Auckland first five-eighths drought



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    Interesting article.
    As expected...the knives are out already and Ihaia West is the first up target!

    Without putting any pressure on the kid and its early days but I’ve seen enough of Harry Plummer over the last few years to suggest he could and probably will be the long term answer to the Auckland/Blues first five eighth problem.
    Ticks all the boxes you want from a first five eighth. Cool head, nerves of steel, strong defender, hard runner, excellent goal kicker. Easily the best 10 in the Auckland 1A comp last year in terms of his game management and being a game driver.
    Has played all the backline positions besides halfback at various stages of his schoolboy career but fulltime at 10 in his last 2 years of school – giving him a holistic appreciation of the requirements of the number 10. Solidly built he can certainly handle the heavy traffic that tends to get thrown at that inside channel.
    All the NZ Super franchises were chasing him hard but he chose to remain in Auckland. I hope he is managed well and not rushed.
    The temptation will certainly be there to push him through though because he is that good. I hope the lessons have been learnt from the Simon Hickey example.



  • I'd love to see Marty Banks stay in NZ and get a shot at running the blues backline... he's so good at setting backlines up and reads the game so well.

    Deserves a chance to start regularly for a Super Rugby team.



  • @SammyC Unfortunately, Marty seems to be pretty injury prone these days. I'm not sure he'd be robust enough to be a week in, week out starter in Super Rugby.

    I even sort of got the impression Tony Brown is expecting to replace Sopoaga with Fletcher Smith as the starter.



  • Interesting article. Well done Fairfax.

    Simon Hickey was probably the best batsman of his year in NZ. I think. At u19 level.

    But we had very crap NZ u19 team that year, but two of the best batsmen weren't available (Hickey who went the rugby route and Mark Chapman who was playing for Hong Kong) although Chapman is now back.

    Jordie Barrett also a very good cricketer. Probably should have been in last year's u19 team , was among the top wicket takers at national u19 tournament. But I assume he'd already given clear indication he was going the rugby route so they didn't pick him. Just my interpretation. He was already in Canterbury rugby academy.



  • @SammyC He'll have to play for Treviso first. Nobody will buy him out of his contract. He's been lucky they have been so accommodating after not showing up after Mitre10 Cup last year.



  • By the way, several of these Auckland schools also get (some of) their players from elsewhere on rugby scholarships. It's not strange that these players end up at other franchises than the Blues. Playing in the Auckland 1 comp doesn't make them Auckland players.



  • How many of the best prospects from Auckland end up playing league in Australia?



  • @Tim said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    How many of the best prospects from Auckland end up playing league in Australia?

    Not many really unless they have a league background and go back to league once their schooling is up. A few out of last year’s Year 13 crop who are now playing league - Paulie Roache, signed by the Canberra Raiders. Number 10 or 12 out of Mt Albert Grammar. Selected for the NZ Secondary Schools last year but never made it onto the field due to injury. Melino Fineanganofo of Auckland Grammar made the NZ Schools squad in 2015 as a year 12. Signed with Warriors early last year. Now playing for the Warriors U20s. Edward Vaeau-Mulitalo – talented midfielder out of Kings College now running around on the wing for the Warriors U20s.



  • Our bad run of 10s reminds me of this famous Cleveland Browns jersey.

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  • @Dice jersey needs an update



  • Can we name all the 10s the Blues have had over the years? I'm sure there will be some we don't even remember.



  • I think West is a good Super Rugby first-five. He's good enough but had a shocker on the weekend.



  • @Dice said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    Can we name all the 10s the Blues have had over the years? I'm sure there will be some we don't even remember.

    @Dice said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    Can we name all the 10s the Blues have had over the years? I'm sure there will be some we don't even remember.

    Since Carlos they've been shithouse



  • @canefan Definitely, although Nacewa was pretty good. If he didn't get capped by Fiji, he might've stayed in NZ longer, and we might've got an extensive run with him at 10.



  • Evans was pretty handy but never really took his chances.

    But plenty of journeymen along the way...



  • We would probably kill for Stephen Brett now.



  • @taniwharugby said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    Evans was pretty handy but never really took his chances.

    He more than took them. He took them overseas. Didn't he win an NPC title with Auckland?



  • @hydro11 said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    I think West is a good Super Rugby first-five. He's good enough but had a shocker on the weekend.

    Ive already said this before so dont want to sound like a stuck record , but I think he would be really good as the impact 10 , coming on later when the game has loosened up ,

    they just need to find the starting 10 🙂



  • @antipodean said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    @taniwharugby said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    Evans was pretty handy but never really took his chances.

    He more than took them. He took them overseas. Didn't he win an NPC title with Auckland?

    Did he play for the orcs? I always thought he played for harbour. IMHO he played his best rugby for Otago



  • @canefan said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    @antipodean said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    @taniwharugby said in Auckland first five-eighths drought:

    Evans was pretty handy but never really took his chances.

    He more than took them. He took them overseas. Didn't he win an NPC title with Auckland?

    Did he play for the orcs? I always thought he played for harbour. IMHO he played his best rugby for Otago

    Mostly at 15


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