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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    The Autumn Internationals

    Yep the time is here for the usual SH baiting of the NH, so lets start it off with two of the great fixtures

    Wales v New Zealand and England v Australia.

    Wales have a few injury problems sadly in positions where they lack any real coverage namely Tight Head and Full Back. The replacement TH has only ever played two games in the position and a 10/12 will play at 15. It could only be worse if they lose the only openside in the country, but at the moment The Nugget is back, got a game under his belt and will play. Losing Phillips at 9 is not great as well, but third choice Gareth Cooper now back playing in Wales is in reasonable form covering the fact that Sale wouldn't release Dwayne Peel to play.

    Not sure of the side NZ will be picking yet, but I think it's safe to say NZ will run out winners by 7-14 points.

    England bless them are fucked, they lost their whole front row and most of the people who would have covered them. Sheridan, Mears, Vickery, White and others are injured. Can't say it didn't make me snigger, although the front five may not have parity. The big question is will Jonny be back? I hope so, he's one of the few English players you could enjoy pissing on should he catch fire. The Aussies are without Barnes and I'm not sure whether Mortlock is fit or not, but that doesn't matter because we all know they are the best backs in the world, they could even afford to sack Lote Tiquiri, who has now signed to play in England. Nothing like the Poms when you need a job I guess......

    The two most unlikeable teams in world rugby, I don't care who wins.

  2. #2
    On a walkabout
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    The All Blacks by 25 and Australia by 15 with SH supremacy to continue!

    By the way Bob whereabouts are they playing?

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    I don't think that the NZ team for Wales will contain too many surprises. Some of the young 'uns like Guilford might get a run, maybe even a start, but other than that it will be pretty close to the same team as last weekend.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    LT

    The answers are in my post.

    I think the SH should win both these games after all they have been playing together as units for the last few months whereas Wales and England haven't played together since the 6 Nations some 8 months ago.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcock
    The answers are in my post.
    Thanks Bob.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Let the games begin...

    All Blacks: Wales firing all the off-field shots
    1:04PM Wednesday Nov 04, 2009

    While Wales have done little in recent times to reinvigorate their rivalry with the All Blacks on the field, off the field they are firing all the shots.

    Earlier in the week Wales coach Warren Gatland took aim at the team his side hasn't tasted victory against for 56 years, claiming the All Blacks had lost their aura after losing four tests already this year.

    "If you lose a few games, it doesn't matter who you are, you become a little bit fallible and that aura just goes away," Gatland said.

    Refusing to get involved in a slanging match, All Black assistant Wayne Smith coach labelled Gatland's comment a coaching tactic, something plenty of Welsh coaches have used over the years only to see it blow up in their faces.

    Gatland himself is no stranger in attempting to ruffle the All Blacks. Ahead of their test in Cardiff last year, the former Waikato coach suggested New Zealand might battle to come to terms with their first visit to the Millenium Stadium since their disastrous World Cup quarterfinal defeat to France in 2007.

    "The last time the All Blacks were here they lost, they're in the same changing rooms as they were last time," he said before suggesting Graham Henry and Steve Hansen might also be distracted by the fact their respective tenures with Wales ended on a low note.

    One of the more humorous efforts came from Australian Scott Johnson in 2004, assistant to coach Mike Ruddock, who described New Zealand as a "poxy little island in the Pacific".

    "We are not calling them the All Blacks this week. They are New Zealand. New Zealand is a poxy little island in the Pacific Ocean," Johnson joked.

    In a later press conference Johnson, wearing a t-shirt which read "Kiwi Target Practice" next to a bullseye, apologised for any offence caused.

    "After a conversation that was private and has now been displayed around the world, I do make an apology. I wasn't misquoted, I just got it slightly wrong ... it's actually two islands."

    While both Gatland and Johnson's sides failed to overturn the hoodoo, they could point to their words having some impact as the 2004 version lost by a single point, and last year Wales led the All Blacks at halftime before being outrun in the second half.

    However, Geoff Evans, manger of the 1995 side, could say no such thing about his bold comments at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa.

    Former Wales and Lions lock Evans, in the job for all of a month, claimed his side was "bigger, faster and more skilful" than the All Blacks.

    He later demanded the New Zealanders get off the training pitch because their time was up and forced the sides to toss for dressing rooms because one seemed bigger than the other.

