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  Reply # 2190161 3-Mar-2019 10:40
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Been a very interesting weekend of Rugby so far - with the Blues still to play as I type,

 

Didn't see the Brumbies/Canes game so no comment.

 

The Landers were in the game with the Rebels, but really missed not having there top players (7 AB's out I believe?)
We obviously don't have quite enough depth, saying that we had our chances and it could have won the game if we had taken one of several chances.
Nice to see less of the one pass to many that didn't come off - not sure if that is because  the talent was away or the game style is changing, We are doing a lot more down the middle this year - lots of pick and go.

 

Sunwolves/Chiefs - I only saw the second half but the chiefs were out matched, the couldn't keep the ball most of the time, and even though the scored 2 tries never looked like they were going to get back in the game.

 

Crusaders looked very good for the 10 mins of to game I saw - the try scored from the restart was impressive. Credit to the Reds for keeping it close. The Reds will be the top Aussie team this year and give all the Kiwi teams a run for their money.

 

Finally The AB rotation policy - I will like it come world cup, but at the moment I don't like it. It is definitely hurting the Highlanders and won't help the Chiefs or the Blues. Not sure even the Canes have the depth. Only those Crusaders seem to be unaffected. Grrrr :) . Expect a few more losses this year for the kiwi teams as we handicap ourselves


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  Reply # 2190180 3-Mar-2019 11:03
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The chiefs had another terrible game on defence.
I did wonder about the Sunwolves first try though. How can their number 5 join the ruck from the side, be ahead of the ball, reach behind him and pick it up, and then run ahead, without being offside? Still the ref was right there, so it must have been legal.
I believe the chiefs are missing a leader. Without Cane or Messam they appear a bit lost. And they certainly missed not having Leinert-Brown in the backline.

Possibly they were guilty of thinking "It's only the Sunwolves" and had subconsciously already banked the competition points prior to running on.

Can't take the credit away from the Sunwolves though. They were on a mission and it was mission accomplished (and not in a G W Bush kind of way😁)




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  Reply # 2190443 3-Mar-2019 20:29
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I feel a little for Brad Weber who I had thought was really on the fast track to replacing TJP as the second choice HB for the AB's, even had the potential to be our number 1. A couple of years makes a big difference. He is still a decent halfback, but I wouldn't say he would be in serious contention without a massive year and whilst it's possible to break in if your team is struggling at the levels below, it's more difficult. 

 

I also wonder how long Big Karl stays with the Blues if they can't get it together.. The Blues could have won in Buenos Aires today, even put in a very good scrum. I was totally amazed, however, that they blew that chance by taking a second scrum immediately when the Jaguares are known for their scrum and had a pretty solid night. I would have said lineout and maul every day of the week, twice on a Sunday. The scrum could have worked out, but it's not a risk I would have taken. I feel that Leon MacDonald is finding out that the Blues are where good coaches go to become disillusioned. With the big number of changes they made, I had hoped for a better season for them, but I am fast losing hope of it. 

 

 

 

On the subject of Half Backs, I don't understand why TJP can't/doesn't clear in a single movement. He often takes a step or two and or a double pump. I do think this is a disadvantage to his backline. He has many other fine qualities including being an excellent defensive half back, possibly even the countries best, but I believe both could be possible. I understand they do want different styles in the 9 positions, however, it's undeniable the difference in pace when he comes on. @handle9 may have some observations that are useful in this regard. I just can't see a downside to a faster clearance.

 

Whilst not being Messams biggest fan, it's without a doubt obvious that they are missing some strong leaders right now. Good as Brodie is, he isn't an entire team (only 11 members worth). Messam gave them a harder edge that is both a blessing and a curse. 


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  Reply # 2190488 4-Mar-2019 06:24
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I don't think there is any mystery with Perenara. He just hasn't got a great pass. He's bigger and stronger than Smith and a better support player. Smith and Perenara are miles ahead of the other half backs in the country, especially in the way they run the pack.

There are a lot of similarities in the strengths of Perenara and Justin Marshall. They are both huge personalities and incredibly competitive. Their passing isn't/wasn't a strength at all.

