@chris Geez mate a bit desperate going to the journalists to back up your point haha. They would have less knowledge than us idiots on here and we're bad enough!
FWIW, I can see why people are criticising Blackadder, but there's something to work with there. Hes a handy player to have in the squad and there's far more upside in his game than Frizzell. I think he'll go better in his next start but probably wouldn't have him in my strongest 23 just yet, but still, far better than last years options Grace and Frizzell who both should never have been anywhere near the squad.
I remember saying after his debut that Taukeiaho is the future and its definitely looking that way. Going forward, I would actually like him and Aumua in our 23 with Taukeiaho starting as his set piece work is far better than Aumua (which Aumua will no doubt improve at) but they sure do get through a lot of work and its effective work as well. Both strong on the carry and hit hard on d. Nothing against Taylor as he's done fairly well in the past, but his form has dipped in the last season or 2 in Black and I'd probably have him as 4th choice now (shows our depth there at the same time). Coles imo, still has a bit to offer and will keep the 2 youngsters honest.
Am I the only one who was very impressed with Vaai? Every time he carried he busted over the advantage line and got us good go forward. I thought he out performed Tuipulotu and is certainly more mobile around the field than Tuipulotu who for me, is no more than a 20 minute player at test level but for me, is the 5th choice lock. Hes a bit slow getting off the deck and is slow to get into defensive position. He'll get caught out in d against a quicker side with halfbacks that will snipe around the ruck and play at a quicker tempo, similar to Luke Romano a few years back, which i feel Tuipulotu is these days, which is another version of Romano. His physicality is also less prominent at the highest level where more often than not he gets caught either on or behind the advantage line with ball in hand. Funnily enough, I think Japanese rugby will help him which usually isn't the case with our big men, as it might speed him up a bit around the field.
Sotutu was back to his best I thought. He picked his moments when to pick and go, targeting the lazy Argies ruck defence and did it brilliantly which led to the first try. Hes been guilty for me of overplaying his hand a lot of the time and trying to pull off the miracle plays but yesterday, he rained it in and we saw how good he can be when he uses his brain. His work off the back of the scrum was also top notch for me, where he got us out of trouble with his carries, as well as playing a part in Perenara's first half try with his work off our attacking scrum. Again, not quite in our strongest starting 23, but he provides good competition for the starters.
Is it just me or has Lomax improved out of sight from last year? He was very strong at scrum time and I like what he brings in the tight (even though he plays on the edge traditionally) but yeah, been really impressed with his game of late. I never thought too much of him in the past, but he looks a much better than what I've seen of him previously and is miles ahead of Ta'avao imo. With Tu'ungafasi's injury record of late, I think Lomax should be there if any injuries occur especially against the bigger more physical sides. Ta'avao is not test standard for me as he is a poor scrummager and is not even effective around the field as he misses tackles and doesn't really carry which is a must for an impact player. I'd consider him as nothing more than an ok Super Rugby player.
Sad to say that I can't see Christie lasting beyond this year as an AB. He didn't seem to enjoy the Argies pressure at ruck and set piece time. He wasn't terrible, but he looks a bit fragile out there and will get monstered out there with teams that apply pressure at breakdown time. He tries to play at a quick tempo similar to McDermott for the Wallabies, but lacks a Smith type pass and strength to give himself time in contact when in trouble like Perenara has to be considered a real option at test level, and has no real box kick or any kicking game in general. Still, good to have him if shit hits the fan in that position.
Was impressed with McKenzie and Tupaea. McKenzie didn't overplay his hand which was key and played very flat, getting our runners hitting the ball at pace which kept the argies defence guessing, as its not usually what we see from him. He looked very assured out there and him, Tupaea and Rieko looked very comfortable working together. We saw another side to McKenzie game last night and showed that he can be a quality 10 at test level when he uses his brain and doesn't try and score off every play, similar to Sotutu. I feel you can only take 2 out of him, Barrett and Mo'unga in the starting 23 and before this test it would have been Barretg and Mo'unga off the bench, but with McKenzie being the more versatile out of the 2 and proving that he can be effective as a 1st receiver, maybe Mo'unga misses out in the future? Good problem to have having said that.
George Bridge is a funny one. Not a fan of his usually, but would be be worth starting against the Boks next week? He'd nullify De Klerk's box kick. Yes he's ineffective in the contact despite his efforts to get his hands on the ball, can get caught out on d but went ok last night, but he goes alright in the air. He's a safe option, something you're more likely to see in a European back 3, but lacks the attacking spark that we like in our left wings like we have in Ioane, Clarke and Faianganuku where they can smash themselves over the advantage line. Maybe a start next week for him however to blunt their high ball tactic for one of the fern favorites? Even if he only plays the first 50, I wouldn't complain, before bringing/ shifing Ioane/Reece to the left wing (I'd have Reece kn the bench) to finish the game. Food for thought anyway. A solid, without being spectacular outing from our George last night.