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SBW and Kahui Last Minute Wingers 51 views 3 Comments
20 September 2011 by The Swede Eaters
 
Connected with: Wiki Player Richard Kahui, Andrew Ellis, Sonny Bill Williams

Why have Richard Kahui and SBW suddenly become the best wingers in New Zealand despite being centres. Scott Donaldson looks at this issue.

The New Zealand All Blacks look set to have the hottest wingers in the world playing in the later stages of Rugby World Cup 2011, but given their usual depth of outside backs, why are two centres all of a sudden the best wingers in New Zealand?

The New Zealand All Blacks have gone from having too much talent in their outside backs to potentially taking on the best teams in the world in a Rugby World Cup final with usual centres Richard Kahui and Sonny Bill Williams as their wingers.  The problem is that the All Blacks have two great midfielders in Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith, leaving few opportunities for both Kahui and SBW.  This latest move makes most New Zealand fans look back with a hint of regret at previous tournaments where players like Christian Cullen, Leon MacDonald and Mils Muliaina were found wanting playing out of position. 

The selectors went for Zac Guildford at the expense of more experienced wingers like Sitiveni Sivivatu and Hosea Gear when they named their Rugby World Cup squad of 30 players, but Guildford was found out against the Wallabies in the virtual Tri Nations final.  This has forced the selectors' hands with the other options Isaia Toeava and Cory Jane hardly stamping their authority on the Number 14 jersey.  The only other option is starting both veteran fullback Mils Muliaina at fullback and Israel Dagg on the wing.  While these provide some options for the selectors, does anyone else find it disturbing that we are still experimenting so late into the tournament?  Why has it taken us until now to give Sonny Bill Williams a chance as a winger?  I hope they start with Jane on the wing and use Sonny Bill Williams off the bench as an option.  Do both Sonny Bill Williams and Richard Kahui have the top end speed to be world class wingers?  Does it matter not having text book pacy finishing wingers in the Rugby World Cup finals?  
I am getting the same feeling about Andy Ellis.  I think Ellis is going to surpass Cowan and Weepu as the top All Blacks halfback.  I do think Ellis has a better passing game, but Cowan's physicality would probably be best against the Springboks or the Poms.  It seems funny that the selectors never considered Ellis as the first choice halfback until so late into the actual Rugby World Cup tournament.  Do you think this is intentional to catch their opposition off guard?
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3 . DB Draught 21 Sep 2011 03:23 PM
What about Dagg and Jane on the wings and Mils at fullback? Mils might be out of sorts and a little slower than he was on attack, but he is still one of the most dependable players in world rugby and his defense is great. Plus, having three fullbacks as the back three would give us the best scrambling defense in the competition and would be handy against the kicking games of england/south africa etc in the title finals games

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2 . Small Pips 20 Sep 2011 05:37 PM
Guildford should never have been in the WC squad. Imagine how stoked Gear and Sivi feel now watching 'converts' Kahui and Williams on the wing! The selectors know they stuffed up there. Granted Kahui is playing well but lets not forget two games against Tonga and Japan does not constitute a great winger! In any case Dagg has to start. I worry a little when we start bandwagging players after one/two good performances against teams a second div provincial team would beat.

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1 . Havok_nz 20 Sep 2011 12:47 AM
Yeah, Jane and Kahui on the wings, Smith and Nonu in the center, and Dagg fullback if he's fit. Bring Sonny bill on to replace anyone who's not quite on par or as a tactical change. I liked Guilford coming into this tournament, he would have been my starting winger, but Kahui has proved hes the man and Guilford slipped up on and off the field. I don't want to see him picked for any world cup games unless someone else is Injured, or they really need to rest someone. The last thing we need is him to start against canada and have a great game, score a hat trick and give the coaching staff a headache haha.

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