The All Blacks - the aura is gone...

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Oct 12, 2020, 03:00

The All Blacks have become a beatable team, and no longer assured of 1st spot in the IRB rankings. 

For about 14 years, the had an aura that most teams just did not believe they could win against the All Blacks

However, in the last 2 years of Hansen's reign, problems started to arise.
Some of the tight 5 were past their best, and if Retalick was not available their pack got bullied.
Whitelock seemed to be past his best, and the props even more so. Whitelock may just be overplayed and in needing a rest, but his form over the last 2 years has certainly dipped. The props were way past it. 

Beuden Barrat was counted on to make use of his opportunistic play to save games the All Blacks should have lost. 
However, when he moved to fullback, he less involved- albeit he was still winning matches. 

In 2019 some rush job chops and changes to the squad showed Hansen was worried that the All Blacks did not have the pack to win consistently as they had done. 

In the world cup semi-final, Scott Barrat was moved from lock to flank to add some mongrel
This backfired totally as they were still outmuscled, but were also slow getting to rucks to create turnovers for a counter-attack. 
Suddenly the All Blacks have a pack where some members were not international standard. 

Now this weekend, Australia have drawn in New Zealand.
The Australian pack has been a joke for some time now. The Ozzie tight five players would struggle to make many other international teams. The Pooper loosie combination is now a retirement plan. 

The All Black back row has also been in decline since Keiren Reid lost form at the tail end of his international career. Other than Savea, the back row is good- but not world-beaters. 
It lacks the mongrel it had from Liam Messam to get over the advantage line. 

The All Blacks are entering a rebuilding phase, but at this stage, their forward resources are minimal - at least at test level. 

Oct 12, 2020, 06:04

I wish the Boks had their record. No team can dominate forever no matter the sport, clearly they're in a rebuilding phase and it's anyone's guess as to when they'll return to their former best, the question is...can the Boks fill the void? They'll be back, it's just a matter of time, they'll be buoyed by pride of jumper and a winning and healthy rugby culture.

Oct 12, 2020, 07:50

Talk about a broken record Sharkbok! Every season the ABs always start with a below par scratchy performance and that good old chestnut “They’ve lost their aura” gets dragged out once again. Let’s just wait a few games and see how they go. Then you can rub it in if we’re rubbish. Rumour here has it that Rassie is going to wuss out of the 4 Nations comp. Hope it’s only a rumour but I dare say he wants to hang on to the World No.1 ranking for more than one game... Time for the Boks to harden up!!

Oct 12, 2020, 07:53

I think that the AB problems started when Hansen got Meyer disease by looking more at reputation of players than on performance of players,   AB mentioned Reid, but the problem goes much deeper.  In the period between 2008 and 2017 the All Blacks had a key squad of  about 10 players that kept the team as the best team in the world.  The newbies who came in were top class and competition to get into the team  was top class and players like Rerallick fitted well into the team and became top performers in that team environment,    However, even Retallick is not the player he was in 2014 anymore,

New Zealand coaches managed to combine pace and ball skills in their forwards for years - and the emphasis was on those two fators plua a need to hold their own in Tight 5 play,   That is where  they got to be the superiors in World Rugby,   To my mind there was too much emphasis on that approach  and too little on building s competitive Tight 5 approach.   Even Retallick cannot help out and I am afraid that it simply does not work anymore,        

After 2015 WC where the average age of players a number of players retired and left for Europe and Japan where they were not in the top class category anymore.   Looking at players like Cruden and Savea for instance they was shown up as being mediocre because of the team environment,

The problem in NZ Rugby started when their domination of Under 20 Rugby started to deteriorate roundabout 2012 when the feeder group started to loose dominance in Under 20 rugby.  They have for seven years been nowhere near the play-offs and final in Under 20 WC series,   That does not look good for the future,  

Another problem is that the AB's  in the period since 2008 had top class head coaches that brought the best out of their players,    Not wanting the criticize the present coaching set-up - bit they have inherited a weakened squad with due to retirement off players and their coaching staff is not on the level of Erasmus and co, who inherited potentially good but totally demoralized players from his two predecessors.

