Discussion:
Why I believe England have the edge over NZ - discuss :-)
(too old to reply)
Groundhog
2003-08-25 12:54:12 UTC
Permalink
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...

IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?

NZ have clearly the best back 3 in the game right now, and they are the AB's
key strength. They are also, however, the easiest players in an opposing
team to close down/shut out. The back 3 get their opportunities to shine
when either good early phase ball is won, or the opposition kick them
possession. England are too strong up front and too smart to let either of
these things happen often.

The England forwards are stronger, as mobile and more experienced than NZ's.
Their age is irrelevant - look how strongly the England pack finished in
Cardiff on Saturday - despite relatively high temperatures and humidity.
McCaw is the one NZ forward who is better than his opposite number - on the
blind side Hill should outplay Thorne, and Collins/Dallaglio are well
matched.

A lot rides on the line-out, because with a poorly-performing line-out,
either Wilkinson's or Spencer's options will be restricted. Neither England
nor NZ have shown themselves to be infallible here, but Thompson vs. Mealamu
may prove to be the key battle. Both are outstanding with ball in hand and
in the loose - but which one's throw-in will turn up on the day?

England are stronger around the fringes, and the back row (along with the
best tackling fly-half in the game) will deny Spencer the quality ball he
needs to excel, and to feed the pacy NZ backs. Dawson's only (slight)
weakness is the speed of his pass - but tactically and with ball in hand I
expect him to cause the ABs huge problems.

England's ball retention is better, and while the England backs do not have
the pace of NZ's, they are strong, fast (enough) runners who run strong
attacking lines. In multiphase play, they will find the openings, whilst
the English defensive organisation will close down most of the opportunities
NZ create.

Wilkinson is England's key player, and the Kiwis are correct that if
injured, England will struggle - but he is a better tackler and place-kicker
than Spencer, even if he does not quite have Spencer's running game.
Although he was poor by his standards against both NZ and Aus in June, he is
tactically stronger than Spencer and kicks better out of hand. He provides
better ball to his outside backs because of this - I'd rather play outside
him than Spencer, given some of the latter's "interesting" passing.

Finally leadership and organisation - other than the
aerodynamically-optimised jerseys, the England set-up is as well organised
and financed as any in the world...nothing will be left to chance. And in
Johnson, England have easily the best captain in world rugby - who also has
the benefit of being clearly in the team on playing merit as well. When the
pressure comes, this England team have the experience to ride it.

So - there it is...
...David...
2003-08-25 13:22:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
McCaw is the one NZ forward who is better than his opposite number - on the
blind side Hill should outplay Thorne, and Collins/Dallaglio are well
matched.
In my opinion Moody and Back are fighting for the starting position to face
McCaw and his ilk.
Much as I love the superhuman efforts of Neil Back, I'm more excited
nowadays by a fully fit Moody.
Post by Groundhog
England are stronger around the fringes, and the back row (along with the
best tackling fly-half in the game) will deny Spencer the quality ball he
needs to excel, and to feed the pacy NZ backs. Dawson's only (slight)
weakness is the speed of his pass - but tactically and with ball in hand I
expect him to cause the ABs huge problems.
I'd say that England are stronger across the whole back row in their
defensive ability. From the reports I've read here I suspect NZ are stronger
across the whole back row in their attacking ability. Wilkinson, Tidall and
Lewsey are 3 of the biggest hitting and self-sacrificing backs in the game.
It's up to the forwards to dictate which backs will be defending and which
will be attacking....obviously!!
Post by Groundhog
Wilkinson is England's key player, and the Kiwis are correct that if
injured, England will struggle - but he is a better tackler and place-kicker
than Spencer, even if he does not quite have Spencer's running game.
Spencer was dangerous every time he had the ball I thought against
England...I was worried for one. However it's a mistake to think Wilkinson
isn't a great runner as well...he makes a lot of magical breaks.
Ali
2003-08-26 09:03:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by ...David...
Spencer was dangerous every time he had the ball I thought against
England...I was worried for one. However it's a mistake to think Wilkinson
isn't a great runner as well...he makes a lot of magical breaks.
I think most NZ'ers know what Jonny is like, as well as the usual bleats
about three points, there was a magnificent chip over the AB back line to
put the ball between the posts.

A
didgerman
2003-08-25 17:55:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
You ask for "considered" Kiwi opinion and say this isn't a troll?!
Considered. Kiwi Opinion. Are you pissed or what?
;-)
UD
They exist all right, got some here in sunny Glasgow. They still pop around
on sundays to wash my van after the last game....bless 'em. Nice blokes,
just not good at betting......
Muz
2003-08-25 20:57:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
but Thompson vs. Mealamu
may prove to be the key battle. Both are outstanding with ball in hand and
in the loose - but which one's throw-in will turn up on the day?
Can Thompson run as fast as an All Black back? He's gunna have to ...... For
eighty minutes ....... Muz
Groundhog
2003-08-25 21:11:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Muz
Can Thompson run as fast as an All Black back?
No
Post by Muz
He's gunna have to ...... For eighty minutes .......
Why ?
Post by Muz
Muz
Who?
Muz
2003-08-25 21:03:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
You people from England never cease to amaze me .... What is the best you
have ever done in a world cup? 3rd or 4th? .... You trash the All Blacks by
two points at the end of your season and at the beginning of ours and you
are going to win the World Cup? .... Excuse me if I blink .... The All
Blacks may not win but you have no hope .... Muz
Peter Ashford
2003-08-25 21:40:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Muz
Post by Groundhog
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
You people from England never cease to amaze me .... What is the best you
have ever done in a world cup? 3rd or 4th? .... You trash the All Blacks by
two points at the end of your season and at the beginning of ours and you
are going to win the World Cup? .... Excuse me if I blink .... The All
Blacks may not win but you have no hope .... Muz
Oh bollocks, come on this is the strongest English side for an extremely
long time. They beat NZ on the last two meetings and have likewise
beaten all other SH teams several times recently.

They are validly considered RWC favourites.

Peter.
John Williams
2003-08-25 22:18:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ashford
Post by Muz
You people from England never cease to amaze me .... What is the best you
have ever done in a world cup? 3rd or 4th? .... You trash the All Blacks by
two points at the end of your season and at the beginning of ours and you
are going to win the World Cup? .... Excuse me if I blink .... The All
Blacks may not win but you have no hope .... Muz
Oh bollocks, come on this is the strongest English side for an extremely
long time. They beat NZ on the last two meetings and have likewise
beaten all other SH teams several times recently.
Fine so far, though you were craft enough not to mention the first up
nature of the June game for NZ, or the end of the long season for NZ
in the November game...
Post by Peter Ashford
They are validly considered RWC favourites.
... and then you spoil all the good work with this!

Considered by some, mostly in NZ, to be favourites in order to un-jinx
NZ would be a little more accurate!

Odds from William Hill in the UK:

New Zealand 2.20
England 2.62
Australia 5.50
France 12.00
South Africa 26.00
Ireland 51.00
Argentina 81.00
Wales 126.00
Scotland 126.00

Some adjustment to the odds of Wales and Scotland looks in order.
France still look very good odds for a betting person, to me.
--
Regards,
John Williams
Peter Ashford
2003-08-25 22:30:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Williams
Post by Peter Ashford
Post by Muz
You people from England never cease to amaze me .... What is the best you
have ever done in a world cup? 3rd or 4th? .... You trash the All Blacks by
two points at the end of your season and at the beginning of ours and you
are going to win the World Cup? .... Excuse me if I blink .... The All
Blacks may not win but you have no hope .... Muz
Oh bollocks, come on this is the strongest English side for an extremely
long time. They beat NZ on the last two meetings and have likewise
beaten all other SH teams several times recently.
Fine so far, though you were craft enough not to mention the first up
nature of the June game for NZ, or the end of the long season for NZ
in the November game...
I don't deny that there are extenuating circumstances, but by god am I
sick of hearing them ad infinitum. I have said this before, but while
Mitchell may think it's ok to throw test matches to develop teams, I do
not. A loss is a loss. In the end, they are what is counted when
people compare test playing nations.
Post by John Williams
Post by Peter Ashford
They are validly considered RWC favourites.
... and then you spoil all the good work with this!
Considered by some, mostly in NZ, to be favourites in order to un-jinx
NZ would be a little more accurate!
JW, I have no interest at all in Jinxing or un-jinxing or otherwise any
teams for the RWC. While I recognise it's a running gag on the NG, I'm
not interested (what we say hardly effects the teams, does it?)

My point is just that it is valid to consider England favourites for the
RWC, I'm not saying it is utter madness if someone else thinks that the
ABs should wear that mantel.

Recall that I was responding to the sentiment that "The All Blacks may
not win but [England] have no hope"

Peter.
John Williams
2003-08-25 22:37:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ashford
JW, I have no interest at all in Jinxing or un-jinxing or otherwise any
teams for the RWC. While I recognise it's a running gag on the NG, I'm
not interested (what we say hardly effects the teams, does it?)
No, but people here seem to be as superstitious as everywhere else.
Post by Peter Ashford
My point is just that it is valid to consider England favourites for the
RWC, I'm not saying it is utter madness if someone else thinks that the
ABs should wear that mantel.
Fair enough!
Post by Peter Ashford
Recall that I was responding to the sentiment that "The All Blacks may
not win but [England] have no hope"
You were, and I'll now crawl back to my mud-pit suitably chastised.
--
Regards,
John Williams
Peter Ashford
2003-08-25 22:54:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Williams
You were, and I'll now crawl back to my mud-pit suitably chastised.
what I want to know is how you get internet connected to your mud-pit?

obviously here in the hinterlands, our mud-pits are much less
technologically advanced :-)

Peter
Ali
2003-08-26 09:16:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Williams
Fine so far, though you were craft enough not to mention the first up
nature of the June game for NZ, or the end of the long season for NZ
in the November game...
You cannot use both of them as an excuse as the reverse applies to England.
Your at the end we are at the beggining and vice versa

this was snipped from the numpty Muz's post above
Post by John Williams
You trash the All Blacks by two points at the end of your season and
at the beginning of ours and you are going to win the World Cup?
Make your bloody minds up, we've already got Rick making excuses for the
world cup, chanting "england are favorites, england are favorites", so if
the All Backs lose he can go well you were the favorites, and if they win he
can go "we beat the favorites nah nah na na nah"

And now you can't make up your mind on which excuse to use, "it was the
begining of the season, doesn't matter it was the end of yours, no no it was
the end of ours long and really tiring season, and you were all fresh as
daisies". Make up your bloody minds whats the excuse.

