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England v New Zealand match thread

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Post by quinsforever Sun 10 Nov 2013, 10:12 pm

2.30pm at Twickenham on Saturday.

Betfair has england 5:1 against. Sounds about right to me.

Are NZ wearing black this time? I hope so. don't think France or anyone else found the Haka quite the same performed in what looked like white gym T-shirts.

My prediction, fwiw (and i know that's not much), NZ to win by 6, england to dominate at scrums, lineouts 50:50, 60% possession England but Joubert tough (but predictable and consistent) on holding on means isolated possession gives NZ the scoring edge from penalties, and NZ classically more clinical with open/broken field possession.

Really looking forwards to it though.

Anyone going?

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Post by ChequeredJersey Sun 10 Nov 2013, 10:20 pm

I've gone for NZ by. 3 on superbru, think we will struggle to win but we are certainly capable if we actually play well for 80 mins rather than most of the team decent and some good for 40 and mediocrely for 40


Think we will see:

Brown
Yarde
Tomkins
36
Ashton
Farrell
Dickson
Vunipola
Robshaw
Wood
Launchbury
Parling
Cole
Hartley
Corbs

Vunipola, Youngs, Wilson, Lawes, Morgan, Youngs, Flood, Foden


Not absolutely ideal but what I think we will see
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Post by blackcanelion Sun 10 Nov 2013, 10:39 pm

I haven't seen all of Englands last two games. What I have seen causes me some concern as AB supporter. It's going to be an interesting game.

From our position my concerns are:
1: scrum. I think we are still adapting to the longer scrummaging. If John Schwalger comments are right we wont be physiologically adjusted until next season.
2: mid field. Ben Smith is a work in progress. It's obvious that everyone sees a potential Conrad Smith there, but's going to take time.
3: breakdown. I think we are still adjusting. At times on Saturday the AB's forwards stopped and looked at the ref before engaging to ensure they were in synch.
4: ref. referees generally back the home side. November is no different. With the exception of Ireland, all the six nations sides have had the better of penalty count. From an AB's perspective it means very "flat" opposition defensive lines and "interesting" moves at the initial tackle and breakdown. Maintaining possession and quick ball is going to be interesting, contesting many breakdowns may not be an option. The end result is a lot of kicking with the intention of playing in the opposition half, even if that means sacrificing possession.
5. Weather. I hear it's probably going to be crap. A wet and windy track will suit England more than us I feel.
6. The English pack. They look good. Plenty of power there. Good set piece as usual. The Lineout may be a weakness of theirs.


Last edited by blackcanelion on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 1:40 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Duty281 Sun 10 Nov 2013, 11:26 pm

Feel that the game will remain close for 50/60 minutes, then New Zealand will pull away.

New Zealand by 8, after a titanic struggle in the first half. Perhaps 1 try to 2 in New Zealand's favour. I won't write England completely off though - they certainly have a fair chance, and may take heart from how close the French got yesterday.

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Post by GunsGerms Sun 10 Nov 2013, 11:37 pm

NZ by 25. Its gonna be a rout I reckon. Pay back.

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Post by The Saint Sun 10 Nov 2013, 11:42 pm

England by 3. Supporting England through thick and thorn.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 10 Nov 2013, 11:42 pm

Judging by the last couple of games I'd say our (England's) forwards will keep us in it for much of the game. However I'm afraid that a lack of precision in the backs will lead to not only an inability to score tries but will gift the NZ backs some counter attacking opportunities they rarely mess up.

Chequered - Looking at that side I'd expect Lawes to start which I think he deserves. Even as a Tigers fan I've got to say he's looked strong this season and has done enough to keep Parling on the bench.

The other obvious point would be Ashton on the wing - many are saying that Lancaster will retain him as it's NZ but given he was going to be dropped prior to Saturday I could see 11.Yarde 14.Foden or Wade. A much stronger back three and an exciting one no doubt.

My main worry from the Arg game however would be wayward kicking from Dickson and Farrell. If we continuously kick too deep to the All Blacks they will at least dominate the territory game and when the chasers aren't there they will counter in an instant.

If that happens it could be a long day and is why I'd like to see Youngs at 9 as I think he has a better box kick than Dickson. I would also like to see us use Twelvetrees kicking game when clearing from our 22. He has a huge boot and if used cleverly gives us another option to relieve some pressure from the half backs.

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Post by Taylorman Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:09 am

The french did a couple of things for the AB's:

1   Led initially
2   Gave them feelings of the possibility of losing for a good period of the match
3   Reminded them that youre only as good as your last game, no matter what youve done recently, or last year, and that nobody is unbeatable, despite what the tabloids and <add more here> say.