    Needless to say, the Kiwis were rather pumped when they met at Ellis Park and consigned the Wales as the laughing stock of the tournament with a 34-9 victory.
    And of course their was the infamous haka-gate incident of 2006 when Wales officials insisted the All Blacks perform the pre-game ritual before anthems, as the All Blacks agreed to in 2004.

    This time, however, Henry's side refused. They opted to perform the haka in their dressing room and subsequently went on to destroy Wales 41-3.

    Very rarely have the All Blacks responded to Wales' pre-game banter and for the last 56 years have mainly let their results do the talking.

    But Wales have been on the receiving end of plenty, particularly from Herald columnist Chris Rattue.

    Rattue sparked an outrage across Wales in 2006 when he described the country as the "village idiots of rugby union".

    "Okay, I hear the cry that now and then, Wales get real close. Real, real close. Real, real, real close," Rattue wrote.

    "And you know what? They still lose. And everyone still blathers on about their singing and their history and blah de blah de blah and how Blethyn someone or Gareth someone else had a really great game because they ran past this bloke or tackled that bloke.

    "Let's face it. Wales are rubbish."

    And much in the mould of Johnson, Rattue followed it up with an apology one year later after Wales' thrashing at the hands of England.

    "This is the appropriate time to offer an apology - to all village idiots out there," he said.

    "A fool with a hockey fetish would do a better job than Wales does with its national sport."

    However, in recent times Rattue has changed his tune and actually pleaded for Wales to end their decades of misery and beat the All Blacks this weekend.
    "I for one will be cheering you (Wales) all the way when the enormous All Black squad descends upon Cardiff."

    "If the red dwarfs of world rugby can't beat the All Blacks this time - and you certainly wouldn't bet on them doing it - they never will."

    And maybe, with another Kiwi in their corner, Wales might actually do the unthinkable and topple the All Blacks. But then again, maybe not.

    - NZ HERALD STAFF

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Will have to retract my eariler comments on the likely AB's team, just seen this in anotehr article:
    Smith hinted at minor changes from the 32-19 win over the Wallabies, aside from the suspensions of Sitiveni Sivivatu and Tony Woodcock which should see winger Zac Guildford and prop Wyatt Crockett called up.
    So obviously there will be more changes than I initially thought.

    Sivivatu was no doubt suspended for the tackle in the air on AC but no idea yet what Woodcock's is about.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Ahh ok, 'mystery' solved:
    There were several scuffles as the Wallabies appeared frustrated.
    The most serious was in the 80th minute when Tony Woodcock whacked George Smith, which led to the All Blacks prop being banned for one match.
    I remember seeing that now, the scuffle, and later Smith bleeding but had no idea Woodcock was involved.

    That's why I don't really like watching rugby at the pub; you damn near end up missing half the gamewhat with chatting to others, ordering/getting drinks etc.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    I'd forgotten we had picked Luke Charteris at lock

    We are doomed!

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    England's team announced with two wonderful inclusions.

    Love England or not you have to applaud the inclusion of jonny Wilkinson a man who could still be one of the games greats but without his injuries would have been a shoe in. welcome back jonny....Hope you lose.

    and....Steve Thompson, the largest hooker I've ever seen, Sukhumvit included. 3 years ago out of the game and even coaching with me here in Bangkok. Deciding to give the insurance money (500,000 GBP) back so he could play again was a big step and going to France to do it even bigger. Welcome back Steve, Hope you lose.
    Last edited by Bobcock; 05-11-2009 at 10:23 AM.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Much as I thought initially, only a few extra changes to cover for the suspensions. But Eaton in for Donnelly?? FFS:

    All Blacks: Guildford in test debut

    8:10AM Thursday Nov 05, 2009
    By Mark Geenty

    Zac Guildford's call-up is one of six changes to the All Blacks starting 15 to face Wales. Photo / NZPA


    CARDIFF - A buzzing Zac Guildford was centre of attention at the All Blacks' team hotel after being confirmed as one of six changes for Sunday's (NZT) rugby test against Wales.

    The 20-year-old from Hawke's Bay will wear the No 11 jersey vacated by Sitiveni Sivivatu who sits out a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle during the All Blacks' 32-19 win over the Wallabies in Tokyo.

    "I'm still in a bit of shock. Happy can't really describe it. I can't find a word, I'm just really excited about the game," Guildford said.

