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Old 06-09-2004, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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International Rugby is back my friends!

This saturday, New Zealand and the World Champs England will do battle on the pitch in "The House of Pain" (that's Dunedin for you non-rugby folks). The All Blacks 22 is as follows:
1.Kees Meeuws
2.Keven Mealamu
3.Carl Hayman
4.Chris Jack
5.Keith Robinson
6.Jono Gibbes
7.Richie McCaw(open-side flanker should be renamed to McCaw Flanker)
8.Xavier Rush
9.Justin Marshall
10. Carlos Spencer
11.Joe Rokocoko
12.Daniel Carter
13.Tana Umaga
14.Doug Howlett
15.Mils Muliaina
16.Andy Hore
17.Tony Woodcock
18.Jerry Collins
19.Marty Holah
20.Byron Kelleher
21.Nick Evans
22.Sam Tuitupou

From what I saw in the Probables v. Possibles match last week, the forwards there are pretty tight and they're mostly from the Possibles. The Possibles' scrums were much tighter and their lineouts were much better as well (mainly because the Probables didn't play Chris Jack). The weather forecast for Dunedin is rather grim, and very English, that's why Graham Henry gave Carlos Spencer the nod because there's going to be a lot of kicking going on and Spencer is a much better touch kicker than Mehrtens is. Make no mistake about it though, Mr. Henry is going big in the lineout, in effect, he really only has one flanker, Richie McCaw because Jono Gibbes usually plays lock and he's one tall dude. Things are looking up for the All Blacks because the Lions are without Martin Johnson or Johnny Wilkinson, the Forwards for the All Blacks are huge, the largest of any All Black side ever, and the Backs are quick, what more could you ask?

If anybody wishes to post the Poms' choices for their starting XV and reserves, go right ahead.
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have two concerns (and they concern Wellington players ). Why move Gibbes to #6. Yes he played his entire career there, and only this season at lock... the season he gets the All Black callup.

Now, in the trial Gibbes was instrumental in the Possibles engine room which took apart the Probables scrum.

And, if that wasn't enough, you have one of the best #6s in the world (Jerry Collins) on the bench. I mean you're playing the world champions, why hold back ?

The only reason I can really think of is that Henry wants to play around with the lineout, using Gibbes as another option, and giving Collins a rest, as he he as been pretty beat-up for most of the S12.

Also, Kevin Meelamu at hooker. Now, Andrew Hore had a consistantly outstanding season at hooker. His line-out was nice and straight, and his power-running often added tries for the Hurricanes. Whereas Meelamu had absolute mares for most of the S12 and only got some form in the last two weeks of the comp, had an ok trial, and is suddenly the starting hooker. Hore had a decent trial where he scored a much needed try, and he outweighs Meelamu by 8 kgs, when you're facing the English forward pack which has probably the best scrum in the world, I reckon every kg you can get is crucial.

The backs look good, but I think Tuitupou is vastly overrated and undersized, and where are you going to play him off the bench ? In the place of the captain ? Unlikely. As 2nd five ? Only if you take out Spence and therefore the playmaker, and move Carter to first five, subbing Carter out is idiotic as you NEED a precise kicker to beat the poms. Put him at fullback ? Nick Evans is a better fullback for my money. Perhaps he is only there as injury cover ?

