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Saturday, July 18, 2009

All Blacks win Tri Nations opener against the Wallabies

All Blacks win Tri Nations opener against the Wallabies

New Zealand drew first blood in the 2009 Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations series with an entertaining, hard-fought 22-16 victory over Australia in Auckland on Saturday.

With talisman skipper Richie McCaw back to lead the way, the All Blacks shrugged off their indifferent early-season form to come from behind and lay down a marker ahead of Tests in South Africa in the coming two weekends.

McCaw produced a strong performance but the return of Rodney So'oialo, Conrad Smith and Sitiveni Sivivatu also helped instil some composure and direction in the team.

The Australians raced to a 10-0 lead with less than 10 minutes on the clock as Berrick Barnes ghosted past some indifferent All Blacks defence to touch down after four minutes and Matt Giteau's conversion and a penalty gave them a handy lead.

Stephen Donald then missed his first shot at goal but made no mistake with his second attempt a minute later when Benn Robinson was marched 10 metres for throwing the ball away to put the penalty within kicking distance, but a poor decision by Donald in the 18th minute proved to be a turning point in the game as the New Zealanders got their tails up.

The ball came back off the legs of Giteau who dived forward to smother it before popping the ball up to Barnes. He evaded the All Blacks defence but held onto the ball too long then saw his pass to George Smith hit the flanker and go forward with the line begging. McCaw was then penalised for playing the ball off his feet.

Giteau saw his second penalty hit the upright before going over to put the visitors 13-3 ahead, but the All Blacks got themselves right back in the game though with a try to their skipper.

The ball found its way to Donald but he was nailed in the tackle and Conrad Smith gathered the ball and set McCaw away. Donald's conversion reduced the deficit to 13-10 and the score remained that way to half-time.

Donald got the All Blacks ahead early in the second half with two successful penalty kicks before Giteau replied to level the scores 16-16.

Hooker Stephen Moore was penalised for killing the ball allowing Donald to slot his fifth three-pointer of the night six minutes from time to put the home side 22-16 in front.


Time: 09:26
Credit: Press Association

Posted at 7:06 pm | 70 comments

Viewing 70 comments

matt July 18, 2009 5:27 pm

first!
did o'connor play?

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#$!@#$@# Aussies! July 18, 2009 5:37 pm

F***************CK THE WALLABIES!!!!
(sidenote: neutral observer)
those pieces of sh*t couldnt take the best chance they had of a win at New Zealand.
For the sake of variety I hope the boks win(even though de Villers will do everything he can to make sure his own team doesnt win) because these f*ckin dumb gold colored b*tches arent going to be the ones to stop the all blacks.

again I have nothing against austrailia and was even rooting for them, but am just pissed to see them blow what should have been their game.

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#$!@#$@# Aussies! July 18, 2009 5:39 pm

Just to reiterate:

F***************CK!!!!!

although begrudging praise goes to the all blacks.

F*************CK!!!!!

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bigox July 18, 2009 5:52 pm

O'Connor played...was feeling the pressure.

Was there are a ruck that entire game that either team was actually on their feet supporting their own weight? Was scrappy at the breakdowns but I think that goes to show how ferocious it was.

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Nick July 18, 2009 6:03 pm

James O'Connor did play, and was horrible. He made no impact on the game, looked out of his element, and, well, like someone had let a 17 year old on field in a test match really.

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TrinhDuck July 18, 2009 6:44 pm

No way is muliaina better than kearney and byrne, his tackling was pretty woeful today.

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Bd July 18, 2009 6:59 pm

wallabies you really messed it up.

although credit to the all blacks for coming back into it.

donald did ok at 10 i reckon, messed up seriously once or twice. Mcalister has his work cut out.

and i HATE the way nonu's first option is contact grrrrrrr

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Anonymous July 18, 2009 7:01 pm

to many moans and groans,too many blue chesse coc k supporters(mostly the english)who at the end of the day,always has to have a dig at 1 thing or the other.

my guess is these first 5 comments are form an englishmen,tell you what,these next few months,instead of complaining about this and that,sit back, enjoy how we do things in the south,and keep your scummy pomm cheese bollocks opinions till you muppets play us in november,for now let the big boys show you how its done
full credit to the aussies i say..

