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Michael_Cheika

Alles is nie verlore nie

Alister Coetzee se besluit om nie te torring aan sy span van verlede week nie, behalwe waar beserings dit noodsaak, sal waarskynlik kritiek uitlok. In die kort tydjie wat hy in die stoel is, moes hy seker al die waarheid besef het van die gesegde wat lui:

Jy kan nie almal tevrede stel nie; jy is nie ‘n bottel wyn nie.

Dieselfde pryssangers wat Elton Jantjies met palmtakke toegejuig het toe hy so voortreflik in Superrugby was, skree nou “Kruisig hom.” Die verskil tussen daardie reeks en toetsrugby is groot, en min spelers kan die gaping in hul eerste paar wedstryde oorbrug. Die opponente het gesien het wat die Hurricanes in die Superrugby finaal gedoen het, en dit net so benut in toetse. Die uitdaging vir Alister Coetzee is om ‘n teenvoeter uit te werk teen die opskietverdediging, en ‘n plan te maak om Jantjies se gebrek aan ‘n goeie regtervoet te neutraliseer.

Ons drie losvoorspelers moet mekaar nog vind, en dit gaan nie in een of twee wedstryde gebeur nie. Mens kan redeneer dat Jacko Kriel en Whiteley dalk beter sal kombineer, maar dan vergeet jy wat Flo Louw al in die verlede vermag het.

Die grootste enkele probleem wat aangespreek moet word is die insinking in die middel van die wedstryd, weerskante van die omdraaislag. Ons spel was na wense in die res van die wedstryd, wat beteken ons kan as ons wil. Dalk moet die kaptein bietjie outydse sielkunde toepas en ‘n agterent of twee skop. Die res sal gou die boodskap kry.

Ons speel gelukkig nog eers teen Australië voor ons die All Blacks in die vierde rondte pak. Ek glo nie ons is gereed om die All Blacks al vanjaar te klop nie, maar as ons in elke wedstryd ‘n opwaartse kurwe toon, sal dit mettertyd gebeur, en gereeld.

All is lost

If the drubbing dished out by the All Blacks last week happened in Wellington, rather than in Sydney, Michael Cheika may have been more optimistic about his team’s chances on Saturday. Unfortunately, they now have to achieve something which they last did in 2001 – win in New Zealand.

Coupled with the mental challenge of lifting themselves after being thrashed at home, injuries will play a major role in selection of the side for Saturday. In a freakish chain of events, the top three contenders for the number 12 jersey are all injured, leaving Cheika to comment: “We’ll probably retire the No 12 jersey – it’s not been a good one so far in this series.”

I fear that, as much as I would like to find something to inspire the Australians, the words of the Old Mother Hubbard nursery rhyme crops up. The cupboard is, indeed, bare, and the little yellow dogs will have none, again.

Some of the more blatant weaknesses can be addressed, particularly tackling, but there is not much one can do against a side which appears to be able to walk on water.

Michael Cheika is a fighter to the bitter end, and the Aussies have on numerous occasions in the past shown just how hard they can fight back when they have their backs against the wall. Unfortunately, this mostly happened when they played South Africa.

Perhaps the All Blacks should, as a sporting gesture, play in Springbok jerseys to inspire the Wallabies.

The following line in an article in the NZ Herald on the All Black injury problem caused quite a giggle:

“Having lost Nathan Harris for the season before the test and Codie Taylor a concern for this week due to a head knock, the All Blacks are likely to call in two hookers when they arrive in Wellington.”

Let’s hope they do not discover another bug after the match.

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