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  # 2255942 11-Jun-2019 12:08
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Well, I am certainly not taking anything for granted, I don't think the scrum has been the weapon for the Crusaders it was previously, and I suspect the front row especially aren't 100% right now (injuries and lack of game time etc etc), which doesn't bode well for the AB's this year. Our Lineout hasn't been that stellar either, esp the throwing. I'd really like to see a good set peice performance in the first quarter final.

 

There is talk of Ennor in the AB's, though I personally think it's premature, and if I was taking a player out of the Crusaders this year it would be Bridge or Reece. Ennor has been exceptional though and our AB's backline looks pretty good for the future. 

 

It was super entertaining though I have to say.

 

 


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  # 2255965 11-Jun-2019 12:40
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networkn:

 

It was super entertaining though I have to say.

 

 

So entertaining that we'll now prioritise watching more Crusader games.


 
 
 
 




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  # 2256053 11-Jun-2019 13:39
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I have to say, that this year the Crusaders backs have been on fire. Some of the tries have been simply magnificent. 

 

When Nadolo left I was *gutted* but Seta came in and was amazing, when he left I had no idea what we would do, and Reece arrived, and we have had Bridge who has been good fun to watch too. 




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  # 2256583 12-Jun-2019 11:50
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I am wondering why Tafua has been playing from the bench the majority of the season? He has been playing well, and was an AB's contender last year, but this year has rode the pine the majority of the time. I wonder if his decision to head overseas is a factor. I am wondering if he in the discussions for 6 for the AB's. I suspect not, though that would be tough as he was selected last year and couldn't play due to injury.

 

 




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  # 2256728 12-Jun-2019 13:53
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I see Beauden Barrett has again been linked to the Blues. I would suggest the chances of this are slimmer than ever. 

 

I cannot for the life of me, understand why he would consider such a thing. To go from a team consistently in the top 3 to a team consistently in the bottom 3 would seem a poor career move. 

 

 


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  # 2258571 14-Jun-2019 23:40
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Well that was two absolute muggings by NZ sides against the Aussies.
The Highlanders played an absolutely sublime first half against the Warratahs. Went of the boil a little in the second half, but the job was done.Welcome back Liam Squire!
And then the icing on the cake was the Chiefs completely outclassing the Rebels in Melbourne. Perhaps not the invisceration that the Rebels suffered at the hands of the Crusaders last week, but still pretty comprehensive.




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  # 2260182 18-Jun-2019 12:53
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Im not a watch every game rugby fan , but this is good news for many of you, possibly

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113568055/sky-sport-to-swallow-rugby-channel-from-august

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  # 2260187 18-Jun-2019 13:02
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That is good news. The first press bit I saw on this indicated they were simply going to rebrand it and still charge a fee, which I must admit wasn't making me too happy.

 

I don't currently subscribe to Rugby Channel as I resented the $10 extra, so this is good if I want to watch.




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  # 2260204 18-Jun-2019 13:37
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I feel my criticism of Quade Cooper has been justified (again). He is a talent, there is no doubt, but he is also one of the flakiest and inconsistent players around. He does not cope well with pressure in my view, and if he does, it's only for a game or two. 

 

I don't believe his form is warranting a Wallabies call up, but if it is, and I was coaching a team playing against him, I'd be putting as much pressure on him that I could. 

 

To all accounts, he is a nice guy, genuinely, and I do believe his is trying his best, so this isn't personal criticism, but as a player, his consistency is a serious issue. I believe that some teams can field a mercurial talent, usually not at 10 though (Carlos Spencer could win or lose you a game), but that pretty much requires everyone to understand the unpredictable nature of their play and be able to compensate for when it isn't going well. I don't think the Wallabies have this depth.

 

 


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  # 2260206 18-Jun-2019 13:49
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networkn:

 

I feel my criticism of Quade Cooper has been justified (again). He is a talent, there is no doubt, but he is also one of the flakiest and inconsistent players around. He does not cope well with pressure in my view, and if he does, it's only for a game or two. 

 

I don't believe his form is warranting a Wallabies call up, but if it is, and I was coaching a team playing against him, I'd be putting as much pressure on him that I could. 

 

To all accounts, he is a nice guy, genuinely, and I do believe his is trying his best, so this isn't personal criticism, but as a player, his consistency is a serious issue. I believe that some teams can field a mercurial talent, usually not at 10 though (Carlos Spencer could win or lose you a game), but that pretty much requires everyone to understand the unpredictable nature of their play and be able to compensate for when it isn't going well. I don't think the Wallabies have this depth.

 

 

I'd give him the call up. I'd let the other team focus all their energy on upsetting him. 

 

Then I wouldn't play him 😊 If you get really desperate, he'd be adequate cover. But he might work best as a lightning rod and be a good distraction for opposition players. 




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  # 2260248 18-Jun-2019 14:01
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They aren't going to call up a player that isn't going to form part of the playing squad just to hope that a team is going to waste time on them. They have a limited group size they are allowed and most teams will use 90% of those players either due to injury or cover for other reasons.

 

In reality, they have some passable 10's so I can't see him getting selected. He *could* win them a game, but he just as easily could lose them a game.

 

He does seem more susceptible to errors against Kiwi teams. He didn't play terribly against the Crusaders, but I would have hooked him after 20 minutes against the Chiefs.

 

One thing that does seem pretty consistent with a lot of teams, is their inability to see a game plan isn't going to script and make adjustments on the fly. It seems to require a half time chat with the coach. 

