Friday, May 31, 2019

Rugby World Cup - Helping Shag with his team

This time we move to the inside backs and look at first five eight and half back. The injury to Damien MacKenzie is a big setback for the selectors because of his abiity to cover fullback and wing as well as first five plus his explosive impact off the bench. At first look there is no obvious replacement for him and therefore I am of the view that only two first fives will be taken along with three half backs.

FIRST FIVE EIGHT: Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga.
In my opinion on form Mo'unga should be starting in the big matches this year - he is superior tactically to Barrett and gets his teams around the paddock much better than Barrett does because of his superior kicking game. Where Barrett has the edge is with his explosive pace and his ability to seize opportunities from seemingly nothing which makes him a match winner in broken play. I also expect Barrett to start at least one test at fullback.
If one of these two go down injured who are the likely back ups? My first choice would be Mitch Hunt who seems to have a big match temperament while Josh Ioane looks a player for the future but is probably a year away. Of the rest Otere Black is flakey and both Plummer and Cameron look better suited to the rigours of test rugby.

HALF BACK: Aaron Smith remains number one selection with TJ Perenara clearly favoured by the selectors as his back up. However, if selecting solely on 2019 Super Rugby form Brad Weber would be the first half back chosen for the World Cup - his contribution to the Chiefs has been immense and I for one find it hard to understand how he was ranked so low by the All Black selectors. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (TripleT) is the selectors favoured number 3 but it is hard to see him getting the nod when he has so little playing time for the Chiefs. Of the rest Bryn Hall and Mitchell Drummond have had All Black time as has Augustine Pulu who seems to have dropped right out of contention.
In summary we are well served in both of these positions but injury to either Barrett or Mo'unga would put the selectors under pressure and leave a huge hole in the World Cup Campaign.

3 comments:

Kimbo said...

Mo’unga ahead of Barrett?! The same Republic of Canterbury-inspired parochial cyclops analysis that resulted in the polished all-round Mick Williment dropped for a thuggish slaughterman in the form of dwarfish Fergi McCormick, or our first genuine modern counter-attacking fullback, Allan Hewson eventually replaced after a never ending public campaign by the journeyman, Robbie Deans.

Canterbury - the province of foisting mediocre talent to the highest level since...Pat Vincent! 😂

pdm said...

Actually Kimbo I am a Hawkes Bay man born and bred and have lived roughly 60 of my 72 years in Hawkes Bay - what is more I have no rugby affiliation whatsoever with Canterbury.

Having cleared that up - in my opinion Mo'unga has been the form first five in New ealand for the last two years.

Still the purpose of the posts is to elicit opinions so you are welcome to your Wellington views. Yes I know Barrett is from Taranaki.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

pdm.....you are talking to an algorithm. Wouldn't know a McCormick from Chinese fried rice unless key words were chucked in.

Fergie was my "personal trainer" when he worked for the American Gym on the corner of Hereford st and Cranmer sq. CHC around 1963/4. Thuggish....no way.

Next time I met him was in Tewkesbury UK at a now long demolished coaching Inn after one of those out to pasture ex all black tours that were popular then, I remember Billy Bush was there as well.... in the 90's Billy was the courier driver who delivered parcels to my business in CHC....is it any wonder that today's players put income over patriotism???