Magpies 2017



  • Considering we're seeing the first 2016 Magpies leave the nest already, it seems a good time to start this thread.

    Leaving

    So far, I have two players on the exodus list:

    Robbie Fruean - Bath
    Ryan Tongia - Bayonne

    I have no idea which players are coming off contract (not that contracts apparently mean much, as they let Buckman go ...) and obviously players like Filipo & May were only on a one-year contract to cover for injuries, but who else are we losing?

    I assume it depends on whether some will get SR contracts: the likes of Lamborn (who otherwise might go to PROrugby in the USA?), Evans? Abbott? Cridge? Renton? Again an assumption: if West doesn't get a SR for 2018 etc, he might go to Europe and not play for us next year either.

    Others who may or may not have been on a contract - and therefore in the team, despite under-performing - who may not come back unless they improve: Shannan Chase?

    Staying
    My guess is all the young ones will stay: Lowe, Emerson, Mikaele-Tu'u, Kean. Weber has another year to go on his Magpies contract, and the never-to-appear-in-Bay-colours Retallick at least 3 years. Dixon (2017) and Edmonds (2018) have re-signed with the Highlanders, Allardice still has a year on his Chiefs contract & no indication yet these players may be moving provinces. Anyone else a certainty?



  • I suspect Riccitelli will sign with Taranaki. According to the HB Today his Magpies contract expires after this season. He was non-committal about sticking around, saying something about waiting until the end of the season to make a decision (never a good sign!!!). Combined with Taranaki looking for a new hooker after Rhys Marshall's departure, Riccitelli's pathway to the #2 jersey at the Bay blocked by Dixon, and the fact he is from there originally, I'm not hopeful he will be a Magpie post 2016.



  • Staying
    My guess is all the young ones will stay: Lowe, Emerson, Mikaele-Tu'u, Kean. Weber has another year to go on his Magpies contract, and the never-to-appear-in-Bay-colours Retallick at least 3 years. Dixon (2017) and Edmonds (2018) have re-signed with the Highlanders, Allardice still has a year on his Chiefs contract & no indication yet these players may be moving provinces. Anyone else a certainty?

    According to the HBT, Cridge has another year on his contract, so he'll be back next year, too. That is, if he can stay in one piece.

    Cridge pointed out he may have to have surgery on his other knee before assembling with the Canes for pre-season training.
    

    http://nzh.tw/11732185



  • The Mitre10 Cup cross-over matches for 2017:

    • Hawke’s Bay v Taranaki
    • Hawke’s Bay v Canterbury
    • North Harbour v Hawke’s Bay
    • Counties Manukau v Hawke’s Bay

    Taranaki was the 5th team to choose an opponen and picked the Magpies, with only Otago and Wellington left for Tasman and Canterbury. This game will be played in Napier.

    The HBRU "picked" Canterbury to play in Napier. It wasn't really a choice, because Hawke's Bay got the last remaining Premiership team.

    North Harbour chose the Magpies, but again not really a choice, because they got to pick last for a home game. Hawke's Bay was the last team picked.

    The HBRU picked first and chose Counties Manukau for a game to be played in Pukekohe.



  • Pretty good to score North Harbor and counties they could both be teams that may be or may not be good next year.
    Out of interest do you think Lamborn missed out on a super contract because he is now an international player so less long term upside or just because they know everything they can get out of him.



  • @Magpie_in_aus I have no idea really, but is what crossed my mind when I thought about it.

    I'm not really sure whether Kiwis (NZ born, NZ passport), who play for other countries, count as overseas players or not. As I understand it, every Super Rugby franchise (in NZ) is allowed to have two overseas players.
    Sam Lousi is without doubt an overseas player. Not sure whether there are others. As far as I know, Uhila hasn't played for Tonga. Matu'u has left. To me it seems, that the Canes have only 1 overseas player other than Lamborn (if he is considered to be one). So legally, Lamborn playing for the USA doesn't seem to rule him out.

    I'm not sure why being an international player for another country would make him less attractive as a player for other than (possibly) legal reasons. If it was all about a pathway to the All Blacks, they wouldn't have signed Lousi either. Other franchises wouldn't sign Irishmen, Englishmen, Australians or South Africans either. They'd never sign an overseas player. I think that argument would only be relevant if there was a big shortage of loosies in the ABs (which there isn't) and a good supply of up and comers in Mitre 10 Cup squads that needs to be developed at SR level to address that shortage.

