NZ vs SA wingers progression vs regression

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Feb 12, 2020, 13:07

It is a funny world, but just looking at the careers of the NZ wingers vs those of SA.

You would think with their talent and strike rate that a kiwi winger would hold the world record with the most tries. Starting with Jonuh Lomu to Zac Guildford, Savea and Noholo to Ioni. 

All of the above came firing out of the blocks but then one or 2 injuries and they are surplus to requirements. 

Where as with SA, we struggled for years to find a replacement for Habana and JP Pietersen. None of wingers seem could, tackle, catch or even find the right space on the field. 

Now all of a sudden we have quite a few to choose from. One notable winger is Mpimpi, at 29 he is now one of the best wingers in the world where as Savea can't even hold down a lucrative club contract. 

We have the likes of Kolbe age 26 setting the world a light and looking at getting better and better. 

Then we still have some youngsters coming through too, but it just makes me wonder how the All blacks chuck their wingers to the side so quickly and it is all downhill their for them where with SA it takes a while for our boys to reach their potential 

Feb 12, 2020, 13:16

I think the AB's backline players in general - but wings in particular - are selected on the basis of physical strength rather than pace,   They also pick all players on the basis of handling skills and ball sense.  . 

That makes defense more difficult for opposing teams - but once they work out a strategy as to how to contain the AB's  their player performances go backwards and the AB coaches start looking for alternatives, ,      

Feb 12, 2020, 13:46

NZ don't have anything to worry about at wing... 

They constantly churn out world class players there, do not delude yourselves. 

Feb 12, 2020, 13:49

I also think that is why the All Black bombed out of the World Cup and lost/draw with the lions. They seem to pick their outside back that hardly has test experience but that are on form in the super rugby like Havili and Jordy Barret when you had players like Ben Smith, bit long in the tooth but did he show his value in the bronze medal match against Wales 

They also moved moved Bauden Barret to 15 to shoehorn Richie Moungo into the starting 15. 

When they could have kept Barret at 10, move smith to 15 and retain some of their wingers with experience

Feb 12, 2020, 14:30

Julian Savea had one too many KFC's, and was dumped by the All Blacks. It was the correct decision, as he can't even get a starting position at Toulon. The owner of Toulon even said that it was a fake Savea, or the person who showed up ate Savea on the way over.

The big winger type of players will probably have an earlier sell-by date than smaller ones like Kolbe, and Mapimpi.

Mapimpi barely even looks like a rugby player he is so diminutive in stature, but he is the best finisher in world rugby. He converts try-scoring opportunities into points.

A bigger concern is why Rieko Ioane lost his form. He still appears to have the same pace, which is exceptional for such a big person. 

The All Blacks formed dropped off about 2 years ago when Ioane started to lose form, and then Ben Smith - as well as the props. Suddenly their pack had no mongrel, and there was less firepower out wide. 

Feb 12, 2020, 14:38

The Mo'unga and Beauden combo was a success until they reached the Semi final, but they weren't the reason NZ lost. Their pack quite simply got demolished. 

The Beauden/Smith combo would not have made them able to retain their wingers with experience. Rieko was in the dog house for whatever reason, and I trust Hansen's management to be in the right there. 

Feb 12, 2020, 15:06

Our scrum half situation also seems to have inadvertently sorted itself out. Between Faf, Papier, Reinach and Jaintjies, there is some real class. 

Nkosi is also the real deal and younger than both your mentions, Corn.

For me, Mapimpi is a bit of racehorse(ja, i know, he did very well in the air and showed a wider skillset during the WC) and it's debatable whether Kolbe, at his size, will be able to dominate much into his 30s.

Nkosi will only get bigger in the coming years and he has already shown ample x-factor and finishing nouse. It takes two defenders to safely keep him away from the line. Quick feet and power. Quite a rare combination for SA wingers. 

Pity about Dyanti.


Feb 12, 2020, 15:29

Last time a South African wing played against a NZ wing....Sevu  Reece left Mapimpi  for dead and a try which handed the match to the ABs.

But we do have a type of wing they struggle to contain.....Paulse, Habana and now Kolbe. Small fast guys with reactions even faster than their outright’s a mental thing in part. Having one of those makes a huge difference to the potency of the Bok backline.

Feb 12, 2020, 18:59

"Small fast guys with reactions even faster than their outright’s a mental thing in part."

You mean the reaction time is a mental thing?

Or that the ABs have a mental problem with smaller quick thinking opposition

Feb 12, 2020, 19:05

NZ have lost their way a little with their wings - their current two are ok, nothing to write home about

It’s a mystery what has happened to Ione - he was unbelievable at one point

Feb 12, 2020, 19:22

Yeah, Savea went backwards at a quick rate, but all of their wingers never seem to last. But on one hand they do seem to have healthy competition in the outside backs

Where I think SA can also hold on too long onto their wingers. Habana should have been dropped at least a few times for bad form under Meyer and the same can be said when he played for Coetzee. He ended up looking like an exhibition player. 

Although, just looking at sharks last weekend and how Fassi, Tambesh and Mpimpi effortlessly skinned the bigger kiwi wingers with pure pace

Feb 12, 2020, 23:58

Reece is small

Habana was hardly small at 95kg plus

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