KSA Shark ©

Rattue tells it like it is. Or is it?


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news, Springboks on 23 Aug 2010 at 19:25
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Rugby has rarely been better to watch, if ever, and this re-built All Black team is already among the best ever.

The All Blacks were magnificent, nullifying South Africa’s famed home advantage and finishing them off with two late tries that should rank high in any memory that can cope with the cluttered modern day test schedule.

As for the Springboks, they are in even bigger trouble than we thought.

If that’s the best the world champs can come up with in a home colosseum while celebrating John Smit’s century of tests, then they are indeed one large tank skidding out of control down one very steep hill.

No wonder Smit sank to his knees after Ma’a Nonu had created Israel Dagg’s superbly taken winner.

The Boks had a lot of initial huff, then ran out of puff. They were clearly second best, even if it did take a late score to prove this.

As a devoted critic of the All Blacks’ last World Cup campaign and, subsequently, the deplorable treatment of Robbie Deans, I gladly concede that Graham Henry is doing a brilliant re-building job, aided by the crucial rule-interpretation changes which encourage skilful ball work by making defenders struggle at breakdowns.

His supporters will have growing feelings of vindication.

Henry’s new All Blacks have a remarkable poise and nose for victory.

These All Blacks are also taking the game further as a spectacle, with far more to come when players such as Dagg are fully integrated into the deal.

The note of caution must be that so much relies on Richie McCaw’s presence. He is, without a shadow of doubt to my mind, the best player rugby has seen – as in the most effective – for a very long time. Perhaps ever.

If it came to picking a world combination of the past 40 years whose sole mission was to win a mythical game, R. McCaw should be the first name on any team sheet. His all-round game is extraordinary to behold.

McCaw’s ability to work the rules and delay opposition ball saved a try in Jo’burg, and his corner-flag finish to score the late leveller was truly exceptional (although poor officiating failed to spot a blatant All Black forward pass).

Rugby is bristling, and again the credit goes to Henry and his team. They are showing the rugby world how to play, in a way that probably only Australia would match if they had more power.

Remembering rugby from the past is like remembering New Zealand life long ago. Both had their charms, but overall – and with the benefit of hindsight – they were a bit of a bore.

The highlight reels, on television and in the mind, play wicked tricks, turning them into magical days.

Watch those old matches in their entirety for the whole truth, nothing but the truth. The game of yesteryear staggered about, littered with interruptions. Few teams – the Auckland side of the late 1980s and early 1990s being one – could rise above the dross.

That’s all we knew at the time, and loved the whole charade.

New rugby is the real deal.

The ball handling under brutal pressure is exceptional. The repeated collisions between massive men is frightening. The all-round skill and athleticism is stunning, an example being Brad Thorn’s crucial diving tackle yesterday morning.

Surfaces are better, way better, and the balls user friendly, unlike those slippery bricks we hurled about back in the day.

We used to drool over revolutionary prop Steve McDowall throwing a long pass, but now every tight forward can do that, as Tom Donnelly showed with his try-creator for wonder wing Tony Woodcock.

The test game needs more long range breaks and open field running, a la the All Black tries at Soccer City.

Apart from that, the game is in fine fettle the All Blacks’ way, with a healthy balance between set pieces, collisions, passing and kicking.

The world champion Springboks are not in good health though, and desperate changes to their line-up failed to find victory.

The South African Rugby Union are bonkers if Peter de Villiers, the fake coach, remains in charge.

Luckily for their World Cup opponents, South Africa’s rugby administrators are so immature that a few rough on-field decisions get them barking about quitting a multimillion- dollar broadcasting deal they’ve only just extended.

The Boks may improve when influential halfback Fourie du Preez returns, although Francois Hougaard was lively yesterday.

From this distance the calm du Preez is the logical captaincy replacement for the fading Smit, although the well-liked No 9 has a retiring personality.

Coach de Villiers lacks the authority to clean out the old guard and make tactical changes. He is groping in the dark, and his latest backline was too lightweight for the modern rugby battle. Their battle plan is confused.

The Springboks went overboard with the Smit centenary celebrations pre-match.

The front row legend could not put the icing on his party cake, failing to get out of a waddle compared to the dynamic work of Keven Mealamu.

South Africa, with vast playing resources, is suffering for failing to take the job of national coach seriously enough.

Chris Rattue – NZ Herald



36 Comments

  • The South African Rugby Union are bonkers if Peter de Villiers, the fake coach, remains in charge. :shock: :shock:

    You’re gonna be asked to apologize for that comment. I bet SARU are writing the letter as we read this. :razz:

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.08.10 19:36:18 by KSA Shark © Reply
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  • From this distance the calm du Preez is the logical captaincy replacement for the fading Smit, although the well-liked No 9 has a retiring personality.

