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More on whether losing the Bledisloe and Tri-Nations matters if we win the World Cup

Here is an earlier selection of Your Views:

Tareha (Auckland)
Yesssss. You know there is one thing I cannot handle, and that is an Aussie after they have just beaten the Abs (not very often mind you). In the voice of William Wallace-Braveheart: "They may take the World Cup, but not our Tri-Nations and Bledisloeeeeeeee." Stuff that, to be crowned world champions you gotta produce the goods, look what has happened to England they probably don't even have a ranking anymore.

I don't think the Tri-Nations/Bledisloe Cup is really important for Henry and Co However the form of players and positional changes/rotations call it what you may will continue until the knockout phases of the RWC. Confidence is a big asset in Rugby and the All Blacks are lacking in that department mainly due to the lack of cohesion in attack which stifles the penetration of players like Rocokoco and Sivivatu out wide to recieve quality ball. Sione Lauaki deserves his chance to play this week along with Masoe. Masoe runs on confidence.

Ray (Sydney)
The ultimate prize for the All Blacks is the World Cup, but in saying that you can not get a better preparation this week for finals footy than the task of re-capture ring both the Bledisloe and Tri-Nations trophy's. Therefore we must play our strongest team possible to give 'em a taste of what's to come during finals time in September.

That's funny Jake White reminding Graham Henry that, "Defence wins world cups". Who didn't score one try last week? What a twit. Graham Henry should remind him, "Putting points on the board also wins World Cups".

Yes, but really that is the sort of defeatist talk we expect from stupid losers scared for what is about to happen in Eden Park unless we pick a team on form not reputation. The mistaken presumption that this team of superstars can win in France by not winning this crucial game is a ludicrous thought. Oh and by the way, if the master coaches wish to know exactly how and who the Aussies plan to target to win pick up an Aust newspaper. They said they would target us in the centres and they did, and what did we do about it? Zip. They think we are stupid and they may well be right.

Field the strongest team yet, blow the Ozzies off the park and let that be the precedence of the ABs World Cup campaign. We want the Bledisloe as well. South African coach may rue his words prior to leaving Aotearoa. The only reason South Africa played defensively is because they brought an E grade side. They had no ambition to win this game just to hold the ABs out and lose by the smallest margin, they got lucky keeping it 6 all, but the teams weakness showed they couldn't hold out. The ABs were relentless and the South Aficans collapsed. They have no innovation and cannot adapt to the pace of the game (spoiling is there way to catch a breath), not like the ABs.
South African coach should have done more attacking on the park than in the press, should have admitted defeat, taken a bow and come up with something fancy like "see you at the Cup". May rue those departing words coach, you'll be lucky to make it to the quarter finals.
ABs. "Kia Kaha".

Carlos (Auckland)
In a sport that is filled with clichés here is the only one that matters this year - you are only as good as your last game. The last game the All Blacks will be involved in this year will either see them winning the Webb Ellis trophy, or losing at some point in the knockout stages of the World Cup. In either scenario neither the players nor us as a nation will care much for what happened at Eden Park some 5 or 6 games prior. The All Blacks will be judged on how they fare in that last World Cup match. The Tri-Nations and Bledisloe are nice-to-haves but they won't mean much at the end of this year.

Unfortunately in World Cup year the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup are just a side show. I certainly haven't been too interested in watching or the results, as we all know winning the world cup is the main objective.
As for the All Blacks form, well they don't have any at the moment, but who cares, I want them playing well at the world cup, not now. The world cup will bring out the best in these players, they will be under huge pressure because of what happened at the two previous world cups, and instead of trying to forget about the past failures they should use it to there advantage.

Bryan Harrison
I get sick of everything for the world cup. Look who is the current holder, and what they did since, or even at the world cup. As a fan, and also because of the huge cost to see the All Blacks, I want them to win every game they play! I don't care for the bigger picture at all, you don't get a refund if they loose a game do you? They don't say hey, have your money back as that game wasn't important, it's just the world cup that counts. It's all about entertainment, try to win them all, accept the losses, and good luck to the better team on the day! And for God's sake, please get rid of Tony Johnston off the commentary team!

AB Supporter
Jake White's views truly supports his South African rugby side:
1. Appalling natural attacking ability & instincts - hence his focus on defensive strategies only. ABs on the other hand have both the ability to attack and defend at will.
2. Mindless comments with no back bone  it's like throwing nuts & bolts towards an oncoming machine hoping to stop its devastating rampage. Psychological attacks off field do not win championship games. JW should be spending his efforts in trying to produce a top side.
3. Rugby is an 80min game - playing a great 60mins of rugby only indicates a lack of fitness as shown by JW's team. I have yet to see SA play a full throttle 80min international game this year. The AB's would have played even 90min at full pace if the game allowed it.
Unfortunately ABs learn more playing Australia than playing against SA. Realistically Australia is the greater threat at the World Cup. I'm sure watching two teams in the World Cup final defending only will be the greatest boring match of all time.

