Waratahs v Blues



  • Blues

    1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons (c), 3 Charlie Faumuina, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5 Scott Scrafton, 6 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 8 Akira Ioane;
    9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 11 Rieko Ioane, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 13. George Moala, 14 Matt Duffie, 15 Michael Collins.

    Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Leighton Price, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Melani Nanai.

    Unavailable due to injury: Rene Ranger (ankle), Stephen Perofeta (ankle), Jordon Trainor (shin), Brandon Nansen (wrist/hand), Jerome Kaino (knee), Ihaia West (ankle), Declan O’Donnell (concussion), Patrick Tuipulotu (back), Josh Goodhue (hamstring), Alex Hodgman (calf), Sam Prattley (knee).

    http://theblues.co.nz/francis-returns-waratahs/



  • Good to see Nanai punished for playing so poorly last week. 😕



  • @Tim said in Waratahs v Blues:

    Good to see Nanai punished for playing so poorly last week. 😕

    Tana is clueless. Nanai did more in 27 minutes last week than what the rest of the backs did for the entire match. So let's limit his involvement again. Tana has to go.



  • That seems like a complete injury list. So Tupou is fit and doesn't make the match day squad? Finally.

    Nanai missing the from the starting side is a terrible call.

    Still that's only one bad call this week. Tana is improving.. in another couple of rounds the selections might be ok and he can concentrate on his job as attack coach



  • I'd rather see Gatland get another start and Francis benched.

    Of course the Nanai call is ridiculous - i'm guessing part of Tana's reasoning is he wants some firepower off the bench for the last 20 or 30 but there are other ways to do that (ie starting Nanai, dropping Collins from the 23 and picking another bench impact player).



  • Tahs:

    1 Robertson
    2 Latu
    3 Kepu
    4 Mumm
    5 McDuling
    6 Hanigan
    7 Hooper (capt)
    8 Holloway
    9 Gordon
    10 Foley
    11 Clark
    12 Horwitz
    13 Horne
    14 Robinson
    15 Folau

    Bench: Roach, Ryan, Ta'avao, Skelton, Wells, Phipps, Hegarty, Simone



  • There was talk Gordon might not even make the 23 and he is starting. Holloway starting 8 too. I can see this one being a high scorer. Tahs defence has been leaky all season and Tahs attack will provide a much bigger challenge for the Blues than the Brumbies attack.



  • @KiwiMurph said in Waratahs v Blues:

    I'd rather see Gatland get another start and Francis benched.

    Of course the Nanai call is ridiculous - i'm guessing part of Tana's reasoning is he wants some firepower off the bench for the last 20 or 30 but there are other ways to do that (ie starting Nanai, dropping Collins from the 23 and picking another bench impact player).

    Why? Gatland didn't seem to do much to me, at least Francis takes on the line.



  • @Kirwan Gatland was called in at late notice to start last week.

    What I like about Gatland is so far his error rate around the field is low and his boot is decent. There's plenty of other players in that backline to make the play (especially if you put Nanai at fullback).

    He doesnt make howling errors costing the Blues points - aka Francis last time he played vs Canes with his charge down try conceded in the first minute, and woeful defence on Barrett costing another try.

    I think it's pretty clear on the last two seasons evidence Francis is a much better 12 than 10 but Tana scrapped the idea of him at 12 this season after the loss to the Chiefs.



  • Just not convinced this is the game to play Gatland, maybe from the bench? Last week we look like we were hiding him, can't play with a ten not in control.



  • Tuipulotu might be back next week:

    Loose forward Kaino is out for up to another five weeks after knee surgery, but lock Tuipulotu is nearing a return from a back injury according to assistant coach Steve Jackson.

    "Potentially he could be back next week so there are pleasing signs there on his progress," Jackson said.

    It's possible that Tuipulotu could play a club game rather than play for the Blues against the Cheetahs at Eden Park next Friday.



  • The Herald also adds:

    Outside back Melani Nanai has remained there in an otherwise unchanged line-up, but Jackson confirmed he was close to a starting spot after an excellent cameo at GIO Stadium last weekend.

    "In the end Michael Collins has been doing a job and when teams are starting to tire, as you've seen, bringing Melani on can really open up the game for us."



  • @Tim Thank Christ for that. The last thing the Tahs need is for Nanai to start.



  • @NTA said in Waratahs v Blues:

    Tahs:

    1 Robertson
    2 Latu
    3 Kepu
    4 Mumm
    5 McDuling
    6 Hanigan
    7 Hooper (capt)
    8 Holloway
    9 Gordon
    10 Foley
    11 Clark
    12 Horwitz
    13 Horne
    14 Robinson
    15 Folau

    Bench: Roach, Ryan, Ta'avao, Skelton, Wells, Phipps, Hegarty, Simone

    That's probably you're best backline. Skelton not starting is probably a better decision by Agent Gibson also.



  • I may have 4 tickets available courtesy of my club.

    The guy who wanted them hasn't been seen since I said "sure mate - just come to training and put your $100 deposit down, and they're yours!"

    They're e-tix so I can email them to you. Gold section so not the greatest seats, but they're free, tight-arse! 😉

    If you PM me I'll let you know final status.



  • Who is going?



  • @NTA Let me know if you still have them tomorrow. My cousin is meant to be getting me two, but that may fall through



  • Hmmm, for some reason I didn't realise this game was this weekend!



  • @Nepia said in Waratahs v Blues:

    Hmmm, for some reason I didn't realise this game was this weekend!

    Slow internet



  • I think this might be the game of the round.

    Both teams are eyeing this one up in the run into the finals - Blues to keep any hope they have alive and Tahs to catch up to the Brumbies (who have the bye).

    Tahs rebounded with a win last week. Tahs have the edge in the halves - Foley is class and Gordon is an impressive rookie compared to Francis and an out of form Pulu.

    Blues haven't won in Sydney since 2003.

    Both teams will throw it around - Blues have openly admitted chasing bonus points. Tahs similarly.

    Fine conditions and i'd expect a half decent crowd with SBW in town.

    I'd like to think this Blues team will have enough grit to get the win but they've been burnt in Sydney many times.