Crusaders vs Force


    David Havili, Digby Ioane, Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Mitchell Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock (c) , Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett

    Reserves: Ben Funnell, Tim Perry, Mike Alaalatoa, Mitchell Dunshea, Pete Samu, Bryn Hall, Marty McKenzie, Manasa Mataele

  • An interesting configuration.

    I really like the loose forward selections - gives us an elite test match height lineout with Romano, Whitelock and Barrett - and the prospect that Read could be added to the mix to give us a lineout that could match the ABs! Caveat is, of course, that Barrett can excel in the other blindside duties. Dunshea gives the obvious option to move Barrett to lock as the game progresses, with Samu covering 7/8.

    Seems like Razor is running Drummond and Hall against one-another - they'll sort out a pecking order shortly.

    Interesting midfiled selection. I would have thought Bateman 12, Crotty 13 would be more logical. Can Ioane cover centre? Or is Havili the midfield cover, with McKenzie covering fullback?

    Is Wainui injured? If not, this selection doesn't bode well for him. He looked like a weak link against the Blues and maybe Razor sees that as well.

    Not looking too bad, despite the injury toll in the backs.

  • Never been sold on Wainui. Razor inherited him from Blackadder. Toddy seemed to think Wainui was a better bet than Rob Thompson.

  • @Chris-B. I'm also surprised that Bateman is named at 13; I thought he was brought back into the Crusaders squad to cover 10 and 12; we'll see how it will be played on the field.

    Havili will cover 12. He played there when Crotty was injured last year. After Crotty's return (and Fonotia lost his spot), Crotty moved to 13 and Havili again played at 12.

    McKenzie will cover 10 and 15.

  • I'd have thought Crotty will be staying at 12 as they shake down their top back line. Makes sense from that angle to see how Bateman goes at 13 compared to 12. I think they'll go alright, but expect to see Crotty taking most of the hit up runs.

    I really liked Bateman when he was at the Canes and thought he was pretty decent prior to that. Not the biggest midfielder but he's got skills and is a clever player. Good pick up by the Saders imo.

  • Bateman played an NPC season at 13 a while back so I don't mind that call. I like Crotty defensively at 12.

    Scott Barrett finished out the match last week pretty well at blindside. But Romano has provided spark off the bench which we won't get this week.

    Wainui is NPC standard at best at that stage. Many work ons on both sides of the ball.

  • The Force have left Dane Haylett-Petty at home to rest so they're obviously not taking these 2 games that seriously. 😉

  • @Bovidae That's hilarious, considering they just had their bye!

  • Luke Morahan, Alex Newsome, Curtis Rona, Marcel Brache, Chance Peni, Jono Lance (c), Ryan Louwrens, Richard Hardwick, Kane Koteka, Isi Naisarani, Matt Philip, Ross Haylett-Petty, Jermaine Ainsley, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Ben Daley

    Reserves: Heath Tessmann, Pek Cowan, Tetera Faulkner, Richie Arnold, Matt Hodgson, Michael Ruru, Ian Prior, Robbie Coleman

  • I think Goodhues value in the Crusaders backline went up with his absence last week, although things did look better the moment Wainui went off.

  • Is that the worst starting xv ever put out by an Aussie SR side?

  • @Duluth I know the name of more players on the bench than the starting 15....

  • It definitely looks like they are conceding this game. Perhaps they are targeting next week vs the Blues.

    However the fact they rested Dane Haylett-Petty for the NZ tour implies they are saving themselves for the Aussie derbies

  • TPN must be pissed off to be relegated to that starting team.

  • @ACT-Crusader Yeah - Romano provides some additional bulk and muscle that our pack is a bit short on when he's not there.

    Packweight when we have Whitelock and Barrett as locks seems to be about 865kg - which always looks a bit light when the opposition is fielding 900+kg packs. Luckily to date we've got plenty of technique to more than hold our own, but an extra 20 kg added to the pack through the re-shuffle might give us a bit more power and dominance in the scrum and maul.

  • I'm pretty excited about Barrett at 6. The AB selectors will be watching closely too - adds a lot of value if we can have someone genuinely cover lock/6 on the bench.

  • @No-Quarter said in Crusaders vs Force:

    I'm pretty excited about Barrett at 6. The AB selectors will be watching closely too - adds a lot of value if we can have someone genuinely cover lock/6 on the bench.

    Me too, still think he's a bit on the small side for a starting place at lock in the big games.

    I mentioned in previous threads that I thought Robertson would look at playing him at 6. He would have seen him play club rugby there. Definitely a better option than Bedwell-Curtis.

  • Easier to go from 6 to lock than the other way around so Barrett will need as much time in that position as possible.

    While having utilities on the AB bench is an advantage I'd be happy to see both Retallick and Whitelock play the full 80 mins. Squire would be most at risk if Barrett is a success at 6.

  • Would be interesting if S Barrett and Ardie were on the ABs bench - you could have lock and all 3 loosie positions covered (insert joke about midfield and/or ardie's height as a lock option here)

  • @SammyC I thought Razor didn't bother going to club rugby?! 🙂

    Have you seen Dunshea play at all, Sammy?

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