Allen Nicholson
Games are won with determined defence and incisive attack. To assume that all you need is a good defence is limiting and instils the attitude of playing "not to lose" rather than playing to win.

We will win all this year. We have had our two seasonal loses and Dan has had his three misses, only ever does it once in a season.
Remember, we only need to draw with Oz to win Tri-Nations although we will need to win to retain Bledisloe Cup.

We need to concentrate on the World Cup!
Don't care about the Tri-Nations, it's clear the Boks don't care by sending an average side.
Bledisloe dominates in NZ and always will I reckon, got the beat the Ozzies.

The World Cup holds too much importance. The Bledisloe has more history and is played in a positive and open spirit. The World Cup is sudden death and as has been proven the best team does not always win. I believe the world cup should allow for multiple games to decide the final and ideally the semis as well.

Kiwi Luke (South Australia)
I would have to say a big no. The ABs can go on to win the world cup regardless of Saturday's result. The ABs are a champion team that is building up towards the world cup goal. I compare them to the champion Australia cricket team before the World Cup in the Caribbean - they were comprehensively beaten by England in the Ashes One day series and then New Zealand in the Chappell-Hadlee series but went on to completely dominate and win the world cup. I think this is a mentally tough and well prepared ABs team. They will have gained further match fitness and toughness from their hard hit outs against the Springboks and the Wallabies. What have the Springboks gained by sending a 2nd string side? And the Wallabies have a bit of current fragile form but don't have much depth - and lets not forget their a piss weak scrum! I think ABs will win the trifecta of cups this year.

Steve (North Harbour)
Yey, when you look at the Tri-Nations table, the AB's have the best defensive record. Jake and John remind me of small boys whistling loudly in the dark to distract themselves from being afraid.

Sam (Timboon, Victoria)
White's comment may have been fabricated to negate the attacking ability of this ABs unit. But it is not impossible to have the best attack and the best defence in any game. One American basketball coach said, the best defence is offence. How can one defend if they keep on attacking? You only defend when the other side has the ball. As long as you have the ball, you can keep on attacking, that is not rocket science.
It is important to win the Tri-Nation and the Bledisloe Cup. There is a psychological factor embedded in these wins. It is a confidence booster for the guys. But there is also a danger of falling into complacency mode as a consequence. The guys would have to accept the wins as just another game, should they win. They should get into that disposition. It is not impossible to keep on winning. The win would be a build up to the WC. They have to remember there is still another game to play after one win, because the next game could do real damage to mental strength if they loose.
But I like the idea of Evans as a first five/fullback/wing. I reckon he and Mauger will make good centres, but that is too late to experiment before the WC, though Evans has the edge in terms of speed. He has got speed and skills and big enough for defence. The centre spot is now well covered with Smith, Toeava and Muliaina. I wondered why Henry didn't put Evans at full back and move Muliaina to centre at the MCG game, because Evans has played fullback before.

Have you ever heard the likes of it? If Jakes front row was as fit as Jakes mouth the Springboks might have a chance but, I can't remember seeing a group of fat slobs stumbling around the paddock like in the closing 10 of last weekend's match. What a complete humiliation of a forward pack. Their front row got steamrolled, their second row outjumped, outran and out tackled, and their back three totally outclassed. Come to think of it, there wasn't one one-on-one match-up where the Blacks didn't give the Springboks their beans. Then to top it all off, he implies that NZ should be worried? Come again?

Leonie (Sydney)
The Bledisloe is the one to win. It is a cup that has been fought for many, many years and against a nation that is supreme. The Tri-Nations I don't care about. South Africa are not in the same calibre as NZ and Australia, but the Bledisloe that is one cup I don't want the Aussies to get their fingers on. I would say because of the history that the Bledisloe is more important than the world cup. We are a nation where tradition is very important to us and should stay that way! To much emphasis on the world cup, don't let the Aussies have the glory of beating the all blacks. Wipe the smirk from George Gregan's face.

Morris Reuben (Australia)
"... you have to ask what is going to happen when the heat is really on with good players against them"
Jake, have you forgotten that the ABs have already beaten the Boks 'A' team at home this year? Just in case you had, the score was 26-21. Add about a ten point start for the ABs at home and you will have a pretty good estimate as to what will happen with your 'good' players.

