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  #2521290 11-Jul-2020 21:33
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Note to the Blues, you have to play the Crusaders for 80 minutes not 60. In a similar fashion the the previous game against the Highlanders, the Crusaders “did an All Blacks” (as my son describes it) and went up a gear with 20 to go.

 

The commentators reckoned the turning point was the charge down of Ioane’s try, but I think the Crusaders were lucky that Reiko did score, otherwise Joe Moody was headed for the sin bin for a professional foul preventing a try (not back 10 and tackling the ball carrier).
And then Barrett put the ball out on the full, so that instead of a defensive lineout on their side of halfway, the Crusaders had an attacking lineout 30m from the Blues’ line.
And just like the quick Crusaders throw-in that cost the Chiefs any chance of the match a fortnight ago, Mo’unga’s quick kickoff showed you can’t afford to turn your back on the Crusaders and relax for a moment.

 

It’s really starting to annoy me when the commentators harp on about the referees correctly applying the rules of the game.





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  #2521375 12-Jul-2020 09:59
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If one the commentators was a short ex crusaders player..
I remember him going on and on about a decision which was subsequently said to be correct by head ref for nz.

Just because you play the game doesn't mean you know everything...

 
 
 
 




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  #2521376 12-Jul-2020 10:10
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It was a great game regardless of outcome. The Blues turned up and were aware of what they needed to do to win. They were excellent on defense until that last 20 minutes but to be honest, RM really pulled some magic out that most teams would have struggled against.

 

I think the try that came from the incorrectly awarded scrum (how did they get that so wrong!?) was awarded off the back of 2 knock-ons by the Blues really wound them up.

 

I 100% agree re commentary.  The rules are the rules and so long as they are policed fairly (and to my mind the player stuck in the ruck is something all teams get pinged for) then I don't have too much issue with them, but the continous whining by Marshall et al makes me want to mute the sound.

 

My son (a Blues supporter) was distraught they lost when they had a reasonable lead, but this morning was pretty much resigned to the fact that you can't defend a lead against the Crusaders, or give them an inch. to be fair in recent times the Blues have let away reasonable leads to lose to the Crusaders, it also happened the first live game I ever took him to, at Eden Park last year I think (or was it 2018).

 

The breakdown continues to be a mystery to me since the rule changes, it doesn't seem consistent.

 

 

 

 


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  #2521501 12-Jul-2020 17:48
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The Crusaders deservedly won because their forwards got dominance. Overall they were more accurate at the breakdown although they got some massive piggybacks from the referee. You tend to get that when you are more accurate overall. It was puzzling why the referee was pedantic about entering the ruck but far less so on holding on and playing the ball on the ground. I also disagree that the referee was just enforcing the law, when a player is pinned over the ball by the opposition the law says it's a scrum with the team going forward. It's an interpretation to penalise that rather than just following the law.

 

In the first half when the forward battle was more even Mounga was horrible. Awful kicking and no real idea how to find space when he didn't have go forward. When they were both on the field Barrett and Black clearly outplayed Havilli and Mounga and I'm still puzzled why Black was substituted. Barretts kicking was far more accurate and found space compared to Mounga.

 

After Barrett kicked out on full the Blues forwards started to get slower and slower off the ground and they got squeezed by the Crusaders. It's a learning curve for the Blues and a game they will be better for losing after a great start to the season. When they had continuity they were far more threatening than the Crusaders, playing the Auckland forward game, which has always featured a lot of offloads. It's higher risk than the more robotic game played now but far more attractive to watch if you get it right.

 

I give Leon MacDonald a lot of credit for adapting his team culture to the players and city rather than trying to impose the Crusaders culture. I think that is why Hammett was such a dismal failure everywhere he went - he tried to make every team like the Crusaders rather than shape what he had with aspects he learnt from the Crusaders. Both Ioanes were excellent again and the experiment with Akira at 6 has worked. Reiko looks like he has his pace and explosiveness back and has played a really strong team role.

