Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Barbarians too good for England XV


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


The Top 5 French Flair moments


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Catch up with Sam Warburton


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Jebb Sinclair red card for leading elbow

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Zealand Maori edge midweek England in thriller

New Zealand Maori edge midweek England in thriller

The New Zealand Maori team came out on top once again as they continued their centenary celebration with a 35-28 win over England on Wednesday in what was an incredible game of rugby.

England fielded a midweek side after their win over Australia on the weekend, but got the better of the opening exchanges as they scored early on before the NZ Maori came back into the match in spectacular fashion.

Wing Hosea Gear, who led the team's Timatanga Haka shortly before kickoff, scored an outstanding hat-trick on the night. His first try was an absolute classic that came from a Charlie Hodgson long range penalty that hit the upright.

"It was an awesome game, an awesome occasion. The boys dug in during that last five minutes and to finish like that, I'm just speechless. We knew that first 10 after the break was going to be crucial, I set a challenge for the boys... and we got those two quick tries," said Maori captain Liam Messam, who also scored a fantastic try.

England picked up two quick tries on the stroke of time, but the home side picked up their momentum in the second half, ending with four tries to the three of England.

"On the whole, this tour and this side have been fantastic," said Martin Johnson.

"There was some scepticism what value we would get out of the three midweek games. The whole experience has been great for the players, the coaches and whole team.

"Lots of guys have really come through, lots of guys have really stood up as well and will benefit hugely from the experience of coming our here and playing."

Without a doubt one of the games of the season, the highlights for this one are ten minutes long. Please give feedback as to your preference when it comes to video length.


Time: 10:01

Posted at 5:22 pm | 65 comments

Viewing 65 comments

Laz June 24, 2010 6:20 pm

Hosea Gear.. stillll not an all black regular? catch a wake up mr henry.

Fantastic match. Thanks RD

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 6:38 pm

defensive howler from strettle. . . as always.
love the ashton try tho!!

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 7:03 pm

hosea gear...wow

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 7:08 pm

england's centers let them down big time!

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Rowan DeBues June 24, 2010 7:16 pm

This just proves that the likes of Strettle and Tait simply aren't international level players. The latter has had his chance with England and Strettle shouldn't be given one. Looking at that fail of a tackle on Hosea Gear you wonder why some people say he should be in the squad.

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Nick June 24, 2010 7:36 pm

I think Tait's days in top level rugby have to be numbered, he's been on the brink if his defence improves for years and it just hasn't. I think other guys like Allen have to be given a run in the EPS to see how they do.

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 7:47 pm

1 -- This is getting old, but how is Gear not an AB? I know NZ has a sickening level of backline talent, but Guildford over Gear? Come on. Call me old fashioned, but Guildford is simply not dangerous enough with ball in hand to be wearing 11 for the ABs. Henry needs to wake up.

2 -- Brett is leagues better than Cruden. Cruden can't kick, is lacking on defence, and phsyically just isn't up to test rugby. Brett and/or Slade should be the understudies for DC.

3 -- Great match to watch, love to see England attacking again.

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Beatrootz June 24, 2010 8:02 pm

I've always been a fan of gear...And this just shows what he has offer...that guilford doesn't....

Metal Gear Solid!!!

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 8:08 pm

this english team should not drop players because they are not very good defenders. they need to learn to cover for them and let them do what they do best.
like ireland with O'Gara.
Mathew Tait gave England a chance in winning the world cup i remember.

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goodNumber10 June 24, 2010 8:09 pm

amazing Rugby! No shame in losing in a game like that.

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goodNumber10 June 24, 2010 8:09 pm

amazing Rugby! No shame in losing in a game like that.

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Beatrootz June 24, 2010 8:26 pm

...oh and great skill and speed shown from from England...

Congrats Maori...

Well deserved


Mean Maori Mean

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Beatrootz June 24, 2010 8:26 pm

...oh and great skill and speed shown from from England...

Congrats Maori...

Well deserved


Mean Maori Mean

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Beatrootz June 24, 2010 8:26 pm

...oh and great skill and speed shown from from England...

Congrats Maori...

