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  Reply # 1287001 18-Apr-2015 21:35
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blair003:
networkn: Not sure I'd call it a dismantling (The first game was) but there was something wrong with the Crusaders last night, very wrong. It's rare to see them looking so lethargic and more concerning that Blackadder didn't seem that worried at half time. It just felt like they decided that they didn't care if they lost. I do get the impression that the team has either been told or believes that they have a MONSTER year in front of them and they aren't going to try too hard for fear of having nothing left for the World Cup.

I can't recall a time I've seen Andy Ellis kick out on the full, and last night I think he did it three times. Tom Taylor was one of the only players who seemed to WANT to go forward.

Re Yellow Card for Cane, it was 100% deserved. The Crusaders had just made a 50m break and had they of had fast ball had a very good chance of scoring (one of the very few all game). The halfback is not necessarily the #9, but any person who picks the ball off the ground at the bottom of a ruck or scrum, (nominated is the term). 

Tameifuna continues to be the Chiefs biggest penalty magnet, I really dislike him and the way he plays, he was fairly lucky not to get a card himself for the penalties and cynical way he plays. I have grave concerns for the All Blacks if Rennie Coaches them, for the negative way he coaches his team to play.

The Crusaders made the Chiefs look better than they were to my thinking, though their defence reminds me of the Crusaders at the moment.


Seriously? You are the epitome of a one-eyed red and black fan.

One team last night was trying to use the ball at every opportunity and played some good rugby, and one team was trying to kick goals and looked devoid of attacking ideas right from the start. And for some reason you'd have grave concerns if the coach of the former team were to coach the AB's? Shouldn't you be admonishing the coach of the latter?


Upon a re-examination of my comments I can see you might have come to that conclusion, but if you look at my commentary in general I feel the way I do about the Chiefs when they play everyone else as well.

If you take a long look at all the comments I make across all Rugby you'll see that I generally disfavour the Chiefs for their negative tactics (They are the most penalised and yellow carded team in the competition.) and of course as a Crusaders fan will support Crusaders Rugby. However my comments should have probably been limited to the Crusaders poor performance.

Your comments re the coaches is silly. I clearly stated concerns about the Crusaders coach, and given my comments about the Chiefs, I wouldn't want the AB's to play that negative style of Rugby personally. Rennie has brought Mongrel to the Chiefs and some will applaud that, it certainly gets them some results, however as a Rugby fan I'd rather watch and support AB's current Rugby style than the Chiefs.





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  Reply # 1287002 18-Apr-2015 21:36
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Hammerer:
networkn:
LazyDr: The current coaching staff do have a history of sticking with incumbents despite Super 15 form, as evidenced last year with the likes of Nonu etc, so would surprise me if they had Slade as number 1 on their list currently..


A lot of players lift their game in the Black Jersey, the likes of Dagg and Nonu are very notable changes. I don't think Ben Smith is having the same outstanding run, nor Fekitoa this season. Teams have worked out how to neutralize them somewhat. Personally Dagg's massive boot (and the fact he is actually a VERY good goal kicker) gives him the #15 jersey and BS should go to 14. I don't think Cruden lifts the same way personally. 


Ben Smith is as steady as ever. There has been a lot all year but the rest of the team has been much better in comparison which means he's less of a stand out.



Having watched a lot of Super 15 this year already, I'd have to say Mulner Skudder is the excitement machine for me this season. He looks like BS did last season.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1287015 18-Apr-2015 21:47
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i think mr hansen has his wider squad all sussed ... bar 1 or 2 out-of-this-world superhumans.

i am not sure about our number 10 ... !



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  Reply # 1287018 18-Apr-2015 21:52
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Dismantling was a phrase used in the NewstalkZB commentary. Are you suggesting that the Crusaders have been told to take it easy in a 'monster year' when the more successful NZ franchises (Hurricanes, Highlanders and Chiefs) have been told to "go hard"?


Teams manage their seasons and players differently and the Crusaders have been for the last 10 seasons, slow starters, but have yet to not make the finals. They haven't won one for a while, but I guess I don't consider that a reason to sack a coach. I actually believe that if a team makes the finals, the coach should be exempt from sacking. I am also of the opinion that as much as I'd LOVE to see the AB's go back to back for World Cup wins, if they didn't, I'd still believe they are the best team in the world and would believe Steve Hansen should retain his job. Thankfully we have seen reason as a country for the first time ever and contracted him till 2017. 

My comments were more an out loud puzzling of why the Crusaders didn't seem to be themselves. It's two weeks running which is relatively rare for them, but they were a mess. I can't recall a worse performance from them in a while.


Is he still the halfback if he is part of the ruck that detaches and then picks up the ball? Would seem to me that's more of a 'number 8' play. But I will admit I don't know the rules well enough.


Yes that is my interpretation of the rules. If you are the distributor you are protected until your hands are on the ball.


Such a negative strategy that they outscored the Crusaders by three open field tries to none? Blackadder needs to be replaced. Bring back Robbie I say.

Addendum: No comment about Carter's abysmal kicking performance?


Yup pretty much every player had a below par night, Tafua was outstanding this game and this season as well. He has AB potential I believe.

I personally consider two of the three soft tries. I am sure you will disagree. I felt that way with 2 of the tries the Crusaders ran in against the Stormers in SA for the record. If the Stormers had been 2% better we would have been unlikely to get them.

