[November Tests 2016 EOYT] Ireland vs. New Zealand (05/11/2016)

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by TRF_heineken, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. TRF_Peat

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    There's like, uh, 4 different things when we're talking value of the US to rugby.

    1) Value to any nation/club hosting a 1-off exhibition match there.

    The All Blacks have established there is value to this (although I suspect a lot of it is money from the sponsors). Saracens got 14k (officially) for their game, so there's clearly potential for club games. The niche is big enough for the USA to matter already here and I suspect we'll see this grow.

    2) Value to World Rugby of holding a World Cup there

    My take, based on the Americans I've met, is you could do it tomorrow and have a partial success as long as you sort out potential clashes with the NFL. Yes, the stadiums would be full of casuals, but I've met enough Americans with a passing interest in the sport - or every sport put in front of them - or just curiousities and new things, going to the big circus in town - that I believe you would fill those stadiums. World Rugby would get its money back alright.

    However - in terms of converting casuals into established fans - I think you keep your powder dry and look to keep interest in the game growing there. I do think there is growing interest in the game though. Of course a big part of turning casuals into established fans is giving them a product to follow after the circus goes away...

    3) Value to league/competition selling TV rights there

    This is a hard one. Can you sell foreign sports to the USA? Yes, although its a bit difficult. NBC paid a billion for the USA rights for showing football's Premiership.

    How many Americans do you need to get into rugby before you can sell the 6N/RC/Super Rugby etc.etc. there for, say, 5 million a season? That's really not a lot of money at all but that's still worth talking about for most competitions. Rough figures suggest that a lot of football Premiership games are watched by over a million people over there. So - say you get over 100,000 people to watch a rugby game - that would be 100m on a like for like. Quarter that - less games, less flagship appeal - and that's 25m for 6 seasons. So... around my mark of 5m a season, bit under. Conservatively, a rugby league needs to attract about 200,000 - 300,000 viewers a game. The 2014 College Rugby Championship final had 427,000 viewers. Is getting 200,000-300,000 Americans - two thirds of that audience - to watch a higher standard of rugby and create an emotional investment there on a regular basis an impossible ask? I don't think so although its also not easy either. Getting people to watch the one off big event is easy. Getting them to commit regularly is hard.

    4) Value of a professional rugby competition in America

    And here's the hardest of all. Like... man, I don't want to even think about it. Part of me wonders at what point Super Rugby tries to put a franchise in California (surely they're thinking about it).

    But the good news for all of us non-Americans is that its pretty much irrelevant to the US's value to World Rugby. We don't want them watching their own product, we want them watching ours. I think the signs are good for suggesting that's happening and there is a significant if small commercial windfall to be made short term. And what is a nice bonus for us English is a big difference for our less population rich rivals.

    ---

    Back to the rugby.

    I did a search through the first pages of this thread looking to see if anyone was talking about Aaron Smith as a mistake. No one was, so maybe a little knee jerk.

    At the same time, I have heard the occasional comment to the effect that he's not so great when things get physical around the fringes/you want him to kick. Can't really comment on the kicking as he does so little but he does seem a bit of a scrum-half that wants things all his own way. Think I remember mutterings about this after the Argentina game. Its not all suddenly decided upon on one game.

    Will be interesting to see what Hansen does.


    Henshaw's case for a World XV lies in no small part on the dearth of outstanding 12s. Crotty is a superb role player but I don't think he's any more. Jamie Roberts is the walking dead. Farrell probably isn't a good enough all around player. I keep forgetting what sport SBW plays, ALB is very new... I don't think Henshaw's got the track record to be talked about as a World XV player but as the same time he's really effective, doesn't bring a weakness, and has a track record. Good choice to shadow Giteau though.


    Definitely don't think Stander has the track record to be in the discussion, not when there's so much established quality around.


    The joy of comparing Murray with Smith is they're examples of two very different types of scrum-halves. Which one you put in a World XV I think depends on what you want from your 9. I don't think too many people were making the comparison before the game though, rightly or wrongly.
     
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  3. ratsapprentice

    ratsapprentice Hall of Fame

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    All very well reasoned points, Peat.

    I think ALB has all the skills necessary to become the premier 12 in the game.
    The two things that could stop that are significant injury, or severe second season syndrome.

