One of the most exciting prospects of the 2012 Super Rugby competition has been Brodie Retallick. The ironic thing is that nothing about his play is exciting, and that is the very thing that makes him such an enticing prospect. In the modern game worth ethic, consistency and reliability are treated in higher esteem than x factor. It is just too easy to exploit players who have deficiencies in their game nowadays. So when a young lock comes on the scene that is taller than any other lock in New Zealand, specialises in his core duties of lineouts and kick offs and features high in the statistics for tackles and hitting rucks, then the people of New Zealand rightfully get excited. The fact that Retallick already has a reputation as one of the fittest tight forwards speaks well to the fact that he has the work ethic and drive to continue the upward trend. If you don’t know much about him, then it’s worth having a quick read of the Rugby Fix Brodie Retallick player profile.
Retallick’s a player on the rise!
He’s already been picked for the All Blacks wider training squad, but unlike most of the young draftees, he’s one that’s actually expected to suit up for the Ireland tests. He would complement the young incumbent Sam Whitelock very well, as he is a looser style of lock. The question will be whether they pick a lock that has a bit more physical than Retallick, such as one in the Brad Thorn mould. Considering the only player selected who fits that bill is Luke Ramanos, then Brodie Retallick has the inside running. The real question is whether they give Ali Williams another crack at his expense. Most of New Zealand will be hoping that form counts for something and the young Chiefs lock gets his chance.
His first speed bump
Although the Chiefs eventually triumphed against an impressive Bulls forward pack, the lineout and kickoff battle may have given Chiefs fans their first glimpse of Brodie Retallick being human. The Chiefs had by far their worst game in terms of the lineout. Where the young prodigy was targeted and came off second best. Kick off were also a mess. Chiefs and All Blacks fans will be anxiously waiting to see if Brodie Retallick can bounce back and show them what he is made of. Most are predicting he will bounce back stronger than ever.
A forward pass in an All Blacks test.
There have been recent changes to would a video referee can rule on. It is being trialled that they would be able to rule on the play leading up to a try. It meant the video ref who ruled out this try would have actually been allowed to.
It looks like a good call, but they will need to be very disciplined about what it includes, otherwise we will have to go back way too far into general play.