Worcestershire Sauce

Business as usual

Written by Stu Cooper (Worcestershire Sauce)

Posted in :Original Content, Tri Nations on 7 Jul 2008 at 10:56

Another test match defeat to the All Blacks, another loss in New Zealand. A flattering one at that. Many reasons are being trotted out by fans and journalists… poor selection policy, tactical naivety, the loss of John Smit, Stu Dickinson’s poor handling of the match, and all of them hold some truth, but none of them are the reason .

We lost simply because no-one wins in New Zealand. Its a rare occurrence. More often than not you get smashed at home by them. The All Blacks have won 322 of the 433 matches played, thats a win rate of about 75%. Since their first test match in 1903, against the Australians who they decimated 22-3, the Kiwi’s have only lost to Australia, South Africa, France, England, Wales and the Lions a combined 93 times (France, Wales, And the Lions account for just 20 of those), albeit of late always in the knock out phase of the World Cup. The Tri-Nations record is even more depressing for the Bok fan, the All Blacks out of a possible 51 have won 36 compared to our measly 19 and the Australians equally poor 20.

From what i can remember and with some half hearted research, they have lost 5 times since 1990 at home. Twice to the Australians, twice to the French in 1994 and once to us in the 1998 Tri-Nations, its also worth noting the All Blacks didn’t win a game in that Tri-Nations series.

Graham Henry, in charge since 2004, may be the most disliked man in New Zealand at present but when you are on the outside looking in, 43 wins out of 49 test matches isn’t something to turn your nose up at.

Now this may sound like an elaborate attempt at misdirection but the reality is, if the team had a different look about it, and all the Boks played to the best of their abilities and Bok coach De Villiers had done a few things differently. We probably still would have lost.

Yes we had a chance to knock over the All Blacks and everyone in the tour party knows it but one would be foolish to believe that New Zealand are ever capable of producing a ‘weak team’ that will roll over at home to their greatest foe.


  • All i am getting at as we go through the usual dissection of the Boks performance that we keep a little perspective about the All Blacks home record. There is a lot of blame being apportioned by everyone, and hell yes i am disappointed but at the same time we still probably would have lost on Saturday regardless of team selections and all the other factors mentioned.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.07.08 11:14:00 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Sauce (Comment 1) : good angle, Sauce, and a refreshing contrast to the anti-de Villiers mania being dished up by virtually every other section of the press.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.07.08 11:19:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • Honestly I think they dislike the ausies more than us… YeS… were not first or last in the row 4 once!

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.07.08 11:19:39 by FrmFaAway Reply

  • Yoh.

    43 out of 49 is NOT a bad record at all. 😯

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.07.08 11:23:32 by wpw Reply
  • Like rob says its a good angle but if that were the case then we should use our tests against the All Blacks in NZ to experiment with team selections and playing patterns in the knowledge that we would propbably lose anyway.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.07.08 11:30:23 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Just read the first paragraph and the first sentence of the 2nd one…and this is already a good article.

    Let me go back and read the rest. πŸ™‚

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.07.08 11:31:27 by blackshark Reply

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  • Sharksworld is lucky to have creative writers who look at things from all angles. Yes, a lot of things contributed to our loss…it could’ve been better but then again it could’ve been worse.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.07.08 11:34:40 by blackshark Reply

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  • I’m not so upset that we lost, I’m just upset about how we lost.

    I’ll quite easily accept being muscled off the ball or being bullied into submission or be able to blame the Dan Carter show.
    It really irks me, however, when we get one put over us based purely on superior tactics.

    That’s what’s pissing me off – the fact that they werent’t better than us, just more intelligent.

    And that we played into their hands.

    It’s not necessarily de Villiers’ fault – Lord knows we’ve never really had great tacticians for coaches – almost without exception they’ve always come forward as idiots when compared to their kiwi and Ozzie counterparts. De Villiers is just the latest in a long line of coaches that are unable to teach their charges anything except for scrum and tackle, only de Villiers doesn’t do the scrum bit.

    If the Boks played to their potential and still lost, then sobeit. But we didn’t play to our potential and I can’t remember the last time we did.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.07.08 12:28:40 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • And sorry Sauce but this “nobody wins in NZ” doesnt really wash with me.
    Not for th World Champoions against a side that has lost about 10 front-line players over the last 6 months.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.07.08 12:29:29 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Vinnie

    Butch had an off day and so too most of our forwards.

