Blues v Bulls

  • Faumuina returns against Bulls

    23 Mar 2017

    The Blues have just one change to their starting line-up to take on the Blue Bulls from South Africa in Saturday’s home game in Investec Super Rugby at QBE Stadium in North Harbour.

    All Black Charlie Faumuina is named in the front row in his expected return from injury, although it will be dependent on how he recovers from Thursday’s final training session. He has been bracketed with North Harbour’s Sione Mafileo.

    The rest of the starting team is unchanged from last week’s match against the Crusaders.

    Coach Tana Umaga said while the team let a winning lead slip late in the game, there were plenty of positives last wek.

    “We wanted clear progress from the week before in terms of our lineout and our error rate. We got that. The lineout was excellent, we had a stable platform, and we had much less handling mistakes,” Umaga said.

    “As a result, off the back of a stable platform we were strong in the first half with three excellent tries. Overall our defence was quite good, but in the second half we could not find a way to stop the rolling maul. We did not help ourselves with a number of penalties which allowed the Crusaders to be a constant threat inside our red zone.

    “We are looking for further progress this week – and every week.”

    Blake Gibson will play his 18th game for the Blues, moving closer to his Blazer games, while All Black Ofa Tu’ungafasi, who will again come off the bench on Saturday, edges to within three games of his 50th cap for the Blues.

    The match at North Harbour coincides with the annual Westie Pies Blues Secondary School 10s Tournament, with 12 teams entered in the boys’ division and seven in the girls.

    Play begins at 12noon with the semifinals and finals of both divisions will be played on the main ground at QBE Stadium from 4.30pm. The finals of both boys’ and girls’ finals will be broadcast live on Sky TV.

    The teams competing are, Boys Division: Aorere College, De La Salle High School, Kelston Boys, Mt Albert Grammar, Massey High School, Otahuhu College, Pakuranga College, Pukekohe High School, Rangitoto College, St Pauls College, Westlake Boys, Whangarei High School.

    Girls division: Aorere College, Green Bay High School, Kaipara College, Long Bay College, Otahuhu College, Southern Cross, Tuakau College.

    1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons (C), 3 Charlie Faumuina or Sione Mafileo, 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 Ofa Tu’ungafasi or Sam Prattley, 18 Sione Mafileo or Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane.

    Unavailable due to injury/suspension: Stephen Luatua, Sonny Bill Williams, Stephen Perofeta, Alex Hodgman, Declan O’Donnell.

  • I hope the Blues have been working on their maul defence. The weather looks like it could make the game more forward based.

    I don't think that injury list at the bottom is up to date - O'Donnell played for the Blues A last week as did Perofeta who also played for Blues 20s last night.

  • @KiwiMurph Do you know the score in that under 20s game?

  • @Kiwidom Apparently Argie 31 Blues 20. Hopefully there'll be a match report soon.

  • Strauss has let us know that the Bulls have a plan for winning this game. It ALMOST paid off against the Sunwolves 🤣 but will come together this weekend. Yep. He said it not me. I suppose you can't expect much from them when the Springboks and Blue Bulls go hand in hand.

  • Happy to see Charlie(hopefully) and Nock back in there.

    I would've liked to have seen Pryor get a go off the bench for this game.

    I hate games at QBE, especially when we have to face a SA team there.

  • 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Nick de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboko

    Reserves: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 John-Roy Jenkinson

  • @Dice said in Blues vs. Bulls:

    I would've liked to have seen Pryor get a go off the bench for this game

    Pryor had some handling issues last year but he also did some spectacular things. It would be good to know if he's improved or not.

    I would understand keeping him out of the 23 if Taramai had been playing well.. but he's underwhelmed so far

  • @Duluth I also think it's a bit strange not having an out and out lock on the bench considering their weakness at lineout and maul time. I think I read Goodhue got an injury in the Blues A team last week but later in the season i'd like to see him get some game time. He's got some genuine size, which is where someone like Scrafton may be weak.

  • @Duluth that's the thing about Kara, he does try things, sometimes a little much.

    Guess its a long season so his chances will come.

  • @KiwiMurph

    Scrafton was quite lean a couple of years ago but I don't think thats an issue now

    I know rugby stats can be dodgy but he's listed at 200cm & 114kg

    I would like to see him get a decent shot playing alongside Tuipulotu

  • Scrafton should be in the team imo. He goes 80minutes and works hard. He's a big lad much bigger than goodhue who's still developing. The locks for the blues have very much underwhelmed

  • Scrafton is in a tough spot for minutes, because Tana loves Tupou and Jackson loves GCT.

  • love it!

  • @taniwharugby

    Gregor Paul is trying to virtue signal his way into some gash

  • Weather is looking near perfect for tonight's game.

  • Be interesting to see if the blues continue where they left off last year ,

    Looking good against the non Nz teams

  • This is tough to watch. Very similar to Blues Highlanders so far.

  • Assume that there is quite a strong wind.

  • @Tim said in Blues vs. Bulls:

    Assume that there is quite a strong wind.

    No wind at the ground, very still night. Funny sitting next the Bulls coaches, lots of yelling and desk thumping.

  • Is pulu the biggest hungus of all time?

    Not complaining as i had him for first try tonight lol

  • Parsons turns down 3 points - cripes.

    Tuipulotu with a handling error while carrying - as Wilson said it happens to him a lot.

  • This isn't great

  • And Parsons drops the ball FFS

  • How the fuck was Parsons an AB - shit he is mud.

  • Parsons is no Coles eh. Is there any footage of him not making a handling error?

  • Now we know why they turned down the three before...

  • Why kick it like thatvwhen hard on attack. ... reset...and attack again... just dumd footy

  • @Mattasaurus said in Blues vs. Bulls:

    Why kick it like thatvwhen hard on attack. ... reset...and attack again... just dumd footy

    Yep the Bulls are tiring just keep pressing on attack and the space will come

  • Tana has to take some heat here - this team looks woefully coached.

  • This is like watching Auckland in the NPC last year.

  • They know Moala is going to run it up...of course they hold him up for the maul.

  • They've got to be the most frustrating team to watch. Watching the Blues makes me want to tear my hair out.

  • How has the blues attack got worse? It looks highly imaginative, especially the bits where if Pulu goes missing nobody has any clue what to do.

  • In the words of hauraki .... what a punishingly wounding 40mins to watch

  • @KiwiMurph A mediocre coach who favours mediocre players. Collins will never offer a counter attacking threat. How is he the starting fullback?

  • Now Nanai takes a shit option.

  • Blues very lazy considering they are wanting to play high tempo

  • Oh great, so both Nanai and Pulu are now being dragged down, i notice Faumuina was a casualty late in the first half too.

  • This is a tough watch. Ugh.

Log in to reply