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All Blacks v Springboks Preview & Peter, Graham and Robbie – The Early Years

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Contributor:
Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith

Recently discovered school reports from the SANZAR Elementary School give us an insight into the early years of the current Tri-Nations rugby generals. Here are some excerpts from their teacher’s comments.

 
Physical Education
 
Robbie – A quiet boy who excels in sports. Obviously thinks a lot about the games he is playing and works out the best way to win. Not very vocal but often talks to his team mates privately before games and gets the best out of his team. Attitude A, Achievement A
 
Graham – A serious boy, who is an excellent organiser and leader. Enjoys the responsibility of captaining teams and being in charge. Needs to learn to be more graceful when on the losing side, and at times could consider other children’s points of view more, but overall a high achiever. Attitude C, Achievement A
 
Peter – For a small boy he makes a lot of noise. Doesn’t take a backward step to the bigger children and likes to gee them up with friendly banter. His mouth might get him into trouble one day, but they will have to catch him first. Attitude B, Achievement B
 
Performing Arts
 
Robbie – Being a bit more reserved he has struggled at times to cope with role playing in acting. He has found a niche working on the sets and lighting for the school production, where he has impressed his teachers with his understanding of the behind the scenes demands of putting on a drama production. Definitely prefers to be behind the spotlight rather than in front of it. Attitude B, Achievement B
 
Graham – A reserved and determined boy. Being unable to display a varying range of emotions he has found acting a challenge. He did have one notable success as the gangster Scar Face Jones in our mid year production, where his scowling looks and ‘evil’ chuckle were perfect for the role.  He has found his home as a director and was not shy in ordering the teachers around on stage as well as the students. Attitude B, Achievement A
 
Peter – Has a natural ability to perform on stage. His quick comments and lively demeanour have everyone laughing, although sometimes he doesn’t always think before opening his mouth. His performance as a dancing fairy in a tutu in our ‘Swan Pond’ production brought the house down. Has definite potential for a career in show business. Attitude A, Achievement A
 
Art
 
Robbie – Has made the most of his artistic ability. For a time was only focussed on using red and black paint which limited his artistic expression, but with the encouragement has branched out lately into very vibrant gold’s and greens which have led to his work “New Dawn in Brisbane’ being chosen for display in the regional schools art competition. Attitude B, Achievement A
 
Graham – His obsession with drawing pictures in black with dark themes has caused some concern for his teacher. Earlier in the year he spent a lot of time brooding in class and being a bit defensive. Lately though there has been a lift in his mood and he has been interacting with this classmates a lot more. Attitude C, Achievement C
 
Peter – Wonderful expression. He has a natural flair for art, using a broad spectrum of colour to produce vibrant artwork. Always happy to discuss and articulate on the thinking behind his art, his descriptions are often even more colourful than his artwork. Attitude A, Achievement A
 
Principals Comments
 
Robbie – Despite a natural shyness Robbie has shown a strong ability to achieve excellent results through hard work and clever thinking. Not comfortable in the limelight he has still shown strong leadership abilities.  His line dancing sheep show at the school fair showed he could even get the best out of animals with modest intellectual ability.
 
Graham – A grumpy and determined boy who has plenty of drive and intelligence to succeed at whatever he puts his mind too, provided he overcomes his weakness of not listening to other points of view. His stated belief that he could do a better job of running this school than me suggests he may be well suited to a career in school management.
 
Peter –His friendly outgoing nature often disguises his strong analytical skills. While he likes to play the clown most of the time, his academic record reveals a good brain an ability to apply himself.  Hard to know what Peter will end up doing, but no matter what his choice of career, we will always know when he is around, even if we don’t understand what he is on about.       
 
Preview:  All Blacks v Springboks – Hamilton
 
The All Blacks last stand to keep the Tri-Nations alive.  A packed Waikato Stadium will be right behind the AB’s.
 
The Springboks coming of a bonus pointless loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane have to bounce back hard, but their road trip might be running out of steam, and the All Blacks will be fired up to avenge their losses in the Republic, with the added incentive of still being in with a chance to win the trophy.
 
On balance with home advantage the All Blacks should win, but whether they can score four tries against a proud well drilled team like the Springboks is another matter.  For this to happen the Springboks will need to drop their intensity a notch like they did against the Wallabies. The Springboks sit at the top of the Tri-Nations standings because they have applied unrelenting pressure to their opposition. All teams no matter how good will fold if their opponents can knock them on the back foot and not let up.
 
Against the Wallabies it was obvious from the first few minutes that the same level of intensity was not there from the Boks. They allowed the Wallabies too much space with the ball and lost because of it. The classy Australian backs, determined forwards and dogged team defence, was too good on the night.
 
Graham Henry and his coaching team are smart enough to develop the winning game plan. If the Springboks don’t shut them down they will lose. The All Blacks playing in the heart of Mooloo country will need to replicate the strengths of Waikato rugby. A strong forward platform that sucks in the defenders and unleashes fast talented backs who exploit the holes and score tries – lots of tries.
 
Bring on Saturday night. The All Blacks might be a long shot for the title but it should be a huge game of rugby. There might need to be extra medical staff on standby, there will probably be an above average casualty count.
 
Note to the Organisers: Please leave the annoying chainsaw in the tool shed and well away from the PA system.   

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