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  #2007276 3-May-2018 16:50
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wratterus:

 

I'm looking forward to watching Blues v 'tahs. Think it could be quite a good battle. 

 

 

 

Crusaders haven't been their normal selves at all, but they have had a couple of key players out from injury who are back. The team looks pretty legit for this weekend...

 

 

 

David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Mitchell Drummond

Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Pete Samu, Sam Whitelock (captain), Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Andrew Makalio, Wyatt Crockett.

 

 

The Blues couldn't really get much worse than the last fortnight. I've seen first 15's play better than the Blues last week at times. 

 

Both teams have a lot to play for, Blues have more to lose. I think they could get up. 

 

 

 

Havili was my Crusaders player of the year last year, and I think he is more consistent if less surprisingly than DM, but this year he has been very quiet. I'd love to see him get more into a game. 

 

Agree the Crusaders have been quite strangely off, even when comfortably winning. I hope you are right about all the players that are out. Mo'unga being out was quite a difference. I wonder if he will have the same fire. Jaw Injuries can have quite a mental impact on your game. Unconsciously you hesitate going into contact, naturally. I'd hate to see him have a slump the way that Slade did (understandably) for a bit after all his similar injuries. That being said, Slades last season with the Crusaders he was almost defying death every week going into contact for try-saving tackles. I cringed every time I knew he was the defender!


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  #2007279 3-May-2018 16:53
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Don't mean to sound racist but the blues need more wasp players, less huge maori/pacific islanders. It hard to explain why, except their current lot just can't stick to a game plan, and seem too individual instead of team focused.

 

It probably better for inspiring a diverse range of up and coming "schoolboy" talent too.


 
 
 
 




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  #2008327 5-May-2018 09:38
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The Crusaders looked a more like their old selves with a record-breaking win against the Rebels who put up a decent fight for 40 minutes. 

 

Richie Mo'unga looked pretty confident considering the type of injury he suffered. Not much hesitation taking the line or making tackles. 

 

 

 

The Chief's injury toll really has taken its toll. They didn't look themselves at all, and the writing was on the wall by 10 minutes into the second half when pretty much everything they had tried went wrong. They should really have spent 30 minutes with guys in the bin after McKenzie played the ball on the ground as the Juaguares were hot on attack after making a line break. I thought Liam Messam was hard done by, but no question someone should have been binned. 

 

 

 

It's just not reasonable to expect teams to play like themselves when you are pulling 4th and 5th choice players out of thin air to fill horrifying injury caused gaps. Doesn't matter what tuakapapa says, it has a massive impact. 

 

 

 

The Juaguares played pretty well, but next to no chance on even a mid-strength Chiefs team they would have had a chance. 

 

Disappointing to see Retallick yet again getting into a scuffle he wasn't any part of. Seems to have been a bit of a change in his aggression levels in that regard. It's not a positive thing in my view. 

 

 

 

 




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  #2008567 5-May-2018 23:52
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Congrats to the Blues. I felt it was unlikely they would lose after watching 17 minutes and seeing how easily they made the advantage line. Having said that, both teams were terrible for long periods. 

 

Blues defence has been poor all season but tonight, when they needed it the most it was excellent most of the time.

 

Jaco Pyper had a pretty average night for my money. He missed 2 clear knock ons around the 67 minute mark, one that led to a Blues try. A few other decisions that were fairly average. He was Johnny on the spot most of the time, should have seen them.

 

Lions had a shaky start, but did surprisingly well to come back against the 'canes. Hurricanes held on just well enough.

 

 

 

Most overseas international teams would be happy to take the entire canes backline from 11 upward and put them right into their own.

 

 

 

 


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  #2008824 6-May-2018 18:00
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So a round up of the NZ teams this week (from my perspective).

The fourth best team played below par and lost to the Pumas, I mean Jaguares. They were missing their two best forwards, Cane and Retallick.
The best team went into the sheds at half time against the Rebels ahead by only three points. But I'm not sure what was said in the Crusader's room vs what was said in the Rebel's one, but only one team turned up in the second half (a clue it wasn't the Rebels).
The second best team played South Africa's best, and beat them. Looked like a walkover at one stage but they took their foot of the Lion's throat.
NZ's worst team went across the Tasman to play Australia's best. And beat them. Not pretty, but staunch defence made the difference for the Blues.
The third best, Highlanders, had a 'mare that they will want to forget. Came away with serious shark bites.