    We were however tactically outplayed…

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.07.08 12:31:43 by wpw Reply
  • Vin, i don’t dispute anything of what you say. This was more just a point that its actually a remarkable thing to win in New Zealand. I am also bitterly disappointed because i don’t think we came close to the team we could have been on Saturday. Not even close.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.07.08 13:01:50 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • And it was more in response to the now suddenly Div shouldn’t be the coach mentality that is pervading local blogs. FFS we had our worst records set under Jake including a couple of 50 pointers at home to the All Blacks. And like i said – New Zealand like us – has boat loads of talent and youngsters hungry to play – when last do you recall a weak All Black side.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.07.08 13:05:18 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Sauce (Comment 12) :

    Sauce, I couldn’t agree more, New Zealand does practically have 2 and sometimes 3 players for each position that can be interchanged, thanks to Henry’s 2 team squad concept a season or 2 ago.

    But importantly, the backbone of the team was at it’s strongest.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.07.08 13:22:18 by Ollie Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 9) : Totally agree 100%. With the right team selected on Sat, we would have had a great chance to win. This is not an especially good AB side…far from it. Just that they use their brains and play the conditions MUCH better than us. We just don’t seem to be able to switch plans when things are not working with our initial game plan.

    The AB’s were much smarter than us but we contributed to our downfall with that front row selection!

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.07.08 13:49:00 by Villie Reply
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  • @Sauce (Comment 12) :

    I’m alos not in favour fo the “Drop Div” brigade.

    I think he’ll have had a wake-up call and hopefully will realise it’s time to pull his own weight and the players cannot do it alone.

    But make no mistake – if the bok coaching staff don’t rise to the challenge it won’t be long before I also get on his back.

    Saturday was simply not good enough. Ditto de Villiers’ team selection.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.07.08 13:51:27 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Ollie (Comment 13) :

    What are you talking about Ollie?

    From last season, where our B team ran them pretty close in the 3N they have lost the following:
    – Richie McCaw,
    – Aaron Mauger,
    – Luke McAlister
    – Jerry Collins,
    – Carl Hayman,
    – Greg Rawlinson
    – Chris Jack
    – Joe Rokokoko

    You don’t replace that sort of skill or experience overnight.

    We had a better side than them bar one or two positions. And they exposed those two weknesses brutally.

    You can get away with hiding a player or two on the park when you’re playing aNH side – you don’t have that luxurty when you’re playing the ABs.
    And that’s where we lost the game.

    Only time will tell if de Villiers’ has the nous to change tack or whtehr he will blunder forth regardless and inevitably land up without a job.

    And he has a mountain to climb – with a pack already suffering in the scrums he puts Schalk Brits on the plane and not BJ Botha.
    It was madness to go on tour with only two hookers in the first place.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.07.08 13:55:41 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Vinnie

    Judging by the performances of Bakkies, Victor, Juan and the rest of the tight 5, it would not have made a difference.

    Butch would still have had an off day and we just don’t know if Percy and Steyn would have performed on the day.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.07.08 14:11:55 by wpw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 16) : Yes they’ve lost some good players…but look at the players they’ve gained.

    We, on the other hand, are not producing them as fast as we lose them.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.07.08 14:25:12 by blackshark Reply

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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 16) :

    And the players that replaced them played any worse than these guys. Even the new players stood up on the day and were counted.

    Only McCaw and McAlister would have made a slight difference and even then only slight. In fact I am not sure McAlister would have made that big a difference as coditions were a bit wet for his playing style.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.07.08 14:25:16 by Ollie Reply

  • Continutiy Ollie, continuity…

    you can’t blame our new coach but then not give them credit where they’ve had staff turnover.

    And NZ has more depth than we do.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.07.08 15:20:04 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 20) : Was wondering where are you hiding. πŸ™„

    Which players do you think cost us?

