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Australia & NZ: The Antipodean Rugby Thread (including Bledisloe games)

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 8:40 am

First topic message reminder :

Game's kicking off, may as well make a match thread.

EDIT: May as well make it a rolling thread.


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Post by RDW on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 10:45 am

What a win Wallabies!

Remarkable turnaround after last week.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 10:48 am

NZ only seem to lose when they get a red card.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 10:48 am

Really enjoyable game that (the bits that sky managed to show anyway!) and what a tackle by Koroibete at the end to finish it, immense

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Post by RDW on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 10:50 am

TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:Really enjoyable game that (the bits that sky managed to show anyway!) and what a tackle by Koroibete at the end to finish it, immense

There are many things I'd rather do than have koribete tackle me.

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Post by RDW on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 10:54 am

What a weird game, but thoroughly deserved win from the Wallabies. NZ looked a bit lost out there - Wallabies managed the 2nd half better.

That's what the Wallabies need to do week in week out - real physicality, aggressive all round the pitch and some real X factor in the backs. The Aussie scrum was excellent and Koribete put in a worldy of a performance.

Strange, strange game but incredibly exciting!

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Post by TJ on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 10:55 am

Interesting to note not a single " not rolling away" penalty because both sides always get out of the way quickly. something the NH teams could learn

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 2:56 pm

Are the All Blacks losing their aura a bit? They really have lost (and drew) quite a few games since the 2015 WC. It wasn't so long ago they seemed invincible.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 3:21 pm

So many kiwi’s reacting graciously to this... Rolling Eyes

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 3:28 pm

Not paid too much attention to these games, but how the heck do you go from losing by 50pts one week, to winning the next.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 3:37 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Not paid too much attention to these games, but how the heck do you go from losing by 50pts one week, to winning the next.
I'm guessing there are very small margins between winning and getting hammered with the style of game being played between these two. Aus were the post away from winning in the first game away from home and in the game before that, in 2019 Aus beat NZ comfortably 47-26. NZ simply are not the force they were.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 3:43 pm

Good win. NZ showed some guts in that last 10 as well as some stupidity.

Rennie proving his worth already. Not sure the continuity option in Foster is going to make it to 2023. Not sure the lessons have been learned from 2017 and 2019. They're still trying to 'beat' teams instead of accepting in some games, they just have to win. They don't have the insane players they did from 2011-2015 where that tactic meant they dominated all and sundry.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 4:11 pm

TJ wrote:Interesting to note not a single " not rolling away" penalty because both sides always get out of the way quickly. something the NH teams could learn

Ha. Was watching thinking the ref was being terribly nice at the breakdown and ignoring the new interpretations. Was reffed more in the style of Nigel Owens than what we're used to in the Prem.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 4:13 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Are the All Blacks losing their aura a bit? They really have lost (and drew) quite a few games since the 2015 WC. It wasn't so long ago they seemed invincible.

They're is transition between players who are very much in discussions as all time greats and ok to good players or players with potential. And a shed load of changes today shows they're looking at the depth and next gen.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 4:17 pm

Overall these games I'm quite surprised that Australia haven't tightened their game slightly. Their offloading is patchy at best and seems to be their standard first option especially out wide. Seems to be a very conscious decision despite being the main culprit after the first game in the defeats and not taking as much advantage of breaks as they could possibly have done. Wisemantel improved englands attack do much while he was there and had obvious involvement so he thinks it's a way Australia have to play to compete but I'd be tearing my hair out as a fan.

Should be said neither red card resulted in am hia that I saw. Not sure on the exact rules on that but surprising the ref didnt call for it after giving reds.

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Post by Brendan on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 9:56 pm

How much of last week's game was done to the young players in key positions.

It is hard to say if Oz have improved since the WC or NZ aren't as good as we think. It's so hard to judge as at club level they have only played themselves and only played each other at international.

We might not know how good or bad either team are for a while.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 10:22 pm

Need to see both of them play SA and England.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sun 08 Nov 2020, 10:46 am

Australia weren't miles away last year. It looked like they'd run out of tactical ideas but they still pushed Wales to the wire and ran them off the pitch at times, and had their moments v England albeit couldn't deal with their firepower. They also had to overcome a tough Fijian side, easily the best tier 2 team in the tournament, and now they're undergoing the necessary refreshment of a side that held on to too many old guys for too long.

