RE: only 11 incumbent All Blacks will be < 30 by RWC15,,,
January 29, 2013, 14:37:09
yep weve had or fair share of debates on the topic, but let me address some of ur comments, dont worry my phasers are set to stun, so i wont be shooting to kill, LMAO, :oP
first of, my bad julian savea wil be 25 at the next RWC, not 9, so apologies to beeno who no doubt quaking at his boots thinking whats going to happen once savea turns 20??? LMAO, :oP
u already know my views on the older players, for me performance is the main preresquite for their team selection, which is why if the likes of McCaw, carter and others are preforming in 2015 the way they are now, they will be desrved of their spots in the team.
should it come to pass that they are not available for any reason what so ever, then i am happy with the steps that hansen and co have taken to ensure that the All Blacks do have contingency plans, this was evident in the EOYT where NZ debuted a further 2 players, while rotating thier match day teams to ensure that everyone got a game and built on their test experiences.
* I am not impressed by what i saw from Retallick and has resevations about tight phase play by Whitelock. Matter of fact you are aware of my reservations about the All Black locks - they are very good in bal handling skills - but are not good enough in other elements of the game.
now remember buddy, im not shooting u down (lolz), but i cannot for the life of me figure out how u and so many here can come to that conclusion, cos in NZ we think of retallick, romano and whitelock in the same vain that saffas think of ezebeth.
then again, i for the life of me could not understand how when i posted the matfield vs bakkies thread, the vast majority preferred bakkies. in NZ bakkies was one of our favourite oppositions, due to him being sooooooo overrated, but each to their own.
some interesting facts though about retallick.
retallick was the leading tackler in the 2012 spXV for a tight 5 forward and 4th overall. he was also No1 for stealing opposition lineout throws and 9th over all for the most pick and drives. those are only half the reasons why he is valued so highly in NZ.
i will say this though, IMO luke romano is the most important lock in the country, whitelock and retallick have very similar styles to their game, while thorn has the more physical/enforcer role. all three are fantastic locks, but romano and any of the other two is the most balanced 2nd row combination.
* Victor Vito - would like to see more off him before I make up my mind about him
i have high hopes for vito, and he hasnt let either the hurricane s or All Blacks down. IMO he will be the incumbent No6 come the next RWC and im expecting him to win back that jersey from messam this year.
* My initial reaction when I saw Aaron Smith playing was that he is a real star. However, later in the test series I noticed some flaws in him when under pressure - so he has some work to do to improve his game.
agree with u completely here, there are a lot of flaws in his game when the heat is on and both hansen and smith need to do something about it, cos im sure opposition coaches would have noticed it too.
he is vital to the All Blacks plan though, the speed of his ball clearnce feeding the best backline in the world is a winning formula.
* Taweera Kerr Barlow and Ken Smith - same as Vito
I will watch these players this coming year and then comment more fully on them. The player I really like is Cade - but I think Barrett is over-rated.
u only need to watch the spXV last year to see that thers something about barlow which is special, a real fircracker and has the potential to be a very similar player to hougaard.
im assuming that by cade u meant cane??? if so yep i really liked him too and it was a bit of a shame that he didnt get as many tests last year, but he did get enough for a good debut year. i would have liked to have seen him get more though, even if it meant shuffling rugby extraordinaire Richie McCaw to either 6 ot 8.
i dont mind barret, but he had the most missed tackles in the 2012 spXV which is a bit of a worry, this was offset though with him being 2nd for the most try assits.
i will say i wouldnt be surprised to see tom taylor from the crusaders overtake barret in the flyhalf pecking order, but for now im happy with the progress of barret aka NZs 3rd pick flyhalf.
as for ben smith, like our locks, the vast majority of NZ have come to have a lot of love mr error free ben smith for his consitency in both tight defence and exhilarating attack, areal valuable asset for NZ and of all the back players named, i would wager a alrge ampount that ben smith will be playing in NZ top team come the RWC, only injury will stop that from being a reality.
heres a few things to keep in mind while u watching ben smiths progress, in the 2012 spXV ben smith was,,,
3rd for most meters made, behind hosea gear and SBW.
7th for most linebreaks.
4th for most offloads.
but im looking forward to ur assesment after the spXV and french test sereis, but i get a feeling that if retasllick and our other locks havent impresed u at all so far, they most likely never will, LMAO, :P
but all good, each to their own and all that and im loving the rugger talk, :o)