Snow. Freezing temperatures, and recovering from the waterlogged Wallaby world; the Bobster arrived in New Zealand late Sunday, but took some time the Monday after, chatting the Wallabies v Springboks Test in Sydney, while also looking forward to another Test weekend.
In this post, we have digressions on the former – Tri-Nations Test One!
JK. Given how many players were left in South Africa isn’t Saturday night an expected result?
Bob: I would imagine so, but not to the extent. The Wallabies played particularly well in their counterattack, and there was probably an extra 12 to 15 points more than we would have expected; but I would have expected a reasonable win by the Wallabies over the Springboks, especially when they are at full strength. If they were at full strength and didn’t beat a 3rd of 4th string side, they would be pretty concerned about the Rugby World Cup; wouldn’t they?
JK: Sure, Sure. I was looking at social media, was on social media, and viewed the real-time response, with also some more reflective response. They varied as they will, but as fans, you can understand when your team loses given that context. What is significant for a fan is that you can see that your side is giving 100% and there is intensity of performance; did you see this from the Boks on Saturday night.
Bob: No, and I don’t think it was a good performance, either, which doesn’t help when you don’t have the topline personnel as well. I think there were quite a few guys who disappointed quite badly, and they know that. They know that as top-flight International players that they want to be, they have been, or the presently are; you can’t turn up 1% off your game, let alone 8-10%, which I felt they did.
JK: Looking at the 15 who ran out on Saturday night for the Boks; when all the players are back, would you expect any of those players to make the top 15?
Bob: Probably not of the guys who ran out. I would say Danie Rossouw might be considered as a Blindside Flank/Number 8, and that Front-Row would have definitely been in contention because of the way they played in SupeRugby, but not after they way they played in the weekend.
JK: And Morne Steyn who has been fundamental to the Springboks in recent seasons; he would be second to Butch James?
Bob: I think Morne Steyn with Fourie Du Preez, when Morne Steyn is playing go-forward rugby, is unstoppable, as they have proved in the last two to four seasons. But, I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who can spark something out of nothing, and I thought Ruan Pienaar put him under alot of undue pressure. I don’t think the gameplan assisted much, either. It’s a sad day when you go out there and you start to accept defeat because of the nature of the season. But, at the same time, I think you have to be circumspect about it. These guys have over-performed in SupeRugby recently, and they have done well as a national side as well. It’s a tough one.
JK: The Aussie side, looking at how they are playing, reminds me a little bit of how the All Blacks were playing in 2003, beating Australia and South Africa scoring 50 points; looking to counter-attack, with a more unstructured style of play. The All Blacks had Carlos Spencer; the Wallabies have Quade Cooper; similar type players. Do you see a similarity in how they are playing, and looking forward; projecting that forward to a World Cup, can they play that way and win a World Cup?
Bob: They can definitely play that way in a World Cup. I don’t know if it will be as easy to win a World Cup as a Tri-Nations game, or even a Tri-Nations in general. They have some pretty precocious talents; that are not being given their due because of the way the Springboks turned up. I think they are a very talented side, but they would have to have good Forwards and Backs to win a World Cup.
JK: As I look forward; the Tri-Nations seems far more significant for Australia to win than either the Boks or Blacks. I think this is underscored in the talk around the players. Thoughts?
Bob: I think they have probably used that as a strategy You know; if the All Blacks don’t take a full strength side into next weekend’s game, and there are a couple of indications; the Wallabies might see it as an opportunity and use that as a confidence builder that creates momentum. The big question about strategy only relies on the result of a World Cup and not a Tri-Nations.
We will cease proceedings at this point, and will pick up the rest, tomorrow.
Your Thoughts on this First Tri-Nations Test?
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What Say You?
Until Next Time