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  #2010155 8-May-2018 17:37
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Canes vs Saders - winner of that game wins the competition. 




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  #2010174 8-May-2018 18:03
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Hammerer:

 

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.

 

 

 

 

I was quite surprised by this, but I am wondering if he was going off the table scores? 

 

Passing quality is a recurring peeve of mine. I have mentioned it many times. It's an issue in NZ Rugby at all levels incl the AB's. Aaron Smith gets a lot of credit for his halfbacking which is fair, but I am not convinced his distribution is as amazing as it was a few years back. The pressure from the coaches to get pace into a game is probably having a negative impact on pace. The number of players who have to jump to get a ball or slow down to collect it is very frustrating.

 

Bryn Halls passing was far superior to Drummond in the Rebels game in my opinion. I expect a round of eye rolling, because he's a Crusader but I'd put him in at the third halfback position for the AB's until triple T (I am going to chicken out on this too) is more experienced. He probably isn't a long-term prospect, but a lot like Andy Ellis/Weepu was, he is reliable if not the most super quick player. Wily. 

 

On a good Crusaders playing day I wouldn't wouldn't be willing to bet money on either team in a canes vs Crusaders derby (could go either way), but on season form I'd say Hurricanes backs would have an advantage. Finals is a different thing though. I'd feel reasonably confident of a Crusaders coming out on top (But wouldn't be too upset if they didn't). This is an area the Crusaders have really excelled for many years.  In the whole competition, I'd really say that the Crusaders should really only be seriously concerned about the Highlanders and the Canes. Any team can beat another on the day, but I'd feel reasonably confident against most other teams. The Chiefs have been a bit of a boogey team for the Crusaders, but I think right now, they are a little below par. 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2010180 8-May-2018 18:32
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I stand by my ranking of the NZ teams. And it is borne out by the current table. Bear in mind I am a Chiefs supporter and I rank them fourth.
The Hurricanes have a backline that is better than most international sides in the world can muster. But I still rank the Crusaders ahead of them for their ability to get the job done (yes I know the 'Canes beat them in Wellington, but the home teams have normally prevailed in the derbies).
I'm happy to say when I saw the report that SA teams may pull out of Super Rugby I said "good riddance". No more killer flights to play at altitude in the republic.




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  #2010219 8-May-2018 18:45
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I'm happy to say when I saw the report that SA teams may pull out of Super Rugby I said "good riddance". No more killer flights to play at altitude in the republic.

 

I think that these experiences add to our ability to perform at international level.

 

The more times our players get exposed to these trips, the better prepared we are when it really matters. 

 

 

 

 




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  #2012821 9-May-2018 17:26
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Hammerer:

 

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.

 

 

@Hammerer

 

Yeah, I 100% agree with this and said so earlier. They (Warratahs) simply had to be patient and keep possession of the ball. They had nearly broken the line a couple of times in those last few phases, I felt it was simply a matter of time. If they had been going backward etc, you might make use of a low percentage play, but it was a coach killer. It's the same reason Aussie teams don't beat NZ teams, these decisions they make (and their inferior fitness).

 

 

 

 




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  #2013009 9-May-2018 22:44
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Some interesting bits of Rugby news I just found out about. Scott Barrett and Ryan Crotty both signed up with NZR, and Crusaders which is excellent news. 

 

Bryn Gatland will play for the Highlanders, not the Blues next year. Umaga will be pulling out his hair in clumps at this rate. 

 

 




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  #2013978 11-May-2018 12:15
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https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12048885

 

I thought these were two quite contrasting bits. I was a little dubious on the history element of teams, not completely, but maybe about the Level of impact, and then I read this. I don't recall this specific game, but it was about the time I started to show a serious interest in Rugby. All the M's in The Crusaders were the reason for my interest and in my opinion largely responsible for the success of the Crusaders at that time.

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12048842

 

 

 

Here is the highlights of this game. The flick behind pass and flip try scored by them. As good as the pass by BB last year against maybe SA? for the AB's.

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2014050 11-May-2018 13:49
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Interesting articles.

 

 

 

My take on the Blues is that they pursue talent and money and neglect structure and organisation. Whereas the Crusaders take rejected talent from the Blues and turn those players into money by focusing on structure and organisation. We never hear of the Blues taking rejects from another team and turning them into success. But the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders have all done this with rejects from Auckland. (Edit: Maybe I should have said the North because the Blues have historically rejected many players because they weren't from Auckland itself. I haven't actually noticed if that is still a problem, e.g. for Northland players)

 

That's why I always feel sad when I watch that 2002 Crusaders-Waratahs game because I always feel like Rob Cribb should still have been there in Crusaders team. But he had already returned to Auckland the year before because they wanted back the player they had earlier rejected. The Blues (and North Harbour) never managed to make good use of his talent and he never played as well as he did in the Crusaders structure so he went to Japan in 2003.

