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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 3:00 pm

First topic message reminder :

Just watched the Stormers nil the Hurricanes at Newlands (final score 27-0). Terrible performance by the Huuricanes, and you'd expect them to get better but that's a good result for the competition to put some spice in. Jamie Roberts got some game time too.

Elsewhere, didn't see the matches but the Rebels slipped up against the Sunwolves, who won 36-27. Gatland's Chiefs beat the Blues at Eden Park, which is generally described as a blown chance by the Blues, and a good showing by the Chiefs bench. Crusaders were too good for the Waratahs. Jaguares host the Lions later but it's been an interesting first round, and hard not to project some World Cup follow-through in some of the results.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 2:45 pm

Not sure how they do it, but Crusaders have unearthed another class wing/full-back.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 3:42 pm

Backrow looks pretty good when you consider they've lost Taufua, Todd, Reid in recent years.

Backline is impressive all over, the halfbacks are 26 and the rest are 25 and under. The new lad Jordan is pulling up trees at 22 and on the other wing is seemingly the next one off the conveyor belt in Fainga'anuku. They are just churning them out.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 8:12 pm

Agree on the back-row. How is Sam Cane even captain... the second choice open-side at Chiefs even looks better.
And Canterbury/Christchurch just seem to keep churning out these class players every year, I don't think anyone else does it as good as they do.

On another note I watched some of the Aus super rugby, thought it was absolute garbage as a spectacle.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 10:21 pm

Seeing Scott Robertson turn the Crusaders into an all conquering force that keeps being brilliant despite the loss of some really big names each season is very impressive. Raises the question of why he didn't get the AB job. If the All Blacks don't keep up their winning ways those questions will be asked again.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 11:02 pm

It’s pretty much what Robbie Deans kept doing, although they always had Carter (most seasons) and McCaw, along with Read in later years - pretty good spine for them. Deans wasn’t such a good international coach, but perhaps Australia’s last best coach!

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Post by Brendan on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 11:57 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Seeing Scott Robertson turn the Crusaders into an all conquering force that keeps being brilliant despite the loss of some really big names each season is very impressive. Raises the question of why he didn't get the AB job. If the All Blacks don't keep up their winning ways those questions will be asked again.

AB coach seems to be about the system rather than the main man.  Graham Henry won in 96 and 97 but had to come North to finish off his training.

Wayne Smith won 98 and 99 then went straight to the ABs but only got two years in the top job.

It would appear that Super Rugby isn't great for producing good international coaches in the eyes of the NZRU.  Robbie Deans had 5 titles before leaving NZ for Australia.
Rennie had two and moved on.  I was shocked when he completely mismanaged his first season at Glasgow, when it came to the business end they crumbled.  In his time there he never seemed to out think the opposition nor did he try to adapt to circumstance.
Robertson knows that he is not being groomed to be the next AB coach so I think he will be getting his agent to scout jobs outside of NZ. Alot of clubs would pay good money to bring him in.

Super Rugby seems to be much more down to the players and individual skill rather then the coaches.  It is fast and loose and the coach needs little tactical ability. Also you only need your team tackling at 80 percent to win games.
European Rugby is much more tactical and suited to international rugby. You have 6 games where you need to be smart how you manage games.  You could be playing teams and refs you aren't use to so need alot more preparation.  You also have to manage the event as much as the match.

For the most part NZ coaches seem to flop up here compared to SA coaches but maybe it's down to the NZ coaches nolonger having players who can carry out their tactics.

To bring some balance Lam didn't do well in SR but has with Connacht and Bristol. Maybe he has matured as a coach or his style didn't suit SR.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 05 Jul 2020, 11:34 am

Chiefs look awful in this tournament.

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Post by bsando on Sun 05 Jul 2020, 5:34 pm

Does anyone think the new format of Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby Aus is actually much better? I am finding it way more interesting than say, watching Crusaders play and thrash the Rebels at 8am in the morning. The competition seems so much better and probably better suited for the teams with less travel.

I am also very happy to have my old team back in Super Rugby Aus next week, the Western Force. I'd far rather this format remaining in place with the Aus, NZ and SA conferences. Then having a play offs and final that is integrated rather than conference integration from the get go. The only problem is the Jaguares, but perhaps they would be better off being based in Europe and playing in the Pro14 for example?

