Sunday, April 01, 2007

Monday Morning Blindside-Six (06/26/2006)

June 26, 2006

1. Ireland finish SH tour winless. Coming off the back of two disappointing defeats of the All Blacks, Ireland regathered themselves, flew to Perth, put up a fight for sixty minutes, then laid down for the last twenty and perfunctorily lost to Australia. The Wallabies won a clinical 37-15 test against an overmatched Ireland.

2. Where the Irish captain proves he can play "Waltzing Matilda" on a gold didgeridoo.

Via Rugby Planet:

Having played and been beaten by both Australia and New Zealand in recent weeks, Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll is backing the Wallabies to reclaim the Bledisloe Cup from the All Blacks in the upcoming Tri-Nations.

The Leinster centre, whose team lost 34-23 and 27-17 to the All Blacks before this weekend's 37-15 reverse against the Wallabies in Perth, believes the Wallabies are ready to restock their depleted trophy cabinet.

"I think you just have to match New Zealand with muscle power, which the Aussies clearly can, and I'm sure they will be out to turn over the All Blacks," said O'Driscoll.

"Those scorelines don't lie. The Aussie backline are probably a little smarter than New Zealand's.

"They tend to read the game extremely well and they work out early where they think they might exploit your frailties."

"I just feel that the Wallabies are clearly a better side."

3. The All Blacks narrow escape in Buenos Aires. Trailing 16-8 in the first half, New Zealand clawed back to grind out an unattractive test victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday evening. Played in rainy conditions with one of the lousiest refereeing performances witnessed in years, the All Blacks outscored the Los Pumas three tries to one, but had to hold out a prolonged Pumas goalline attack to finish the test match and freak out their fans. Final score 25-19. Coach Graham Henry says his team is "nowehere near ready" for the Tri-Nations. I listened to the live commentary by audio on Newstalk ZB's website, it was an absorbing finish.

4. Umaga's successor the chief talking point for Tri Nations. The lucky player to succeed Tana Umaga in the All Blacks No.13 jersey looms as one of the key selection issues to be settled before the New Zealand's Tri-Nations rugby squad is named when the team returns from Argentina tomorrow. Former AB front-rowers Richard Loe and Sean Fitzpatrick provide selection analyses and predictions about that possible 30-man roster.

Earlier: “I have a mission for my town and I offer Umaga to Toulon.”

5. Stuttering Springboks fall to France. Rugby Planet reports: The Springboks and Jake White's unbeaten run at home has come to an end. France sent the Boks packing by recording an impressive 36-26 victory in Saturday's one-off Test at Newlands in Cape Town - a margin that belies the superiority of the visitors. Scoring one try and conceding four -- at home -- is not something White and Bok fans everywhere will be too happy about.

6. Is Jake White's job in jeopardy? The Springbok coach pledged his commitment to South African rugby on Friday and confirmed his loyalty to the Bok team after news broke about a possible contract extension until 2009, coupled with rumours of job offers from abroad that were reported in several South African newspapers last week.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home