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 🤦🏼



  • @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.


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