The Wallabies are really, really good, dangerous, young and hungry, in form, you name it, especially with Pocock and Hooper on the field together.
It’s hard not to like Michael Cheika isn’t it? So Australian I bet they broke out the Lamingtons and Fosters and video-called Norma Plummer in the dressing room afterwards.
In saying that it was hard to not feel sorry for Stu Lancaster – seems like a really nice bloke who simply didn’t have the Cattle to deal with the massive pressure of playing host. His Skipper Robshaw wouldn’t be in the top 5 number sevens in the world and this ultimately cost them as first Sam Warburton and then the Pocock/Hooper combo made him look pedestrian.
If Waisake Naholo can’t play this week vs Tonga he surely can’t take any further part in the knockout stages and they should immediately bring in Charlie Piatau (who like Lima Sopoaga probably should have gone anyway).
All the talk of Vito ending up on the wing versus Georgia ignored the fact he filled in there (quite competently too) for 30 minutes vs Canada at Wellington in the 2011 RWC.
Oh, and while were on Georgia – weren’t they fantastic? Most of the team looked (and played) like extras from a Guy Ritchie Movie with surnames that ended in “shvilli”.
NZ really needs to get Beauden Barrett on the pitch and into some kind of proper form. The days of the “Super-Sub” really seem a long time ago now don’t they?
A quarter final versus Ireland (who have a clever coach and an excellent #10 in Sexton but little else) won’t hold too many fears for New Zealand – France (and their rolling maul) however is a different kettle of Frogs Legs…this weekend’s clash is kinda big.
The Samoan team is what you get when you cross a bunch of highly trained professionals with an Administration that thinks it’s back in 1954 and lets the Prime Minister pick half the team. As predicted by many the Tokenism of sending the All Blacks over did very little and may have in fact harmed things.
The Refereeing has been really good this time around with very few howlers (unlike Nigel Owens in the 2011 Springbok vs Samoa game or of course Craig “Black Seven hands off” Joubert in the Final). Not many NZ refs (or commentators for that matter) getting the “big” games either.
Oh and finally – don’t panic! (Unless Maa Nonu gets injured this weekend of course).