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7173 Topic: Food for thought......
Cloudy

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2236
Food for thought......
November 12, 2013, 09:02:22

JAMES MORTIMER    11.NOV.2013GETTY IMAGES

 

There isn’t much mucking around when looking at the last two coaching eras, Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen between them have lost 16 Tests out of a total 129, a winning percentage nudging 87, a number superstitious were we playing another sport with a piece of wood.

Four times (2005, 2006, 2010 and 2012) the All Blacks have only lost once in a calendar year, four times have they lost just twice (2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011), and in that time for the most part only three nations had tasted success against New Zealand in a ten year period.

That was until England inflicted on the World Champions their worst defeat since 1999, and while some excuses could be made, these All Blacks don’t believe in such rhetoric and know they were on that day beaten by the hungrier, more desperate men.

The House of Lancaster has lost only six of 21 Tests, and revived English Test rugby, getting results and playing a brand that is pulling in mammoth crowds to the Cabbage Path.

Things are different this time, so instantly predictions are difficult as the preparation, last 12 months and respective headspaces and form cannot be compared.

The reality is however is that these two teams are the top two 'form' sides of the 2013 season.

The Red Rose was wilting last year before the All Blacks arrived, having won only five of 11, while critically their best result in five matches against the Springboks and Wallabies was a draw.

Everything changed after that 38-21 celebration as the World Champions fell to the canvas, and hard.

Since then it has been a comfortable suggestion to say that England could build into a legitimate World Cup contender in their own backyard in 2015, with just one blemish on their record since taking the biggest scalp of all.

That loss, to Wales in the Six Nations finale, showed that the exuberance that played such a big part in their win over New Zealand won’t function when a team roars, well, like the Red Dragons only could and did.

With a Grand Slam on the line, one would suspects in Cardiff no-one would have beaten Warren Gatland’s men that day.

Led by a functioning rush defence, ample aggression via Wales plentiful options in the back row, and some tactical calm from the likes of Leigh Halfpenny, it showed how England is not quite the behemoth some would have us believe.

Further to this was how the Springboks effectively overpowered England, and while the All Blacks struggled to impose their muscle on the Red Rose a year ago, it was hardly as if the hosts smashed New Zealand to the turf with raw might.

They tactically outplayed and outthought a New Zealand side that Hansen admitted had telegraphed a fair amount of their style while embedding an approach which was quite different from the 2011 hybrid of the All Blacks.

So we have four key points - rule the ruck, give them the scare defensively, make sure you have a good plan, and muscle up.

An equation built to beat England, if not any team, and a quartet of principles that the All Blacks proud themselves on.

Finally, the team last season was had also been largely intact, a recognised principle under New Zealand for some time that the elite XV is rolled out more often than not, but this time around an advance party was sent, no doubt with England partly in mind.

There are few excuses for the All Blacks this time around to be tired, for the Japanese and French Tests had secondary objectives to ease players into action, with Hansen acknowledged.

“We had, I think, 12 out of 15 having their first game (against France) for about three weeks,” he said. 

“I knew we wouldn't be as sharp as we probably could be. Hence our timing at times yesterday and our running lines at times weren't quite right.”

The English legs had more zest in them last time around, something that the All Blacks will ensure doesn’t repeat itself this time around.

Equally, the hosts are coming into this match with the same winning feeling that surrounds the World Champions, which could paradoxically be a big problem for England – for their desperation led to supreme confidence when they realised they could top their season off with a win over the All Blacks.

Before their All Blacks win England had won just one of six Tests (against Fiji).

This year there is no surprise waiting at Twickenham, and it wouldn’t be a far-fetched suggestion to say that this match has always been underlined by the World Champions.

There is no Manu Tuilagi who spearheaded the English offence, and no Brad Barritt who was their defensive rock, while young Owen Farrell can be shaken despite his growing rock star status.

If a Wallabies back row can unsettle his play as they did at times, then the All Blacks loose forwards will rate their chances.

