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Speaker: God is in the numbers

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  • Felix Marwick,

    At the risk of sounding unpatriotic I actually have fond memories of "that" match in 1999.

    After the dire season that was 1998 and the 5 consecutive losses I developed an approach that I call happiness insurance.

    Put simply I started to bet against the All Blacks. the reasoning being that if they win I'm happy (but $20 poorer), and if they lose my remorse is mitigated by filthy, filthy lucre.

    For the 1999 match against the French I had $10 on France to win by 12 points - the odds were 80 to 1.

    There was one small complication though. At the time I was sharing a flat with a couple of very committed rugby fans. Two strapping lads who played for Sydenham.

    At the conclusion of the match they were sitting in a stupefied and depressed silence then looked to see me with a huge grin on my face. Once the details of my perfidy emerged a solid kicking was duly administered.

    But the money soothed the pain!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Felix,

    You, Sir, are a Cad and a Bounder, and I hope the Sydenham boys hurt you good.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I'd be bloody surprised if he's not starting for the rest of the tournament ahead of one of Joe or Sivi.

    Assuming there is a "rest of the tournament" of course....

    If there is a game after Sunday this will prove to have been a "horses for courses" selection. Mauger back at 12 to face the Aussies and Howlett back on the wing. I imagine Jack for Williams and Mealamu for Oliver as well.

    Assuming the Aussies win, of course. This from a mate in England:

    I'm not nervous about England. Things can either go how they are expected, or England will win

    Oh, and Free Sione!

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    Rob,
    I'm given to understand that cad-ish and bounder-ish qualities are to be expected in those of the journalistic persuasion ;-)

    If it makes you feel any better there's a little post-script to the story that I'm sure you'll appreciate.

    If there is a God I am now convinced he may very well be an All Blacks fan. For, you see, within a fortnight of my little collect the transmission in my car started making funny noises. These noises necessitated over a thousand dollars worth of repairs.

    Vengeance shall be mine saith the Lord.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Felix wrote:

    Rob,
    I'm given to understand that cad-ish and bounder-ish qualities are to be expected in those of the journalistic persuasion ;-)

    Yeah.

    But in a GOOD way.

    God is definitely an ABs fan, even if he is hiding out in the numbers at the moment.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Apparently prayers lodged with publicaddress will be answered!

    Oh, and Free Sione!

    Done.

    Paul Rowe's selection for the game against the Wallabies will provide a great basis for comparison. I also think Mauger (not because McAlister missed Mortlock's inside break - has anyone ever seen him beat a man on the outside) is the man for this game, possibly Conrad Smith too. Jack for Robinson I agree but not Mealamu - I think Oliver will start this game to ensure the Wallabies apparently improving scrum is tested (to destruction).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    McDonald isn't a massive linebreaker

    In the 2006 Super 14 Leon MacDonald finished the regular season with the most linebreaks. I know, we weren't expecting it either.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Check this out!!

    Un excellent blogueur néo-zélandais a réalisé une étude statistique assez poussée qui concerne les 8 équipes encore en lice. On se croirait à la grande époque de la palette de Canal. En plus, visiblement, la France a toutes les chances de gagner si l'on en croit les chiffres.

    http://www.lepost.fr/article/2007/10/05/1031278_france-nouvelle-zelane-les-chiffres-sont-avec-nous.html

    And guess which excellent blogueur they're talking about?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • The Dropkicks,

    And guess which excellent blogueur they're talking about?

    It's not that bloody Kiwiblog is it?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Un excellent blogueur néo-zélandais

    C'est tres choice!

    I really like the word blogueur. It's just a little bit more elegant than blogger. I guess that makes me une blogueuse.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I guess that makes me une blogueuse.