They're a good team. Like France, they have the potential to get right back up there at dine at the top table in no time at all.

NZ are still the most talented team in the world but there's something weak about their reliance on the 10-15 axis. We saw it fail out in Japan. We saw it struggle v Ireland and England in 2018. They're almost too good - they can respond to a draw by doing what they did last week, battering Australia, and that masks the fact they need to be able to adapt mid-game and win by accepting that some teams will dominate them and they won't be able to win solely through counterattacking.

Red cards are also killing them. Most of their big defeats over the last 3 years are due to a red card. But that discipline issue is all part of not boxing clever.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 08 Nov 2020, 11:21 am

Forums just not the same without the trio of Kiwis

Wonder how they are rationalising the news that the All Blacks brand has been put up for sale.

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Post by RDW on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 2:56 am

NZ definitely have lost their aura. They also look to have lost their way a bit - i know Kiwi fans having been saying it was only a B team but there were plenty A team players in there, and those that aren't regular starter scould easily end up being. And it's not like they can claim that was a seasoned Wallabies team - there were plenty kids in there.

NZ of old would never have lost that game.

Sydney aside I think the Wallabies will be pretty pleased with the series. Let's face it, everyone thought they'd be humped each game so 1 win, 1 draw and 2 defeats (including a humping) is better than expected. A win over NZ should never be sniffed at - it's never happened for Scotland, Wales haven't since 1953 (thanks Wikipedia) and Ireland only managed it during their golden generation.

Would definitely be interesting if there was an Autumn series right now!

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 10:38 am

Read was a step down from McCaw. Cane is a step down from Read.

The issue can be seen with the lack of leaders in the team. Carter, Mealamu, Ben Smith, Nonu, Conrad Smith...there were so many. Whitelock isn't what he was. Retallick is injured a lot. The Barretts aren't in the same category as leaders as those of yesteryear. Aaron Smith's been caught with his pants down...! And the ABs seem to take pride in leadership in cynical play and getting red cards these days. Scott Barrett is an outright dirty player, plenty of cheating from him over the years, and I can't believe nothing came of the NZ performance v SA out in Japan last year, it was littered with off the ball cheating and cheap shots.

Back to the NZ of the 70 and 80s it looks like. Compensating for not being able to completely dominate by becoming dirty burgers again.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 11:32 am

I think NZ and Oz are summed up in two players.

Doggie Howlett is dropped by NZ after the WC as their highest ever try score and told he can play S15 if he has to but really he is past it and blocking another potential AB.  He moves to Munster and becomes a star with many good years left.  When you say it to NZers they tell you he was past it.

Nonu leaves NZ by choice and comes to Toulon and gets dropped.  Shows back up in NZ and plays for one of the SR teams and is hailed as a massive player and is discussed as a possible player for the WC.

You could include SBW who told NZRU when he wanted to play for them and when he wanted to play overseas or be a boxer.

The problem with the continuity is Hasen owed and knew older players v the young guy.  Foster as the same issue.  Young players only get called up as injury or if the player has been very very poor.  More and more NZ players are retiring from international rugby rather than not getting picked as it would have been back in the day.  Players over their 30 knew the end was nigh, you could see Whitlock at the next WC, but he should have people trying to rip the jersey off him but he looks better than everyone else.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 11:37 am

One overlooked thing is the massive dominance NZ had at underage that is now completely gone.

While teams like Italy haven't improved yet at mens (though their team is now really young) the squads of Benetton and Zebre are much stronger with them picking up wins while the international window is on (before they were terrible). This is down to their improvements at underage

France and Oz are bringing through their good underage players.  NZ are now just another team at the u20s and I don't know how that won't affect the mens side


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Post by Brendan on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 12:03 pm

Under 20s

NZ won 4/5 from 2008 to 2012. Finished 2nd the year they lost.  2013-2019 they got 2 wins, 1 3rd, and 2 4ths, 1 5th, 1 7th.  Is it a surprise that they have fallen back in the pack.

France got the last two wins

England from 2013-2019 got 3 wins, 3 2nds and a 5th.

