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  # 2203701 22-Mar-2019 23:29
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That looks a lot like my team as well. Not sure Akira makes it in my squad. I have concerns over his work ethic. He is strong and powerful and can break a line, but I get the distinct impression he is a bit of an attention hog and doesn't like the tight as much. Luke Whitelock is solid, but he doesn't really sit there for me.

 

Tafua would very likely make my squad. I am not sure Harris is my third hooker either. I can't recall a game he has impressed me. I haven't settled on my third hooker. I felt for sure the young Hurricanes hooker was going to be our Coles v2. Makalaio for the Crusaders is playing awesome Rugby but not tested at test level, and probably not enough time to get him up to scratch.

 

I'd take Bridge before Jordie. His temperament concerns me and whilst Jordie has some of Daggs Aerial Skills and Massive boot and gives us another kicker, I just see him costing us dearly with discipline. 

 

I am worried about Cane (I am not 100% he will recover). He's our most solid 7 to start and wear down opposition, but I'd slot Matt Todd in his place if that happened. 

 

 


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  # 2203703 22-Mar-2019 23:42
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I'd take Ioane as a bench impact player. Id take the punt that Read will play the whole cup and Ioane is the best gain line loose forward in the country.

Harris is going to be third hooker. He's never played a poor game for the All Blacks without being outstanding. You can't want much more than that out of your third hooker.

To me Bridge doesn't offer anything different and isn't strong in the air as well as being almost totally untested. The ceiling as well as the experience for Barrett makes him a better bet. I just wish the Hurricanes would stop mucking him around. They stuffed up Fifita and Barrets development last year and its not helping this year.

 
 
 
 


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  # 2203720 23-Mar-2019 07:40
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The glaring admission from me is Laumape. If he has another good month he will probably tip out one of the midfielders. Probably Sonny Bill or Leinart-Brown.

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  # 2204015 23-Mar-2019 23:34
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The Crusaders-Warratahs game was truly awful.

Saying that there's not much you can really say when they've left out so many All Blacks. The last week or so in Christchurch won't have helped either.

The hurricanes game wasn't of a great standard either but at least it was fun.

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  # 2204131 24-Mar-2019 09:45
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Handle9: The Crusaders-Warratahs game was truly awful.

...

The hurricanes game wasn't of a great standard either but at least it was fun.

 

We found it difficult to enjoy either game except that the other teams were competitive. But there were far too many disappointing errors. Us Hurricanes fans even groaned when the Stormers blew their strong position close to the end. 😢


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  # 2204201 24-Mar-2019 12:37
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So the Chiefs travel to the the High Veld, play the Bulls at home, and clean them up 56-20. Is this the same team that played so dreadfully over the last month? Or maybe the Bulls considered them easy beats.
Either way, this is hopefully a return to form and not just a one off. Next week against the Jaguares will tell.
I shake my head at the official's lack of consistency though. The high tackle that gained Alaimalo a yellow card because of contact to the neck was followed minutes later by the Bulls doing similar tackles, one of which wasn't even penalised.
There was some pretty obvious oxygen debt in the final ten minutes from both sides, and maybe the ref too.




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  # 2204553 25-Mar-2019 09:13
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networkn:

 

That looks a lot like my team as well. Not sure Akira makes it in my squad. I have concerns over his work ethic. He is strong and powerful and can break a line, but I get the distinct impression he is a bit of an attention hog and doesn't like the tight as much. Luke Whitelock is solid, but he doesn't really sit there for me.

 

Tafua would very likely make my squad. I am not sure Harris is my third hooker either. I can't recall a game he has impressed me. I haven't settled on my third hooker. I felt for sure the young Hurricanes hooker was going to be our Coles v2. Makalaio for the Crusaders is playing awesome Rugby but not tested at test level, and probably not enough time to get him up to scratch.

 

I'd take Bridge before Jordie. His temperament concerns me and whilst Jordie has some of Daggs Aerial Skills and Massive boot and gives us another kicker, I just see him costing us dearly with discipline. 

 

I am worried about Cane (I am not 100% he will recover). He's our most solid 7 to start and wear down opposition, but I'd slot Matt Todd in his place if that happened. 

