blues_fan wrote:I think you missed the point. Could care less about dirty play accusations thrown at ABs. Water off a ducks back. I'm talking about the invective streamed at Peyper, calling him a cheat/on the take etc etc. Absolutely appalling and indefensible.
Apologies but this is long:
Blues Fan, I am not saying they don't exist but the number of posts suggesting Peyper is a cheat and on the take is small and certainly in the minority on here.
Before I address that more fully I want to say a few things about the game on Saturday. First and foremost it was a privilege to see Beauden Barrett play that game. He deserved his player of the year award and is a wonderful rugby player. New Zealand lost a true great when Dan Carter retired. But one of the reasons you have looked if anything stronger since is Beauden Barrett. Perhaps he has come out of his shell because he is undoubtedly now first choice 10.
And it isn't too much of s stretch to mention Brodie Retallick in a similar breath. Amazing all round ability. He was immense on Saturday.
But equally I want to mention the Irish players. When I have watched what I thought were good or even great Irish sides in the past play against New Zealand I have struggled to come up with Irish players who would have got into the New Zealand side. There may have been matches where an Irish player in one position might have outperformed his NZ counterpart but rarely over the years can Irish fans honestly say that they have had players that might get into the New Zealand side.
After the last two games we could now have several. Coles still gets it over Best for hooker but I think both McGrath and Furlong would now push for places in your side. Second Row you win. Flankers - I think Stander and O'Brien would best Cane and Squire. In his pomp Read was certainly better than Heaslip but on the evidence of Chicago and Dublin Read may be waning and Heaslip is in the form of his life. Ditto at Scrum Half. At his best Smith is more complete than Murray but he has not been there lately and Murray might improve New Zealand they way he is currently playing. You win at Out Half. We saw little of Henshaw in Dublin but a lot of him in Chicago and he would probably get it at 12. Not sure about 13, young Ringrose shows great potential but that is all it is at present, and I think back three is all New Zealand.
I may be wearing green tinted glasses but to even mention seven Irish players in the context of maybe being better than their New Zealand counterparts to me is a great testimony to the strength of where Irish rugby is at just now. And this a New Zealand side that has the record for consecutive test match wins. I am very proud of our side.
My own summary of Saturday - and your side was huge in defence - was that we were never going to win the match once Sexton went off. Jackson was not on the money on Saturday and was a poor replacement. Maybe his mind has not been on the game for off the field reasons but he didn't travel to Chicago and to my mind was on the bench because of the inexperience of Carbury and his evidently poorer record from the tee. That compounded the Henshaw loss and we lacked any real attacking threat to build on our forward's dominance once the two were gone.
So I now want to mention the referee's performance and the New Zealand tactics partly because they have both attracted so much attention post match.
Jaco Peyper made numerous errors on Saturday. I will not say that he was biased or on the take but he was wrong on many many occasions to my mind. Was he always wrong against Ireland and in favour of New Zealand? No - of course not. But some of the mistakes he made against us were probably more material in the context of the game than those he made against NZ. Did his mistakes actually determine the result? I suspect not although it's impossible to know how things would have panned out if for example Cane was sin-binned and Fekitoa was red carded.
Which leads me nicely to the New Zealand tactics. I am not as familiar with the way the game is played in NZ as you would be. I am however of the understanding that becoming an All Black is possibly the greatest individual sporting honour that Kiwis can aspire to. And I know you have a winning mentality when it comes to rugby. All of that is fair. Playing the game with commitment, aggression and physicality is also part of the game.
But even as a staunch Blues Fan, New Zealand Fan and Rugby fan you must be concerned with the way the game is going if head injuries and concussions are as commonplace as they now are. It is for this reason that World Rugby tell us that a tackle above the shoulder is a red card offence. The game we all love will eventually die if players are not protected. And that protection should not be a dictat from World Rugby - I believe it starts with the coaches who tell their teams what is and is not acceptable. Aggression is acceptable within limits. Pushing the rules to the limit when it comes to tackling the opposition is not where a coach's mindset should be. Playing the ref should not be where a coach's mindset should be. This is where I think New Zealand crossed a line on Saturday. If it was an isolated incident or two I can live with players making mistakes etc but when we count several poor tackles that were penalised, some that were missed etc we have to question whether the game is being played hard but fair or hard and unfair. The real issue I have is that your defence was incredible on Saturday and probably didn't need to resort to overly physical tackling.
You say the accusations of dirty play are water off a duck's back but do you not think it is remarkable that the penalty count was 14 to 4 against New Zealand and the yellow card count was 2 to 0 against New Zealand and yet the opposition fans are still saying the referee was poor and got a lot of decisions wrong; and that the card count against NZ should have been even higher. Even Hansen says he will have to look at discipline being an issue for this side but I have to say it comes from the top and my guess is he is privately delighted with the NZ performance on Saturday. He is certainly thrilled that he won't be returning to New Zealand having lost twice to Ireland!