I Bleed Black
<div class='quotemain'> <div class='quotemain'> Maybe we should do like the NH and start sending out 2nd string teams to play everyone so they don't have the satisfaction of facing a full strength All Blacks. [/b]
Last autumn a totally different team played against Wales than it did against England, is that not true?
You know, to be truthful (thanks to your "rotation policy") we have no idea if we've ever faced a full strength all blacks team anyway. I don't think half of you guys even know if you've fielded a full strength All Blacks team.
Sure, in your eyes your strongest team may have played before now, but i can't honestly decide whether Graham Henry knew if he'd gotten is 1st XV down.
Considering that Henry left out most of his first choice centers, opting instead to play a utility back instead, could you seriously say, with a hand on your heart that the strongest All Black side played against France?
If a team is being constantly rotated with no All Black team the same as the last, all the way up to when they are knocked out of the World Cup, does that show the stregnth in depth or rather a certain lack of trust exhibited by the coach in his players and as a result a lack of confidence about whether or not he actually knows what his first choice XV is?
Did Graham Henry even have such a concept as a "first choice XV"?
As for England vs France. At the end of the England game I did say to my French friend and boasted with a chuckle "Well! Thats our quota of wins filled for this year, give those Argies hell!" As long as the best team wins (quite easy to work out considering England's variable form this season) I'm a happy chappy.
I honestly think Henry was too nice a guy and felt he had to keep giving each member of the squad a run, as if he didnt want any of them feeling upset or left-out of the squad and becoming a fringe player. I think he did everything right in terms of rotation for building the squad, except he should have picked 22 players from the second game and stuck to it - the balance of the squad is purely for injuries.
I hope we build a similar way next time - don't think Graham went too far wrong - After all the coach can only do so much on the day.
Suggestion to moderators
We need to shut some of these NZ threads down and concentrate on the Rugby again - too much ref slagging and whinging going on. May even help some Kiwi fans move on.