All Blacks v Argentina II
A decent win for the All Black in the end, although the weaknesses of the team are still there for anybody to see. It was a right forwards shellacking make no mistake about that. Dominance in the scrum, dominance going forwards, and the entire forward pack a real nuisance for the Argies whenever they got the ball.
Some serious white line fever from the AB’s though, they should have been out of sight by half time, but the last 5% proved lacking time and time again.
Not to take anything away from the Argies defence. It was once again, absolutely superb. However, perhaps with the hot day, and the sheer number of tackles made, things fell apart at the end.
The All Blacks option taking in the back line appeared to be abysmal, with chip kicks / cross field kicks when on the front foot. Now perhaps this was a deliberate ploy to try and get the well-drilled defence to start re-thinking themselves, and perhaps it would have worked if only the execution was somewhere above the 0.5/10 it was for the 50/50 plays.
Here the main discussion points for me
- Cane / Savea/ Ioane our next legendary backline trio? Perhaps. Savea is an outstanding player, but I’m not sure he’s an 8. I think the size game in test rugby has moved on from Savea size at 8.
- Ioane was utterly superb. All match. Big, physical strong. It may “only” have been a second string RG team, but it was his coming of age at this level match. May his head issues be done with, he’s a real build the team around player
- Scott Barret had one of his best games, but I’m still not sold. Tuipulotu has been my main push for a while now, but he’s not had a great year. Nifty try at the end though.
- Certainly Laulala’s best game that I’ve seen (which is probably about 4). Seriously dominant, hungry and very much so the All Black prop.
- Smith should be NZ player of the year
- Not sure who was the cross-field kick coach last year, but can we get him back? Man they were shit last night. They were damn near perfect last year.
- I’m not as harsh on Richie Mo as others. He’s not afraid to take on the line and the option taking I’ve covered above. I’d still have him at 10.
- Our midfield is a concern. They looked bereft of ideas most of the game. I know ALB & Goodhue are excellent players, but I’m not sure the compliment each other. I’d probably prefer one with Laumape.
- Jordie Barrett. Don’t think he really looked comfortable at this level this year.
- Beauden Barrett. He’s on the plane to Japan already. May he come back the 2017 version.
- Will Jordan. Great 15 minutes cameo, but lets not forget he was playing guys who had played 65 minutes in 29 degree heat. Fair play to him though, took his opportunities well.
And my last point. And this one is for Nisbo. Look, we NZ rugby fans have a shoddy reputation for arrogance etc already. So, why oh why when you know your coverage is beaming globally ( Marshall mentioned everywhere it was going) would you say
“We all knew the All Blacks would bounce back, but the question was always by how much”.