BOP v Otago Friday night, semi final



  • According to www.mitre10cup.co.nz, which is one of the worst sporting competition websites ever seen, we're playing on Friday night.



  • Pleased to see we are playing Otago - rather them than Wellington for now. I hear the squad is quite beat up, but it has been for some time. Our forwards will be strong - set piece immense this year. 6 strong front rowers (essential nowadays), couple of genuine power locks and a medley of loosies led by the super bound (surely...) Tupe. Not sure how the backs will line up - would like to see Chase Tiatia in for maybe Te Aute. Some question marks over our mid field defence - not sure how we always get opened up at will in this area.

    Looking forward to a good semi. Well done to the boys for getting this far. Mid season looked like a potential disaster looming.



  • God, I had given our chances of a semi away several weeks back. Against all odds and despite most peoples predictions (including the TAB) we have made it. Otago have been impressive and are deserving of a home semi but I still think we have a chance. We just lost to them earlier in the season by one point after all. I have just checked their season results....Losses to Canterbury, Counties and Auckland (who put over 50 points on them) a win to Northland by 5 points and a win to Tasman by 3 points so they are definitely beatable in my view. I'm expecting both teams to use a similar game plan they used when they last played ie. we will be forward orientated and they will use the firepower in their backs hoping to punch holes like Hawkes Bay did. I'm guessing the team we play in the final will be a sterner challenge.....



  • Otago line-up:

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  • Sam Cane has been released to play for us.... great news.



  • That really is incredible. If you could pick one person for this game.......

    When does EOYT fly out? Is there a chance he could also play the final? I reckon you'll be Otago



  • Wonder how often Sam will be penalised for hands in the ruck? Good news though ...



  • @Baron-Silas-Greenback said in BOP v Otago Friday night, semi final:

    Sam Cane has been released to play for us.... great news.

    Outstanding. I'm going to quote your post so that I can like it a second time.



  • No mercy for the Colour Stealers

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  • I do wonder if he will only be on the bench though at AB's request? Just to get a bit of Game time.

    In saying that I would bet the regular No7' goes down' early



  • @Hooroo said in BOP v Otago Friday night, semi final:

    I do wonder if he will only be on the bench though at AB's request? Just to get a bit of Game time.

    In saying that I would bet the regular No7' goes down' early

    At the very least he's on at half time under Coach Donsteppa 🙂



  • They have picked 2 loose forward reserves as well.
    So looks likely that they will go early with Cane and then still be covered in loose forwards in case of injury.





  • Easily the biggest game on the planet this weekend !!

    Good to see a settled team. Plenty of interest in the reserve selections...

    .Haimona replaced by Hepetema. I wonder if this is because of injury ?

    You'd think it will be a nightmare for Cane to adapt to the new rules but his experience will be valued.

    Great to see Chase Tiatia back, Wasn't it a sight for sore eyes to see him charging through the defences last week ?

    Can't wait .



  • @Snollygoster Are there other games being played this weekend?



  • Great to see Sam Cane made available, it has been quite a while since he last played for BOP. As great a player as he is, we need to be prepared to do the business without him. I would expect a 30 minute max. cameo - no more than that. Even with that, he needs to adjust the silly new (about to be extinct) rules.

    More important than his role in this game is our midfield defence. We leak easily in this zone, wet piece and phase play. It appears to be more a communication issue, rather than a lack of skills. Hopefully there is plenty of talk out there on Friday.



  • @GagaBoy said in BOP v Otago Friday night, semi final:

    Great to see Sam Cane made available, it has been quite a while since he last played for BOP. As great a player as he is, we need to be prepared to do the business without him. I would expect a 30 minute max. cameo - no more than that. Even with that, he needs to adjust the silly new (about to be extinct) rules.

    More important than his role in this game is our midfield defence. We leak easily in this zone, wet piece and phase play. It appears to be more a communication issue, rather than a lack of skills. Hopefully there is plenty of talk out there on Friday.

    His last two appearances for BOP were:

    31 Aug, 2013 v Auckland
    26 Aug, 2015 v Southland



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  • I didn't realise Sam Cane had played as recently as August 2015. Thanks Number 10.



  • @GagaBoy Last season he didn't get much All Blacks game time from memory.



  • Even though the TAB gives us no chance ($4.05), I've got a good feeling about this game. Otago are hardly laden with superstars, and I think the confidence that we got from beating Hawkes last week will go a long way.

