All Black action: behind enemy lines

All Black action: behind enemy lines
Pauline in All Black

Pauline in all black

If you’re reading this post then I have been killed, or so the line went from Pauline Hanson with her so-called ‘obituary’ video.

I’m currently visiting enemy territory in the southern North Island of New Zild on business and expect to be terminated at any time with extreme prejudice.  

It’s no comparison to El Dommo I know, who’s on the sake express to Tokyo (as you’ll be reading about soon), but you take the good with the bad.

As soon as I open my mouth here I’m targeted as an ‘awful Aussie’; one of those guys who supports that weak and woeful Wallabies team. 

Fair sux of the sauce bottle digger, you’re a goose for not going undercover but I just can’t seem to get a handle on the right vowel movements?

I’ve been pitied today by people who point at me and say ‘how come you have dropped one of your only world class players from the run-on side to play the All Blicks this weekend?’ I cringe and offer a weak, defeated response.   

Robbie says “We think that David’s strengths will serve us well at the front end of the game, but I’m sure you will also be seeing George during the match”.  What, on the telecast sitting in the stand getting splinters up his arse? I say Dingo… very, very dare you!

At the front end of the game? George Smith was one of our most effective Wallaby forwards at the front end of the game earlier in the season until you moved him out of his natural No 7 position. You know, the position he became a world class player in?

George Smith is the guy you made captain in an under performing team because there was no one else at the time and it seems he’s carrying the can for those players who didn’t step up or have the necessary ticker.

Not only will his young replacement Bam Bam Pocock be up against Richie again at No 7, but he’s also got Rodney So’oialo to contend with now at the breakdown, who’s another very mobile loosie .

Against the second best team in the world you’d want all your experienced big guns firing, wouldn’t you? If you wanted to start your northern tour with a confidence building win you would.

Flying in brother Tyrone as a replacement for an injured Rob Horne is no substitute for being dumped onto the bench, albeit a welcome addition to the touring party.  Le Fuse being demoted I can understand; Phil Waugh to a lesser extent although he’s a guy you’d still want in the trenches with you but George – no way.

Sure, father time catches up with all of us eventually but I’m damned sure he ain’t caught up with George just yet. There’s no talk of rotation or keeping him back for more important games so the assumption is he’s been demoted. This is a bad business.

The thing about this particular game for Kiwis over here is the ‘ho-hum’ factor. They just don’t give a tutae. That’s to say not that many people seem to be too enthused over this match.

It starts here on TV at about 9.30pm and looks like lots of punters will either record it or not even bother. Four games against the Wallabies is way too many, especially as they’ve already retained the silverware three zip. 

There seems more interest in Saturday’s semi-final of the NPC (Air New Zealand Cup) with Wellington taking on Southland, the new Ranfurly Shield holder. 

The All Blacks have made three changes to their team from the last test. As I said, So’oialo is back for Kieran Read who drops to the reserves, Sitiveni Sivivatu returns for Smokin’ Joe (who’s clearly been stubbed out) and Conrad Smith’s is in his rightful outside centre spot.

The really good news is that the big Qantas bird takes me back home on Saturday morning in time to read El Dommo’s latest tour excerpt.

NEW ZEALAND: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Cory Jane, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Rodney So’oialo, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.

Reserves:16 Corey Flynn, 17 John Afoa, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Tamati Ellison.


Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

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