New Zealand back to the top of the Tri Nations table

Tony Woodcock

New Zealand restored their pride with an emphatic 39-10 victory over Australia. Richie McCaw made the difference as he returned to the side that had lost to the Wallabies the previous week.

Dan Carter controlled the game from start to finish, with exquisite kicking out of hand to ensure the game was played in the Australian territory. Tony Woodcock enjoyed this strategy as it got the team close enough to the line for him to burrow over for two tries.

The tactics represent a shift from the standard All Black gameplan of counter-attacking rugby, running from anywhere on the pitch. Carter (and others) probed the corners for territory and allowed Brad Thorn and Ali Williams to pressure the Aussie lineout – it sounds like a familiar English tactic, but the Kiwis just executed it sublimely.

Some commentators are now suggesting that actually the ELVs won’t make a huge difference to our game, and perhaps we won’t have a slightly different version of rugby league.

It seemed to me that the ELVs didn’t have a huge impact – it could be the quality of refereeing, since the All Blacks were allowed to scrummage properly (which they weren’t last week) – and maybe we shouldn’t be quite so fearful here in the Northern Hemisphere?

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