Well deserved


Mean Maori Mean

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dutchrugbyplayer June 24, 2010 8:31 pm

Thanks RD: 10 minutes is a treat when rugby is played like this. Best highlights in a long time.
Spine-tingling haka also!
Not too impressed with the English tries though: great skill from Ashton for the first try but a quick tap and an interception can hardly be called great running rugby. Although I have to say I have not seen the whole match Very entertaining stuff though!!!!

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 8:38 pm

wasnt there another maori try that wasnt included in the highlights?

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poccio June 24, 2010 8:55 pm

dear rd 10 min highlights are great...also 40 or 80 min highlights would be good ;)...also i've got a question: do only maori's play in the maori side? 'cause the 15 did'nt really look maori...cheers

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Chris M June 24, 2010 8:59 pm

RD to answer your question, the more the merrier! Make them as long as you want to, the more highlights the better. I watch them whatever length you guys are doing a fantastic job.
Few pointers about this match, how on earth isn't Gear in an allblack jersey? Zac Guildford is a great winger, but i would definitely start Hosea ahead of him, alongside Rococoko, he'll fill in brilliantly for Sivivatu and might even keep him out of the starting team when he comes back from injury!
And i think people are giving Tait a bit too much stick, whoever was playing in his position would have been awful, he was up against some of the best New Zealand had to offer, personally i'd like to see him on the wing, he's got pace to burn.

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Ben June 24, 2010 9:37 pm

wasn't there a lil' bit of an obstruction by the maori's no.10 on the last try?

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 9:48 pm

This Haka. My god. I love this sport.

I met Hosea's brother, Rico, great guy. I hope her brother will be all black soon.

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Jeremy June 24, 2010 9:54 pm

>Poccio

There's been extensive intermarriage between the Maori and the New Zealand Europeans. All the players on the team has Maori ancestry.

As long as you are legally identified as having Maori heritage, then you're eligible to play for the team.

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 10:22 pm

Keep these extended highlights coming RD :)

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Anonymous June 24, 2010 11:29 pm

10 mins is great - thanks RD.

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Craig June 25, 2010 12:25 am

Heya Ben

"wasn't there a lil' bit of an obstruction by the maori's no.10 on the last try?"

Putting it at a very basic level support players chasing the ball carrier can't be deemed to be running obstruction (as long as you aren't using your hands to intefer with an opponent). It is the job of the defender to run around the supporting players (so in theory they can slow down and speed up to make the job for the defender harder).

The problem occurs when the support runner (who is following the ball) changes his line.
He is allowed to change his line to be in a better position to receive a pass or prepare to enter a ruck, but he is not allowed to run crazy angles in an effort to solely cut off chassing defenders.

It is up to the ref to determine the goal of the support players running lines.

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mise June 25, 2010 12:36 am

@Craig

Cheers for that clarification - I was wondering about that myself.

Although, he does seem to use his arms a bit: so, its arms not hands....v close call for the ref I'd say.

So u are allowed deliberately 'shadow' a player if this happens to be along a more or less similar line to the one you are already on. If that's the case, then that try is fine - except for the arm bit.

Thoughts?

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Anonymous June 25, 2010 12:39 am

I know several people have said it already, but why isn't Hosea Gear in the AB squad?

Also, the longer the highlights the better, in fact I vote for a full 80. It's not so easy to see the games here in the US, so long highlights help to make up for this loss. Thanks a bunch, RD!

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Gears ahead June 25, 2010 2:44 am

God Hosea Gear is incredible, I don't think there would be another player going around who could have scored that first try. We (Australia) will have him if Henry continues to ignore him!

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Canadian Content June 25, 2010 3:02 am

Mark Cueto, who I think was playing on the wing? Does fuck all on Gear's first try. watch it, h doesn't challenge, watches the ball go across the field and doesn't corner flag. Brutal.

And if a tap penalty isn't running rugby I don't know what is? I'd argue an interception is as well as it represents taking risks rather than standing back and waiting for things to happen.

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granite June 25, 2010 4:22 am

Awesome rugby!

I was wondering the same re: NZ 10 obstruction. The main issue I have is that he doesn't seem to drop behind gear after he passes the ball, and braces against the opposition. An iffy call, but I thought there were grounds for obstruction (offside if he was in front).

Also, that was incredibly harsh of the ref penalising NZ for bringing down the maul. From being set, that maul went backwards and sideways for TWENTY-FIVE SECONDS before collapsing. That's an eternity for not even gaining an inch! Ref should have called use it or lose it and then pinged them.

