Producing proper test match forwards not high on New Zealand

We wouldn’t pick Trevor Nyakane or Frans Malherbe for the All Blacks.

Heck, we might not even give them a game in Super Rugby.

Not fast enough over 40 metres. Can’t step, can’t fend, can’t spiral pass 30 metres off both hands.

Their skinfolds are no good, there’s no kicking game. They can’t even dunk a basketball, on the occasions when the boys are playing a pickup game.

Never mind that Nyakane and Malherbe win you test matches. Forget the way they demolished the All Blacks scrum at Mbombela.

Neither of them are athletic enough to make a New Zealand team.

I’m bored of Ian Foster now, bored of Sam Cane and bored of the All Blacks too.

I don’t doubt that they’re all trying or that they’re hurt and desperate to revive the team’s flagging fortunes.

But as I cast my eye at the All Blacks and at Super Rugby and the NPC, I just don’t think we’ve got the cattle to win proper test match rugby.

Not like South Africa or Ireland or France. Maybe not even England, Wales or Argentina, the way things appear right now.

We should be right against Australia, because they value the same junk in players that we do.

It doesn’t matter who Foster picks to meet the Springboks at Ellis Park this weekend. It doesn’t even matter if the All Blacks upset the formbook and win.

New Zealand, from what I can see at primary and intermediate school, 1st XV, club, provincial and Super Rugby level, have prioritised and promoted all the wrong things.

The All Blacks started their best available XV at Mbombela – backed by one of the weakest benches I’ve ever seen – and got done. The final score of 26-10 doesn’t begin to demonstrate how ineffectual the All Blacks were in that match.

We simply do not have the players to compete with test rugby’s big boys, let alone beat them on a regular basis. And, frankly, we might as well get used to it.

There is nothing – and I mean nothing – in the cupboard to suggest we’ll be any better at the 2027 Rugby World Cup, than it looks as though we’ll be in 2023.

We can’t even find a head coach or nominate a worthwhile replacement for the one we’ve got, so the cupboard’s bare there too.

Would Scott Roberston do better than Foster? Of course he would, but only to a point.

We don’t have a Nyakane or a Malherbe and we sure as eggs don’t have a Malcolm Marx.

And, in part, that’s because we value all the wrong things.

We definitely wouldn’t pick Kwagga Smith, but we might even turn our nose up at Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jasper Wiese, Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am, because we fundamentally believe that brilliance is best, that style is worth more than substance.

Well, how’s that working out for us?

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