 

The Crusaders backline wasn't impressive outside of Goodhue and Bridge. Goodhue at least went forward into contact hard. Their forwards were generally pretty good and cohesive.

 

When Robinson comes back the Blues have 5 excellent loose forwards. Sotutu looks like an All Black in waiting, especially with his line out game getting better and better. The All Blacks didn't have anyone to replace Read at the line out and now it looks possible that Sotutu could fill that role, possibly off the bench.

 

It will be an interesting game at Eden Park, although it's likely to be a dead rubber by then.




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  #2521783 13-Jul-2020 10:22
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I think suggesting Mo'unga was horrible in the first half is a bit over the top. I also think that the criticism from pundits on Sunday of BB was a bit silly as well. I agree with your comments about MacDonald, I think he has started to get the "Auckland" culture into the Blues established, and he picked good leaders this year too (Thank God Parsons is no longer captain). If you look at what Auckland achieved by beating Canterbury in the Mitre 10 cup a year or so back, I believe it's a continuation of that. The key will be can he continue down that path?

 

I will be curious to see how the Blues handle the defeat next week. Will they be able to put it behind them, or will, as it has in prior years, dented their confidence too much?

 

I think the biggest thing that the Crusaders have over other teams and it's true of the AB's of say 2 years ago and back, is they can absorb pressure for 60+ minutes, not panic about the scoreline,patiently waiting, and have enough self-belief, fitness and skill, to put the opposition to the sword in 10-20 minutes. If you look at the first 8 games of SR the Crusaders played in either 2017 or 2018, they were trailing sometimes up to 20-30 points behind and then came back and won all of those games. Marshall often referred to it at the time it happened, where the "tractor engine just started" then the forwards would just start smashing over the gainline etc...

 

I am quite torn over a lot of the feedback I see online that all games should be earlier, suggesting the game in Christchurch would have been better played at 3pm. For me personally, the game on Sunday PM is perfect most of the time, but I really enjoy sitting down at 7pm and watching Saturday night rugby, I wouldn't want two-afternoon games as it can be disruptive to other plans like dinner etc. Obviously slightly different if you attend live.

 

 

 

 


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  #2521880 13-Jul-2020 10:39
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Horrible is probably a bit extreme to describe Mo’unga’s first half effort, but he was effectively shut down and rushed, particularly by Papalii. As the game wore on, and the Blues players that were putting time pressure on Havili and Mo’unga tired, it gave them a fraction longer to pause then execute and they became more accurate.

 

The third and fourth play-off on Sunday was entertaining enough. The Highlanders showed flashes of brilliance, but on the whole the Hurricanes were ascendant for most of the match.

 

Has anybody tried pushing the button for the ‘alternative commentary’? Tony Johnson and Justin Marshall are really getting on my t!ts.





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  #2521929 13-Jul-2020 10:46
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Dingbatt:

 

Horrible is probably a bit extreme to describe Mo’unga’s first half effort, but he was effectively shut down and rushed, particularly by Papalii. As the game wore on, and the Blues players that were putting time pressure on Havili and Mo’unga tired, it gave them a fraction longer to pause then execute and they became more accurate.

 

The third and fourth play-off on Sunday was entertaining enough. The Highlanders showed flashes of brilliance, but on the whole the Hurricanes were ascendant for most of the match.

 

Has anybody tried pushing the button for the ‘alternative commentary’? Tony Johnson and Justin Marshall are really getting on my t!ts.

 

 

I agree he was shut down, but criticism of that shouldn't fall to him, but to the forwards in my view. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting he was brilliant or the like, but yeah, I've seen some "horrible" performances at 10 (Cameron is a player I can't recall seeing have a good game at 10 in SR, even with forwards ascendency. Harry Plumber has had a few shockers. I'd consider a horrible game to contain lots of unforced errors.