    I wish they were broadcasting this game over here. There is a lot to like about this current team. Obviously some pretty frustrating games earlier in the season, but they seem to be coming right at the right time of the season. If we can get some early points up, I'd like our chances of running over Otago today



  • @aucklandwarlord The TAB has only once had us as favourites this season....against Northland. I guess they make a living on being correct with their predictions so one would assume they have a pretty good handle on things. They do surprise me sometimes though. They have Otago as favourites to win the championship which surprises me a bit given (as I mentioned in another post) they have lost to Canterbury, Counties and Auckland (who put 50 points on them) and snuck through with wins over Northland by 5 points and Tasman by 3. They have beaten both Harbour and Wellington during the season so maybe that favouritism is justified. Personally I don't think its that clear cut. The good thing about tonights game is that we have a realistic chance which is something we couldn't have said in the past.

    P.S I took a sneaky bet at the start of the season on Bay making the semis. I haven't bet in years but it seemed like a reasonable thing.....Four chances out of seven of getting there and it was paying a whopping $1.60. As the season progressed the odds lengthened so I wish I had invested more.



  • As a neutral this was a pretty good game to watch. Bad luck for BoP with their injuries. Cane really looked like he had been out of action for a couple of months when he came on.

    Really good game from the Otago halfback Ruru.



  • Have to say a 7 point defeat flattered us. Otago were much better than us but we did keep going. When you see the snap and incision of their backline, you wonder if we even have a backline coach. The players are OK but all we ever do is shovel it on. Cane had a shocker - call it rustiness!

    We actually looked best with Tipuna at 9 and Toma at 10.



  • @Stockcar86 said in BOP v Otago Friday night, semi final:

    As a neutral this was a pretty good game to watch. Bad luck for BoP with their injuries. Cane really looked like he had been out of action for a couple of months when he came on.

    Really good game from the Otago halfback Ruru.

    Wish we could get him back for next year, but he's now had a taste of starting regularly, so that won't be happening.



  • @KiwiPie said in BOP v Otago Friday night, semi final:

    Have to say a 7 point defeat flattered us. Otago were much better than us but we did keep going. When you see the snap and incision of their backline, you wonder if we even have a backline coach. The players are OK but all we ever do is shovel it on. Cane had a shocker - call it rustiness!

    We actually looked best with Tipuna at 9 and Toma at 10.

    Cane was terrible and we can't blame the trialled rules either. He clearly lacked match fitness. I wouldn't be surprised if his first run for the ABs will be off the bench v Ireland in Chicago, although he's not really an impact player. Can't see him starting v Ireland based on this performance. All credit to Otago's Tomkinson though; that lad was definitely not holding back against an All Black.

    Good on the Steamers though for not giving up!





  • I thought that was a pretty good game from the Steamers given the lineup they finished up with.

    Ruck work got a bit sloppy and Otago were able to walk over the ball too often. But they were able to stay in the game and could've forced extra time if they had been a little smarter at the death.

    That replacement halfback was pretty good.



  • Sounds like the AB coaches know their players well. They knew Cane was underdone. They will work him back.



  • @Crucial said in BOP v Otago Friday night, semi final:

    Sounds like the AB coaches know their players well. They knew Cane was underdone. They will work him back.

    Yeah - Cane has been a fair bit like that too IIRC - seems to need to get into a rhythm, a bit like Read.



  • Very disappointing semi final for BOP all round. Poor team selection, wrong strategy and all round skills not up to it.

    Why was Hepetama not selected in the centres if he was fit? We have been very weak all year in this area. Why was Cane not playing straight up? Why did Hollinghead kick so often and so poorly? Why did we not keep it close to the forwards - where our strength is?

    I feel we have recruited abysmally again - why so many 7s players? All the external 'stars' from outside the Bay were all injured come finals time.

    Geez - I hope that an in depth review is done post season. We shouldn't be this bad. So many seasons now languishing at the bottom of the championship. The BOP RU have got to get serious. If McMillan is the man, lets resource the team accordingly.

    Well done Otago and all the best v Nth Harbour. You were far too good for us and we probably over achieved by making the semi final again. I hope making the semi doesn't mask our inept season.



  • Our main strength this season has been keeping going when behind - in the end that got us into the semis. And the fact that there is no real drop from the starting XV to the 8 on the bench. Weak areas are at 10 where we struggle to exert any control and a backline that has individual potential but appears to have no moves or deception at all - we're always too flat, catch the ball while static and usually just shovel it on.

    My top 5 for the forthcoming season's vote will be these (not in order). Retallick, Mewett, Tupe, Tipuna, Foketi. But I could have swapped some of these out for others - front row were hard to vote for given how many of them appeared.



  • Yep - I think Tupe tops the honours, Retallick and Mewett, then the front row (too many to name!), then a medley of loosies - daylight - the rest.


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