cheers

A
Bulldog
2003-08-26 16:27:52 UTC
Permalink
There is no excuse ..... All I know is England aren't going to win the World
Cup ...
sorry I'm late on this one. either you have a crystal ball or you are
a wee bit insecure pal.
Muz
2003-08-26 10:15:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ashford
Oh bollocks, come on this is the strongest English side for an extremely
long time. They beat NZ on the last two meetings and have likewise
beaten all other SH teams several times recently.
They are validly considered RWC favourites.
Peter.
It will be a miracle if England can turn around the habit of a lifetime. All
they can lay claim to is inventing the game. New Zealand took it to a new
level in 1905 and most other years you like to look at. England has never
got better ..... we have not played up to our usual high standards lately
... That¹s it .... straight and simple ..... Muz
The Green Phantom
2003-08-26 12:53:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Muz
Post by Peter Ashford
Oh bollocks, come on this is the strongest English side for an extremely
long time. They beat NZ on the last two meetings and have likewise
beaten all other SH teams several times recently.
They are validly considered RWC favourites.
Peter.
It will be a miracle if England can turn around the habit of a lifetime.
All they can lay claim to is inventing the game. New Zealand took it to a
new level in 1905 and most other years you like to look at. England has
never
got better ..... we have not played up to our usual high standards lately
... That¹s it .... straight and simple ..... Muz
Muz? Muzzy? Hmmmm, is this descriptive of your eyesight or your thinking?
Eyesight I guess since you haven't shown any signs of being able to think.

regards

The Green Phantom
--
A CONS is an object which cares.
-- Bernie Greenberg.
pete devlin
2003-08-26 14:53:25 UTC
Permalink
In message <BB718C90.6B90C%***@ihug.co.nz>, Muz <***@ihug.co.nz>
writes
Post by Muz
It will be a miracle if England can turn around the habit of a
lifetime. All they can lay claim to is inventing the game. New Zealand
took it to a new level in 1905 and most other years you like to look
at. England has never got better ..... we have not played up to our
usual high standards lately ... That¹s it .... straight and simple
..... Muz
I say Muz, aren't you and your gimp friend (sexual deviant in rubber
suit, not handicapped variant, although he claims he is) the first to
bite whenever anybody heaps anything less than praise upon NZ? Good
style marks buddy, but you'll have to try an awful lot harder to whip
them up into anything like a NZesque whining frenzy.
--
Pete Devlin
Lossiemouth RUFC http://www.lossiemouth-rufc.co.uk
***Rugby Songs Page Updated***
Peter Ashford
2003-08-27 00:15:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Muz
Post by Peter Ashford
Oh bollocks, come on this is the strongest English side for an extremely
long time. They beat NZ on the last two meetings and have likewise
beaten all other SH teams several times recently.
They are validly considered RWC favourites.
Peter.
It will be a miracle if England can turn around the habit of a lifetime. All
they can lay claim to is inventing the game. New Zealand took it to a new
level in 1905 and most other years you like to look at. England has never
got better ..... we have not played up to our usual high standards lately
... That¹s it .... straight and simple ..... Muz
Talking about habits, Muz, we've only won it once (and back before the
game went pro). If the past is as important as you suggest it is, then
we are doomed and Oz should pick up the silverware again.

Peter
Muz
2003-08-27 22:51:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ashford
Talking about habits, Muz, we've only won it once (and back before the
game went pro). If the past is as important as you suggest it is, then
we are doomed and Oz should pick up the silverware again.
Peter
I haven't got around to what I think the All Blacks chances are. I'm not
exactly a huge fan of Mitchells and have had a lot of problems dealing with
some of the weird things he has done to date. Picking Braid has him heading
back in my direction I must say but leaving Cullen out makes him suitable
for some sort of Loony award. I totally go along with him about Oliver which
swings me back again and then putting in Caleb Ralph just about has me
searching for some spare rat bait to deal with his problem. For me the All
Blacks should be the best team without any politics and garbage. Picking
Marshall is weird as far as I can see and I sometimes wonder what Byron has
done so bad that he is on the outer. He is easily the best halfback and he
is so easily the quickest passer of the ball that I sometimes wonder if the
AB management is working on a plan to get Umaga invalided out of the
backline. Fortunately for NZ Umaga has the resillience of a Russian Tank and
sofar has withstood all attempts to demolish him ..... Muz
Pope Sleipnir Cholmondely-Smythe
2003-08-28 04:45:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ashford
Oh bollocks, come on this is the strongest English side for an extremely
long time. They beat NZ on the last two meetings and have likewise
beaten all other SH teams several times recently.
They are validly considered RWC favourites.
Peter.
Yes. :-( It is. They did. They are.

God, it's depressing. Still, hope springs eternal in the human breast.....
--
The Pope
rick boyd
2003-08-28 13:41:43 UTC
Permalink
who would hire a pope named after Odin's horse, I ask you?
Ooh you classical studies name-dropper you.

I didn't know Odin had a horse named Cholmondely-Smythe.

-- rick boyd
Peter Ashford
2003-08-29 00:26:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by rick boyd
who would hire a pope named after Odin's horse, I ask you?
Ooh you classical studies name-dropper you.
I didn't know Odin had a horse named Cholmondely-Smythe.
:o) boom boom

btw: It wasn't classics - I used to do medieval reenactment - you know,
dress up with chainmail, sword and axe and pelt other people with metal
weapons... all very civil and sane :)
rick boyd
2003-09-01 22:13:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ashford
btw: It wasn't classics - I used to do medieval reenactment - you know,
dress up with chainmail, sword and axe and pelt other people with metal
weapons... all very civil and sane :)
Oh ear oh dear -- I am getting avery sad picture here -- philosophy
degree -- middle aged software engineer -- reenactment nerd --
probably models trains as well....

-- rick boyd
Peter Ashford
2003-09-02 04:06:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by rick boyd
Post by Peter Ashford
btw: It wasn't classics - I used to do medieval reenactment - you know,
dress up with chainmail, sword and axe and pelt other people with metal
weapons... all very civil and sane :)
Oh ear oh dear -- I am getting avery sad picture here -- philosophy
degree -- middle aged software engineer -- reenactment nerd --
probably models trains as well....
Sorry about being middle-aged - I don't have that much control over that.

As for the rest, I don't see the need to appologise for being
intelligent, in the way that you seem to need to put me down on that
account.

You seem to be a tad bitter.
rick boyd
2003-09-05 23:13:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ashford
Sorry about being middle-aged - I don't have that much control over that.
As for the rest, I don't see the need to appologise for being
intelligent, in the way that you seem to need to put me down on that
account.
You seem to be a tad bitter.
Now where's that sense of humour got to again...?

By the way, the word "tad" has been outlawed from this newsgroup as
being almost as pretentious as "methinks".

-- rick boyd
Johnno
2003-09-05 23:20:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by rick boyd
By the way, the word "tad" has been outlawed from this newsgroup as
being almost as pretentious as "methinks".
Even so, methinks the phrase "this writer, moi" is a tad more pretentious.
(for very large values of tad)
rick boyd
2003-09-07 14:12:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Johnno
Post by rick boyd
By the way, the word "tad" has been outlawed from this newsgroup as
being almost as pretentious as "methinks".
Even so, methinks the phrase "this writer, moi" is a tad more pretentious.
(for very large values of tad)
Mowissey goes beyond pretentious, through pompous windbag and deep
into dysfunctional narcissistic pustule.

--rick boyd
Groundhog
2003-08-25 21:39:09 UTC
Permalink
On 8/26/03 12:54 AM, in article
bid11l$815am$***@ID-198354.news.uni-berlin.de,

Ah, bollocks, I'll bite...
You people from England never cease to amaze me ....
Thank-you...likewise :-)
What is the best you have ever done in a world cup?
How is this relevant ?
3rd or 4th?
Runners-up - 1991.
.... You trash the All Blacks by two points at the end of your season and
at the beginning of ours

I wouldn't use the word trash - neither team played well and the best that
can be said for the game is that it was close and exciting...
and you are going to win the World Cup?
I don't know - but I am optimistic, given the points I made in my original
post
.... Excuse me if I blink ....
OK
The All Blacks may not win but you have no hope
I firmly believe one of the two will win, and both teams "have a hope" - as
do Aus, Ireland, SA and France.
Hamish Dean
2003-08-26 22:19:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
What is the best you have ever done in a world cup?
How is this relevant ?
3rd or 4th?
Runners-up - 1991.
Only cos of a rigged draw. Lost 2 matches (Australia and NZ in pool play).
NZ lost one match to Australia, so clearly deserve a higher placing than
England (whom they beat).
Groundhog
2003-08-29 17:49:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hamish Dean
Post by Groundhog
What is the best you have ever done in a world cup?
How is this relevant ?
3rd or 4th?
Runners-up - 1991.
Only cos of a rigged draw. Lost 2 matches (Australia and NZ in pool play).
NZ lost one match to Australia, so clearly deserve a higher placing than
England (whom they beat).
But that's not how knockouts with pool prelims work, is it ? The team that
loses in the final comes second - end of story.
Matua
2003-08-26 02:56:45 UTC
Permalink
On 8/26/03 12:54 AM, in article
Post by Groundhog
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
You people from England never cease to amaze me .... What is the best you
have ever done in a world cup? 3rd or 4th? .... You trash the All Blacks by
two points at the end of your season and at the beginning of ours and you
are going to win the World Cup? .... Excuse me if I blink .... The All
Blacks may not win but you have no hope .... Muz
Fuckin hear, hear, Muz, your on to it.
Cheers Matua.
Daithi
2003-08-26 18:04:23 UTC
Permalink
Balls - England are the clear Favourites to win the RWC - they are so
far ahead of all the other teams in power play, kicking, running,
training and analysis they don't need to turn up to win
Brentc
remove the obvious to email
Eh Sorry Brent, that's factually incorrect. Check the bookies the ABs are
odds on to win the world cup, and as so many say 'they rarely get it wrong!'

p.s. re removing obvious to email- are you referring to facts, impartiality,
brains..... .............sorry just too tempting.
Groundhog
2003-08-29 17:53:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daithi
Balls - England are the clear Favourites to win the RWC - they are so
far ahead of all the other teams in power play, kicking, running,
training and analysis they don't need to turn up to win
Brentc
remove the obvious to email
Eh Sorry Brent, that's factually incorrect. Check the bookies the ABs are
odds on to win the world cup, and as so many say 'they rarely get it wrong!'
Unless the odds have changed in the few days I've been away, that is also
factually incorrect - no team is "odds on" to win. NZ are the bookies'
favourites, narrowly, from England - the rest are some way behind.
Daithi
2003-09-02 17:08:43 UTC
Permalink
The fact is that New Zealand are favoured by the bookies and 'they rarely
get it wrong'.

