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

The_Blindside

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Conveniently leaving out 60 - 0 win later that series :D
Quite clearly the ABs cheated in that game - constantly offside, forward passes, the ref was on their side and the Irish players were suffering from Norovirus and poisoned by some waitress. And the injuries, don't forget the injuries. :).
 

Five Meters Out

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As tough and determined as the Irish effort was, the All Black team had frailties from the start and those left standing at the end were always going to struggle to finish over the top for the win.
Of the starting lineup Aaron Smith still appeared to be thinking about his off field issues, the makeshift lock combination saw All Black lineouts become a shambles, Sam Cane returning from long injury lay off and not playing Dagg or L-Brown was not giving Irish the respect they deserved.
Then came the injuries and once you've got a forward playing in the backs - you've little hope of clawing back a deficit against a passionate team.

One thing is now certain. The Dublin game will be well worth watching. There will be no experimenting or rotation for the game in Dublin. The Irish will play the best All Black Team and they will be very motivated. The Dublin game will be the yardstick on how close other teams are to the All Blacks - not the game played in Chicago.
 

nik

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It's easy enough to point out which players didn't perform but if you look at the performance in the first half it was poor from every single AB. It was a sluggish performance, one team was in it, the other not.

The attitude wasn't there and defense is characterised by attitude. We turned over ball but we also defended poorly. We conceded 5 tries in one game, the same number of tries we conceded in 6 RC matches against Argentina , Australia and South Africa.

For some reason that hunger wasn't there. Maybe we did take the game too lightly. Doesn't matter now, there is fire in the belly for the rematch.
 

The Jones Boy

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Fatigue is another issue.
The boys have had a bloody long season and they were already suffering after the last Bledisloe game.
Now they have the motivation to do the business.
Is Whitelock going to be back for Ireland?
 

Makos

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Fatigue is another issue.
The boys have had a bloody long season and they were already suffering after the last Bledisloe game.
Now they have the motivation to do the business.
Is Whitelock going to be back for Ireland?
Whitelock is still being monitored, but it's positive, they haven't sent him home and he's training in the gym fine. I'd say yes.
 

The Alpha Bro

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**** it...

Team #Twoinarow (We're going 28 unbeaten now by the way)

15. Payne
14. Trimble
13. Ringrose
12. Henshaw
11. Zebo
10. Sexton
9. Murray
8. Heaslip
7. Van der Flier
6. Stander
5. Toner
4. Henderson
3. Furlong
2. Best
1. McGrath

16. Cronin
17. Healy
18. Bealham
19. Dillane
20. O'Mahoney
21. O'Brien
22. McGrath
23. Carbery

Harsh as **** on Kearney and Ryan but to be the best you have to be ruthless!
 

Immenso

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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.
I'm just going to address one point here / the subs situation.

Using tactical subs has been a big part of our game as we have good depth,
Almost emptying the bench on 50mins.

If this then means a subsequent injury results in hookers at flankers and flankers on the wing, then diddums to us. Risk and reward.

We also had a situation in last bledisloe where Whitelock hobbled the last 10 because we had no subs. If this risk/reward decision exacerbates his injury and we have makeshift locks in the next match. Then diddums, it was a situation we had control of.
 

Larksea

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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.
I think I constantly compared Vito to Messam, and Thomson too when he was in the mix, really good trio of players. Messam wasn't as big or powerful as vito but when games got tough messam often stood out and would make big plays when needed, he would lift his game. For the chiefs he was almost always the best player or the player that stood out when chiefs lost. Vito could have huge games if the pack was dominant overall but he usually always went missing when his pack was struggling, and if you actually followed him you could see he would totally be off his game. I think Vito was too "by the book", he didn't push the boundaries/laws enough in those situations. I also think he was very poor laterally, big and fast for his size but poor agility, kinda old school #8 in that area completely different to Messam as that was arguably his strong point, very mobile as you would expect given he is a touch small compared to your typical 6/8. Lineout, wow vito he was good no question about it. Good hands, front of the lineout was his house.

I hear you on Piutau. Totally agree, absolutely brilliant player.

Lowe is obviously more than just consistent/solid. He scores and creates a ton of tries his record clearly shows that. And as mentioned his kicking game is a genuine point of difference. How many wingers, fullbacks or simply players in the world can kick like him? Not many, if any. Pretty much every single game without fail he produces kicks that turn defense into attack or produce significant territory gain.

Moala was NPC player of the year in 2015? On form probably NZ's best midfielder in 2015. Hes had some insanely good stats on defense at times. This year at the blues hasn't reflected his true ability. he along with Piutau were our best players in that insane game against Samoa last year. and he had a very impressive showing against the welsh before he was injured. Did more in that one welsh game on attack than Fekitoa has done in two seasons. Even in this game his running got us going forward pretty much every time he got the ball. IMO injuries not ability have been his setback. Fit I'd still take him over Fekitoa & Seta. Also seems to make a good impression on the coaches as part of the squad. Your right he may struggle to get the game time to establish himself now with this injury. What he needs to do is find is 2016 super rugby form for the blues next year.
 
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