For this match, that's priceless. Hansen has things to work with, players to pick on, concrete and valid evidence that theyre not good enough for this unless things change.

And on the jersey thing, I believe we generally alternate with France as dark blue is seen as a clash. It used to be home and away but world cups threw in neutral matches so they went to alternating.

And I think it will be black this week...(last time I looked I'm sure Black didnt usually clash with white...)

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Post by Icu Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:10 am

Can't see the AB's losing this one. AB's by 15+

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Post by Hood83 Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:13 am

New Zealand by 10, and possibly a lot more.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:27 am

1.Corbs - Woodcock
2.Hartley - Mealamu
3.Cole - Franks
4.Launchberry - Retallick
5.Lawes - Whitelock
6.Wood - Messam
7.Robshaw - McCaw
8.Vunipola - Read

9.Dickson - Smith
10.Farrell - Carter

11.Yarde - Savea (presuming he'll return)
12.Twelvetrees - Nonu
13.Tomkins - Smith
14.Wade/Foden - Jane/Piutua
15.Brown - Dagg

Whilst side by side comparison are often arbitrary in the run up to the game I'd say this one sums up the match and England's shortcomings fairly well.

In the tight and in defence I'd say the sides are pretty evenly matched with England probably edging the front row and the second row fairly evenly matched.

In attack and the loose however the NZ players are cut above in almost every position. The back rows capabilities in the loose particularly shine through with Messam/McCaw/Read offering far more support play and attacking capabilities than their opposite numbers.

The Read vs Vunipola contest will be a big test for Billy V's all round game - his carrying isn't in doubt but his work rate around the park has been and this season Read has been outstanding in almost every facet of the game. A big test no doubt.

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Post by GloriousEmpire Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:46 am

For NZ I would stick smith and Savea on the wings and Piutau at centre. Jane to cover FB/wing. Smith's defence is a liability and the extra bulk and pace going forward is useful. Cruden has to start ahead of carter.

I'd bring messam off the bench and start luatua.

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Post by Otagolad Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:59 am

king_carlos wrote:1.Corbs - Woodcock
2.Hartley - Mealamu
3.Cole - Franks
4.Launchberry - Retallick
5.Lawes - Whitelock
6.Wood - Messam
7.Robshaw - McCaw
8.Vunipola - Read

9.Dickson - Smith
10.Farrell - Carter

11.Yarde - Savea (presuming he'll return)
12.Twelvetrees - Nonu
13.Tomkins - Smith
14.Wade/Foden - Jane/Piutua
15.Brown - Dagg

Whilst side by side comparison are often arbitrary in the run up to the game I'd say this one sums up the match and England's shortcomings fairly well.

In the tight and in defence I'd say the sides are pretty evenly matched with England probably edging the front row and the second row fairly evenly matched.

In attack and the loose however the NZ players are cut above in almost every position. The back rows capabilities in the loose particularly shine through with Messam/McCaw/Read offering far more support play and attacking capabilities than their opposite numbers.

The Read vs Vunipola contest will be a big test for Billy V's all round game - his carrying isn't in doubt but his work rate around the park has been and this season Read has been outstanding in almost every facet of the game. A big test no doubt.
The only thing I'd disagree with is the 2nd row - Retallick and Whitelock are arguably the world's best locking combination, giving England only an advantage at prop.  Lets see how the AB's scrum goes with a week of hard practice and some solid footing underneath - I think we'll (AB's fans) all be pleasantly surprised with how well the scrum will go.

As regards Ben Smith, he's only had 3 international games at centre and I think he's done pretty well.  He didn't miss any first up tackles at the week (contrary to some posters' views) and he made a number of vitally important covering tackles and his kick led to a try.  He's never going to have the same opportunities to break the line as when he's playing wing/fullback and so for me as long as he's defensively sound, popping up in the right places with the odd individual piece of brilliance then that's all he needs to do on this tour as he learns the job.  The man is too gifted to not "get" the position soon.

No-one in the England team individually holds any worries for me, unlike the french with Dusautoir, Fofana and Parra.  And if you look at the benches, there's no comparison - the AB's reserves add a huge advantage in this game.  So long as the team doesn't get sick like last year, this will be a tight but ultimately easy win for the AB's and my pick is a 10 to 20 point win , especially if they bring their Ellis Park intensity and physicality to the game, which I'm betting on them doing.

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Post by Otagolad Mon 11 Nov 2013, 1:10 am

GloriousEmpire wrote:For NZ I would stick smith and Savea on the wings and Piutau at centre. Jane to cover FB/wing. Smith's defence is a liability and the extra bulk and pace going forward is useful. Cruden has to start ahead of carter.

I'd bring messam off the bench and start luatua.
GE, you seriously need to get a large screen TV with cable/sat and watch the game again - I've had a look at the game 3 times now and Ben Smith didn't miss any first up tackles at centre and made a number of crucial covering ones. Nonu, unfortunately kept coming out of the line, instead of drifting, and was trying to put the big hit on Fofana - when it didn't come off there was a gaping hole - that wasn't Smith's fault. I love Nonu as an AB, however he has a tendancy to do this from time to time and unless you've played a tonne of games beside him (like C Smith) you won't have that gut-level anticipation - Smith and Nonu have only played together twice and they'll get this right pretty quickly.

As for Luatua v Messam - Luatua is better from the bench. Leave Messam to do the hard yards and get through a power of tackles early on and then unleash Luatua when the English are tiring - Luatua's still not physical enough to start against the likes of SA, France and England, but he's great at shredding the opposition towards the end of the game and delivering great lineout ball at the back of the lineout to get the AB's back's going forward in the last 20.


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Post by Biltong Mon 11 Nov 2013, 4:53 am

New Zealand has been waiting for this game all year.

England will face a team intent on humiliating them. Question remains though.

Will stewing on a fixture for 12 months work in the AB's favour, and will England lift their game again and beat the All Blacks?

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Post by Taylorman Mon 11 Nov 2013, 5:08 am

Its not the team thats been stewing on it Biltong, more the fans. With the improving boks during the year they were the main focus and we needed every focus on that. If anything the French match so close to England may have unsettled their thinking perhaps but not a lot more than that. The fans might rave about this weekend as revenge and Hansen may stew inside but being the AB's they'll go about their work as usual, focussing on preparation, accuracy and the usuals.

I mean overall whats the very worst that can happen?
One loss in a whole year again with every possible trophy already in the cabinet. Not a lot to get upset about compared to every other side.

But if England do get up for this a second time, theyll deserve every judos that comes their way. No chance of an ambush, a tired AB side, illness and all the other excuses offered up last year..nope, none of that. We lose this. We're not good enough. End of story.

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Post by Taylorman Mon 11 Nov 2013, 5:10 am

Its not the team thats been stewing on it Biltong, more the fans. With the improving boks during the year they were the main focus and we needed every focus on that. If anything the French match so close to England may have unsettled their thinking perhaps but not a lot more than that. The fans might rave about this weekend as revenge and Hansen may stew inside but being the AB's they'll go about their work as usual, focussing on preparation, accuracy and the usuals.

I mean overall whats the very worst that can happen?
One loss in a whole year again with every possible trophy already in the cabinet. Not a lot to get upset about compared to every other side.

But if England do get up for this a second time, theyll deserve every judos that comes their way. No chance of an ambush, a tired AB side, illness and all the other excuses offered up last year..nope, none of that. We lose this. We're not good enough. End of story.

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 11 Nov 2013, 5:11 am

Icu wrote:Can't see the AB's losing this one. AB's by 15+
NO BODY could see the AB'S losing last year. But they "DID".

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Post by Icu Mon 11 Nov 2013, 5:25 am

majesticimperialman wrote:
Icu wrote:Can't see the AB's losing this one. AB's by 15+
NO BODY could see the AB'S losing last year. But they "DID".
They certainly "DID" and i see you're still shouting about it. That was England's standard once-in-a-decade home win against the AB's. Unless they wheel out the norovirus again the AB's will take care of England. Miracles don't come around too regularly these days.

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Post by kingraf Mon 11 Nov 2013, 5:27 am

Two weeks ago I took a 4/1 bet on NZ by 15-20. Their performance vs France has indicated that I might not see that money again. If England can keep it close going into the last 10-15 minutes, the traditional All Black pull away may just get me some good money. The way New Zealand finished vs South Africa at altitude indicates they finish very strongly. So if it starts off ugly (from an English perspective), it's probably best to change channels to some wendyball, and laugh at NZ for their incredible ineptness at that.
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Post by The Fourth Lion Mon 11 Nov 2013, 5:31 am

Taylorman wrote:Its not the team thats been stewing on it Biltong, more the fans. With the improving boks during the year they were the main focus and we needed every focus on that. If anything the French match so close to England may have unsettled their thinking perhaps but not a lot more than that. The fans might rave about this weekend as revenge and Hansen may stew inside but being the AB's they'll go about their work as usual, focussing on preparation, accuracy and the usuals.

I mean overall whats the very worst that can happen?
One loss in a whole year again with every possible trophy already in the cabinet. Not a lot to get upset about compared to every other side.

