Crusaders v Blues



  • Blues squad:

    1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons (C), 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 7 Blake Gibson, 8 Jerome Kaino, 9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 12 George Moala, 13 Rieko Ioane, 14 Matt Duffie, 15 Michael Collins.

    Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane.

    http://theblues.co.nz/three-changes-crusaders-clash/



  • So Akira and West have been benched, and Ranger has been dropped from the 23. Nanai finally starting. Will be interesting to see what Faiane can do at this level.



  • @Stargazer Didn't Akira come off the bench last week too?



  • Umaga certainly has his favourites - Collins and Tupou



  • Bit better. Lineout strengthened. Collins should be his last chance but it seems like a Tana fav.

    Hopefully TJ gets on.



  • @Duluth said in Crusaders v Blues:

    Umaga certainly has his favourites - Collins and Tupou

    Oh wow! I just noticed that. How can you not have a better 15 that him? Who does he play NPC for?



  • Shame that Faumaina is still out. Might be an idea to start Mafileo (better scrummager), and bring on Ofa later.



  • @Hooroo Otago.



  • @Hooroo

    He plays for Otago

    I think we have better options at for fullback (Nanai in particular). Umaga seems to be stubborn on this one



  • @Duluth said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @Hooroo

    He plays for Otago

    I think we have better options at for fullback (Nanai in particular). Umaga seems to be stubborn on this one

    A million+ people in Northland and Wider Auckland and you get this guy from Otago.

    Woah!

    I hope he shuts me up this weekend though as I don't enjoy watching players have howlers. Maybe he is in a bit of a funk and is ready to burst against those nasty cantabs.... 🙂



  • In the squad we have: Nanai, Collins, Trainor, Duffie, Perofeta.



  • @Tim Awesome! I have heard of Nanai and now Collins



  • @Hooroo Last year we had Visinia too. He was an ok squad member. Umaga cut him.



  • In the second half i'd like to see TJ Faiane to 12, Moala to 11 and Nanai to fullback. An alternative would be Faiane to 12, Moala to 13, Rieko to 11, Nanai to fullback.



  • 15. Michael Collins 🤦🏼
    https://vine.co/v/itbM0KegIDl



  • @Duluth said in Crusaders v Blues:

    Umaga certainly has his favourites - Collins and Tupou

    You can probably put Duffie in that category too



  • Crusaders

    1 Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Scott Barrett, 5. Sam Whitelock (c), 6. Jordan Taufua, 7. Jed Brown, 8. Whetu Douglas
    9 Bryn Hall, 10. Mitch Hunt, 11. George Bridge, 12. Ryan Crotty (vc), 13. Jack Goodhue, 14. Manasa Mataele, 15. David Havili

    Reserves: 16. Ben Funnell, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Michael Alaalatoa, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Marty McKenzie, 23. Sean Wainui

    Unavailable due to injury: at least Dagg, Ioane, Macilai, Mo'unga, Read, Tamanivalu and Todd. Apart from Macilai, all first choice players.
    Mataele will make his Super Rugby debut, replacing his injured uncle; Havili back from injury, just in time to replace Dagg.



  • Be interesting how Hall goes up against his former side. A point to prove no doubt.

    If Blues have any chance at all they need to get close to parity up front. Set piece and they need improved breakdown play. Their kicking game also needs to be on point otherwise they'll be stuck in their half all game.

    Given the usual way Blues tend to play in Christchurch I doubt all of the above will come together but I think Francis at 10 might give them a chance.



  • Not many of the Crusaders squad yet to feature.

    I'd like to see Fifita and Dunshea appear soon. With the injuries in the loose forwards (especially) and outside backs they should have been at least considered closely. Strange and Makalio haven't played either, but I'm less surprised about that.

    Tim Bateman may, or may not, still be rehabbing.



  • I came in here all guns blazing, ready to claim the underdog, ready to talk about our injury toll, ready to predict how our second-stringers are going to get done by their megacity roster etc, but fuck. What a bunch of no-names. This will be a cripple fight.

    Smell ya later Auckland.



  • @Duluth said in Crusaders v Blues:

    Umaga certainly has his favourites - Collins and Tupou

    Tupou has done a good job filling in at lock and as captain. Good reward for him to move to his better position of 6.
    I'm not sure who else you would have had at lock while waiting for Patrick T to come back.

    I'm just not sure about Collins though. I can only guess T really wants some SWBs around to temper the sometimes headstrong play of the more dynamic backs.
    I think it would be interesting to see West come on at 15 though. The guy has an excellent running game and good positioning when he drops back.