I hate the conference system in its current form. Substandard teams, high up the table by virtue of the conference they are in.




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  #2008831 6-May-2018 18:21
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I have been worried about the Crusaders for about 4 weeks. Not that they have been terrible, but off the mark. They have, like most teams had a pretty big group of injured players, but Friday night they looked lethal even though they were still not as good as in the last 5 games last season. 

 

It has made a huge difference having Franks back and Mo'unga. I am concerned about Hunts in field kicking. Sometimes it's amazing, othertimes I shake my head. He has had a few charged down. Sam Whitelock is just a monster. Wyatt Crockett is a man with few peers. 195 games and counting. 

 

If his final game is in NZ, I intend to take my son and see if we can get an autograph. 




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  #2009408 7-May-2018 17:26
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So anyone want to predict players for higher honours in the All Blacks Squad this year. 

 

As compelling as Lam has been, it's hard for me to see him being included. There is a logjam in the backs, esp back 3 right now. They are going to need to settle on some players in order to have something coming ready for 2019 I think. Tafua has been immense but I am pretty sure he won't make the cut, unfortunately. I suspect Whitelock would be preferred over him, though I think Tafua is more blockbusting, able to get over the gain line. I'm interested to see if the AB's think McKenzie has been a success in 10 for the Chiefs. I'd worry a *lot* about him being at 10 for the AB's. His bravery is unquestionable, but defensively, I think there is a fair bit of improvement required. He seems to make a bigger impression with more space. Mo'unga would be backup to BB right now I think if Lima doesn't play a part.  Bryn Hall has been good for the Crusaders, but I think they will want someone younger with a bit more future ahead of them perhaps. His passing is fast and crisp and accurate. I thought for sure that the Brad Weber would feature, but it seems he has fallen by the way side. He hasn't looked as good as he was early on since he broke his leg. Akira Iaone could be pushing his case for 8.

 

I will be interested to see who gets included and picked at 7. I was a little surprised (but happy) that Todd got more AB caps, I am curious as to why Savea dropped down the openside pecking order. 

 

 

 

Any others?

 

On another note it was really nice to see Kaino getting into his work in the Blues game, he was one of their best. 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  #2009705 8-May-2018 09:15
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Interesting that it's possible SA will pull out of Super Rugby after the 2020 contract expires. I think that would be pretty grim for the competition, but also for Rugby in general at this part of the world. SA are easily the second best conference. We need them in order to continue to improve and playing different opponents is the primary way to do this. 

 

 

 

 


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  #2009738 8-May-2018 09:48
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networkn:

 

Interesting that it's possible SA will pull out of Super Rugby after the 2020 contract expires. I think that would be pretty grim for the competition, but also for Rugby in general at this part of the world. SA are easily the second best conference. We need them in order to continue to improve and playing different opponents is the primary way to do this. 

 

Sounds like everyone is tired of NZ teams dominance.

 

Super Rugby needs re-structure. Even 4 nations needs restructure. It's getting boring from year-to-year. Yes NZ vs NZ teams are more or less entertaining, but meh.

 

Northern competition is more interesting to follow, especially 6 nations.





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  #2009745 8-May-2018 09:53
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kobiak:

 

networkn:

 

Interesting that it's possible SA will pull out of Super Rugby after the 2020 contract expires. I think that would be pretty grim for the competition, but also for Rugby in general at this part of the world. SA are easily the second best conference. We need them in order to continue to improve and playing different opponents is the primary way to do this. 

 

Sounds like everyone is tired of NZ teams dominance.

 

Super Rugby needs re-structure. Even 4 nations needs restructure. It's getting boring from year-to-year. Yes NZ vs NZ teams are more or less entertaining, but meh.

 

Northern competition is more interesting to follow, especially 6 nations.