But if England do get up for this a second time, theyll deserve every judos that comes their way. No chance of an ambush, a tired AB side, illness and all the other excuses offered up last year..nope, none of that. We lose this. We're not good enough. End of story.

I have to nod my head at your comment about having every possible trophy already in the cabinet.

I wish we had that kind of problem..!!

You are, of course, quite right. It's about what happens on the day and credit has to be given where it's due. I wish I had a ticket for the game, but will have to settle for watching it on the big screen at the club. An England win would get the beer flowing for sure but we are under no illusions about the enormity of the task.

As a general comment, Taylorman, it would be interesting to know how the 'average' fan feels about the weight of expectation that is heaped on the AB players. Do you feel it helps them...? Is it a motivation, or are they desperate to win because of a sort of fear factor.... nobody wants to be remembered as an All Black that lost.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:02 am

The players are aware of the fans' expectations and the fear of losing is certainly relevant against teams that have never beaten NZ. But there is also a great deal of pride in being part of the AB legacy and players are keen to uphold those standards.

NZ fans will want utu or revenge this Saturday out of some sense of their pride being hurt. Apparently, it's not good enough to lose one game and draw one in the year. The 90 % + win rate just doesn't cut it nor the fact the previous England win had been 10 years ago. How do you respond to that level of expectation? No doubt NZ management have their own ideas about preparing their players and I don't think it'll differ too much from any other game. Concentrate on your own performance and if you do things right, then you give yourselves the best chance of winning.

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Post by rainbow-warrior Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:10 am

This will be sweet revenge for the AB's, 20+ point win.
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Post by ebop Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:14 am

I get the feeling that when the ABs lose their next game there will be talk that they are on the decline and the rot has set in.
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Post by Taylorman Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:18 am

First of all we need to remember these are 'good times'. We have had bad times but they seem a long time ago now. I think we have to keep reminding ourselves of that.

The weight on the AB's is huge. AB and NZ's rugby is up until now second to none in terms of its expectations of the side and of its achievements.

Kiwi's all grow up with this and those that take on the job as a player, coach, captain etc are all aware of this, agree with it and understand the consequences of falling below the expectations. As a nation, as sad as it may seem, we are all shareholders in this thing called the ABs.

When you think of players like Carter, McCaw, Lomu of late and going back to the Shelfords, Meads, Kirwans and Michael Jonses of the past theres always the one thing that remains paramount above everything else- the wearing of the AB jersey.

More recently professionalism has threatened to challenge the heart of the AB tradition and although there are trade-offs and compromises the core values still exist.

To stay in front innovation, modern thinking and analysis has required NZers to not only be great players but also great thinkers of the game. Finding ways to stay ahead, challenging the status quo, anything to stay ahead of the bunch, keeping that jersey out in front.

Personally I've always said we have a unique niche and like any sport other dynamics come into play. For instance, the US have the NFL, baseball and basketball, Most of Europe have football, Oz have League and the AFL. If rugby were the primary choice of sport the ABs wouldnt be no.1, simple as that.

So we are lucky in that respect, but on the other and we don't take it for granted. Any test lost is frowned upon, analysed, scowled at and thats the way we want to keep it. Thats the standard, thats the meaning of the jersey and its history. The players never take selection for granted. McCaw and DC ae into taking non playing sabbaticals just to wear it a little longer.

They know they can be dropped at any time and expect it if they drop their game. They wouldnt have it any other way...thats the DNA of being an All Black- Second best is never an option.

Might sound crude, primitive, ignorant, selfish or any number of descriptions but thats the way we like it and what we expect.

Just the way it is.

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Post by Biltong Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:19 am

Icu wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:
Icu wrote:Can't see the AB's losing this one. AB's by 15+
NO BODY could see the AB'S losing last year. But they "DID".
They certainly "DID" and i see you're still shouting about it. That was England's standard once-in-a-decade home win against the AB's. Unless they wheel out the norovirus again the AB's will take care of England. Miracles don't come around too regularly these days.
ICU, any win over the current AB's are worth shouting about.
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Post by Biltong Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:20 am

ebop wrote:I get the feeling that when the ABs lose their next game there will be talk that they are on the decline and the rot has set in.
I doubt that very much.
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Post by Taylorman Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:26 am

England look solid enough to win this weekend. If we judge the ABs on their last two matches there would be a concern. But heres hoping things have settled. With a firmer ground, a more predictable opposition and some good old AB pride its not normal for the to have 3 average performances in a row.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:36 am

If we (England) play as we have done in the past 2 games, then we will lose, and pretty comfortably. A 40 minute performance will not suffice, and unless Lancaster and the team find a way of maintaining intensity and focus for the full 80, it could be a long afternoon.

