Monday, June 19, 2006

All Blacks beat Ireland, Wallabies flog England

The All Blacks have beaten the Irish two-nil to maintain their record of 19 wins and one draw (10 all in 1973). The Irish played very well albeit in conditions that made it difficult for the All Blacks to play their expansive game (they tried anyway). The Irish now take on the Australians in Perth. This should be a close game.

I thought Casey Laulala played pretty well and although the Haka website is critical of him, I prefer Wayne Smith's comments. Smith said Laulala made all his tackles and three line breaks. It's a pity that the Haka site aren't posting Tracey Nelson's analysis, a detailed breakdown would be useful. I still have my doubts about Flavell. Though his high tackle on O'Driscoll was neither malicious nor particularly serious, it still cost points. I don't remember the last time Rueben Thorn conceded a penalty?

England's second straight loss to the Australians doesn't signal their demise nor any Australian resurgency. Both teams are rebuilding after the last World Cup. New coach Connelly will however be pleased that his selection experiements did not backfire.

No comments: