Crusaders 2017



  • Still a while away but im interested in what the 2017 Crusaders might look like.
    The Blues seem to have made lots of signings already and other teams seem fairly settled with the odd new signing.
    Other than Hall and Goodhue have the Crusaders made any new signings to fill the holes from guys leaving/not being up to it?
    There issues seem to be in the backs mainly with the forward pack being impressive.
    Losing guys like Fonotia, McNichol and Nadolo is probably a positive IMO. The first too because they weren't that good and Nadolo because it should force them to come up with something other than "give it to Nadolo" ball. Missing out on Barrett MkII was a blow obviously but there should be some other promising guys available.

    Not sure if Fruen will be back but i would be tempted to sign him one last time and use him as a winger to provide some punch, which he appears to still have plenty of playing for Hawkes Bay. Would be having a look at Tongia and Jonah Lowe from Hawkes bay too depending on what their contract status is. What about the Tasman winger Faingaanuku? Seems to get talked up a bit and has looked decent the couple of times i've seen him play.

    I haven't caught many of the Canterbury games so far so can't comment too much. What are the thoughts of those in the know/ those who care?



  • Fruean is following Blackadder to Bath.

    We're need to sign some wingers - so far it's Jone Macali and Digby Ioane. David Havili will probably end up there from time to time if Crotty and Goodhue form a good midfield combo.

    I'd be happy with signing Jonah Lowe and potentially Nathan Earle. Faingaanuku should be signed on a wider contract.



  • @Wurzel said in Crusaders 2017:

    I'd be happy with signing Jonah Lowe and potentially Nathan Earle. Faingaanuku should be signed on a wider contract.

    Lowe looked good last night. Agree on Faingaanuku - he might end up being very good, but he's still very raw and with some way to go. There's not many at Tasman available to sign that are worth signing.

    Makalio might be worth a shot at hooker - he's got some issues with his lineout throwing, but there's a shortage of good targets in the Tasman lineout. He's got good size about him and a bit of mobility - could probably be fitter.

    I've quite liked the look of Ethan Blackadder in a couple of cameos - might be worth a WTG slot.

    I'd like to see Shannon Frizzell play some blindside to see whether he's up to it - supposedly he's a loosie who can cover lock, but I think he's only had about 10 minutes against Canterbury at 6 (before getting injured). Like Makalio, he's got good size (for a blindside, not a lock).

    I suppose Razor could look at Quinten Strange, Vern Fredericks and Finlay Christie, but I don't think any of them will be world beaters.



  • From what I read, Natahan Earle wants to go back to Saracens. Maybe they could go for Sevu Reece? The kid looks a real talent.



  • @African-Monkey said in Crusaders 2017:

    From what I read, Natahan Earle wants to go back to Saracens. Maybe they could go for Sevu Reece? The kid looks a real talent.

    The article I read where he was interviewed the other day said he plans to go back to Saracens but if a Super Rugby opportunity arose then he'd re-assess his plans.



  • @Chris-B. said in Crusaders 2017:

    @Wurzel said in Crusaders 2017:

    I'd be happy with signing Jonah Lowe and potentially Nathan Earle. Faingaanuku should be signed on a wider contract.

    Lowe looked good last night. Agree on Faingaanuku - he might end up being very good, but he's still very raw and with some way to go. There's not many at Tasman available to sign that are worth signing.

    Makalio might be worth a shot at hooker - he's got some issues with his lineout throwing, but there's a shortage of good targets in the Tasman lineout. He's got good size about him and a bit of mobility - could probably be fitter.

    I've quite liked the look of Ethan Blackadder in a couple of cameos - might be worth a WTG slot.

    I'd like to see Shannon Frizzell play some blindside to see whether he's up to it - supposedly he's a loosie who can cover lock, but I think he's only had about 10 minutes against Canterbury at 6 (before getting injured). Like Makalio, he's got good size (for a blindside, not a lock).

    I suppose Razor could look at Quinten Strange, Vern Fredericks and Finlay Christie, but I don't think any of them will be world beaters.

    Quinten Strange is 1.99m in the Makos website. He doesn't look that tall. it might be a bit exaggerated. However, he is a good prospect IMO.