Unless the NZ Under 20 teams started to improve the future does not look as good as Denny believes,     



Oct 12, 2020, 08:17

Same thing happened with OZ cricket after the great Waugh era...and their fans responded similarly.

I remember an Ozzie friend commenting after a loss while the OZ team was declining and saying "No worries, a few things to sort out but soon it will be business as usual."

We're still waiting for business as usual to resume and its been well over a decade.

Oct 12, 2020, 08:22

"I think that the AB problems started when Hansen got Meyer disease by looking more at reputation of players than on performance of players"

All Blacks under Steve Hansen: Played 107, Won 93, Drew 4, Lost 10.

I wouldn't mind having those kind of "problems".

Oct 12, 2020, 08:22

Why Oz never took the drop goal is completely astounding.

Why they never got a penalty in overtime when the AB player, near his own try line, scooped the ball backward while lying on the floor, is a mystery.

Cheating to win has become cheating to draw. 

Quite sad.

Oct 12, 2020, 10:55


Maybe you misunderstood what I tried to say.   I think towards the end of his coaching career Hansen startyed top select players based on reputation rather than performance, especially when he had to start replacing players.   That is where he kept players not performing on a level  that he earlier in his coaching career would have shown the door.    However, nobody  could be as bad as Meyer was in that regard,   His selection was purely based on reputation without any regard to performance - Hansen showed signs of falling into the same trap since 2015.       

Oct 12, 2020, 10:55


Maybe you misunderstood what I tried to say.   I think towards the end of his coaching career Hansen started to select players based on reputation rather than performance, especially when he had to start replacing players.   That is where he kept players not performing on a level  that he earlier in his coaching career would have shown the door.    However, nobody  could be as bad as Meyer was in that regard,   His selection was purely based on reputation without any regard to performance - Hansen showed signs of falling into the same trap since 2015.       

Oct 12, 2020, 12:49

Can you talk about any topic without talking about Meyer, our second-best coach, behind White? However, there is some truth to what you say; Meyer did indeed let himself down by turning to reputation players. Lambie, Reinach, Steph, Coetzee, Lood, Goosen, JJ, Serfontein et al. 

To die Schwarzwelle: Structurally, NZ do not have an advantage anymore. Micro-details in preparation and skills are no longer an advantage. The leap forward the NH sides have taken during the past five years is astounding. Add in other troubles as diminished participation amongst youth. There are lots of factors to consider. The rugby landscape is changing. 

As for Australia? It sounds like their attack was on point. One doesn't require a dominant pack to generate momentum; if the backs are getting over the gainline, it keeps the pack moving forward. It mitigates the weakness. Australia are very good at working away from that weakness. How many times have their "rubble" of a scrum dominated ours? Too many times. Never take forward dominance for granted. They will always have enough ammunition to hurt us. The only occasions in recent times where Australia have looked toothless and weak against the Boks is when Esterhuizen comprehensively shut down their backline. No other test nation has that ammunition available. Once that happens, carrying the ball forward becomes a real chore for the Wallabies, and they start crabbing and going through many ineffective phases and penalties pile up. 

Oct 12, 2020, 14:40


Meyer was one of the worst coaches ever in the history of SA Rugby - he shares the dud cup with Coetzee - both were fired  due to gross incompetence by the clubs where they subsequently coached,   Neither would get another coaching job ever other than perhaps a school side and on that level they would also fail. 

The reputation players Meyer selected did not include any players you mentioned - but definitely 10 of the elderly in the WC squad in 2015.    How could he select players that had not played any rugby before the WC for up to 18 months and empty the hospital wards without players as being selected on reputation/   The Japan debacle resulted from his preference for Duds.

