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Surprise! The all blacks are playing in 42 hours

Umaga's Witness

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Has anyone heard of the all blacks? They were once a great, revered, team, one of legend the tales of which were handed down from generation to generation. A mythical beast, now folklore. Have you heard of them? Do you believe they ever existed? Well guess what, they still do! And the are playing on Sunday, this Sunday.

you better believe it, It’s real my friends.

have you heard of the wallabies? Me neither. Apparently that’s who they’re playing.

teams:
WALLABIES (15-1): Tom Banks, Filipo Daugunu, Hunter Paisami, Matt To'omua, Marika Koroibete, James O'Connor, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Michael Hooper (c), Pete Samu, Matt Philip, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Taniela Tupou, Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper

Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Rob Valetini, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Reece Hodge

ALL BLACKS (15-1): Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (c), Shannon Frizell, Sam Whitelock, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tuungafasi, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody

Reserves: Dane Coles, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Nepo Laulala, Tupou Vaa'i, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Anton Lienert-Brown, Caleb Clarke
 

Umaga's Witness

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So, jordie Barrett was exceptional this year for the hurricanes, at fullback. The things that made him good were things he could do precisely, and only, because he was at fullback. He was absolutely a standout, light years better than Beauden. So he should be playing fullback. And there is no good reason to believe he’ll do a betteR job than Jordan or Reece in the wing. And the way he played for the cane s was more or less in the dual playmaker style they want. So, bad decision there.

I like him on the wing for cross kicks, and before this years performances that would have been my preference, but not now.

also lienert brown is the knees of bees.

At least they got ofas selection right. An absolute standout, deserves to start.
 

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Battle of the quarrying housewife neighbours
 

Alex Anghel

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As I said on the "Bledisloe One" thread, it appears that Foster hasn't learned anything from the last WC failure. He looks like Shag 2.0 version (2017-2019), sticking to things that obviously did not work, namely the dual playmakers' system and playing multiple people out of their preferred positions.

One would assume that, once a new WC cycle begins, the selectors would like to start afresh and breed a competitive team for 2023, thus trying to find the right people in the right places (i.e. best players in each position), not to accommodate everyone on the paddock.

Looking forward to the game, I will probably wake up at 5:45 AM.
 

Umaga's Witness

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As I said on the "Bledisloe One" thread, it appears that Foster hasn't learned anything from the last WC failure. He looks like Shag 2.0 version (2017-2019), sticking to things that obviously did not work, namely the dual playmakers' system and playing multiple people out of their preferred positions.

One would assume that, once a new WC cycle begins, the selectors would like to start afresh and breed a competitive team for 2023, thus trying to find the right people in the right places (i.e. best players in each position), not to accommodate everyone on the paddock.

Looking forward to the game, I will probably wake up at 5:45 AM.
It will be interesting to see what role jordie plays, whether he is another play making option or not. France has used penaud in that capacity at times when he is the blindside winger and they go open
 

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So I missed that there was a bledisloe one thread, dint know how given I was looking for it quite desperately.
 

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Honestly didn't realise this game was happening until today
Kinda takes the edge of the Bledisloe to use it as a warm-up game for the Rugby Championship (which is still over a month away)
Always used to be one of the biggest games of the year
 

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I don't understand Jordie Barrett on the wing. Put a natural winger there. I'm all eyes and ears for this game!
 

Umaga's Witness

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Honestly didn't realise this game was happening until today
Kinda takes the edge of the Bledisloe to use it as a warm-up game for the Rugby Championship (which is still over a month away)
Always used to be one of the biggest games of the year
Yeah certainly seemed to me like it’s gone under the radar. even in NZ, loads of tickets available too
 

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As I said on the "Bledisloe One" thread, it appears that Foster hasn't learned anything from the last WC failure. He looks like Shag 2.0 version (2017-2019), sticking to things that obviously did not work, namely the dual playmakers' system and playing multiple people out of their preferred positions.

One would assume that, once a new WC cycle begins, the selectors would like to start afresh and breed a competitive team for 2023, thus trying to find the right people in the right places (i.e. best players in each position), not to accommodate everyone on the paddock.

Looking forward to the game, I will probably wake up at 5:45 AM.

dual playmakers didn't lose us the WC.
I think its been common place in the NZ game to play the best players even out of position and more recently for players to train and understand more than one position.
IMO it works much more often than it doesn't. I would say its pretty much always worked looking at the last 10 years or so.
Heck Read was a 6 who was converted to a #8 to fill a gap at test level. At the time we didn't have a world class #8 yet we had like 5 world class 6's.
Cory Jane was a fullback that converted to wing to play tests
Richard kahui was a center who played most of his test footy on the wing for the AB's and won a WC (he was critical in 2011)
Israel Dagg and Ben Smith were both fullbacks who played many games on the wing to accommodate each other and mils muliaina
Now we have Beauden Barrett and Damien McKenzie who are both equally effective at 10 or 15 and richie mo'unga who is still devaloping as a test 10 but has massive potential.
Jordie Barrett, if you asked him his preferred position he would probably say midfield. But his most value in test rugby is at wing/fullback mostly because we have a lot of depth in midfield and his height has been a huge bonus under the high ball. But Because we have Beauden and DMac as options at 15 Jordie will likely fill a whole at 14 that needs to be filled in the absence of NMS & Naholo. And Jordie has probably overtaken Sevu Reece on recent form.

The only one we have going that I dont like is Savea playing at #8, sure he's athletic and one of the best players in the world but hes a small fast 7. I think we lose too much bulk and height accommodating him at #8. his best roles is from the bench, Cane is the best defender in the NZ game and maybe the world and we need him starting, not to mention hes now captian... But I do see Hoskins Sotutu being developed into a starting #8 over the next couple years. IMO benching Cane for Savea was a bigger factor in the WC loss than dual playmakers.

The long reason for why we lost the WC started with the lions series in 2017 causing us to start a rebuild process in 2018 instead of 2016 then because of injury and form issues we had to do another mini rebuild right before the WC. I also think its clear the AB's played their final against Ireland (and then England played their Final against us) and we just didn't reset psychologically for the next game, we dumped so much energy (mostly mental) into Ireland expecting to to be a much tougher match than it was. By contrast SA had a dream Draw other than being in the same Pool as the AB's. A big factor in winning a a WC is getting a good draw through the finals. It would be irrational to throw out the "dual playmaker" idea based on that one game. Also considering how new Richie is to test Rugby. 2019 was a crazy year for the AB's, with DMac and squire out, Rieko Ioane's form going completely AWAL after being the best wing in the world for the 2 years prior and NMS & Naholo also dropping out and Ben Smith not back to 100 after injury issues. I think a lot of us in NZ didn't really expect the AB's to win but all of a sudden we started to play some fricken amazing rugby and in an instant became favorites again by beating the boks and then turning in more great performances before thrashing Ireland. Again, lots of reasons we didn't win, dual playmakers isn't one of them.
 
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Hi Larksea, it’s always nice to see your input and I have often seen my views aligned with yours, but this time I have to disagree with most of the points you raised above. Just some scattered thoughts in connection thereof:
- the dual playmakers systems was implemented mainly as a desperate last measure to counter the rush defence encountered during the 2017 Lions Tour and latter to overcome Barrett’s inconsistencies off the tee. In my opinion, it never really felt like it was going to work, in terms of both combos (BB-DMac, BB-RM) and ultimately destabilised the back three, by playing people out of position;
- NZ lost the WC due to a combination of factors (i.e. England too good on the day, poor selection and lack of plan B, unexpected injuries or withdrawals prior to the tournament, etc) but in my mind it was mainly because Steve Hansen did not properly rebuild the team post 2015;
- I am not a New Zealander and therefore not as astute of a connoisseur of the game as you or other Kiwis are, but I constantly read the NZ rugby columns in various online newspapers and it seems that the majority of the commentators believe that Sam Cane is not fit to be the skipper and he should not even be in the team, because he’s the 4th or 5th best openside even in Super Rugby, vastly outplayed by the likes of Ardie Savea or Lachlan Boshier. Of course, being name captain by Foster means that he has to play irrespective of current form, which results in playing other people of position (i.e. Ardie at 8)...;
- if the current in form fullback from Super Rugby Aotearoa is shifted to wing, just because he played two or three insignificant games there, what’s the point of having specialised wingers in the team and not relate to utilities?

Cheers.
 

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It will be interesting to see how the abs go .Personally not a Ritchie Mo'unga fan but i hope he proves me wrong now that Beudins out with injury.Good Frizells starting and would have liked ardie at 7 but hey canes the captian so thats the way it is, would have liked lomax to get a game(hopefully next one) so it seems like a good mix of experience and rookies .It will be interesting to see how it plays out .Go the All Blacks.
 