Thoughts?

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Post by Brendan on Mon 06 Jul 2020, 11:22 am

I think having the 8 domestic games (with maybe a final for the top two) and then break the teams up into top 3 from each league into 3 groups of 3 with a semi final and final would make the Super Rugby also about the best teams. You could add Japan with the rate they are adding players.

The remaining 2 from each league could then play in the challange style one meaning the lower teams also get the big days out. They could invite teams to this such as Fiji etc.

The best thing for Australia is they will have a winner regardless. It's hard playing a sport when no one in the country feels like a winner

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Post by bsando on Sun 19 Jul 2020, 7:26 am

Wow! two excellent Super Aotearoa games this weekend! More woe for the Chiefs but what a comeback from Highlanders! Fritzell and Smith were outstanding and Ioane off the bench had an incredible impact with his individual try.

I thought Hurricanes vs Blues was an excellent game too, another one that could have gone either way. The Hurricanes backline did well (especially Ngani Laumape who was so dangerous with ball in hand). Blues looked the better defensive side that just needed a little bit of spark in attack. I thought their pack were excellent but the Hurricanes backline did a better job which swung the end result in their favour. Despite B Barrett’s try Jordie had the better game I think.

I’m loving Super Rugby Aotearoa, thrilling games every week!

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 19 Jul 2020, 9:56 am

Backline depth in NZ is scary right now.

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Post by bsando on Sun 19 Jul 2020, 2:53 pm

Yeah having watched this comp since the first round there is a ridiculous amount of talent at each club.

Anyone who didn't see the games, ignore RugbyPass player ratings, they're so off the mark it makes you wonder if they even watched the games properly.

I think my backline from this round would be

Aaron Smith
Jackson Garden-Bachop
Mark Telea
Ngani Laumape
Anton Lienert-Brown
Rieko Ioane
Jordie Barrett

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 19 Jul 2020, 4:53 pm

Wound be Otere Black at 10 for me. Laumape had a fantastic game, how is he only 5’7 and destroying people?

Chiefs have only looked good twice in this tournament. Both of those times they were playing the Highlanders, they lost both games in the dying minutes.

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Post by bsando on Sat 25 Jul 2020, 2:46 pm

Wow Hurricanes are on a roll now, that was a fantastic game this morning. I thought kobus Van Wyk was a good winger but Goosen had a stormer on the right wing for them. Crusaders fullback Will Jordan was my player of the match. He was so impressive and will probably go on to be capped by the All Blacks if he continues like that. He seemed very competent in his position and showed a maturity far beyond his years. Good attacking player as well.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 25 Jul 2020, 4:37 pm

These back 3 players from Crusaders are unreal. McNicholl came from there and has been one of scarlets best and most consistent performers since.

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Post by bsando on Sat 25 Jul 2020, 6:30 pm

That Bridge try from Reece's pass was hilariously brilliant.

Yeah McNicholl is a great player, sure he has many decent days ahead of him in a Wales and Scarlets shirt.




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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 26 Jul 2020, 6:49 am

Feel a bit for the Chiefs today. Guess they were getting a lot of decisions overall, but that call at the end was all kinds of wrong.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 26 Jul 2020, 1:02 pm

Thought Chiefs were hard done by for most of the game tbh. Blues should have had men in the bin in the first half, and their lineout at the end was as crooked as a French ref during a Wales vs Ireland match.

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Post by bsando on Sun 26 Jul 2020, 7:17 pm

Chiefs were very unlucky at the end, I thought it was going to be another penalty against the Blues and a card. Despite their ill discipline I thought Blues were definitely the better side overall though. I think the Chiefs need to offer up a bit more spark, at the moment it is only a handful that are doing that such as Boshier, Cane and McKenzie. The Chiefs have rolled over too easily at times when under pressure. No easy matches which makes it so entertaining.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 26 Jul 2020, 8:11 pm

Really, Cane? I can't see it, so perhaps it's me.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 26 Jul 2020, 8:15 pm

I thought Goodhue was made to look average by the opposition this weekend. Overall he's a decent centre but something about him just does't scream 'All Black' to me. Both 'canes centres were very good. Laumape has to be first choice, maybe LB outside him.