See my prior comments about Blackadder, he has never failed to make the finals. Name 1 other coach in NZ with the same record currently coaching super 15? There are none. Of course winning is important, put into perspective, is there really any shame losing by a single point in a grand final ? It could easily have gone either way (don't even get me started about the penalty). Will you be calling for Rennies head if the Chiefs don't make the finals this year for the second year running? I'd imagine not, and I'd hope not. I wouldn't. 

For the record, I'd imagine that if Todd Blackadder does end up out of a job with the Crusaders at the end of the season, Scott Robertson would have to be the guy to replace him. 

Being a Rugby Coach in NZ is a crappy job.



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  Reply # 1287021 18-Apr-2015 21:55
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you think they peaked 2 years too early?


Good grief are we writing them off already ? 





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  Reply # 1287027 18-Apr-2015 22:08
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Man the Hurricanes Warratahs game was great to watch. I think the Hurricanes aren't really sensible in every case. They want to counter attack even when it's not on and shouldn't attempted. IF they stopped that, I believe they are going to be very very hard to beat. Boy when they get it right it looks amazing. 

Seems the Blues season is done and all they can hope for now is to be a season spoiler for another team. I'll be surprised if Kirwan retains his position. I suspect though that the franchise is broken so badly, they will take 2 seasons to recover and fans/stakeholders aren't going to wear that any more I don't think. Any incoming coach is going to under pretty intense pressure.

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  Reply # 1287116 19-Apr-2015 11:27
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Ardie Savea must be ruing not putting the ball down properly to score a try. That after all, was the difference.

In the Highlanders Blues game, is it just me or is Ben Smith flirting with a yellow card the way he leads with his foot kung fu style when he jumps for a high ball?

Yes the Blues season as anything but a spoiler is done. Yet another game where they played brilliantly for 20 minutes pretty average for 20 minutes and awfully for 40 minutes.




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  Reply # 1287137 19-Apr-2015 11:56
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Well if you dont plan on taking him in the air it isnt an issue and lifting your leg like that does help with height.

Some tackling of jumping players gets very close to dangerous.

The "accidental" blocking of players chasing the up and over kicks usually by the large slow moving forwards should be looked at...

A.

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  Reply # 1287143 19-Apr-2015 12:03
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Dingbatt: Ardie Savea must be ruing not putting the ball down properly to score a try. That after all, was the difference.


Or the stupidity of trying to score again in the 40th minute after the hooter had gone inside their own 22!! Either of those moments were the difference in the end.  The offsides in this match were ridiculous, if you are 3rd or 4th man out from the ruck you can go early.  The referee obviously cant watch the ruck and the offside line to the left and right.  But the linesman had no input on what was chronic offsides.

Scrums are [still] a joke ... Its a lottery, and teams keeping it in the back until a penalty is given is infuriating. If the ball is available the halfback/number 8 should have to use it, I dont want 28mins of a game taken up by scrums.



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  Reply # 1287665 20-Apr-2015 12:26
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Dingbatt: Ardie Savea must be ruing not putting the ball down properly to score a try. That after all, was the difference.

In the Highlanders Blues game, is it just me or is Ben Smith flirting with a yellow card the way he leads with his foot kung fu style when he jumps for a high ball?

Yes the Blues season as anything but a spoiler is done. Yet another game where they played brilliantly for 20 minutes pretty average for 20 minutes and awfully for 40 minutes.


Ben Smiths jumping Style is actually a defensive mechanism, it won't attract a card. 





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  Reply # 1287667 20-Apr-2015 12:29
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Whisperings I heard out of the Chiefs camp is that AC is done. His knee injury is said to be "very" serious. As much as I don't like him as much as some of our other options at 10, no-one would wish that on someone. 

Ardie Savea looks SO strong, be surprised if he isn't being considered for the AB's wider training squad pretty seriously now. Perhaps not test match ready quite yet, but boy if he can polish his game a little more, he should be fantastic. 



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  Reply # 1287716 20-Apr-2015 13:23
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Poor old Crudes, looks like the RWC injury toll on NZ number 10s has started a little earlier this time round. Ironically, the sport section of Friday's NZ Herald had a picture of Cruden under the headline "Last Man Standing". Although the article was actually about the player exodus after the next RWC.
If he is out then that must put Barrett in the box seat. And give the likes of Sopoaga a good chance to step up. Sorry Networkn but I don't rate Slade and Carter is past his best.
Might also mean that the next generation, in the form of Taranaki boy Damian McKenzie, could get some game time this year for the ABs, but not at the world cup.

Just as well Beaver is going to be in the UK hosting a supporters tour while the RWC is on ;-)

Edit: fixed grammar.




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  Reply # 1287841 20-Apr-2015 16:26
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Yup confirmed he is done. No WC for him. Terrible fortune for the guy, I really feel for him. 


Chiefs didn't play well without him last season either. I'd expect the same. Their entire game plan is based around him. Their replacement wasn't bad except for his goal kicking which was beyond terrible.

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  Reply # 1287896 20-Apr-2015 17:34
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The curse of No.10 strikes again, and earlier...

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  Reply # 1288062 20-Apr-2015 20:15
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Stephen Donald is well placed geographically to step up. Not sure what white baiting is like in the UK ...

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