Absolutely bloody typical

England 38 New Zealand 21

Right. So which damn gremlin in the management of the universe had to have the one decent match of the autumn series while I was on a aeroplane?

23 thoughts on “Absolutely bloody typical”

  1. When I saw that result on the interweb my first reaction was to check my anti-virus software. I bet I wasn’t the only one.

  2. Ah! Quantum theory as applied to rugby. The observed cannot be separated from the observer. You’d have watched it, different score.

  3. Tim N: first time I wanted the Wallabies to lose to provoke a change in the coach. But now it seems Deans will survive.

    OK, they’ve had a horror year with injuries, beaten SA and England, drawn with NZ and beaten Wales 5-0 in the past 12 months or so.

    But they just don’t play in the Wallaby way – ball in hand, inventive, outsmarting the opposition tactically, great running angles, oozing skill, never dull. But this current team is just plain boring. Maybe it is the long season. Who knows?

  4. Well don’t forget that Robbie Deans is the one who lost New Zealand the 2003 world cup. They had the best fly-half (Mehrtens) and the best fullback (Cullen) in the world, but he canned them from the team because he didn’t like them. Then they lose a kicking duel with Australia in the semi-final because they didn’t have a specialist kicker (like, for instance, Mehrtens). Ironic that now he’s trashing the Australian team in the same way.

  5. Just to clarify, John Mitchell was the head coach (and scapegoat) but Deans was doing the bulk of the selection in ’03.

  6. Matthew L, I’m not sure about your analysis. The implication is they ditched two superior players for weaker ones for purely personal reasons, but imho that doesn’t really stack up.

    Cullen was a great player but he was replaced by Mils Muliaina, who ended up with over 100 caps (and if memory serves was the only All Black to play every game in 2004).

    Mehrtens was coming to the end, and replaced by Carlos Spencer, hardly renowned for his kicking (ie they weren’t planning a kicking game, and if it turned out that way, which is a simplification, that was down to the players, not the coaches).

    All that said, Deans still didn’t cost the Blacks the World Cup – no-one was going to beat England that year, because we had the best pack (in my view, the best 6 and 7 in the world at the time) the best fly half (in terms of game management), one close to world class centre and a world class winger, and no real weak links.

    We’d beaten the Kiwis fairly regularly, home and away, for a while and were just not going to lose.

    Tangentally, I think the following blend of 2003 and 2012 would be in with a shout in 2015:

    2003 pack
    Dawson
    Burns
    Greenwood
    Tuliagi
    Robinson
    Ashton
    Lewsey

  7. Warwickshire Lad should think about the changes in rugby happening season by season. We must recognise that in nine years the players have become bigger, fitter, faster and more tactically aware than their predecessors. There are some individuals who rise above this but not many. This applies in the international arena as much as I see it happening in my local club.

  8. You didn’t miss much, it was quite boring.

    Don’t read past here.

    It was the best England match I’ve seen.

    You have the willpower of a gnat…

  9. Dearieme – his tackling is not the best, but it’s far from ‘disgraceful’. This (assuming you’re English) is the English disease in a nutshell.

    ‘How well can he defend?’

    It’s what kept Steve Hanley out for Phil Christophers, and Charlie Hodgson for Andy bloody Goode (I say that as a Tigers fan!).

    Ed Moron ‘Warwickshire Lad should think about the changes in rugby happening season by season. We must recognise that in nine years the players have become bigger, fitter, faster and more tactically aware than their predecessors.’

    Well, yes, Ed. I’m (obviously) talking about given the same environment. Unless you know of some secret advance in human genetics in the last decade, I think that Richard Hill and Neil Back, using current nutrition etc, would be better at 6 and 7 than Tom Wood and Chris Robshaw. Same goes for the rest of the pack, I think. I doubt many people would pick either of the current wingers over Jason Robinson, or Brad Barritt over Will Greenwood? I go for Aston over Cohen purely on straight line speed and running lines, but I wouldn’t quibble with Cohen (equally, with my Tigers bias, Youngs for Dawson is possible). Lewsey was a better full back than any we currently have. Wilko – overrated. Burns, behind a good pack, and inside Greenwood, Tuilagi, Robinson… that would be something to watch.

  10. Mehrtens was coming to the end, and replaced by Carlos Spencer, hardly renowned for his kicking

    A lot of people forget this, but Dan Carter’s kicking was crap when for his first few years on the national side. Indeed, his kicking was expected to be the weak point in their 2007 WC side.

  11. Warwickshire Lad: I should have clarified… to New Zealanders, all that really matters is beating Australia and South Africa (and now, France). I should have said “Cost them the semi-final”. I stand by my assertion though, for two reasons:

    1) Although Mehrtens was at the end of his career, it was a premature end and he was still the best kicker in the game except for Wilkinson.

    2) The main reason the All Blacks lost that semi-final was because of on-field inexperience. Having two extra veterans on the field playing their third world cup would, in my opinion, have given them the steadiness they needed to prevail.

  12. Matthew L, ‘to New Zealanders, all that really matters is beating Australia and South Africa (and now, France).’ Er, come again, mate? I love to beat the Poms, personally (and I could care less about the French).

    Maybe that’s living here, but I don’t know any Kiwi who doesn’t, here or at home. Last weekend was a tragedy! Though fair play, they deserved it.

  13. Although Mehrtens was at the end of his career, it was a premature end and he was still the best kicker in the game except for Wilkinson.

    Nope, that was Neil Jenkins. Considering how appallingly crap Wales were during the time he was in the team, it is incredible that Jenkins kicked his way into the record books.

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