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  #2509739 22-Jun-2020 13:54
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networkn:

 

What?!

 

Surely you can't be outside the playing area when you push the ball down? Do you mean you can exit the field of play, re-enter and THEN push the ball down?

 

 

Law 8. Scoring

 

2: A try is scored when an attacking player

 

e. who is in touch or touch-in-goal, grounds the ball in the opponents in-goal provided the player is not holding the ball.

 

So, you can be out but the ball is still in, and ground the ball as long as you dont pick it up.

 

 


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  #2509918 22-Jun-2020 17:43
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Dingbatt:

 

It was interesting to see a change in mindset in both the Chiefs and Hurricanes from ‘pre-virus’. Both teams regularly eschewed penalty goal attempts for kicking to the corners. Now it’s all about “staying in touch”. Is it a sign that they have less faith in their driving mails (a manoeuvre I hate by the way) or more a case of so many breakdown penalties being awarded you may as well make hay while the sun shines?

 

I still believe the Chiefs are largely leaderless without Cane on the field, evidenced by them continuing to try and play dry-weather rugby in the pouring rain. Further evidence of the lack of experience was the Chiefs centre racing out of the defensive line for a low percentage intercept and leaving a massive hole for the Blues backs to exploit for their final try. Their lack of experienced locks really hurts their lineout. I wish Retallick had taken the same option as Whitelock and played in the Aotearoa competition.

 

When I watched the Crusaders Hurricanes game I thought the die was cast within the first minute. And then the game settled into the pattern of the previous night. One team exploiting errors and scoring tries. The other staying in touch with penalties. None more emblematic than the Hurricanes converting a penalty then turning over the ball from the kickoff (albeit from a contested aerial challenge) and the Crusaders scoring under the posts almost immediately. You can’t keep alternating between getting 3 points and conceding 7 and expect to win the game.

 

After only 2 weeks I believe the competition may be decided by the final round 8 match between the Blues and Crusaders, with positions 3, 4 and 5 scrapped out by the others, and possibly determined by points differential.

 

My money is on the Crusaders, as much as anything because of the team culture.

 

 

I think the chiefs have realised they aren't particularly strong this year so try keep the game close. They are a young side this year and are rebuilding a bit so it'll take a bit. The Hurricanes are similar but seem a bit lost as to how they want to play.

 

The Blues look well organised and are dominating the contact area. Patrick Tuipolotu is the form lock so far. He's playing a role a lot like Brad Thorn used to, dominating with physicality. Sotutu, Boshier and Robinson have also been very good and should get a look at an All Blacks squad. Dane Coles also looks back to his best and from what I saw yesterday Moody looked good as well. If you can (legally) physically hurt the opposition with and without the ball you are halfway to victory. Rugby is fundamentally men running into other men.

 

The lineouts yesterday were awful, the number of times that the Crusaders threw to no one was strange.

 

The penalties are starting to take effect, the way players were actively rolling out of the ruck in the Blues game was good to see. The players will get the message about sealing off and coming from the side. It just takes a bit of time. It'll help the all blacks a lot as well as the forwards will be much more accurate.


 
 
 
 




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  #2510664 23-Jun-2020 16:24
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@handle9 I am interested in the article about AB half-backs and the fact they don't have a proper replacement for Aaron Smith. I have been watching Enari play. He is a bit raw, but holy moley he can flick the ball at some pace. Have you seen him play? Brad Weber show(s)ed a lot of promise (His first couple of seasons with the Chiefs because of his pass and general speed of moving to the ruck), but more for his other attributes now I think. 

 

TJP's passing is better now than it was last year from what I have seen. It's much slower than Smith, Weber or Enari I think, but last year the accuracy was pretty average, and whilst his speed hasn't improved, his accuracy seems better.  I wondered if he was just overhyped a bit last year, trying too hard etc...

 

 


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  #2510674 23-Jun-2020 17:16
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networkn:

 

@handle9 I am interested in the article about AB half-backs and the fact they don't have a proper replacement for Aaron Smith. I have been watching Enari play. He is a bit raw, but holy moley he can flick the ball at some pace. Have you seen him play? Brad Weber show(s)ed a lot of promise (His first couple of seasons with the Chiefs because of his pass and general speed of moving to the ruck), but more for his other attributes now I think. 

 

TJP's passing is better now than it was last year from what I have seen. It's much slower than Smith, Weber or Enari I think, but last year the accuracy was pretty average, and whilst his speed hasn't improved, his accuracy seems better.  I wondered if he was just overhyped a bit last year, trying too hard etc...