SA got their only win in 2012 but have finished top 3 since then except for 2016 when they fell to fourth.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 12:54 pm

There's some luck in integrating U20s to the senior side too ie a good team may not have outstanding individuals and vice versa and some v good players at junior level may have a great ahead of them which slows progress. Ultimately though if you lose those top end players it simply takes time for others to step into that hole. Their pack is now where near as intimidating as it was. Locks don't look great, a lot of youngster at flanker look very promising but not there yet, ditto some of the props. 18 months time they may well be looking imperious again but I think there'll be blips in their results.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 5:46 pm

Brendan wrote:Under 20s

NZ won 4/5 from 2008 to 2012. Finished 2nd the year they lost.  2013-2019 they got 2 wins, 1 3rd, and 2 4ths, 1 5th, 1 7th.  Is it a surprise that they have fallen back in the pack.

France got the last two wins

England from 2013-2019 got 3 wins, 3 2nds and a 5th.

SA got their only win in 2012 but have finished top 3 since then except for 2016 when they fell to fourth.

Good stats, good observation.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 8:55 am

Agree with the posts regarding NZ lacking leaders and you could see this coming a mile off, but how do you correct such a thing?

For me, I really think NZ lack world class players, especially in the pack. There was comment a few years ago that you needed 8 or so world class players (right at the top in your position) to be the best side in the world. I look at that NZ pack and who exactly is in this category?

It really highlighted the issue when Cane was selected as captain. I don't think he would get in many other tier one sides, never mind be captain. We all know NZ will come back strong at some point, but their dominance of past years looks a long way off.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 9:31 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:For me, I really think NZ lack world class players, especially in the pack. There was comment a few years ago that you needed 8 or so world class players (right at the top in your position) to be the best side in the world. I look at that NZ pack and who exactly is in this category?

Headscratch

I'd say most of them are world class, the front 5 especially but the starting locks might not be around at the next world cup. You're right about Cane though, good player but not all that.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 9:56 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:For me, I really think NZ lack world class players, especially in the pack. There was comment a few years ago that you needed 8 or so world class players (right at the top in your position) to be the best side in the world. I look at that NZ pack and who exactly is in this category?  

Headscratch

I'd say most of them are world class, the front 5 especially but the starting locks might not be around at the next world cup. You're right about Cane though, good player but not all that.

Best in their position....really? Only player I would have anywhere near this in the pack is Retalick...and he's rarely available these days.

You could make a case for Coles and perhaps Savea, although I don't see either of those as world class personally.

Where as you look at previous sides and you could maybe get 5 or 6 world class players from the pack alone.

I'm defining world class as the standout in position, not the throwaway term it's generally used today.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 10:20 am

Best in position is too subjective, formed mostly due to personal opinion and media hype.

The AB team has plenty of match winners still. Most years the All Blacks will lose a test and sometimes two.

Until they start losing two or more in successive years I still place them at the top of the pile. (yes, yes I know they haven’t played anyone else)

What I do think is teams are learning that pressure makes them as prone to mistakes and poor decision making with the odd panic moments.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 10:27 am

I think NZ got bored with dominating everyone circa 2012-2015. Grand slam tours, Rugby Champs, unbeaten years, and then a relatively comfortable World Cup win in England. They were so used to winning they experimented and it hasn't really paid off.

The younger players coming through knew nothing but dominance. The coaches wanted to win but 'win better', win prettier, win more dominantly. And that's where we saw NZ move to a much more overt counterattacking system with the two playmakers, losing Ben Smith for Barrett and then DMac. They phased out Nonu and SBW as a crash merchant at 12 and didn't bring in Laumape, opting for better ball players instead.

Which is all well and good because that's also what was dominating in Super Rugby. But the young boys who had by this point become the key players - Aaron Smith, Perenara, you name it - hadn't had what McCaw and Carter had. They hadn't been hardened by losing at RWCs or having to be at the forefront of a squad rebuild themselves. And it shows now, when the task is to rebuild the team again after two big failures in 2017 and 2019.

There's an arrogance to NZ that is admirable when they're winning so well, but ugly and self defeating when they lose. And they've lost a fair few test matches since 2017. Which would be acceptable if they were winning when it mattered. But they're not. They won 1 out of 3 Lions tests. They were hammered by England in Japan. Rugby is clearly showing that the days of backing up win after win are incredibly unlikely given the demands on the body, tactics, emotions etc. Grand Slam wins in 6Ns may well become less frequent, NZ going on winning streaks may be a thing of the past, but it's odd to see the ABs lose so...meekly at times. At least in terms of tactics. There's so little variety to their game. And they're back to refusing to kick drop goals to win matches as well.