As to the increase in improvement in NH Rugby - the standard improved with all the imports of SH players - but in the end  New Zealand in the third team play-offs gave the Welsh a rugby lesson they would try and forget and SA in the final did the same to England, 

In the end  Rugby power are still in the SH - whether you like it or not.     

Oct 12, 2020, 15:36

#2 for most of his tenure, two seasons in which only the All Blacks - much stronger than the past four years - could beat the Boks. He accomplished two consecutive clean sweeps up north. He did this having to lead a Bok side that had lost Smit, Juan, Schalk (life-threatening illness after horrific injury), Fourie, Du Preez, Butch, Victor, Bakkies, Dani. The spine of the team. He had one coaching session with the Boks ahead of their three-game series against England. Nyet. He accomplished more sustained success than Coetzee, Rassie et al. His Boks, in years where attack numbers were not as inflated as post-2015 rugby across the board, were superior to that of Rassie's Boks. Only 2017 Coetzee compares. His model was vastly more sophisticated, modern rugby. Rassie gave up trying to be an ideas man after the disaster in Brisbane in 2018. Skop 'N Pop, bolstered by his timid mate Nienaber. It eats you up inside that you cannot refute any of this. Each and every time you post your nonsense, I'll drag the truth up, as I know it'll leave you frothing at the mouth. 

Have a nice day boet :silly:

Oct 12, 2020, 20:00

The Boks used to match AB’s until the dreaded quota entered the equation

Fortunately I think the days of quota players are mostly over as our black players are just as good as our white ones.

We’ve had some pathetic quota coaches in PDV and Coetzee but thankfully have a merit man in charge now who hopefully will restore Bok rugby to being on par or better than the Kiwis for a prolonged period of time

Oct 12, 2020, 20:46

Yes, the Boks are currently better man for man than the All Blacks, and the Boks have a good coach. The game plan is evolving, and getting more expansive as the team gets more experience under the coaching team & Rassie. 

This is the first time the Boks have ever started a season with a world cup winning coaching team. Plenty of time to implement a game plan, and phase new players in overtime into the setup. 

The All Blacks could become our The All Bitches for the next 4 years. 

Oct 12, 2020, 21:12

I don't think it was a problem with the old players, if anything but more arrogance in not selecting them. 

Why shift Barrit to full back when Ben Smith was still in great form. 

Richi muaga is great for the crusaders but haven't really settled for the all black yet. 

It started with the lions when they had 3 or 4 young players that hardly played test rugby starting for them during the lions tour and that trend continued into the world Cup 

But I don't there ora is gone yet, still a very hard team to beat. 

Oct 12, 2020, 22:32

Wasting Barret at 15 is complete madness

Oct 13, 2020, 02:05

If it ain't broke.....don't fix it. Sensational Barret is a game breaker......Mo'unga is not.

Oct 13, 2020, 05:49

Best sidesteps of the day came from a Barrett.....Amy Coney Barrett. What a class act! 

Oct 13, 2020, 09:09

Sharkbok, in order for your “All Bitches” scenario to play out, firstly the Boks have to turn up and play in the tournament. So convince Rassie the whimp to commit to the 4 Nations next month instead of pulling out like a big girl’s blouse! As for the Boks being better “man for man”, how did the last game go for your boys against the ABs??....