 

 

Based on what I saw on the weekend Weber is a direct replacement for smith. He's not quite as long on his pass but his workrate, speed to the breakdown and speed of pass is tremendous. He's got the same issue as Smith (physically small) but the alternative is a TJ Perenara / Justin Marshall type player.

 

TJ has never had a quick pass and never will. His strenth is physicality and running at tired defenses.

 

I haven't watched a lot of Enari but what I saw on the weekend from the Crusaders wasn't that impressive. I didn't watch the game that closely (Sunday is a work day here) but they looked disorganised and the forwards weren't that impressive. If the Hurricanes had their act together they could have easily tipped them up.

 

Whether that is first game rust I don't know, the end of the first round will give a better gauge.


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  #2511112 24-Jun-2020 01:37
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The other thing I noticed from the weekend is Mounga's still missing big tackles. He had to do better than he did on Laumape. 

 

He got away from the World Cup semi-final last year very lightly. He had a horrible missed tackle on Daly in the first couple of minutes, which played a really big part in England getting momentum. The All Blacks were hiding him as well, not having him defend near Tuialagi.

 

He hasn't got a defining characteristic as an international fly half, he's reasonable at most things but if he can't defend he becomes a liability. International sides will find a way to get him man on man and if the All Blacks continue to play a sweeper then having a fly half who can't tackle one on one doesn't work. The All Blacks would probably be better to play Barrett at 10 and McKenzie at the back.




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  #2511801 24-Jun-2020 21:20
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Handle9:

 

Based on what I saw on the weekend Weber is a direct replacement for smith. He's not quite as long on his pass but his workrate, speed to the breakdown and speed of pass is tremendous. He's got the same issue as Smith (physically small) but the alternative is a TJ Perenara / Justin Marshall type player.

 

TJ has never had a quick pass and never will. His strenth is physicality and running at tired defenses.

 

I haven't watched a lot of Enari but what I saw on the weekend from the Crusaders wasn't that impressive. I didn't watch the game that closely (Sunday is a work day here) but they looked disorganised and the forwards weren't that impressive. If the Hurricanes had their act together they could have easily tipped them up.

 

Whether that is first game rust I don't know, the end of the first round will give a better gauge.

 

 

Enari didn't play in the weekend for the Crusaders. Drummond and Hall were the two halfbacks in that particular game. I was just interested if you had seen him play in general and your opinion.

 

I do think Weber is a good halfback if he plays this year like he did last year, he is all but assured the 2nd/3rd half-back position for the AB's (If they get a test match considering managed isolated has been said to continue till at least December).

 

 

 

 




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  #2514223 29-Jun-2020 09:12
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I enjoyed both games in the weekend, though the Chiefs had me worried the last 10 minutes. 

 

Both games *could* have gone either way. There certainly wasn't the gap I expected there to be between the Chiefs and the Crusaders based on the prior week's dominance. Cruden looked threatening taking the line. I do think teams have worked out MacKenzie pretty much. Even with some space he doesn't look the same threat he did in prior years. Without that game-breaking ability, fullback may become more contentious.

 

On the plus side, fewer penalties!


 
 
 
 


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  #2517627 5-Jul-2020 17:45
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Well I think we’ve found the wooden spooners for SR Aotearoa.
Even against 14 players for 25 minutes the Chiefs couldn’t win. No game plan except to kick the ball away. Taking a quick tap from a scrum penalty against a 7 man Hurricanes scrum was just dumb. Cane shoulder charging Perenara should have been a yellow card, once again dumb, and not what I would expect from the AB Captain. One player shouldn’t make all the difference but Lienert-Brown’s nouse was missed in the backline.
Jordy Barrett had a great return to rugby and certainly had a better night than McKenzie.

 

The Highlanders proved on Saturday night you have to play the Crusaders for the full 80 minutes. They were in it for 70, but looked out on their feet. And then the Crusaders did what they do best.





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  #2517734 5-Jul-2020 20:59
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A more one-sided refereeing display I haven't seen in such a long time.  Amazing defense by the Hurricanes to hold off the Chiefs with 14 men.

 

Jordie Barretts 58m kick was a stunner and whilst he is still a bit scatter-brained at times, he looks more like he did a couple of seasons ago. It's nice to have a fullback with a decent boot back in the ranks again. An extra 5m clearance does make some difference.

 

I could scarely believe the final score of the Crusaders match, it certainly didn't feel a fair reflection of the battle I felt it was. The last couple of years I have felt that the Crusaders finally have a backline and attacking plan to match their forwards. Mataele was in some crazy great form before he was injured last year, and doesn't get a look in right now. It must be fairly discouraging. Joe Moody is in good form right now, as is Codie Taylor. Codie Taylor is breathing right down Dane Coles neck for first choice AB's hooker, though I still think Coles absolute outright pace gives him the edge. Taylors throwing has been better.

