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  #2378770 19-Dec-2019 20:46
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Handle9: Just when it didn't appear that the process for the All Black coaches couldn't be any more of a circus the Brad Mooar contractual situation comes forward. Understandably Scarlets want significant compensation for releasing him from.his contract early.

If NZR have to pay 400k to get him released, or even half of that, it's yet another massive black mark on the process. That is a lot of goal post pads and rippa sets that could have been bought if NZR had their act together.

 

How exactly? Brad Moar was not Ian Fosters first choice in this position as far as I can tell. Obviously, it's an option to decline the appointment due to the expense. 

 

At some point, contracts were going to be broken, breaking a contract usually costs money.

 

 

 

 


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  #2378780 19-Dec-2019 21:12
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6 months ago there were a ton more coaches available off contract. Now we've got a prospective assistant coach who is described as "torn" as to whether he even wants to come and is going to cost hundreds of thousands to buy out of his current contract. Supposedly the coaching team was a key decision making factor for the panel.

 

This process has been a clown show from the start.


 
 
 
 




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  #2391019 13-Jan-2020 14:23
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Interesting choice to see Robertson appoint an Ex Welsh Winger to the coaching staff in defense. He seems to have a reasonable knack of picking decent assistants and getting the best from his people. O'Gara was considered by many to be a very strange choice, but he more than proved his value.

 

I am half expecting the quality of Super Rugby to drop this year by all Nations. SA might be the best off in terms of new-found confidence against other teams.




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  #2410159 30-Jan-2020 13:11
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Super Rugby Time! Woot!

 

I will be interested to see how most of these teams will rebuild. Some teams have been absolutely ravaged by leaving members. I see Damien Mackenzie has pulled up lame and will need to delay his return for the Chiefs for another couple of weeks. Often once you get an injury, it can really be the start of a run of injuries you never really 100% recover from. I see Mitch Hunt has gone to the Highlanders. I am surprised to see Robertson has stuck with Brett Cameron who has really failed to really make any progress in the 10 Jersey at any level for me.

 

I see Akira isn't in the matchday 23 for the Blues. It wouldn't surprise me if he leaves mid-season for a stint overseas. I am not sure he has the mental fortitude to go up from where he is. I hope I am wrong, I'd love to see him reach his potential. I'll be interested to see where they play Reiko this season and if he has managed to leave his niggling injuries behind him.

 

Apart from the Crusaders, the team I most want to see do better this year is the Blues. Personally, though the timing was way out, I'd have swapped Gatland and MacDonald as coaches, so that Gatland was with the Blues. I really like and rate MacDonald, I just wonder if he would have been a better fit at the Chiefs and Gatland at the Blues.

 

 

 

I see that World Rugby are going to do the RWC draw in November. It's mind-boggling they would do these 3 years out.

 

 


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  #2410363 30-Jan-2020 19:18
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I don't think anyone cares about rugby in January. Super Rugby is such an anti-climax that why bother. 

 

France - England on Sunday will be interesting though.


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  #2410539 31-Jan-2020 09:55
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While I'm not that interested in January on my holiday, its all part of the return to normal routine.

 

However, I'm looking forward to seeing Beauden Barrett play against the Hurricanes. The first tackles should be fun to watch.


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  #2411753 3-Feb-2020 06:29
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England - France was entertaining. France were brilliant in the first half and France in the second.

Dupont and Ntamack really have the potential to be special. England were pretty poor for a lot of the games but it was still very tense at the end.

 
 
 
 




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  #2411820 3-Feb-2020 10:27
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Super Rugby Round one produced some interesting results:

 

1) Blues continue the pattern they have established. I still maintain they are not playing properly as a team. Too many individuals being asked to win games on their own.  They should have beaten the Chiefs, though the second half was pretty vintage Chiefs

 

2) Crusaders seem to have not noticed they lost nearly 1000 caps of experience though it will be interesting to see if they can continue like that as the season progresses. A couple of disappointing soft tries there. Hooper doesn't look himself. I think taking the captaincy off him was a mistake for the Warratahs.

 

3) Hurricanes - That was a surprising result, they haven't been kept to nil for quite a number of years. They had a pretty horror start last year too, so I wouldn't be writing them off yet.

 

4) Sunwolves got off to a good start, as did the Jaguares.

 

Quite a bit of rust understandably, all teams will be better for having had a good run.

 

 




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  #2412300 4-Feb-2020 11:07
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Handle9: England - France was entertaining. France were brilliant in the first half and France in the second.

Dupont and Ntamack really have the potential to be special. England were pretty poor for a lot of the games but it was still very tense at the end.

 

It's an interesting situation with England. They weren't that good in the RWC. It was like they turned up for 1 game and then the rest was just to get them there. SA were good in the final, but they were made to look better by a pretty average English effort. My gut is that NZ would have beaten them I think. Not taking away from SA who were worthy winners.

 

I am still not certain what the situation with NZ Rugby is. They got a hiding at the hands of England. All the commentary (from the AB's coaches and almost all Pundits)  was they were beaten by a better team on the day, that the AB's had an off day, and if the match had been played a different day, the result may well have been different. It differs from what I saw, where our forwards, who have been struggling for a while, just weren't able to match Englands, but having said that, Englands forwards were pretty average before and since in terms of results. 

 

France played a match, I think it was against Argentina, during the RWC 2019, where they played a half of Rugby that may have been one of the most beautiful 40 minutes I've seen any team play ever, followed by an absolutely awful second half. I know France has a reputation for being erratic, but it seems a little like that between England and France in the weekend. Defence was pretty grim in the second half. They should have stopped May twice. No way should a reasonable defensive line allow a player to run through 5 players across 30+ meters to the try line.