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Imago Dei June 25, 2010 5:38 am

definitely keep up the 10-minute highlights! those who want shorter videos can always fast forward the videos!

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Anonymous June 25, 2010 5:39 am

brilliant game gear was very impressive some shocking tackling though
mathhew tait was awful looks like he has tried to bulk up or just eaten to many pies very slow in defence and attack

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goodNumber10 June 25, 2010 7:19 am

"Mark Cueto, who I think was playing on the wing? "

Na, he wasn't even in the squad.

Wingers were Ashton and Strettle, think it was Tait who didn't get near Gear.

He's an amazing talent.

"Not too impressed with the English tries though: great skill from Ashton for the first try but a quick tap and an interception can hardly be called great running rugby."

Not wanting to start a flame fest here but all bar one of the NZ Tries came directly from Counter attacks, but their playing amazing running rugby and England aren't?

Come on be fair, even with an intercept you've got to take the right decision and supporters have to do their job, and essentially you can only play what's in front of you.

I mean Hodgson could have just kicked it long into the corner but he didn't he looked for support and England finished their chance without having to recycle, or Care and the pack could have taken a line out instead of the tap, but they didn't.

Essentially this was a great game, and it was great because both teams played with some ambition and pace and were not negative.

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Mike June 25, 2010 8:32 am

Nothing wrong with England's tries and brillian skill from Ashton for the first. Good decision making and running lines for the other two.

On another subject, if Strettle had tackled with his arms instead of going for an illegal big hit, he would at least have slowed Gear down enough to be tackled by someone else and there would have been no (great) try.

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Nick June 25, 2010 9:51 am

To be honest I think this tour has been fairly useful for England even if it hasn't been all wins. A few guys have really come out and shown their colours, Ashton and Lawes have got to be given a decent run and Foden must have secured the 15 jersey. Cueto is looking pretty good and I reckon Moody's got to keep the captaincy.

There are a few areas that need a bit of a look at. Do Strettle and Tait deserve to be in the EPS. They've been fringe players for a long time now and still haven't done anything, maybe its time to blood a few youngsters. Watching Delon Armitage in this match, he still doesn't seem to be back to form either. I also think it's time a few of the tried and tested first team players were questioned. Do we need to stick with Easter. I'll admit he's decent in the GP but he looks like an unfit lump in internationals and he's not making the yards you'd hope from a top no.8.

A decent tour though, glad to see the midweek games brought back in.

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rosh June 25, 2010 10:43 am

i'm not from new zealand but a massive all blacks fan. but after watching the first try i thought why is hosea gear not playing for the all blacks. the second and third try made his exclusion criminal. henry is after sonny bill who isn't used to union and may muck up in the world cup and ignoring great talent back in new zealand hosea gear who has always been loyal

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Rugby Nomad June 25, 2010 11:26 am

That was a great game showing how rugby should be played! Why can't England do that in their own hemisphere? Any chance of getting that bone shaking haka in a separate clip? Great footage!

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Leeners93 June 25, 2010 11:53 am

that haka was the best i've seen in years.no 30 second pauses,very agressive,very intense.great stuff

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Anonymous June 25, 2010 11:57 am

make the highlights shorter like 5 mins

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Luxi June 25, 2010 12:01 pm

good tries, seemed like a good game ! :)

lenght-wise :
incidents, tackles, tries , 1,2or3 minutes is a good size
for full game highlights, 5to10minutes is good

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jackohos June 25, 2010 12:49 pm

Justin Marshall: "...puts someone on the ground"

Possibly your team mate from the past 2 years at Sarries, Barritt!

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creggs08 June 25, 2010 1:09 pm

the way new zealand attacked every maul and ruck you would thin they where playing in the world cup final. great intensity and even if england aren't winning every match you can see the improvement already in them.

