Discussion in 'Rugby World Cup 2019' started by TRF_heineken, Oct 21, 2019.
Should be like 33-7.
Eddie Jones brain has muscles with smaller muscles growing on it.
Congratulations to England, you guys played great rugby! The game was as tough watch as an AB fan, but I really enjoyed how you played, good luck in the final.
So... This post may be too long for some readers, so I will do a TLDR at the bottom, but it would be cathartic to have a conversation with someone about the points I make, so I'd appreciate any responses to them.
I just want to start by praising England and Eddie Jones for that fantastic performance, we were lucky it wasn't 40-0, we were gifted that Ardie try which came from forward passes anyway. Your loose forwards were awesome, Itoje, Underhill, Lawes, Curry and Billy were absolutely powerful and great to watch and they destroyed us. Farrell and Ford were fantastic and kicked great and played smart stuff. Your outside backs exploited us nicely when they had the opportunity. Massive respect to your performance and team, you will be scary going forward from here. Good job, love that brand of rugby, we weren't in the game at all.
So onto the All Blacks.
It's taken me a few days to process and digest the disappointment I felt during and after this game. Not for losing, but the way in which we were completely blown off the park. The performance was terrible.
I pinpoint the Lions series as the beginning of our demise and the beginning of the erosion Steve Hansen's legacies demise.
All the problems we have had over the last 2 years were completely exposed by the ever so shrewd Eddie Jones and of course Steve Hansen created a few problems of his own doing.
-Lack of continuity (particularly in the midfield)
-No real blindside, backrow too small.
-Favourites being selected when they're not good enough (Jordie Barrett)
-Leadership group not composed enough
Where to start? I guess I'll start with the line-up.
So, the 3 lock strategy fell on it's face in the first minute, worse than how we fell off tackles!!! TBH, I don't think Sam Cane could've prevented this start from England, who were again great out off the blocks vs Steve Hansen's All Blacks.
I lauded Foster's new attacking formations earlier in the thread and still believe it's great, but it won't get a chance to thrive, if we don't have the ball or secure good ball from proper backrow play, which Hansen has continued to neglect the last few years. What good is having all these fancy backline moves, if we don't have go forward ball!
We got a lesson in picking a proper backrow. We played vs a very, very good backrow. We have never replaced Kaino, I don't think we have a true proper world class blindside in the country and it's been a problem of the last 2 years since Jerome's retirement. We had absolutely no physicality to match them in the backrow, it was a slaughter by Underhill and Curry.
Steve Hansen's neglect in backrow forward play and securing good ball really got taken advantage off by Curry and Underhill. For some time now, our forwards have been 2nd best in a many of our games and Hansen seemed to want to focus on scoring wonderful tries in the backline instead of focus on securing us good ball. I desperately hope our next coach puts a lot more emphasis on our forward play.
Lack of continuity in the midfield; Not enough caps together, need I say more? Laumape left at home as well, who is a different player and option to Crotty and Goodhue who are basically the same player. We haven't built any combinations. I thought Hansen would value this dearly after coaching C.Smith and Nonu for so long!
Jordie Barrett on the bench over Ben Smith. This was a big one for me and has opened my eyes up over the last few years to seeing Steve Hansen's weaknesses as a coach. 99% of New Zealanders will tell you Jordie is not up to it and will lose you a game under pressure. First thing he does was try a stupid offload that leads to England 3 points and puts us out off the match. We were never in the match in reality, but on the scoreboard we were and a cool calm head like Ben smith could've offered an outlet of stability and composure to an already panicked backline, NOT JORDIE BARRETT!!!
I found this last 2 years our team has lacked composure under pressure, I look at the leadership group at failing to instil it (2018 Wellington game vs South Africa comes to mind). McCaw, Kanio, Carter, C.Smith's calm cool headed attitudes did not pass through into K.Read unfortunately, who looked like a stunned mullet every time England put points on the board. With Richie you knew the players believed in the words he said, Read is like an answering machine, push a button and he will say a generic polite motivational phrase. Our leadership group has not been good the last 2 years. Whitelock gave away a stupid penalty with 12 minutes to go when we finally built a little bit of momentum too, what sort of leader does that in the dying embers of a knock-out game? Yesh
Lack of a proper strategy when we are on the back foot. By the end of the game around 10 minutes to go, it turned into embarrassing catch up rugby and it was legitimately the most embarrassing I've seen the All Blacks if we forget about the hiding Australia dished us, we started throwing it around like NFL and schoolboy lunch time rugby stuff. The referees even felt sorry for us and ignored blatant forward passes while we chucked it around aimlessly and quite sadly. I was sat there thinking "After 8 years of building, this is it Steve?"
The post match interview really bothered me. His response to the reporter who asked whether or not the AB's attitude was right from kick-off was disgraceful, telling to reporter to come outside and he will "give him a rugby lesson" - WHAT!!! This was a perfect legit question to ask considering the way we came out, compared to how England came out. Did we think they were going to roll over like Ireland?
I felt Steve and Ian have put themselves on a pedestal because of their 2015 RWC win that we, the public, or the press can't question, probe or criticize them about mistakes or problems the team has had. They have been abrasive and at times arrogant or dismissive.