So that means that they are viewed by the biggest known intelligence on
sport in general and rugby in particular in the world to be a better bet
than England are - thats good enough for me!!!
Post by Daithi
Post by Daithi
Balls - England are the clear Favourites to win the RWC - they are so
far ahead of all the other teams in power play, kicking, running,
training and analysis they don't need to turn up to win
Brentc
remove the obvious to email
Eh Sorry Brent, that's factually incorrect. Check the bookies the ABs are
odds on to win the world cup, and as so many say 'they rarely get it
wrong!'
Unless the odds have changed in the few days I've been away, that is also
factually incorrect - no team is "odds on" to win. NZ are the bookies'
favourites, narrowly, from England - the rest are some way behind.
Nigel Evans
2003-09-02 17:21:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daithi
The fact is that New Zealand are favoured by the bookies and 'they rarely
get it wrong'.
So, does mean that Leyton Hewitt won Wimbledon after all ?
Groundhog
2003-09-02 18:34:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nigel Evans
So, does mean that Leyton Hewitt won Wimbledon after all ?
The favourites to go out in the 1st round of the World Cup ?

Hmmm...

It's not what I want to happen, but it would be quite funny :-)
Groundhog
2003-08-25 21:08:46 UTC
Permalink
So if you're making a judgement on the ABs, you better be sure which
team you're basing it on.
Fair comment. I watched all the 3N games in full, as well as the England,
France and Wales games (except Aus-SA 2), and my comments/opinions are based
on what I see the "best" AB team available at the World Cup.

Largely, it looks like we agree (except with the conclusion, of course) -
especially re. Mealamu - I thought he was outstanding througout the 3N.
Your comment about pace in the back 3 I totally agree with - but my view is
that will only be a potent weapon for the ABs IF they can get the space to
use it.
Kip
2003-08-25 21:19:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
So if you're making a judgement on the ABs, you better be sure which
team you're basing it on.
Fair comment. I watched all the 3N games in full, as well as the England,
France and Wales games (except Aus-SA 2), and my comments/opinions are based
on what I see the "best" AB team available at the World Cup.
Largely, it looks like we agree (except with the conclusion, of course) -
especially re. Mealamu - I thought he was outstanding througout the 3N.
Your comment about pace in the back 3 I totally agree with - but my view is
that will only be a potent weapon for the ABs IF they can get the space to
use it.
Mealamu has just burst onto the scene, there weren't too many here
think he'd be much more than a late game impact player. But his ball
running is just superb, may give a little in the scrums but more than
makes up for that around the pitch. That try where he put Howlett in
the after running the angle, a body swerve to beat the openside and an
offload in a tackle was so outstanding it bought a tear to my eye...

But a bigger 'find' is Muliaina, seemingly only destined for a utility
role he's been running the ball back, beating players on his feet,
setting play up like we haven't seen in a long time. And to think
there's still public here that pine for the return of Cullen, who
hasn't managed more than simply running back and dying in the first
tackle or putting in a barely competent kicking game for a long time.
Mealamu is the shit, he is creating opportunity nearly everytime he
touches the ball. Just count the number of times he's taken the long
kick, run the thing back to set up play that leads to try scoring. The
guy is a freak.
Peter Ashford
2003-08-25 22:06:48 UTC
Permalink
Kip wrote:

[snip]
Post by Kip
Mealamu is the shit, he is creating opportunity nearly everytime he
touches the ball. Just count the number of times he's taken the long
kick, run the thing back to set up play that leads to try scoring. The
guy is a freak.
and lineouts are irrelevant?
Peter Ashford
2003-08-26 01:21:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ashford
[snip]
Post by Kip
Mealamu is the shit, he is creating opportunity nearly everytime he
touches the ball. Just count the number of times he's taken the long
kick, run the thing back to set up play that leads to try scoring. The
guy is a freak.
and lineouts are irrelevant?
Mealamu's last lineout performance was top notch. Some early wobbles,
only one could be pinned on throwing, but when it came to the crunch
he was spot on. There's something no hooker since Fitsy has managed.
Well, I don't agree with either assertion, but I hope he's improved by
RWC time at any rate.

Peter.
Groundhog
2003-08-25 21:25:56 UTC
Permalink
Considered. Kiwi Opinion. Are you pissed or what?
*Hic* :-o
Peter Ashford
2003-08-25 21:31:55 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Groundhog
A lot rides on the line-out, because with a poorly-performing line-out,
either Wilkinson's or Spencer's options will be restricted. Neither England
nor NZ have shown themselves to be infallible here, but Thompson vs. Mealamu
may prove to be the key battle. Both are outstanding with ball in hand and
in the loose - but which one's throw-in will turn up on the day?
This is the core of my issue with Mealamu's elevation to godhood and the
selectors non-concern about picking a hooker who is reliable in the lineout.

I personally think it could well lose us the RWC but the official line
seems to be that the ABs are perfect and there is no lineout issue.

The best thing I can say about the subject is that Hammett's throwing
looks to have improved on the basis of his last outing.

Peter.
ET
2003-08-25 23:30:15 UTC
Permalink
groundhog wrote...
"The back 3 get their opportunities to shine
when... or the opposition kick them
possession. England are too strong up front and too smart to let either of
these things happen often."

I suggest you look at the tape of the Eng/NZ game this year and how the
Kiwis scored their try.
England, stupidly and unneccesarily, kicked away possession.

see ya
ET
MrPowell
2003-08-26 18:40:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by ET
groundhog wrote...
I suggest you look at the tape of the Eng/NZ game this year and how the
Kiwis scored their try.
You mean from an offside position?
swampy
2003-08-26 05:53:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
NZ have clearly the best back 3 in the game right now, and they are the AB's
key strength. They are also, however, the easiest players in an opposing
team to close down/shut out. The back 3 get their opportunities to shine
when either good early phase ball is won, or the opposition kick them
possession. England are too strong up front and too smart to let either of
these things happen often.
The England forwards are stronger, as mobile
You're only a tad deluded there if you truly believe that the English
are "as mobile", do you really believe the double chinned Thompson who
has about three stone on Mealamu, is as mobile? Or Johnson as mobile
as Jack, what about Vickery/Somerville, Dallaglio/Collins, and
Kay/Williams? The only area where England look to have a genuine
advantage in pace is on the blindside, but even then Hill has been
Thorne-esque in his visibility in recent times.

I certainly dont think the English forwards are capable of living with
this All Black team in terms of mobility and pace, but then that
certainly wont be there plan.
Post by Groundhog
Their age is irrelevant -
Age is irrelevant? So when Leonard had blown his ring out by halftime
on a chilly Wellington evening, you didnt think this was due to his
age at all? Of course age is a factor, as is pace, taking into account
what the tracks will be like at the World Cup, we could well see the
quickest team triumph. Was it Carwyn James who once said "pace is
everything".....
Post by Groundhog
look how strongly the England pack finished in Cardiff on Saturday - despite
relatively high temperatures and humidity.
Both teams would have been affected by the heat, luckily for England
the other side happened to be Wales.

Note: The quicker you stop using Wales as a benchmark for your players
performances, the more realistic your viewpoint becomes.
Post by Groundhog
England are stronger around the fringes, and the back row (along with the
best tackling fly-half in the game) will deny Spencer the quality ball he
needs to excel, and to feed the pacy NZ backs.
You're kidding yourself again. Perhaps you should go away and watch
the England-NZ tape. NZ got and will get again, quality attacking
possession, they used it poorly in Wellington but then in retrospect,
that WAS their first hit-out and the backline was unbalanced with a
slight lack of skill in the centres. Since then Muliaina and Mauger
have been added at the expense of Ralph and Nonu respectively, looking
back at the first try in Bled II, would Ralph have made that break
down the left and would Nonu have thrown that sweet cutout to put
Mealamu through that hole? I somehow think not.
Post by Groundhog
England's ball retention is better, and while the England backs do not have
the pace of NZ's, they are strong, fast (enough) runners who run strong
attacking lines. In multiphase play, they will find the openings, whilst
the English defensive organisation will close down most of the opportunities
NZ create.
To summarise: England will cope with the highly dangerous AB threat
out wide, but the relatively ploddish Pom backs will carve the All
Black defence.

Thanks for your opinion, but it is absolute fuckin rot.
Post by Groundhog
He provides better ball to his outside backs because of this - I'd rather
play outside him than Spencer, given some of the latter's "interesting"
passing.
There were some issues with a lack of backline depth in that match,
generally due to a lack of match combination (having been the first
hitout you realise), hence we havent seen any more hospital passes
since. Considering how many tries are being scored and how many
opportunities are being created for the outsides, who exactly are you
crediting for that? You obviously dont think much of the All Black
pack and you imply Wilkinson is more creative than Spencer. Oh thats
right you're completely deluded......
Post by Groundhog
And in Johnson, England have easily the best captain in world rugby - who
also has the benefit of being clearly in the team on playing merit as well.
If Johnson was so good he would have taken the money ball at the front
of the lineout in a paticuarly crucial match, he couldn't. Thorne did
- three times. Goodbye.
Groundhog
2003-08-29 18:16:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by swampy
You're only a tad deluded there if you truly believe that the English
are "as mobile
Then "a tad deluded" I must be, because I do, indeed, truly believe it.
Post by swampy
I certainly dont think the English forwards are capable of living with
this All Black team in terms of mobility and pace, but then that
certainly wont be there plan.
Of course it won't - and there is the AB problem - the RWC is a 15-a-side
game, not 7s
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Their age is irrelevant -
Age is irrelevant? So when Leonard had blown his ring out by halftime
on a chilly Wellington evening, you didnt think this was due to his
age at all?
IF the ABs and Eng meet, Leonard won't start, BTW...
Post by swampy
Note: The quicker you stop using Wales as a benchmark for your players
performances, the more realistic your viewpoint becomes.
Using Wales as a benchmark in this context is unavoidable - it is the only
recent mid-Summer game available for discussion.

Similarly, the quicker Kiwis stop using the weakest SA and Oz teams in
living memory as a benchmark....

Skipping the claptrap in the middle of the post...
Post by swampy
You obviously dont think much of the All Black
pack and you imply Wilkinson is more creative than Spencer. Oh thats
right you're completely deluded......
I have enormous respect for the AB pack - particularly Mealamu, Jack and
McCaw - and nowhere have I implied that Wilkinson is more creative that
Spencer. I do believe that Wilkinson is the best 10 in world rugby, in
terms of his all-round game, and I would rather have him in a team in which
I was inside centre than Spencer.
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
And in Johnson, England have easily the best captain in world rugby - who
also has the benefit of being clearly in the team on playing merit as well.
If Johnson was so good he would have taken the money ball at the front
of the lineout in a paticuarly crucial match, he couldn't. Thorne did
- three times. Goodbye.
So - you're telling me that Thorne is a better player AND a better skipper
than Johnson? NOW who's deluded ?