    The star of the New Zealand under-20 side forced his way into the squad with a 13-try haul for Hawke's Bay in the Air NZ Cup and had continued to impress since joining the All Blacks squad.

    Selection capped a remarkable year for the Masterton-born winger whose father Rob died aged 44 in the stands during the under-20 tournament in Tokyo in June.
    Said coach Graham Henry: "Zac's had his challenges during the year and he's met them well. He's used those as motivation and achieved a goal earlier than he expected, I'd imagine."




    The other backline change sees halfback Brendon Leonard swap with Jimmy Cowan, while in the forwards one-test prop Wyatt Crockett replaces the suspended Tony Woodcock, lock Jason Eaton replaces Tom Donnelly, flanker Jerome Kaino replaces Adam Thomson and Kieran Read reclaims the No 8 jersey from Rodney So'oialo who missed the squad altogether.

    Star pivot Dan Carter was named at No 10 for the Millennium Stadium test despite taking no part in the team run at the Ospreys training ground at Neath today due to a bruised calf muscle.

    Stephen Donald trained at first five-eighth in a rain-lashed session, but it was always planned for Carter to rest today as he sits just 15 points short of Andrew Mehrtens' All Blacks test pointscoring record of 967.

    Still, he'll need to come through tomorrow's session at the Cardiff Rugby Club to put the final tick beside his name.

    "I guess it's always questionable. He's not 100 per cent at the moment... we'll just communicate and see how he is. If he's not right then Stephen Donald will play," Henry said.

    Captain Richie McCaw later said Carter had expressed confidence he'd be fit to play.

    The All Blacks coaching trio were true to their word about giving most players a chance to impress on this six-match tour with a view to the 2011 World Cup.
    "We need to know if all these players are up to international standard and they get opportunities to prove that. We're using this game for one or two of those question marks," Henry said.

    Eaton was clearly one of those, having not started a test since August 2007 against Australia, then undergoing a knee reconstruction which ruined his 2008 season.

    His four tests this year were off the bench, including a brief appearance in Tokyo.
    Leonard also gets his chance after a frustrating season where Cowan established himself as the first choice halfback.

    The speedy Waikato No 9 started just two tests this year, against Italy and South Africa.

    In the loose forwards, Read and Kaino wrested back their starting spots after missing out in close selection calls in Tokyo.

    Read, the form No 8 this season, was expected to return while Kaino continued his tight selection battle with Thomson who was impressive in Tokyo and contributed to a solid lineout effort.

    Crockett was a predictable replacement at loosehead prop, having made his debut against Italy in June then waited patiently in Woodcock's shadow until he copped a one-match ban for striking on Saturday.

    All Blacks
    Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Brendon Leonard, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Jerome Kaino, Jason Eaton, Brad Thorn, Neemia Tialata, Andrew Hore, Wyatt Crockett.
    Reserves: Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Tom Donnelly, Adam Thomson, Jimmy Cowan, Stephen Donald, Ben Smith.

    Wales
    James Hook, Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams, Stephen Jones, Gareth Cooper, Ryan Jones (captain), Martyn Williams, Andy Powell, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Paul James, Matthew Rees, Gethin Jenkins.

    Reserves: Huw Bennett, Duncan Jones, Bradley Davies, Dafydd Jones, Martin Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Tom James.
    - NZPA

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    All Blacks v Wales: 10 to watch

    1:09PM Thursday Nov 05, 2009


    Wales second-five Jamie Roberts (L) and All Blacks wing Cory Jane. Photos / Getty Images




    Wales are hoping to end one of sport's longest running hoodoos when they take on the All Blacks in Cardiff on Sunday (NZT).

    Wales have not beaten the All Blacks in 56 years but, while not at full strength, coach Warren Gatland has named a side with enough strike power to suggest they will give Richie McCaw's men a run for their money at the Millennium Stadium.

    The All Blacks have injury concerns of their own, namely to star first five-eighths Dan Carter, and have made six changes to the side which beat the Wallabies in Tokyo last week.

    After an indifferent year this All Black side will be desperate to keep their record against Wales intact. So with plenty at stake, we look at 10 players who will feature prominently come Sunday.

