Well done South Africa, but boy did that game show that if we lose one of Carter or McCaw we really are completely stuffed.
Slade was absolute rubbish, don't think he did a single thing right all night and hope he doesn't make it anywhere near the 30 man squad. Messam, Whitelock and especially Thomson were also very poor.
A plus point was our back three looked dangerous all night but didn't convert any chances however.
One very worried All Blacks fan here.
I admire both of you for getting up in the middle of the night.
I watched the second half on replay just now. Toeava was weak under the high ball and hopefully won't make the 30 man squad. Jimmy Cowan is incredible. Ellis is mediocre. Slade wasted possession on two plays in the 2nd half that caught my eye. One forward pass and then an aimless chip kick that was effectively a turn over. Gear looked good under the high ball and I know he has been practising it after he was dropped at one point.
Glad we lost - best thing that could have happened to us.
There were two scrums in a row in the 2nd half where Adam Thomson did something funky with the ball at his feet and we ended up losing it. Not sure why the number 7 would ever end up with the ball - something wasn't right.
Last edited by James; 20-08-2011 at 06:42 PM.
I also think both the TMO and referee are to blame, but the TMO really shouldn't have asked the question to the referee and given him the additional information. Otherwise Joubert should've asked the TMO if Read had knocked the ball on against Australia two weeks ago; or perhaps Barnes should've gone to the TMO to catch the Michalak pass against the ABs in 2007...but those are ridiculous examples and of course the TMO shouldn't rule on those, just as he shouldn't have this morning.
Just so you don't get the wrong idea, I'm not suggesting the TMO made the decision in favour of South Africa because he was South African - in fact I'm sure its the same TMO who awarded a favourable try to McCaw in that dramatic test which New Zealand snatched in South Africa last year - but I am saying it was a poor mistake irrespective of his knowledge that there was a forward pass.
I actually thought Toeava did really well, including under the high ball. Made some impressive bursts on attack in both halves, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't make the WC squad. I fear that Cory Jane will be the one to miss out; with Dagg back as the second fullback, and with Gear, Sivivatu and Toeava likely to be included on the wing, I don't see a spot for him. If the decision was up to me though, I'd have him in the squad over Gear - even though he too played well, particularly in fielding the high kicks this morning. As for Thomson, as I mentioned in an early post he was prominent but outplayed as the openside flanker by Brussouw who played brilliantly - even though I feel he made a few turnovers under the old laws by not releasing the tackled player first.
Again I think thats a little harsh on Slade, who I didn't think was poor by any means. As for scared, I imagine he took the ball to the line three times as much as Morne Steyn, so I think inexperienced is a better description. I'd have no issue including Weepu as the back-up flyhalf but if we're to do that, do we also include Ellis, or two outside backs, or another forward on the bench? With Houggard, South Africa can afford to play five forwards, since he can cover halfback and as a utility in the backline.
I think wings will lose you more games than they win you - so for that reason I would go for security under the high ball before attacking prowess. Which means Jane and Gear on the wings.
And you don't give up too much attacking skill either.
Toeava dropped at least one kick in the 2nd stanza - and didn't see him in the 1st.
Also I have memories of Toeava having hands of clay in the centres. So I don't trust him. That said as someone else posted here - he is a Henry favourite and is likely to get picked because of that alone.
Pah, a Henry ploy from the White/Jones playbook.
Warms the cockles of my heart, nonetheless.
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