    There's also the distribution of different positions in the squad to consider. Including the WTG, the Canes named 9 loose forwards in October 2015. This year they named 8. The number of players in other positions has changed quite a bit, too, by the way. Iopu Iopu-Aso and Vito are no longer in the squad. Toa Halafihi and Reed Prinsep are new in the squad. Halafihi (22, never played SR) could be seen as taking Lamborn's spot, or Lamborn has not been replaced.

    Lamborn has said himself in an interview, just after he was named in the USA squad in May, that he hoped to play for the Canes and Magpies for years to come. It seems he didn't know at that time that he wasn't going to get a contract. Interestingly, USA coach Mitchell contacted Plumtree to find out more about Lamborn, before including him in the USA squad. My question is, what did Plumtree think of Lamborn's chances of a new contract, and did he or didn't he tell Lamborn?

    This year's law trial's were particularly bad for openside's such as Lamborn (he wasn't used at 6 like last year). He wasn't too bad this year, but far less visible than in 2015. He couldn't play his own game under these trialled laws and apparently couldn't make a case for a SR team to sign him. Maybe the Canes signed Halafihi in the hope he's better than Lamborn. There's no way of knowing.

    I hope Lamborn stays around. There are always injuries during the season, and if the Canes' or other franchises' loosie stocks go down, he has a good chance of being called up. But yes, a PRO rugby team in the USA may just pick him up instead. Considering the fact that the American competition is, at this moment, reasonably short, that will not have to stop him from playing for the Magpies fortunately.



  • @Stargazer Any whispers rumours who may be signed, or going other than those we know about.



  • @billsy11 Apart from the possibility that we may lose Riccitelli, and Tongia & Fruean have already gone, I haven't heard a thing, but I'm not the one to ask (have no inside knowledge). Maybe one of the other Magpies faithful knows more? @Higgins @Nepia @Stockcar86 (and where has No 10 gone? New username?)



  • Tui ad anyone?

    Newly-appointed New Zealand under-20s rugby team head coach Craig Philpott is adamant the role won't compromise his Magpies job.
    
    "My focus is still very much on the Magpies and we are on track for an exceptional season next year," the Magpies head coach said after his national appointment was announced yesterday.
    

    Didn't he say before the 2016 season that he was aiming at a quarter final spot in the Premiership? That man is a joke. A very bad one!

    Glad to also read some positive news in that article about Jonah Lowe and Tiaan Falcon (also posted in the Hurricanes thread).

    For Falcon, 19, this was one of two significant selections in recent days. Along with his Clive clubmate and fellow Magpie, outside back Jonah Lowe, who played for this year's Baby Blacks, Falcon has been selected as injury cover players for the Hurricanes.
    
    Lowe, 20, will link up with the Canes from December 1 and Falcon after the Palmy camp. Falcon's father and former Maori All Black and Magpies loosie Gordon Falcon played four games for the Canes in 2000 while Lowe's older brother and former Maori All Black and Magpies flanker Karl Lowe played 41 matches for the Canes from 2009-2013.
    
    Both Falcon snr and Karl Lowe also played their club rugby for Clive.
    
    'If Jonah and Tiaan impress the Hurricanes coaching staff they could end up staying on and playing for the Canes like our Magpies hooker Ricky Riccitelli did this year," Philpott said.
    



  • 2016 Season review

    This article in the HBT gives some info on the review of the 2016 season. I doubt we'll get to hear more about this review, so I've copied and pasted it here:

    Camp vital to Magpies redemption
    
    A pre-season camp will be a priority for the Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby team next year as they strive to redeem themselves in the wake of a disastrous 2016 Mitre 10 Cup campaign.
    
    "The success of the New Zealand Super franchises meant the late arrival of our super rugby players and so we had to prioritise game planning and new law understanding over our normal team building camp," Magpies head coach Craig Philpott said as he reflected on his team's recently completed end-of-season review following the side's relegation from the Premiership to the Championship with a two-win, eight-loss record.
    
    "We see the camp as crucial and valuable at the development stage of the season and not having one was a mistake. When you've got 17 or 18 players coming back from having played for five different Super Rugby teams using five different forms of defensive patterns that period of transition is crucial in terms of defining our season and learning our systems," Philpott said.
    
    "At the same time those Super players can throw things into our basket which they have picked up at Super level."
    
    Injuries, in particular the loss of quality Super players before the season started was at the top of Philpott's list of factors which contributed to the disappointing season. The Chiefs pair of lock Michael Allardice and outside back Sam McNicol along with the Highlanders pair of prop Brendon Edmonds and loosie Gareth Evans all missed the season with injuries.
    
    Philpott admitted his troops found it tough adapting to the new tackle and break down rules.
    
