Not for that fact that the All Blacks have been dreadful to date, or that the Wallabies put out a performance that would have beaten every other country in this World Cup. That’s just part of it.
It was the comments from Steve Hansen over the weekend that really set that alarm bells ringings. It’s time to take a stock of things.
Hansen has been fantastic over the last four years. From the surly “Flush the dunny” side-kick in the previous regime to that New Age smart guy in the Nation interview a couple of weeks ago, he seems to be startles in the headlights.
We have been trying to put our team under pressure.
What on earth does that actually mean? Playing badly deliberately so you can run in a couple of long-range tries over the last 10 minutes?
We are saving our best moves for the Big Games.
Oh Steve, what are those moves again? The ones where the players actually catch the ball? Don’t over complicate things, and with a backline so dysfunctional don’t introduce flash new moves in play-off games.
Because of this doublespeak it’s time to look at the sacred cows.
Arguably New Zealand’s most important player has played just 60 minutes so far in this World Cup. Apparently he has only a minor strain, but who would know.
Was superb in Super Rugby but, let’s face it, has had surprisingly little impact in the black jersey in 2015.
Fijian witch doctor gags aside, and they are almost as tiresome as the England not getting out of their pool ones. Does anyone seriously think he will make it through the World Cup OK?
Like Ben, he has not been the old Conrad Smith of years gone by. And is understandably shy in contact.
Read and Kaino
Slow and slower.
The Peripheral things
Graham Henry. Is he being paid by international operatives to motivate every other side in this competition? Seriously, just shut up.
Grant Fox. ..is a selector with a hell of a lot on his plate. When the All Blacks were fumbling around Cardiff last weekend he was in … Scotland smothering his golfing son. Poor Ryan; this has got past ridiculous.