Try the All Blacks lineout challenge - click on the image to view full size
The All Blacks were pitiful. And I gleaned that just from the edited highlights on the news.
Now everyone is calling for Graham Henry’s head to roll. Sorry to disappoint you but he’s just been signed up til after the next World Cup.
So, while reading the NZ Herald article on the beating that the All Blacks are suffering at the hands of the foreign press I couldn’t help but be drawn to this lovely online ad for Mastercard.
Mastercard ad gone - click on image for larger view
Featuring Richie McCaw the advertisement from Mastercard encourages us to “Try the All Blacks line-out challenge”. Slightly ironic perhaps, given that the All Blacks couldn’t win any lineouts.
I checked the same story tonight and the advertisement is gone – replaced with white space. Oh dear.
Update: seems I was premature and that Mastercard are standing behind the men in black – the add miraculously appeared. It’s still funny.
I’m half way through reading Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner‘s book Freakonomics. The book is tagged with the line “A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything”.
Levitt poses the weirdest questions, which he already knows the answers to, such as:
- What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
- How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real estate agents?
- Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?
I can’t help thinking he would be able to provide a great answer to this question:
What do National (and the Mt Albert bi-election) and the All Blacks have in common?
Here are my attempts:
A: The points differential between the All Blacks and France nearly represented the percentage of the vote that Melissa Lee won as a National candidate for Mt Albert.
The 5 points difference divided by the 27 points scored by the French equals 18.5% which is close to the 17% that Melissa Lee scored in Mt Albert. Whether this is relevant is a moot point but I feel clever having made the calculation.
A: Quoting from Stuff “…The All Blacks’ inexperience was also badly exposed. As ever they were rusty in their opening hit-out of the campaign, but they made numerous errors and never showed the composure needed to withstand the sort of assault the French dished up.” Swap every instance of All Blacks with Melissa Lee, and every instance of ‘French’ with Labour and the Mt Albert story is identical.
Perhaps the only difference between the National Party experience of the bi-election and the All Blacks experience at Carisbrook will be that tomorrow morning Graham Henry will front up and defend his team (without making excuses) whereas John Key will try to ignore and bury the fact that he hand picked Melissa Lee and that he left her high and dry with no support.
Graham Henry revved his team up at half-time. That was never the case for Melissa from John Key. He coached in absentia. You will never win a game like that.
What a great game. Fast and furious. Exciting to watch, and a cliff hanger until nearly the end.
The Australians played with real passion. And there was no doubt that Robbie Deans created that passion. Team members spoken to during the week spoke of how Robbie makes the game fun. Hmmm… I’d be surprised if an All Black came out and said the same of Graham Henry.
While the win for Australia wasn’t a shock to me it was very surprising to hear Assistant Coach Steve Hansen speak after the game and express surprise that the Australians had kicked like a team from Canterbury. You’d surely have to be an idiot to think that Robbie Deans wasn’t going to coach the Aussies in the winning way he coached the Crusaders – wouldn’t you?
This is the second biggest margin that Australia has had over New Zealand in test history. The game in Auckland next week is bound to be a ripper.
Graham Henry doesn’t seem to have learned anything from his World Cup defeat.
The All Black coaches acknowledge that Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith were an exceptional combination in the first English test, and so what do they do?
They leave Smith out of the side entirely for the second test.
Isn’t the reserves bench where new players gain experience in the test jersey? Starting Richard Kahui and Rudi Wulf seems preposterous. And Conrad Smith can feel rightly pissed off that he is relegated, not to the bench, but to the grandstand.
That’s a great way to instill loyalty in the fans, and in the players.
[UPDATE:] Former All Blacks coach John Hart also thinks that splitting Nonu and Smith is a wrong decision. See the story here.