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Hi Larksea, it’s always nice to see your input and I have often seen my views aligned with yours, but this time I have to disagree with most of the points you raised above. Just some scattered thoughts in connection thereof:
- the dual playmakers systems was implemented mainly as a desperate last measure to counter the rush defence encountered during the 2017 Lions Tour and latter to overcome Barrett’s inconsistencies off the tee. In my opinion, it never really felt like it was going to work, in terms of both combos (BB-DMac, BB-RM) and ultimately destabilised the back three, by playing people out of position;
- NZ lost the WC due to a combination of factors (i.e. England too good on the day, poor selection and lack of plan B, unexpected injuries or withdrawals prior to the tournament, etc) but in my mind it was mainly because Steve Hansen did not properly rebuild the team post 2015;
- I am not a New Zealander and therefore not as astute of a connoisseur of the game as you or other Kiwis are, but I constantly read the NZ rugby columns in various online newspapers and it seems that the majority of the commentators believe that Sam Cane is not fit to be the skipper and he should not even be in the team, because he’s the 4th or 5th best openside even in Super Rugby, vastly outplayed by the likes of Ardie Savea or Lachlan Boshier. Of course, being name captain by Foster means that he has to play irrespective of current form, which results in playing other people of position (i.e. Ardie at 8)...;
- if the current in form fullback from Super Rugby Aotearoa is shifted to wing, just because he played two or three insignificant games there, what’s the point of having specialised wingers in the team and not relate to utilities?

Cheers.
Both of you have some good points.

I would agree with the no plan b as a reason for not winning the World Cup, and in fact would put it as the number one reason if rephrased slightly. Two plans is not enough either, you really need to develop many options and develop a team and particularly leaders who can choose the right options at the right time. The notion of a plan b doesn’t prevent The real problem with the plan A - over coaching/ structuring to the extent the players simply have no idea how to deal with contingencies.

ultimately though, my view is at the time of selecting the World Cup semifinal team, they weren’t really playing any one out of position, because Beauden was actually the form fullback at that time. They picked everyone on form for that game with the exception of Scott barrett (they should have picked cane But not at the expense of savea. I still don’t understand why they ever tied to Play savea at 6 when they had read who largely played like a 6 anyway. Without getting too hung up on roles what they needed was a game plan that would enable canes ability to tackle players before they reached the advantage line, and saveAs ability To get turnovers. Australia has done exactly that with hooper and pocock, but we never executed anywhere near to that same extent. And they didn’t do it with hooper and pocock playing strict 6 and 7 roles, and I think our problem is we thought we’d magically be able to do it With savea in a more traditional 6 role, without thinking too hard about exactly hoW to execute, realising we would need a slightly different role definition.)

So the other key reason they lost the World Cup, is that they picked solely on form instead of accounting for experience. They should have looked at the team and realised they needed more experience in there, so they had players more likely to react to England having worked out our game plan, to try a plan b, c, etc. they needed better leaders too, as the likes of Sam whitelock weren’t doing a leadership job of keepIng everyone calm and confident, instead they were outwardly showing a disbelief of us having any chance of a comeback. They should have started Crotty and had bender on the bench, even though they weren’t the form players.

theoretically, the more playmakers you have, the more likely you can come up with and execute a plan b, so I don’t think dual playmakers was a mistake, instead perhaps they needed more than just three. There’s a possibility that Jordie on the wing will fulfil that capacity. Otherwise, I agree that he should have Been picked at fullback.

also, I agree with you both that we lost the World Cup because England were better. I don’t think we should get too hung up on losing the World Cup, in fact I really despise the fact it is given such importance, as the truth of the matter is it’s not possible to have full control over your ability to win every single game. You can control your winning percentage, over time, but that’s it.
 