Goodbye to you.
swampy
2003-08-30 06:41:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
You're only a tad deluded there if you truly believe that the English
are "as mobile
Then "a tad deluded" I must be, because I do, indeed, truly believe it.
So you believe Thompson will cover as many metres as Mealamu?!? Well,
what can I say... [shakes head]
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
I certainly dont think the English forwards are capable of living with
this All Black team in terms of mobility and pace, but then that
certainly wont be there plan.
Of course it won't - and there is the AB problem - the RWC is a 15-a-side
game, not 7s
So, you argue that the English are as mobile, obviously thinking pace
is a valuable asset, and then flippantly remark that Rugby is a 15 man
game, not 7s?

Im lost, will pace be a factor or not?
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Their age is irrelevant -
Age is irrelevant? So when Leonard had blown his ring out by halftime
on a chilly Wellington evening, you didnt think this was due to his
age at all?
IF the ABs and Eng meet, Leonard won't start, BTW...
Good, so you think age IS RELEVANT. And this All Black team is
younger, make your own judgements....
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Note: The quicker you stop using Wales as a benchmark for your players
performances, the more realistic your viewpoint becomes.
Using Wales as a benchmark in this context is unavoidable - it is the only
recent mid-Summer game available for discussion.
You wont do to NZ up front, what you did to Wales. You certainly
didn't in June and you won't in November...
Post by Groundhog
Similarly, the quicker Kiwis stop using the weakest SA and Oz teams in
living memory as a benchmark....
That must make you what, 10-12???
Post by Groundhog
Skipping the claptrap in the middle of the post...
Is this the "claptrap" where I suggest NZ have improved with the
inclusion of Mauger and Muliaina? Yes, how ridiculous.

With these two, NZ are shifting the point of attack and using width
far more effectively now than when they were in June, and with the
overall pace advantage NZ possess and the conditions that the WC will
be played in....
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
And in Johnson, England have easily the best captain in world rugby -
who
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
also has the benefit of being clearly in the team on playing merit as
well.
Post by swampy
If Johnson was so good he would have taken the money ball at the front
of the lineout in a paticuarly crucial match, he couldn't. Thorne did
- three times. Goodbye.
So - you're telling me that Thorne is a better player AND a better skipper
than Johnson? NOW who's deluded ?
Goodbye to you.
Why is that so deluded? Because it contradicts the fashionable
opinions that Johnson is god and Thorne = shite?

Fine then, address the point, why could Johnson not take that lineout
against the Lions in the dying minutes, but Thorne could three times?
Hey, just perhaps, Thorne steps up to the plate when the heat is on
and the pressure is at its greatest, and Johnson, doesn't.

We'll see I suppose.
Groundhog
2003-08-30 10:44:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by swampy
So you believe Thompson will cover as many metres as Mealamu?!? Well,
what can I say... [shakes head]
The discussion IIRC was about the packs as a whole, not just the hookers.
Read my original post again...I think Mealamu is an excellent player. FWIW,
just "covering meters" is not the whole story - with experience comes the
ability to cover the "right" meters, positional awareness, etc. My point
(originally) was that I don't think IN THE FORWARDS the ABs will have a
significant mobility advantage
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
I certainly dont think the English forwards are capable of living with
this All Black team in terms of mobility and pace, but then that
certainly wont be there plan.
Of course it won't - and there is the AB problem - the RWC is a 15-a-side
game, not 7s
So, you argue that the English are as mobile, obviously thinking pace
is a valuable asset, and then flippantly remark that Rugby is a 15 man
game, not 7s?
Not flippant - I'm drawing the distinction between forwards (where raw pace
is not as important) and backs (where I have acknowledged that the ABs have
the advantage).
Post by swampy
Im lost, will pace be a factor or not?
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Their age is irrelevant -
Age is irrelevant? So when Leonard had blown his ring out by halftime
on a chilly Wellington evening, you didnt think this was due to his
age at all?
IF the ABs and Eng meet, Leonard won't start, BTW...
Good, so you think age IS RELEVANT. And this All Black team is
younger, make your own judgements....
Leonard's age is not relevant 'cos HE WON'T BE PLAYING !!!!! Obviously age
becomes relevant, at the limit - if the England pack's average age was 70,
you would have a point - as it is, the likely average age of the starting 8
will be 27 years old.
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Note: The quicker you stop using Wales as a benchmark for your players
performances, the more realistic your viewpoint becomes.
Using Wales as a benchmark in this context is unavoidable - it is the only
recent mid-Summer game available for discussion.
You wont do to NZ up front, what you did to Wales. You certainly
didn't in June and you won't in November...
Agreed - as you say, Wales hardly constitutes a realistic benchmark right
now.
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Similarly, the quicker Kiwis stop using the weakest SA and Oz teams in
living memory as a benchmark....
That must make you what, 10-12???
Er, no, 37 in fact - do you dispute the point ?
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Skipping the claptrap in the middle of the post...
Is this the "claptrap" where I suggest NZ have improved with the
inclusion of Mauger and Muliaina? Yes, how ridiculous.
No, it was the claptrap that repeated much of what I had already said,
without making a useful point. Clearly NZ have improved - and if England
play as they did in Wellington they will be comprehensively stuffed. But I
don't believe they will. Contrary to many Kiwis' views, England can play
very much better than they did in Wellington - and I still contend that
England have a slight edge over NZ.
Post by swampy
With these two, NZ are shifting the point of attack and using width
far more effectively now than when they were in June, and with the
overall pace advantage NZ possess and the conditions that the WC will
be played in....
Post by Groundhog
So - you're telling me that Thorne is a better player AND a better skipper
than Johnson? NOW who's deluded ?
Goodbye to you.
Why is that so deluded? Because it contradicts the fashionable
opinions that Johnson is god and Thorne = shite?
That's rather like saying the world is flat because it contradicts the
fashionable opinions that it is spherical.

Johnson is not god, and Thorne is not shite - but look how many people pick
the former in their world XVs - even most Kiwis would accept that Johnson's
record as a player and captain is better than Thorne's.
Post by swampy
Fine then, address the point, why could Johnson not take that lineout
against the Lions in the dying minutes, but Thorne could three times?
Hey, just perhaps, Thorne steps up to the plate when the heat is on
and the pressure is at its greatest, and Johnson, doesn't.
I wasn't aware that either Johnson or Thorne had played against the Lions.
However, if you want to pick specific mistakes from games at random - how
about Thorne's rabbit impression when given a try-scoring pass against SA ?
Post by swampy
We'll see I suppose.
Well, let's hope so - as many people have pointed out - NZ and England may
not even play each other in the RWC.
swampy
2003-08-31 03:04:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
So you believe Thompson will cover as many metres as Mealamu?!? Well,
what can I say... [shakes head]
The discussion IIRC was about the packs as a whole, not just the hookers.
Read my original post again...I think Mealamu is an excellent player. FWIW,
just "covering meters" is not the whole story - with experience comes the
ability to cover the "right" meters, positional awareness, etc. My point
(originally) was that I don't think IN THE FORWARDS the ABs will have a
significant mobility advantage
Grasping mate, grasping. A pack is made of individuals, throughout
those individuals NZ has the advantage in mobility.

As for your "positional awareness" argument, more lala land stuff Im
afraid, will the English players use their halos to warp between
rucks? You dont think that the All Black forwards have a fair amount
of rugby smarts themselves and know the right lines to run as well?

Eg. McCaw.
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
I certainly dont think the English forwards are capable of living with
this All Black team in terms of mobility and pace, but then that
certainly wont be there plan.
Of course it won't - and there is the AB problem - the RWC is a
15-a-side
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
game, not 7s
So, you argue that the English are as mobile, obviously thinking pace
is a valuable asset, and then flippantly remark that Rugby is a 15 man
game, not 7s?
Not flippant - I'm drawing the distinction between forwards (where raw pace
is not as important) and backs (where I have acknowledged that the ABs have
the advantage).
Post by swampy
Im lost, will pace be a factor or not?
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Their age is irrelevant -
Age is irrelevant? So when Leonard had blown his ring out by halftime
on a chilly Wellington evening, you didnt think this was due to his
age at all?
IF the ABs and Eng meet, Leonard won't start, BTW...
Good, so you think age IS RELEVANT. And this All Black team is
younger, make your own judgements....
Leonard's age is not relevant 'cos HE WON'T BE PLAYING !!!!! Obviously age
becomes relevant, at the limit - if the England pack's average age was 70,
you would have a point - as it is, the likely average age of the starting 8
will be 27 years old.
Your right, I doubt Leonard will start, but Hill (30), Johnson (33),
Dallaglio (31) and Back (34) are all first choice in Clive's eyes.
Compared with 6 of the AB pack who are 25 or under.

An average age difference of almost five years, is significant.
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Note: The quicker you stop using Wales as a benchmark for your players
performances, the more realistic your viewpoint becomes.
Using Wales as a benchmark in this context is unavoidable - it is the
only
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
recent mid-Summer game available for discussion.
You wont do to NZ up front, what you did to Wales. You certainly
didn't in June and you won't in November...
Agreed - as you say, Wales hardly constitutes a realistic benchmark right
now.
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Similarly, the quicker Kiwis stop using the weakest SA and Oz teams in
living memory as a benchmark....
That must make you what, 10-12???
Er, no, 37 in fact - do you dispute the point ?
If the Wallabies werent completely exposed by the All Blacks in
Sydney, would you have even contemplated this team being worse than
the 95/6 Wallaby team or the Awful Aussies of the 70's?

Is the 3N Wallaby team the weakest in living memory? No, the team that
played against England were worse for starters...
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Post by Groundhog
Skipping the claptrap in the middle of the post...
Is this the "claptrap" where I suggest NZ have improved with the
inclusion of Mauger and Muliaina? Yes, how ridiculous.
Contrary to many Kiwis' views, England can play very much better than they
did in Wellington
Well, yes, they can. Against NZ? We'll see...
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
Fine then, address the point, why could Johnson not take that lineout
against the Lions in the dying minutes, but Thorne could three times?
Hey, just perhaps, Thorne steps up to the plate when the heat is on
and the pressure is at its greatest, and Johnson, doesn't.
I wasn't aware that either Johnson or Thorne had played against the Lions.
However, if you want to pick specific mistakes from games at random - how
about Thorne's rabbit impression when given a try-scoring pass against SA ?
OK, I meant against Australia. But I wouldn't underestimate the
significance of those moments.
Post by Groundhog
Post by swampy
We'll see I suppose.
Well, let's hope so - as many people have pointed out - NZ and England may
not even play each other in the RWC.
Yeah I hope so.
Uncle Bully
2003-08-26 08:22:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
<snip a whole lot of guff>
Post by Groundhog
So - there it is...
At the end of the day it will all count for shit because England won't make
the final. You heard it here first.
The Green Phantom
2003-08-26 12:45:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Uncle Bully
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered
Kiwi opinion on this...
<snip a whole lot of guff>
Post by Groundhog
So - there it is...
At the end of the day it will all count for shit because England won't
make the final. You heard it here first.
Do you actually ever make, or reply to, considered posts with a considered
post of your own? I mean Groundhog actually made what seemed like some
reasoned remarks based on observation and supportable opinion. What was
better was that there were some reasoned responses both acknowledging, and
refuting some of the points made.