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bD July 18, 2009 7:09 pm

woah "anonymous" chillax ur slacks.

im not friggin english and thats a pretty bad insult too :P

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Anonymous July 18, 2009 7:49 pm

As a neutral observer I felt the Blacks desrved to win. Overall, the Aussies looked underpowered up front. This had a few consequences:

1.Although, the Aussies tackled very well, they did not get any go forward phase ball for their backs to use.
2. The Aussie scrum creaker with Baxter getting pinged a few times;
3. The Aussies got turned over alot in the rucks.

Basically, the Aussie backs were living on scraps. They look like a good unit though. O'connor looked like a deer in headlights, throwing awful passes and getting turned over, but he is young and will improve. The Aussie wing, 14 looked good.

As for the All Blacks, typical handful in the rucks. Lineout was a bit shaky good scrums. Mccaw makes a HUGE difference to their team..they improve 100%.

All Blacks did not do much the back line and full credit to the Aussie defense. Donald is not a test No.10...but we knew that.

All Black who came in and punched duing that incident with Nonu and the Aussie back should have got 10 in the bin.

Overall the blacks dominated territory and possession. They had one chance to score and took it and deserved it.

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sean July 18, 2009 8:20 pm

this was an ugly, ugly match. no rhythm, and save for the opening ten mins, no fire in either side.

and can there be something done about the ridiculous practice of having decoy runners? australia had nearly 4 or 5 guys ahead of the ball when they passed it out during one passage of play - just ridiculous. it's a tactic that, at best, i can see being almost okay with one man ahead of the ball (and that man must be in no way near obstructing an opponent), but this was a wall of gold. it's one thing to miss our 4 or 5 guys with a monster pass, but when those men are ahead of the ball... ?

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Boz July 18, 2009 8:31 pm

Some shocking officiating. Didn't turn the game, but pretty bad none-the-less.

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Jonathan July 18, 2009 8:40 pm

Decoy runners. I agree it is getting absolutely ABSURD!! You have the No 10 getting the ball with 4 or 5 guys 7 to 8 yards in front of him and then a winger or full back behind him.

The guys in front of the ball obviously cannot receive a pass....so what are the doing???....it's obvious that they are there to hand around and obstruct......the game is getting like the NFL with offensive lineman. Something has to be done about this.

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WelshOsprey July 18, 2009 9:10 pm

Gritty game but still a decent one. I was hoping the wallabies would take it but those damn kiwis at home are immense.

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Ben July 18, 2009 10:12 pm

Muliaina had a pretty ordinary game based on his usual standards, I would say.
Donald was quite solid in the second half. Also, all the subs coming on had an impact. There is mabe the difference between the two teams, as O'Connor in contrast had a shocker.

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Anonymous July 18, 2009 10:20 pm

Just to let you guys know, on the All Blacks webstite, they gave Stephen Donald's 6 points on the 10th of June against France to Andrew Donald which last played in 1985. Stephen Donald is actually on 66 point, not 60 points...

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Anonymous July 18, 2009 10:20 pm

Just to let you guys know, on the All Blacks website, they gave Stephen Donald's 6 points on the 20th of June against France to Andrew Donald which last played in 1985. Stephen Donald is actually on 66 point, not 60 points...

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Dan July 18, 2009 10:54 pm

The Ab's were shaky as in the first 30, but overcame their terrible lineout and lack of defensive support play with some good offensive support. They always had another man for the ruck and didn't let em near it.

Christ i thought Richie got pinged alot, but played like total animal and is a breakdown machine!!

There were heaps of doubters around here (NZ), not myself tho, however it was the wallabies game to lose after the first 25 minutes, they had a real tech approach, whereas all blacks went back to a hardcore basics approach.

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jon July 19, 2009 12:31 am

Wallabies let that one go, bombed a crucial try that would have made it 17-3.
As for the people advocating getting rid of decoys, stop smoking crack.
Are you guys even rugby players? Get rid of decoys? Should we get rid of backlines and passing too, just to simplify things for you?
Unbelievable some of the opinions on here.

