Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: All Blacks v Wallabies Tensionfest

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  • Russell Brown,

    There was a point during the QF against Argentina last weekend where we got a look at what the All Blacks had in store.

    At about the 50 min mark, McCaw and Thorn raised the intensity of their play at the tackle and breakdown and I thought "this is how they plan to play the semi".

    And they did. The controlled ferocity of the All Black forwards at the breakdown last night was incredible. Even where they couldn't drive the Wallabies off their own ball, they shunted them back and took Genia out of the game.

    Players stepped up and made key tackles at key times -- that effort by Owen Franks in the midfield that won a penalty was incredible. Cooper(?) had every reason to think he was going to step a front-rower and he just got demolished.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    McCaw snatched the ball from another player while he was upside down in the tackle ...as for Dagg's offload to Nonu for the try, SBW, how was the on entry handshake?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    He’s not perfect, but I’d much rather have him on my side.

    I just love how he runs. He seems to glide. It really draws the tacklers.

    I love the way his head is up while he runs. He is a lot more aware of what is happening around him than folks give him credit for and when he is tackled he is always half a metre further through the tackle than anyone else. No small talent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yes, I've noticed several times that he slows down gradually, when any other player would be powering on as hard as they could, this draws in several tacklers, and then he accelerates to bust through them and unload. It's straight from league and it works. Very unselfish player too, perfectly happy to offload even on a certain try, just to get it closer to the uprights.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    There were some truly great moments.

    Cory Jane chasing the high ball and seeing Cooper was going to take it, slowing down a fraction so that he could be accelerating as he hit Cooper, then having made the tackle bouncing to his feet and competing for the ball. It could have been a coaching video.

    Kaino picking up the Aussie in the tackle and carrying him away from the line, without dropping him or risking any injury. A combination of strength, skill and intelligence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Cruden's first real take on the line was a bad low ball pass at his feet - he gathered it easily in stride, his tackling for an 85kger was very steady as well.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Very unselfish player too, perfectly happy to offload even on a certain try

    Whereas Cruden seems to hang on to the ball a bit too much for my liking. Maybe just needs more development.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the intensity of their play

    Really want to see the French demolished with the same precision as that first 20 minutes last night.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    As much as I'd love to be NZ, there's something to say for watching the ABs thrash the Wobbolies in a pub full to the brim with Aussies... jus'sayn

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Williams,

    As much as I'd love to be NZ, there's something to say for watching the ABs thrash the Wobbolies in a pub full to the brim with Aussies... jus'sayn

    You lucky bugger. The whole time I lived there, we kept getting beat. It sucked. Had to put up with a lot of sledging.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Sacha,

    Really want to see the French demolished with the same precision as that first 20 minutes last night.

    <insert Blitzkreig/Blackshirt/Godwin pun of choice here>

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    I loved that we never looked like losing last night. Just complete control.

    God, is there a better defender in open play than Conrad Smith? He goes low, and gets his man every time….unbelievable.

    Also: if Kaino doesn’t get player of the tournament I will be very disappointed. The man is a colossus.

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Cory Jane chasing the high ball and seeing Cooper was going to take it, slowing down a fraction so that he could be accelerating as he hit Cooper

    Yeah that was very cool.
    Teh Guardian has an amusing player scoring thing

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Whereas Cruden seems to hang on to the ball a bit too much for my liking. Maybe just needs more development.

    My guess is that the coaches told him to back himself early, rather than just shoveling the ball along. I'm okay with that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I wonder if they thought the risk of spilling under pressure outweighed that of killing a move? Cruden just doesn't seem to be scanning for options as much yet.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Cory Jane chasing the high ball and seeing Cooper was going to take it, slowing down a fraction so that he could be accelerating as he hit Cooper

    I'm pretty sure that was Richard Kahui. Just to give credit where it's due.

    All Blacks were great, but I still think that performance was about seventy per cent of what they are capable of (opening twenty minutes aside, which was probably about ninety per cent). I hope to see fewer up-and-unders next week and a lot more ball in hand for the backs. If it clicks against France we'll win it by thirty points..

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to John Armstrong,

    All Blacks were great, but I still think that performance was about seventy per cent of what they are capable of (opening twenty minutes aside, which was probably about ninety per cent). I hope to see fewer up-and-unders next week and a lot more ball in hand for the backs. If it clicks against France we’ll win it by thirty points..

    I suppose it was, as our league friends say, "finals footy", in which it made more sense to defend a lead via the forwards than take unnecessary risks -- but like you, I hope that the ABs can really open up in the final. That backline going nuts for the last 30 mins would be a nice way to finish.

    But I am trying not to regard the result as a done deal ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to John Armstrong,

    If it clicks against France we'll win it by thirty points.

    +1

    That backline going nuts for the last 30 mins would be a nice way to finish

    +1!

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    But I am trying not to regard the result as a done deal

    This is the main problem. The French appear to have internal strife with the coach and senior players, they haven't really fired and they were lucky against Wales. Ominous

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to John Armstrong,

    I’m pretty sure that was Richard Kahui. Just to give credit where it’s due.

    Quite right, my apologies to Kahui

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That backline going nuts for the last 30 mins would be a nice way to finish

    Tt does seem that defensive lines for all the top teams are very very good. So the days when our backline could just carve them up at will seem to be over, even if we dominate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I had the good fortune to stroll past the Heritage hotel last week, just before the All Blacks walked out to their tour bus. I stopped to take some photos and the thing struck me was the air of calmness to the team. They just seemed happy in each other's company and exuded a quiet confidence (Cruden, not so much, but hey - who would, if they just arrived in the team?). At that point, I knew they were going to do the business on Sunday.

    France, OTOH, will probably pull another fantastic performance out of no-where and give the All Blacks some competition in the first stages of the match. But, like in 1987, the current team is simply in a different class to the French, so I can't see the French really competing.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Andre Joubert to ref the final.

    Phew....I heard he intends to leave the red card in his bag.....maybe? Do it Andre.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Cory Jane was unbelievable with those high ball takes in traffic.

    It didn't really affect the outcome but I thought it was big call by Joubert not to go upstairs and check Dagg's foot didn't cross the line before he passed inside for the try. He probably got the nod from the linesman but still if it had been the Wallabies who scored I'd have wanted him to double check .

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Bowden,

    Great game. Nos 1 to 20 superb (sorry Sonny Bill and Stephen Donald). A brilliant display of controlled aggression. Have never been so tense before or during a match. I hope I can enjoy the final a bit more.

    I am not 100% sure but they might not have been able to go upstairs for the Nonu try, as you can only check the act of scoring, not the pass that led to it (or whether the passer was in play). I learnt that from the Brisbane test where the TV ref DID rule on a pass that led to a try.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 27 posts Report Reply

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