Guest writer Elston Hamblin isn’t optimistic about England’s chances when they do eventually meet the All Blacks, in answer to Jez Denton’s piece.
Having read Mr Denton’s article on a plan to beat the All Blacks , it will take an unsurmountable effort whoever is in the side with regard to the high amount of tackling, winning the ruck and mauling from line outs nearer opponents line, play what is in front of them taking their chances, they won in 2012 38-21. I will put a case of why it is unlikely they’ll win again.
Players like Itoje, Lauchbury, Billy and Mako Vunipola are integral to England’s success over the last two years also most of them were on the Lions tour so had first hand experience of the attrition in the drawn series over the Summer, note well they lead for only three minutes of the series.
Coach Steve Hansen regularly speaks about the processes and game plan, thoroughout the Lions tour and the Rugby Championship they adapted to various tactics for the situation in hand, significant players like Romano, Retallick, Read , Whitelock are part of the fabric, also on field generals with the incomparable Aaron Smith and Beauden Barratt, halves of immeasurable quality.
On 26th August 2017, Australia were 17-nil up not through luck but good judgement, their forwards winning the contact then counter rucking, line outs with frequent support play behind the maul. Kurtley Beale had one of his best ever games , smart line running through gaps with the front seven winning their battles, rarely have I seen the home team lose defensive shape.
Australia’s flat defensive line gave the All Blacks little space when in contact, caused more knock ons and errors.
other teams would have wilted, the second half adjustment of the All Blacks being stronger in contact, backs taking ball to make carries , quicker recycling of ball then they released the backs. Ben Smith is a significant contributor as is Ryan Crotty also Keiran Read, players who have developed in the side were vital components as the lead was reduced.
Australia were on the back foot but New Zealand’s relentless obssession to win , that innate belief was the reason they won 35-29, what matters to the country is to win and well well, Sean Fitzpatrick alluded to the story on Sky Sports Great Sporting Moments when given his All Black shirt that the team always expected to win .
I look at what Eddie Jones is trying to instil, the team who have won last year’s Six Nations wants to have the side prepared for the 2019 World Cup , are destined to meet New Zealand in the semi finals. The Summer tour of Argentina, a two nil sucess where the first game both teams attacked with scintillating fervour , it was entertaining , the tries flowed although many first teamers were missing in a 38-34 victory but trying that tactic against the best team in the world lead to a defeat.
My admiration for the All Blacks stem from the culture that is imbued in every player, from schools, college and university it is compulsary for rugby to be played, the skillset from 1-8 is irrepressible , all comfortable on ball, it is drilled into them, witness the 62-13 mauling of France , Cardiff 2015 the involvement of the forwards involved in tries. Super Rugby every team plays the same way, Black Ferns Women’s World Cup winners are from the same stock.
England has a lot to learn they are progressing nicely, their undefeated run was an indication of how good they are with impressive wins against Australia (2016 Summer Tour) , South Africa and Argentina when Eliot Dlay was sent off and had to adjust tactically with an impressive 27-14 win, they will still need to adjust in various facets of a game which New Zealand counteracts with their astute game manager