However, I do still have a gut feeling that we have a chance in this one. What we will need to do though, is take the game to New Zealand, and that being the case I think we have to have Yarde and Wade on the wings. Having Foden and Ashton there does not give New Zealand anything to think about defensively, whereas the two youngsters does. Wade can operate in the smallest amount of space, and Yarde almost always gets across the gainline. If the pack can front up, Farrell can have one of his better games, the centres can stay strong defensively, and we can get the back three into the game, then we can win again.

Lots of ifs, which potentially make it unlikely, but I can't wait for this one now.
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Post by The Fourth Lion Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:45 am

Taylorman wrote:First of all we need to remember these are 'good times'. We have had bad times but they seem a long time ago now. I think we have to keep reminding ourselves of that.

The weight on the AB's is huge. AB and NZ's rugby is up until now second to none in terms of its expectations of the side and of its achievements.

Kiwi's all grow up with this and those that take on the job as a player, coach, captain etc are all aware of this, agree with it and understand the consequences of falling below the expectations. As a nation, as sad as it may seem, we are all shareholders in this thing called the ABs.

When you think of players like Carter, McCaw, Lomu of late and going back to the Shelfords, Meads, Kirwans and Michael Jonses of the past theres always the one thing that remains paramount above everything else- the wearing of the AB jersey.

More recently professionalism has threatened to challenge the heart of the AB tradition and although there are trade-offs and compromises the core values still exist.

To stay in front innovation, modern thinking and analysis has required NZers to not only be great players but also great thinkers of the game. Finding ways to stay ahead, challenging the status quo, anything to stay ahead of the bunch, keeping that jersey out in front.

Personally I've always said we have a unique niche and like any sport other dynamics come into play. For instance, the US have the NFL, baseball and basketball, Most of Europe have football, Oz have League and the AFL. If rugby were the primary choice of sport the ABs wouldnt be no.1, simple as that.

So we are lucky in that respect, but on the other and we don't take it for granted. Any test lost is frowned upon, analysed, scowled at and thats the way we want to keep it. Thats the standard, thats the meaning of the jersey and its history. The players never take selection for granted. McCaw and DC ae into taking non playing sabbaticals just to wear it a little longer.

They know they can be dropped at any time and expect it if they drop their game. They wouldnt have it any other way...thats the DNA of being an All Black- Second best is never an option.

Might sound crude, primitive, ignorant, selfish or any number of descriptions  but thats the way we like it and what we expect.

Just the way it is.
I don't think it sounds any of the things you said in your penultimate paragraph. Rather, I find it strong, competitive and it shows a level of pride in performance that nobody else can match. Certainly not those in the NH, although we do try.

I found that this kind of thinking permeates right the way down through all stratas of NZ rugby. Back in 2005, on the Lions tour, the tour party I was with (my wife and I were on the group that were on the ship that became known as the floating rugby club) managed to arrange games against the University Old Boys in Wellington, and Ponsonby in Auckland. There were two matches against each team, one for a '1st' XV and one for veterans. I fell into the latter category and duly put my hand up for a match. Couldn't resist it. The Me'm Sahib said I was mad and if I ended up in hospital (again) it would be all my own fault.

We were just a bunch of blokes who had been on tour for weeks, drinking beer and getting fat. In my case, I hadn't put on a pair of boots for (harrumph... ), let's just say, a long time. But we looked forward to it and with my old cricketing days in mind I could at least console myself that whatever the result, I could always say I had 'played' at the Basin Reserve..!!

We got totally humped in both games. We found out that even at veterans level, they take their rugby seriously in New Zealand and play to win. No quarter given, and none asked. I ached in places where I didn't know I had places the next day. I got no sympathy from the wife. Didn't expect it, really.

Of course, it was never about winning for us. None of us had ever played together and I wasn't the only one who hadn't played for many years. But it was an interesting experience and we had damned good socials afterwards. At least we won the third half.

But all that aside.... thanks for those little insights. It is one thing to be demanding fans.... anybody can be that..... But another thing for the culture and mentality to filter down to the most basic levels and that's where it works for NZ, I think. Everybody at whatever level has the desire to be the best they can be and won't settle for less. You should be proud of that. Certainly, don't ever apologise for it.

If we go back in 2017, and the chance of a game comes up..... I might just pass, that time round.


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Post by Taylorman Mon 11 Nov 2013, 7:11 am

Cool...yes club rugby at its roots is quite special. Every club has 50+ year old guys that played for the same club since the were knee high- some still playing Senior rugby. Ponsonby you mention was Peter Fats- who passed last week- main club and theyre a real proud rugby tradition.