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  #2412490 4-Feb-2020 14:58
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Ouch, Reiko Ioane out for a month plus with a fractured hand. Blues need that like a hole in the head. 

 

 

 

 


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  #2412572 4-Feb-2020 17:34
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networkn:

 

Handle9: England - France was entertaining. France were brilliant in the first half and France in the second.

Dupont and Ntamack really have the potential to be special. England were pretty poor for a lot of the games but it was still very tense at the end.

 

It's an interesting situation with England. They weren't that good in the RWC. It was like they turned up for 1 game and then the rest was just to get them there. SA were good in the final, but they were made to look better by a pretty average English effort. My gut is that NZ would have beaten them I think. Not taking away from SA who were worthy winners.

 

I am still not certain what the situation with NZ Rugby is. They got a hiding at the hands of England. All the commentary (from the AB's coaches and almost all Pundits)  was they were beaten by a better team on the day, that the AB's had an off day, and if the match had been played a different day, the result may well have been different. It differs from what I saw, where our forwards, who have been struggling for a while, just weren't able to match Englands, but having said that, Englands forwards were pretty average before and since in terms of results. 

 

France played a match, I think it was against Argentina, during the RWC 2019, where they played a half of Rugby that may have been one of the most beautiful 40 minutes I've seen any team play ever, followed by an absolutely awful second half. I know France has a reputation for being erratic, but it seems a little like that between England and France in the weekend. Defence was pretty grim in the second half. They should have stopped May twice. No way should a reasonable defensive line allow a player to run through 5 players across 30+ meters to the try line.

 

 

France (if they don't screw it up) will be incredibly strong on 2023. They have won the last 2 junior world cups and 8 of those players were in the team on Sunday. They were pretty good in the world cup and probably would have tipped up Wales if Vahaamahina hadn't had his moment of madness. They played a really interesting brand of rugby in the world cup focusing on offloads and support running. They are always one moment of Frenchness away from falling apart but this group looks very strong. Picking up Shaun Edwards has and will help them hugely. They pushed England back 20 meters on defence a couple of times, it was really impressive.

 

England were trying a lot, especially in the pack. They played 3 locks and had Carry at number 8 so I wouldn't read that much into it. They do need to cut the cord with Youngs, his passing was awful.




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  #2413362 5-Feb-2020 22:37
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Handle9:

 

France (if they don't screw it up) will be incredibly strong on 2023. They have won the last 2 junior world cups and 8 of those players were in the team on Sunday. They were pretty good in the world cup and probably would have tipped up Wales if Vahaamahina hadn't had his moment of madness. They played a really interesting brand of rugby in the world cup focusing on offloads and support running. They are always one moment of Frenchness away from falling apart but this group looks very strong. Picking up Shaun Edwards has and will help them hugely. They pushed England back 20 meters on defence a couple of times, it was really impressive.

 

England were trying a lot, especially in the pack. They played 3 locks and had Carry at number 8 so I wouldn't read that much into it. They do need to cut the cord with Youngs, his passing was awful.

 

 

Interesting comments thanks. I've never rated Youngs, though he has a lethal box kick. If bad passing excluded you as a half back poor T J Perenara wouldn't be playing any more :) 

 

Ireland Scotland was quite an interesting game from the highlights, if it wasn't for Russell dropping the ball over the try line, the game might have ended quite badly. 

 

 

 

 


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  #2413414 6-Feb-2020 07:58
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Ireland Scotland was close but a crap game. Boring, unimaginative rugby. Ireland were very clearly better than Scotland but can't find a way to score. They have a potentially world class player in Lamour who never gets the ball in space.

https://twitter.com/ek_rugby/status/1225011105950502913

This is a really good video on Frances defence on the weekend.



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  #2414404 7-Feb-2020 23:24
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So the Sharks spanked the Highlanders. It was largely because of the Highlanders absolutely appalling line out and aimless kicking. There were lots of mistakes, characteristic of first few games of a season, but with a functioning lineout, the result could have been so much better. 

 

Curwin Bosch has a fantastic kicking action. 12/13 kicks this season. SA players look very buff this season. They are always pretty big men but they seem made of steel and that physicality is really helping them get-go forward. Add to that some BLISTERING pace from their backs, and it's pretty lethal. 

 

I am a little anxious about facing the Chiefs tomorrow. Doesn't help we don't have a good replacement specialist 10. If the Crusaders forwards are dominant and set-piece is good, then we should win, otherwise, it's a lottery.

 

 

 

 




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  #2414881 9-Feb-2020 09:55
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Well, I felt it could have gone either way and congrats to the Chiefs for a pretty good defensive effort, helped along by some pretty average attack in the last few minutes of the first half. The game really should have been put out of reach given how much possession and territory they had. It was hard to watch. I think the Chiefs (and actually a fair number of the NZ teams so far) are showing they can still play good Rugby despite losing huge numbers of caps and very experienced players. The Crusaders really need a good number 10 to shine, and while Havilii did a very good job under the circumstances, impressive even, some impatience, and errors of judgement were part of his learning experience. Discipline was disappointing. 

 

I was impressed to see Damien MacKenzie play 80 minutes, though I believe teams have largely worked him out now and understand giving him space (just like Neme Milner Scudder and other breakout players) is a mistake. I was glad to see him recovered. 

 

Congrats to the Blues. I didn't watch the game, but saw the highlights and read a review of the game. Winning away from home has proven incredibly elusive for them and they are showing not only can they do it, but they can do it in style, though the Warratahs seem extremely average compared to years gone by.

 

I am actually enjoying the SR early on, even if it's largely irrelevant till midseason. I have been wondering how teams would go with the loss of experience and so far, pretty good. 

 

 


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