Don't forget that Perenara didn't play the 2015 world cup final. Kerr-Barlow was the bench halfback because he was closer to Smith. It's the same reason that Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi was picked.

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  Reply # 2190576 4-Mar-2019 10:15
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Handle9:
I don't think there is any mystery with Perenara. He just hasn't got a great pass. He's bigger and stronger than Smith and a better support player. Smith and Perenara are miles ahead of the other half backs in the country, especially in the way they run the pack.

There are a lot of similarities in the strengths of Perenara and Justin Marshall. They are both huge personalities and incredibly competitive. Their passing isn't/wasn't a strength at all.

Don't forget that Perenara didn't play the 2015 world cup final. Kerr-Barlow was the bench halfback because he was closer to Smith. It's the same reason that Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi was picked.

 

Agree about halfbacks. Once past those 2 the cupboard is a bit bare at the moment

 

By the end of this season can see the Crusaders 3rd halfback passing Drummond and then be the number 1 from next year when Hall goes.

 

He all with triple t might be the long term halfbacks for the All Blacks


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  Reply # 2190579 4-Mar-2019 10:19
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networkn,

 

The Crusaders might rue giving those 2 bonus points away. Difference between home final or away final.

 

Of course the interesting things is that if the old bonus point system was in place they would have got 1 in each match.

 

The Crusaders return match in Wellington, the game in Dunedin and the potential for key All Blacks not going to South Africa will determine their standings.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 2190583 4-Mar-2019 10:24
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Jas777:

 

networkn,

 

The Crusaders might rue giving those 2 bonus points away. Difference between home final or away final.

 

Of course the interesting things is that if the old bonus point system was in place they would have got 1 in each match.

 

The Crusaders return match in Wellington, the game in Dunedin and the potential for key All Blacks not going to South Africa will determine their standings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think so too, though I'd back the Crusaders away above any team in the competition right now. Time will tell I guess. 

 

Missing Mataele who I think is out for the season is going to be tough, he was playing extremely well.  Will Jordan played pretty well Saturday I thought.  George Bridge looks like a willow, but I am impressed how strong he actually is.




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  Reply # 2191404 5-Mar-2019 15:50
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Handle9:
I don't think there is any mystery with Perenara. He just hasn't got a great pass. He's bigger and stronger than Smith and a better support player. Smith and Perenara are miles ahead of the other half backs in the country, especially in the way they run the pack.

There are a lot of similarities in the strengths of Perenara and Justin Marshall. They are both huge personalities and incredibly competitive. Their passing isn't/wasn't a strength at all.

Don't forget that Perenara didn't play the 2015 world cup final. Kerr-Barlow was the bench halfback because he was closer to Smith. It's the same reason that Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi was picked.

 

 

 

It seems odd to me that this isn't something he wasn't told to sort. In your view is it an either or situation? You are either big and strong or have a good fast pass? Seems to be. 

 

Smiths game seems to have gone backward a little. de Clerk seems a lot like Smith was 2-3 years ago, sniping, quick, looking to be fast and on top of everything. He schooled Smith both in Wellington and SA last year in my opinion. Without Smith in this sort of form, I think we are in trouble. I haven't seen TOO much of the Highlanders this year though I did watch I think round 1 where Smith came off the bench and the difference in the Highlanders was night and day.

 

To me it feels like THE most fundamental thing a halfback can do well is pass quickly and accurately.

 

 




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  Reply # 2194009 8-Mar-2019 21:43
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I can't recall being more concerned about how NZ Rugby teams were playing in recent memory than the last 2 weeks of Super Rugby. 

 

The Hurricanes Highlanders game was a total mess! Terrible discipline, horrific ball retention and handling errors. 

 

If this is the quality we are taking to the world cup, we are in trouble. 

 

Early days I understand, but wow. So bad.

 

 


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  Reply # 2194011 8-Mar-2019 21:53
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Yes, it was messy. But I didn't think it was that bad. I've seen as much ill-discipline and errors in NZ derbies from previous seasons.

