Cut Fozzie a little bit of slack
I think we do have to cut Fozzie a little bit of slack, but only up until the Bledisloe goes west.
I think last weekend’s selection was a safety selection. He wanted to get a win on the board, silence the critics, and build from there. But, it all went a bit wrong - not least because Beaudy got injured and he lost one of his trump cards (already having Retallick not in the mix).
This weekend he has Beaudy back (though I remain apprehensive of a late withdrawal - leaving Fozzie up the duff). So that’s a plus, but significantly offset, I think, by losing Sam Whitelock.
I’m not really mystified by Rieko sliding to the bench. He provides plenty of attacking firepower, which is seductive, but he’s still got training wheels on in defense. So, stick him on the bench and have the option to inject his obvious points scoring potential if and when it’s needed.
What does mystify me is the revelation that Goodhue-ALB is better than ALB-Goodhue, when Fozzie has been coaching the All Black backs for 8 years. Now ALB’s best position might be centre, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest that Jack’s best position is 2nd five.
I guess he thinks he’s being safe again playing Jordie on the wing, but I would have picked Sevu there for experience - it’s a bit surprising that the apparent order of precedence among his wings is Bridge, Clarke, Jordan, Reece.
In the forwards - well, I’m glad that Hodgman has replaced Big Karl - it looked like we had the second coming of Billy Cavubati out there last Sunday.
Sam Whitelock is a huge loss. I thought he was one of our best last Sunday and he’s being replaced by a guy who frankly I know almost nothing about. He might as well be Bryn Evans! 🙂
We are really going to need a few guys who’ve promised in Super rugby, but not really delivered massively in tests, to grab the bull by the horns.
Have to say, even though I’m heavily against playing two opensides - we’ve made our bed with Ardie at 8 for this game. He’s one of our trump cards and we can’t really afford to have him benched for a rookie, given the number of other relative rookies we’ve got running around.
I’m slightly concerned by Plumtree’s assertion that if the ref doesn’t control the Aussie’s cheap-shotting, we’ll have to have a crack ourselves. That’s the sort of thing that leads to cards in test matches - and with both teams looking to assert themselves, card(s) won’t surprise me.
The TAB says NZ$1.13; Oz $5.30.
There’s a lot of believers in the Kaikoura fish and chip hoodoo.
I think Rennie will smell blood in the water and he won’t have too much trouble getting his troops to believe. If nothing else, I reckon cards give a lie to those odds.
On the plus side, if we lose, the Bled is so far out the door that Fozzie might as well chuck out the bathwater and any babies that go with it - and pick his team of the future for the return tests.
Though his future might be pretty truncated!