ABs need to look at Crosswell
Peter Lampp's take on itPETER LAMPP
Do you want to see loose forward Nick Crosswell play for the All Blacks?
OPINION: Let's have three test players from Manawatu.
This might sound parochial, but shouldn't the All Black selectors at least be taking a dekko at Manawatu loose forward Nick Crosswell?
We have yet to be convinced they have it right at No 6 where they had Victor Vito, now have Adam Thomson with Liam Messam in reserve.
The position is a tight-loose role calling for full-steaming bullocks rather than ball players whose first instinct is to stutterstep with their heads up. Crosswell has been on a stampede all Super season, so much so we have feared for his bodily safety.
The reason for having the effrontery to float this is because mini Manawatu has already produced two test players in two seasons, the two Aarons. And that is yet another reason for ambitious Manawatu prodigies not to go swanning off to Canterbury or Taranaki.
And at risk of peeling the chestnut, remember Manawatu was put on death row two years ago, partly self inflicted by its financial fiasco.
That's where we flash back to Crosswell. The black suits were ready to relegate Manawatu, as well as Northland, Counties-Manukau and Tasman, to the unpaid Corinthian caverns of Heartland rugby.
But when it came to Greece, sorry Otago, they were deemed worthy, largely on historical grounds, of a bailout which included extra All Black tests and a dippy North-South match to help Otago out of penury. Had such a fundraiser been held in Palmerston North at Manawatu's hour of need, then the Crosswells might have understood.
The match had little merit except as a festival frolic and as such it was daft that a few of the players got into a punch-up, which included a particularly foul assault by Filo Paulo.
Much credit for Aaron Smith's emergence has been given to Highlanders and New Zealand Maori coach Jamie Joseph.
But don't forget the groundwork done at Feilding High School and by his Manawatu coaches since 2008.
One year the angle of our interview was that Smith was seldom injured. Sure enough he was hurt in the following game and the bubbly halfback blamed the interviewer.
He did well last Saturday at Eden Park because that is where he suffered his worst injury, a broken leg while playing Auckland in 2008.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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