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.07.08 15:25:25 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    Why…what did he do sooo wrong….I think we produced a solid performance…

    Yes he was nieve to listen to all the WP forward coaches to take with Mujati and start CJ at tighthead…CJ at best should be back-up (stand-in at tighthead)…not start there as first choice…
    We need BJ over there…or at least Jannie…

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.07.08 15:27:57 by Hmmm Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 21) :

    Butch and the whole front row…

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.07.08 15:29:00 by Hmmm Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 20) :

    I am not blaming our new coach πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.07.08 15:31:08 by Ollie Reply

  • CJ & Butch was heroes on friday. πŸ˜‰ Now they nothing, they also played in Jake White hero team.

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.07.08 15:33:22 by PaarlBok Reply

  • Hey…

    Listen to Ollie… πŸ™„

    He stuck with defending Jake White through thick and thin… remember the painful 0-49 loss against Aus?

    And look what happened? He (Ollie) was right after all… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.07.08 15:37:34 by wpw Reply
  • I just cannot understand why everyone is blaming PdV as if we expected to win…
    How many games did Jake win in NZ?
    He even lost to NZ more times than what he won (think lost twice at home in 4 years and non away…not)

    And let PdV learn his trade…make his mistakes and answer teh hard questions…
    If he still get is terribly wrong after a few games then we can start asking if he is ready for international rugby…

    I mean even Jake pulled it back in two games after the 49-0 game and beat the AB’s and Aus…so we cannot let him wonder for too long…Bokke rep is at stake..

    But allow him to gain that experience…this was his first real test….lets see how he answers the questions in the next two weeks…

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.07.08 15:45:27 by Hmmm Reply

  • I also think everyone is giving WAY too much credit to McCaw, that was apparently the main reason we should have won, cause he wasn’t there. Are you crazy? NZ is more than just McCaw.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.07.08 15:49:28 by molly Reply
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  • the AB’s have proved to be better than the Boks since we got back into the international game… Sauce has got it right.
    BJ wouldnt make much difference… Os duRand played 18 games against the AB’s and was on the losing side in 13 of those games…Cobus Visagie played 7 times against the AB’s and was on the losing side 5 times… our best front rows never made that much difference

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.07.08 15:53:03 by spykerbaard Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 25) :

    I don’t think it is a fair comment with regard to CJ, there were many who when this squad were selected who were pointing to CJ’s scrumming weakness….and they were proved right.

    On the theme of this article, sure De Villiers didn’t do anything that other coaches haven’t done but he did have one of the best chances to get it right against the All Blacks and he didn’t take it and he does deserve criticism for his poor selections and tactical naivety ….but obviously not of the extreme “fire him” type.

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.07.08 15:55:42 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • i just watched the Pumas Craven week team pip WP for the win (on tv ) some good schoolboy rugby there, with more coming up over the next week

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.07.08 16:05:39 by spykerbaard Reply

  • spykerbaard

    You are a LEGEND, you know that??? πŸ˜‰

    (well said)

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.07.08 16:06:01 by wpw Reply
  • I for one was VERY worried beforehand this test. Never was a WC tournament fan and to be honest that title make the most Saffers believe we are world champions. We had a easy ride in that tournament and all of those gave the most people a scew thinking. The nr1 rating also dont count for much because we only got there via double rating.

    Myself always rate a Bok win in NZ as the prime prize in rugby and this favourate tag gave me the creeps beforehand. We can only win them if they have that tag and even in SA we struggle to beat the All Blacks.

    This loss put it all back in perspective. If we get a bonuspoint on saturday we should be thankfull, and happy if we win in Aus. Winning will be a bonus in the next two week.

    To start sacking the coach after this two tests is just a no brainer. The ELVs had played a all mighty role in the modern game to just think Jake White or his WC heroes is world beaters.

    Get realistic people.

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.07.08 16:10:17 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 32) :

    That’s a bit of a backhand compliment Spyker….cos he also refers to Fleck as a legend πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.07.08 16:10:30 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @spykerbaard (Comment 31) : WP just lost that game. 😯 Cant believe that. 😳

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.07.08 16:11:48 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @spykerbaard (Comment 29) :

    Improved front row will give us a better chance…

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.07.08 16:12:49 by Hmmm Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 33) :

    Do you not think Saturday was potentially one of the best opportunities the Boks would have had to beat the All Blacks?