I was Otahuhu and Ponies were one of our fiercest rivals, Ponies usually getting the better but not always. But behind the scenes support is strong, everyones a closet All Black and well into the training nights at the bar are the most ferocious of All Black selection discussions.

And the next day all is forgotten and we do it all over again.


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Post by Taylorman Mon 11 Nov 2013, 7:12 am

From memory 2005 was fairly wet most of that tour wasnt it? Hope that doesnt put people off in '17.

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Post by blackcanelion Mon 11 Nov 2013, 7:37 am

Interesting comments T-man. Just realised that Piatau wasn't even 1 when SA came out of Isolation. He was 2 when Jonah debuted, 3 when SA won in 95 and 4 when Cullen hit the scene. He was 12 when Henry took over the reigns. Where as I can remember the days when winning in South Africa was rare and games against Wales were almost always hard fought close affairs. He's grown up in his teenage years with teams that have dominated most years. The pressure for players like him must be intense. (where as I just feel old)

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Mon 11 Nov 2013, 7:45 am

He seems to be enjoying his opportunities bc. Call it youthful enthusiasm, pride in being part of something special, humility or whatever, he doesn't play like someone with a pressure millstone around his neck.

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Post by Pal Joey Mon 11 Nov 2013, 7:51 am

Perfectly summed up, Taylorman.

As you say - the ABs are always challenging the status quo and are way ahead of the rest of the world in adapting to change on the rugby field. I agree with The Fourth Lion; you should feel rightly proud. There's nothing crude or primitive about that style* - it's more about focus and appreciation of the tasks at hand and what looks like a simple and uncomplicated approach (to an outsider) belies the fact that there is a lot more going on under the surface as well as the requirement of satisfying the massive expectations of the fans.

I believe you guys are also doing this in RL now - a special brand has or is in the process of being created and it is awesome to witness.

Fourth Lion, I learned that lesson at a very young age playing 'rugby' in the cousins' backyard in ChCh. Let's just say they are a very competitive lot and I still have faint scars from my aunt's rosebushes... which perhaps explains why you don't often see an AB winger falling for that sideline trap!

On the weekend match:

I'll stick my neck out and reiterate what some have been saying on these threads.
NZ had a bit of scare yet still prevailed in Paris. Sure, a minor concern with Smithy out but no team can cover as well as the ABs and I feel they will be well aware of what is required to counter this 'deficiency'. Up front - they are a class unit as usual and I see them stepping up another gear when confronted with a stronger challenge.

England, too, are starting to gather some steam (perhaps less naturally and fluently) but in a way it will seem as though the pressure will be on them to repeat last year's outcome at home.

The ABs will no doubt also feel the weight of their nation but I just feel they have had better preparation in the lead up and are itching to continue their NH campaign at an even higher standard now - and if they concentrate on their usual mistake-minimisation game, use the ball sensibly and are able to attack with depth... then they will be very difficult to stop. Of course they may have to defend ferociously as well at times... as they did during the last few minutes against France.

All Blacks by 13+

*
I often see comments on these boards such as "we should copy the AB Style and use it against Team X next weekend. etc".

It does not and can not work like that, unfortunately (for the rest of us).
As Taylor has described above and as The Fourth Lion and myself have discovered first hand - you can try -  but it's bound to fail.
The skills or attitude... the sum total of what it means to be a Kiwi player (or fan for that matter!)... is not like flicking a light switch on. It's all about the behaviour and properties of the electricity itself! Usually 100% predictable but every now and then the switch can send a surge and cause a short circuit - which will be fixed in time for the next 'guests' to arrive. Smile
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Post by hugehandoff Mon 11 Nov 2013, 9:05 am

For me it has to be a big NZ win....15 points I reckon. The bottom line is that England are desperately poor behind the scrum and the line out is an issue. The England forwards will fight hard and Lawes, Launchbury, Wood and Robshaw will do quite well, but there is a complete lack of quality to convert any territory and possession into points. Last year's win was a fluke as the 6Ns games went on the prove. I think it will be a painful afternoon. To make a game of it England must at least start well! Getting Manu back would help for starters.

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Post by beshocked Mon 11 Nov 2013, 9:17 am

Linebreaker I completely disagree. Virtually all the pressure is on the ABs. Like last year everyone expects NZ to win. NZ have a lot of weight on their shoulders - the best side in the world, unbeaten going up against a side they should not have lost to last season.

England in comparison are not expected to win. The difference in centres is a big part of this.

36 and Tomkins do not pose the same threats defensively and offensively as Barritt and Tuilagi.