    "We didn't have the necessary size like Auckland and Counties-Manukau. It was tough to compete against teams with three big loosies and they proved you didn't need a fetcher like Brendon O'Connor or Tony Lamborn. Our 9s and 10s are not big men and this put a lot of pressure on our inside defensive channels," Philpott explained.
    
    He pointed out that while his team's defensive accuracy only dropped 2 per cent from last season, tackles were most often missed in areas where big men were able to target smaller defenders; a bi-product of the new laws creating a rugby league-style approach to attack.
    
    Also prominent on the list of factors was the fact 14 Magpies were unavailable until the first week of the Mitre 10 Cup because their Super teams experienced successful seasons. When quizzed on whether or not it was a disadvantage having so many Super players Philpott replied:
    
    "It's Catch 22 really. The teams which do the best have a high number of Super players. In 2012 [when the Magpies were last relegated] we had nine Super players and last year when we won the Championship we had 18 ... if your team is performing you will get the opportunity of Super Rugby. If you don't play well you won't have as many."
    
    Philpott repeated the call he made when his New Zealand under-20 team head coach role was announced earlier this month and stressed the Magpies were still his priority. His assistant coach Danny Lee has been promoted to a co-coach role for next year and he will have more responsibility.
    
    This is similar to how Peter Russell and Tom Coventry operated towards the end of their five-year stint with the Magpies. There will be no changes to the coaching, management or medical staff for next season.
    
    Luke Stephenson will continue as strength and conditioning coach, Terry Gittings and Brian Jenkinson will have the manager and assistant manager's roles respectively, Peter O'Shaughnessy will be the technical advisor, Mark Nicol the physio and Ian Taylor the doctor.
    
    Philpott said this year's results didn't reflect the Magpies dominant set piece play. They had the second best scrum in the cup.
    
    Highlanders hooker Ash Dixon grew into the captain's role and Philpott said Dixon continued to develop his leadership skills on the recent Maori All Blacks tour.
    
    Philpott and Lee will plan their 2017 training schedules at the end of January and he said there will be some tinkering to this year's sessions.
    
    "We have to keep it fresh," Philpott added.
    



  • So, basically, they blame the bad season on:

    • late arrival of many of the Magpies' Super Rugby players (14 unavailable until first week of Mitre 10 Cup)

    • not having a camp

    • the loss of several Super Rugby players to season-ending injuries before the season started

    • players struggling to adapt to the new tackle and break down rules, combined with

    • not having big loosies

    • having small 9s and 10s



  • @Stargazer Maybe the lack of a camp and season ending injuries . But they knew about that and did bugger all. The new laws? Whos fault is it that Hawkes Bay didnt adapt them for club rugby. Um Hawkes Bays!. Who the hell in the premiership has a big 9 and 10. What a load of bloody dribble. Pull the other one it might play jingle bloody bells. The whole season was poorly planned and recruitment piss poor.



  • @billsy11 I agree 100% with you, and the Magpies weren't exactly the only team with a lot of Super Rugby players returning to the province late. I seems, the only responsibility they are taking is for not organising a camp!

    I do agree that the trialled law changes were bad for teams without big, strong loosies (like the Magpies); the only one remotely fitting that description was young lad Mikaele-Tu'u but he was only 18, inexperienced and mostly played with the U19s. I remember that commentators were saying during one of the Magpies games that we had the smallest/lightest pack of all 14 teams. But that's also something that can be fixed with good recruitment ...

    IMO the changed laws were particularly bad for halfbacks, but I doubt it has much to do with the halfback's height (Weber is 1.75m) and more with their job description.

    Btw, big/bigger halfbacks: Leon Fukofuka (1.9m, Auckland), TKB (1.87m, Waikato), Billy Guyton (1.86m, Tasman), Jimmy Cowan (1.86m, Southland), Stratton (1.85m, Canterbury), Bryn Hall (1.83m, N Harbour) and Jono Ruru (1.83m, Otago).
    The smallest midgets are Tipuna (1.70m, BOP) and Kayne Hammington (1.70m, Manawatu).



  • @Stargazer

    The rule on overseas players is that if they can't be selected for the All Blacks then they are considered overseas players. So, Tony Lamborn, Tim Nanai-Williams, Digby Ioane etc all count as overseas players even though they were born here, because they are no longer All Black eligible. Its the same with the guys who play Japanese rugby in the super rugby offseason, like Cory Jane, Tanerau Latimer and Tamati Ellison a few years ago. Because they are signed up during the international window, they can't play for the All Blacks during that time so they are considered overseas players.

    Interestingly, Sam Lousi is not an overseas player because he was born in New Zealand and hasn't played international rugby for another country. Eligible for All Blacks = Not overseas.

