Thursday, 8 April 2010

We’re at the halfway mark in the Super 14 so it’s time to pick an All Blacks form fifteen.

The front row is a mystery to most of us but a blind man or even an All Black selector can see Andrew Hore is the form hooker, despite the sterling efforts of the ageless Jason Rutledge. Tony Woodcock gets the loosehead spot on past deeds while the combative Owen Franks deserves the tighthead spot seeing Judas Hayman has chosen coin over country.

Josh Bekhuis is a form lock and I’d throw in young Sam Whitelock from the Crusaders to partner him. Richie McCaw owns the number seven jersey, Kieran Reid ditto in eight so that leaves the blind-side flank position for Jerome Kaino and Adam Thomson to fight over. And the answer is simple – the brute force of Kaino against the Springboks and the French backed up by the athleticism of Thomson against the Aussies.

Jimmy Cowan and Dan Carter are no-brainers when it comes to selection. Some might accuse Ma’a Nonu of being a no-brainer but sandwiched in between Carter and the erudite Conrad Smith, he’s still a match-winner.

The gas and youthful exuberance of Zac Guilford makes him the first man picked on the wing and while I’d be tempted to partner him with the fastest man in New Zealand rugby, his Crusaders team mate Sean Maitland, the other spot goes to renegade Rene Ranger from the Blues. He might have some rough edges in need of polish but, like Nonu, he’ll win you more games than he loses.

The injured Mils Muliaina is out of the picture at fullback but on merit he wouldn’t have made the team. Cory Jane continues to impress but if you’re looking for the form fullback, it’s impossible to go past the Highlanders’ Israel Dagg.

So there you have it. The All Blacks form fifteen. Six Crusaders, three Hurricanes, three Blues, three Highlanders, plenty of Indians and no Chiefs apart from Richie the captain!

* There’s only 22 sleeps to go and duck shooting aside, I can’t think of anything I’m more excited about than the US Masters which got underway this morning. I will not stray far from a television over the next four days.

I know I sound like a broken record, and my wife accuses me of being the ultimate golf killjoy and bore, but having been privileged to grace Augusta last year gives your Masters viewing a new dimension.

All 18 holes are stunningly beautiful and a lot more undulating than television portrays. However, my favourite part of the course is Amen Corner comprising the second shot into the most difficult hole on the course - the par four 11th, the par three 12th and the tee -off on the par five 13th.

It’s an oxymoron but if there is a golfing heaven, bearing in mind most of us golfers only get to experience hell, then it’s surely the 12th at Augusta.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home