13 07 2008

Well that hurt. The Springboks beat us in game 2 of the Trinations. It was actually a case of we beat ourselves. Our forward pack was too inexperienced to cope with them especially when Awesome Ali went off injured. We were already missing Captain Courageous  and the man beast known as Brad Thorn so when Ali had the head knock with Schalk Burger I had this sinking feeling that it wouldn’t be our day. The Boks dominated the first half and we were lucky to be close. I felt we edged the Boks in the second half and Lauaki’s try seemed to indicate we were coming good. (As an aside – is there a better sight in rugby than Lauaki running over the top of people? He is a wrecking ball and scud missile mashed together.) However our inexperience told again and the little mistakes crept back in. Januarie’s try was all skill and inspirational brilliance – wasn’t there a time when the All Blacks had those qualities?

The Boks proved they are the World Champs and the All Blacks showed they still have room to improve, actually they showed they have a lot to work on, namely getting Ali, Richie and Brad back. But at least it was close. If we can stay that close to the world champs while playing that badly then that’s a positive.

A few players shone out for me: Dan Carter was genius, Ma’a Nonu proved how unstoppable he can be while Mils Muliaina proved he is our best fullback AND wing. On the other side one player who has been immensely disappointing is Sitiveni Sivivatu. i thought he was supposed to be world class, at the moment he looks decidely average. The sooner Rokocoko comes back the better.

The All Blacks are due to play the Wallabies in Sydney in a couple of weeks. If they can get those players back then that should be an awesome contest. I can’t wait!




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