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The Rugby Championship Week 2: Up on blocks


The Rugby Championship Week 2: Up on blocks


The Rugby Championship is underway for 2019, and it’s loopy to understand; however, after this weekend, the opposition could be beyond the halfway point. It approaches this as the simplest week wherein teams can tinker with themselves – and no, that’s not a euphemism – before the 2019 identity is determined.
So, to varying degrees, all four teams were at the mechanics this week. Some teams are just getting new spark plugs; others have a minor service. One is tossing up between a spit-and-polish element or a complete engine bay rebuild.

We’ll find out this morning which manner they’ve long gone. LAST WEEK (and Overall): Digger, Harry, and Geoff 2; Nobes and myself 1. For Week 2 of The Rugby Championship, I asked the guys: QUESTION: What are the top precedence improvements your respective group needs to make in advance of this weekend?


The top development I consider will be dealing with, and in no small element, is decision making. Some of the dropped ball and pushed passes were infuriating closing weekend. I suppose a bit extra composure while in ownership will be a large breakthrough, mainly against what shapes a formidable South African aspect who’ve proven their counter-attacking capabilities. Another large improvement would be winning in Wellington again. The All Blacks have dropped two of the ultimate three, and a second direct loss in opposition to the Boks in Wellington didn’t do. And if someone would place their hand up at 6, that might also be nice.

TIPS: New Zealand, Argentina

SURE THING: We need to anticipate a bit bit more care across the rucks this week, both in when to dedicate and how to smooth out, but then, perhaps no longer. The Wellington crowd might be barely quieter this time, minus a sure parochial Saffa looking to get Faf’s interest. Our rush-umbrella defense is still a crapshoot, with the umbrella now and again getting caught or commencing the incorrect way. We genuinely have elite health: the line pace turned off the charts. Even the large boys had legs.

Australia seemed to enter touch too high, suggesting lifeless legs. So, I’m trying to see a higher protection enterprise in the first segment and within the reload. Personally, as a large Frans Steyn fan, he who appears invariably untackleable, I’d like to see Frans-Am inside the midfield, and with Kolbe and Leyds involved, so we’ve got all real footballers at the back of Faf-Pollard. The other aspect is lineout throwing: if you couldn’t discover Lood de Jager lifted by Elstadt and Etzebeth, you may throw.


SURE THING: If Thomas Lavanini comes in lateral and at pace after the whistle and clocks a defenseless Hooper inside the sternum proper in front of the ref, Cheika will no longer protest a card. The compressed nature of this year’s Rugby Championship, plus the reality that every coach is trying to change employees and check the depth in their squads ahead of the World Cup, approach that addressing changes from week to week is a completely tough proposition.

For the Wallabies, there are a variety of improvements needed – the scrum, composure in finishing, competitiveness at the breakdown, area, and no longer searching for refuge in blaming the ref for their failings all spring to thoughts. But the element I’ll be searching for this week is their potential to capture the initiative and play the sport on their terms, which are no longer the competition’s terms.

Erika Norman

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