 

I haven't tried the alternative commentary as I am not usually annoyed as much by JM as some others do and I like TJ most of the time and missed him and the other guy during the RWC. Having to listen to Sparks guy (Stevenson) was excruciating. I actually muted some of his matches. Having said that, the last few weeks, I feel annoyed by some of the commentary too.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2522241 13-Jul-2020 16:09
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Dingbatt:

 

Horrible is probably a bit extreme to describe Mo’unga’s first half effort, but he was effectively shut down and rushed, particularly by Papalii. As the game wore on, and the Blues players that were putting time pressure on Havili and Mo’unga tired, it gave them a fraction longer to pause then execute and they became more accurate.

 

The third and fourth play-off on Sunday was entertaining enough. The Highlanders showed flashes of brilliance, but on the whole the Hurricanes were ascendant for most of the match.

 

Has anybody tried pushing the button for the ‘alternative commentary’? Tony Johnson and Justin Marshall are really getting on my t!ts.

 

 

I stand by that he was horrible in the first half. He butchered two try scoring opportunities with horrible kicks, one which was from a penalty. He made passes to no one and generally horrible kicking straight to the Blues.

 

He was very good later in the second half and helped them win the game but his first half was in no way good.


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  #2522255 13-Jul-2020 16:14
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networkn:

 

I am quite torn over a lot of the feedback I see online that all games should be earlier, suggesting the game in Christchurch would have been better played at 3pm. For me personally, the game on Sunday PM is perfect most of the time, but I really enjoy sitting down at 7pm and watching Saturday night rugby, I wouldn't want two-afternoon games as it can be disruptive to other plans like dinner etc. Obviously slightly different if you attend live.

 

 

The main reason for the day games was (as with anything to do with NZRU) financial. The plan was for teams to be able to travel to and from games within the same day and avoid hotel costs.

 

What it has proved is that is a far superior product to night rugby and people are more likely to go. I hope it stays and that some All Black tests move back to being day games.


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  #2522385 13-Jul-2020 18:18
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afe66: If one the commentators was a short ex crusaders player..
I remember him going on and on about a decision which was subsequently said to be correct by head ref for nz.

Just because you play the game doesn't mean you know everything...

 

I don't think he's actually very short ... 1.79m is not very short!





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #2523865 16-Jul-2020 01:21
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Steve Hansen is emerging as a bit of a dick since he retired. Banging on about events from nearly 20 years ago isn't exactly constructive. The NZ Rugby mentality of whinging about their apparent disadvantages hasn't worked for the last 20 years and really shows no signs of working going forward. 

 

It's also fairly hilarious hearing Foster say that NZ Rugby isn't a charity when NZ Rugby constantly bleats about revenue sharing. It's arrogant and pathetic - we won't do anything to help our nearest supposed allies but demand that the northern hemisphere gives us a hand out.

 

This is one area where I completely agree with Chris Rattue (which is fairly rare). NZ Rugbys arrogance and lack of transparency makes them vulnerable and isolated. 




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  #2524106 16-Jul-2020 12:14
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https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12348506

 

 

 

If this is true and eventuates, how awesome would it be?!

 

 


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  #2524501 17-Jul-2020 08:05
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networkn:

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12348506

 

 

 

If this is true and eventuates, how awesome would it be?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, and I bet we would fill nearly every ground no matter who was playing. 




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  #2524588 17-Jul-2020 10:35
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clevedon:

 

Yep, and I bet we would fill nearly every ground no matter who was playing. 

 

 

I would attend some games in person for sure. I usually don't prefer it, but I'd love to take my son.

 

 




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  #2524591 17-Jul-2020 10:41
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I have lamented this before, but the press slobering uncontrollably about this years newest shiny talent really annoys me. This year it's Will Jordan. Yes, he is obviously talented, he has had some great success on the field no question, can be exciting to watch, but this constant hammering on about him, it just sets up unrealistic expectations. Defenses adjust and very few players continue to slice through defences on an ongoing basis, so it still comes back to consistency and core role execution. I feel we burn our stars out really fast in NZ.

 

I'd love to him become a superstar, but I don't think that happens as a result of hyping him to the point he can't live up to expectations and can't cope with the pressure. (Yes I am aware there are others this year who are getting lots of attention as well).


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