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meatyq July 19, 2009 12:53 am

u noe who really fucked it up for NZ? hore, man losing 4 of their own line outs must be a bitch...mealamu over him ANYtime

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gloriousrose July 19, 2009 1:00 am

So much for the mighty all blacks eh? Oooh ye mate us SH boys have thee best rugby to watch mate, lol ohh really?

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Lennox July 19, 2009 1:23 am

Who said about best to watch. Just the best, you know, we win the most.
Check out the stats, we've won 78 out of 93 games against NH opposition since 2003.
Makes us better.
Try to get rid of that chip on your shoulder though.

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 2:10 am

so how come luke mccalister didnt play center instead of conrad smith? I HATE THAT GUY

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 3:09 am

No excuse for the Wallabies not winning, but the officiating didnt help either. Baxter was unlucky getting pinged so many times for not doing anything wrong.

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 6:24 am

apart from a few awkward calls i thought the officiating was actually quite consistent. wallabies spread the field too much just throwing long passes all day, no forward drives, surprised they even managed to secure the ball after that, onto the meat eaters.

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Nick July 19, 2009 6:51 am

Wallabies looked very strong in the lineout, and in broken play. It's true they had several missed opportunities that could have turned the game, but you know what? If YOU miss those opportunities, that's YOUR fault, and not a credit to you!!!

If you can't capitalize on linebreaks and easy tries, that doesn't diminish the other team's win. It means you need to work on your basics and come back later.

Wallabies did well to run 8 in the back line against 3 ABs at many times, but couldn't use that overload to their easy advantage? Sorry, go back to the drawing board.

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 7:14 am

what is it with the commentators getting the players names wrong again have they a tv screen in front of them or do they just use a pair of binoculars

ps
cant wait for the french to beat the all blacks at home in the world cup

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 8:36 am

well this was only the first match, wait till the second one australia will thrash nz because now they know there weaknes and next time they will put more experienced players on.

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granite July 19, 2009 9:35 am

I'm disappointed in the wallabies for losing the game, but the refereeing was incredibly frustrating. Particularly the scrums, Moore pinged for not rolling away (when he was) and the knock-on advantage that evapourated after 1 phase that went 2 metres backwards (wtf?!?). NZ almost got screwed on an evpourated advantage as well, so I'm just annoyed at Joubert...

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bangbang July 19, 2009 11:47 am

Hey guys am i the only one here that thinks nonu should be replaced by amcalister ? when nonu gets the ball in the line he telegraphs his pass and then takes the contact.. oh and guys dont underestimate conrad smith, he does a lot of unnoticed work. Henry 4 deans 1. haters shut up.. its all in black and white. the results say it all.

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lame July 19, 2009 12:05 pm

its always tough to win when your playing the All Blacks, its impossible when you have a ref like Joubert against you as well, he had a shocker.

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 1:42 pm

John 2.31am.

You are not a decoy if you are standing in front of the first receiver....and I am a neautral and the Aussies did this more than the ABS.....

if you are in front of 1st receiver by 7 to 8 yards you cannot receive a pass so your only role is to obstruct the opposition from getting the quickest way to the ball carrier. Why else would you be there?

A decoy would be if you were behind the passer and screamed for the bal as you run up and the passer passes past you and in front of you.

When the Ausies has a phalanx of 5,6,7 or so players as a wall advancing...well that's obstruction. THere is no other reason for them to be there.

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Jon July 19, 2009 2:32 pm

That's not the obstruction rule at all.
You have to actively impede a defender, preventing a tackle on the player in possession.
Decoys are fine, it's the sign of an intelligent backline.
I thought that 6 or 7 man decoy (whatever it was) was great, takes alot of organisation to pull that off.
Considering none of them impeded a tackle, because the ball was then passed about eight meters behind them to a guy running laterally away from them in the second line, it was just a really massive decoy play.
The All Blacks made the tackle eventually anyway, and since they know the rules, none of them had a problem with it. There wasn't any objection from anyone, including the only guy that maters - the ref.
The whole point of decoys is to force the defense to make descisions, not to impede tacklers.
I mean Jesus, decoys have been in the game for decades.

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 2:35 pm

aussie fwds just cant handle
they have good backs, but cant handle NZ power

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Lennox July 19, 2009 2:46 pm

Not really, it's not like they got blown off the park.
In the rucks the kiwis came out on top, and that was probably the difference in the end. Mccaw obviously makes a massive difference to them and is still the best no7 in the world.