 

 

 

 

Agree on Jordie, almost a 'He's a Barrett, put him in' mentality there. Had a good game against Italy, but mediocre opposition and no pressure. Under pressure the ball goes off the side of the boot or he goes for the miracle play and is generally lacking composure. I need to see more of Bridge at test level though as there's been a few debutants that have been cool as a cucumber but never really developed beyond their debut (although Sopoanga never really demanded selection after South Africa - sort of ended up in the phonebook to call if he was whitebaiting and you needed someone).

 

I wonder if Sam Cane moves to get out of his contract before 2021. He's had some horrible concussions and that neck fracture scared the hell out of him. He doesn't seem stupid enough to risk his health just to keep playing 'for the bois' surely.

 

I disagree with Akira with what I've seen so far this year, his work-rate has upped (although hasn't got to where it needs) and I think the recognition is there that if he doesn't break into the ABs this World Cup and dominate that he never will. He's definitely a ball-runner rather than the defensive enforcer role we've seen from Collins and Kaino and I think that would set him apart from Fifita and Frizzell. 


 
 
 
 




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  # 2208022 31-Mar-2019 02:10
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I was not expecting the Crusaders to put the Hurricanes to the sword with a bonus point. After the prior week, I was hopeful for a close win at best. 

 

 

 

Was nice to see Read back. Our young players are really playing well and stepping into the bigger shoes of more established players. 

 

Some fairly average reffing I thought. 

 

I am really enjoying the Kayo App. The hotel I am staying in has Chromecasts in every TV and it's just seamless. Spark Sport could really stand to learn from Kayo. Didn't miss a frame via Chromecast. 




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  # 2209868 2-Apr-2019 23:31
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I saw Mark Reason comment on Beauden Barrett and whilst I normally rubbish what he says as deliberately inflammatory, he does have some valid points. Namely, something I have lamented for a long time, that that is that BB and many of the backline of the Hurricanes, can't pass worth a damn. Seriously horrible. I think it's something to do with the way he sets his shoulders or something, I can't quite put my hand on it, but it *really* needs fixing.  I'd love to know how many forward passes he has thrown in the past 2 years. Of course they have to spot them first, and there were a couple missed by the refs in various games.

 

Our number 10's have struggled a bit in world cup years, I recall DC getting the snot kicked out of him by critics, but they mostly seem to come right around the right time (I am not sure what's up with Mo'ungas kicking for goal right now). It's been a while since I have seen some BB magic. There were times during the Canes Crusaders game where I saw him see a gap between defenders, that previously I was expecting him to rocket through, and he just isn't doing that right now. I do wonder if he has been told to focus on other things, or whether he just isn't feeling it, or what the story is. 

 

 

 

 




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  # 2210287 3-Apr-2019 18:26
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Poor Vince Aso out for the season it would seem. That's a tough break. Not sure if he was seriously in contention for bolter for the RWC, but that pretty much ensures he can't be considered now. 




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  # 2211117 5-Apr-2019 09:16
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Izzy Dagg retires due to injury. What a shame for a great career to end. He had a pretty good run and did an amazing job in switching from Full Back to Winger for the AB's.

 

Hopefully he has a few opportunities lined up for his future.




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  # 2211627 6-Apr-2019 10:18
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That was quite an exciting close game between the Highlanders and Hurricanes. 'canes very fortunate to win that game methinks. Yet another forward pass by BB not picked up. I saw 3 in the game, 2 led to tries. 

 

Ardie Savea is a machine I have to say. Chase Tea Tea not so much. He is the most error-prone player I've seen at this level in a long time. Granted he is very young and his enthusiasm is obviously having an impact on his accuracy, but if they don't get him under control the mistakes will break his confidence and he will flare out. He obviously has talent. 

 

Some great defensive plays during that game. I was almost surprised how well some of the big ball carriers like Frizzel were taken down.

 

In general quality of pass is a blight on NZ Rugby right now. It's truly awful. 

 

 

 

 




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  # 2212120 7-Apr-2019 08:26
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Wow at Brumbies using Crusaders necks like stripper poles all night long! Could have been another card at least in my view. 