I don't want to demean or undervalue what Steve Hansen and Ian Foster have done for our rugby or the All Blacks, but they had the greatest squad rugby has ever seen from 2011-2015 and when finally they had to step up and do a bit of coaching, they haven't come through, arguably Foster has with the new backline plays, but Hansen has not.
I think, this cycle has been quite a big failure given the huge depth and talent we have, particularly the last 2 years and many bad records have been broken. I feel Hansen was slightly exposed after our golden generation retired.
I know this might be too negative and harsh on Hansen, but it's how I'm left feeling after this terrible performance by the All Blacks. Maybe in the future my opinion and feelings will change, but right now that's it.
Congratulations to England however, a fine clinical performance, that was a guilty pleasure to watch from the other side of the window. Congrats lads, enjoy it.
-New attacking formations didn't have a chance to work because we were dominated at the breakdown
-Backrow failed vs a great English backrow because we don't have a proper blindside to pick and Hansen has neglected backrow play for awhile now
-Lack of continuity in key positions like centre
-picking favourites like Jordie when they haven't earned their place
-The leadership group lacked compsore and problem solving abilities (gave away stupid penalties)
-Interviews have no being great under Hansen
-Golden generation made him look a better coach than what he was possibly.
cant argue with anything there, will only add England leveraged every single weakness the AB's had, great game plan expertly executed
Ben Smith, forget his ability to open up a defense for a second, vice captain last year, not even on the bench this year...struggling for leadership this year...what changed?
I've been struggling a little bit with how to process that performance. You did a nice job of summing up some of my thoughts and opening my eyes to a few different things I hadn't considered.
Have to agree wholeheartedly with the assessment on our forward play. I think I have the blinkers on a bit sometimes with our forwards, and our backs a lot of the time bail out an average performance up front by scoring awesome tries and winning us games (e.g. pool game vs. South Africa).
We have definitely missed the power of Kaino on both sides of the ball. Squire was a bit inconsistent but was the closest thing we had to someone in that mould. I hope the next coach (Razor?) can get to Akira Ioane and turn him into the player he should be. If he meets even 80% of his potential then he could be the solution at 8 at least.
Agree on leadership, we have lost games in this cycle that we would have never lost with the old heads of Conrad, Nonu, McCaw and Carter. Ireland in Dublin, the Lions series, SA in 2018. We never truly figured out a way to play on the back foot; I know this is very hard to do, but we should have had a plan B. The plan B here was headless chicken rugby that was never going to succeed.
I think Hansen blew up at the reporter because he struck a nerve and was right. The attitude and mindset was not right. You only have to be a tiny bit off, and you'll get beaten. I think clearly we were off the boil given the unforced errors (not to mention all the forced errors from England's good play). Loose carries, missed line outs, horrible option taking.. all of that speaks to attitude/mindset being off.
I don't mind Foster, and think he actually has some good attacking stuff, but as you say it's a bit hard when we don't even get parity up front. Go-forward ball solves all out problems, but as you say, we have been inconsistent in that area since the last world cup.
Jamie Joseph is a hard nut and I have no doubt would put an emphasis on dominating up front, also has shown flexibility with playing to his team's strengths. Him, Tony Brown, Foster as assistants could be a good combo.
Sam Underhill gives me the willy at night.
He hits like a truck.
Really great post
I totally agree with you.
I'm not as upset about Hansen though I think. You can only coach so much, ultimately the players are responsible and getting pushed around like children and panic passing in contact is more their fault than the game plan.
But then as you say that also comes back to selection. It's funny you used Jordie as an example because he's always been an issue for me. Not only do I think he's massively over rated, Ben Smith is one of my favorite players so I wasn't impressed with that decision.
You're right about the lack of composure, you could almost taste the panic after the first try.
It's hard to know what to think. Maybe because the game started at 1am here and I drank my own body weight in Guinness before the game but I think ultimately England were just so good. Like absolutely perfect.
I think I'll rewatch the game again in a week or 2 when it doesn't hurt as much, my hazy recollection of England's performance warrants a rewatch I think.
1am ? where are you?
Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. The rest of the finals start at 2am! I've been having some late nights this WC, I think I'm losing my mind.
at least it was all worth it.....oh wait...
Safe to assume that the All Blacks will be fired up to absolutely blast Wales on Friday?
i wouldn't assume anything, Hansen might just let some of those fringe players get a run
Nah, a bit heartbreaking but definitely worth it. I watched every single game and had a blast. Here's hoping the final is a cracker.
Yeah but the ‘fringe players’ are people like Ben Smith, Ryan Crotty and Reiko Ioane. And Wales look exhausted.
It could be rather unedifying for a Welsh side that at least deserve a break. Hope I’m wrong.
i was thinking more like frizzell and weber.....but yeah...you're not wrong
I absolutely respect New Zealand, because they continually raised the bar with their attacking play and skill set. Rugby is after all an attacking game, but they continually neglect their forward play. There needs to be a balance. And they got found out on Saturday.
Mate - loving the curry undies jibe. Well done!
This surname concatenation gets on my tittyboobmamarries.
Just watched the extended highlights and England wernt without mistakes trying offloads, bad passes and knock ons but the way we came back and defended was unreal. We were brutal with or without the ball. Im wishing away this week so i can get to Saturdays as i cannot wait!
As happy as Nigel Owens after the welsh result, no doubt.
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