  • @Canerbry said in Crusaders v Blues:

    I came in here all guns blazing, ready to claim the underdog, ready to talk about our injury toll

    Cos your ring-in outside backs are missing from the lineup?

    Blues fans wish their ring-in outside back Collins was missing from the lineup...



  • @KiwiMurph said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @Canerbry said in Crusaders v Blues:

    I came in here all guns blazing, ready to claim the underdog, ready to talk about our injury toll

    Cos your ring-in outside backs are missing from the lineup?

    Blues fans wish their ring-in outside back Collins was missing from the lineup...

    Yeah - it's the Crusader backs who won their last two games, eh. That forward pack should win games by itself



  • BREAKING: Blues Forfeit Tonight’s Game After Starting On The Guinness At 9:30am

    *Posted on March 17, 2017 by thaicastle1 in Sports // 0 Comments

    Tana Umaga, coach of the Blues, has hosted a press conference to announce the team are “sloshed” and won’t be appearing tonight at AMI Stadium for their game against the Crusaders.

    “The boys got on the piss around 9:30am thinking that they’d need some luck of the Irish tonight, and unfortunately have ended up drinking a keg of Guinness between them” he told Thai Castle.

    “It’s St Paddy’s Day, and like the rest of New Zealand, out Irish heritage becomes really important on 17 March. Prattley is dressed like a leprechaun, and Ranger is smoking some four leaf clovers”

    “Brooo, I … what, woah whoops”, George Moala told us, while urinating on his own shoes. “We realised we were fucked tonight, so thought, why not get fucked up early”

    It is understood that Dan Carter was here early on, but drove home after “just a few”.

    The Crusaders are considering playing a sevens match among themselves, for the Crusaders fans who have already purchased tickets. Both of the Blues supporters will receive refunds.*

    https://thaicastle.co/2017/03/17/breaking-blues-forfeit-tonights-game-after-starting-on-the-guinness-at-930am/



  • @KiwiMurph said in Crusaders v Blues:

    Be interesting how Hall goes up against his former side. A point to prove no doubt.

    Interesting strategy used by Razor to rotate the halfbacks each week. Both have looked better coming off the bench. Hopefully Hall doesn't try to do too much and stays calm.



  • @ACT-Crusader No surprise really that he'd start Hall against the Blues and hope for a "point to prove" game from him.

    Overall I've thought Hall's looked a bit better than Drummond - though he's had more time, so far.

    Long term I really like Enari, but the game he came on he threw pretty much every pass at the receiver's feet. That he even got on the field seems to bode ill for Fukofuka - though I've never seen anything from him to suggest he's the answer.



  • I was pretty impressed with hall in the brumbies game (he started that one). He gets to the rucks quicker than Drummond and takes better options I reckon.

    Anyway, no secrets as to how we should win this one. Destroy the blues tight five.



  • @SammyC Hall's got a bit more speed in his legs and more running game than Drummond, which is handy.

    Yep - starve the Blues of set piece ball and hopefully smother their backs. First game of last year was the blue print.



  • I'm hopeful Francis will give the Blues a better chance - he can defend, he takes the line on, is more physical and doesnt sit in the pocket and his general kicking game is a bit more consistent than West, he also has a combo with Pulu from Counties. Don't think it will be enough but I think he'll direct the Blues around better than West last week, which isn't saying much.



  • Robertson's reason for starting Hall was his performance against the Reds, including scoring two tries.
    He said that in one of the interviews published this week.



  • Late news, Goodhue is out. Wainui in.

    Bloody hell - we were looking green in the backs - now we're looking raw! Blues should be smelling blood in the water.



  • Havili (?) very lucky to stay on the field after that challenge on Duffie in the air.



  • Sick try



  • Fuck yes.



  • @Tim said in Crusaders v Blues:

    Havili (?) very lucky to stay on the field after that challenge on Duffie in the air.

    Hahaha nope. Ok now i understand why you think TJ is so biased when i can't see why...It's not TJ.

    Parsons is not so flash at the offload eh.



  • Tuipolotu a beast so far



  • @Bones Watch it again. He went into contact turned to the side (unsighted) and with his shoulder. Very lucky that Duffie didn't get knocked over. Would have been yellow.



  • That was a bit shit. Bridge scrambling along the ground for the ball should have been penalised, ends in a penalty against the blues.

    But anyway, can someone point out to me what Johnson is saying that's so biased against the blues? I'm genuinely curious as i can never seem to figure it out.



  • The Blues just need a simple game plan. Keep the ball in hand as much as possible. They look dangerous when they have the ball.



  • Tuipulotu. Great to have you back buddy.


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