    RE: The USA... I have always thought that getting proper NCAA recognition is one of the most important things that needs to happen in order to create a sustainable development system.
    And it has the advantage of giving a lot of potential fans a point of instant emotional engagement - either watching NCAA games, or when players progress into a USA professional domestic league, they have someone to get behind.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  4. Makos

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    Fantastic write up Peat. Top notch.
    On the Smith issue (hindsight really is everything). It might have unearthered some tactical weaknesses in Hansen or a stubborn philosophy he holds of not dropping 'starters'.
    By dropping Smith, I don't mean out off the squad, I simply meant easing him back into the first team, benching him until he's back into the swing of things. Also I wonder what sort of homework we did on the Irish, it feels like we winged it a little and paid the ultimate price, which I doubt is the case, but there were some questionable selections and tactics.

    Also an injury update on Crotty, he miraculously might be fit for the revenge fixture in Dublin.
    Couldn't help but feel shattered for him when I saw him on the sidelines in tears. He had made the 12 his jersey this year.
    Fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  5. TheOvalBall

    TheOvalBall First XV

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    It's tuesday, and All Blacks are still trending on twitter.
     
  6. Amiga500

    Amiga500 First XV

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    But its (by definition) full of twits whose opinion should be disregarded.
     
  7. Tigs Man

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    TBF that could have a completely different meaning. ;)
     
  8. ratsapprentice

    ratsapprentice Hall of Fame

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    In which country?

    You know it's localised?
     
  9. Nubiwan

    Nubiwan Bench Player

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    Just curious, but is anyone backing the Irish to do the double in Ireland? Do people think the result was a case of Ireland playing out of their skin, or New Zealand playing poorly. Perhaps both. Not a betting man. Not Irish or Kiwi, but I suspect NZ will win the replay. Is that just a given? Curious as to what others think.....
     
  10. Makos

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    They saying lightening doesn't strike twice in one place and the fixture is moved from Chicago to Dublin, so anything is possible!

    Retallick will be back and Crotty sounds like he might just make the game, that immediately puts us into a really better position than what we were in, in the weekend. Sam Whitelock is a possibility as well.

    I'm still going to wait for the team sheet to give my full confidence, but I really think we will come back strong and hungry for this game, the All Blacks have always given out revenge the best.
     
  11. The Alpha Bro

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    NZ are still big favourites, bookies saying 16 points, I'd say 8-10.

    I don't think the potential for a 'shock' is gone though, Schmidt had been planning for these games for months, he'd been planning for Whitelock and Retallick, Crotty and ALB and a functional back three too but Hansen, somewhat bizarrely picked a side that played right into our hands and Schmidt didn't need to deviate a whole lot from what was implemented in SA. The rematch is up for grabs, Ireland will want to please all the fans who weren't in Chicago and prove this wasn't a fluke, NZ want to embarrass us like they feel we did them... Two weeks could overtake Saturday as the game of the year. I can't see any other contenders in the next month.

    Ireland also have a chance to be ge third side in history to beat NZ, SA and Aus in a calendar year after England's '02 and '03 sides. A clean sweep is tall order but this side has tge potential to announce themselves as something to be reckoned with rather than plucky underdogs, you can be sure its a statement everyone involved wants to make!
     
  12. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside First XV

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    I think of the Dublin match coming up as the third of the three match series since and including that unforgettable game in 2013. Two times Ireland have pretty much outplayed the ABs and we are not including the 2012 2nd test won by a Carter drop goal. ABs need a side to push them. Too boring otherwise.
     
  13. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur First XV

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    Interesting post Peat. Not sure i agree with everything you wrote tho.

    To be honest, I think you might be underestimating Ireland's influence here. There are over 30 M irish descendants. Tenth of US pop.
    This is obviously speculation, but in the US, i'd say Ireland playing England would draw a bigger crowd than the ABs playing England. Again, in the US.
    Second, the biggest red flag for me is that no network found it interesting enough to broadcast the game live. Sure, there is value, but based on media interest, i wouldn't say it is that much.

    That depends on how you define value. If you hold a WC right now (using the example you gave) i wouldn't measure success for WR in terms of people attending or viewers but in how many people will follow the sport AFTER the world cup and how many more kids/young people will join the sport. I don't see a world cup there having a significant impact on this to be honest.

    I can't help to compare it to how football grew there. Sure, it grew, but they are still a graveyard, where has-been's go to die and collect a paycheck before retiring. The level is appalling and the overwhelming majority of americans i've talked to couldn't give a rats arse about it.