    Only if we needed a new captain, and that we don’t!

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.08.10 19:38:20 by KSA Shark © Reply
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  • The front row legend could not put the icing on his party cake, failing to get out of a waddle compared to the dynamic work of Keven Mealamu.

    :evil: :evil: :evil:

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.08.10 19:39:55 by KSA Shark © Reply
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  • What a match ……..what an article…….. !

    …..get ready for the on-slaught !

    Will be interesting to see how South Africans see it !

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.08.10 19:40:50 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : The calm du Preez would also like to avoid captaincy like the plague.

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.08.10 19:41:59 by lostfish Reply
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  • Blah, blah, blah…

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.08.10 19:47:29 by Charlie Reply

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  • McCaw’s ability to work the rules and delay opposition ball saved a try in Jo’burg, and his corner-flag finish to score the late leveller was truly exceptional (although poor officiating failed to spot a blatant All Black forward pass).

    At least he is admitting to these things. :wink:

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.08.10 19:49:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Charlie (Comment 6) :

    not to much blah blah in there. very good read.

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.08.10 19:50:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • “Henry’s new All Blacks have a remarkable poise and nose for victory.

    These All Blacks are also taking the game further as a spectacle, with far more to come when players such as Dagg are fully integrated into the deal.”

    LMAO!

    How many of these have I read before each WC???

    File for later, leisurely reading, post-WC. :twisted:

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.08.10 19:50:52 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 4) : Was an awesome game, the atmosphere at the stadium was incredible

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.08.10 19:54:28 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 9) :

    Why do you disagreed….. have they not played the game at a new level in 2010 !

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.08.10 19:55:24 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • All Blacks are peaking at the wrong time again. What are they going to blame this time? Food poisoning? Forward pass? :?:

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.08.10 19:55:29 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 10) :

    I was watching at home …and i just could not believe it.

    Looked absolutely awesome…..

    Definitely the number one test venue in the world !

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.08.10 19:56:34 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 12) :

    Change the record ! :cool:

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.08.10 19:57:01 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • At least the Boks have never lost a game against Italy :wink:

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.08.10 19:57:24 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 15) :

    What …. i think we drew with them 1-1 last time we played and they got their goal with a dodgy penalty ! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.08.10 19:59:29 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 11) :
    As they have before… apparently. There is no new level, nothing revolutionary about this AB side – they just execute better than everybody else – right now.

    The belief that they have discovered some new secret is usually what leads teams to fail – the game of rugby is a deadly simple one of getting the ball over the opposition’s line while preventing him doing the same to you. I have yet to see anybody do that in any way that’s new.

    The team that won each WC has always just executed that better than everyone else, usually by focusing on basics – because in pressure situations, the basics are the things that you fail at.

    Maybe NZ will execute that best next year, or maybe they will yet again believe their own hype. Whatever the case may be, forgive me if I don’t get down on bended knee just yet.

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.08.10 20:00:57 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 16) : A draw is as good as a loss :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.08.10 20:04:29 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 17) :

    Pleased you enjoyed the performance !

    It was a very good one ….. the best of 2010 by any Test playing nation !

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.08.10 20:05:56 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 11) : certainly they have taken their OWN game to a new height, the same way the Boks last year did. This is an ebb & flow scenario, the only significant change in terms of tactics from the all blacks is their lineout! They have far more variation and tricks this time around after the trashing they suffered at the hands of victor last year!

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.08.10 21:49:01 by Megatron Reply

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  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : And the Boks have a year to figure out those tricks, while the ABs have no idea what the Boks are going to do in 2011. This year’s campaign was simply to lull the ABs and Wobblies into a false sense of security. Worked perfectly just like in 2006. Amazing how they keep falling for it every 4 years. :wink: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :twisted:

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.08.10 22:08:05 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 20) :

    ;-)

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.08.10 22:09:54 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • Can’t understand why they think Du Preez will be captain, he’s made it clear he’s retiring after the WC hasn’t he? Going to play in Japan.

    Think it’ll be Burger/Juan for captain post-WC. Don’t know if they’ll still be in town tho.

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.08.10 08:35:39 by molly Reply
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  • I have to agree with Big Fish, while the AB’s have been really good this year, they’ve done it MANY years before, they haven’t done anything new, they haven’t reinvented the game.
    The only thing a little different this year is Dagg on the bench, he really is exciting to watch.