All Blacks wingers are whatever 'saders put out, and then the rest. If Foster sees the need for a utility back then Havili could be very valuable. Otherwise he and other Crusaders' back 3 players will be up north earning money. If NZRU can shift one of them to the Hurricanes for next season then it's a win for them.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 01 Aug 2020, 8:34 pm

Crusaders are a hot team. Their style of play is the most similar to the ABs. Richie Mo’unga is in a rich vein of form and should be the starting fly-half for the international team.

Chiefs were hard done-by by the ref again, think it was a certain waster that once reffed a Wales vs Australia game and was a bit one-sided in the Wallabies favour. Crusaders were definitely the better team though. Chiefs have been awful most of this tournament, pretty strange when you remember they started super rugby pretty well, even beating the Crusaders. Chiefs No.8 is Fijian and looks class, not sure if NZQ, but I expect he’ll be in the NH soon. Sam Cane = anonymous.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 8:58 am

Chiefs were unlucky with a couple of calls against them but some of their defending was pretty woeful. They just don't look like a team that's playing with any real belief. Crusaders are the opposite, they were missing several players who would be considered first choice and still won comfortably. As is often the case if you are the dominant team you get a little luck with decisions.

I partially agree on the comments re the AB backline. I think ALB might be playing himself out of contention because some of the Blues players are making a good case for selection. A Laumape and Iaone midfield would be a serious strike force. The battle for 15 between McKenzie and Barrett will be interesting.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 9:03 am

formerly known as Sam wrote: The battle for 15 between McKenzie and Barrett will be interesting.

Will Jordan may well be pressing a case as well!

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 9:45 am

That Will Jordan is some player already, I would certainly put him at 15. Barrett isn’t eligible any more is he? Unless you were referring to Jordie. Ioane at 13 for NZ is an interesting call. He doesn’t seem to score much from that position but he’s a strong carrier and can draw in defenders, and because of his height he’s a good offloader of the ball. He won’t feature at wing, the embarrassment of riches that NZ have in that position is surreal.

Does anyone agree or disagree on Cane? I even think there are better flankers at the Chiefs. Cane did well for the ABs in the past, they would have made anyone look good to be fair, but I thought he was just there to provide cover and be a stop gap. I don’t rate his leadership and he certainly isn’t the best 7 in NZ on this form.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 11:37 am

I think Foster went too early on the captain call and although Cane tends to turn it on for the ABs there are now a lot of more dynamic options in NZ. The options in the backrow are frankly ridiculous.

Will Jordan I think will be introduced on the wing initially and once he's got a bit more experience moved into 15. I thought they'd structured Beauden's contract so that he'd be eligible? If not Jordie and McKenzie are great options.

Ioane at 13 seems to be the position he's settling on. Blues are playing him there a lot and he's both big and quick enough to cause a lot of headaches. Seems to be doing the defensive side of things well. There's the opportunity for the ABs to stack the midfield with power and pace whilst having playmakers at 10 and 15 with speed and skill on the wings. It could be a frightening combination if they get it all to click. I agree a little on Goodhue, he seems a solid player but doesn't really set the world alight like a lot of NZ centres but I feel the same about ALB. Then again Conrad Smith never set the world alight but he made everything tick, not that I think either of those two are Conrad levels yet.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 5:06 pm

Think I may have underestimated their pack as well. If NZ pick the older heads they should do well. I’d probably go for a front 5 of; Moody, Taylor, Tu’ungafasi, Tuipulotu, Whitelock. I would have picked one of those lock forwards as captain.

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Post by bsando on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 11:09 pm

Lachlan Boshier is the Chiefs player who’s impressed me most so far. At only 25 he deserves a cap for the AB’s. Akira Iaone and Shannon Frizell have been very good for their clubs. Iaone will surely add to his solitary cap for the AB’s.

Will Jordan has got to be the future at fullback. McKenzie and Barrett are class but Jordan looks like he’ll be a step up from them the way he’s playing. Very slick player.

Also how about Calum Clarke! He was unstoppable against the Highlanders. Ben Lam is another ive really enjoyed watching with ball in hand.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 08 Aug 2020, 10:45 am

Umaga-Jensen has been very good in recent weeks, today he’s having a stormer, whilst Chiefs are having another stinker.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 09 Aug 2020, 11:21 am

Just catching up with Crusaders vs Highlanders, I’m almost 60 mins in. What a game, hope ‘saders lose!

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