Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Opinion Piece: Hurricane Not Hitting Japan

Opinion Piece: Hurricane Not Hitting Japan

Darry Worthington explains why he thinks All Black coach Steve Hansen's decision to leave Ngani Laumape at home was the right call.

Rugby World Cup years are by far and away the most emotional in the sport with a number of players seeing their dreams of representing their countries at the sport's pinnacle event dashed due to injury or loss of form.

One man who will be feeling heartache on a grand scale is Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumpe. The human wrecking ball was one of the so-called "unlucky five", who were culled from the All Black World Cup squad at the close of last month. And whilst his fellow 'dropped' were unlucky to miss out, there's no disputing that the blockbuster 12 was the unluckiest of the bunch.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sports - Hollywoodbets 

Laumape's Freakish All Black Strike Rate
The former Rugby League star only made his All Black debut in 2017 but he's already got ten tries to his name from just ten Tests. That's a crazy strike rate for an inside centre.

He's not only a try-scoring machine but also has an incredible knack of setting up his teammates for five-pointers.

Laumape's real strength, however, is his ball-carrying ability. The man is an absolute beast in contact and gobbles up metres for fun. He's probably the strongest ball-carrying back in the game at present and is able to get his side out of tricky situations while camped in their own 22.

Why He Didn't Make the Squad
After seeing the above you must be asking yourself why this freak on nature 5.10, 97-kilogram dynamo didn't make the squad. Well, unfortunately for the Palmerston-North native, there is massive competition for the inside centre berth in New Zealand at the moment.

Laumape found himself in a straight shootout with fellow freak of nature Sonny Bill-Williams and Mr Consistent himself, Ryan Crotty. The former had come under heavy criticism prior to a barnstorming display against the Wallabies in this year's Bledisloe 2 game. That game reminded the New Zealand rugby public why Steve Hansen has so much faith in veteran Williams.

Ryan Crotty, who like Williams is exceedingly injury-prone, is exactly the man you want to take to a World Cup as he's vastly experienced and always puts in a solid shift.

While Laumape is probably most exciting of the triumvirate, Crotty and Williams have a massive edge over him as they are both vastly experienced players with over 90 Tests caps between them. Both veterans have also been to World Cups with Williams making part of the 2011 and '15 squads and Crotty turning out in 2015.

Not All Doom and Gloom
While Laumape will be bitterly disappointed in missing out on the initial New Zealand World Cup squad, he may well still make an appearance with both Williams and Crotty highly injury-prone. Even if injury doesn't befall the two veterans, there's no doubting that Laumape will experience a World Cup as he at the pick of his powers by the time France 2023 rolls around.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets 

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