I'm hoping the All Blacks win, but I won't be surprised if they don't.
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Last edited by Spartak; 06-09-2004 at 01:15 PM..
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Old 06-09-2004, 07:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, putting Gibbes in the lineup is the best option for having a third jumper. Something that they'll need against the English. I'd heard that the weather wasn't going to be that bad. Has this changed (this was about a day or two ago)?
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Old 06-09-2004, 08:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The forecast is still for bad (English) weather.
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Old 06-10-2004, 04:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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To be honest, Spencer has not impressed me at all ever since he got tatooed and suffered his concussion. If the weather were going to be nicer and they were going to be doing a lot of running rugby, Mehrts would be the guy. You're closer to the action down there Spartak, so I may be judging just a little bit wrong on my next point here. The flow between Marshall and Mehrts is much better than Marshall and Spencer or even Devine and Spencer. This, I think is due to the fact that King Carlos has to deal with two people he doesn't particularly like, Justin Marshall and Dan Carter. The rest of the backs, with the exception of Tana Umaga (who gets along with everyone) are all from the Blues, and it always seems as if Carlos tries to do too much to get the ball to his buddies, at least, that's what I saw in the Probables vs. Possibles. Then Mehrts was put in and he just let the game flow and start working immediately with Dan Carter, who then offloads to either Tana, Dougie, Mils, or Joe if he's there. However, Carlos' big advantage is his touch kicking prowess and that's why Spencer got the nod; Graham Henry is preparing for a war in the lineout, believe me, he watched that Six Nations match between Ireland and England and dissected it, concluding that where you beat England is in the lineout. This is why Henry's Locks and blindside flanker are all tall guys, to give them an advantage in the lineout. As far as Andy Hore goes, his throw ins aren't as good as Mealamu, that's why Andy is wearing 16 and not 2. If the All Blacks end up with a pretty substantial lead, I'm betting that the reserves will get quite a bit of playing time. I don't know, maybe it's just my American optimism and naivete that thinks the All Blacks have a good chance at winning this upcoming test. Either way though, it should be a good matchup.
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Old 06-11-2004, 10:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't think it's naivete at all. Henry has made some smart choices including the fact that the All Blacks will have one of the biggest packs they've ever had. A definite plus against the big English pack.

It will be a good match, but I'm predicting the All Blacks win by 7.
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Old 06-12-2004, 09:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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While I certainly expected New Zealand to win, I did not expect the spanking that England received. What a wonderful thing! I just hope the All Blacks don't get cocky and keep working hard.

FANTASTIC!!
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Old 06-12-2004, 05:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Holy shit, the ABs absolutely CRUSHED the English.

The NZ forward pack dominated the English pack, which was talked up as being "better than the one at the World Cup". However I still think Hore should be there, he played well when Meelamu was in the blood bin, and Robinson was too busy trying to pick a fight than actually play rugby. Gibbes had an absolute blinder, dominating the lineout, so I'd move him to lock and put in Collins .

The All Blacks actually played a game with passion and (mostly) controlled emotion.

PS: The final score was 36-3 to the All Blacks, the English were held tryless.
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Old 06-14-2004, 10:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It will be interesting to see what happens in Auckland next week. Man, I wish I could be there (I will be there in January but that certainly won't get me a rugby fix) to watch.

Spartak, I agree with you regarding Hore (and Gibbes-AWESOME!) but I'm not sure about putting Colllins in for Robinson. It's not his defense I question, it's his hands. And while King Carlos played well, his defense was pathetic. Everyone knows you go low on the tackle!
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Old 06-14-2004, 12:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, Carlos isn't there for his defensive skills (though mind you not many 1st fives are), but I had a chuckle at his "human backpack" tecnhique. Where he would literally jump on the backs of English forwards to try and pull them down and they would carry on running down the field.
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Old 06-14-2004, 04:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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**bundy looks at how well the Blacks played against England**

**bundy looks at how average the Wallabies played against Scotland**

**bundy gets a little worried about this years tri nations**

**bundy hopes the Wallabies can get some more defensive coherence really soon**

**bundy hopes the Wallabies can come up with a new offensive move... the old pass it to Tuquiri is getting tired**
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Old 06-15-2004, 09:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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And these All Blacks are only at 40%???? Why oh why couldn't the RWC have been delayed?!!?!?! And note to all Northern Hem fans (blech); nanny nanny boo boo to you!
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Old 06-15-2004, 09:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It sucks that Howlett will miss the next match but I still think the All Blacks will smoke the English.

I wouldn't worry too much bundy, it always seems to me that the Wallabies pick their game up several notches when playing the All Blacks. It used to be that the All Blacks would take the Wallabies all the time. Recent history, however, shows that those matches are not a given for the All Blacks. I think the Tri Nations this year will be VERY interesting.
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The English were tired and deserved to lose. Big ups to the All Blacks, but watch out for a vengefull English side next time they play.
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Ok, this time I'm predicting the All Blacks by 3.
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Old 06-21-2004, 04:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I got to see the Maori play in edmonton this weekend. Great game, beat the English 26-19 in extra time. My first rugby game, too.
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My Springboks have made the first few steps by dealing with an extremely competent Irish team. There is still hope!
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Old 06-23-2004, 01:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Schalk Burger is amazing. As much as I like McCaw, Burger is giving him a run for his money. The Tri-Nations should be freaking awesome!
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Old 06-26-2004, 04:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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tonight was great.