All of this is setting them up for failure and bringing in Gatland, a cynical, nuts and bolts winner, if he can get the Chiefs purring. At the moment they look like they're in danger of becoming a glorified Pacific Islander side that wants to joue joue and smash people but cba to win ugly.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 4:12 pm

The NZ dominance was built on a few things that are not the case today.

The Tri Nations was compeditive and was harder competition to win than the WC because you had to beat the best teams.  Since the Rugby Championship 2012 they have won 36 out of 42, drawing two and losing 4.  Most of those 6 games came in either WC years or since SA started picking European based players.

Super Rugby was the best non-international tournament and closest to international standards.  Players came North at the tail end of careers and looked like stars.  Now only NZ teams are great with the odd one or two other teams. Stars come North and look ordinary.  Best players in SA mainly play in Europe and showed instant improvement once they were brought in.  Argentina were better pre-Jags and have actually got worse when players were in SR. Unsurprisingly their pack/scrum has gone from strenght to weakness. The Champions Cup now is the best non-international tournament and many of the PI players who filled SR teams are moving more and more North. If Fiji's were playing in Oz their teams would be much much better

U20s was where players learned young that NZ were invincible only losing to SA in 5 years at it was in SA.  Since then they have struggled and teams like Wales and Ireland have beaten then thus making them not as scary.  When the players coming through are only as good as other Nations then it is hard to stay ahead.

Culture/leadership.  Most of the top players invested back into NZ and alot of ideas stayed in NZ.  Lately the old players leave rugby and are off earning cash in the North than teaching the next AB.  Coaching is even worse where in theory the best coach is over the AB, the next best lot are all overseas sharing and developing ideas while only the homesick and new coaches manage Super Rugby.  Look at Pat Lam as a example who didn't go well in SR but has grown, improved and brought on Irish and English Rugby instead of NZ/SH rugby.  He is only going back South to retire or to do a big international job.

In NZ and Oz you have 6 top roles each and that is it.  When they come to Europe they have 40 top jobs and losing one doesn't blacklist you from the rest.  If your style doesnt work with Saints it might work with Glaws or Munster or Castre. There are plenty of 2nds jobs and so there are always opportunities. There doesn't seem to be as much promotion from within as in SR teams esp NZ.

The thing often overlooked is also the Pro14.  It has brought on the weak 6N teams making them better on the field, richer where they can take SH players at will and made the 6Ns a real 4 way competition each year (Italy and another not competitive). With the Pro14 you have seen Ireland and Wales top the WR rankings and them become the equal of Oz and SA where you didn't know who would win.

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Post by Pal Joey on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 7:57 am

Wowww!

Anyone watching the All Blacks v Pumas Rugby Championship match?

Don't want to jinx but Argentina is leading 22-10 with 4 minutes to go.

Never seen such a lacklustre display from a Kiwi side. Only 3 points in the first half and a try after 52 minutes. Plenty of turnovers from dropped ball, poor final passes and the Pumas have made them pay for their errors.

The Pumas on the other hand came out firing... full of power, passion and confidence. They lead 16-3 at half time.

Only 20 seconds to go... now 25-10. The shirts are off in the stands... bouncing galore!

Our Kiwi friends look completely shell-shocked. A consolation try from Clarke after the final siren.

Argentina 25- New Zealand 15, conversion unsuccessful.

That's it - Argentina has won. Their first victory over the All Blacks in 30 matches; or 34 if you count the 4 unofficial ones in the 1970s.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:02 am

Arrgghhhh. Forgot it was on and just turned on the tv! Where are our kiwi friends!

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:05 am

Well deserved for Argentina, they were the better side and just wanted it more. 13 months since their last game, everything was in NZ's favour.

The NZ decline reaches a new low......

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:11 am

Great game to watch. Didn't believe Argentina could hold on until very late in the day.

Probably means nothing but three of New Zealand's recent losses have come on neutral territory (Ireland in USA, England in Japan and now Argentina in Australia)

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:14 am

Five years ago, New Zealand and England both had unbeaten Test runs of eighteen matches. Hard to imagine any team doing that over the next few seasons.