Oct 13, 2020, 10:50

Better man for man? Our wings are more capable, but they receive a dearth of quality ball, if anything under the limited and backward gameplan of Josè Erasmus. Our attacking movement doesn't create space, so we are left with wings having to cut back inside, kick, or go for broke (something which has a low success rate). Centre? Am is very good, so too Esterhuizen. But Rassie likes the mindless basher Damian, and still likes Kriel. So man for man, for Rassie, no we are not better. Factor in the poor use of the centres, and matters are made worse. At half back, I'd only select White as a quality 9, but he is Aussie. Faf is a disruptor, which amplifies our pressure game, but his basic skills are mediocre. The other choices under Rassie have even worse skills. Rassie doesn't like Schreuder. Barrett versus Pollard? Barrett beats Pollard hands down, but Pollard mops the floor with Mo. Fullback? Willie wins, but he struggles under Rassie as he is too deep and the connector of too many slow moving, clunky units. His numbers under Rassie have regressed alarmingly. In the loose forwards: Kolisi isn't even Super rugby quality, Steph was the 17th best flank in Super rugby, whose test production matched his poor Super rugby production. Thor and Louw were our best loose forwards. Who do we have now? Thor? Of the locks: we are much better here than NZ. Eben and RG, as well as Mostert are class acts. Lomping Lood is a no show who wasn't even a flat track bully in the the last WC. Forward thinking Josè had a clear choice here: select the dynamic RG who combined power and skills like no other SA lock I have ever seen, the best distributor aside Esterhuizen of all our players, or go for the 1950s style plodder who exerts weight as opposed to power, with low stamina and exceedingly poor skills. Josè went for the latter. Our front row has the edge.

Our WC winning coaching team preparing for their next endeavour:

Oct 13, 2020, 10:57

Aug take your ignorant garbage and shove it up your arse

I stopped reading after the predictably negative first sentence

You are utterly clueless

Shark is spot on man for man we are better than the AB’s except for Barrett and Savea, but then again the AB’s play neither in their correct positions

Oct 13, 2020, 11:46

Incorrect. Ende. 

Oct 13, 2020, 11:53

Ignorant garbage as always

I mean Schreuder says it all

Let me guess you’d probably play Morne Steyn at 10

You are utterly clueless

Oct 13, 2020, 15:27


It is unclear if the Springboks will be ready for a test. The timing of Covid in SA prevented rugby until very recently. 

I just read that David Campeze is also saying the All Blacks aura is gone. 
Campese is also saying that New Zealand has become too arrogant - exemplified by their attitude that they only wanted 2 Aussie teams in the new version of Super Touch Rugby.

Oct 13, 2020, 17:07

Aussie prepared well...something happening in world rugby where just wearing that AB jersey is not working anymore.Their backs can still run like dynamite though.

Oct 13, 2020, 17:44

NZ is still the team to beat...less fierce than 5 years ago, but still tbe best...the gap with other top tier teams narrowed a bit, but I'll be surprised if they keep on slipping...they will be no.1 again soon. Hopefully we can alternate the top spot with them during the next cycle, but they won't be completely displaced...much too resilient for that.

Oct 13, 2020, 18:08

Saffex, just treat Omlett as comedy relief. 

He takes himself so seriously but anyone who knows anything about rugby knows that he's probably the least knowledgable rugby poster here  . . . and that's saying something if you look at the "contributions" of rugby noobs like Baboon-ou, Moffie and DumbAss.

Just have a laugh at the clown and don't dignify his stupidity with a response. That's what I do.

Oct 13, 2020, 18:16


Please explain to me how two coaches fired for gross incompetence by their Clubs be coaches on test level,   Meyer had no real game plan and the Japanese showed that up in 2015.  

The backline in the final of the WC was used more than Meyer did in the whole WC,   In fact the backline players scored more tries in 2019  that the whole Meyer team scored in 2015.  So Erasmus backline usage is twice as effective than Meyers was.   

Willie was the real disappointment  in the Springbok backline  - his passing was atrocious and knocking on the ball with an open tryline in front of him is inexcusable,  He was good under the  high balls - and he did make a crucial tackle on  Watson in the final - but that was definitely not enough;

Just a question - do you ever watch rugby or do you just make up the BS by thumbsucking?     

Oct 13, 2020, 18:33

Draad, at last some common sense. Just bringing up the “aura” thing by some of these turkeys simply means it’s still there!! Judge after a few games boys, not one game.

