by Mike O'Connor
24 Aug 2000
So Wayne Smith is concerned that there may be a public backlash to the ALL Blacks loss in South Africa. Well there damn well should be a backlash.
I don’t have an expectation that the ABs should always win – but I do think that history justifies my having some minimum standards by which I can judge all AB displays.
My primary standard is: That the tight five shall lay their bodies on the line and shall compete manfully to dominate their opposition.
At Ellis Park, I was gutted at yet another display of ‘softness’ – haven’t this front row had enough chances – Dave Loveridge tells us they’ll be peaking when they’re all 30. Great. We’ll all wait for the birthday invites.
Todd – sorry mate – you remind me of the caretaker at my old primary school – dependable, grey and slow.
And is Norm a worldclass lock? – I have been trying to figure out how many of our tight forwards would feature in a World first 15 – the answer I rapidly came to was none – a world second 15 – maybe Norm on the bench.
So, really, I have a right to have an expectation that our tight five will do the job -they’re just not good or tough enough.
And the ABs will never dominate our main rivals until we have 5 forwards who are real All Blacks.