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Post by Brendan on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:16 am

Well done Argetina. The Super Rugby Artoea seems more and more like 5 evenly matched teams rather than the great preparation it was meant to be (unless it's foster).

We saw how rusty the NH teams were it makes Argentina's win all the better as this is Nz's 5th game.

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Post by ebop on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:34 am

Congratulations Argentina clap

Historic win and thoroughly deserved
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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:47 am

Brendan wrote:Well done Argetina. The Super Rugby Artoea seems more and more like 5 evenly matched teams rather than the great preparation it was meant to be (unless it's foster).

We saw how rusty the NH teams were it makes Argentina's win all the better as this is Nz's 5th game.
Foster is under scrutiny. It's always been a strength in NZ to play their own game , and not worry about the opposition. Foster is catching some flack for not realizing the game plan teams are bringing against the All Blacks, and adapting.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:47 am

What on earth happened?


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Post by RDW on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:49 am

Woah what a win! Don't think anyone expected that.

WTF is going on with the ABs?

I've been religiously following rugby for 23 years now and this is the most vulnerable I've ever seen the ABs.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:53 am

Vamos Argentina!!!

Thought they would do it last year after the Jaguares run so not surprised, it was coming. Pressure on Cane and Foster who lets face it arent quite as convincing as their predecessors so far anyway.

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Post by Brendan on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 8:57 am

I know it's a one off game and things happen but it would seem like Wales, NZ has regressed rather than Oz and Argentina progress.

Agentina and Austrilia did ok at the WC (much like Ireland) and would have been disappointed with their results there. NZ actually did really well at the WC except for the one game v England.

The good news for the NH is Argentina's players are coming to a club near you. They did the least wring but have suffered the most from the Super Rugby mess.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 9:23 am

Collapse2005 wrote:Vamos Argentina!!!

Thought they would do it last year after the Jaguares run so not surprised, it was coming. Pressure on Cane and Foster who lets face it arent quite as convincing as their predecessors so far anyway.

Yeah there was a lot of hype in 2019 going into the world cup but I guess they looked off the pace in a tough group. Looking at their results they haven't beaten anyone good for quite a while but pushed France, SA , Aus and New Zealand to one score in 2019. So maybe not such a shock, I guess Id just kind of written them off.

Element of NZ having their foot off the gas a bit and not having done (or being able to do) the level of detailed preparation they might've done for the specific opponent? Argentina had the benefit of being able to study New Zealand and fresh players, but that's countered by many being very short of game sharpness.

Even so going from a record win to two back to back losses for New Zealand is a hell of thing for any team, let alone the All Blacks. Maybe a bit too soon to be calling this a genuine nadir, but pretty clear they aren't the dominant force they have been for most of the 2000s and this is more than a one season blip.

Has to be a good thing for rugby to see a shaking up of the top order and some uncertainty around who's going to win any given test. Its a big pity we wont see proper tests between the NH and SH this summer and have to wait a full year for the next AIs.

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Post by ebop on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 9:43 am

Argentina’s discipline was impressive today. They niggled but didn’t overstep the mark. Didn’t realise before the game but Michael Cheika is an assistant coach and no-doubt brought a lot to table.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 9:54 am

I bet Mattias Orlando is gutted hes signed for us. Could have had his pick of clubs...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 10:42 am

ebop wrote:Argentina’s discipline was impressive today. They niggled but didn’t overstep the mark. Didn’t realise before the game but Michael Cheika is an assistant coach and no-doubt brought a lot to table.

Yeah it was a surprise to see him in the box.

Fantastic win by Argentina.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 10:53 am

Yeah I think it's fair to say that the aura from 5 years ago has well and truly gone.

To get beaten by that Argentinian team, considering where it's been pre-lockdown, is a shocker.

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Post by ebop on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 11:04 am

‘Aura’

The ABs have lost their ‘aura’

Does any other team have this thing called ‘aura’

Serious queston
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Post by Collapse2005 on Sat 14 Nov 2020, 11:07 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:Yeah I think it's fair to say that the aura from 5 years ago has well and truly gone.

To get beaten by that Argentinian team, considering where it's been pre-lockdown, is a shocker.

I dunno I think its been coming for a while, this is a good Argentina side and they have had some close encounters with NZ in recent years. Id say they would beat any team if they played them as much as they play NZ now.

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