Opinion: ABs the best ever? No, no, no
Monday 3 Dec 2012 9:49 a.m.
The All Blacks were beaten 38-21 by England at Twickenham (Reuters)
The current All Blacks - the best ever? No, no, no and an emphatic no!
A last-minute win over Ireland in Christchurch, an 18-all draw with the woeful Wallabies in Brisbane and a win over a South African team who were without a goal kicker in Dunedin.
Yes, there was already plenty of evidence that talk of the 2012 All Blacks being the best ever was, well, premature.
And after the weekends record breaking loss at Twickenham the evidence is now compelling. This is a good All Black side. But talk of it being among the greats has now been laid to rest in one foul 80 minute swoop of brutal English dominance.
How did England do it? Pretty simple really, coach Stuart Lancaster pulled a copy of the All Black V Argentina test from Wellington in September and made his team watch the blue-print of how to potentially beat the All Blacks. As in the men in black are vulnerable up front.
Dominate the All Blacks pack and add a generous sprinkling of backline flair – think Farrell, Tuilagi and Ashton - and Bob’s your uncle.
Time for change?
Well this England team has an average age of 24. Clearly Lancaster has had a clean out.
So, does Steve Hansen need to follow suit? Probably not just yet, but there’s a ton of evidence that Tony Woodcock, Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu, Richie McCaw, Piri Weepu, Dan Carter and even Conrad Smith might not be there in 2015.
If Hansen ever wanted a reason for a good clean out a-la Lancaster then the door’s just swung open.