Tuesday, July 20, 2010

McCaw's politeness saves him from the sinbin

By PETER LAMPP - Manawatu Standard

Richie McCaw might get away with murder, but hey, at least he's our murderer.
The freak flanker brings out the worst in opponents like Springbok Danie Rossouw and the best in obsequious referees.

McCaw probably should've been binned for his chicanery at breakdowns, but he's so polite to whistlemeisters they simply keep warning him, as did Alain Rolland.

Rossouw sank his Springboks at Wellington on Saturday night when he trudged to the cooler, more for intent to boot Richie over the goalposts than for a damaging kick. Just imagine the coaches at every pre-test team meeting. "If you can, get that McCaw."

Remember Irish No8 Jamie Heaslip who saw red and kneed McCaw at New Plymouth last month and was redded by our friend Wayne Barnes.

McCaw remains our hero, for his work-rate alone and the opposition can stay paranoid about him for all we care.

"I was guilty of giving away a couple of penalties, of not holding my feet a couple of times," he told us after the match.

Almost everyone illegally flops at the crash-fests that are rucks, and Boks like Gurthro Steenkamp do it in their sleep.

It doesn't excuse the brainlessness of South Africans who wear No4, oblivious to the all-seeing TV lens.

Comical coach Pieter de Villiers squeakily came up with a daft line like this: "I don't like to prepare guys to cheat, but it seems to be the only way forward ..."

The All Blacks now have the wood on these blighters and they'll whip the legs from the Aussies in Melbourne on July 31, too.

Prop Owen Franks confirmed to us that the kamikaze tackling was the key to the ferocious AB defence.

Having an extra second or two to hold the ball in the tackle, and not allowing chasers to rush ahead of the kicker, have castrated the Boks and stunted their air raids.

Now the bombs are just running fodder for the All Blacks, while the Africans only once ran it back and had it turned over. As the rain washed in off Cook Strait, Morne Steyn's up-and-unders sailed way too far, while Dan Carter's were plummeting just outside the 22.

While the Boks were better than at Auckland, they were never going to win at Wellington. They hate the fast game and they had too many flops, like Messrs Spies, Matfield, Smit, Habana, while we have new, world-class players of Kieran Read's kin coming on.

Our Dan gave them a chance by missing his shots in the swirling maritime wind.
While their Super 14 sides ran the ball, these Africans under the clown prince don't seem to have a plan A, let alone B, other than brute force.

The ABs pop wee pop passes, even inside their 22, until someone finds clear air.

Mils Muliaina said he ran so fast for his try because he said he thought Habana was up his Gunga Din. Israel Dagg's stutter-step try was David Campese at his best, but Dagg's presence meant we had three fullbacks on the field.

Where does that leave Hosea Gear and Zac Guildford? Test rugby might be a step too far for Rene Ranger, who seems to lack passing vision, as he did against Wales at Hamilton.

Piri Weepu had a blinder after securing his spot as a back-up goalkicker for Aaron Cruden. But Jimmy Cowan is just out of form and needs a rest.

Last year there was only one four-try bonus point, to the Boks in Perth. Already the All Blacks have two and have surely all but cleaned up the Tri Nations.

If the World Cup was now, only one team would chase our lot, and they play in bleu and eat gastropods.

No comments: