Watching the brilliant Crusader v Hurricanes game on Friday night on Sky, the performance of Murray Mexted (apparently) was dissected ad-nauseum on talk-back radio after the game. Surprisingly it wasn't only Cantabs who where up in arms about it. In fact the most comment came from outside the province. Lets be honest here...Murray gave one of the most one-eyed commentaries ever heard!! Watching the game at Cone stadium, he had Jules, Shane & myself in hysterics sometimes....like the classic comment that the Hurricanes forwards were on top of Canterburys.....just as the Hurricanes forward pack was demolished for the upteenth time in a scrum. Hurricanes played bloody well & deserved to win...but was Murray actually watching the same game? The likes of Cullen, Umanga & Lomu were at their brilliant best, but the Wellington forwards (Kupi Vanisi apart) looked rather ordinary.
Personally I thought it was quite funny listening to it...but it brings me to a more important point...do you think that NZ's sports commentators actually really watch the game? Or are they in it more in a tabloid sense? Catering for the ignorant masses?
The reason why I ask this is something Andrew Merhtens did during the game. As soon as I saw it I picked up on it and commented on it to Jules & Shane. And when you think of Mehrts game in the past few seasons its a significant change he made during that game.
Did anyone else notice he was using the "Rugby League" style of kick when kicking to touch? Normally he uses the spiral kick because traditionally in rugby it is perceived that its the style of kick that gains the most distance. He was kicking the ball front on end-to-end! AND getting great distance & accuracy. I don't think he missed a touch during the game from a penalty.
Now to me that is something that really should be noticed & commented on. One criticism of Mehrts is his kicking to touch. By going for distance with his spiral kick he sometimes goes for too much & it either drifts back into play OR he slightly mis-cues it as the spiral kick in reality is actually a highly unreliable way of finding touch because timing is everything. Why do you think Rugby League players use that style of kick? Because when they kick for touch the important thing for them is that the ball actually goes out! Otherwise they lose possession & the other team has a chance for 6 tackles against them.
Doesn't that same principle apply in Rugby Union? The most important thing when given a penalty is to kick the ball into touch and get reasonable distance with the kick. Not finding touch is criminal.
So here we have New Zealands No.1 five eight making a significant improvement in his game that could potentially have huge ramifications to both the Crusaders and the All Blacks performances this season and in seasons to come.....and not one commentator picked up on it!
Both Grant Nisbet & Murray Mexted on sky where far too busy dribbling over the Hurricanes performance to actually comment on happenings during the game.
I wonder how much they get paid? RugbyHeads does the provincial one-eyed stuff for free! Lets face it, any idiot can do it! Maybe Grant & Murray really are the smart ones..... idiots getting paid for doing nothing!
These men are geniuses!!! ; - )