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Sam June 25, 2010 1:15 pm

I've been pulling for gear to be called up to the AB's for a few seasons now, he's the kind of player that would come out and play his absolute hardest. Gear has had some real crackers for the hurricanes, and despite an injured s14 season for him I think guildford should really be pulled out, what has he done lately and how can you not see the benefit of giving gear a chance?
I honestly like PDV's approach with the Springboks

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Sam June 25, 2010 1:17 pm

PDV's been fostering depth by trying out lots of different combinations on the field and giving lots of different players chances to prove themselves, The All Blacks should really follow suit these are less important games but still international matches and theres more talent than just Gear being overlooked in NZ

(sorry for split post, pressed enter by accident)

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Anonymous June 25, 2010 1:40 pm

Strettle must have missed the session in mini rugby where you are taught how to tackle. Struggler.

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Anonymous June 25, 2010 2:00 pm

umm, i don't think tait was really culpable for any oof gear's tries. first one he's chasing gear after strettle's horrendous attempted tackle left a gao in the line (all 80kg of strettle trying to put in a big hit on gear, idiot).

for the second, ashton drifts too far out, leaving a huge gap, and gear's through.

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Anonymous June 25, 2010 5:55 pm

shite from strettle for the first try, tait should have gone low too. poor from tait from the second

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Xavier June 25, 2010 6:10 pm

@ nick

Yeah, I think you are right. Although you can say england isn't going through a good run on form, at the moment, some good things happened during this tour, with some young players stepping up. England has some nice potential. Youngs, Foden, Ashton and Lawes...


But there is one thing I'd like to know everyone's opinion about. WTF, Nick Easter shouldn't be England's starting n8. He is close minded, isnt dynamic at all, and doesnt put in enough of the hard running yards. I for one would love to see James Haskel given a shot at n8. Granted he didnt have the phisique, but since he went to Stade Francais, he has bulked up a lot, and has been proving to be one of England's key assets/leaders

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dutchrugbyplayer June 25, 2010 6:11 pm

goodnumber10:
I had a second look (and the haka was still chilling) and I guess, as you mentioned, a big part of scoring tries in rugby comes from capitalizing on your opponents mistakes. Both teams did that very well and that makes it a great game. I have to say: England played some really entertaining rugby last few weeks. All Blacks for 3N, England for 6N!!!

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Anonymous June 25, 2010 9:31 pm

Phenomenal match! I love watching rugby highlights especially from great games like this. I don't care how long the video is as long as it shows all the best parts from the match.

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fifa sucks June 26, 2010 3:55 am

That Armitage try where Ashton just barely kept the ball in was crazy!

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Anonymous June 26, 2010 4:47 am

10 min of highliths were great. there are some places were you can't watch international rugby, so every video as it is, will be welcomed

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Anonymous June 26, 2010 11:55 am

Love the 10 mins RD - thanks.

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Joost June 26, 2010 10:04 pm

That Haka sent shivers down my spine... too much tongue though.

It was a great match. England seem to be improving every day. Youngsters all have shown an edge over their old counterparts, like Youngs, Lawes, Ashton and Foden. Give them more game time and I bet they will be world class.

Defence is vital these days and Tait, Strettle and, in my opinion, Care showed that they simply aren't world class in terms of fully accomplished players.

Hosea Gear should be picked ahead of Zac Guildford! And I feel like Henry is preferring a Cinderella story in Aaron Cruden than a certain in Stephen Brett.

Any Thoughts?

Cheers

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Juggernauter June 26, 2010 10:08 pm

How's this for the best england team?

1 Panyne
2 Hartley
3 Cole
4 Lawes
5 Croft
6 Rees
7 Moody (c)
8 Haskell

9 Youngs
10 Geraghty
11 Ashton
12 Flood
13 Armitage
14 Cueto
15 Foden

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Anonymous June 26, 2010 11:14 pm

I know this has been said already but how is Hosea Gear not in the AB squad? he was awesome in that game. As for the length of highlights, the longer the better RD, keep up the good work!!!

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Anonymous June 27, 2010 9:09 am

WHAT A GAME OF RUGBY! Watched it live and thought it was amazing. Well done Maoris

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Xavier June 27, 2010 2:00 pm

@ Juggernauter:

I do like the way that looks, although picking Geraghty as a starter may be a little controverse. But still, pretty good side, with plenty of potential and room for improvement.


Hosea Gear is one of my favourite players. How can someone let him out of any team, and not start him alongside Flying Joe?. What a wing pairing that would be!!!!

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Anonymous June 27, 2010 3:50 pm

the longer the videos the better!

