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Ranger axed from NZ squad

2010-07-19 07:43

Wellington - All Blacks coach Graham Henry has dropped Rene Ranger and Liam Messam from his Tri-Nations squad to play Australia and warned his side can only get better after beating South Africa twice.

"I think we are probably playing at 75 percent, so I think we can get a lot better," Henry said after the All Blacks earned a maximum 10 points from the opening two Tri-Nations Tests against the defending champions South Africa.

Ranger, who scored a try in the second Test 31-17 win over South Africa, and Messam who came off the bench in the second half, make way for Joe Rokocoko and Victor Vito who return from injury for the July 31 Test in Melbourne.

Prop John Afoa, now covering hooker as well, and lock Anthony Boric have been included in the squad travelling to Melbourne despite not being required for the South African Tests.

Scrumhalf Alby Mathewson will also assemble with the squad as cover for Piri Weepu who is preparing for the arrival of his first child.

Australia are expected to produce a similar style to the All Blacks' high-paced, expansive game, and while the Springboks found it difficult to combat Henry said that would not always be the case.

"There are good teams out there and Australia just might be that team," he said.

In each of the two Tests against the Springboks the All Blacks scored four tries to give them 24 five-pointers from only five Tests this year compared to the total of 24 scored in 14 Tests last year.

The Springboks, the reigning Tri-Nations champions, play Australia in Brisbane on Saturday.

All Blacks squad:

Forwards: John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Tom Donnelly, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Kieran Read, Brad Thorn, Victor Vito, Sam Whitelock and Tony Woodcock

Backline: Daniel Carter, Jimmy Cowan, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Mils Muliaina, Ma'a Nonu, Josevata Rokocoko, Conrad Smith, Benson Stanley and Piri Weepu

Reuters

Comments
  • PassITon - 2010-07-19 07:59

    Good call Henry, Ranger tends to be selfish with ball in hand, we all know what happens when we (NZ) play as a team and stretch them........... BONUS POINTS

  • Kaballas - 2010-07-19 08:15

    En tipies toe gee JJ Harmse wragtig vir Danie Rossouw 9 uit 10 in die Rapport. Magtig man, toe hy af was vir 10 min het die AB's twee driee gedruk.... Hy moes seker sy nostalgiese vleiende artikel van laas week oor dieselfde man justify. SA rugby moet nie meer oorheers word deur die bulle nie. Ek kan nie meer die up & ander gemors kyk wat ons opdis nie..

  • The Freak - 2010-07-19 08:26

    He should've been cited for that armless tackle on Zane. What's wrong with PDiv and his team? De Villiers gets cited and is out for 2 weeks for a "spear" on Ranger (ja right), and nothing happens to this hot head youngster.

  • sure - 2010-07-19 09:32

    THE REF + RICHIE MCCAW = CHEATS..!!

  • AB Supporter - 2010-07-19 09:51

    Marius Jonker is the most corrupt referee in professional footy. He totally screwed the Crusaders out of a home semi in the S14, so what goes around comes around... dry your eyes you whining brain-dead Bok supporters!

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-07-19 10:18

    I think Graham Henry is getting a bit carried away with himself now! Yes NZ had a very good win which was thoroughly deserved - in spite of the ref - but, I think that is about as good as it will get!

  • @sure - 2010-07-19 10:32

    SMIT + PDiv = LOSERS...!!!

  • me - 2010-07-19 11:01

    Do the Refs not have a press confrence and get questioned like the captains do? if not why not? . They can then justify their decisions, when asked questions like How many final warnings do you give and AB captain?

  • @kaballas - 2010-07-19 11:04

    Hy moes Danie 9 uit 10 gegee het en al daai WP manne 2 uit 10.En jou kaptein John Smit.

  • Bok Be*ok! - 2010-07-19 11:18

    @AB Supporter, you def don't know your game, Marius Jonker is one of the best in the World.Maybe you should look at this Rolland freak that blew the Boks off the field!!

  • GW@Bok supporter's - 2010-07-19 11:43

    Go All Black's...Bok's loose with 10 against Kangaroo's

  • Claude - 2010-07-19 13:57

    Henry has got it right -- he knows Ranger would have been sin binned and or cited against any other team but the Boks for the type of tackle he made on ZK last saturday.

  • Go Australia - 2010-07-19 15:26

    Ha, ha so now he has dropped Ranger in fear that the Ref in the Australia game might not be so stupid. For, in any normal game Ranger would have been cited and suspended! Go Australia I will be rooting for you to demolish the cheating AB's.

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