It’s hard to watch the Kiwi’s miss out on the ANZAC bikkies year after year. Something about the Australian way of life must instill similar skillsets, and sub-conscious talents into their league players that the New Zealand way of life does with rugby players.
There’s certainly never a lack of talent wearing the Kiwi’s jersey but the Australian national teams play with such precision and confidence that you’d almost suspect they had been manufactured in a German car factory.
The Kiwis have great players across the paddock but when it comes to the ANZAC tests the fact that they haven’t had a lot of time together as a team is obvious.
It does help that the combination of Slater, Smith and Cronk play together each week. But there is a structure and fundamental approach to their game that the Kiwi teams seem to lack, or look to base on an ad-lib style that is hard to reproduce, let alone coach or teach.
New Zealand league players are great to watch. Flair, size, speed and strength are common attributes in many of our players. But the professional mindset that the Australians have instilled into their players through the developmental process makes the Australians amazing to watch.
The proof? State of Origin.