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Juggernauter June 27, 2010 7:32 pm

@ Xavier:

I think the second row needs a refresh, Palmer and Shaw are too old and don't have a big margin to improve.

Lawes is very promising and Croft is too good to be left out, although not seeing Rees in the EPS hurts, as he is a colossal player. His intelligent game, along with the 100% commitment of Moody and the brains and muscle of Haskell would be a great back row.

Geraghty is a risk, but England can't rely on Jonny Boy forever.

Also, 13 needs more projection -Tait is too shubby in the tackle, Tindall, too old, and Hipkiss, too irregular.
Armitage is great but should make some room for Foden, so outisde centre would suite him.

Cheers

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Nick June 28, 2010 11:12 am

Xavier- I agree, I'd rather blood some of the younger no.8's Haskell, Narraway than carry on with Easter I just don't see what he offers.

I've done a few changes to that team (assuming full fitness).

1 Sheridan
2 Hartley
3 Cole
4 Lawes
5 Palmer
6 Rees
7 Moody (c)
8 Haskell

9 Youngs
10 Wilkinson
11 Ashton
12 Allen/Geraghty
13 Tindall
14 Cueto
15 Foden

If I remember Tindall isn't actually that old, he just looks it. I'm dubious about Geraghty, on form he's a good player but he can be irrational under pressure, so possibly safer with Wilkinson tindall either side, although it would be great to see Allen getting stuck in? didn't see much of Barritt in the Maori match, any good?

I flat out don't like payne, I think he's a poor scrummager and ball carrier, he was winning against a soft scrum against Oz, but I can't see the french or SA's being that easy. Sheridan if he's on form, but both the new lads form newcastle or Worcester look good, Doran Jones was looking good, or Nick Wood.

I'd like to see these guys in the mix:
1. Hape (there is potential)
2. Simpson-Daniel (great season)
3. Croft
4. Attwood
5. Flutey

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goodNumber10 June 28, 2010 8:39 pm

Nick agree about Payne, he was a nightmare for us (wasps fan) earlier int he seaosn, seems to have knuckled down but there is much better out there.

Like the look of your back line but i'd like to see Waldouk in the mix, he's been very consistent and is pushing tindall in my opinion at 13, he also is more then capable of doing the business at 12, but needs a flat 10 to play off.

I expect him and Fluety to really push as a pairing next season.

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Nick June 28, 2010 9:24 pm

I have to agree about Waldouck he had a decent season in a hit and miss Wasps team.

The basic reason not to lose Tindall is that it keeps a bit of grunt and defensive agression in the centres. One of the flaws over the past few years has been to go for grunt or flair, there is a need for a mix. The reason Australia can get away with Barnes or Giteau in the centre is that Mortlock is usually supporting. To be honest I'd keep Tindall at 13 and leave the 12 jersey open.

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Pete July 02, 2010 12:03 am

Anonymous said...
make the highlights shorter like 5 mins

Why? Don't you like watching great rugby.

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jono July 02, 2010 2:18 am

Nick, Mortlock hasn't played for Australia in about a year or more, the reason Asutralia get away with it, is that Barnes and Gitaeu are actually decent defenders for small guys and the rest of the team is good enough to cover for them.
To be honest Australia's lack of size in the backline is acually a big problem for us atm. Without big units like Mortlock (who may never play for us again), Tuqiri, and Latham we struggle to muscle up to some teams like the Boks and the kiwis.

In regards to the match, very entertaining stuff, great play by the Maori's particularly, but England also.
This England team seems to have learnt a bit of a lesson on this tour about how important it is to take risks on attack and push for tries and it's really starting to pay off for them.

And RD, the long highlights are great.

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Nick July 02, 2010 1:48 pm

Fair point, I didn't cover off both aspects there but I have a feeling we are punting at the same thing. In both an attacking and defending situation I think it makes more sense to have a decent flair player and then a unit in the centres. Although Barnes and Giteau are fairly strong defensively, I felt they were a bit weaker without Mortlock. They haven't got the incisive crash ball when they need it and although they can hold ground in the centres your not going to get many crunching tackles from them.

So in a round about way that is the problem I had with England this time round, they went the other way Hape and Tindall are both great defenders and (should be) good crash ball runners, but when you need a little bit of flair they fall flat.

No balance that's the problem...

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