Joe Roff - you are my hero...
Lote Tuquiri - so are you...

aw fuck it... all you great wallabies are legends... (yes, even big Dell, cos if he hadn't gone and injured himself in the warm-up, then Clyde Rathebone wouldn't have had the chance to get his hat-trick against England!)


edit: oh, and i should like to thank South Africa for Clyde and Dan Vickerman... thanks.
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Old 07-04-2004, 07:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Damn, the Wallabies got the shit kicked out of them (not on the scoreboard mind you, getting beat by the PI's is kinda like getting beat by the United States). I'm just saying, even tho the PIs were outclassed as far as the quickball goes, they had a lot of heart and they hit pretty hard. Granted, the body slam of Gregan was out of line, but the rest of it was just good, hard hitting rugby. The All Blacks better be on their toes, but they'll have McCaw back, and that usually sets the tone and focus of the pack, so it should be interesting.
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:02 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Given our injury worries thus far, I am fearing mass casualties vs PI.

And talking of the US, they almost beat France over the weekend!
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:07 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I know, I almost went up to Connecticut to see that test match, apparently they were leading 21-17 at the half, I am very, very surprised and very happy, right now, we're the Americas Three seed in World Cup 07, if we beat Canada we'll move up to Americas Two, and maybe, just maybe, we'll beat Argentina *prays for act of God*. Hell, I'd be happy if we win two matches next World Cup, I might even have to shell out the bucks, buy an Eagle's jersey, and an All Blacks jersey (let's face it, USA won't be a contender for the title for at least another ten years if the game is nurtured right over here) and enjoy some good rugby across the pond.
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Old 07-05-2004, 04:19 PM   #23 (permalink)
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while i think its a good idea to have the combined Pacific Islands team... Eddie Jones clearly does not.

watching 4 of his top players get thumped out of action for 6 weeks made him absolutely furious... and if he gets his way, don't expect Australia to be taking PI seriously any time soon (meaning that in the future we'll prob not play our top team).

i think thats a bit of a shame... because i think the more powerhouses in world rugby, the better. i mean, its great that Australia and New Zealand have this great rivalry going on, but it would be good to have rivalries with a few more countries (or almalgamations in the case of PI).

as for the upcoming games against NZ... well, no Gregan, Roff, Mortlock or Rathbone might mean we see some fresh new faces... as is Whitaker (finally getting a run on spot), Henjacke (sp?), Gerrard and others... maybe even a return of Chris Latham and Matt Burke... who knows...

you're right about the legal hits on the Aussies, arch, apart from that gregan smashing, they were all good, hard and legal hit ups... nasty... every time Rathbone got the ball i winced.

i'd be worried if i were him, since i think that his getting smashed every time in that game exposed his weakness... ie/ that he can only sprint straight, and not move, step and dance.

it'll be VERY interesting to watch the PI vs NZ match, since half of the PI team were probably knocked back by the AB's when they tried to play in NZ. the inherent problem with this combined P.Islands team is that the best players from the islands are still holding out for AB jerseys (and others ie/ Wallabies etc). with the right backing, this new PI team could attract players like CauCau and Vinebaka (sp?) back and they would be very fucking dangerous.
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Old 07-12-2004, 03:59 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Looks like some of our boys are looking forward to facing ex-colleague Rathbone
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:40 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I am very impressed with the PI team, they are a very talented team. However, they need to control themselves, because their discipline levels are teh suck. But anyways, they gave both the Aussies and the Kiwis a run for their money, let's see what they can do against the Bokkas.
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Old 07-17-2004, 02:07 PM   #26 (permalink)
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And the All Blacks machine keeps rolling along, spent 80% of the time in the Wallabies own 22. Schweet.
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Old 07-17-2004, 02:47 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Yep.

The territory/time in 22 stats say it all right there. If the ground was bone dry (and the referee somewhat competent) it would have been a 50 point blowout easily.
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Old 07-17-2004, 04:21 PM   #28 (permalink)
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yeah, Kiwi offensive pressure was just too much in the wet last night.
i think we did pretty well on the score sheet when you consider those stats.

