Riddle me this: Early grades in!

9 09 2007

Riddler?  One-eyed All Black fan!The Riddler, everyone’s favourite one-eyed All Black supporter has his assessments done for the some of the powerhouses who have played already in the Rugby World Cup…

Day 2 – Team Reviews

The Mighty All BlacksAll Blacks
Look very sharp and crisp for a team that hasn’t played together since July. They hit their strides very early and put the result beyond doubt. They had a lull in the middle of the match and gave the Italian supporters something to cheer about but towards the end they kicked back into top gear and won by 62 points against a side that won two games in the six nations and pushed Australia to 7 points the last time they met.
Positives
Passing looked very sharp and crisp and will likely improve with more matches. Injuries. None of them. Backline. They looked very explosive. Centers – Muliaina might be the answer to our troublesome #13 spot
Negatives
Discipline. This can cost us against quality opposition. It cost us in Melbourne. The likes of Heyman and Williams will need to curb their tempers and avoid yellow cards. Showboating. Luke McAlister was very guilty of this. Although you can be forgiven for doing it when you 60 points up, it is something you want to eliminate from the game to avoid this bad habit slipping into a more important game.
Overall
They showed why they are the odds on favorite by disposing of a useful NH opponent in clinical and ruthless fashion. The fact it is the first game of the tournament means a lot of improvement is still in them and they don’t have to improve much on what they showed to terrify other sides.

The WallabiesWallabies
A tale of two halves for Australia. They were playing what essentially was a Japan B side. First half they limped in with a 20 point lead and looked anything but impressive. Second half they looked much sharper and stacked on 10 unanswered tries as the Japanese began to tire. Take away the first half performance and it was an impressive display. Take away the second half performance and it was a pitiful one.
Positives
Substitutes looked sharp. Barnes & Adam-Cooper in-particular. Rocky Elsom had a blinder and lived up to his potential at last. Chris Latham looked very good which would be pleasing to all Australians. Backline looked crisp and passing was sharp, especially in the second half.
Negatives
The scrum. Despite playing Japan B they didn’t look dominant. Big worries here. Injuries. Losing Gerrard is a big blow. Tiquiri. The guy is a liability. Did basically nothing in a game most of the backs made a strong impact. Time Australia cut its losses with this over-rated overpaid hack.
Overall
A handy opening performance. They looked rusty at the start but hit their straps in the second half. This could be attributed to not playing for almost two months. They will improve from this and showed enough to suggest they will comfortably take their group and take England/Samoa down in the quarters. Scrum is a major worry however and will cause them a lot of problems.

EnglandEngland
The current world champion kicked off it world cup campaign in the same way it has been playing the last four years. Absolutely pathetically. Anybody who though they are contenders got a quick wake up call as to just how pitiful the English are as they labored to a 18 point win over one of the minnows of world rugby.
Positives
Wilkinson will return. That’s the only thing of joy this English side will get…
Negatives
Where to begin? Too old. Too slow. Too weak. Pathetic backline. No heart. No spine. Unimaginative. Terrible coach. Weak traveling mentality. This side is a joke and will go nowhere in this world cup. They will be the source of much ridicule throughout this tournament and rightfully so.
Overall
Can they defend? On last nights performance NOT A CHANCE IN HELL!! Sorry, but England are a joke and they confirmed this last night. They will lose to South Africa and if they manage to overcome Samoa, they will get pummeled by Australia in the quarters.

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4 responses

9 09 2007
Anja

Got to give it to the Riddler. Spot on this time.

11 09 2007
kip

Absolute cobblers

OK SH – believe your own hype.

This is a tournament – not based on a few mis-matches.

The crunch games are what count.

ie the Knock out stages

England will be prowling then

kip

11 09 2007
withmalice

So… England vs USA wasn’t a ‘mismatch’?

11 09 2007
mandate

I think some people are overreacting a bit , its only the first games people.
Too much reading into…allready.

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