One thing uniting all rugby fans in the Southern Hemisphere right now is the frustration around their team’s inconsistent performances.
Ex-All Blacks are no different. John Kirwan and Justin Marshall discussed the cause for these inconsistencies on this week’s episode of The Breakdown , while also touching on how the All Blacks’ response could affect them in the long run.
Kirwan opened the particular episode with the topic clearly at the forefront of his mind:
“It’s been this incredible journey over the last seven weeks, ” Kirwan said. “We’ve seen stuff from the All Blacks that we’ve never seen before, talk of divide between NZR and the players, performances, great, poor, and then last (Saturday) night, probably one out of the bag.
“It’s the inconsistency of performance right across the board. You see South Africa against Australia the week before, and then last (Saturday) night, they put that overall performance on, us against Argentina and then that efficiency last (Saturday) night…”
Kirwin emphasised the difference within winning margins this year compared with previous:
“When you’re three per cent off, you’d lose by three points, three years ago. Now if you’re three per cent off, it’s going to be a bad night”
The disruption of Covid was at the root of much of the discussion.
“One of the particular biggest challenges, I believe, is your balance for the World Cup, and I do believe everyone lost a year through Covid. ”
The “balance” Kirwan is referring to is having both young, in-form players as well as the experienced veterans.