Crusaders 2017



  • 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? 🙂



  • @Chris-B. said in Crusaders 2017:

    @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? 🙂

    Yeah people do say that about Crotty, although I'm not sure he is that similar.

    The All Blacks have played him pretty close to the ruck, coming back on the angle or running the decoy so they can shift it wide. And nobody seems that keen to play him at 13.

    Smith and Goodhue are different IMO, they operate in the wider channels and look to run into space and set up their outsides.

    I'm pretty excited about Tanmanivalu coming though, definately needed some pace and size in our backline.



  • I'm pretty sure Goodhue played some wing for the NZ U20s so I wouldn't be surprised to see him start out his Super Rugby career there - with Crotty and Seta in the midfield. The key for the Crusaders will be if their halves can deliver (feels like i'm typing about my Blues).



  • @KiwiMurph said in Crusaders 2017:

    I The key for the Crusaders will be if their halves can deliver (feels like i'm typing about my Blues).

    1 Important difference, we've got a tight five that works hard and gives consistent quality ball 😉



  • @SammyC Haha yes well Blues have done some beefing up in that area (including Alex Hodgman from the Crusaders and Pauliasi Manu). It will be interesting to see how Bryn Hall goes behind that Crusaders pack.



  • Quite like the Tamanivalu signing. It does look like we're suddenly over stocked in the midfield though and lacking out wide so I agree it wouldnt surprise to see Goodhue (also has a 7s background but just a pup at centre at this level) and/or Havili'i get games out wide. Not ideal but if we do actually have some punch finally in midfield then it's only finishers we need out wide to compliment Macilai on the other wing. We're going to miss OCAFABJM though, as he's in career best form this year. I'd be looking to squeeze George Bridge into the squad as genuine wing/fullback cover and get rid of Ben vol au vent altogether as he's just not up to it.



  • @shark said in Crusaders 2017:

    Quite like the Tamanivalu signing. It does look like we're suddenly over stocked in the midfield though and lacking out wide so I agree it wouldnt surprise to see Goodhue (also has a 7s background but just a pup at centre at this level) and/or Havili'i get games out wide. Not ideal but if we do actually have some punch finally in midfield then it's only finishers we need out wide to compliment Macilai on the other wing. We're going to miss OCAFABJM though, as he's in career best form this year. I'd be looking to squeeze George Bridge into the squad as genuine wing/fullback cover and get rid of Ben vol au vent altogether as he's just not up to it.

    If they don't keep Volavola, are Mo'unga and McKenzie the only players who can play 10, or do the Crusaders have more players who can cover that position? I'm not talking about goal kicking.



  • @Stargazer said in Crusaders 2017:

    If they don't keep Volavola, are Mo'unga and McKenzie the only players who can play 10, or do the Crusaders have more players who can cover that position? I'm not talking about goal kicking.

    Mitch Hunt. But he's mainly been at fullback for Tasman this season



  • Forgot about Mitch in my list of players. He's been going alright at fullback too - in a sort of Damien McKenzie way. His stats suggest he's a little bit bigger than Damien, but not much. Seems to have similar speed and good bravery on defence. Not quite the same elusive skills.

    If I recall correctly both he and Damien played first five in the Waikato-Tasman game.

    I'd think Mitch has more long term upside than either Volavola or Marty McKenzie, so we could probably afford to lose one of those two.



  • Also posted in the Super Rugby news thread:

    David Havili has re-signed with the Crusaders through to 2019 (3 years)

    http://crusaders.co.nz/news/1024-havili-re-signs-with-bnz-crusaders-through-to-2019