 

 

Well, I am clearly the exception as I have enjoyed the Rugby I have watched. I am seemingly one of the few that enjoys watching NZ teams put 40 points on another team in the second half :) 

 

Australia are working through a rebuild at all levels. I suspect it's another 1-2 years before they are competitive again. At the moment the only reason they are even remotely so is because of the old guard like Genia and Beale for example. 

 

I am interested to know how you would structure SR if you were in charge? 


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  #2009766 8-May-2018 10:06
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@networking Don't get me wrong, I love when NZ team(s) win, no doubt about that.

 

But for the past 3-4 year + this season. it's the matter how many points they will score to win. And the final result only depends on the form of NZ teams. On bad day margin will be < 10 points.

 

I recon there should be 2 conferences in south like in NHL of 5-6 teams (There're no need for more + I would downgrade 1-2 teams to lower league and promote 1-2 team to super league), top teams play super-final. + super-mega-final south vs north :)

 

That would keep supporters interested in both hemispheres. 

 

 

 

 





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  #2009770 8-May-2018 10:15
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kobiak:

 

@networking Don't get me wrong, I love when NZ team(s) win, no doubt about that.

 

But for the past 3-4 year + this season. it's the matter how many points they will score to win. And the final result only depends on the form of NZ teams. On bad day margin will be < 10 points.

 

I recon there should be 2 conferences in south like in NHL of 5-6 teams (There're no need for more + I would downgrade 1-2 teams to lower league and promote 1-2 team to super league), top teams play super-final. + super-mega-final south vs north :)

 

That would keep supporters interested in both hemispheres. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not really sure how it would matter? NZ supporters would want NZ teams to win even if they are playing an Aussie team in the same conference. It might change how many teams end up in the finals, but all I can see is even greater dominance, in theory now we can only have 2-3 teams in the top 8 from each conference, so only the top 3 NZ teams make the cut if I understand it properly. If you changed it, there would be 4-5 teams in the top 8. It's probably a fairer reflection of the true win rate of NZ teams, but not exactly going to encourage aussie and SA Audiences.

 

 

 

Or have I misunderstood?


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  #2009782 8-May-2018 10:27
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I suggest having conferences and/or leagues.

 

Super Rugby as top league having 1-2 teams from each country. (2 NZ, 2 AU, 2 SA, 2 south america and 2 Oceania (japan and islands))

 

Each country to have it's lower national league with 5-10 teams.

 

Example:

 

2 teams from NZ, one with lowest points get downgraded from super rugby to national league (ITM cup?) and winner of national league got promoted to super rugby.

 

Suddenly national competition will become hotter, and super rugby competition becomes more fair, the best teams competing only.

 

Yes, there still will be outsiders, but at least it won't be same teams year over year and year again and again.





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  #2010116 8-May-2018 16:29
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Boy Israel Folau is really pushing his luck (IMO). 

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12047413

 

Again I am not saying I agree or disagree with his view, but surely he knows the reaction this is going to get. Perhaps it's not, but it really feels like he is baiting ARU, basically daring them to challenge him on it. 

 

It's a difficult line to run between being allowed an opinion and the right to view them, and trampling on other peoples own views.

 

Earlier in the year I wrote about Tolerance being a key to a more harmonious world, online and off, but it's potentially challenging if being tolerant of someone elses view, is akin to condoning someone elses lack of tolerance.

 

 


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  #2010138 8-May-2018 17:05
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I'm not tired of NZ dominance but I am tired of teams that blow real opportunities to win. That is more annoying to me than any of the off-field controversy. The Waratahs threw away a strong position yet again and didn't make good use of Folau. I was so disappointed by the brainstorm that produced that last low-percentage kick to Folau on the wing. They probably just had to keep pressuring the Blues line until they got a try or a penalty.

 

 

 

What I really disagreed with was @Dingbatt saying that the Crusaders are the number one NZ team. The nerve of him!!!

 

But I had to change my mind after I later watched the games where the Hurricanes nearly blew a strong lead and the Crusaders smashed their opposition very convincingly. The Hurricanes are really suffering without a top level halfback - too many passes are shoulder height or higher which slows down passing and shortens the options. When the passes were kept below shoulder height they quickly got the advantage.

 

A consoling thought is that the Hurricanes can be expected to beat the Crusaders later in May.


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