    ALL BLACKS

    Zac Guildford
    After starring for the New Zealand under-20 side and then Hawkes Bay in the Air New Zealand Cup, Guildford has been selected to make his debut on the left wing. In for the suspended Sitiveni Sivivatu, Guildford is tipped for big things by coach Graham Henry, who compared him to All Black great John Kirwan.

    Cory Jane
    He's playing out of position but you wouldn't have guessed it judging by his last two performances for the All Blacks. Things seem to happen whenever Jane has his hands on the ball so Wales would be wise to pay him extra attention.

    Stephen Donald
    While Dan Carter has been named to start it's clear he's not 100 per cent fit, which means Donald may have to steer the All Blacks home. If it's close at the back-end of the game can he be trusted to hold his nerve?

    Jason Eaton
    Selected for his first test start in more than two years, Eaton needs to show he can cut it as a test-class lock. While his ability to play blindside is valuable, it may not be enough to keep his place in the squad if he can't prove his worth in the tight-five.

    Wyatt Crockett
    One-test All Black Crockett has replaced Tony Woodcock, who was suspended for striking in Tokyo. While Crockett is unlikely get many chances when Woodcock is available, it would be comforting to Henry and co to know they have a capable performer waiting in the wings.

    WALES

    James Hook
    Regular first five-eighths Hook has been shifted to fullback for the injured Lee Byrne. Has limited experience in the No 15 jersey so is surely to be tested by the All Black kickers.

    Shane Williams
    What Williams lacks in size he makes up for with pace and dazzling footwork. At 32, the diminutive wing may be past his prime but with 46 test tries to his name the All Blacks would chose ignore him at their peril.

    Jamie Roberts
    Second five-eighths Jamie Roberts shot to prominence in the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa earlier this year, where he was named Lions' player of the series. After starting out as a centre and spending some time on the wing and at fullback for Wales, Roberts has found a home in the No 12 jersey and his clash with Ma'a Nonu should be one of the highlights of Sunday's test.

    Martyn Williams
    Flanker Williams is a veteran of 88 tests and is one of five Lions tourists in the Welsh starting side. Has the arduous task of matching Richie McCaw at the breakdown, an area Wales must win if they are to end their shocking run against the All Blacks.

    Paul James
    Despite Wales' problems at tighthead prop, it was still a surprise to hear James' name called for Sunday's test. The Ospreys prop won his only previous cap six years ago against Romania and has limited experience in the No 3 shirt for his club. Faces a big step up against the All Blacks but would fancy his chances against the inexperienced Crockett rather than the world class Woodcock.

    - NZ HERALD STAFF
    .....

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    Roberts has found a home in the No 12 jersey and his clash with Ma'a Nonu should be one of the highlights of Sunday's test
    Yup......Ant...we watching together, or will you be in bed by that time?

    Where you satying?

    what time does the cricket start Sunday?

    Oh...and cut and paste is so boring, write your own opinions on the game.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Not sure of the cricket schedule for Sunday, will depend on how we go in pool games. Since we're shite not likely to make any finals, so I'm just hoping we get to play KW's team along the way so I can sledge him. So hope to watch the game, just not sure if I can yet.

    And my opinion on the game... Not much to say really, I think it will just be business as per - Wales to come out fired-up in the first half, possibly even lead, only to be overrun in the 2nd.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    and where are you eating satay?

    (Where you staying?)

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Chaophya Park Hotel, near Don Muang I believe?

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    Nah, it's on Ratchada about 3/4 of the way up, on the way to my office.

    My mate from Jordan is staying there, he'll get you home, if he goes before dawn.

    He is a 24 hour drinker.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    [Mental note to self: stay well clear of any Jordanian alcoholics]

    What time's the game anyways?

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    you tell me

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    I'm gonna guess around 1pmish

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    more like 00:30, if you can last that long.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    That's precisely 2hrs 29min past my bedtime.

    I might struggle.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    Bollocks.

    Play cricket, go to bed, come out at 9pm.

    Sorted.

    What times will you expect someone there to wipe your bottom?

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcock View Post
    What times will you expect someone there to wipe your bottom?
    I'm hoping that this hotel has the same toilets as at the one I stayed last time I was down.

    It was all automated and not only cleansed with a stream of water but also had heated seats and an in-built dryer.

  25. #25
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Just got round to watching the game. Apart from Jonny, England's tackling was dreadful (again). Nice bit of poaching from Aus for their current crop of players. Good effort!

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