Originally Posted by ohtani's jacket
McCaw wasn't fit in that game either and neither was Carter. The pair of them have been carrying injuries all season. McCaw took a huge knock early on in that game and Carter had one of his worst ever performances in a black jersey, but it was a very poor All Black performance for the most part with only a few players living up to their usual standards. Nevertheless, that was in August. If you look at the World Cup to date, Australia has regressed from that Brisbane performance and New Zealand have improved in the back three and more crucially the pack. This World Cup is no longer about Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. Guys like Tony Woodcock, Owen Franks, Jerome Kaino, Peri Weepu and Israel Dagg hold the keys to victory. Of course, Australia can win. If they were going to break their losing streak at Eden Park it would be more likely to happen on the big stage than in a Bledisloe test, but New Zealand are playing at home and have a very good team and need to go out there and perform to their ability. The last time Aaron Cruden started against Australia in Sydney he was let down by the senior players around him and some poor prep from the coaches for that game, but we still won.
Originally Posted by Somerset
That match in Brisbane represents a completely different situation to the SF on Sunday, and Ohtani's jacket has made a good post explaining that. I'll add too that the AB squad for that match was very disjointed, that the ABs had just come off a loss, and the Wallabies were playing in Brisbane which followed on from the Reds success in Super Rugby and seemed to motivate the Australians. I'd also add to his list of key players Conrad Smith and Kieran Read, both of whom are crucial to an AB victory. As for Cruden, I actually quite like the attitude he expressed in that interview. I got the impression Slade was under quite strict instructions in terms of a gameplan to try and fill the gap Carter left, and clearly he wasn't able to do so. In my mind, since Cruden's recently been added to the mix he hasn't been quite so influenced into playing in that style, and is rather carrying on from where he left off in the ITM Cup, in which he was outstanding, with his own style.
Good posts - I could quibble with minor details - but on the whole enjoyed reading both perspectives especially OJs.
I think we have a different understanding of what "Cruden's style" means. And what him expressing himself means.
to me it means him trying to do everything himself and not passing to Nonu.
If in the ITM cup he shone by PASSING the ball rather than breaking the line himself then I will be reassured.
Auckland 47,103, 27, 269*, 59, 118