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  # 1181674 23-Nov-2014 18:19
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Some of these assessments seem overly hard on the AB backs when they faced efficient and effective Welsh tackling. That limited the AB options, increased the error rate and made line breaks a rarity. I also thought that the Welsh were more successful taking the balls in the air. That also limited the AB opportunities to attack.

Despite this, the Welsh never looked like they would win the game. Even early in the game when the Welsh had 2/3 possession they had much less than 1/2 the territory because of scrum problems and difficulty gaining territory when attacking.




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  # 1181910 24-Nov-2014 09:23
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Hammerer: Some of these assessments seem overly hard on the AB backs when they faced efficient and effective Welsh tackling. That limited the AB options, increased the error rate and made line breaks a rarity. I also thought that the Welsh were more successful taking the balls in the air. That also limited the AB opportunities to attack.

Despite this, the Welsh never looked like they would win the game. Even early in the game when the Welsh had 2/3 possession they had much less than 1/2 the territory because of scrum problems and difficulty gaining territory when attacking.



You might be right about that.  HalfPenney outplayed Smith by some considerable margin. Didn't take me long to wish for Dagg at fullback.

 
 
 
 




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  # 1252531 6-Mar-2015 22:05
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I am deeply concerned about Aaron Crudens kicking. He has always been pretty average but it's gotten worse. He should be third choice #10 now assuming Carter isn't fit to play, 4th if he is. Never really rated him as highly as a lot, but BB and CS would happily be in before him in the pecking order if I was in charge.


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  # 1252568 7-Mar-2015 08:36
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networkn: I am deeply concerned about Aaron Crudens kicking. He has always been pretty average but it's gotten worse. He should be third choice #10 now assuming Carter isn't fit to play, 4th if he is. Never really rated him as highly as a lot, but BB and CS would happily be in before him in the pecking order if I was in charge.



Yes. The 12 points he left on the field against the Highlanders last night cost the Chiefs the game. Contrast that with the week before against the Crusaders and I think he only missed one. Mind you he got more practice that time with five tries being scored. With the possession and general dominance around the park the Chiefs should have won easily. Sloppy finishing and a case of the fumbles cost them. It's not often the Chiefs are awarded more penalties than they concede.

Interesting start to the conference. Crusaders beat Highlanders, Chiefs beat Crusaders, Highlanders beat Chiefs. Hurricanes unbeaten. Blues, well................




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  # 1252579 7-Mar-2015 09:24
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networkn: I am deeply concerned about Aaron Crudens kicking. He has always been pretty average but it's gotten worse. He should be third choice #10 now assuming Carter isn't fit to play, 4th if he is. Never really rated him as highly as a lot, but BB and CS would happily be in before him in the pecking order if I was in charge.



You seem to be taking 1 bad game and using it to support your viewpoint. Do you have any hard data?
According to this http://www.espnscrum.com/newzealand/rugby/story/226337.html

In 2013 for the AB's, Cruden kicked at 74% vs Barret 80%.
If you assume that for 100 kicks, 50% were conversions and 50% penalty attempts, that means Barrett would get 200 points and Cruden 185 points from 100 kicks.

If you say there are an average of 10 goalkick attempts per game, that means Cruden is scoring 1.5 points fewer per game from goalkicks compared to Barrett. I suspect there are fewer than 10 goalkick attempts per game so the actual points fewer from kicking is likely less than this.

I guess if we were a traditional english or south african team and we replied upon goalkicks then 1.5 points a game would be significant. But for our team, the other areas of the game are much more important than these 1.5 points, so the decision on first five can't be made simply on goal kick percentage.

I'm not saying that BB won't supersede AC at some point in future, but to drop AC because he had an off game with the boot would not be smart. If it happens it will be because of a range of factors based on all aspects - goalkicking, general kicking, defense, try assists, line breaks, passing etc etc.



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  # 1253203 8-Mar-2015 10:15
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Blair, no no hard data, but coming from the DC era where he and his precedessors were in, kicking accuracy from AC seems far from acceptable. I'm more than a little surprised at those stats and can't argue accuracy, but AC was warned last year by SH for form and that form was largely around his kicking both in place and in game.

