It’s barely believable that Ian Foster remains as head All Blacks coach and that Sam Cane is still in the team let alone captain of what is test rugby’s version of the Titanic.

Yet more records were broken by arguably the poorest All Blacks team of the professional era, if not ever, with Saturday’s loss to a fired up well coached Argentina in Christchurch last Saturday.

This All Blacks team is the first to have ever lost three successive home tests, they’ve already lost four this year from six and over-all have lost six from their last eight encounters dating back to last November against France. 

The defeat also ended a 15 match winning streak in Christchurch dating way back to 1998 plus the 25 points Argentina scored were the most they have totalled in a game against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

"they both lacked the rugby intellect required at test level."

Defensive Masterclass

Former England and British Lions player and rugby analyst Stuart Barnes was among many to savage coach Foster and captain Cane when he said they both lacked the rugby intellect required at test level.

Few could argue with that. 

Foster’s selections make no sense and his use, or lack of use of the sub’s bench was bizarre. The very talented utility back Stephen Perofeta was given just 55 second at the end to pull a rabbit out of the hat, an insult to the young man and to the All Blacks jersey. Talented young lock Tupou Vaa’i didn’t even get on the field and the best forward on the park for the All Blacks, hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho was subbed off early in the second half for a now second rate Cody Taylor. 

Absolute madness.

Samisoni Taukei’aho - one of the few All Blacks to shine.

" hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho was subbed off early in the second half for a now second rate Cody Taylor. Absolute madness !! "

Like most All Blacks supporters, we love the team and will no matter what happens but to see them saddled with a head coach who simply is not anywhere near fit for purpose is sad.

All Blacks chasing the game

Take nothing away from Argentina’s win last week, it was outstanding. The commitment in defence, the passion, the skill plus the brilliant goal-kicking of winger Emiliano Boffelli were telling. What a loose-forward trio have Argentina and they cleaned the All Blacks out in an area we’ve been weak at for a long time now. Marcos Kremer, Juan Martin Gonzales and the magnificent Pablo Matera were superb

Head coach Michael Cheika had a subtle dig at his rival coach Ian Foster afterwards when he said how much Matera had improved as a rugby player under Scott Robertson’s coaching at the Crusaders. 


Pablo Matera showed the benefits of his season with Scott Robertson
Shannon Frizell looking to bend the Puma defence
Superb gaol kicking from Emiliano Boffelli

Myself and our regular rugby analyst, former Marlborough and King Country loose-forward Greg Brimble review last Saturday’s defeat and try and make sense of why our once great team is unravelling.

Given the way the Wallabies played last week in beating the Springboks and in beating Argentina away in a test recently, it could well be goodbye to the Bledisloe Cup.

Greg and I also pick our team for the second test in Hamilton on Saturday and it’s time for a cleanout and for goodness sake get some new blood in the team playing in their specialist positions.

My (John Alexander) team from 15 to one is: Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo’unga, Findlay Christie, Ardie Savea (cpt), Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Tupou Vaa’i, Scott Barrett, Fletcher Newell, Samisoni Taukei’aho, George Bower

Subs: Asafo Aumua, Ethan De Groot, Tyrel Lomax, Shannon Frizell, Hoskins Sotutu, Folau Fakatava, Stephen Perofeta, Leicester Fainga’anuku

Greg Brimble’s team: Will Jordan, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Reiko Ioane, David Havili, Sevi Reece, Richie Mo’unga, Findlay Christie, Hoskins Sotutu, Ardie Savea (cpt), Shannon Frizell, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, George Bower, Samisoni, Taukei’aho, Ethan de Groot

Subs: Dane Coles, Tyrell Lomax, Fletcher Newell, Tupo Vaa’i, Dalton Papalii, Folau Fakatava, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett

Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.


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