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MikeyB July 19, 2009 3:24 pm

McAlister needs more time to be a starter for the big games, he's had no rugby for the last 5 months and before that he was playing in the northern hemisphere...

Conrad Smith is solid, don't know what one dude has against him.

The ref didn't have a bad one, but he was noticed which means he didn't have a great one I guess.

Ease up on Nonu, he hasn't played with Donald before so will take a bit of time to get a good combination going which will free him up a bit and give him some more time, the whole backline isn't firing yet.

Good call about the decoy runners, there will come a time when refs start pinging the obstructions hard when the opposition gets better at milking it (ie running straight into them). Jon doesn't get it by the looks of things.

The ABs are going to have some serious depth after this year (U20s guys and young ones coming through eg I Dagg, L Masaga, Whitelock, Tamati Ellison, Victor Vito, Hosea Gear, Cruden..., old ones coming back eg Chris Jack and Hayman?, injured guys eg Williams, Waldrom, Kahui, Carter, Boric...) let the dominance continue.

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Kearney for tests July 19, 2009 4:07 pm

Does anyone else wonder why Joubert got it wrong at the scrums so many times? I'm not a forward, especially not a front row one, but even I could see that Tony Woodcock wasn't binding and was going to deck, so why couldn't Joubert? Even when he was on that side looking at it he still got it wrong. And did you all hear that Joel Jutge has retired from refereeing? He was one of the greats. Now Berdos is France's no.1

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Huh!! the 3rd July 19, 2009 9:14 pm

Hore had a bad game, but is still one of the best hookers in the game, he has had a long line of injuries in last 1 1/2 seasons. I'd pick him anyday over Mealamu, although he doesn't have the leadership qualities, the ABs have enough of them on the field.

I expected alot more from Australia, they only scored off AB's mistakes. Some guilt edge chances went begging and were unlucky with frees at scrum time. Weather probably didn't help, but I can't remember Mortlock ever having as quiet a game against New Zealand before, even in defeat. Hope SA or Aus can stop NZ's dominance.

South may continually beat us, but we have a more even playing field in front of always packed out stadiums, and as long as ABs keep winning fans South and North will continue to turn away.

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headache July 19, 2009 9:27 pm

I couldn't believe how many times the commentators got names wrong or just plain forgot them (eg - "The, uhhh, Australian player going into the ruck...")

Really? I'd expect that out of American commentators on ESPN or something, but Skysports...really?

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Anonymous July 20, 2009 1:44 am

Its called the wannabies :D

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jon July 20, 2009 4:40 am

Jon gets it.
Jon just thinks you guys are nuts to object to decoy runners.
Read the rules.

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Waka from Aotearoa July 20, 2009 7:45 am

I agree with whoever said it.

LET THE BLACKOUT CONTINUE!

Still no.1 in the world hahahahahahaha

Whatever you say, whether we only just one, or Aussie didn't capitalize, All Blacks: won the game and are still no.1 !

+ we will only get better with injured players and the under 20 players coming through.

Rest of the world, be scared.

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Waka from Aotearoa July 20, 2009 7:46 am

just won*

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Anonymous July 20, 2009 8:38 am

Waka the NZL U20 players coming through suck! (except maybe masaga) The blacks dont have the world class youth coming through like they used to. Rokocoko, Nonu, Carter etc

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Anonymous July 20, 2009 8:38 am

Waka the NZL U20 players coming through suck! (except maybe masaga) The blacks dont have the world class youth coming through like they used to. Rokocoko, Nonu, Carter etc

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Kenny July 20, 2009 9:32 am

Ozzies should have put more points on the board in the first twenty/thirty as the ABs were all over the place.

Typical Oz scrum, rubbish against an average NZ scrum. Donald had a good game.

Ozzies butcherd at least one try scoring op.

Nonu just runs into contact over and over, no step or turn, boring and very predictable.

Where was Mortlock???

Where is jamestheconvict now????

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Anonymous July 20, 2009 9:51 am

The oz scrum was fine Kenny, the ref got it wrong.
Woodcock kept slipping his bind and bending his back, and it was his knees and elbows hitting the deck first.