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.08.10 08:40:44 by molly Reply
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  • The All Blacks played 80 minutes, i also cannot fathom how this team is being compared to the greats of All Black rugby? At best its 13 supporting players to messors Mccaw and Carter. They have no decent locks, a set of nines who couldn’t organise the proverbial piss up in a brewery and are relying on a couple of old warhorses who might find next year, when the public ramp up the pressure, how hard it it is to win at home.

    That said the All Blacks are on a hot streak … a year to early.

    They clearly have the Boks defensive patterns worked out – they have been running at the same wing for 3 games and its paying off. In fact its paying off to the tune of 12 odd tries.

    If SA had coaches paying attention – this problem should be solved – alas i think they watch the ref more than they watch the game.

    All i see is a team who is fit playing a simple game plan – nothing revolutionary.

    I suspect after last years nightmare the Blacks are desperate to be seen as the team in charge and going forward

    Pity come world cup time with a rabid public demanding a win – i suspect the All Blacks will crumble under expectation. Much like the Boks did last Saturday.

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.08.10 08:54:11 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : they are not playing Boks this year again so they will not need him for interviews so my guess is that he may just get away with this.

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.08.10 17:48:57 by rekinek (back to rugby) Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : i think he does have retiring personality and did not seem to enjoy bulls captaincy in 2008.

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.08.10 17:50:25 by rekinek (back to rugby) Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 21) : i hope we did not lull ourselves into false sense of security. everybody says that because 2006 was bad 2010 must also be bad. I do not think winning wc as a direct consequence of previously bad year.something more is needed.

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.08.10 17:53:44 by rekinek (back to rugby) Reply
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  • ” Coach de Villiers lacks the authority to clean out the old guard and make tactical changes. ” – think he may be right here.

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.08.10 17:56:18 by rekinek (back to rugby) Reply
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  • Rekinek, while 2006 is not a magic ticket, don’t underestimate the impact of a bad year on WC preparation. Its all to do with Change Management and the Change Imperative.

    I think SA is lucky to be in the right place this year, and the AB’s may be on the wrong side.

    I actually think Oz are perfectly-placed for next year.

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.08.10 19:22:19 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 30) :

    ;-) I won’t say anything !

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.08.10 23:06:43 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 31) :
    Its something I am currently facinated by, even though its not my field.

    Was prompted by some huge changes at my employer, which led to me doing some research, and since then I just keep getting drawn deeper and deeper into it; humans really are just machines who play off the same old operating systems over and over again.

    Could send you some interesting stuff if you like.

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.08.10 23:34:02 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 32) :

    Would be lost on me !

    …..as you now realise, i’m pretty thick ! :cool:

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.08.10 23:37:49 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 33) :
    :lol:

    Its actually one area I think AB rugby is waaay ahead of us; players are just better coached to adapt to on-field situations. SA rugby tends to be very game-plan obsessed – play to the pre-determined strategy. Not ideal in my opinion.

    Morne has some great insights into this area. My experience is all corporate here – the concept of “mental models” – but they are all pretty similar.

  • Comment 34, posted at 24.08.10 23:42:28 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 34) :

    When i look at saturdays game (only) two things strike me.

    1. They dont play heads up rugby ( play the situation in front of them) ie why try and counter ruck if the balls lost

    2. The players individually don’t seem to know what job they are doing or what the team style/strategy/gameplan is ? ie how can you explain players hitting so few offensive rucks, and why would the handle count be so low especially the backs ?

    The one thing that is a fact is that the best SA 15 players are better than anyone in the world !

    Aussie will be interesting ! :idea:

  • Comment 35, posted at 24.08.10 23:49:47 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 35) :
    Point number 1 is the crucial one for me; I feel 2 is partly due to injury-disruption and some panic in the ranks.

    But the concept of heads-up rugby is pretty foreign to SA. And that where the change issue comes in again; I dont believe we can effectively change in time for the WC – we would be half-baked by then. What we CAN do is tweak our play a bit.

    The reason why FDP is so crucial to the Boks is because he is an actual decision-maker for us. De Villiers used to be one as well. When is the last time you saw Morne Steyn do something unscripted on the rugby-field? :roll:

    Oz, on the other hand, have Giteau, Barnes, Cooper, Genia, Beale, and O’Connor who are all decision-makers. But they lack the boss up-front that NZ and SA have. If Deans does get that right for next year, we are all screwed.

    Some signs are there that he is getting close…

  • Comment 36, posted at 24.08.10 23:58:37 by Big Fish Reply
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