 

Franks in his 150th match, some acheivement, shame he continues to shows thuggish attributes in his game. If that shoulder made contact with the head, he could have killed someone. Sam Whitelock and Jordan Taufua's beast mode!!!!

 

 

 

Need to give credit where credit is due. The Blues have improved out of sight. They actually look like a team now. A team who want to play for each other. Lots to fix still, but in that last 3 minutes I said to my FIL, there are teams that can hold the ball for 3 minutes, but not the Blues. They actually proved me very wrong and did it really well. What composure they showed and determination and above any win I can recall in recent times, was one of the most important facets, the ability to close a game out in close quarters conditions. I think Tom Conventry has helped the Blues out massively. 

 

What was with the commentators though last night? Are they on Nonu's PR team? How many times did they mention him for higher honours? I mean, he was great, but are they seriously making a case for him at the RWC? I'd say even if he played like that every week, he would be an outside chance at best surely? I mean, I am a massive fan of the guy, but surely we need to be looking to the future now?

 

 




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  # 2215285 11-Apr-2019 21:18
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So Folau to be terminated by Australian Rugby barring an extraordinary explanation from him. 

 

I have mixed feelings about this from both sides. I feel it's not really as clear cut as people are making out. He *genuinely* believes what he wrote and he didn't only single out one group. He is staying true to his values. The fact that he is prepared to sacrifice $2m a year because of his beliefs.. I do wonder if he has any protection under Religious persecution grounds? On the other hand, I can understand Rugby Australia's position too. I would be interested to see what his contract states about acceptable social media use and if there is anything that specifically addresses this. I would be surprised he is was prepared to sign anything that prevented him from expressing his honest opinion and beliefs given how outspoken he has been in the past. I had heard rumours that a small but core group of the Wallabies had stated to RA that they wouldn't play with him if he continued to voice his views. Pocock and Co. If they don't sack him, which I'd imagine is pretty unlikely, I wonder what happens to the squad if they have to choose between him and Pocock for example. Qantas made it pretty clear their sponsorship was contingent on acceptable conduct of players too. 

 

Michael Cheika will be having kittens about now I think, and rightly so. Whilst I don't think IF was as good at test level as he was at SR level, his value to the Wallabies is hard to underestimate. 

 

I wonder how long it is till he has an NRL contract, I am going to suggest less than a month. I would be amazed if they refused him on morality reasons.

 

 


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  # 2215291 11-Apr-2019 21:35
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networkn:

 

So Folau to be terminated by Australian Rugby barring an extraordinary explanation from him. 

 

I have mixed feelings about this from both sides. I feel it's not really as clear cut as people are making out. He *genuinely* believes what he wrote and he didn't only single out one group. He is staying true to his values. The fact that he is prepared to sacrifice $2m a year because of his beliefs.. I do wonder if he has any protection under Religious persecution grounds? On the other hand, I can understand Rugby Australia's position too. I would be interested to see what his contract states about acceptable social media use and if there is anything that specifically addresses this. I would be surprised he is was prepared to sign anything that prevented him from expressing his honest opinion and beliefs given how outspoken he has been in the past. I had heard rumours that a small but core group of the Wallabies had stated to RA that they wouldn't play with him if he continued to voice his views. Pocock and Co. If they don't sack him, which I'd imagine is pretty unlikely, I wonder what happens to the squad if they have to choose between him and Pocock for example. Qantas made it pretty clear their sponsorship was contingent on acceptable conduct of players too. 

 

Michael Cheika will be having kittens about now I think, and rightly so. Whilst I don't think IF was as good at test level as he was at SR level, his value to the Wallabies is hard to underestimate. 

 

I wonder how long it is till he has an NRL contract, I am going to suggest less than a month. I would be amazed if they refused him on morality reasons.

 

 

His contract will have a good conduct policy in it and he's clearly bringing Rugby Australia into disrepute by his statements. If I did the same I could have a reasonable expectation of loosing my job

 

It looks like he's trying to be fired. The statement was ridiculous but Rugby Australia hasn't been able to contact him, or his management, for 24 hours. It's pretty clear that he wants out.


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