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Old June 23 2013, 08:05 AM   #76
Orac Zen
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Really disappointing result in the end. We did well to get so close to the Lions with such a ridiculous injury toll, but yet again poor goalkicking has cost us dearly. A lot of past players and so-called "experts" in the media like to gibber on about running rugby and how much better it is than kickfests and blah blah blah, but the fact is that at Test level a top-shelf, consistent goalkicker is essential and we do not have one. In fact, we haven't had one since Matthew Burke and he retired almost a decade ago. It's embarrassing and irritating to see this happen time and again. I was surprised Barnes wasn't next in line after Lealiifano's misfortune; he's only marginally more consistent than the other two but it may have been enough.

A few other things stood out. Genia should be tied to this country by whatever means necessary for the term of his career. Folau proved he was worth the risk - great hands for the first try and great feet for the second. Mowen had a terrific debut (again, a pox on those officials / coaches responsible for signing that no-hoper Elsom to the Tahs and thus letting Mowen go). O'Connor did nothing - the only time I realised he was on the field was when he was lining up kicks at goal, and his cheap shot at Beale after the game ("I’m not putting any pressure on Kurtley at all...") was beyond pathetic. Barnes was very ordinary while he was there (the kick that led to North's try was appalling) and as usual Palu did very little. It was a pretty ordinary surface for what's supposed to be one of this country's premier sporting venues (I feel sorry for Beale, but then again he should have nailed the earlier shot).

And the Lions were pretty good considering they didn't have a halfback. It was a terrific game, well worthy of the hype and anticipation. It just had the wrong result.

Horwill has been cited for stamping, and Tapuai, Mogg and Smith have been called up (that hysterical screeching even NCC can hear from across the ditch is all the Cooper fanboys whining that he hasn't been included). We only have a week to regroup; here's hoping we can.
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