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  Reply # 1337661 6-Jul-2015 10:08
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Well team to face Samoa has been announced, it's pretty much what I expected except for George Moala. Glad to see Andy Ellis get Half back and Luke Romano get a run, if LR doesn't perform well, then I think he will be done, though he had a consistent and reasonably strong season for the Crusaders.

I get the feeling no matter what, Andy Ellis won't be in the world cup squad, which is disappointing for him, but you never know.

I think they are expecting a very physical game.



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  Reply # 1338457 7-Jul-2015 12:47
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One thing that NZ teams need to improve on, is passing. Even Aaron Smith is often passing the ball slightly too high, meaning a momentary pause for the player to reach for it, then hit the ball at pace. Having it at chest height and 1 meter in front of the player allows them to hit it with greater pace, makes it much harder for a defender to come up quickly, and allowing the player more options by lowering their centre of gravity. Higher passes have been the reason for some of the most bone cunching tackles as it leaves the players mid section and chest exposed. 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1338464 7-Jul-2015 12:55
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networkn:
I think they are expecting a very physical game.


Yep, hopefully we get through with no injuries.

You basically have to go through 40+ minutes of physically smashing into each other until everyone tires and the runners get bigger holes to dart through.



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  Reply # 1338469 7-Jul-2015 13:02
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Jaxson:
networkn:
I think they are expecting a very physical game.


Yep, hopefully we get through with no injuries.

You basically have to go through 40+ minutes of physically smashing into each other until everyone tires and the runners get bigger holes to dart through.


I don't recall the previous games against Samoa specifically but the scorelines indicate it didn't take 40 minutes to open holes. 

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  Reply # 1338510 7-Jul-2015 13:27
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no but Samoa plays a very physical game, and a bird tells me the pitch is not a bed of roses either.



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  Reply # 1338518 7-Jul-2015 13:36
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joker97: no but Samoa plays a very physical game, and a bird tells me the pitch is not a bed of roses either.


I just hope the Samoans are going to play Rugby, not just looking to make some big hits against some big names.

I am expecting a fairly unpolished game from the AB's. They haven't had a massive amount of time together and it's not exactly full of their first choices. 

On the rant (One of my fav bits of online stuff right now), they were commenting that BB's kicking is such that DC is probably now our #1 choice as 10 to start. I am pretty concerned that they will sub DC for BB in the knock off stages and he will miss a crucial kick.

I guess there is plenty of time still, but as far as I am concerned our top kicking resources should be with our top choice #10's a LOT.


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  Reply # 1338519 7-Jul-2015 13:39
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networkn:

I guess there is plenty of time still, but as far as I am concerned our top kicking resources should be with our top choice #10's a LOT.



sorry i don't get you here.

anyway, who do you think should be our 1st 2nd 3rd 4th choice 10?



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  Reply # 1338524 7-Jul-2015 13:44
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joker97:
networkn:

I guess there is plenty of time still, but as far as I am concerned our top kicking resources should be with our top choice #10's a LOT.



sorry i don't get you here.

anyway, who do you think should be our 1st 2nd 3rd 4th choice 10?


I am saying our kicking isn't up to scratch and it needs improvement. We have about 8-9 weeks to get it right so we should have our top kicking coaches on this hard core. 

Hard to make the pecking order call but it would go like this based on form as of right now. 

1) DC
2) Slade
3) BB (Super Sub)
4) Soponga

1 and 2 could swap and I wouldn't cry too much.

I've never been the Cruden fan lots of people are (He does have some strong qualities), even if he was fit he would be my 4th choice. 




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  Reply # 1339377 8-Jul-2015 17:08
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Spoilers!







Wins a win I guess, but it certainly wasn't pretty! I guess the AB's always take a few games to get into things, but wow some basic handling errors from guys paid six figures to catch a Oval bit of leather! I thought DC had a good game, Brad Weber did well. Samoa did incredibly well I think, they really fronted up. I hope other teams don't follow suit or we might have an issue. 


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  Reply # 1339379 8-Jul-2015 17:12
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That was the all blacks B. So i wouldn't read much into it. And a very hot humid place with a rock hard pitch.



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  Reply # 1339386 8-Jul-2015 17:18
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joker97: That was the all blacks B. So i wouldn't read much into it. And a very hot humid place with a rock hard pitch.


Dunno If I'd call it a completely B team. Forwards weren't our B option. Yes it's hot and yes it's rock hard pitch, but that doesn't explained dropped and poor passes. They were passing when they should have been going into contact. The AB's are a physical team too as was mentioned in the commentary.

Both teams spent a fair bit of time offside, but Samoa were chronically doing it, but stopped being penalized in the second half.

I was expecting at least 6 tries. Samoa put paid to that with excellent (offside often) defense.


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  Reply # 1339402 8-Jul-2015 17:31
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Pretty rough game to watch. So many forced passes that resulted in dropped balls or turnovers. Frustrates me to no end. I guess without much preparation the ABs just had a single game plan they wanted to work on. Which didn't. Would've been nice if they'd have been able to change it up a bit. 

This is probably the worst thing about these so called 'June' tests. Now with Super rugby running either side of these tests it really means a lack of prep time for the national sides. More often than not we're seeing the such sloppy games because the cohesion just isn't there. I'd much rather see Super rugby finish in late May, give the teams 2-3 weeks together and then play a 3 test series before moving into the 4 nations.


EDIT: I'm aware it's July and that this was just a 1 off test, but that's only because it's a world cup year.




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  Reply # 1339405 8-Jul-2015 17:33
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Kingy: Pretty rough game to watch. So many forced passes that resulted in dropped balls or turnovers. Frustrates me to no end. I guess without much preparation the ABs just had a single game plan they wanted to work on. Which didn't. Would've been nice if they'd have been able to change it up a bit. 

This is probably the worst thing about these so called 'June' tests. Now with Super rugby running either side of these tests it really means a lack of prep time for the national sides. More often than not we're seeing the such sloppy games because the cohesion just isn't there. I'd much rather see Super rugby finish in late May, give the teams 2-3 weeks together and then play a 3 test series before moving into the 4 nations.


EDIT: I'm aware it's July and that this was just a 1 off test, but that's only because it's a world cup year.


I agree with this. I wouldn't say they have had as limited time this year as the last few years though, There have been two camps and whilst not all first choice AB's were there a good number of them were and it really should have been better than this.

Even our lineout was pretty shaky.

To be fair it was pretty hot and humid speaking with a friend who was at the game. He said cheering made him dizzy and he is fit and sporting, he thought it would have been unbearable to run in :) 


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  Reply # 1339411 8-Jul-2015 17:54
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By my reckoning they were missing, Smith x 3, Nonu, Barrett, Savea, Franks, Coles, Vito from their seasoned campaigners, plus a smattering of new starts missing as well. So yes it was a B side. More like the Crusader-Blacks really. With cameos from the Chiefs and Blues.
The first test of the year is normally a waste of space so I'm glad it was against Samoa. The ABs nursing a mass of cuts, bruises and worse are probably not so glad.
I'd love to know where Slade thought he was after the tackle that almost knocked him out. Certainly not in Apia on a hot Wednesday afternoon!
Seemed pretty clear that Samoa's defensive plan consisted mainly of getting up and smashing the opposition. So the occasions that the ABs penetrated in depth were normally through the defense rushing up out of the line.
Anybody in the same group as Samoa at the RWC probably took some deep gulps if they were watching that game.




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  Reply # 1339433 8-Jul-2015 18:18
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I'll be looking forward to the stats on this game to see tackle rates and the like. 

Some early indications support what I have been saying all along, that McCaw would step up and be his usual superman self!



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