ABs aren’t as bad as some on here make out, nor as good as some would like them to be. They do seem to be in the mix for the title of best team based on current performances.
You guys had a period of prolonged test match success from mid-2000s through to just after 2015 WC win. But even the great side that was created in that period suffered some losses, most notably to SA.
ABs are better than they were last year. Forwards need some refinement and set piece, especially lineout, needs work. I seem to recall similar things being said about ABs post-2003 world cup when Henry took over.
Foster may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but judgement should be made after EOYT to see if the AB gameplan evolves, which he and his coaching team has shown some signs of doing this year. The way the current laws are being applied by refs appears to suit the bigger, more powerful teams, so having a strong set piece is vital. ABs did have one of the best lineouts in recent years, so it is interesting to see it regress as far as it has. Whitelock will shore this up when he returns, but it needs more work. Bok lineout is v good, but they don’t have a Matfield in there, which is what should bother the AB coaches the most IMO.
ABs have won all but one game this year, and that loss was a 2 point loss against the current world champions on neutral ground. ABs were dire against England in semi in 2019. The game wasn’t close. 2 years on, even if opposing teams have some semblance of territorial and possession dominance like Boks have had, the ABs haven’t looked like they did for long periods in that England game - lost. They have hung in there, and more often than not, struck when opportunities have been presented. I’d say that is progress at least 2 years out from the next world cup.
A 5-1 record in the rugby championship suggests you’re on the right path 😊. You’ll flog a number of teams if they don’t turn up. It is what happens in the close games that will show if this AB vintage can step up like previous ones have.
In the last 15 mins ABs won 3 penalties by playing in the right areas of the pitch. The problem was that between minutes 40 to 60 they played in the wrong areas. AB lineout woes compounded this. They coughed up possession and allowed pressure to come back on them.
ABs with a functioning lineout ends in a v different territorial game IMO.
Small margins. Boks managed game badly in last mins last week and lost. ABs did likewise this week and lost. All square on aggregate 😬.
Let’s see what our teams up north can do on EOYT to gauge where ABs and Boks are in world pecking order. It may be that they are both ahead (with Wallabies catching them up).