What do we get from Uncle Dully? 'a whole load of guff' and 'it won't count
for shit...'

All supported by... the empty space between your ears.

regards

The Green Phantom
--
This sentence contradicts itself -- no actually it doesn't.
-- Douglas Hofstadter
JD
2003-08-26 22:22:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Green Phantom
Post by Uncle Bully
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered
Kiwi opinion on this...
<snip a whole lot of guff>
Post by Groundhog
So - there it is...
At the end of the day it will all count for shit because England won't
make the final. You heard it here first.
Do you actually ever make, or reply to, considered posts with a considered
post of your own? I mean Groundhog actually made what seemed like some
reasoned remarks based on observation and supportable opinion.
Don't be daft. Opinion isn't supportable, facts are. For a decent
'reasoned' read which is far more 'supportable' in this threadI
suggest you look at news:<***@posting.google.com>
MrPowell
2003-08-27 23:26:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
Do you actually ever make, or reply to, considered posts with a
considered
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
post of your own? I mean Groundhog actually made what seemed like some
reasoned remarks based on observation and supportable opinion.
Don't be daft. Opinion isn't supportable, facts are. For a decent
'reasoned' read which is far more 'supportable' in this thread
You're taking yourself too seriously. Facts count for shit when predicting
a
Post by Groundhog
WC final.
Fact. No favourite has ever won the cup.
Fact. England have a history of failing miserably
In that case - FACT NZ have only won when it wasn't a real competition
Kip
2003-08-27 23:35:27 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 00:26:33 +0100, "MrPowell"
Post by MrPowell
Post by Groundhog
You're taking yourself too seriously. Facts count for shit when predicting
a
Post by Groundhog
WC final.
Fact. No favourite has ever won the cup.
Fact. England have a history of failing miserably
In that case - FACT NZ have only won when it wasn't a real competition
Add to that;

Fact - NZ has never beaten ANY tri nations team in any WC
Fact - NZ has always beaten England
Greig Blanchett
2003-08-27 23:39:46 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 00:26:33 +0100, "MrPowell"
Post by MrPowell
Post by Groundhog
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
Do you actually ever make, or reply to, considered posts with a
considered
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
post of your own? I mean Groundhog actually made what seemed like
some
Post by Groundhog
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
reasoned remarks based on observation and supportable opinion.
Don't be daft. Opinion isn't supportable, facts are. For a decent
'reasoned' read which is far more 'supportable' in this thread
You're taking yourself too seriously. Facts count for shit when predicting
a
Post by Groundhog
WC final.
Fact. No favourite has ever won the cup.
Fact. England have a history of failing miserably
In that case - FACT NZ have only won when it wasn't a real competition
You are Louis Luyt and I claim my free gold watch.
rick boyd
2003-08-28 13:44:19 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 00:26:33 +0100, "MrPowell"
Post by MrPowell
In that case - FACT NZ have only won when it wasn't a real competition
You got us on that one, Mr Bowel. But here's a shot in the dark, go
out on a limb -- I reckon New Zealand might just sneak past South
Africa, now that they're joined the world cup.

-- rick boyd
JD
2003-08-28 02:39:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
Do you actually ever make, or reply to, considered posts with a
considered
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
post of your own? I mean Groundhog actually made what seemed like some
reasoned remarks based on observation and supportable opinion.
Don't be daft. Opinion isn't supportable, facts are. For a decent
'reasoned' read which is far more 'supportable' in this thread
You're taking yourself too seriously. Facts count for shit when predicting a
WC final.
Fact. No favourite has ever won the cup.
NZ in 87.
Post by Groundhog
Fact. England have a history of failing miserably
Second in 91. Better than NZ.
Greig Blanchett
2003-08-28 06:33:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by JD
Post by Groundhog
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
Do you actually ever make, or reply to, considered posts with a
considered
Post by JD
Post by The Green Phantom
post of your own? I mean Groundhog actually made what seemed like some
reasoned remarks based on observation and supportable opinion.
Don't be daft. Opinion isn't supportable, facts are. For a decent
'reasoned' read which is far more 'supportable' in this thread
You're taking yourself too seriously. Facts count for shit when predicting a
WC final.
Fact. No favourite has ever won the cup.
NZ in 87.
Post by Groundhog
Fact. England have a history of failing miserably
Second in 91. Better than NZ.
The only final where one of the teams had already lost a game. To NZ.
rick boyd
2003-08-28 13:45:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by JD
Second in 91. Better than NZ.
Is that the New Zealand you LOST to in the 91 world cup, or some other
New Zealand?

-- rick boyd
JD
2003-08-28 22:33:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
Second in 91. Better than NZ.
Is that the New Zealand you LOST to in the 91 world cup, or some other
New Zealand?
I realise at times you can be dense. But you should've at least worked
out who you were replying to.

The end result of the '91 WC was NZ third, England second. That's all
that matters.
rick boyd
2003-08-28 22:45:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by JD
I realise at times you can be dense. But you should've at least worked
out who you were replying to.
Do I care?
Post by JD
The end result of the '91 WC was NZ third, England second. That's all
that matters.
I don't think so. It's like international rankings. Ireland may be
rated above New Zealand when Ireland beat Scotland and New Zealand
lose to Australia, but it really means nothing. How can one team that
has never beaten another team in their history be "better" than them?

It's all just meaningless verbiage. How can the second team be better
than the third team when the second team played the third team once,
and lost once?

The simple application of a little common sense supplies the answer.

-- rick boyd
JD
2003-08-29 04:47:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
I realise at times you can be dense. But you should've at least worked
out who you were replying to.
Do I care?
Obviously you don't. You've made an arse of yourself so many times it
should've come as no surprise to me.
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
The end result of the '91 WC was NZ third, England second. That's all
that matters.
I don't think so. It's like international rankings. Ireland may be
rated above New Zealand when Ireland beat Scotland and New Zealand
lose to Australia, but it really means nothing. How can one team that
has never beaten another team in their history be "better" than them?
Non sequitur.
Post by rick boyd
It's all just meaningless verbiage. How can the second team be better
than the third team when the second team played the third team once,
and lost once?
I didn't say they were better you lamentable moron. I stated a *fact*
in response to Bully's claim 'England have a history of failing
miserably'.
Post by rick boyd
The simple application of a little common sense supplies the answer.
Let us know when you've stumbled onto 'a little common sense'.
rick boyd
2003-09-01 22:17:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by JD
Obviously you don't. You've made an arse of yourself so many times it
should've come as no surprise to me.
Yadda yadda yadda. The opinions of fools etc....
Post by JD
Non sequitur.
Ooh, a latin term. How sophisticated. Quid pro quo and habeus corpus
to you.
Post by JD
I didn't say they were better you lamentable moron. I stated a *fact*
in response to Bully's claim 'England have a history of failing
miserably'.
Being the third best team in the 91 rugby world cup is a fact showing
that England do not have a history of failing miserably?
Post by JD
Let us know when you've stumbled onto 'a little common sense'.
It won't be during any of your posts, that much is clear.

-- rick boyd
JD
2003-09-02 01:09:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
Obviously you don't. You've made an arse of yourself so many times it
should've come as no surprise to me.
Yadda yadda yadda. The opinions of fools etc....
... are best shown in rick's rambled responses?
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
Non sequitur.
Ooh, a latin term. How sophisticated. Quid pro quo and habeus corpus
to you.
And now a red herring.
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
I didn't say they were better you lamentable moron. I stated a *fact*
in response to Bully's claim 'England have a history of failing
miserably'.
Being the third best team in the 91 rugby world cup is a fact showing
that England do not have a history of failing miserably?
They came second you moron.
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
Let us know when you've stumbled onto 'a little common sense'.
It won't be during any of your posts, that much is clear.
Not in your responses, no.
Groundhog
2003-09-02 10:38:46 UTC
Permalink
[...]
Post by JD
Post by rick boyd
Being the third best team in the 91 rugby world cup is a fact showing
that England do not have a history of failing miserably?
They came second you moron.
How many teams beat England at the '91 RWC?
Oh, FFS !!! Only one team beat England in the FINAL - so England came
second - that's how it works.

Arsenal came second in the English Premiership last year, but got beaten
home & away by Blackburn - does that mean Blackburn came second ? NOOOOOOO
!
Ben L
2003-09-06 10:13:32 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
But how is that possible, "J""D"? They lost to the team that came
third? Here are three teams. One team won all its games. One team lost
one game. One team lost two games. Now put them in order.
You're an Olympic sprinter. You come second in each of your heats but win
the final. Are you the Champion?
--
Ben Longman
Ben L
2003-09-07 17:45:10 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 11:13:32 +0100, "Ben L"
Post by Ben L
<snip>
But how is that possible, "J""D"? They lost to the team that came
third? Here are three teams. One team won all its games. One team lost
one game. One team lost two games. Now put them in order.
You're an Olympic sprinter. You come second in each of your heats but win
the final. Are you the Champion?
No, you're not. You're the Olympic gold medallist.
Semantics, Patrick.

Anyway, what kind of All Black fan fights over second and third place? Have
some respect, man.
--
Ben Longman
Steve Parrett
2003-09-08 20:13:40 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 7 Sep 2003 18:45:10 +0100, "Ben L"
Post by Ben L
Anyway, what kind of All Black fan fights over second and third place? Have
some respect, man.
The kind that fights over the PRINCIPLE that deluded poms shouldn't
give thmselves airs and graces to which they have no claim.
That, and a perverse pleasure in being bloody minded.
-- rick boyd
Not often I do this, but I'm cutting that last bit for posterity ...

Regards

Steve

Brent
2003-09-08 06:30:51 UTC
Permalink
You're a sprinter at the world championships. You come second in each
of your heats but win the final. Are you the Champion?
False analogy. By definition, if you win the final, you will defeat those
who had previously beaten you - i.e. they will be in the same race, since
they qualified faster than you.

The point is that England never beat NZ in 91.

Cheers

Brent
Ben L
2003-09-08 07:35:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent
You're a sprinter at the world championships. You come second in each
of your heats but win the final. Are you the Champion?
False analogy. By definition, if you win the final, you will defeat those
who had previously beaten you - i.e. they will be in the same race, since
they qualified faster than you.
The point is that England never beat NZ in 91.
So what is the solution - either you have only one team per pool going
forward or you have a special play off match for New Zealand supporters in
case a team that has lost to them comes second?
--
Ben Longman
Ben L
2003-09-08 07:48:59 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Second place is just first loser. Claiming any form of bragging rights on
the basis of finishing 'second' or 'third' is a waste of time.