    Also, there is no minimum or maximum number of overseas players a team is allowed. Teams have to ask the NZRU for dispensation for every overseas player on a case-by-case basis. They have to say which player they want to sign, what role they want him for, and they have to prove that there are no other available players in New Zealand that can fill that role. The Highlanders were able to show that there wasn't enough prop depth, so they could sign Halanukonuka and Geldenhuys as well as having Tanaka. Then when they had wing injuries they were able to show that English capped Jack Wilson was the only suitable replacement, giving them 4 overseas players.

    In the case of Lamborn, Jane is the Hurricanes only overseas player, but the Hurricanes weren't able to make the argument that there were no other NZ qualified options for his role. As good as he is, he was just a squad looseforward for the Hurricanes and there are tons of them to go around, Bedwell-Curtis for instance is arguably just as good and he has only just got his first super rugby contract this year, probably as a result of Halafihi being bumped up opening a spot somewhere else.

    Also, Ricciteli to Taranaki is all but a done deal, along with Jordie Barrett.



  • @reginald8 said in Magpies 2017:

    @Stargazer

    The rule on overseas players is that if they can't be selected for the All Blacks then they are considered overseas players. So, Tony Lamborn, Tim Nanai-Williams, Digby Ioane etc all count as overseas players even though they were born here, because they are no longer All Black eligible. Its the same with the guys who play Japanese rugby in the super rugby offseason, like Cory Jane, Tanerau Latimer and Tamati Ellison a few years ago. Because they are signed up during the international window, they can't play for the All Blacks during that time so they are considered overseas players.

    Interestingly, Sam Lousi is not an overseas player because he was born in New Zealand and hasn't played international rugby for another country. Eligible for All Blacks = Not overseas.

    Also, there is no minimum or maximum number of overseas players a team is allowed. Teams have to ask the NZRU for dispensation for every overseas player on a case-by-case basis. They have to say which player they want to sign, what role they want him for, and they have to prove that there are no other available players in New Zealand that can fill that role. The Highlanders were able to show that there wasn't enough prop depth, so they could sign Halanukonuka and Geldenhuys as well as having Tanaka. Then when they had wing injuries they were able to show that English capped Jack Wilson was the only suitable replacement, giving them 4 overseas players.

    In the case of Lamborn, Jane is the Hurricanes only overseas player, but the Hurricanes weren't able to make the argument that there were no other NZ qualified options for his role. As good as he is, he was just a squad looseforward for the Hurricanes and there are tons of them to go around, Bedwell-Curtis for instance is arguably just as good and he has only just got his first super rugby contract this year, probably as a result of Halafihi being bumped up opening a spot somewhere else.

    Also, Ricciteli to Taranaki is all but a done deal, along with Jordie Barrett.

    Thanks for that info. I trust your info is correct, but it's absolutely ridiculous that a player is considered to be an overseas player only because he plays for another country. Tony Lamborn wasn't just born here but is also a NZ citizen and that doesn't seem to mean anything only because he's no longer eligible for the ABs. Don't know about Digby Ioane, but I assume TNW has a Kiwi passport as well. As I've said before, I hope Lamborn - when he decided to accept the invitation from the USA Eagles - knew/was told that would make him an overseas player and put his spot in the Canes squad at risk.

    Had totally forgotten that Lousi was born in NZ!

    Arrggghhhh about Riccitelli, but he didn't play at hooker for us anyway. Hope Dixon is still good for a few more years; Tangaere is reasonably good, but we will eventually need a better player to replace Dixon.Just hope that lad from the HB Saracens won't become the third hooker; thought he was terrible during preseason. First priority for the frontrow should be a decent LH prop though, and TH if Edmonds doesn't return to fitness.



  • @Stargazer

    Yeah its pretty shit, there have been a lot of NZ born and bred citizens that have declared for PI teams and then had to swiftly move to the NH. The NZRUs reasoning is that the All Blacks are the number 1 priority and the Super Rugby teams only exist in essence to strengthen the All Blacks. The NZRU pays the salaries of all the Super Rugby players and they don't want to pay and develop players for other nations, at the expense of an All Blacks qualified player who could be in that spot. Its also there as a warning to players not to declare for other nations.I see the logic, but its pretty cutthroat. Lamborn would be foolish if he didn't know, its fairly common knowledge and he has to have an agent that let him know. On the plus side if any Hurricanes loose forwards get injured or Blade Thompson doesn't come back from concussion hes probably allowed straight back in given that he knows the systems and its a pretty easy argument to make.

    As for Riccitelli, you can see why he left as he was never really a prop. He can cover there but if hes going to go on to higher honours its going to be at hooker and theres no chance for him to play there in the bay.



