Thoughts on Beldisloe II
So, the Sunday morning thread read isn't nearly as much fun when we win comfortably.
So my random thoughts on the game:
So I think I was correct in thinking we haven't been playing direct this year, however in this must win match we played really direct and smashed them up in the forwards. I think the TWM must be disappointed they had to play direct in this match as I think they were saving it for the cup finals themselves. We also massively tidied up our defence, although TBF last week we just had so little ball that we had to make so many tackles that we were always going to miss a few.
There seems to be a bit of a loss of perspective on the wings. Yes they both played well (Reece especially played better than I thought he would in defence and without the ball, Bridge as I expected) but it's impossible to make a comparison between this week and last week - last week the forwards played like fairies and the backs suffered because of it (and they were down to 14 for 40 minutes) and this week the pack kicked arse and the wings benefited from decent front foot and counter attack ball. I think Ioane would have carved up just like Bridge did last night with that extra space. Can't believe some are genuinely suggesting he'll be dropped.
Coles is getting shit but I thought he played well outside of his yellow and getting a yellow for dumping a mouthy halfback out of a maul which we were dominating isn't too bad in the scheme of things. 😉
The loosies were awesome. Savea spent the first 40 minutes emulating his brother on the wing (the good version, not the fatty version), dare I say it very Fifita like, then spent the second 40 in the middle more making tackles and hitting rucks. I wonder if that was the gameplan.
Also, we may as well just give Ardie the number 8 jumper. He's playing 8, Read is playing 6 and Cane is playing his brand of hard tackling 7 for 60 minutes until they bring Todd on. I still don't get Todd, good rugby player, but 3 7's in the team just seems overkill.
Patty T stood up and didn't get himself red carded so that's a bonus. Whitelock had a new haircut, he doesn't quite look like the missing link as much anymore, and that coincided with his best test of the year.
Beaunga is starting to gel I reckon. I was generally worried when Mo'unga came off injured. Not for the game, BB could easily slot into 10, but for the RWC. Thankfully it looks like it's not serious. SBW and ALB were both good. Smith ran the game well, like he used to.
JB still worries the shit out of me, even though I thought he was decent, but he still looks like he's 30 seconds away from doing something stupid. I guess I have to trust he'll come right like DMac did (who copped far worse from some posters than JB does for arguably less stupidity).
White looked shit this week, Genia looked good when he came on. The number 6 who changed his name was awesome last week, he was terrible this week. My non regular rugby watching Aussie mate picked up how bad he was early in the game and then spent the rest of the game shouting at the screen to get him off. Kervei was irrelevant without as much ball as last week and O'Connor was just left to tackle all day. Beale had his worst test in a while.
Best thing about the win (aside from keeping the Aussies scoreless), my Aussie mate who was in Singapore for last weeks match and spammed the shit out of me for two days after the match was sitting right next to me on the couch for this match. I'd like to say I was a magnanimous winner ... but I wasn't, I rubbed that win in his face all through the match and then for the next couple of hours at dinner, where to his credit he still proudly wore his wallabies jumper (which looks like a soccer shirt) all night.
Edit: Must proof better next time and not start three sentences in a row with 'so'.
Second Edit: How could I forget, how awesome was it seeing our 7 man scrum smash the Wallabies! Rugby porn of the highest order.