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Hi Larksea, it’s always nice to see your input and I have often seen my views aligned with yours, but this time I have to disagree with most of the points you raised above. Just some scattered thoughts in connection thereof:
- the dual playmakers systems was implemented mainly as a desperate last measure to counter the rush defence encountered during the 2017 Lions Tour and latter to overcome Barrett’s inconsistencies off the tee. In my opinion, it never really felt like it was going to work, in terms of both combos (BB-DMac, BB-RM) and ultimately destabilised the back three, by playing people out of position;
- NZ lost the WC due to a combination of factors (i.e. England too good on the day, poor selection and lack of plan B, unexpected injuries or withdrawals prior to the tournament, etc) but in my mind it was mainly because Steve Hansen did not properly rebuild the team post 2015;
- I am not a New Zealander and therefore not as astute of a connoisseur of the game as you or other Kiwis are, but I constantly read the NZ rugby columns in various online newspapers and it seems that the majority of the commentators believe that Sam Cane is not fit to be the skipper and he should not even be in the team, because he’s the 4th or 5th best openside even in Super Rugby, vastly outplayed by the likes of Ardie Savea or Lachlan Boshier. Of course, being name captain by Foster means that he has to play irrespective of current form, which results in playing other people of position (i.e. Ardie at 8)...;
- if the current in form fullback from Super Rugby Aotearoa is shifted to wing, just because he played two or three insignificant games there, what’s the point of having specialised wingers in the team and not relate to utilities?

Cheers.

Firstly, dual play makers does work, has been working and will keep working if its done right. Losing one game doesn't mean all of a sudden it doesn't work and should be thrown out. That's a very simple reductionist way of looking at it.
So is the saying "X team was too good on the day". A fair statement to rationalize and accept a loss and move on but ultimately meaningless in doing an actual analysis of a game or performance.
Though I do agree with the statement "Steve Hansen did not properly rebuild the team post 2015". But I actually game the reasons why that was the case. I've never been a huge fan of Hansen but most of it wasn't his fault.
1, the man reason was the 2017 lions tour. Players that would have normally left after the 2015 WC stayed in the NZ game to be part of the Lions series and then left. So we had a player exodus in 2015 and then another in 2017 after the Lions (Cruden, TKB, Fekitoa, Kaino, Sopoaga for example)
2, Squire, Dmac, Owen Franks and Reiko Ioane... Squire filled the vacancy at 6 but had injury and mental health issues which despite at the time he was back playing well he ruled himself out of selection, When the AB's rebuilt in 2018 DMac became a critical part of the AB's attack but did a knee and was out of the RWC. Then there was Reiko Ioane who was probably the best winger in the world in 17-18 but for some reason his form almost totally vanished for 2019. And also add to a lesser extent Ben Smith, probably the best 15 in the world for the last decade struggled with injury through 2019 and struggled to regain form in time to make an impact at the WC. Owen franks was NZ's test 3 for a decade had some injury and form issues and missed selection for the WC.
This was all a massive turnover of players for 2017-2019, because of that the AB's started 2019 as pretty much an experimental side. As I said I think for a time the NZ public actually accepted that and didn't expect to win the RWC. That was up until the experiment started to work and the side put together some great performances despite the far from ideal circumstances and rebuilt the public expectation.
Well don't always believe what you read, Sam Cane is still the best test 7 in the NZ game and anyone who thinks he doesn't deserve selection should actually look at his stats. its no secret that the chiefs haven't clicked under Gatland this year but Cane still ran up great numbers. Check out 2c on youtube did a pretty good stat analysis showing numbers adjusted for playtime

Lastly its pretty much a Rule that the All Blacks play fullbacks as wingers, fullbacks have a more complete skillset which is better suited to test Rugby. Cory jane, converted from fullback to wing to play test rugby. Both Dagg and Ben Smith are both fullbacks that played a LOT on the wing to accommodate each other and Mils, then there is Richard Kahui who was a 13 converted to wing for test footy and was a huge success, that may see strange but he had that complete skillset of a fullback. Even nehe milner-skudder I believe was mostly a fullback before moving to wing to play tests. George Bridge played a lot at fullback. Its actually rare for an all out specialist winger to hold down a spot on the wing. Take Rieko out since he sees himself as a midfielder the only obvious one in recent history is Julian Savea and Naholo before that you have to go back to the 2007 WC squad with Roko, Sivivatu and Howlett.
When you boil that all down, the all blacks like selecting fullbacks to play wing. And since they have been doing it they have won 2 would cups and dominated the #1 spot in the rankings so you cant say it hasn't worked :p
 

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It will be interesting to see how the abs go .Personally not a Ritchie Mo'unga fan but i hope he proves me wrong now that Beudins out with injury.Good Frizells starting and would have liked ardie at 7 but hey canes the captian so thats the way it is, would have liked lomax to get a game(hopefully next one) so it seems like a good mix of experience and rookies .It will be interesting to see how it plays out .Go the All Blacks.
We all hope our selection criticisms are wrong haha.
 
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