    On the other hand, the market there is so big that just by getting a minuscule amount of it might be enough to make the numbers work.
     
  14. Larksea

    Larksea First XV

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    Thats kinda a narrow minded view IMO. Its not panicking, Ireland did beat us fair and square and I/we would be panicking if it was our strongest side... But it wasn't.
    If anything the coaches under estimated Ireland. They tinkered with the side too much considering the changes also forced through injury.
    Missing the two best locks in the world and our 3rd & 5th lock as well.
    Playing a flanker at lock, simply failed. Losing 4 lineouts to the Irish in the first half put us under huge pressure.I even think that starting Luatua would have been a better option. A form player with experience at lock and he has like 15-20 caps.
    Dagg & ALB were rested. You would think Italy would have been the game to rest them.
    Naholo & Savea is a bad wing combination. I hope the coaches see that now. And also see how inconsistent Julian Savea is.
    Smith starting after his personal issues.
    Starting Perenara now would not be a Knee-jerk reaction. The reality is Perenara is just in better form right now, hes in the form of his life while Smith has been inconsistent.
    One would also think Not having Crockett on the bench was a mistake as well, sure Ofa was there to get experience but the way it played out we could have really used Crockett and he has been in great form, arguably the best form of his career.

    The injuries during the match also put us in a very tricky situation, the team handled it ok till Moala got injured, despite it all we still looked like winning at that stage but when moala got injured we completely lost our shape with a hooker playing flanker, a flanker out in the backline. two 10's, a #8 at lock. You would never in your wildest dreams expect that combination of players on the park. We got put into one of those strange injury/replacement situations you maybe only see once every 3-5 years or so.


    I expect key players will be rested against Italy and our top team with no exceptions to run out in Dublin
    Crotty will be missed in midfield, other than that we should be good.

    Team #Blacklash

    1, Moody
    2, Coles
    3, Franks
    4, Whitelock
    5, Retalick
    6, Kaino
    7, Cane
    8, Read
    9, Perenara
    10, Barrett
    11, Naholo
    12, ALB
    13, Fekitoa
    14, Dagg
    15, Smith

    16, Taylor
    17, Crockett
    18, Faumuina
    19, S.Barrett
    20, A Savea/Todd
    21, Cuden
    22, Smith/TKB
    23, Tamanivalu

    I think fatigue is an issue for us right now. I mentioned it weeks back that we were overworking our #1 side by ditching rotation all together - we basically ran mostly the same team through the whole June series and RC.
    Ive said it in the past, I think selection and tactical mistakes have been made by this coaching setup but we have been good enough to keep winning despite those mistakes. The important thing is to learn from these mistakes. They have all been very humble with this loss. But behind the scenes they need to get hard and honest on themselves and find some fire for Dublin.
    Ive also said as good as this side is we haven't been really tested enough to really push forward and get closer to potential and we wont improve much more unless we lose a game or two.

    I dont want to sound harsh on our coaches though, the All Blacks are the most analyzed side in the world by a large margin. maintaining this amazing strike rate requires constantly evolving to not become predictable while having a gameplan to deal with a wide array of opposition tactics conventional and otherwise. There is a tendency for us to get a bit predictable on EoY tours the last few years as we try to blood new players and keep winning.
     
  15. Makos

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    The player we missed the most who has ventured overseas vs Ireland was Victor Vito, his versatility was awesome and Hansen was asking Kaino to pull off something similar and he doesn't have the same skill set as Victor in the line-out, not nearly as mobile either.

    Is anyone else really missing NMS at 14? He could really pull something out off the hat on attack and that side step instantly beat defenders, I hope he recovers completely.

    If we weren't so thin at centre I wouldn't be picking Moala, he's good cover and maybe a good option if Fekitoa keeps continuing to disappoint, but he fumbles the ball too often, misses too many tackles for an international centre and isn't much of a play maker. He's a strong runner, but we need more and always demand more from our centres, don't think he can ever develop the full skill set for the job.
     
  16. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose First XV

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    For my money there is too much talk (including from Schmidt, although probably mind games on his part) about this being an understrength New Zealand. From 9-15 that was wall to wall players who are experienced and were featuring in the RC wasn't it (I know less about the forwards)? Julian Savea was bordering on excellent during the RC so he was in the side on merit and many fans here were questioning Dagg for the RC, so claiming that his omission markedly weakened the All Blacks isn't fair. Plus, everyone recognises that the All Blacks second XV doesn't exactly have a massive drop off from its first XV. There is so much strength in depth that you have to look to see them playing third stringers before you could really talk about a "weak" NZ team.
     