  • How long was Sione Fifita contracted for? He isn't looking in great form at the moment but the potential to light his fire is still there.



  • @cgrant Yeah - I looked that up just the other day and thought it looked a bit taller than reality. Makos lineout is really struggling - especially when Ainley was gone.

    Crusaders will already have Whitelock, Romano and Barrett on the books - so they only need one lock/blindside to replace Jimmy Tupou - and possibly one WTG lock. Question is - is Strange the best available this year? At 1.99 metres is he a good long term investment? I reckon future elite locks will need to be a couple of inches taller - e.g. Retallick and Whitelock are 2.04 and 2.03.



  • Completely forgot about the Digby Ioane signing. Is Volavola back next year? That has to be one of the worst signings in recent NZ super rugby history.



  • Yeah I'd be very happy if we simply told Volavola to leave, and played with one less player for the year. He consistently has a negative impact on games. He's a charge down magnet due to the fact that he has the slowest kicking action in Super Rugby.



  • I'm a little disappointed McNicholl is moving on. He was just beginning to mature as a player and has got stronger to withstand the physicality of Super rugby. Plus he does have some wheels and a knack from bouncing out of tackles.

    I'll be holding my breath with Macalai. Last year he was basically on par with Tuitavake....

    As maligned as he is, Fonotia is a good squaddie. I'm looking forward to Crotty and Goodhue.

    Havili needs another strong preseason. He started the season pretty well I thought but then faded badly. That says he hasn't got the engine right now. I wouldn't mind seeing him on the wing working in tandem with Dagg.



  • you guys broke Macilai, he's not been the same since his 2014 season with us 😉



  • I thought Macilai looked good when he had a run of games while nadolo was out but struggled off the bench/starting one off games. I reckon if he gets a bit of faith to start the season he'll come right.



  • @ACT-Crusader Yeah - McNicoll has had easily his best Super season and looks like he belongs there now. He's certainly got stronger. This time last year I wouldn't have been bothered in the slightest if he'd buggered off, but now it's quite disappointing.

    Fonotia would be a good guy to have hanging around the squad - he's a big lump of a lad who can fill a gap for a few weeks - he's just a bit too leaden footed to be the main man at centre for a season.

    Havili - needs work. I'm not sure he's big enough - and he's certainly not yet a good enough defender - to be paired with Mo'unga.

    With the caveat that I've only seen bits and pieces of Canterbury this season, I've yet to see Goodhue do anything sensational that leads me to think he's the answer to our prayers at centre. I've seen Rob Thompson breaking the line and looking very useful, but Jack's seemed pretty quiet whenever I've been watching. You guys seem to be more impressed than me, so perhaps I've missed his starring turns. Perhaps he'll do it tonight!



  • Thought Goodhue was pretty good tonight. The run he made to set up the try was quality.



  • Goodhue is class, a natural 13 and I'm glad he's staying. Think he was a more important signing than Barrett.



  • Yeah - Goodhue had a pretty good game against Waikato - error free and lots of good stuff - though still not the sort of dominant line-busting performance that I think really stamps someone who's going to be a blockbuster at Super rugby level.

    I hope the reports are right that Razor has Tamanivalu lined up. It will also be nice to see the Crusaders picking off one of Rennie's men for once. 🙂



  • @Chris-B.

    Goodhue reminds me of Conrad Smith, silky skills and a great eye for his support player... not every midfielder has to be of the Nonu/SBW type.

    He also has a good kicking game and has been very accurate on defense this year.



  • Haven't yet seen Goodbye, but who's the under 19 fella? Looked classy as in the highlights i saw. Some kinda mix between Connie and BFA.



  • @SammyC Yeah - but, that's what people are saying about Crotty, as well. I think we need a Nonu-type in midfield - especially to replace Nadolo - but, even more useful if the line is being broken in midfield rather than one flank.

    Anyway, if we end up with Crotty, Tanmanivalu, Goodhue, Wainui and Havili we'll have some options - plus Ioane, Macilai, Fifita and Dagg as the outside back complement?

    Then Hall, Drummond, Fukafuka, Mo'unga, Volavola, McKenzie? I wouldn't mind losing half of those!!! Isn't Colin Slade sick of France yet? 🙂