The MCG is a spectacular venue; it is, in fact, the best I've attended in terms of atmosphere. On the weekend however it was not a good place to be as the All Blacks didn't close-out a game they should have and Wallaby supporters are a pretty vocal bunch (particularly when they've won against all odds).
What went wrong? Nothing irredeemable frankly. Yes McAlister missed a tackle or two and so to did McCaw and Jack but our scrum dominated, their lineout was not so flash and, whereas that game is possibly a high-point for the Wallabies, it's most certainly is not for us.
I like the fact that Henry's not panicking and that perhaps it was 'the loss we needed to have'. Either way, the All Blacks should perform well in the next two games. It'd be great to see a settled 15*/22** with maybe only some experimentation around the centre pairing (a game each for Toeava and Smith) and the other lock.
* Carter's not up to his best and that's good. Carter's the best five eighth in the world and needs to peak in the final few games in October, not now.
** Buggered if I know who the best reserves are. Is Mealamu the reserve or is Oliver (depends on the opposition I suspect), is Flavell best off the bench as lock/blindside cover or is Thorne? What about Nonu - better than McAlister at 13, but not 12; better as a back up three-quarter but what about McDonald, Howlett, Sivivatu...
2 days ago