Sam Cane - Will he make the RWC?

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:48 pm

I have never been his biggest fan however, he is a 60 cap All Black in a key position and there is ample evidence to suggest that he was a key player for New Zealand. He certainly is held in high regard in NZ and by Hansen. Against South Africa in the last game of the rugby championship Cane fractured his neck in a collision with Francois Lowe and given the seriousness of such an injury is a doubt for the RWC and indeed any further involvement with the All Blacks.

The fact that, as Gregor Paul of the NZ Herald points out, the NZRU scrambled to resign Savea from Pau may suggest that they are slightly concerned that he may not feature again for some time. Savea himself doesn't really seem to be a classic 7, some fans calling for him to replace Read at 8 instead.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/news/article.cfm?c_id=80&objectid=12184118

Canes injury throws up some interesting questions for me:

Is New Zealand's famous depth not that deep after all?
Will he make the RWC?
If not will NZ struggle as a result of playing comparatively inexperienced guys like Savea or Todd in such a key position?
Finally, if he does recover is there a concern that the injury will compromise his main strength, hard hitting tackles?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:32 pm

Always going to be hard push losing 2 world class flankers and expect no missed step. I think reads form has fallen slightly as the burden was passed to him as well. They have some good players and it is a conveyor belt to an extent but there are back row that match them and packs which surpass them.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:48 pm

Yeah I have to say I agree. I don't think NZ's pack is better than Ireland's nor England's and probably on a par with South Africa's. Wales, France and Argentina can all give NZ's pack a run for their money too.

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:35 pm

Ardie Savea is a test match animal. Better than Cane in my view. The one outstanding player for NZ in their Irish test.
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Post by Cyril on Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:51 pm

Even with backups like Savea, NZ have the best back row in the world. They may be pushed close by the likes of SA and England, but I still think they have the edge.

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Post by Cyril on Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:54 pm

I think we’re likely to see the Aussies, Scotland and Ireland get bullied in this position in World Cup year as their frailty in strength in depth is exposed. France May come good, as may Wales. Less so the latter.

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:42 pm

Cyril wrote:I think we’re likely to see the Aussies, Scotland and Ireland get bullied in this position in World Cup year as their frailty in strength in depth is exposed. France May come good, as may Wales. Less so the latter.

I think you’re right - Cyril. Ireland only have O’Brien, Leavy, van der Flier, Murphy, Ruddock, O’Mahony, Stander, Conan, Beirne, for their backrow stocks.

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Post by Taylorman on Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:55 am

Pot Hale wrote:Ardie Savea is a test match animal.  Better than Cane in my view.  The one outstanding player for NZ in their Irish test.

Savea has certainly improved this year and would be amongst the quickest 7's around, with ball skills and aggression to match. For me the single biggest thing we missed, particularly against Ireland was Canes aggressive defence, his driving back of players in possession.

That's the type of player you need for a ball hogging side like Ireland. If they want to hold the ball for long periods, hurt them for doing so, again and again, and that is Canes very best asset. I prefer the Savea type of player and in Canes absence he's really picked up from previous years. Personally I'd like to see them both there, Cane at 6 and Savea at 7 as we seem to be struggling to nail down our 6, despite having many putting their hands up.

Canes latest injury does look to have closed out the best of his career though, not a nice one at all. Certainly one of the hardest working and committed ABs weve ever had, like McCaw yields nothing at training yet didnt have parts of his game to come out from Mccaws shadow.

Savea might be a better bet for the world cup but the way the game is heading I'd sure feel more comfortable seeing Cane knocking guys over on a regular basis.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:11 am

Sam Cane turns 27 this month. For some reason, I thought he was a couple of years older. It will be a great shame if he can't fully fit again. He hasn't ranked among the All Black great flankers but, at that age, you'd expect him to keep getting better, and easily able to make the 2023 World Cup, possibly even 2027 at a pinch.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:19 am

Taylorman wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Ardie Savea is a test match animal.  Better than Cane in my view.  The one outstanding player for NZ in their Irish test.

Savea has certainly improved this year and would be amongst the quickest 7's around, with ball skills and aggression to match. For me the single biggest thing we missed, particularly against Ireland was Canes aggressive defence, his driving back of players in possession.

That's the type of player you need for a ball hogging side like Ireland. If they want to hold the ball for long periods, hurt them for doing so, again and again, and that is Canes very best asset. I prefer the Savea type of player and in Canes absence he's really picked up from previous years. Personally I'd like to see them both there, Cane at 6 and Savea at 7 as we seem to be struggling to nail down our 6, despite having many putting their hands up.

Canes latest injury does look to have closed out the best of his career though, not a nice one at all. Certainly one of the hardest working and committed ABs weve ever had, like McCaw yields nothing at training yet didnt have parts of his game to come out from Mccaws shadow.

Savea might be a better bet for the world cup but the way the game is heading I'd sure feel more comfortable seeing Cane knocking guys over on a regular basis.

Can you see cane returning from a neck fracture with the same levels of agression in defense?

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:56 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Ardie Savea is a test match animal.  Better than Cane in my view.  The one outstanding player for NZ in their Irish test.

Savea has certainly improved this year and would be amongst the quickest 7's around, with ball skills and aggression to match. For me the single biggest thing we missed, particularly against Ireland was Canes aggressive defence, his driving back of players in possession.

That's the type of player you need for a ball hogging side like Ireland. If they want to hold the ball for long periods, hurt them for doing so, again and again, and that is Canes very best asset. I prefer the Savea type of player and in Canes absence he's really picked up from previous years. Personally I'd like to see them both there, Cane at 6 and Savea at 7 as we seem to be struggling to nail down our 6, despite having many putting their hands up.

Canes latest injury does look to have closed out the best of his career though, not a nice one at all. Certainly one of the hardest working and committed ABs weve ever had, like McCaw yields nothing at training yet didnt have parts of his game to come out from Mccaws shadow.

Savea might be a better bet for the world cup but the way the game is heading I'd sure feel more comfortable seeing Cane knocking guys over on a regular basis.

Can you see cane returning from a neck fracture with the same levels of agression in defense?

Dan Lydiate did.

“The youngster had crushed a disc and ruptured every ligament in his neck, and after a stay in a Perpignan hospital, was air-ambulanced back to Wales for an operation to remove the threat of paralysis. Before the procedure he was asked to sign a consent form, which explained that if anything went wrong he could end up in a wheelchair. He signed. "They took a bone graft from my hip, put a plate into my neck and basically screwed me back together. And when I woke up the first thing I did was wiggle my toes. I thought 'happy days'. I was very lucky, because all my training, lifting weights and that, had given me bigger neck muscles than the average Joe. That's what saved me."

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/news-comment/dan-lydiate-i-woke-up-after-the-op-and-wiggled-my-toes-i-was-so-happy-2347046.html

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:16 am

Interesting article thanks. Felix Jones returned to rugby after a serious neck injury and played some good stuff too but I don't think he was every the same player again. Lydiate was awesome on the 2013 Lions tour. The guy woke up every hour to ice his leg so he could start v Ireland in the 2011 RWC, I wish someone had sabotaged his alarm clock.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:32 am

Steve Thompson also had very similar I believe and made a good recovery to play for England in a RWC again.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:13 am

yappysnap wrote:Steve Thompson also had very similar I believe and made a good recovery to play for England in a RWC again.

Not at the same level though, and the alternatives were Andy Titterall (about 5ft4 and 9 stone dripping wet) and Mark Regan (who was already drawing his pension).


I wish Sam Cane all the luck in the world in trying to come back from this. Admittedly I only had a tiny fraction of his ability, but having played for the North (of England) v South in a trial for the national U16s, I fractured 4 vertebrae in my neck the following season. As a player whose main strength was tackling (and workrate) I never really shook of the mental scars, and while I returned to playing at university and after I was never the same player.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:10 am

LondonTiger wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Steve Thompson also had very similar I believe and made a good recovery to play for England in a RWC again.

Not at the same level though, and the alternatives were Andy Titterall (about 5ft4 and 9 stone dripping wet) and Mark Regan (who was already drawing his pension).


I wish Sam Cane all the luck in the world in trying to come back from this. Admittedly I only had a tiny fraction of his ability, but having played for the North (of England) v South in a trial for the national U16s, I fractured 4 vertebrae in my neck the following season. As a player whose main strength was tackling (and workrate) I never really shook of the mental scars, and while I returned to playing at university and after I was never the same player.

Yes that was my main concern. His style of play is is similar and regardless of what happens he’ll never be ‘better’ than he was, and its a huge physical and mental challenge to get back to his best form, particularly less than 12 months out from a Wcup. In his favour though is hes one of the most dedicated, resilient, focussed All Blacks weve ever had, the type that other players resent at training as he hits tackles and rucks as though it were a test match, every time. Dont know what his recovery schedule looks like but its gotta be tight regardless.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:47 am

Yes to all of that. The good players all adapt though so all is not lost. McCaw was less physical in his twilight years and so became smarter, O'Driscoll was slower so became more defensive etc.

Cane reminds me a bit of Wilkinson in how dedicated and how seriously he takes the game. I think he would benefit from lightening up a bit.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:57 am

Pot Hale wrote:
Cyril wrote:I think we’re likely to see the Aussies, Scotland and Ireland get bullied in this position in World Cup year as their frailty in strength in depth is exposed. France May come good, as may Wales. Less so the latter.

I think you’re right -  Cyril. Ireland only have O’Brien, Leavy, van der Flier, Murphy, Ruddock, O’Mahony, Stander, Conan, Beirne, for their backrow stocks.


You forgot Henderson and O'Donnell - clearly we are desperately short in the backrow

The one thing Schmidt has done is greatly improved the backup players
I would argue the second XV is
McGrath, Cronin, Porter, Toner, Beirne, O'Brien, Conan/Ruddock, de Flier, Marmion, Carbery, ?, Henshaw, Addison, Larmour, Conway
Now you could argue about Toner and Henshaw for example but that only means Henderson and Aki coming in
We have never has such a strong 2nd XV
True cant find another winger of sufficient quality but in practise Ringrose would go out wide and one of the above centres would come in

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Post by rodders on Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:08 am

I'd think in that case Geoff Addison would move to 15 and Larmour and Conway on the wings. We could be doing with a few more putting their hands up in the back 3, probably Bryne is closest.

Centers we are very well stocked with probably Aki and Chris Farrell the 2nd string behind Henshaw and Ringrose. Then we have McCloskey and Arnold as 3rd.

The best of the lot could actually be Tom Farrell, he won't be in the RWC frame but he's one of the most exciting talents I've seen in a long time. O'Loughlin at Leinster also seems to have stepped up a bit this year. as well so plenty of depth there.
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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:10 pm

Good point re Addison to 15 you are probably right
For me the backup centres for the WC will be Aki and Addison (who can play anywhere 11 to 15)
I wouldn't have Arnold anywhere need the squad - off the top of my head there are 8 better centres in Irish rugby, and if you include those with potential many more.
Very poor skill set

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:39 pm

I assume Mike Haley, unlike Addison, has failed to shine?

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Post by rodders on Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:44 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Good point re Addison to 15 you are probably right
For me the backup centres for the WC will be Aki and Addison (who can play anywhere 11 to 15)
I wouldn't have Arnold anywhere need the squad - off the top of my head there are 8 better centres in Irish rugby, and if you include those with potential many more.
Very poor skill set

Agree with that.
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Post by rodders on Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:47 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I assume Mike Haley, unlike Addison, has failed to shine?

Hmm haven't seen a lot of him, I do remember one game for Munster where he was very good, not sure how many games he has started though.

Addison has certainly impressed, he has things to work on definitely but he is exciting to watch.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:24 pm

Well in fairness Munster is like a black hole for talent. Seems to be where players go to die.

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Post by Taylorman on Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:54 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:I think he would benefit from lightening up a bit.

Thats what his team mates and at times Hansen have said after trainings. McCaw was the same. Had a reputation for stealing the ball all the time when he started.

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