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Official Rugby Thread

James

Cricket Web Owner
In case you guys are interested, big World Cup qualifying match on at the moment live on YouTube.


Uruguay v USA
 

Flem274*

123/5
It's a shame there's no promotion and relegation this season because Taranaki are on a march now they have an experienced coach. The talent was always there, but now they have their best opportunity in years to escape the Championship.

Actually looking forward to Manawatu v Southland today. Manawatu have always been slightly hard done by in that their best talent never plays for them and the rest gets poached by bigger NPC unions, so it's nice to see Aaron Smith directing them around.
 

Flem274*

123/5
Vale Sean Wainui. Passed away in a car crash. Terrible news. RIP.
Fantastic man. Everything you want in a representative of Taranaki (and this year Bay of Plenty) rugby.

He's never phoned in a game in his life. Always made his tackles. He was really involved with and proud of Maori culture and kinda became synonymous with the NZ Maori side imo.

Just a really gun, funny, kind bloke by all accounts of people who met him. There are lots of guys who lose the plot a bit in winter code, but never Wainui. Leaves behind a wife and kid. Just awful news.
 

James

Cricket Web Owner
Expected blow-out scoreline this morning, can't take much from the game really. Looked like a great atmosphere, but thought they might have managed a full house. The disappointment is seeing USA fans complaining that none of the major US TV networks picked it up to show the game, and was only available on pay-per-view. Opportunity lost there, especially with talk around USA potentially getting the RWC in 2027 or 2031 and getting kids and non-rugby Americans interested in the game.
 

Fuller Pilch

International Captain
Terrible thrashing. The highlight was the try by the American halfback - looks like a good player.

Wish I'd watched Japan-Australia. Japan is a genuinely decent rugby side these days.
 

James

Cricket Web Owner
Terrible thrashing. The highlight was the try by the American halfback - looks like a good player.

Wish I'd watched Japan-Australia. Japan is a genuinely decent rugby side these days.
Given it was a USA B team, you'd have to have expected that. Apparently all their top players were called back by their clubs in Europe.

Yeah, it's great to see how far Japan have come. Wish they'd them involved in the Rugby Championship.
 

Fuller Pilch

International Captain
Wow. Dreadful story. Thanks for sharing though. He was a special player who could've been considered one of the absolute greats if he'd stayed in NZ. I know cricket lacks tackling and impact through the body but I really think Will Pucowski should retire.
 
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Smudge

Hall of Fame Member
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but perhaps he would have been better served staying in NZ in terms of the volume of rugby he played when he left NZ. That said, one of the reasons he left after the 2007 RWC is that he didn't like the limelight and the high profile of being an All Black, so going to Europe made sense.
 

Fuller Pilch

International Captain
I only played rugby to a very low level (age, school, club) but had quite a few concussions and my memory is sometimes dodgy. Makes you wonder.
 

Howe_zat

Audio File
It was honestly kind of a **** game but there's really no bad way to beat Australia 8 times in a row

I'm really fond of that bit
 

Fuller Pilch

International Captain
So South Africa beat the Scots but the ABs and Wallabies lose to Ireland and England respectively. Congrats to the winners.

If New Zealand loses to France next weekend what appeared a decent year will finish as a pretty terrible one. We have a team made for waltzing through World Cup pool play with a lot of points but I'd rather have one capable of grinding through World Cup knockouts in an ugly and efficient manner ala England 2003 or South Africa 2019.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
It was honestly kind of a **** game but there's really no bad way to beat Australia 8 times in a row

I'm really fond of that bit
Yeah, thought the scoreline was mildly flattering to us, but it always felt like we were gonna win.

Fair play to the Micks too; narrower scoreline but it felt a more merited win. Beating NZ from 5 points down at HT is a bit special. After they'd dominated first half possession only to be behind at the break I worried the Irish sting had been drawn, but kudos to the men in green.

Could see what it meant to Lowe too.
 

James

Cricket Web Owner
If New Zealand loses to France next weekend what appeared a decent year will finish as a pretty terrible one. We have a team made for waltzing through World Cup pool play with a lot of points but I'd rather have one capable of grinding through World Cup knockouts in an ugly and efficient manner ala England 2003 or South Africa 2019.
Ireland were superb today, and thoroughly deserved their victory. The days of the All Blacks dominating World Rugby is well and truly gone in my mind with the Northern Hemisphere teams going from strength to strength.

Lacking experience and smarts in key moments is so obvious, and as many have said, Foster is out of his depth as coach. I think we need a few experienced All Blacks around the group, i.e. a Richie McCaw, a Conrad Smith, etc
 

Flem274*

123/5
Here's my Phlegm rant.

NZ are a bunch of talented players with no cohesion, no attacking plans beyond huck it and a very mediocre front row who are only good for getting carded. They've been getting away with it mostly because of incredible individual talent but always come unglued against South Africa, England and sometimes Ireland.

Unsurprisingly reddit is focusing on BB v Mo'unga, the midfield (fair tbh) and Jordie v Jordan, but it's the front row and Foster's non-existent attacking structure where they should be directing their ire.

We desperately need better props and our senior locks are fading too. Moody is our best prop, and he's extremely average against the best sides and likes to throw punches in rolling mauls. Nepo Laulala, Ofa etc are worse, Tyrel Lomax is a rung below them and George Bower is there because he's a Crusader. Big Karl can scrum thankfully so I actually have time for him but he's there to scrum and that's it.

If we could stop using a distributor and utility back as a crashballer that would be good too. I'm not Havilli's biggest fan but Foster has used him poorly.

We need Robertson not just because he's innovative on attack but because he insists on smart rugby.
 

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