Well if that's the way you feel, I don't think I'm going to put you in
charge of the kids' egg and spoon race.
--
Ben Longman
Brent
2003-09-08 13:09:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ben L
<snip>
Second place is just first loser. Claiming any form of bragging rights on
the basis of finishing 'second' or 'third' is a waste of time.
Well if that's the way you feel, I don't think I'm going to put you in
charge of the kids' egg and spoon race.
<Insert obligatory rant against culture of emphasising participation
over outcome here>

The point is a little more relevant in a team sports knock out
context, where by necessity the top contenders will not all face each
other. If you line everyone up and race them off against each other,
then clearly you can determine first/second/third etc. Sadly, rugby
has not yet dropped its ridiculous restriction against more than two
teams competing in a single game, so we must be content with the RWC
format.

Cheers

Brent
Ben L
2003-09-08 13:44:43 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Brent
The point is a little more relevant in a team sports knock out
context, where by necessity the top contenders will not all face each
other. If you line everyone up and race them off against each other,
then clearly you can determine first/second/third etc. Sadly, rugby
has not yet dropped its ridiculous restriction against more than two
teams competing in a single game, so we must be content with the RWC
format.
The real point, which has been discussed at length elsewhere, is that
various elements of the rugby 'system' fail to predict which teams should
progress in the RWC. Ideally, Argentina should play in a regular competition
in either the NH or the SH. Ideally, two teams such as England and New
Zealand shouldn't go three years without playing against one another.
Ideally, the seeding system for the pools should be sufficiently delayed so
as to be an accurate representation of how teams match up against one
another come RWC time.

If you look at 1991, England won the Grand Slam and shouldn't have been in
the same pool as New Zealand. The four best sides in the world at the time
were England, Australia, NZ and either France or Scotland. I personally like
the way that tennis competitions delay their seeding - it maximises the
chances of memorable games in the final eight.

These measures, if they were possible, would go a long way towards ensuring
that the eight best teams in the world in a RWC year were spread evenly
across four pools. Frankly, Australia has a tough pool this time round and
New Zealand has an easy one, meaning that one team from each respective pool
will progress when they don't probably deserve to and one team won't. At
least, however, the four best teams in the world are in separate pools this
time round.
--
Ben Longman
Brent
2003-09-08 17:01:21 UTC
Permalink
So we don't have to be continuously embarrassed about claims like 'we've
consistently been the best side in the WC'?
You can be embarrassed if you want to be. But frankly, if every
poster on this group, no matter what their nationality [1], were to
get embarrassed every time one of their countrymen said something
silly, we'd all be dead of shock by now.

Cheers

Brent

[1] Excepting maybe Namibians.
rick boyd
2003-09-08 12:18:37 UTC
Permalink
You're a sprinter at the world championships. You come second in each
of your heats but win the final. Are you the Champion?
No, you're not a sprinter at the world championship. You're a nation
at the Rugby World Cup. You have lost two games. You don't have the
cheek to rate yourself better than the team that lost one game.
Whether or not it was the final is neither here nor there, if you have
an ounce of graciousness in you.

-- rick boyd
Groundhog
2003-08-29 18:19:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by rick boyd
It's all just meaningless verbiage. How can the second team be better
than the third team when the second team played the third team once,
and lost once?
Come on, Rick, we've done this one...

Pool stages - points - best two qualify - just like soccer and cricket world
cups - try to keep up...
Greig Blanchett
2003-08-29 07:40:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by JD
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
Second in 91. Better than NZ.
Is that the New Zealand you LOST to in the 91 world cup, or some other
New Zealand?
I realise at times you can be dense. But you should've at least worked
out who you were replying to.
The end result of the '91 WC was NZ third, England second. That's all
that matters.
And I've got my fingers in my ears nyah nyah nyah I'm not listening
nyah nyah nyah ...
JD
2003-09-01 01:51:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greig Blanchett
Post by JD
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
Second in 91. Better than NZ.
Is that the New Zealand you LOST to in the 91 world cup, or some
other New Zealand?
I realise at times you can be dense. But you should've at least
worked out who you were replying to.
The end result of the '91 WC was NZ third, England second. That's all
that matters.
And I've got my fingers in my ears nyah nyah nyah I'm not listening
nyah nyah nyah ...
<yawn>
Nik
2003-09-02 07:57:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greig Blanchett
Post by JD
Post by rick boyd
Post by JD
Second in 91. Better than NZ.
Is that the New Zealand you LOST to in the 91 world cup, or some other
New Zealand?
I realise at times you can be dense. But you should've at least worked
out who you were replying to.
The end result of the '91 WC was NZ third, England second. That's all
that matters.
And I've got my fingers in my ears nyah nyah nyah I'm not listening
nyah nyah nyah ...
Hmmm...erudite...but then again, thats what we've come to expect from
Mr Personality Blanchett.

Bravo!

More more!!

Nik
Greig Blanchett
2003-08-26 20:25:27 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 18:22:35 +1000, "Uncle Bully"
Post by Uncle Bully
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
<snip a whole lot of guff>
Post by Groundhog
So - there it is...
At the end of the day it will all count for shit because England won't make
the final. You heard it here first.
Hey hey hey! I predicted an upset to SA ages ago. If they lose that,
there's no way they'll make the final - it goes without saying they'll
choke the quarter.
Ali
2003-08-26 09:33:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
The England forwards are stronger, as mobile and more experienced than
NZ's.
Post by Groundhog
Their age is irrelevant - look how strongly the England pack finished in
Cardiff on Saturday - despite relatively high temperatures and humidity.
McCaw is the one NZ forward who is better than his opposite number - on
the
Post by Groundhog
blind side Hill should outplay Thorne, and Collins/Dallaglio are well
matched.
The England pack is not as mobile as NZ's -- a fact which has nothing to
do
with respective ages which, granted, is a load of bollocks. In particular
the most crucial pace match-up (Back-McCaw) is no contest.
I doubt it will be Back, I think you'll see Moody in there as he has the
pace to match McCaw. I think McCaw might have it, just because of his
attacking ability always one of of the first at the breakdown, but not so
sharp in the open compared to Moody.
Collins is a killer tackler, but Dally again is good defensively, and can
soak up most hits, it will interesting to see this one again.
Hill/Thorne Thorne had a not bad match against Aus, and Hill hasn't been
exciting lately, but just gets on with his job well. Thorn needs to get
motivated before this encounter, or will just get worn down.

Cheers

A
...David...
2003-08-26 11:10:33 UTC
Permalink
The England pack is not as mobile as NZ's -- a fact which has nothing to
do
with respective ages which, granted, is a load of bollocks. In particular
the most crucial pace match-up (Back-McCaw) is no contest.
Back will lose his place to Moody...particularly in this case, where speed
is an issue.
Spencer's worst game all year was against England who would be lucky to
encounter a repeat performance especially in the absence of an
out-of-position Umaga at 12. I'd take Spencer over Wilkinson, genius over
master craftsman.
It was Wilkinsons poorest performance in a long time as well.
15 Muliaina - just
14 Howlett
13 Umaga
12 Mauger
11 Rokocoko
10 Spencer
9 Dawson - just
8 even
7 McCaw - in spades
6 Hill - in spades
5 Jack
4 Johnson
3 Vickery
2 Mealamu
1 even
It amazes me every time I see Umaga being picked...the guys so average when
he's played England...as have the majority of the backs to be honest...while
they apparently excel elsewhere. I'd be interested to see how well they
perform as a defensive unit.
Finally, I should add that NZ were only pressured into a losing penalty
count once this year -- by Aus -- and their penalty stats this year are
easily the best of all genuine contenders. England are more prone to
suffer
from a strict reffing of breakdown offences than are NZ.
That's just blind conjecture...each game is judged on it's own merits, the
situation of the game and the ref.
Daithi
2003-08-26 15:23:58 UTC
Permalink
IMHO as an Irish 'neutral', that a lot of these posts have missed the point.
The ABs have to get their set pieces to Englands standard if they are going
to win. This is a big ask, and it won't be lost on Mitchell (or whatever u
like to call him) and his cohorts that they failed at so many pushover
attempts v an English pack of 7 in the recent test.

If I were England I would try to slow the game to a tactical kicking and set
play type game and grind the ABs down like that. Mauls, Delaglio, Johnson,
Thompson breaking near in, feeding Wilkonson in space to keep them going
forward.

If I were the ABs I would play a fast, agressive, widish game moving the
ball from the floor and contact at great speed and hitting England in the
centres repeatedly before going wider. And wider again. But to do this the
set-pieces must be right for starters. England have the edge here and on
that alone one would have to rate their chances currently.

I hope they meet (unless of course we meet the sasnachs in the semis) cos it
will be a cracker.

May the best team win! If i were a betting man i think i would back the ABs
by a whisker.
Post by ...David...
The England pack is not as mobile as NZ's -- a fact which has nothing to
do
with respective ages which, granted, is a load of bollocks. In particular
the most crucial pace match-up (Back-McCaw) is no contest.
Back will lose his place to Moody...particularly in this case, where speed
is an issue.
Spencer's worst game all year was against England who would be lucky to
encounter a repeat performance especially in the absence of an
out-of-position Umaga at 12. I'd take Spencer over Wilkinson, genius over
master craftsman.
It was Wilkinsons poorest performance in a long time as well.
15 Muliaina - just
14 Howlett
13 Umaga
12 Mauger
11 Rokocoko
10 Spencer
9 Dawson - just
8 even
7 McCaw - in spades
6 Hill - in spades
5 Jack
4 Johnson
3 Vickery
2 Mealamu
1 even
It amazes me every time I see Umaga being picked...the guys so average when
he's played England...as have the majority of the backs to be
honest...while
Post by ...David...
they apparently excel elsewhere. I'd be interested to see how well they
perform as a defensive unit.
Finally, I should add that NZ were only pressured into a losing penalty
count once this year -- by Aus -- and their penalty stats this year are
easily the best of all genuine contenders. England are more prone to
suffer
from a strict reffing of breakdown offences than are NZ.
That's just blind conjecture...each game is judged on it's own merits, the
situation of the game and the ref.
Morrissey Breen
2003-08-26 18:29:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
NZ have clearly the best back 3 in the game right now, and they are the AB's
Errrrr.... this is all predicated on England beating FRANCE in the
semi-finals. How likely is THAT?
JD
2003-08-26 22:28:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Morrissey Breen
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
NZ have clearly the best back 3 in the game right now, and they are the AB's
Errrrr.... this is all predicated on England beating FRANCE in the
semi-finals. How likely is THAT?
We shall see after their next two games. Besides, France beat England
how many times this year?
Bulldog
2003-08-27 20:21:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by JD
We shall see after their next two games. Besides, France beat England
how many times this year?
Zero times.
Groundhog
2003-08-29 18:23:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Morrissey Breen
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
NZ have clearly the best back 3 in the game right now, and they are the AB's
Errrrr.... this is all predicated on England beating FRANCE in the
semi-finals. How likely is THAT?
Well, based on recent performances and current rankings, fairly likely - but
I'll concede it is no forgone conclusion. Neither is NZ reaching the final.

