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Back In (All) Black

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Contributor:
Scott Newman
Scott Newman

The ALL BLACKS are in command of the Investec 2010 Tri Nations (so far) With two dominant bonus point home game victories against the Springboks, All Blacks rugby is looking very great in New Zealand again!

THE BREAKDOWN

With the new/old rule changes to the breakdown/tackle ball area of the game being addressed. It has enhanced the strength of All Black Rugby as the true strength of our game is to play this area at pure speed with efficiency. The loose forwards that New Zealand possess McCaw, Kaino, Read and Messam are all genuine ball winners & have fantastic running games. Defense is the pride of all of the All Black players in the current configuration. If you are to infringe on the ground it will cost a straight arm penalty or if there is any funny business/repeat infringement then you will be upgraded to a sin bin for ten minutes! (yellow card) With such a strong depth in the loose forward department it enables the go forward ball to be free flowing and kicking options to be used to gain territory or tactically rather than buying mistakes from the opposition in an often aimless manner.

The Rugby game is coming back to a way that it should be where you must score tries to win a game and defend your line in a disciplined authoritative manner.  South Africa is very strong in the same area with Burger, Louw, Spies and Kankowski. I think if the ruling is to stay as consistent as possible in the breakdown area (which always needs policing) then we can see the game being played in an exciting manner each test.

The aspirations to being the best prepared team for Rugby World Cup rest in the laws of the game and how to apply that to your team. So far, we have an exciting team full of good runners of the ball and great skills, this bodes well for the future of the game as it has been a journey over the last years. As for World Cup history that goes without saying. I like the future, it is up to the coaches to mold the team into game winners. The future of New Zealand rugby is in good hands! (I believe)

THE HALFBACK/SCRUM HALF SITUATION IN NEW ZEALAND

Piri Weepu showed us what it means to him to be "back in black" He has been in and out of the All Blacks more times than Bakkies Botha has faced in judicial hearings! He is one of games most dynamic players with his bullet pass, running game and (move over Carter) kicking game! He dominates at NPC/Super 14 level often leading his team (Wellington) along with his very skilled friends to playoffs/finals. He has to compete with Cowan, Ellis and Leonard all of whom have great assets to the half back position. There doesn't seem to be a wrong option just maybe a better option in who plays.

I give Piri Weepu a double thumbs up for showing us what he is made of with an inspiring play of the match performance last night. Surely, it will be hard to keep him out of the line up now. The way he broke the line (like Leonard does) then show the presence of mind to offload the right way (in front of an adoring home crowd) was magical. It is not strange to see this as he is a powerful player. I hope that he will get more game time. Don't get me wrong Cowan is great to watch, his defense is exceptional and his distribution as good as any other. He takes the time to decide his attack and has good base kicks. Actually, the thought of having both guys available is great but what my point is perhaps it is time Piri is given the starting berth? We'll see eh?

WHO IS IN THE WINGS?

Another position that NZ is deep and blessed with is in the outside back area. It was fabulous to see the likes of Ranger & Dagg find the score sheet in emphatic style last night! There are so many new faces coming through like Guildford, Dagg, Ranger, Jane and Wulf. It is good to know that there is that much depth in the important finishing position. Muliaina had a huge game and is our best fullback because of his ability to link and play under pressure time and time again! I like the way the All Blacks can develop the new talent with such a good veteran presence in the outside backs.

THE REST

It is so important to rest up and be ready for the away games now! South Africa will have their hands full with Australia next week. The Aussies will be eager to start off on the right foot. It has not been a happy hunting ground for the South African's in Brisbane so they will have to re-apply themselves to have any chance of being successful in defending the Tri Nations trophy. I look forward to seeing the Australian test to see what courage they possess! It looks to be an exciting tournament from here on in. (I tell you I have a thirst for international rugby being in a different market in Canada!) Enjoy the Rugby!

 

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