    Better than being a bloguette.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Go the Pumas!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I'm just watching the TV3 review show and in the background all you can here are car horns and celebrations. It's actually drowning out Mike McRoberts.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Apart from anything else, my sympathies are with each and every member of the All Black team, including the coaches. Their disappointment will be immense.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    So long Graham Henry, then, another coach who will be remembered as a failure since nothing counts in between World Cups anymore, and that's truly a shame. Meanwhile, I'm sure that Chris Rattue will get to keep his job. A sad, sad commentary of the times we live in.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I thought Henry had done everything pretty much right, though was nervous about the Centres. He'll get moved on for sure but who next? Deans?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    According to the stats we won the quarter final by a mile. That'll teach those innumerate Frenchies!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Y'know I wouldn't be surprised if they kept Henry.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Am I angry? Hell yes!

    Graham Henry got everything he asked for. Rotation has been a total, abject failure - our high tech jet fighters have turned out to be hanger queens and the players who were not kept in cotton wool, like Hoare and Williams, were the best on the park. When the ref was clearly against us, where was the Fitzpatricks, the Gregans, the Brookes, and the Martin Johnstons???? They choked - not just the players, but also the coaching team.

    Individually, in the backs - Yet again McDonald has been exposed at the top level. Surely Rokococo has played his last game as an All Black. Sivivatu looks disinterested get rid of him we want players who might be less talented but are prepared to roll their sleeves up and do the work. Muliana is currently our best back and was played out of position to pay for the selectorial failures of Wayne Smith. I've never favoured McAlistair. Carter needs to stop being a cry baby pretty boy (What were those, tears when he came off? For fuck's sake grow up and start acting like a man!) and start earning his salary. Kelleher was a waste of space, more of a hazard to his own side than the opposition.

    Forwards - our forwards did everything expected of them; Ali Williams should be made the All Black captain.

    After the battle of Jutland in 1916 -no! Stay with me! Admiral Beatty made a famous quote after discovering three of his battlecruisers had been blown up - "something seems to be wrong with our bloody ships today." Less often quoted is the second part of what he said, "And there is something wrong with our system."

    Its not that we've lost these games. Something is wrong with our system. Our age group system is biased towards athletic and physically imposing, but - let's be honest - thick players. Our professional sides prefer to pick fickle and dissolute circus performers and genetic freaks over toilers and sly cunning. Our nation and its rugby administrators and coaches are infected with an all pervading hubris that sees us adopt a condescending and patronising attitude to the style and tactics of everyone else, epitomised by Mr. Henry's comment that he would rather lose than play boring rugby. Well, Mr. Henry got his wish, didn't he? Once again, our arrogance has come back to bite us on the arse.

    Its time we realised that our rugby players sit down to shit like everyone else, and winning by foul means is as sweet as winning by fair at this level, and its time we got back to a team and a coach and a country that are not so full of their own P.R. bullshit and full of admiration of their own rugby reflection in the mirror that they don't mind winning ugly as long as they win.

    You know, everything that is wrong with New Zealand rugby was summed up when McAlistairs pathetic, desperate drop goal attempt went wide. The Boks, the English, the French, the Wallabies, hell even the Pumas are not so full of themselves that they would not have had a organised, practiced set piece to calmly drop a goal. We all know how many times penalties and ground out drop goals win tight tests. Its time we remembered that rugby is a simple game - its just about having more points on the board at full time than the other guys.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Huh. I don't feel that way at all...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Don't worry, I'll be over it by Tuesday at the latest.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I think McAlister went for the dropgoal because the ref had his arm out for advantage. We should've just dropped the ball and given Evans the chance to slot it over.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Richie McCaw looked pretty gutted after the game. You've got to feel for the team.

    Since Nov 2006 • 792 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I think McAlister went for the dropgoal because the ref had his arm out for advantage. We should've just dropped the ball and given Evans the chance to slot it over.

    Agree on both points. I'm not sure what advantage accrued to and expected the ABs to have the option of a scrum or kick?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    --I think McAlister went for the dropgoal because the ref had his arm out for advantage. We should've just dropped the ball and given Evans the chance to slot it over.--

    Agree on both points. I'm not sure what advantage accrued to and expected the ABs to have the option of a scrum or kick?

    McAllister says he only made the attempt because Barnes' arm was out for advantage and he figured they'd have the shot at goal (in front of the posts, no less). Then he kicked it and Barnes waved play on. Kind of hard to believe ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

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