Here is the thing with AC. When he lines up to kick I *HOPE* he will get it, but when the others kick, I am surprised when they don't. He doesn't look natural or relaxed when he kicks, and predict he will cost us a game at a critical time unless he gets it under control.

I'd also say 2014 was worse for him in kicking than 2013.

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  # 1253244 8-Mar-2015 12:04
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AC's kicking aside, the loss to the highlanders was bad luck as they dominated the game and there was nothing more you can ask of a team.




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  # 1253250 8-Mar-2015 12:14
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Last time I checked it's still about 7 months until the World Cup final. Let's not get too concerned about what happens in March, it's what happens in August, September and October that count.

I also think networkn just doesn't rate Cruden, much like I feel that Carter is past it. Different strokes and all that.

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  # 1253254 8-Mar-2015 12:25
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I think SH is wasting time thinking about DC who should not feature in any of his plans. I also don't rate AC as a big test match player. But then who is ... They are all neck and neck the 3 of them.

But I'm not SH.




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  # 1253564 8-Mar-2015 20:50
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Handle9: Last time I checked it's still about 7 months until the World Cup final. Let's not get too concerned about what happens in March, it's what happens in August, September and October that count.

I also think networkn just doesn't rate Cruden, much like I feel that Carter is past it. Different strokes and all that.


You are right, I don't really think he is as good as he has been hyped to be. He has a fair amount of talent, but he is too inconsistent and it worries me considering the other 10's we have had.

He hasn't been right since probably Feb/March 2014, and so I think I have due reason to be concerned as his form hasn't improved any since then in my opinion. Sept isn't that far away, and while a lot can happen in that time, I am wondering
if he IS capable of putting on a virtuoso performance, what he is waiting for ? 




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  # 1253565 8-Mar-2015 20:53
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JK seems a little in LA LA land to me, his interview today where he is almost fantastically talking about how the game plan was fine (it clearly wasn't) and the only thing holding them back is a win, is worrying to say the least. 

I think being a Rugby coach is one of the hardest jobs in NZ, even the good coaches seem to be under pressure all the time, but if he isn't feeling worried by now, he is the WRONG guy for that job. There has to be a bottom 5 teams, no question about that, but the Blues haven't looked compelling for a while, and with their talent pool, something is seriously wrong and hasn't been right
since half way through Lam's tenure. 



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  # 1259571 15-Mar-2015 09:55
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Great showing by the Chiefs, Highlanders and Crusaders (Not perfect yet but showing a lot of potential) and nice to see DC to complete 80 Minutes with a near perfect place kicking record. Even Tom Taylor looked more on song in 15. Cruden looks better, hopefully he can keep it there.

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  # 1259582 15-Mar-2015 09:59
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DC played and didn't break? here's hoping ... !




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  # 1260661 16-Mar-2015 22:42
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I thought the best part of NZ teams in the latest round of Super Rugby was the performance of the wings. Most of them were a great mixture of speed, strength and menace.



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  # 1277426 5-Apr-2015 11:59
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What a horrendous game of rugby most of the game between the Sharks and Crusaders! 3 Yellows to Crusaders which could easily have been 5 (I thought the ref was pretty generous), but boy did they show some great hands in the mid to late part of the game. The Sharks have a forgettable effort they will be disappointed they had 50 points put on them at home. 

That was not a display of rugby I tolerate as a rugby and Crusaders supporter, I am very disappointed. I expect citing for 3 of those tackles at least and if we lose players for two weeks I will feel we fully deserve it. We looked like a Chiefs outfit, very unimpressed!

Dagg is back to near his good form, and Milner-Skudder looks very very good at fullback too. If Dagg continues like this, he will secure the 15 jersey for the AB's and BS will go to the wing, where I think he plays well for the AB's. 

The Hurricanes look really good in general I have to say, it wouldn't surprise me if they made the final or won the title this year.


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