  • @reginald8 said in Magpies 2017:

    @Stargazer

    Yeah its pretty shit, there have been a lot of NZ born and bred citizens that have declared for PI teams and then had to swiftly move to the NH. The NZRUs reasoning is that the All Blacks are the number 1 priority and the Super Rugby teams only exist in essence to strengthen the All Blacks. The NZRU pays the salaries of all the Super Rugby players and they don't want to pay and develop players for other nations, at the expense of an All Blacks qualified player who could be in that spot. Its also there as a warning to players not to declare for other nations.I see the logic, but its pretty cutthroat. Lamborn would be foolish if he didn't know, its fairly common knowledge and he has to have an agent that let him know. On the plus side if any Hurricanes loose forwards get injured or Blade Thompson doesn't come back from concussion hes probably allowed straight back in given that he knows the systems and its a pretty easy argument to make.

    As for Riccitelli, you can see why he left as he was never really a prop. He can cover there but if hes going to go on to higher honours its going to be at hooker and theres no chance for him to play there in the bay.

    Yeah, although Ash Dixon comes off contract at the Highlanders in 2017, turns 29 next year and may well opt to play overseas. If Riccitelli goes, and Dixon as well, the Magpies are really in the shit. Or maybe I should say, "the Magpies are even more in the shit".



  • Very good news:

    Both Jonah Lowe and Mason Emerson have re-signed with the Magpies for 2 more years (2017 and 2018).

    Also the following players have signed Pro-Zone (academy) contracts with the HBRU, which will prevent them from being picked up by other unions:

    Hastings Boys High School
    Lincoln McClutchie (1st five 8th)
    Danny Toala (fullback)
    Folau Fakatava (halfback)
    Jacob Devery (hooker)
    Kianu Kereru-Symes (prop)

    Napier Boys High School
    Al Momoisea (winger)
    Mitch Drew (center)

    Victoria Uni
    Will Tremain (openside flanker)
    Tim Farrell (LH prop)



  • @Stargazer Yeah this is good news. Both Lowe and Emmerson are very good players. I personally like Lowe on the wing. Great to see the young talent from the Schools being contracted as well. Hastings boys, what a year they had. I just hope we do sign some experienced players to not only help these guys come through but also after last year it's badly needed.. Gareth Evans please don't get hurt your badly needed. That No 8 last season in my opinion showed he was a converted sevens player. Good ball skills but at the breakdown and defensively sadly lacking. However hopefully fingers crossed lessons learnt.



  • @billsy11 Yes, it would be great to have Evans for a whole season, after 2 seasons ruined by serious injury. A talented young player like Marino Mikaele-Tu'u could learn a lot from him, although physically they couldn't be more different (Mikaele-Tu'u is huge). Mikaele-Tu'u will probably feature in the NZ U20s again this year. I agree with what you say about Selesele, he didn't impress on defence.

    Personally, I really hope they will be able to attract a few good props (our pack was one of the weakest and lightest of the 2016 season). I saw on instagram that Tolu Fahamokioa is back in Tawa (Wellington), so I'm not sure whether he'll be available for the Magpies again this year (not sure whether he has moved back to Wellington permanently). He hasn't really convinced at LH, but he was still better than Jason Long or Mark Braidwood. I think Mason Kean is a TH? Not sure at which side young Pouri Rakete-Stones plays, but he's also in the NZ U20 frame. These young lads need an experienced player to learn from and we can't be sure Edmonds will play again. We'll also need a new hooker; although not officially announced, I assume Riccitelli has signed with Taranaki. Just relying on Dixon, Tangaere and a development player would be stupid.

    We also need another loosie. I didn't really rate Hamelink last season. With the trialled laws abandoned, Lamborn should have a better season this year though. Fingers crossed.

    Our midfield definitely needs an experienced player. After losing Horrell, Guildford and Buckman in the backs last year, we've now also lost Fruean and Tongia. I don't see West and Weber as leaders in the backline, so we desperately need a Super Rugby player to take on that role. I also keep my fingers crossed that Gillies Kaka will return to the Magpies. We desperately need a good fullback with Dagg most likely to be unavailable. If Kaka returns, I'd like to see McNicol on the wing and Lowe in the midfield, the latter shifting to the wing if one of the wings goes down (McNicol seems to be very injury prone).

    I hope the HBRU will be more proactively searching for good, new players this year. Last year, the hiring and the firing was terrible and the late, season-ending injuries to many players didn't help either.

    With the new tackle laws introduced, I also hope that there will be a big focus on that area during club rugby this year. I'm still disappointed they didn't use the trialled laws last season. That hurt the Magpies big time.


Log in to reply