Quote:
Originally posted by Spartak
and the referee somewhat competent
why are you complaining about the ref?

if there was a competent ref last night... there would have been about 5 penalties reversed... which would have made the territory/time in the 22 stats look rather different. (or maybe not judging by Larkhams shitty kicking performance last night... he had an absolute shocker!)

thats all i'll say about the ref.

bone dry ground... well, that would have been a MUCH different game... and i'm not going to speculate, because knowing both of these teams, it could go either way.

the best highlight from last night was the Hooker fight.

Cannons punch on Keven Mealamu (is that his name?) was sensational... it was old school rugby at its finest. the slow motion replay was hilarious. i don't think i've seen a cleaner, better punch thrown in international rugby... ever.

even Richard Lowe would have been proud... i know Kearns was.
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Old 07-17-2004, 05:25 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The ref missed so many calls and gave so many non calls it wasn't even funny.

I don't know, I just like seeing games called down the middle infringement wise. You can't not call a knock-on and then a forward pass, which is what the ref was doing.
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Old 07-18-2004, 05:56 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bundy
the best highlight from last night was the Hooker fight.

Cannons punch on Keven Mealamu (is that his name?) was sensational... it was old school rugby at its finest. the slow motion replay was hilarious. i don't think i've seen a cleaner, better punch thrown in international rugby... ever.

even Richard Lowe would have been proud... i know Kearns was.
that was a hell of a punch

ahha

crazy thing was, the dude didnt drop down, if anyone else took that tho, they'd be floored!

was a crazy punch, see the whiplash!

ahahahah insane!
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Old 07-24-2004, 03:11 PM   #31 (permalink)
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i have to say i was hurting for the Boks last night.

so close.

defense slipped up in the last minute.

looks like this is going to be a pretty interesting Tri Nations.
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Old 07-24-2004, 03:42 PM   #32 (permalink)
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And I thought the refs in the Wallabies game was incompetent, fucking hell.

So many missed offsides, hands in the ruck, knocks on etc.
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Old 07-24-2004, 04:56 PM   #33 (permalink)
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You play to the refs interpretation of the rules.

I went to the game, and it was pretty good all around. SA's defense was as impregnable as the virgin mary - you gotta be god to get through.


Thankfully we had the next best thing to god (Christian Cullen) in Doug Howlett.
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Old 07-24-2004, 06:17 PM   #34 (permalink)
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The ref's interpretation of the rules? The rule for offsides at the ruck is explicitly clear, a player must be behind the heel of th farthest back foot, or else a penalty shall be conceded. How can you interpret that? That is implicitly clear, I oughta know because my coach drilled it into us to the point if we got five offsides calls we did extra laps, push-ups, etc. There's no excuse for that kind of reffing, there really isn't.

SA was impregnable because they hung out infront of the farthest back foot of their own ruck, and just waited for Carlos Spencer, Justin Marshall, or anyone really to get the ball and they were able to get there quickly, why? Because they were offsides, that's why. Even the announcers were like, wtf? That's a missed call, so is that, and that, I don't understand that call..... Oh well, at least the All Blacks got the win.
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Old 07-24-2004, 11:19 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by kiwiman
Thankfully we had the next best thing to god (Christian Cullen)
Haha, so true
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Old 07-25-2004, 10:55 AM   #36 (permalink)
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As happy as I am to see the AB's win, I have to give credit to the Boks. And yeah, as far as I could tell, they were lining up offsides but if the ref isn't going to ping you, keep doing it. They were busted a couple of times but like Nesbo and Mexted said, they were willing to concede penalties in order to not give up any tries. I don't about you guys, but I think the Boks look pretty damn good. Let's see how they do against Australia...
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:06 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I agree, I underestimated the Boks so much. I am confident they can beat Australia if they play that hard against them.
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Old 07-26-2004, 01:27 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Gutted but at least we're starting to win some pride back.
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Old 07-26-2004, 11:02 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I think that the fact that this Bok is side is nearly completely different from last years side, Jake White included, has a lot to do with their turnaround. The ridiculousness OFF the pitch notwithstanding...
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:56 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Our admin are a fucking joke.

It is telling that of the 15 that started Sat past, not one of them started in the same fixture last year. Jake is the man.
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