14 November 2009

Northern hemisphere rugby

'A week in Wales and all the drama over [the citing of All Black first five Daniel] Carter was a stark reminder of how nauseating the northern hemisphere perspective on the game can be. The Welsh media spent six days building their own side up with little balance or perspective. The reaction of [Welsh coach Warren] Gatland and his coaching team was to then blame someone else for the loss.

Meanwhile, over the border in England, there was an unrealistic sense of expectation about the clash with the Wallabies. The return of Jonny Wilkinson was not going to suddenly enable England to play fluid, enterprising football. Wilkinson gave them more direction; more confidence and more accuracy with their kicking game.

But if you don't play with the ball in hand at club level and develop passing, running and handling skills - then you can't suddenly do it at test level just because Jonny is back'

- Gregor Paul, NZ Herald, 15 November 2009

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