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The 1995 All Blacks

LINGERING PAIN: The 1995 All Blacks look on after losing the World Cup final at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

The awful truth about the Wallabies’ hammering last weekend is that by 2015 the All Blacks could roll out an entirely different back line and dish it out all over again.

Wallowing in pessimism? Perhaps, but look at the stockpile of talent that wasn’t even in the 23 in Auckland that, in theory, they could select next year.

Sydney Morning Herald

Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Dan Carter at No 9 and No 10, a midfield combination of Sonny Bill Williams and Ma’a Nonu, and a back three of Hosea Gear, Charles Piutau and Israel Dagg.

There is no one else who even gets close to enjoying that sort of depth. Unless the All Blacks sign a contract with Suzie Catering Co for nutritional services during next year’s World Cup, and are officiated by unapologetic referees, only carelessness or hubris can stop them from retaining the title.

Building a shadow forward pack that did not play at Eden Park becomes a little harder, but still the names keep coming: Jerome Kaino, Luke Romano, Patrick Tuipulotu. And if the All Blacks can get the same rate of improvement out of a young hooker as they have done from Dane Coles over the past year, even that position becomes a little less worrying for them.

Lesser-known names are hovering around the fringes. Blues wingers Tevita Li and Lolagi Visinia have hinted in their limited Super Rugby appearances that they have the tools to make speedy ascents.

Rangy back-rower Liam Squire has already been brought into training so the coaches can take a closer look at his athleticism. In the coaching box, Wayne Smith is apparently considering a return.

In terms of leadership they are well set, even if Richie McCaw proves breakable, unlikely as that is. Kieran Read is serving a long apprenticeship, but there were signs last week that McCaw’s knowledge was being passed on. Read cleverly took the pace out of the game when McCaw was in the sin bin.

But if there was a small mercy from last weekend, it is the end to the borderline delusional commentary that preceded this year’s Bledisloe series.

Optimism for the Wallabies is one thing, but some of it was heading towards fantasy. While there was progress during their end of season tour, the only way to look at the French series was with deep scepticism due to the paucity of opposition.

And even during the Super Rugby it was clear that, if anything, the New Zealanders were stronger across the board than last year. There were improvements to be made in this Wallabies side, no doubt.

In particular, at No 9, hooker and on the wing when Will Genia and Tatafu Polota-Nau returned from injury – and Henry Speight became eligible. But they look more incremental in nature than the huge leap needed.

It has been evident for a while now that regardless of the identity of the Wallabies coach, they are currently swimming against a black tide when it comes to the All Blacks.

Not that the theory is gaining much sympathy among the Wallabies’ faithful.

When Ewen McKenzie took the job he promised a difference, but the familiar Bledisloe impotence has followed. And this week, for the first time in a while, some impassioned correspondence from disgruntled fans began popping up in my inbox.

Not the vindicative personal attacks that can populate cyberspace, but the orderly yet frustrated laments of supporters who, in particular, wonder where the intellect is.

The mood has darkened. Suddenly, the Springboks in Perth has become a very big game indeed. It is no longer enough for this coaching team simply to be anyone but Robbie Deans.

29 Responses to The Rugby Championship: Opinion – Paul Cully – Only Suzie catering co. can stop the All Blacks

  • 1

    Or Peyper 😆

  • 2

    Wayne Smith will be back next year :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • 3

    Look at Mehrten,…
    He must be thinking”, “pheeeew, only 15 cm to the left and it would have been game over!
    That last drop attempt flew right past me, sitting behind the posts with my heart in my throat…

  • 4

    The more windgat their “fans” get the more likely they are to choke.

    They are massive favorites to take the cup.


  • 5

    we all know the so called mighty all blecks can only win world cups at home, they wil choke again like all away world cups

  • 6

    @ gunther

    Funny guy if your boys performed you’d be windgat as well, you don’t have that option 😛

  • 7


    Nobody here is as windgat as you Noodleboy.

    Time for one of your famous disappearing acts.


  • 8

    @ gunther:

    Nah KEO around mid 09′ was full of windgats yourself included, none left now though 😉

  • 9


    You are here every day wallowing in you windgatness.