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.07.08 16:12:59 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @Hmmm (Comment 36) :
    Will also improve our backline play from the scrum? Remember you have an extra 5 meters…but Saturday it looked like we have 5 meters less…

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.07.08 16:14:01 by Hmmm Reply

  • Here is some food for thought….Carter didn’t kick out because of our strong line-out,so he kept kicking infield. Having Steyn at fullback and being able to drop from 55 – 60 m. Wouldn’t that make the AB’s think twice about all the kicking downfield. Even if Steyn only get 1/3 it should be enough to deter some of the kicking.That drop was damn close and in weather slightly better that would have been one of the greatest drops ever.The more I think about it the more I think Steyn should be fullback,someone who can kick back with interest. Jantjie’s for 14

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.07.08 16:14:03 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Pokkel

    But then who kicks at goal if Steyn is at 15???

    Jantjes to 14???

    I think he did enough to be selected again next week…

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.07.08 16:19:51 by wpw Reply
  • I agree on Jantjes to 14 but to accommodate Percy at 15, as a 1st choice kicker and for his tactical reading of the game….Jantjes played well in certain situations but between him and Odwa they left huge pieces of open ground that Carter exploited.

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.07.08 16:24:04 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @wpw (Comment 40) : I assume you mean Percy must then play 15 and do the kicking.I thought Jantjies had a good game , but he mostly kicks up-n unders never tactically into the corners. We lost Saturday because we were not in our own half enough for possible penalties at goal. Don’t you think Jantjies would be a good option at 14?

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.07.08 16:24:42 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 37) :
    If you go on paper I’ll agree. But we all know rugby is more then paper and the All Blacks newbies had a lot of heart in this game. Thats always the danger playing them. Add the WC & Bokke favourate tag and you can start doubting. We (myself) included haven take into account the rustiness of Bokke like Matfield, Juan Smith(I never saw him play any kakker). Not every player is like my avator man. You can just put the switch on on and he’ll play like a man look like never been weeks from a match. The others simply havent showed up and Butch just had a off day. Myself will be glad that the favourate tag is now with the All Blacks plus the house of pain and these Bokke have to take a look at themself and play with heart and dedication.

    Dont know if thats going to happen.

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.07.08 16:26:49 by PaarlBok Reply

  • I just heard the most stoopid comment ever…

    Butch apparently played badly because FDP was not next to him…

    WTF??? 😯

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.07.08 16:27:18 by wpw Reply
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 30) :

    I don’t think it was our best chance…but it was a good chance…

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.07.08 16:28:19 by Hmmm Reply

  • He probably would hey Pokkel.

    I still think that PDV will more than likely select Jantjes at 15 again this week.

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.07.08 16:28:32 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 44) : πŸ˜†

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.07.08 16:28:42 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Gotta go.Bokke forever!!!

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.07.08 16:30:26 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 39) :

    Steyn did ask a few questions of the AB’s on Sat…
    And if that drop kick that brushed the crossbar went over Carter would have had to rethink his whole game plan…and then all of a sudden his good kicking would have turned into bad decisions…

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.07.08 16:31:57 by Hmmm Reply

  • Ciao Pokkel

  • Comment 50, posted at 07.07.08 16:33:05 by wpw Reply
  • @PaarlBok (Comment 43) :

    I hope the Boks take the loss positively and build from there by improving their selections and game plan….they have obviously lost a degree of confidence and there is another brick been placed the invincibility of All Blacks in their minds… I wish they would talk to the French and Aussies on their attitude to and perception of the All Blacks.

  • Comment 51, posted at 07.07.08 16:34:04 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @wpw (Comment 44) :

    Like the centers would have ever seen ball…January is much quicker than Fourie…might have had a better tactical game with Fourie’s kicking…but that would have had no effect on James…

  • Comment 52, posted at 07.07.08 16:34:18 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 48) :

    Cheers Pokkel….tokkel lekker…

  • Comment 53, posted at 07.07.08 16:35:39 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Dive Pass (Comment 51) :
    Myself think PdV only have to make one or two changes, JP for Twin, Kankowski / Spies in 8. Get Pienaar on the benchand get the other two fatties Beast & Mujatsi on the bench and work like hell in the week on the scrumming exct and let them just go out and jol. No pressure just enjoyment.