Gee (Melbourne)
The only cup that hasn't graced our cabinet in 20 years is the World Cup, therefore, if we lost the TN and Bledisloe cups and came back from France with the mother of all trophies, I wouldn't care about the others. Just think what that would do for NZ! Choker tag.. goodbye. Officially the world's best. A great opportunity to go back-to-back winners in 2011. Shut these so-called media types who think they know it all (B.Dwyer, A.Campbell, E.Jones). Besides, we have had those other two trophies so many times now, why not let Aussie or the SA care for them (for one year). If, and I think this is a huge possibility, we managed to secure all three, my AB top won't be leaving my body for a while. Go All Blacks.

I'm going to the Rugby World Cup. I will spend two months in France, at no small cost, and see every All Back game. If they make the quarters, semis and final, I will be very happy. But, if the Aussies beat us on Saturday, it will be worse than not winning the World Cup. The World Cup has done nothing for rugby, it's a tease, a periodic gala of footy, which has lessened the importance of the real game. Give me the intensity of traditional tests, the tours, where competition for test places is significantly greater than it appears to be at present, where, if you wait your turn, you will get games. The World Cup is a fun environment, party, party, party - the real world of rugby lives elsewhere.

Mike (England)
I think it would be a huge loss (in many ways) if the ABs lost the Bledisloe Cup (and to a lesser extent the Tri-Nations). You can't predict the future so I would want to win whatever I could, whichever cup is.

Erin Dinneen
If the 'years' of rotations and preparatory strategies have worked they should be showing results now. 'Yes' we should be winning and winning well - or at least losing and playing well, with guts and passion.

Thorny1 (Auckland)
Why not win both? It seems bit defeatist to be thinking that it's a one or another opportunity. I don't mean to sound greedy, but in my view, there's no reason why not.

It's a pity South Africa can't play as well as their coach's after match speeches.

Fatboy Harry
Absolutely, the World Cup is nowhere as important to me as the Bledisloe or Tri-Nations. The World Cup is a one-off performance, whereas the others are a better reflection of who is the form team etc. The Poms fluked a win four years ago, and have been rubbish ever since (that's just one example) and the Boks poisoned our team in 1995 so the form team got beaten. Sacrifice the World Cup for the others if we have to, but to have it would be a bonus!

That's a tough one, because of course seeing the All Blacks win the world cup would be the ultimate dream. But that being said, I would much rather see the team give their all for every competition, and we all know the Tri-Nations is played between the three best teams in the world anyway. I say forget about the World Cup for now.

Maori dog Mike
If I was an overseas club I would snap up Nick Evans sooo fast. (There is no way the Bledisloe should be sacrificed for the World Cup - we'd just end up with neither!)

Jeremy Stevens (UK)
When I last commented on this site, I expressed a balanced opinion on the chances of the ABs. I have lived in NZ, Australia and now the UK. I've seen the best and worst of these sides. On paper, the ABs have some of the best individuals in the world. However, rugby is not about individuals, it's about the team. The only way to build an effective team is to play as a team, many times in a variety of circumstances. Let's face it, the ABs have beaten the easy-beats of world rugby. However, the ABs have struggled against the more serious teams. The Wallabies are in transition and have been bold in their choice and trial of various combinations. The Springboks are ready for the World Cup and they know it - hence the 'protection' of their top players. The ABs have barely played together as a 'team'. Can GH really name his best 'team'? The ABs need to remember that rugby is primarily a 15 a side match up, with a few substitutes as required. Unless the ABs name and play their best team consistently, against the worst and best teams, their confidence in themselves and each other will diminish and the ABs will be the 'also rans' in the World Cup once again. My bet? As I said four weeks back, the Wallabies will continue to build-up for the World Cup and 'surprise' everyone! Remember last time round, only a Johnny Wilkson drop goal in extra time deprived the Wallabies of yet another World Cup. Love 'em or hate 'em, the Wallabies sure do fire at World Cup time!

If NZ can win comprehensively against Australia (and I'm talking about putting a 25 point margin on them) then yes, NZ will have enough of an advantage to overcome Australia in the semi-final in the World Cup. Whoever wins that in all likelihood will go onto win the final against France or South Africa. If NZ scrape a win playing the way they have been, or lose their last Tri-Nations game in Auckland then the AB's will go no further than beating either Argentina or Ireland at the World Cup quarter-final stage. Jake White is dead right with his comments regarding no team ever winning a World Cup actually playing a lot of rugby, let alone going into a World Cup with an attacking game. Today's defensive screens are simply too good for that approach. Today's challengers have already worked out the AB attack plan this season, as we've seen for all the games played to date.

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