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Kenny July 20, 2009 11:12 am

Yah your right anon, A Bxter would never drop a scrum!!!

I thought he was hard done by on 1 scrum, the others he was easily forced down by Wodcock.
He is just not a good scrumming prop.

I do agree that Joubert was annoying especially on the Plu quick tap penalty!!!

That was ridiculous.

Still dont know wht happened to Mortlock, he just sort of showed up at the end of the game for the post match interview, with fake sweat and pretending to be out of breath. lol

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Scrummie July 20, 2009 12:21 pm

Does anybody else find the NZ commentators very annoying and extremely biased?

Its not tiddlywinks?! no sh*t!
If an Australian player had come in and punched a All Black I bet he would not have said the same thing.

And every match I have watched over the last couple of years with NZ commentators they are always moaning that the opposition are either offside almost every other breakdown, like they did in this game, or that they are killing the ball on the floor (not that McCaw EVER does anything that bends/breaks the law on the floor!)

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ToulouseFan July 20, 2009 1:49 pm

I heard from a huge hit by Palu on McCaw, will we have a video of this one ?
Thx


PS: I noticed that Stephen Donald actually looked like Donald the Duck when he his about to kick a penalty conversion XD

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Ireland for WC 2011! July 20, 2009 2:46 pm

everything jon says is right,100 percent.learn the rules before leaving stupid comments

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Rocky July 20, 2009 2:47 pm

What's the story with Elsom?? Is he injured or is there a different reason he wasn't in the 22???

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Ireland for WC 2011! July 20, 2009 2:49 pm

also,McAllister is twice the player donald is,wether he has enough game time or not.

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Andy July 20, 2009 3:26 pm

Did anyone else notice Mccaw breaking early from nearly every single scrum? He gets away with murder most of the time!! Not complaining about him, it's up to the refs really.

I enjoyed the game. from an englishman who doesn't have a silly SH/NH chip on his shoulder. Some of you people are idiots.

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Henry G-Fuller July 20, 2009 4:11 pm

To comment No 8 (first anon)

I have some awesome southern hemisphere mates, but it's ones like you who are fucking retarded! Learn to spell, learn some grammar then kick off with something constructive you meat-headed fuck. Otherwise I'll set Trinh-Duc on you and he'll run you over. H

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80kgFlanker July 20, 2009 4:13 pm

I thought Berrick Barnes had an awesome game, apart from the missed try opportunity. He tackles well above his weight and all his core skills are tip top. Would walk into any other team at 10, only Gits holding him out for Oz. England could do with a player like that - like Riki Flutey but with skills, pace and talent. I didn't think the intensity was that great, and the ref let far too much go at the breakdown meaning flowing rugby was often spoilt by cheating. The 2nd Lions test has set the bench mark for entertaining matches at a great height and this match dod not come close in my opinion.

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H July 20, 2009 4:14 pm

No offense to any SH really, just that one got me a bit hot headed.

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Anonymous July 20, 2009 4:25 pm

Haha the guy who starts yapping about tiddly-winks absolutely murders the rest of the commentary they dont speak for about a minute after that!

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Jonathan July 20, 2009 4:40 pm

To be fair to Barnes the guy who messed up the try chance was Mortlock, who for some reason did not stay to Barnes' left and came in for a scissors.....if he had stayed out they had a 3 to 1.....

Conrad Smith is a real smart player.....he is not that big or fast but his set up of the try was a carbon copy of the try he set up v. the Boks last year in Dunedin...he snipes, has 2 tacklers holding on and offloads....great try.

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Dan July 21, 2009 6:17 am

Yeah Conrad is the man, he proves you don't have to be a big meathead to play rugby, it's all in the top two inches.

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Stormbringer July 21, 2009 9:18 am

Super website. Nice to be able to watch the highlights in good quality after suffering through the game on a poor live stream fom Justin TV. What's with the offensive comments from some posters? Never in 40 years of attending matches or watching them down the pub have I heard players referred to as "pieces of sh't" or "f'ckin dumb gold colored b'tches" - this sort of poster should go back to supporting Rangers or Celtic!

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bangbang July 21, 2009 11:16 am

well said stormbringer..

