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  Reply # 1053129 25-May-2014 21:39
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networkn: Wow best night of Rugby I've seen in a while. Close win by the Crusaders but they are now top of the NZ Table and 3rd in the competition, another entrys in the finals looks imminent. I have been unimpressed with Daggs tackling for a bit, but he is still the best number 15 in the world, and makes the tackles that matter! 

I am very pleased to see the Hurricanes put together a convincing win over the Chiefs, Barrett really is NZ's #1 First Five right now, if Dan Carter isn't on the scene. There is a fair gap between him and Cruden on form this year in my opinion. Unfortunately I don't see the Hurricanes being able to sustain it well enough to win the competition.

Yes I'll admit to Cory Flynns hands being in the ruck, but no guarantee they would have gotten the 3 points from that, and reffing in these situations tends to go around so who knows. Jared H ( I won't even try and spell it) should have got a card for his offense I thought. Takes a lot to get Ritchie upset.

Personally I think the Chiefs are one of the most over rated teams, they are often thugs as denoted by having the most yellow cards by any team in any super rugby season (I've seen at least 3 more that should have been). They play at the limits of the law far too much. I think they are really missing Craig Clarke and SBW. CJ and Savea were on fire last night (Agreed nice to see CJ back on the field and back on form).Reminds me of the AB's vs Ireland where they put 60 points on Ireland. :) 

In my opinion there is only one team capable of going to SA to beat the Sharks, and whether you are a fan or not, most would admit it, that team is the Crusaders. They have the best win record away, under the pump they show magnificent and awe inspiring defense and are capable of discipline often found lacking in similarly ranked teams. 

Anyone know if Andre Taylors Injury was a broken ankle? It looked excruciatingly painful.


Flynn should have been sent to the bin - if it was seen he would have received 10 minutes. That would have put a different spin on the end of that match.  If I was TMO I would have awarded a try for that Highlanders attempt on full time.  Watching the replay again tonight the ball was grounded a split second before it hit the sideline chalk.  The decision was a cop out.

Every team pushes the limits - if you don't you lose - simple as that.  It's about finding the referees breaking point then trying to stay within it.

Dagg is not the best 15 in NZ - Ben Smith is.  Dagg is too inconsistent and inconsistency will lose us a big game. Savea and Jane on the wings.  No - I'm not a Highlanders supporter.

I just think it's a huge pity the NZRFU didn't sign Alapati Leiua a couple of years ago - that would have been the solution to NZ's number 12 problem.

I agree with a post above - thugs for getting yellow cards?  I don't think so.  Thugs get red cards.  Yellows are typically issued for ongoing offending like hands in the ruck, offside etc.  If youw ant to look at the team that have traditionally got away with most of that behaviour you will find they wear red and come from the South Island, whether that be Super XV or ITM Cup.

Barrett needs to work on his defence a bit before he will threaten an injury free Cruden.  I'm a huge Barrett fan - managed him in Taranaki age grade rep sides so have seen him progress.  He was a freakish talent then and I'm pleased it has continued.  As long as he continues to play for the Canes I will continue to support them, as painful as that can be at times.



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  Reply # 1053197 25-May-2014 23:28
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To the Bin? I think not. Dagg isn't the best in NZ, he is best in the world. To suggest Ben Smith is, is just bizarre. Commentators the world over, make comments all the time about it. Dagg has won so many games for the AB's and there is no one under the high ball better than him. He has a MASSIVE boot which has gotten the Crusders and AB's out of trouble over and over. We hardly have a 12 crisis. Nonu and Crotty have both played very well in that spot. Barretts defensive issues were last years issue, he has been excellent on defense this year I think.


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  Reply # 1053232 26-May-2014 07:50
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The world seems to stretch from Cheviot to Timaru.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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  Reply # 1053263 26-May-2014 08:41
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I think it is a very tough call between Dagg and Smith. Both are world class. They both have to be on the park for the ABs I reckon. Probably Dagg at fullback with Smith and Savea on the wings. Then we don't need fullback cover on the bench (cos Smith is already on the park). So Jane probably gets the nod for the pine. It is an embarrassment of riches.

As for the CRU v HIG match. Flynn would have definitely been yellow carded if the ref had seen it, and as a CRU fan I would have had no issue with it. But he got away with it. Players get away with that sort of thing all the time, seen and unseen. If you have played rugby you will know that often what happens at the bottom of those rucks doesn't ever see the light of day, let alone a referees field of vision. I would have been angry had the shoe been on the other foot, no doubt, but that is rugby.

As for the try, it was simultaneous contact with both lines - no try. If it had of been given I would have been gutted, but not surprised - it was a very tough call.

At the end of the day it was a fantastic game of rugby. Plenty of great tries, awesome defence, and some incredible skills on display. Plus a full and very vocal crowd. That is what rugby should be like every week!



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  Reply # 1053292 26-May-2014 09:33
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SumnerBoy: I think it is a very tough call between Dagg and Smith. Both are world class. They both have to be on the park for the ABs I reckon. Probably Dagg at fullback with Smith and Savea on the wings. Then we don't need fullback cover on the bench (cos Smith is already on the park). So Jane probably gets the nod for the pine. It is an embarrassment of riches.

As for the CRU v HIG match. Flynn would have definitely been yellow carded if the ref had seen it, and as a CRU fan I would have had no issue with it. But he got away with it. Players get away with that sort of thing all the time, seen and unseen. If you have played rugby you will know that often what happens at the bottom of those rucks doesn't ever see the light of day, let alone a referees field of vision. I would have been angry had the shoe been on the other foot, no doubt, but that is rugby.

As for the try, it was simultaneous contact with both lines - no try. If it had of been given I would have been gutted, but not surprised - it was a very tough call.

At the end of the day it was a fantastic game of rugby. Plenty of great tries, awesome defence, and some incredible skills on display. Plus a full and very vocal crowd. That is what rugby should be like every week!


Upon reflection I would have to say my opinion mirrors yours almost, Ben Smith is better at Wing. The TMO had a really tough call, I think he made the right call, but like you if it had of gone the other way, whilst disappointed I could have understood, though to me the right decision was the one that was made. 

It seems criminal to have CJ on the bench, however like you said, we have so much talent. He is great under the high ball too, and man he showed pace on Saturday night. 

What I like about BS is that he isn't afraid to run into contact. 

The southern teams always seem to do well for crowds, I can't recall the last time I saw a half empty stand in CHCH. I have attended a few live games in my time including the RWC 2011 Final (which was amazing), though I prefer at home so I can get the commentary, so much of it is missed from the stands.

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  Reply # 1053294 26-May-2014 09:37
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Speaking of crowds, I was lucky enough to go to the RWC 2011 semi v the Aussies. That was by far and away the best crowd/atmosphere I have ever experienced at a rugby match, and I have been to over 30 AB tests all over the world. I didn't make the final but I am sure that would have probably been better - although far less enjoyable in terms of nerves!!



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  Reply # 1053304 26-May-2014 09:39
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SumnerBoy: Speaking of crowds, I was lucky enough to go to the RWC 2011 semi v the Aussies. That was by far and away the best crowd/atmosphere I have ever experienced at a rugby match, and I have been to over 30 AB tests all over the world. I didn't make the final but I am sure that would have probably been better - although far less enjoyable in terms of nerves!!


yah I know someone else who attended that game, and also the Australia vs Ireland game who said the same thing. 

I was pretty anxious in the final until we turned over the ball with I think about 6 minutes to go, once we did that I said to my wife, we will win now, Ritchie won't let that ball go no matter what, which is what he did.

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  Reply # 1053310 26-May-2014 09:46
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Will go down in folklore what he did during that tournament. Incredible.



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  Reply # 1053317 26-May-2014 09:55
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SumnerBoy: Will go down in folklore what he did during that tournament. Incredible.


Yup. Best Rugby player to ever play in my opinion. It blew me away that he was #1 in Wynne Grays list. I am not sure what method he used to determine the rankings. Top 3 should be RM, DC, JL. 

The pain he was in during that game would have been excruciating. 

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  Reply # 1053323 26-May-2014 10:04
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Completely agree with you on that list - DC is a better player than JL ever was. DC in his prime completely owned the B+I Lions in 2005 - almost singlehandedly dismantled them. JL was epic in his prime as well, but I don't think he could influence a game in the same way DC can. All subjective of course!



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  Reply # 1053327 26-May-2014 10:11
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SumnerBoy: Completely agree with you on that list - DC is a better player than JL ever was. DC in his prime completely owned the B+I Lions in 2005 - almost singlehandedly dismantled them. JL was epic in his prime as well, but I don't think he could influence a game in the same way DC can. All subjective of course!


DC is the highest point scoring player to ever play the game, that has to count for something. I once saw him play in CHCH at a club game before he became known nationally, his team scored over 100 points on the other, 80+ of them were his points. He was a hot knife though butter. Christian Cullen was another legendarily good player, though he was just leaving as 
I was getting passionate about rugby so I never really saw him play that much.


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  Reply # 1053329 26-May-2014 10:14
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Cullen was a freak - not as influential as RM and DC, but in his early years he did things no other player could do, or has done since. I was at the Hong Kong Sevens in 1996 when he was a nobody and made his mark. Some of the tries he scored there defied belief. Watching highlights of him on YouTube is still exciting to watch - he was easily the best attacking fullback we have had (in my memory at least).



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  Reply # 1053332 26-May-2014 10:17
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SumnerBoy: Cullen was a freak - not as influential as RM and DC, but in his early years he did things no other player could do, or has done since. I was at the Hong Kong Sevens in 1996 when he was a nobody and made his mark. Some of the tries he scored there defied belief. Watching highlights of him on YouTube is still exciting to watch - he was easily the best attacking fullback we have had (in my memory at least).


I used to live in Mt Pleasant and so did my wife just out of interest. Yah I wouldn't put CC near DC but yah, he was pretty amazing to watch. I am not sure how many times I have watched the two highlight reels for JL on youtube, but it's a lot. I do it whenever I want to be cheered up :) 


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  Reply # 1053336 26-May-2014 10:19
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Mt Pleasant - nice - that is where my wife grew up as well. As you probably guessed I am from just around the corner...



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  Reply # 1053339 26-May-2014 10:22
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SumnerBoy: Mt Pleasant - nice - that is where my wife grew up as well. As you probably guessed I am from just around the corner...


OT but kids we used to baby sit for on the top of mt pleasant, after the earthquake (first one) they have a house out over the hill on a cantalever/supports system, with the garage on terra firma. The day after the earthquake, their mother was walking from the house to the garage, and about 2 seconds later, the house slid down the hill! I lived down the hill opposite the Mt Pleasant Squash court where I spent way too much time! :) Even after I moved to Auckland, we spent a lot of time in CHCH, but since my wifes parents moved to AKL and mine and her grandparents died, we don't get down as much as we would like.



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