Realistically NZ should avenge their defeat but they will be aware of what England can do and that might lead to pressure and trying to force proceedings.


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Post by englandglory4ever Mon 11 Nov 2013, 9:18 am

One thing you can bet your house on! NZ will score at least 2 or 3 tries as a minimum. Can England score more points than that? On recent evidence our back line just doesn't seem well oiled enough to do so but our forwards should give NZ a few problems.

We are going out with our second choice centre partnership. They have a mountain to climb. C'mon England.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 11 Nov 2013, 9:28 am

I think England have become a very hard team to play against. They have only really been ripped up in one game for quite a while and there were a lot of things feeding into that. I think they will make it very touch for the AB's too, but there will come a 10 minute spell when the AB's get on top and I dont think we have the firepower right now to hit back. So - a 7 point win to the AB's in a lowish scoring match?

What I really just hope for is some of that intensity that we showed last year which stopped the AB's scoring for a half. And what I really dont want to see is the kind of 'Welsh' non victory where the AB's turn it on for 10 minutes score a hat full then switch off - giving us a false sense of ascendency in everything except the scoreboard for the rest of the match.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 11 Nov 2013, 9:34 am

Yarde comes back into the team which should improve things, if not Strettle or hopefully May. I'm wondering if Lancaster is still tempted to play Wade; he would be targeted but he's a joy to watch with ball in hand and we should maybe consider playing a winger who's dangerous rather than go for more perceived positioning and defence?

I think he'll stick with the centre partnership but if Tomkins wants to keep his place he simply has to show something in this game.

Ben Youngs probably comes back in for his kicking and showing from the bench against Aus.

Pack for me stays the same.

England can win if things go for them but head says NZ by 15.

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Post by Scrumpy Mon 11 Nov 2013, 9:55 am

Unless our centre's step up to the plate then we'll struggle on Saturday, I think our forwards will give them a game and I expect our defence to do as well as you can against NZ (may/will leak 2/3 tries)

I hope B.Youngs is back, wasn't impressed by Care at the weekend.

Ashton was a very lucky boy imo butchered one chance and was very lucky his try didn't go upstairs as I think he was out of play, I'd start with Yarde and Foden but SL will stick with Ashton.

Nice to have options in the front 5, will be happy whoever SL picks.

Backrow I’d start Morgan ahead of Billy V, (BBC text service was reporting that Billy Morgan scored against Arg!!!)
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Post by Pal Joey Mon 11 Nov 2013, 9:56 am

beshocked wrote:Linebreaker I completely disagree. Virtually all the pressure is on the ABs. Like last year everyone expects NZ to win. NZ have a lot of weight on their shoulders - the best side in the world, unbeaten going up against a side they should not have lost to last season.

England in comparison are not expected to win. The difference in centres is a big part of this.

36 and Tomkins do not pose the same threats defensively and offensively as Barritt and Tuilagi.

Realistically NZ should avenge their defeat but they will be aware of what England can do and that might lead to pressure and trying to force proceedings.

I actually think it's completely the other way round, Beshocked.

Last year, you hadn't won against NZ for 9 or so years and everybody expected the status quo to remain. It was a major upset in other words. A one off if you like.

This year, it's completely different. Sure, pressure on both sides. You won't hear the NZ players mention 'revenge' but it will be there in the form of 'utu' (the silent, more painful version) as kia has noted.

I thought England always 'expects' to win... like any other side but the reality is what we know. I don't think NZ will feel threatened by 'what England can do' - rather they'll just do their utmost to make sure that what happened last year doesn't happen again.
They have a different approach to pressure than most teams and I would be very surprised to see them forced into too many errors.
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Post by gregortree Mon 11 Nov 2013, 10:01 am

Scrumpy wrote:Backrow I’d start Morgan ahead of Billy V, (BBC text service was reporting that Billy Morgan scored against Arg!!!)
Well at least they tried to cover/ hedge the possibilities of the name of the no8.

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Post by Bullsbok Mon 11 Nov 2013, 10:05 am

Linebreaker wrote:
beshocked wrote:Linebreaker I completely disagree. Virtually all the pressure is on the ABs. Like last year everyone expects NZ to win. NZ have a lot of weight on their shoulders - the best side in the world, unbeaten going up against a side they should not have lost to last season.

England in comparison are not expected to win. The difference in centres is a big part of this.  

36 and Tomkins do not pose the same threats defensively and offensively as Barritt and Tuilagi.

Realistically NZ should avenge their defeat but they will be aware of what England can do and that might lead to pressure and trying to force proceedings.

I actually think it's completely the other way round, Beshocked.

Last year, you hadn't won against NZ for 9 or so years and everybody expected the status quo to remain. It was a major upset in other words. A one off if you like.

