Sunday, August 28, 2016


More like writhing half dead on the roadside after an encounter with a logging truck.

Twice  in eight days the All Blacks have eased up as there was nothing further to be gained from high risk effort.
ABs ten points, Pumas and Boks five points and Wallabies 0 after two rounds

Skynews desk jockys across the ditch are making out Owen Franks should be shot tomorrow morning for the only lawful method of impeding an opposition forward advancing through a Maul and Franks  has rightly IMHO been subsequently cleared by the Sanzar Citing Commissioner who has access to a whole lot more image data.

Meanwhile 'Checkout', the 'Woellaby' coach attempted to counter the emergence of a dominant AB team with skills and commitment,  the Aptly clothed dummies have perfected,  mouthing off, playing the offside laws, killing quick ball and trying to get a reaction from players such as Dane Coles with a prior rep for retaliation.
In selecting the lock who replaced the only lineout option Robb Simmonds,   second test newbie Adam Coleman who seemed to be in considerable anger from the get go such a strategy was so bleeding obvious.  An attitude from Coleman, certainly not Coolman, has me wondering if Kieran Read had slammed a door on his hand earlier under the grandstand. His clear attempt to take Ben Smith out with a late shoulder charge, was worthy of some disgruntled reaction from the affronted swarming around Franks at least as an equal opportunity in the aftermath of the latest chapter in the possible demise of Rugby Australia.

Australian Rugby has since forever been the unwanted if somewhat spoilt child of winter ball games in the West Island, behind the Aussie Rules of Victoria, SA and WA with some extension teams now on the East coast, and the dominating game of that area, League that now has a team based in Melbourne. Add in a very rapidly growing football code and it is clear that the wide base rugby enjoys here in NZ, is a non event over there.
Go back more than half a century and Queensland was a rugby backwater that survived on New Zealand expats and NSW players looking to hit the big time.
Recent ARU Head Office machinations have made giant steps backwards and the "Giteau" rule has made it a chasm of failure  that is not good for the game. Their history is littered with ex League players wanting to escape the grinding physical demands weekly scheduled by the ARL with only Israel Folau currently anything resembling success and that is only around the high ball and kick return, his default reactions after that rarely reach the fast passing and backing up that is at the core of current AB game plans.
Would it have been too radical to have poured the dosh that went into the Rebels and the Force to have established a comprehensive base program to develop the game at grass roots and academy levels.
The ACT  virtually a city state  with a population far less than any NZ franchise has carved out a credible super franchise success using talent attending the Federal Sports development system, plus players from the two power house states seeking to find greater exposure. So many of those  "greats" Mortlock,  Gregan, and most recent and cutting Clyde Rathbone are with others now left lamenting a lengthening losing streak by the men in Yellow who are clearly adding significantly to "Checkout's" now somewhat laughable ennobling last year as "coach of the year".  They are merely stating the bleeding obvious amongst that growing list of graduates.
Bill Pulver should Pulver his head out of the sand or even somewhere less sanitary and seek a new job, this problem aint cyclical it is systemic with inevitability looming large.

Argentine rugby has made significant advances in spite of  latent domestic pressure from the "don't pick it up unless you are Diego Maradonna" game. The Pumas narrow win over the Springboks this morning was evidence, however there also, is a once formidable foe that has befallen woe from the political upheavals that followed the demise of Apartheid. After the breakup of white rule it had a potential source of talent as non whites took up the game but dopey Pollies trying to manage skills and numbers by way of 'quota' while ignoring ability, has their game in crisis, albeit less disastrous than yellow but potentially equally destructive.
 In Argentina this morning a raw talent at Number Seven for the once feared Boks seemed to resort all too often to strangulation as a means of subjugation. Many times taking a Puma high to prevent offload then slipping into a choker hold that was so fashionable in wrestling once upon a time.

Suggestions abounding that All Black supremacy is going to kill the game is utter rubbish, did the Chicago Bulls , The New York Yankies, Manchester United, Real Madrid or Barcelona have such a result or does excellence in a dominant team bring pressure to improve in others.
Remind me again how did our once totally dominant Men's Sevens team go on the elevation of that game to Olympic status.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It certainly wont kill the game for the 2 mill NZ fans but I think back to when, for the third season, Schumaker and Ferrari dominated F! which has a European fan base ten time that of rugby. The popularity and viewing figures went through the floor and in spite of rule changes have not returned to their previous high.

The "test" sides from Europe regard a tour to NZ as duty, Where as the ABs regard it as a national honour and will lay their body on the line to win. In most cases the visiting team have lucrative club contracts far in excess of what the AB's earn and will play without passion or risk. The southern hemisphere passion was Sth Africa and NZ but that is long gone. Most of population of a visiting teams country don't even know that they are playing so steady rugby with no personal risk in the way it's played.

It is well known that French clubs arrange "injuries" to their best before a call up to the national squad comes and it wont be long before the English follow suit. The only passion left is a few games in the six nations where the skills are poorer but the passion is higher and that has nothing to do with rugby and more to do with a 1000 years of can tell that by the injury count.

Just musing..

Lord Egbut