 

The Blues took the easy option of getting a top player that they had earlier rejected. They never bothered to develop the Crusader-like structures that had made Cribb's success possible.

 

 

 

A technical analysis of the pass would probably give Ralph's pass the edge - it went straight to the hands of the following player who was meters back - but Barrett's flick pass was memorable because he created the space for Milner-Skudder to run in unopposed. Every season I've seen better flick passes than both of them because both Ralph's and Barrett's passes were flicked backwards on the same line they were running so neither had the to cope with the technical problems of adjusting for angular momentum.

 

Incidentally, Barrett is only half way through his career but he already has the best collection of tries and try-assists that I've ever seen in Super Rugby.




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  #2014054 11-May-2018 13:54
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Hammerer:

 

Incidentally, Barrett is only half way through his career but he already has the best collection of tries and try-assists that I've ever seen in Super Rugby.

 

 

I wasn't criticising Barrett, I was just saying that it was a nice pass and forward flip to score the try. There was a lot of skill in the game even back then. It's easy to forget that the offload wasn't invented by SBW as well. 

 

I don't think anyone doubts Barretts skill, though to be fair the past 12 months he has been a lot more "quiet" than usual. His goal kicking is improving which is good. Having Jordie as a backup, or Mo'unga, is reassuring though (or McKenzie of course).

 

 


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  #2014409 11-May-2018 21:42
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Hurricanes vs Blues.
The expected result in the end but the Hurricanes had to work hard for it for the first 55 minutes. But then the Blues seemed to lose their way. The Hurricanes played for 80 minutes and it showed.
Glad to see SBW back. He showed signs of his ability and I think it lifted his team, particularly the offload for the first try.
The Blues really need to look at their lineout, and their scrum wasn't that flash either.

What a blight on the game the rolling maul is. What other time are you allowed to have people in front of the ball carrier obstructing defenders in general play?




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  #2014452 12-May-2018 00:02
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I agree with the expected result.

 

The Blues defense looked good. Much better than before. SBW has helped with their directness, but they still struggle to put together sets of error free phases. The set piece is a bit of a mess too. 

 

There were a few times I felt actually the Blues were hard done by. Though I have to say, I wouldn't have given the try they examined so long. 

 

 

 

 


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  #2014798 12-May-2018 16:01
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networkn:

 

Hammerer:

 

Incidentally, Barrett is only half way through his career but he already has the best collection of tries and try-assists that I've ever seen in Super Rugby.

 

 

I wasn't criticising Barrett, I was just saying that it was a nice pass and forward flip to score the try. There was a lot of skill in the game even back then. It's easy to forget that the offload wasn't invented by SBW as well. 

 

I don't think anyone doubts Barretts skill, though to be fair the past 12 months he has been a lot more "quiet" than usual. His goal kicking is improving which is good. Having Jordie as a backup, or Mo'unga, is reassuring though (or McKenzie of course).

 

 

"Incidentally" means "to add a further comment or a remark unconnected to the current subject". That was not intended to be a criticism in any way.


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  #2014824 12-May-2018 16:58
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Goodness me! I just turned on Sky Sport to watch the Crusaders Warratahs game and caught the end of the Sunwolves Reds game. 63-28 to the Sunwolves!
Bet that result won't make it onto the Aussie TV news.




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  #2014954 12-May-2018 22:07
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Wow, what an amazing start by the 'tahs against the Crusaders. Had me a little worried, until we scored our first, then second, then third. It was still a close finish, but what a comeback. It's really this that separates the NZ teams from the rest. So awesome to see Franks and Moody back!


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  #2014959 12-May-2018 22:17
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networkn:

 

Here is the highlights of this game. The flick behind pass and flip try scored by them. As good as the pass by BB last year against maybe SA? for the AB's.

 

 

These highlights show how far rugby has come. The ponderous passing from Marshall really is woeful compared to the speed and width of Smith generates. Mehrtens is taking the ball so close to the ruck it's amazing they could get outside anyone.

 

It shows the thinking that you were better off with a huge halfback (Marshall, Kelleher etc) who's pass was slow but could make lots of tackles was inherently flawed.


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