    Maybe it’s a substitute for some poor life choices.


    Maybe time for another “Everest expedition”.


  • 10

    @ gunther:
    You two seem know each other from somewhere then….from where, China?
    Nice…small world indeed!

  • 11

    @ Pietman:

    Noodleboy and I are old pals.


  • 12

    @ gunther:

    No Everest this year only Tuscany for a couple of weeks, another bad life choice 😛

    @ Pietman:

    Funny guy was the resident comedian on KEO, I look forward to meeting him when I’m next in your fine country.

  • 13


    When you sell enough milk to stump up the airfare I’ll by you a beer.


  • 14

    @ gunther:

    Very generous of you.

  • 15


    Or two.

    Call it noblesse oblige


  • 16

    Jeeez, all that Articles like this, which over-revere the All Blacks or try to make them Demi-gods, achieve is to create and / or strenghten arrogant assholes like the Chinaman!

    They will come to a fall, history runs in cycles… and their cycle develops some punctures at times too, just like any other.

    .. choke, choke… comes to mind!

  • 17

    @ grootblousmile:

    It’s a mightily long cycle though Groot, we’ll see soon enough if your ” weak tight 5″ call was on the money when the Argies arrive next week.
    By the look of your pack the Argies will be a sterner test this year.

  • 18

    @ grootblousmile:
    I just wonder if the 2011 Boks should also be blamed of ‘choking’?

  • 19


    Up front not overall.

  • 20

    All Blacks had great game against Aus, everything went right for them especially Aus’s performance. Let’s be honest, Australia fielded a pretty sh… team. Beale isn’t a flyhalf, if he has to play there its to run the ball. Well matched with kicking scrumhalf who had poor day at office. No-one has ever rated the Aus tight five, most praise they have ever had is for being competitive, they couldn’t achieve that last week. You only play as well as opposition allows and last week it appeared as if most of Aus team was in stands cheering on AB’s. If AB’s believe their showing last week was more to do with their Brilliance than Aus’s incompetency they are due for a rude awakening

  • 21

    @ Best:
    Confidence breeds success… but like most things..too much of something can have a negative or detrimental effect when quantified in economic terms… diminishing returns and all that…

  • 22

    @ grootblousmile:
    Waiting for this choke scenario… It seems the Abs are judged to a higher measuring stick…any loss or draw is seen as the inevitable downturn…but the one thing the Abs have over other Rugby setups is the adaptibility factor… a system that can implement change rapidly to meet most changes

  • 23

    22 @ Te Rangatira:
    Yeah, the All Blacks adaptability is amazing.

    And they very effectively work on areas that were exposed as possible weaknesses… so next time you meet them, they are a new beast, with different strenghts.

    But the Bokke (and all others) must just work harder at their own games, there’s bound to be a downturn in the All Black cycle sometime.

    A lot of their players are also very close to sell-by date… McCaw, Nonu, Dagg, Jane, Carter, Conrad Smith, Kaino, Mealamu… ect… but at the moment they still fit like a glove.

    All Blacks conditioning is also a massive plus-point for them.

  • 24

    @ grootblousmile:
    Yeah…history tells us that there are ups and downs…the inevitable downturn will come …I subscribe to that… that’s where the ability to adapt comes in I spose and helps you to find ways to overcome…the Bok will one day be on top…how they achieve this will be fascinating…take care

  • 25

    @ Best:

    Hao peng you, which team do you think will give us that rude awakening after all of us nong min think we are better than we really are?

  • 26

    It won’t be Aus, Frog or Eng so that leaves the Bokke. The Bokke doesn’t have a backline so it’s up to their pack 😛 to dominate for 80 minutes :mrgreen:

  • 27

    I’m picking the AB tight 5 monster the Bokke pack and the boys out wide take care of the rest.

  • 28

    Pinot noir & the Robot don’ t keep too many defense coaches up past bedtime 😛

  • 29

    Groot reckons the AB tight five is weak and many are past their sell date, don’t tell Big Vic and the head butter as they are the saviours of Bokke rugby.


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