 

I was surprised that the Hurricanes didn't give away any penalties in the last ten minutes or so. They were under considerable pressure for much of that time


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  Reply # 2194071 8-Mar-2019 22:59
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While it was not raining during the game it has been all day... A lot ... 




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  Reply # 2194113 9-Mar-2019 07:56
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Hammerer:

 

Yes, it was messy. But I didn't think it was that bad. I've seen as much ill-discipline and errors in NZ derbies from previous seasons.

 

I was surprised that the Hurricanes didn't give away any penalties in the last ten minutes or so. They were under considerable pressure for much of that time

 

 

It was, and it was the difference in the end. I actually thought a draw would have been a totally appropriate result in all honestly. Neither team was superior than any other, though I think the Highlanders ended up far worse on the penalty count. 

 

I will say that I was reasonably impressed with the reffing for the most part. He was officious which is normal for a ref making the jump to the next level, but esp with the penalty kick for a high tackle it was handled very well. I know some refs I could name that would have gone red regardless. 

 

 


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  Reply # 2194630 9-Mar-2019 17:07
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Just settling in to watch the Chiefs play the Crusaders in Christchurch. As a Chiefs supporter I would love a close game, but realistically I think the Crusaders will win and by a large margin. In other NZ derbies there is some doubt who will win, but not against the Crusaders despite them resting 3 extra ABs.




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  Reply # 2194789 9-Mar-2019 21:42
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Dingbatt: Just settling in to watch the Chiefs play the Crusaders in Christchurch. As a Chiefs supporter I would love a close game, but realistically I think the Crusaders will win and by a large margin. In other NZ derbies there is some doubt who will win, but not against the Crusaders despite them resting 3 extra ABs.

 

That turned out to be a pretty decent prediction. I had it as a close game but one the Crusaders weren't likely to lose. 

 

I remain convinced that DM should be full back, and when Jack Debricinzi came on at 10, the Chiefs looked much better. 

 

Some of the Crusaders tries were artwork and I am not sure is a team in the competition that could have stopped them tonight. I was frustrated to see us leak points at the end again, but at least we kept the bonus point. 

 

Our new halfback Enari was the business! Also, Reece and Goodhue was massive. I thought that tackle that was looked at probably was pretty rough, I hope he doesn't meant to continue with that technique, could cost us a Yellow or worse under some circumstances.

 

All and all I feel pretty happy with how the Crusaders are tracking. Hoping the Chiefs can find some momentum at some stage, their defensive line looks broken like the bad old days. Colin Cooper is a good coach, I am not sure where it's going so wrong.

 

 


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  Reply # 2196186 12-Mar-2019 00:42
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networkn:

Handle9:
I don't think there is any mystery with Perenara. He just hasn't got a great pass. He's bigger and stronger than Smith and a better support player. Smith and Perenara are miles ahead of the other half backs in the country, especially in the way they run the pack.

There are a lot of similarities in the strengths of Perenara and Justin Marshall. They are both huge personalities and incredibly competitive. Their passing isn't/wasn't a strength at all.

Don't forget that Perenara didn't play the 2015 world cup final. Kerr-Barlow was the bench halfback because he was closer to Smith. It's the same reason that Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi was picked.


 


It seems odd to me that this isn't something he wasn't told to sort. In your view is it an either or situation? You are either big and strong or have a good fast pass? Seems to be. 


Smiths game seems to have gone backward a little. de Clerk seems a lot like Smith was 2-3 years ago, sniping, quick, looking to be fast and on top of everything. He schooled Smith both in Wellington and SA last year in my opinion. Without Smith in this sort of form, I think we are in trouble. I haven't seen TOO much of the Highlanders this year though I did watch I think round 1 where Smith came off the bench and the difference in the Highlanders was night and day.


To me it feels like THE most fundamental thing a halfback can do well is pass quickly and accurately.


 



I think passing as a halfback is about like having a great step or being a good scrummager. A fair part is nature with some learned traits.

It's not like many teams internationally have 3 or 4 great half backs. Smith is the best passing NZ halfback in my lifetime. It's a high bar for others to clear.

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