  17. Larksea

    Larksea First XV

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    Vito was an amazing lineout forward but tended to go missing around the park in high pressure situations. Great on the front foot but awkward and lost when his team is going backwards. The player missing in the squad is Brad Shields, Dixon has failed to make an impact at test level, brilliant season in 2015 but he hasn't been the same this year. Didn't really standout for the Maori either. IMO it was a mistake not to bring Shields in this year, Hes constantly improved year on year. Smart player and amazing defender.

    yes I'd pick NMS over Savea in a heartbeat. he needs a bit of work and experience on defense at test level but yes hes far better and consistent on attack than Savea.

    I cant help but think how much better off we would be with Lowe at 11, hes such a good player and his kicking game is INSANE. Its a real x-factor skill. Every game he pulls of a few kicks that basically change the momentum of a game. Opposition players either have to stand deeper to counter his range or risk balls going over their heads all day. And when they do stand deeper it gives more room to attack. Hes big, fast, agile and a great runner but just his kicking game alone would be a much more consistent and useful weapon in tight games than Saveas once or twice a season power games. I look back at the chiefs vs. Welsh. That was the ALB & Lowe show, probably more so Lowe than ALB. That should have earned him selection with his super form just as good for the most part.

    Moala is a brilliant player but injuries have constantly dogged his progress at test level. I think if he could get game time to settle he'd be as good on defense and vastly superior on attack compared to Fekitoa. Moala has always been under an injury cloud most of the season and now its twice this year he has been one(test) and done through injury. Hopefully that clears up and 2017 works out better for him.

    - - - Updated - - -

    out 2nd team is close to our top team in terms of ability but what they lack is experience.

    I honestly think you could take a 2nd team from NZ call them a test team, give them a good coach, experience and in a few years and they would be top 3 in the world.

    I look at Romano, I'd probably rate him NZ's 7th or 8th lock on ability & form but we missed him because he has test experience.

    Savea was brilliant at times scored a lot of trys in a couple of short spurts but the rest of the time he is reliably our worst player.

    Dagg wasn't a form player going into this test season, some much better players didn't get selected. But he has performed well and been an important pat of the consistency we have had. He and Ben Smith seem to combine really well. In his place Naholo is devastating, far more consistent on attack than Savea, but hes on injury comeback again and still not an 80min player the shape hes in.

    Naholo & Savea together is just a really really bad combination. lacks the balance Dagg brings. Selections are more than just picking the best. IMO naholo & Savea is a very good example of what that means.
     
  18. Makos

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    I accept that criticism of Vito prior to last year. However last year he really showed his true qualities and had an outstanding season and world cup. Fantastic player and it's obvious in France because his team Stade Rochelais have gone from 9th the previous season to 2nd this season largely on the back of some of his outstanding efforts. I think Victor developed his game to next level and I'm sad he left those lasting impressions on you after such a quality final season.

    In some matches, yes. In tight matches where we need skills and a different dimension. Savea still remains one of our top finishers, but the rest of his game is one dimensional and in tight matches we need something else more consistent and solid, especially in defense, we miss Piutau here as well. I don't like to lament lost talent too much, but we have to make sure not too lose too much world class even with our extraordinary depth.

    Moala is a tough sell to ever become a consistent All Black, I don't think his defense is nearly up to standards at Super Rugby either and more often than not Fekitoa is a spark for the Highlanders than Moala ever is for the Blues. Wasn't Moala dropped at some point due to poor form with the Blues? An All Black getting dropped mid way through the season in a Super Rugby franchise isn't promising.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  19. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    Conveniently leaving out 60 - 0 win later that series :D
     
  20. Makos

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    Not really. Crotty and Moala didn't even feature in the RWC and Naholo was riddled with injuries and only played in the pool matches.
     
  21. Car

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    According to some American soccer fans I've known for over 10 years (online), back in 2002, they had to pay $15 per game of the World Cup; nowadays, the coverage of the big European leagues is better than in parts of Europe.

    Just look at all the European soccer teams flying over to the States during the summer. Obviously, it pays off for them. I can see rugby be successful in its niche, especially if American football's concussion problems become more of a problem than they are in rugby.
     
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