Opinion: Newbies look set to fill big boots
Sun, 19 Aug 2012 12:19a.m.
By Hamish McKay
The biggest problem faced by Steve Hansen in 2012 was always going to be finding replacements for Brad Thorn and Jerome Kaino.
So in "the big boots to fill" stakes how did the new boys measure up?
Well Liam Messam's 72nd minute tackle on Kurtley Beale is the kind of reassurance All Black fans will want to see from the big Chief on a regular basis.
On the downside Messam, on a couple of occasions was forced into touch handing the Wallabies possession. And maybe he should have backed himself instead of passing to Hosea Gear late in the game.
Overall Messam gets a good pass mark - but was it good enough for the selectors to resist giving Victor Vito a crack at Eden Park?
Luke Romano was busy and it's hard not to like the cut of his gib. His fellow Christchurch Boys 3rd XV graduates can be well chuffed at their old team mate. He looks the part and believes he should be out there.
And the bloke who replaced him Brodie Retallick made the most of his time in the middle. With Retallick at lock the scrum lost nothing. And his work rate is second to none.
Next weekend I'm picking Retallick might get the nod in the starting XV.
Filling those big boots looks well under control.
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