Actually, the use of the word "if" (capitalised, in fact) in my post
acknowledges that this is predicated on an outcome that is by no means
certain.
David Covey
2003-08-27 12:28:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
England do have an edge, but it is only a psychological one. We
don't have any evidence that there would be a different result when
they meet again because their preparation paths simply don't offer as
basis for informed judgement.

The NZ collective rugby ego simply cannot handle being beaten by
England. And the prospect of being beaten again is one they dare not
contemplate. I saw an interview with one of their players (forget
who) the day after the June game and he was keen to say that "England
can't improve, we can" which is a very silly thing to say as he had,
and has, no basis for such a judgement. Indeed, it's a stupid thing
to say as it told the observer that he was hurt quite deeply and
wanted to belittle the people who did it to him. I allowed myself a
satisfied "YES!" when I heard him say that as it showed England truly
had arrived.

However, he HAS to believe it and everyone in NZ HAVE to believe
it.

The idea that they might not be able to "put things right" will
mean that when they next meet NZ will be more intent on teaching the
upstart poms a lesson than in winning the game. Woodward seems to
have the tactical measure of every team on the planet - even the
cunning conniving Jonesey - and will simply engineer an England win.
How long this will work agaisnt NZ, I don't know, but it will
certainly be the case next time because England are no longer the
pushover that the NZ psyche still believes them to be.

NZ are in denial and will remain so. No matter how good they are
on the field, England will beat them next time they meet. Won't be in
the RWC though. Aus - NZ semi is surely on the cards and does anyone
really believe that Australia on home territory defending the RWC are
going to let the Blacks beat them? No way Jose...

Cheers

UD
Mal
2003-08-27 21:03:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Covey
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
England do have an edge, but it is only a psychological one. We
don't have any evidence that there would be a different result when
they meet again because their preparation paths simply don't offer as
basis for informed judgement.
The NZ collective rugby ego simply cannot handle being beaten by
England. And the prospect of being beaten again is one they dare not
contemplate. I saw an interview with one of their players (forget
who) the day after the June game and he was keen to say that "England
can't improve, we can" which is a very silly thing to say as he had,
and has, no basis for such a judgement. Indeed, it's a stupid thing
to say as it told the observer that he was hurt quite deeply and
wanted to belittle the people who did it to him. I allowed myself a
satisfied "YES!" when I heard him say that as it showed England truly
had arrived.
However, he HAS to believe it and everyone in NZ HAVE to believe
it.
The idea that they might not be able to "put things right" will
mean that when they next meet NZ will be more intent on teaching the
upstart poms a lesson than in winning the game. Woodward seems to
have the tactical measure of every team on the planet - even the
cunning conniving Jonesey - and will simply engineer an England win.
How long this will work agaisnt NZ, I don't know, but it will
certainly be the case next time because England are no longer the
pushover that the NZ psyche still believes them to be.
NZ are in denial and will remain so. No matter how good they are
on the field, England will beat them next time they meet. Won't be in
the RWC though. Aus - NZ semi is surely on the cards and does anyone
really believe that Australia on home territory defending the RWC are
going to let the Blacks beat them? No way Jose...
Cheers
UD
I see two very good rugby teams who have a strong chance of meeting up
in the WC, however both teams can be upset on the day by other worthy
contenders. Cant wait it's going to be huge.
I was surprised to read some of your pointless drivel and allowed
myself a satisfied "What a tosser" when i read this as it truly showed
you have a pointless existence if you feel it necessary to come onto
newsgroups and disrespect and abuse the way you do.
You must either thing that NZ are a real and serious threat to
Englands number 1 ranking in the game to bother to attack them so, or
honestly think they have no chance then you may just be stupid
Mal
2003-08-29 04:54:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mal
in the WC, however both teams can be upset on the day by other worthy
contenders. Cant wait it's going to be huge.
I was surprised to read some of your pointless drivel and allowed
myself a satisfied "What a tosser" when i read this as it truly showed
you have a pointless existence if you feel it necessary to come onto
newsgroups and disrespect and abuse the way you do.
You must either thing that NZ are a real and serious threat to
Englands number 1 ranking in the game to bother to attack them so, or
honestly think they have no chance then you may just be stupid
No, I simply rate the psychological side of rugby higher than
most. Games are won or lost off the field as well as on. If you
believe that NZ don't have a problem with being beaten by England
recently then I suggest you have a read of the postings here in the
weeks after the game.
I believe NZ's biggest weakeness is their expectation of winning
every game. Nothing disrespectful about that. NZ are a fine rugby
team, unfortunately some of their supporters are not unlike out own
beloved football hooligans and I give almost as good as I get. Most
of thoe who don't fall into that category simply aren't interested in
discussing anything which doesn't praise their team and raises the
possibility that they might get beaten again. There are exceptions
but they are rare.
I'm quite prepared for England to lose in the RWC and will accept
it with dignity and aplomb. You won't hear me blame the referee, the
linesman, the commentators or the team because I know the reality of
knock-out competitions is that one side has to lose, and it could be
mine. I find it fascinating that NZ fans simply seem incapable of
accepting that about their own team.
I will leave it to you to judge whether I'm stupid. Personally,
I believe only somebody who is stupid would call somebody else stupid.
Cheers
UD
Fair eneough - agree that at this level the difference will likly be
mental , and that mental state will be built up on self belief.
England have it from their current record and recent results.
If NZ were not to believe they had strengths in areas England didnt
and those strengths werent enough to give them the edge , then that
self belief would not be very high, and would not support their cause
at all ( if that made sense )
Of course the self belief of the team and the self belief of the fans
are not always totally in synch , though self belief of fans turns
into fan support which ultimatly helps the team.
The bigger the expectation the deeper the despair of course( still
can't eat french fries!!! )
As for the NZ fans, we have a vocal minority who dont respect and
admire worthy opponents, so enjoy baiting them, poor sport that it can
be at times.
Anyway enjoy the weekends match - should be an interesting game -
Cheers
Nik
2003-08-27 20:56:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
NZ have clearly the best back 3 in the game right now, and they are the AB's
key strength. They are also, however, the easiest players in an opposing
team to close down/shut out. The back 3 get their opportunities to shine
when either good early phase ball is won, or the opposition kick them
possession. England are too strong up front and too smart to let either of
these things happen often.
The England forwards are stronger, as mobile and more experienced than NZ's.
Their age is irrelevant
It is entirely relevant. They will tire earlier.
Post by Groundhog
- look how strongly the England pack finished in
Cardiff on Saturday - despite relatively high temperatures and humidity.
You've never been to Australia have you? Whatever is happening in
Wales climactically does not compare to Sydney.
Post by Groundhog
McCaw is the one NZ forward who is better than his opposite number - on the
blind side Hill should outplay Thorne, and Collins/Dallaglio are well
matched.
A lot rides on the line-out, because with a poorly-performing line-out,
either Wilkinson's or Spencer's options will be restricted. Neither England
nor NZ have shown themselves to be infallible here, but Thompson vs. Mealamu
may prove to be the key battle. Both are outstanding with ball in hand and
in the loose - but which one's throw-in will turn up on the day?
England are stronger around the fringes, and the back row (along with the
best tackling fly-half in the game) will deny Spencer the quality ball he
needs to excel, and to feed the pacy NZ backs. Dawson's only (slight)
weakness is the speed of his pass - but tactically and with ball in hand I
expect him to cause the ABs huge problems.
England's ball retention is better, and while the England backs do not have
the pace of NZ's, they are strong, fast (enough) runners who run strong
attacking lines. In multiphase play, they will find the openings, whilst
the English defensive organisation will close down most of the opportunities
NZ create.
Wilkinson is England's key player,
He is.
Post by Groundhog
and the Kiwis are correct that if
injured, England will struggle - but he is a better tackler and place-kicker
than Spencer, even if he does not quite have Spencer's running game.
Although he was poor by his standards against both NZ and Aus in June, he is
tactically stronger than Spencer and kicks better out of hand. He provides
better ball to his outside backs because of this - I'd rather play outside
him than Spencer, given some of the latter's "interesting" passing.
Finally leadership and organisation - other than the
aerodynamically-optimised jerseys, the England set-up is as well organised
and financed as any in the world...nothing will be left to chance. And in
Johnson, England have easily the best captain in world rugby - who also has
the benefit of being clearly in the team on playing merit as well. When the
pressure comes, this England team have the experience to ride it.
So - there it is...
Well, we'll see. Myself I think you're thinking wishfully.

Our bookies and yours disagree with you. The All Blacks are currently
paying $2.20 to win the WC whereas England are $2.60.

I don't believe it to be a foregone conclusion but I'm reasonably
confident of an All Black victory.

Nik
Ben L
2003-08-27 22:33:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nik
Post by Groundhog
Right - first off, this is not a troll but I would welcome considered Kiwi
opinion on this...
IMHO England (just) have the edge on the ABs - IF they meet in Aus, I think
England will win, by a narrow margin..why ?
NZ have clearly the best back 3 in the game right now, and they are the AB's
key strength. They are also, however, the easiest players in an opposing
team to close down/shut out. The back 3 get their opportunities to shine
when either good early phase ball is won, or the opposition kick them
possession. England are too strong up front and too smart to let either of
these things happen often.
The England forwards are stronger, as mobile and more experienced than NZ's.
Their age is irrelevant
It is entirely relevant. They will tire earlier.
Why does age determine fitness? For that matter, only one of the tight five
is over 30 - Johnson. The other two over 30, Hill and Dallaglio, are
generally rated top1 or 2 in the world for their position and claiming they
are at their fittest ever.

Man for man the NZ pack might actually carry more weight, and won't have
trained in the heat. I can't see anything to suggest either team will
necessarily tire first - it depends on what work they have to do.
Post by Nik
Post by Groundhog
- look how strongly the England pack finished in
Cardiff on Saturday - despite relatively high temperatures and humidity.
You've never been to Australia have you? Whatever is happening in
Wales climactically does not compare to Sydney.
You've never been to Wales in a heatwave. Don't worry, most Welshman haven't
either. It was about 30 degrees and humid. A reasonably good comparison with
Sydney. They've been training in temperatures over 30 degrees for most of
the summer.
--
Ben Longman
David Covey
2003-08-28 12:25:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nik
Post by Groundhog
The England forwards are stronger, as mobile and more experienced than NZ's.
Their age is irrelevant
It is entirely relevant. They will tire earlier.
Well, I watched the NZ - Eng game again the other day and the NZ
commentators remarked on how England seemed to get stronger in the
last quarter. That was despite being at the end of a long hard season
and a game where they were reduced to 13 at one stage and which was,
by anyone's standards, a tough match. Come the RWC they'll be at
their peak.

