Editors Note


Volume 5, Week 39

Editors Note

Brilliant!      This edition of RF is coming from the confines of an international airport (aren’t they all?) and a boarding time only one hour away. So, readers please excuse the brevity of it all but unfortunately this was one of those weeks.

Firstly, congratulations to the Kiwis for winning the right to host the 2011 RWC. Plenty has been written on how they manage to pull a rabbit out of a hat but few people actually knew that David Copperfield was one of the consultants on this project. Yes really! The decision of the IRB has been widely criticised and there has been suggestions (shock horror) that there were a lot of ‘play for vote’ promises. What, do people think is the whole bid creation process? Why do these committees have budgets and why do they fly all over the world smooching and silver tongue-ing their way around board rooms and fancy hotels? The Kiwis were as good at this as they are on the rugby pitch at the moment…

England put up a spirited display against the All Blacks, who paid the world champions the ‘compliment’ of the new Haka, yes the throat slitting version so many people are now bleating about. It certainly installed the fear of God in the English pack as they managed to score a very early try through some excellent driving. The Kiwi’s were strangely disjointed in the opening salvo’s, regulation passes were put to deck and to the England supporter in the crane, it looked to be their day.

Alas not, the difference between the teams was one of world rugby’s stars, Daniel Carter. The young man is a great player and even though he showed a bit of red-blood in missing a simple penalty, the rest was a pure blue-blooded exhibition of skills. The pass to Umaga, was probably forward but hey, bygones, look at the scoreboard. What impressed were the way the All Black scrum performed and their defence in the latter stages when reduced to 14 men.

It was not a great All Black performance in the clinical attacking manner we have become accustomed to this year but it was a brilliant effort without star player MaCaw, and with the many errors and poor outings from some of the more senior players. They actually looked nervous, but this is a class team who can win without being at their best. England. Well tried guys but the game is not just about a forward pack and a flyhalf, you need more.

The Springboks, disappointed yet again, yet they won. Do we as followers and supporters be grateful of the fact that even when we are playing badly we are winning? Or do we start demanding that the ‘physical’ and ‘dominating’ pack actually pull their finger and perform to their ‘star’ billing? Methinks the latter. The Springboks at this stage will lose the match against the French and this is not ‘blaphemy’ or a bad supporter but rather an analysis of the state of their play. It is poor and in need of 40% lift. France will take us apart if they think they can half perform and expect to win.

Of the Springboks, John Smit and Juan Smith need full praise. They were huge in this victory.. pitty they had to carry a few others on their backs and fend off the Welshman. Skande! Meyer Bosman was good. In his first test and considering the circumstances, he was brilliant. There is a lot to work on but somehow, Jake White manage yet again to pull another ‘golden’ rabbit from the hat (no, he was not on the Kiwi’s bid committee…) France is an acid test but that one moment of fumble, recover, jink and cool as you like touch kick, impressed this observer. Bosman, could be there to stay.

This weekend, All Blacks to become the Invincibles/Inconquerables etc. whatever name the media will give them by beating Scotland, Aus to win again and SA to lose a close one. Yip, lose a close one – sorry but little in their play suggest a victory and maybe a defeat is good to take the next step up. Enjoy!



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New Zealand fans will be over the moon. There are four million people in New Zealand and every one of them feels they have a share of the All Blacks. They love their rugby union and will do everything to make sure the event is one to remember.        Sean Fitzpatrick

You have to play well enough but I will be playing Super 14 next year and if the selectors see fit, Test football as well. I still feel I am contributing and still enjoying it. It's a new season jn 2006 and a new start, so I'll start afresh.     George Gregan

It'd have to rate right up there for us. There's been a lot of talk about the scrum and we're very happy with how it went, Carl scrummed amazingly for the size of the man he was against. He was technically sound and I take my hat off to him.       Kevin Mealamu

The whole team played really well. The key for us was to get in the faces of New Zealand and the defensive
effort was absolutely immense. We are disappointed but I think the courage and passion the team showed throughout was massive. We did match New Zealand throughout the whole match.       Andy Robinson

To me it's like the underarm incident - it'll go away, but it's so unnecessary ... It's not helped the sentiment between the two countries. The New Zealand Rugby Union believed if they didn't win this time they
might never win it. Not being able to count on your partner (Australia), I think, is very disappointing.      Rod McGeoch, an Australian on the NZ RWC bid committee on Aus voting for Japan

Quotas are no longer part of our requirements, however, it is expected of each Province to take serious cognisance of the issue of representativity of players on the field of play, to support our
broader transformation objectives. These objectives are in line with the ethos in the country that supports inclusivity. This will be closely monitored while we are awaiting the finalisation of the Transformation Charter, which will have clearer guidelines and scorecards.       SARU

If the haka and its correctness arouses so much sensitivity and acrimony, perhaps it is time, sadly, to disregard it altogether.       Gerald Davies

I must congratulate Jake and the Boks for how they've turned South African rugby around. I know I was critical of Jake's appointment at the time, but I must admit I was wrong about him. He's done extremely well, is always calm and sticks to his decisions. He doesn't allow the pressures of the job to sidetrack him and he deserves everything that comes his way.      Corne Krige

Trust me, being captain of the Boks is not any easy job. John's a great captain and the right man for the job. He's a superb leader and a very good player. You won't believe how many things a Bok captain has to think about, on and off the field. He's handling it superbly.        Corne Krige

The failure was not the front row, the failure was coaching. And there's no such thing as a front row in rugby, there's a pack, and the pack were very loose and they exerted no pressure and there was no timing and it was very hard for the props and the hooker.        Alan Jones

We're at the crossroads, and shortly, if not now, the issue is the board of Australian Rugby. Are they going to preside over this, are they going to continue with it and pretend there's not a problem? There's a major problem here. Eddie Jones has had his go, he's done his best, and his best now is not good enough.        Alan Jones

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