    One of the biggest factor was the combos not jelling and the only way is to play together.

  • Comment 54, posted at 07.07.08 16:40:49 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 54) :

    Fly BJ over…I will stack teh bench with a whole front row…and one loose forward…Juan can cover for lock (he has done that several times)…CJ and Beast on the bench…

    And will play Ruan on the bench…start with Percy (Carter will have less freedom with his kicks)….especially if Jantjies takes 14…
    Will bring Steyn on a lot sooner if James continues with his form….with Odwa on only other player on the bench…

  • Comment 55, posted at 07.07.08 17:05:29 by Hmmm Reply

  • Paarlbok,

    Just who is that guy in your avatar?

  • Comment 56, posted at 07.07.08 17:35:52 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • The biggest frustration I’m feeling now is that, yet again, we are under-performing due to unimaginative tactics and gameplan.

    How is it that we have such good players in SA but when we look for tacticians the cupboard is perenially bare?

    Make no mistake, firing de Villiers will not improve our lot – every other coach in SA is equally poor in that respect. Except for Discoman maybe.

    I just hope de Villiers manages to break the shackles that being Bok coach places you in and thereby think out of the box a bit and give our players just a little bit of advantage, or at the very least, just give them a chance against NZ.

    I’m still shocked as to how we played into their hands…

  • Comment 57, posted at 07.07.08 17:39:08 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 57) :

    Maybe he should offer Rassie the job of tactical analyst!??! Or Jones for that matter…he got our backline moving did he not!??! Muir’s sharks backline looked the worst of all in the S14 and has made no positive impact on the Bokke…

  • Comment 58, posted at 07.07.08 18:11:49 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 58) :

    How did Muri end up with that job after the capitulation of the sharks in the second half of the super14?

    And how stupid by the powers-that-be that they appoint a head coach with no super14 or seniors rugby experience and an assistant in Muir that has only played one full season of s14 rugby?

    Thankfully they also hired Gary GOld who is an experienced campaigner.
    Also, however, not without his detrators and somebody that’s been around but never really been a great coach.

    What did they expect?

    I don’t know why, when things eventually start to go well for SA Rugby, we shoot ourselves in the foot because of stupid decisions.

    I’m not saying it was wrong to appoint de Villiers, but why not give him a mentor? Or at least very experiecned assistant coaches?

  • Comment 59, posted at 07.07.08 18:44:34 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 59) : Muir has been Sharks coach for 3.5 seasons, you ignorant sod! πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 60, posted at 07.07.08 18:47:04 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Hmmm (Comment 58) : #

    Hands off Rassie… he ain’t going anywhere… πŸ™‚

    Never thought I’d say that… 😳 definitely not last year…

  • Comment 61, posted at 07.07.08 18:48:51 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 60) :

    Shows how much of an impression he’s made.

    Did he win even a single solitary trophy to be considered for bok coach?

  • Comment 62, posted at 07.07.08 18:49:42 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 62) : no. The only ones who won trophies were Heynecke Meyer and Rassie Erasmus.

  • Comment 63, posted at 07.07.08 18:52:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 63) :

    And yet none of them are involved in SA Rugby…

  • Comment 64, posted at 07.07.08 18:54:25 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 64) : I heard Heynecke couldn’t find anywhere to park his ox wagon at Newlands…

    As for Rassie – he was involved, but decided to pull out to coach the Stormers. Oh, and then there’s always the highly-successful Currie Cup coach (and Super 14 flop) Naka Drotske…

  • Comment 65, posted at 07.07.08 18:56:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 65) :

    I reckon Rassie knew he didn’t have enough experiecne yet.

    And I think he also looked at the delapidated WP cruise liner and decided it was a better bet than de Villiers’ sinking fishing boat.

  • Comment 66, posted at 07.07.08 18:58:38 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 59) :

    I agree…Muir’s backline never fired really…lets be honest…donno how he got to be backline coach…

    They need a manager or something to guide them!??!

  • Comment 67, posted at 07.07.08 19:59:56 by Hmmm Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 61) :

    He would be a great asset…or even someone from outside…like Jones was for Jake….

  • Comment 68, posted at 07.07.08 20:01:03 by Hmmm Reply


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