This year, it's completely different. Sure, pressure on both sides. You won't hear the NZ players mention 'revenge' but it will be there in the form of 'utu' (the silent, more painful version) as kia has noted.

I thought England always 'expects' to win... like any other side but the reality is what we know. I don't think NZ will feel threatened by 'what England can do' - rather they'll just do their utmost to make sure that what happened last year doesn't happen again.
They have a different approach to pressure than most teams and I would be very surprised to see them forced into too many errors.
Couldnt agree more , last year the AB came into the test expecting to end their long undefeated season without too much hassle considering the Springboks and Wallabies had already picked up victories at HQ . What they got was an ambush of epic proportions . This year though , well with Sir Clive Woodward and the media not shutting up i fear England will get a battering at the hands of the World No1s . Wales exposed England during their 30- 3 demolition job and im sure the AB will up the ante .
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Post by Pal Joey Mon 11 Nov 2013, 10:18 am

I'll also add, Bullsbok...

Both NZ and SA fans (maybe players too!) would have been quietly chuckling to themselves watching the Oz-England match.
Really, it was a sloppy affair. Both teams played an ugly, error-strewn game. I am never satisfied with any of that... it was an awful spectacle. (It was much worse for me of course - but half expected!)

Contrast that to the slightly sub-par performances for NZ v Japan and France - but which was still a notch or two above anything England and Australia has produced lately (except Oz-Argentina) and SA's performance v Oz/Argentina/NZ this RC and then Wales on Saturday (the play leading up to the tries... minus the frustrating periods of play in the 2nd half) - then it's obvious which teams have the better capabilities and can actually rack up big scores very quickly.

It would have been nice to see SA play England again this year. NZ (and SA) are far superior teams, imo. Australia is a mess - hot/cold, and almost at an all-time low. If we lose one of the next few matches it will be equal to our worst ever years... 1909? and 1930 something?
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Post by Biltong Mon 11 Nov 2013, 10:26 am

I never chuckle when the AB's lose.

The first thing I do is check the calendar to see whether we play them next. Crying or Very sad 
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Post by lostinwales Mon 11 Nov 2013, 10:31 am

Well England Wales was at Cardiff. England performances had been falling off over the previous few games and Wales had been building nicely and they then played in a totally inspired fashion. I hate saying it but the actual margin of victory was also contributed to by a certain official.....

Its not indicative, or rather it doesn't have to be. This is still England at home and warmed up over a couple of games vs NZ at the end of their season. This is still an England team that has had one loss in the last 10 games or so and it is still just 15 guys vs 15.

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Post by Pal Joey Mon 11 Nov 2013, 10:50 am

Yeah, never chuckle, whinge, cry or throw things at other things... right BB?
I didn't chuckle when Wales v2.5 lost to Japan - I felt for the fans.

After the 3rd Lions Test... I felt totally gutted (or shocked, beshocked) but walking down those huge circular ramps there was a cheeky Irish fella doing a jig and patting us (marsupials) on the backs saying "Tanks for dat mate... wasn't dat great?"... with a blydi big smile. "Yeah, yeah... well done lad. See you in 2025!"

I thought - good on ya lad - enjoy the celebrations. Still felt like I'd been personally robbed though. Wink 

True lostinwales - only 15 v 15 at any one time.
Btw, when did you get "Out of Wales"? Do you need to change your moniker or are you still OK with it?
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Post by lostinwales Mon 11 Nov 2013, 11:09 am

Linebreaker wrote:Yeah, never chuckle, whinge, cry or throw things at other things... right BB?
I didn't chuckle when Wales v2.5 lost to Japan - I felt for the fans.

After the 3rd Lions Test... I felt totally gutted (or shocked, beshocked) but walking down those huge circular ramps there was a cheeky Irish fella doing a jig and patting us (marsupials) on the backs saying "Tanks for dat mate... wasn't dat great?"... with a blydi big smile. "Yeah, yeah... well done lad. See you in 2025!"

I thought - good on ya lad - enjoy the celebrations. Still felt like I'd been personally robbed though. Wink 

True lostinwales - only 15 v 15 at any one time.
Btw, when did you get "Out of Wales"? Do you need to change your moniker or are you still OK with it?
Just coming up to a year out of Wales. Time flies. Had wondered about the moniker but nothing obvious has yet come to mind Smile

And I do expect England to loose. I just want them to make it as hard as possible for NZ


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Post by Pal Joey Mon 11 Nov 2013, 11:16 am

How about "BackInEnglandAtLast"? Smile 

Just shoot me a PM if something springs to mind.
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