At last, the RugbyHeads article you've been waiting for! Yes, its the one that asks two tough questions about All Black rugby in 2002. The only bugger is... there's no answers.
Why the F*ck...
...is Tana Umaga still being played at Centre?
His record on the wing is outstanding to the point you could argue strongly he's the best we've had for years. In 16 test appearances on the wing he dotted down almost as many times. At Centre he has run on 13 times - and scored once.
Now you can argue that a Centre is not supposed to be scoring tries. He's supposed to skilfully present the fast blokes on the wings lots of space to get on and do the glory stuff. And its a good point. Which brings me back to the original question:
Given Mark Robinson more than adequately fills the Centre position... Why the f*ck have we got one of the best try scoring weapons in All Black history playing in a position which is difficult to score tries from?
How the F*ck...
...can we score tries with a flat backline?
I still smile when I remember the fantastic try scored against the Wallabies last year. A set piece saw Mehrts pass to Alatini and then double round him to take a return pass, turn as he ran into two Wallaby defenders, pop the ball up for Umaga who sliced through and passed the pill to Mr Christan Cullen. He scored without a finger being laid on him.
The All Black backline struggled terribly against the flat Irish defence in the first test. They robbed us of time and timing. The silver bullet used to counter it in test two was the boot of Mehts.
But why wasn't our backline set much deeper... and staggered, making it difficult for a defense to maintain their line? It adds an element of the unknown as players are able to run the angles. Surely that would have given Lomu and Ralph/Howlett some space to breathe.