 

I wonder what Fosters first choice 23 are at this stage. I get the feeling he is looking to switch things up a bit.

 

 


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  #2517775 6-Jul-2020 05:52
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networkn:

 

A more one-sided refereeing display I haven't seen in such a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

i presume you meant against the Hurricanes :)




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  #2517799 6-Jul-2020 09:03
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cshwone:

 

networkn:

 

A more one-sided refereeing display I haven't seen in such a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

i presume you meant against the Hurricanes :)

 

 

That is correct. At the point at which Scrafton was carded the penalties were 10-11 in favour of the Chiefs, it was a pretty soft penalty, yet the Chiefs weren't carded when they hit 11 and for a much more serious and blatant issue (late no arms shoulder charge that all day long would have been yellow).  As @dingbatt alluded that is pretty poor behaviour by our AB's captain, though TJP took it pretty well I thought. The refereeing was pretty bad later in the game.

 

TJP spent the night yapping as usual, and was told off and warned about a penalty against him if he continued and even Dane Coles got sick of him and had to get him away from the ref.

 

I thought it was funny when Aaron Smith during his captains interview said something along the lines of "not trying to bother the ref too much".

 

I know the halfback needs to communicate more with the ref than some other positions, but man, we really need to reel this in.

 

 


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  #2517892 6-Jul-2020 11:33
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Apart from the shoulder charge being only a penalty, I don’t see the refereeing as being particularly one sided. Remember, he consulted the assistants and tmo before deciding it was only a penalty. Likewise for the cards he sought collegial advice before deciding a course of action. Subconsciously, if someone (who isn’t the captain) is constantly in your ear and getting on your nerves, maybe they won’t receive as much consideration (eh TJP).

 

As far as the red card was concerned, the Hurricanes number 5 was yellow carded on his third(?) penalty offence and his off-side play at the lineout prevented a Chiefs attack inside the 22.

 

The second yellow was for a clear professional foul that prevented a try from being scored, and resulted in a penalty try being awarded. In those circumstances a yellow is inevitable. That it was the same player is unfortunate but regardless someone was going to the bin. The difference was a 20 minute sanction instead of 10.

 

The way the Chiefs played they didn’t deserve to win. They seemed to be going through the motions waiting for a marquee player to spark something. Unfortunately the sparks were all from the other side.





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  #2517894 6-Jul-2020 11:47
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Whilst you are correct in your assessments of the penalties and why they were awarded, there was a lot more penalties and things that went on after the first yellow that was surprising. I am not going to trawl through each play to list them, but I left the end of that game feeling that a Hurricanes review of that last 30 minutes would have them rightly asking for a please explain of the referee.

 

I think the Chiefs do well from broken play and they scored a lot of points from miracle balls and low percentage plays that were going their way for quite a long time. For whatever reason, they aren't able to execute those last passes or whatnot, and to top that off, oppositions have worked out mostly how to take DM out of the game. Their pack is down to I think 4th choice in some positions, and if you then take into account Retallick isn't there and he has always always been their best player or thereabouts, ALB missing and a few other things, they don't have the cohesiveness they are used to. Their confidence is self fufilling and without some of those plays, they aren't building the confidence.

 

 




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  #2518555 7-Jul-2020 15:29
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There is one thing that is really annoying me recently watching Rugby in NZ. I am SO SO sick of fans booing the other teams players, kickers or anything else. If you don't want to cheer, cool, I don't care, but booing is SUCH poor form. Crusaders fans are some of the worst for it, it's embarrassing. Last time I went to a live game in CHCH I got stuck into the people around me for it, which didn't go down well, but at least they stopped.  The worst of it is when the AB's fans used to jeer Quade Cooper YEARS after his bad behaviour. I get jeering a little for a game or two to let him know what he did was unpopular, but 5 years later and we are still doing it like petulant children drives me insane.

 

 




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  #2519806 9-Jul-2020 09:15
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Not news till it's confirmed I guess, but apparently NZ are pulling out of Super Rugby.  If we do, I believe NZ will deteriorate from our current position. We need to be playing international Rugby and Australia aren't likely to be providing the variety of experience and challenge that having South African teams and even Argentina will provide.  I do believe SR has a lot to do with our number 1 ranking for the longest time and whilst it had flaws we were better off with it than without it. Obviously, if we CAN'T play those nations because of Covid19 then that should be temporary.

 

 


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