Saturday, November 20, 2010

Train Kept A Rollin'

The Irish Times reports from Dublin:

New Zealand remain a class apart with a hard-nosed focus that is occasionally camouflaged by the sheer exuberance of the way they play the game.

They scored some cracking tries and didn’t give anything up cheaply. [...]

Ireland were taught a rather painful lesson in the opening 40 minutes, ruthlessly punished for every error, whether unforced or induced by suffocating pressure. [...]

The self belief that permeates this New Zealand side is tangible because at times they were stretched to breaking point but even when they did concede points, they marched straight back up the pitch and redressed the situation on the scoreboard. The facility they possess to recycle ad nauseam and the patience they display in probing for weaknesses, using the full expanse of the pitch illustrates a team that’s very comfortable in their patterns.

They trust one another and the patterns of play. [...]

In a 10-minute spell either side of half-time New Zealand scored three tries, a homily to using the full expanse of the pitch, offloading and being physically dominant in the collisions and running sumptuous trail lines.

Demonstrating New Zealand’s total rugby patterns and the facility of backs and forwards to interchange positions, the three tries were scored by forwards: Anthony Boric, replacement Sam Whitelock and Kieran Read. Carter’s three conversions were a thing of beauty. [...]

The All Blacks deserve credit for the manner in which they defended; the thundered into tackles. [...]

The visitors had a final sting for their hosts, Read’s second try 33 seconds from full-time demonstrating the ruthlessness, precision, handling and lines of running that make them so easy on the eye and such a brilliant team.

>The rest.


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