 

 

 

 




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  # 2260860 19-Jun-2019 13:14
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So, having a think recently about whether Akira Ioane has done enough for an AB's call up. I think earlier in the season, even for Auckland in the Mitre10 cup, his form was inargurable. He was clearly told at some point the areas to focus on, and I do think he has improved, but there is a reason I wouldn't select him right now for the AB's, and that's his personality, and his relationship with his brother. Both players in my opinion are massively arrogant. The way they celebrate their tries, the fact they are first to a fight and the over the top nature of one brother coming in for the other if there is words being said, I think culturally, it goes against how the AB's are as a unit. I could see them being disruptive together in a way they aren't when they are apart. I think Reiko on his own is largely subdued/controlled by the culture of the AB's, but I could see issues arising if Akira wasn't selected to play if he was in the squad. It's just a gut feeling, but their personalities combined I think could be a problem within the AB's. 

 

I think the AB's value attitude as much as aptitude and I know some players didn't make the cut in recent squads because they weren't a good cultural mix (I don't mean race in any way).

 

If they pick Akira, who misses out? Obviously, not Read.

 

@handle9 I don't think you follow Super Rugby, but have you made many changes to your World Cup Squad?

 

 


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  # 2261028 19-Jun-2019 17:51
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networkn:

 

So, having a think recently about whether Akira Ioane has done enough for an AB's call up. I think earlier in the season, even for Auckland in the Mitre10 cup, his form was inargurable. He was clearly told at some point the areas to focus on, and I do think he has improved, but there is a reason I wouldn't select him right now for the AB's, and that's his personality, and his relationship with his brother. Both players in my opinion are massively arrogant. The way they celebrate their tries, the fact they are first to a fight and the over the top nature of one brother coming in for the other if there is words being said, I think culturally, it goes against how the AB's are as a unit. I could see them being disruptive together in a way they aren't when they are apart. I think Reiko on his own is largely subdued/controlled by the culture of the AB's, but I could see issues arising if Akira wasn't selected to play if he was in the squad. It's just a gut feeling, but their personalities combined I think could be a problem within the AB's. 

 

I think the AB's value attitude as much as aptitude and I know some players didn't make the cut in recent squads because they weren't a good cultural mix (I don't mean race in any way).

 

If they pick Akira, who misses out? Obviously, not Read.

 

@handle9 I don't think you follow Super Rugby, but have you made many changes to your World Cup Squad?

 

 

I've watched a bit of Super Rugby but I don't think too many changes will happen. I think the third half back and loose forward mix might change a bit but I think it'll mostly come down to the August tests and injuries.

 

I think you're over thinking the cultural issues, Akira Ioane has been given some aspects he needs to change and his behaviour hasn't one of that has been publicised. If he does get picked it'll be as the 28th - 30th player in the squad. Those players don't tend to have much of a cultural impact in an outfit as hierarchical as a rugby team.

 

Sports teams culture tends to be based on things like doing your job, being accountable, preparing professionally, being  and training hard. I have never heard any complaints about Reiko Ionae around any of these things. Neither of them seem to be the kind of guys who have huge off the field personalities who would impact the team negatively. Compared to players like Justin Marshall and Carlos Spencer, who were dropped mostly due to their cultural impact on the team

 

Nonu was a player who was a nightmare at super rugby level but thrived in the All Black environment. It all comes down to the quality of the management and team leadership. Marc Hammet and the Hurricanes leadership weren't capable of inspiring Nonu, the All Black unit could.

 

Akira would go as the 5th - 6th loose forward so you are looking at the likes of Fifita, Frizzel, Squire, Robinson and Jacobsen.




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  # 2261033 19-Jun-2019 18:11
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It was actually a point made by a group of Blues supporters at my squash club that got me noticing it first off.

 

Either brother on his own, probably manageable, together they would be a diferent story I think. Maybe we will find out soon enough, though players cut for this reason rarely get it mentioned as that! Personally, I think they both probably have big off the field personalities. 

 

Agree about halfback, I was going to ask about that specifically. Brad Weber certainly seems to be making a big impression in some quarters. I think it will be interesting to see if TTT still gets picked as the "incumbant", though Brad Weber was an AB first and was scratched due to injury. I've barely seen TTT play this season and for a good chunk of the season the Chiefs have been pretty average so hard to tell what kind of form he is in this year.

 

I do still wonder who the hier apparent for Ben Smith is for the Highlanders next year. They haven't really had anyone stand out as such this season I don't think. 


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  # 2261169 19-Jun-2019 23:22
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networkn:

 

It was actually a point made by a group of Blues supporters at my squash club that got me noticing it first off.

 

Either brother on his own, probably manageable, together they would be a diferent story I think. Maybe we will find out soon enough, though players cut for this reason rarely get it mentioned as that! Personally, I think they both probably have big off the field personalities. 

 

 

Do you really think that a 22 year old and a player with no caps is going to disrupt a team with the likes of Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Brodie Retalick and Sam Cane? Do you actually have any evidence that they aren't manageable or is it just a guess based on their play?

 

Rugby teams are intensely hierarchical and the back of the bus polices idiots pretty hard. You only get an opportunity to be a problem if you are a leader in the group, neither of these guys are leaders. Wingers aren't generally leaders and certainly a new chum will get the message about boundaries pretty clearly. If they didn't they would be gone and probably not considered again.

 

I haven't heard any whispers about them missing training, getting into fights or drinking too much. There have been legitimate issues about Akira's work rate and fitness but not about the things that would cause them to actually be a cultural problem.


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