Oct 13, 2020, 19:02

Moola I am judging by the 2 years before the world cup.
When the All Blacks had Barrat at 10, his opportunism and ability to counter-attack were papering over the growing cracks.

More frequently the All Black pack was getting bullied. Without Barrat, the losses would have been much more. He was able to win games when the All Blacks got under 40% possession and territory. 

The All Black pack tried to add more muscle towards the end of the Hansen era, but with this, they lost some mobility. The semi-final was a case in point.  

Oct 13, 2020, 19:30

Rooi I just like to remind him now and again what an idiot he is

Oct 15, 2020, 12:00

" well as Mostert are class acts."


Definition of a class act:

"a person or thing displaying impressive and stylish excellence"

Can't say I've seen the Stringbean being impressive or displaying stylish excellence.

Oct 15, 2020, 14:34

By the way AO - still waiting for your explanation about how club coaches fired by their clubs did better when caching the Springboks?

One of  Meyer's main problems was his inability to select players based on performance as is exemplified by his selection of 8 unplayable  players in the 2015 WC squad,   After the Japan disaster caused by players like Bismarck, Pienaar, Burger, Matfield, et al - Meyer had to play the same players in every match in the series and the fat is that he caused the real disaster in 2015.   


Oct 15, 2020, 16:57

Ja Denny Mostert is a class act - about as classy as Albert vd Bergh!!!

Oct 15, 2020, 18:34

Andre Esterhuizen is supposed to play for Harlequins - can somebody in England lease give us any info on matches he played in or is to play in in future, please.   According to  our local village idiot he is a class act - just like Mostert.   In his contributions  failures are class acts - so we mneed to know whether he is mistaken  in this case too.   


Oct 18, 2020, 07:38

Did you enjoy the game Moolaa?

I see that aura still burns bright at Eden Park :D

Oct 18, 2020, 09:37

That Kiwi 11 is a monster.

Very impressive.

Oct 18, 2020, 10:02

Yes, I did enjoy that Cloudy! Might have to check with Sharkbok on the definition of “aura”......

Oct 18, 2020, 10:25

What about the aussie media?   Conspiracy theories too funny.  They should leave that to the politicians :D

Your local boy stepped up as captain, had a great game.  The quiet achiever he was everywhere.  Standouts Caleb Clarke, Ardie tireless as always, Sam and the Barrett bros, they seem to play better when the 3 of them are on the field.  It’s all on donkey kong for the next two games.  Aussie have to win both for the cup, we have to win one to keep it.  Goooooo the ALL BLACKS!!!

Oct 18, 2020, 11:18

"We’ve had some pathetic quota coaches in PDV and Coetzee...."

Yes and no, thing is we've had non quota coaches who were equally pathetic.......Rudolph Straueli, Andre Markgraaf to name a can probably add Harry Viljoen to the list.

Player wise we've had white players who should never have been Boks, Jorrie Miller, Braam van Straten and Louis Koen to name a few.

Oct 18, 2020, 14:35

It was the garden of Eden Park, the AllBlacks usually play above their ability on this paddock. :D Let's not get carried away folks, and it is Australia after all. 

One perfect leap for a lamb |

Oct 18, 2020, 19:12

Just watched the second game between NZ and OZ and must say the NZ team is not the same team that took to the field in the first game.

They were fast to the breakdown and were more confident in their general play as well.

The wing (#11) is a brute of a player with the speed that is not normally associated with a player of his physical appearance.

In general, I was impressed with the AB's and it is obvious that the new recruits to the squad are becoming more comfortable with their teammates on the field and will once more become a formidable squad.

I do agree with Barret being wasted at #15 as he is without the best #10 around and they have more than one quality #15 in the present squad.

These players are committed, proud of their All Blacks selection, and last but not least selected on merit.

  The goats will get hammered when they do meet.

Oct 19, 2020, 06:17

Barrett lifted the whole NZ effort....a classic example of how one player can make the difference between winning and losing.

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