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Lennox July 21, 2009 12:18 pm

Rocky, Elsom is injured, apparently he carried it through the HC finals series and also the babas match against England. He needs a rest and time to get used to Deans' style of play again, also. He'll need to get his fitness up too, the 3-nations is fast rugby.
80kg Flanker, it was never gonna have the emotional intensity of a Lions series.
Also NZ and Aus tend to cancel each other out at times, and they both play fast intelligent rugby against each other. It's as much about out-thinking each other as it is about bashing each other.
Oh and with so many good players at the breakdown (including the two best ball pinching flankers in the world) the ball is often turned over or slowed down, and the ruck battle becomes all important.

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Bd July 21, 2009 12:31 pm

stormbringer.

no offense but ur computer must be kack then. i watched it on justin.tv, perfect as per usual....

try kostaz instead of live24alive

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 3:45 pm

Kearney for tests, Baxter was penalised at the scrum for not binding properly as he was binding on the upper arm (not the side/back like you're meant to). When a TH prop binds on the upper arm it makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the LH to get a bind at all, which is why you noticed Woodcock not binding and the scrum going down. The penalties were fair.

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jon July 24, 2009 12:03 am

That's a load of bull.
It doesn't matter where you bind it's about the position of the elbow that matters.
Baxter was keeping his up and Woodcok was twisting his in.
Woodcock was intentionally collapsing, hoping to milk penalties against Baxter, and ti worked. He was also bending his back, blatantly, a sure fire way to collapse a scrum, much more im portant then aht bind in fact.
Woodcock wasn't event rying to get a grip, he was just letting it slip, pulling his elbow in towards his chest and bending his back so the scrum would go down.
Why the hell would baxter try to stuff up Woodcock's bind to collapse a scrum, ON HIS OWN FEED?
He wouldn't, that would be hindering his own team.
The ref was dumb not to realise this, niave and dumb.
Baxter and the rest of the forward pack would ahve wanted quick ball of their scrum, he would have done anything to acheive that. Collpasing is the opposite of that. That's what the All Blacks and Woodcok would have wanted, and the penalties were a bonus.

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Anonymous July 24, 2009 10:15 am

It doesn't matter where you bind?
Please refer to law 20.3 "The tight head prop must not grip the chest, arm, sleeve or collar of the opposition loose head prop.
Penalty: Penalty Kick"
Maybe Woodcock milked it a bit, but Baxter was still binding incorrectly.

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jon July 24, 2009 8:00 pm

Watch the fuckin clip then.
He was binding on the jersey, on his side, about a foot away from his arm.
The irony is that if your a front rower, you would know that it doesn't actually matter where you bind, it's about the position of the elbow that determines if the scrum is gonna go down or not.
It pisses me off a bit that people who don't actually know about scrums comment on it.
If you don't know about scrums, and what actually brings them down or keeps them up, then STFU.

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Anonymous July 25, 2009 8:01 am

I did watch the clip and he binds on the sleeve every time. Scrums went down on both sides feeds and I'm sorry but does everyone who doesn't agree with Jon automatically not know anything about rugby?
Even if what you say is right about Woodcock, the ref had told Baxter that his bind was wrong the first time he got pinged, so he shouldn't have done it again and again. Adapt to the ref, bind properly and then the next time the scrum goes down he'll look for another reason. Don't just do the same thing over and over, it's not smart play.

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jon July 27, 2009 4:31 am

Look, I didn't mean any offence, I think it's the Aussie in me, just cuz I swear at you doesn't mean I'm having a go at you, it's just how we talk. A good argument is fun.
Anyway, Baxter was binding on his side, mate, and when a ref says he's slipping his bind, which is what he said, it doesn't mean he's gripping on the wrong spot (it doesn't really matter where you grip anyway, again it's the position of your elbows that keeps up or collapses a scrum). The ref was saying he was letting go and pulling his elbow in, which is one thing a front rower will do if they want to bring down a scrum. Bnding his back is the other main way a front rower will bring a scrum down.
In this instance, woodcock was doing both. He really wanted those scrums to collapse, obviously anticipating Baxter's reputation would work in his favour.
The ref ate it up, it was niave reffing.

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