.

    99.99% sure that Muliaina played centre that day with McAlister at 2nd 5.

    Simon Poole Snap.

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    If the theme is "redundency", I think we're a little vulnerable at fullback at the moment - but not centre where Nonu could cover - will Dagg or Toeva travel to the Republic? If not, surely Jane could get a run on game there?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    David, Simon, you're right about McAlister starting at 12 - not that I could specifically recall but the allblacks site provides full match stats including for that particular loss.

    ETA but he did shift to 10 when Evans was injured... (sorry if this is painful, I remember the thread here in the days after...)

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Williams,

    If the theme is “redundency”, I think we’re a little vulnerable at fullback at the moment – but not centre where Nonu could cover – will Dagg or Toeva travel to the Republic? If not, surely Jane could get a run on game there?

    Word is that both Toeva and Dagg will travel -- and that Mils might be looking to his laurels a bit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17936 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Poole,

    Kyle: McAlister was 12, centre was played by Mils who had indeed been shifted from fullback. Something of a sad run we’ve got going.

    When you think about it now, that's a horrible midfield.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17936 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Word is that both Toeva and Dagg will travel -- and that Mils might be looking to his laurels a bit.

    I'd never write off Mils, but he's not been at his best this season. As much as I like Toeava, he's been out for a while and hasn't always performed. Dagg had a great last season but hasn't played much... if anyone wanted my entirely inexpert opinion, Jane's got to be the obvious one to groom?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Sheesh. That'll learn me.

    I posted that because people (not you guys) have been doing what they always do and going on about what a great omen it is for the RWC. Most of the media before and after the game is about what the result 'means' either bluntly or subtely. In other words, what it means for later in the season.

    Recordiari:

    Yes, we’re too afraid to have confidence in a team that fully deserves it because of the patterns of history.

    We beat France by 47 points in 99, Aussie by 29 in 03 and France by 51 in 07 and had full confidence then as well. Turned out we shouldn't have ;)

    It's a knockout comp. We'll be out of it before we even realise WTF happened. Or else we'll win it (most likely in a totally different way to Sat night).

    The games now mean absolutely nothing for the RWC. Which was my point. I vividly remember people planning the victory parade up Queen St before the 95 World Cup final as well based on how dominant we had been. France in 99 was a little bump in the road on our way to great places, as was Aussie in 03 and the coaches in 07 have admitted to looking past France in the quarters to games beyond despite what had happened in previous tournaments.

    My advice would be to enjoy the win and worry about the other games when they roll around.

    What I expect though is that we (fans) will have an eye on the semi before we play the quarter, and if we make the semi we'll have an eye on the final, and if we make the final we'll have an eye on the cup. All bad, bad habits that we didn't learn from in 99, 03, and 07.

    So why should now be any different?

    I just hope that none of the players and coaches are doing the same thing and I honestly think that this time they won't. They've said as much, that they will treat every knockout game as though it could be their last.

    We are fortunate that we have the same coaching group as last time and same captain and First Five amongst others. I think if we do crap out it'll take one mammoth effort from our opponents (and some dodgy reffing like last time ;) )

    Since Nov 2006 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Nothing I say will have any effect on the All Blacks, and it's fun to speculate. So I'm happy to remain the firm custodian of my emotional reaction to spanking the Wallabies. Of course I'm stoked. We won the Bledisloe, again!

    But the World Cup is the WORLD cup. It's a bloody big ask for anyone to win it. I'm neither going to expect this win to mean a similar result during the Cup, nor am I going to discount how encouraging it is.

    I think the obvious answer is forfeit all the games. In 1987 the All Blacks didn't play any tests before the World Cup.

    Quite.

    To me, the World Cup is like a game of nine-ball. In nine ball, the winner is the person who sinks the nine ball. The other balls usually get sunk first, so a lot of games end up with a battle for the nine ball. It could seem irrelevant who sunk the other eight balls on the table. And it both is and isn't relevant. There is a big psychological advantage to having knocked in all of the other balls, it shows your eye is in better form to the other player. But still, if it's down to a fight for the nine-ball, it often just comes down to luck. Even the worst player can get a flukey shot in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8011 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    or sink the white

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15711 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    When you think about it now, that's a horrible midfield.

    Indeed. That doesn't even count starting Dan Carter despite the fact that he was injured, having Nick Evans on the bench and leaving Aaron Mauger out of the 22 entirely. DC was replaced fairly early by Evans, but then Evans got injured and we were left with... McAlister. Toeava subbed in to 12 I think, or perhaps Mils moved in a slot and Toeava went to 13.

    In hindsight, it was horrible. Even if the only change had been to start Nick Evans and have Mauger on the Bench as 10/12 cover.

    Still, it's a bit moot now and we can only hope than Henry learnt his lesson; no other NZ Coach has had two shots at the cup.

    Since Dec 2008 • 161 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    The details of the movements in the backline from that game are my post above with the link to the ABs site. I totally agree leaving Mauger out altogether was wrong, likewise Howlett (who can play full back and kick, unlike Sivi, who started).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    99.99% sure that Muliaina played centre that day with McAlister at 2nd 5.

    Hmm you're right. Must have blanked that out in my memory.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

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