I would say that England are now the fittest rugby union team in
the world. If you doubt that, simply take a look at just about any
game they've played in the last couple of years. You will find they
blow the opposition away in the final quarter. I'll start you off
with this year's games...

6N
Ireland 6 - 42 England
HT 6 - 13

England 40 - 9 Scotland
HT 16 - 9

Wales 9 - 26 England
HT 6 - 9

England 25 - 17 France
HT 12 - 7

Tours

NZ 13 - 15 England
HT 6 - 6

Aus 14 - 25 England
HT 3 - 12

The last time England were outscored in the second half was against Oz
at Twickenham, even NZ could only match them point for point in the
2nd half there. If you get to half time and you'd not well ahead then
you won't beat England it's as simple as that.

Anyone who believes that England's aging forwards aren't fitter than
everybody else's simply can't handle the truth and will play into
their hands at the RWC :-)

Cheers

UD

P.S. Sorry about introducing facts into an rsru discusion. Cheap
trick I know but it was the only way I could prove my point ;-)
Big Soul
2003-08-30 00:18:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Covey
I would say that England are now the fittest rugby union team in
the world. If you doubt that, simply take a look at just about any
game they've played in the last couple of years. You will find they
blow the opposition away in the final quarter. I'll start you off
with this year's games...
6N
Ireland 6 - 42 England
HT 6 - 13
England 40 - 9 Scotland
HT 16 - 9
Wales 9 - 26 England
HT 6 - 9
England 25 - 17 France
HT 12 - 7
Tours
NZ 13 - 15 England
HT 6 - 6
Aus 14 - 25 England
HT 3 - 12
Good point. Last time England lost (vs France 2002), they were
trailing
by 7 or 10 points at HT and it ended with an onslaught on the french
line with the frogs defending desperately and waiting with anguish for
the last whistle.
John Williams
2003-08-30 05:12:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Big Soul
Post by David Covey
I would say that England are now the fittest rugby union team
in
Post by David Covey
the world. If you doubt that, simply take a look at just about any
game they've played in the last couple of years. You will find they
blow the opposition away in the final quarter. I'll start you off
with this year's games...
Good point. Last time England lost (vs France 2002), they were
trailing
by 7 or 10 points at HT and it ended with an onslaught on the french
line with the frogs defending desperately and waiting with anguish for
the last whistle.
Certainly England have become a team capable of producing their best
rugby in the last 20. The loss v France, their best rugby wasn't that
great though from memory. Plenty of chances in the second half, but
things didn't exactly click when Wilkinson went off and Henry Paul
came on. Definitely Paul's chance to impress and make it as an
international, which he butchered rather badly. Today will be similar
opportunity for a whole host of players. I guess Woodward's decisions
for the WC squad will be much easier if England lose today - much
easier to mark the players who didn't step up.
--
Regards,
John Williams
Big Soul
2003-08-30 12:46:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Williams
Post by Big Soul
Post by David Covey
I would say that England are now the fittest rugby union team
in
Post by David Covey
the world. If you doubt that, simply take a look at just about any
game they've played in the last couple of years. You will find they
blow the opposition away in the final quarter. I'll start you off
with this year's games...
Good point. Last time England lost (vs France 2002), they were
trailing
by 7 or 10 points at HT and it ended with an onslaught on the french
line with the frogs defending desperately and waiting with anguish for
the last whistle.
Certainly England have become a team capable of producing their best
rugby in the last 20. The loss v France, their best rugby wasn't that
great though from memory. Plenty of chances in the second half, but
things didn't exactly click when Wilkinson went off and Henry Paul
came on.
Anyway England's rally was edge of the seat stuff. Impressive after
the way they have been mullered in the first half. They weathered the
storm and keep on playing their game and they did not make the mistake
to play catch up rugby against France. It could have lead to disaster
but they kept on pressuring and eroding the french players.
The downturn was a lack of finition. A last minute try was hiding the
fact that England could not have scored a try during the whole second
half despite a clear dominance.
Post by John Williams
Definitely Paul's chance to impress and make it as an
international, which he butchered rather badly. Today will be
similar
Post by John Williams
opportunity for a whole host of players. I guess Woodward's
decisions
Post by John Williams
for the WC squad will be much easier if England lose today - much
easier to mark the players who didn't step up.
What if they win ? Some difficult choices ahead. How to trim down this
squad from 43 to 30 ?
It seems to me France is in a difficult position anyway. They MUST win
tonight if they are to be considered a possibilty for the rwc.
After the disapointing last months, the whole rugby nation will
scrutiny their play and will make their mind.

Romania wasn't that great and now an English team with something to
prove. I can't wait. Some hours to go !
John Williams
2003-08-30 13:36:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Big Soul
Post by John Williams
Certainly England have become a team capable of producing their best
rugby in the last 20. The loss v France, their best rugby wasn't that
great though from memory. Plenty of chances in the second half, but
things didn't exactly click when Wilkinson went off and Henry Paul
came on.
Anyway England's rally was edge of the seat stuff. Impressive after
the way they have been mullered in the first half. They weathered the
storm and keep on playing their game and they did not make the mistake
to play catch up rugby against France. It could have lead to disaster
but they kept on pressuring and eroding the french players.
The downturn was a lack of finition. A last minute try was hiding the
fact that England could not have scored a try during the whole second
half despite a clear dominance.
Absolutely spot on!
Post by Big Soul
Post by John Williams
Definitely Paul's chance to impress and make it as an
international, which he butchered rather badly. Today will be
similar
opportunity for a whole host of players. I guess Woodward's
decisions
Post by John Williams
for the WC squad will be much easier if England lose today - much
easier to mark the players who didn't step up.
What if they win ? Some difficult choices ahead. How to trim down this
squad from 43 to 30 ?
A question best left until the final result! Obviously I hope for a
win, but the reality is, if England win, they will probably become my
favourites for the WC painful though that would be. Assuming France
play anything like we know they can, it won't happen though.
Post by Big Soul
It seems to me France is in a difficult position anyway. They MUST win
tonight if they are to be considered a possibilty for the rwc.
After the disapointing last months, the whole rugby nation will
scrutiny their play and will make their mind.
Again, I agree.
Post by Big Soul
Romania wasn't that great and now an English team with something to
prove. I can't wait. Some hours to go !
I've lined up some beers in the fridge (anyone who drinks beer at room
temperature is desperate or missing the point), and the missus has
agreed to get a taxi home from work so I don't have to leave the house
in the last 10 minutes. I just hope I don't have good reason to phone
her up and say I'll collect her anyway.

Enjoy!
--
Regards,
John Williams
Big Soul
2003-08-30 14:33:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Williams
Post by Big Soul
What if they win ? Some difficult choices ahead. How to trim down this
squad from 43 to 30 ?
A question best left until the final result! Obviously I hope for a
win, but the reality is, if England win, they will probably become my
favourites for the WC painful though that would be. Assuming France
play anything like we know they can, it won't happen though.
It could be a story of glass half full or half empty for both teams;
Each one having their moment in this game. Seeing the french bench,
Laporte must know England will finish on top and i can see once again
France defending its line time and again in the second half.

It's usually when Magne and Betsen do their best impersonation of
either slowing the ball time and again white as snow or being yellow
carded.
A great deal could depend on the ref tonight, especially around the
tackle and in the scrum.
Post by John Williams
Post by Big Soul
It seems to me France is in a difficult position anyway. They MUST win
tonight if they are to be considered a possibilty for the rwc.
After the disapointing last months, the whole rugby nation will
scrutiny their play and will make their mind.
Again, I agree.
Add to that the loss of De Villiers, the best front rower, best ruck
zone tackler and most mobile front five french player.
He usually talk english with the refs and it's a great help for the
team.
His loss can not be overstated. It's a huge blow to France.

Much more than the uncertainty of Marsh.

The french rwc campaign has the distinct possibility of turning into
1991-pear-shaped in the coming weeks.
Post by John Williams
Post by Big Soul
Romania wasn't that great and now an English team with something to
prove. I can't wait. Some hours to go !
I've lined up some beers in the fridge (anyone who drinks beer at room
temperature is desperate or missing the point), and the missus has
agreed to get a taxi home from work so I don't have to leave the house
in the last 10 minutes. I just hope I don't have good reason to phone
her up and say I'll collect her anyway.
I don't think you'll have to.
Lucky you anyway. My better half is still to be persuaded to watch a
game of rugby on a saturday night. Nigh on impossible mission...
I yearn for the 3 o'clock kick-offs. Oh well there's always the VCR.
Post by John Williams
Enjoy!
De même :-) !
David Covey
2003-08-30 15:39:43 UTC
Permalink
Fair play. However, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating now
won't it.
Fair suck of the sav mate...
Myself, I agree with the bookies who're paying $2.20 for the All
Blacks to win the WC as opposed to the $2.60 for England.
I'm not a gambling man. ("I don't gamble anymore Major, that's one
avenue of pleasure that has ben closed to me"... "and we don't want it
opening up again do we Basil?" "No dear, you don't...") Wossat mean then?
For a dollar bet? Put a few bob on Orstralya, much better bet than either
of these two. What's their price?

Cheers

UD
Groundhog
2003-08-29 18:31:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nik
Post by Groundhog
The England forwards are stronger, as mobile and more experienced than NZ's.
Their age is irrelevant
It is entirely relevant. They will tire earlier.
But as long as it's over 80 mins before they do, it doesn't matter...
Post by Nik
Post by Groundhog
- look how strongly the England pack finished in
Cardiff on Saturday - despite relatively high temperatures and humidity.
You've never been to Australia have you? Whatever is happening in
Wales climactically does not compare to Sydney.
Yes, I have - funnily enough, Sydney in October - and I recall it being
somewhat cooler than Cardiff last weekend, both climactically and
climatically ;-)
Post by Nik
Well, we'll see. Myself I think you're thinking wishfully.
Probably... *sigh*
Post by Nik
Our bookies and yours disagree with you. The All Blacks are currently
paying $2.20 to win the WC whereas England are $2.60.
Which are fairly close odds...
Post by Nik
I don't believe it to be a foregone conclusion but I'm reasonably
confident of an All Black victory.
As you should be :-) I hope the NZ/Eng final happens, and that it is a
better game than Wellington.
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