Sunday, 25 July 2010

Grassroots rugby and new rules gives base for New Zealand to win Rugby World Cup in 2011

It's on the lips of most New Zealanders`. "Will NZ win the 2011 Rugby World Cup ?"  To find the answer, I spent last Saturday at Pareora, a small farming community in South Canterbury seeing if I could come up with an accurate prediction.


Pareora under 6 rugby team on the attack against Celtic in South Canterbury, New Zealand. Photo: Bob McKerrow


The biggest single factor in New Zealand's favour is that significant changes have been made to the rules at the breakdown which gives huge opportunities and rights to the team taking the ball into the tackle, which suits hard runners such as Ma'a Nonu, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg, Dan Carter, Mils Muliaina and a new line-up of young players in the wings such as Victor Vito, Benson Stanley and Rene Ranger.

Mils Muliaini is typical of NZs hard-running backs who revel in the new rules which give rights to the player going into the tackle.


Future All Blacks from Pareora or from the visitors. Photo; Bob McKerrow

At Pareora I observed how strong 'grassroots' NZ rugby is and through a constant stream of talented players coming from small communituies like Pareora which has contributed hugely to our current strength at many levels of national rugby. The rules have allowed the All Blacks to play exciting, well constructed and fast running rugby which is our natural game. We've beaten South Africa twice in 3 weeks and Australia beat the Boks on Saturday night which that proves the dour Springbok and English kicking game does not win rugby in 2010.


Celtic playing Geraldine at Pareora, so typical of grass root NZ rugby.
Photo; Bob McKerrow

The NZ Maoris have beaten Wales, Ireland and England this year and the NZ under 20s recently won the world cup. Never before a year out from the Rugby World Cup have we had this depth.But the depth is from north to south. Southland took the coveted Ranfurly Shield from Canterbury last year and has pumped new life into provincial rugby.


I leave for Sri Lanka tomorrow after 3 weeks in NZ and I feel very positive New Zealand are on track to winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup thanks to the new rules and the strength at grass root level. Thank you Pareora.

76 comments:

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Gollum said...

Ah...The memories of playing rugby at Pareora on a nice winter's day.

Pareora had a good team in my age group and we had some great battles over the years on the grounds beside the freezing works. Had many a good cricket game down there too in summer.

I used to play for Celtic in both cricket and rugby.

Did you get to South Westland at all?

Cheers

Unknown said...

Oh, how cute those little boys are! My kid who is just as young as them also loves playing rugby. It's really nice to see that at their young age, they are already taking part in rugby games and involving themselves in physical activities. In fact, my son is helping us promote youth rugby league so kids like him could learn more about the sport and be healthy, too.

By the way, good luck to NZ next year! New Zealand definitely has a lot of advantages over other countries with their power players.

Bob McKerrow - Wayfarer said...

Dear Gollum

Small world eh ! Fancy you playing rugby and cricket at Pareora. That is our grass roots for RWC 2011. The health of these small communities builds up to a strong body of men at national level. My son in law plays for Celtic and I watched him play in the senior competition against Geraldine and then had a liquid evening in the Celtic club rooms with all the funny, but dreadful after match speeches.

No I didn;t get south of hari Hari. Too little time.

Bob

Bob McKerrow - Wayfarer said...

Dear Savannah

Thanks for dropping by. I will check you links in a day or two as I leave early tomorrow for sri lanka and am packing.

Yes, it is a great game and the young boys and girlsd are a delight to watch.

Bob

Donald said...

Dear Bob,

I can just imagine the feel and smell of the rugby day, all so "New Zealand".

Cheers

Donald

Unknown said...

Have a safe flight, Bob. Will be reading your post again soon.


Take care!

Donald said...

Goodness Bob... I just found this via Google in an old post of yours:

>Spare also a thought for Chris Jillett with whom I spent a great week up the Tasman in the late 80's

We were great mates too... met him at Treble Cone. Then I became a dad and my opportunities in the hills tapered off while I was house dad. But he'd always call in to catch up... talk freely with my son [5 yrs old then, and Chris honored him totally talking and teaching]... we'd collect driftwood and the three of us stack it etc. Other times we'd walk a little, ski a little, discuss boots...!

A true mate... is always in my heart!

Cheers

Donald

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Hope your travels were safe and happpy back to your new home. Wish we could have caught up, perhaps another time. Just spent a few days high up in the Ruahine mainly in the hut waiting out a storm. A fire, a few wee drams and your company would have made it even better.
I see the rugby future of New Zealand each Saturday morning when I watch Charlie play for the Under 8 Kia Toa club. As long as we keep good people coaching and helping these young lads, and as long as the NZRFU does not take it's eye off grass roots rugby our future will be okay.
My only concern is that the All Blacks do not peak too soon. I think it important to keep in mind the World Cup is really a rugby tournament, and the team playing the best rugby, staying injury free, having a bit of luck, and being able to adapt to conditions or tactics will usually win. Hopefully this will be the year all that comes together for us. Since I have been here in 1993 it has always been one of those things or a combination that has let us down.
Hope all is well Bob.
Cheers,
Robb

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