Those who believe England can win will suggest that their first steps towards victory will come in the scrum exchanges, but despite any thought of weakness here from the best team in the world, there needs to be a reminder of the All Blacks changes over recent months.

Sheer forward might for the men in black may have been slightly compromised, but the width, unpredictability and aerial abilities of the All Blacks in 2013 – via the lineout and the boot – means that English intelligence will be different to what it was last season.

Some teams have ambushed the All Blacks throughout their proud history, but few have conquered them when whisperings of revenge or the feeling of a point to be made hangs around this New Zealand team.

A fair amount went England’s way with the ebb and flow of the match last year; one suspects that even if it takes a terrifying battle of attrition up front, the All Blacks will grind the momentum of the Test to their advantage no matter what the cost.

For a match like this, fireworks may not ignite from the World Champions, but the grunt of their engine and determination will be clearly obvious when the teams begin battle this weekend at Twickenham. 


Cloudy

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2236
RE: Food for thought......
November 12, 2013, 09:03:22
Hope that puts those little viral germs to rest.....

Just read Vunipola ruled out with a knee injury.  


Wardad

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1078
RE: Food for thought......
November 12, 2013, 11:12:57
 Cloudy thats not a nice thing to call the wee poms hahahahha! Just taking the mickey .....


Cloudy

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2236
RE: Food for thought......
November 12, 2013, 11:28:46
Thought it was high time a little perspective was needed wardad lol


Beeno1

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8954
RE: Food for thought......
November 12, 2013, 12:27:04
Its clear the pompous kiwi bird brains need some real perspctive so allow me to be of assistance:
You burgled the WC with the assistance of kiwi in pocket refs.
Ditto a number of other tests.
You were given a massivve boost when race based selections took place again and we landed up with ou pdv as coach and the destruction of our test team that shoud have continued to get better and better under Jake. How appalling that Jake was chucked out and ou pdv installed. Disgusting. Had JW continued its unlikely you would have won a test with him at the helm and what he had built up. 
Meyer had to start from scratch and its apparent now the Boks have overtaken the wee abs and will be number 1 by 2014.
Also boosting the abs are the Wobblies who are going through a bad patch.
No I cant see anything special in this abs side. Right now its creaking at the joints. 
Great pity our unforced errors handed some recent tests to the wee abs plus wee Roman the ref etc.
Kiwi bird brains need to come down from the Cloudy's clouds pronto.

Beeno the considerate :angel: letting the kiwi bird brains down as gently as possible. Seldom has one ever encountered such bloated, hugely inflated egoes. Truth is deep down the kiws are having sleepless nights as the real giants of rugby, the Mighty Boks continue on their upward path.
  


Cloudy

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2236
RE: Food for thought......
November 12, 2013, 12:59:22
Can I hear a wee violin playing? 


Beeno1

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8954
RE: Food for thought......
November 12, 2013, 14:06:05
 My wife plays the violionCloudy but distance is an issue. I play the guitar but as she is a trained musician she doesnt take to my playing! 


Brycy

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 867
RE: Food for thought......
November 13, 2013, 09:27:08
 Bean Brain what did you do with the money then ?


CleanCut

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1308
RE: Food for thought......
November 13, 2013, 09:37:34
 
He probably donated it to the school for the deaf!!


moolaa

Status: Squad member
Posts: 542
RE: Food for thought......
November 13, 2013, 09:51:07
 Wouldn't have thought distance would be an issue Hasbeeno as no doubt your missus is as far away from you as she can get!


Just_win

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3274
RE: Food for thought......
November 13, 2013, 13:34:12
Beeno: brilliant post mate! Glad to see your rose colored glasses are still working Rose Colored Glasses Smiley photo: Rose Colored Glasses Smiley roseglasses.gif


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5459
RE: Food for thought......
November 13, 2013, 17:55:01
@beeno aka storming ed,

im hardly surprised ur missus plays the violin, she must very good considering she has to play every single time NZ win something at rugby,,,

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i just hope her fingers dont get too sore, cos she would have to play it plenty being married to a kiwi envious saffa bro like u,

LMAO, :D:silly::woot:


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