What midfield do you want?



  • For Test III assuming Crotty is injured

    (apologies about the weird order of the options.. I screwed something up)



  • it is probably a bit late to fly in Nonu-Smith right 😉



  • Umaga/ALB



  • I really like the idea of Laumape and ALB, with Barrett at 10 there should already be a combination there. Probably Fekitoa on the bench just on experience.



  • So I've gone with the majority - even though I've never really liked Fekitoa - simply because of the experience factor. I think Laumape was a bit naïve at times although like his impact off the bench.

    Goodhue simply too green in a relatively inexperienced back division



  • Pretty torn on this one. Ended up with Laumape/ALB with Fekitoa on the bench, though ALB/Fekitoa or ALB/Goodhue would also make sense. Tough call, but from the selectors POV they'll be very tempted to go with ALB/Fekitoa for Fekitoa's defense.



  • Fekitoa and ALB to start, Laumape on bench. Just like the idea of strong defensive midfield to start the match.



  • I've gone for the obvious too but I would have Fekitoa at 2nd 5. He can be used as SBW was in the 1st test and that allows ALB to be the playmaker in the midfield.



  • Man we really miss Crotty's organisation and leadership in the midfield. I said before the series if we lost Crotty we'd be in a bit of trouble - none of the other options can fill the role he plays.



  • ALB/Fekitoa with Laumape on the bench.

    I keep changing my mind on Laumape vs Fekitoa every five seconds though.



  • Anyone selecting Laumape to start has rocks in their head. Defensively he was exposed against the Lions, which isn't an issue with Mala.



  • @antipodean said in What midfield do you want?:

    Anyone selecting Laumape to start has rocks in their head. Defensively he was exposed against the Lions, which isn't an issue with Mala.

    Will be interesting to see if the selectors have rocks in their head... 🙂



  • @antipodean said in What midfield do you want?:

    Anyone selecting Laumape to start has rocks in their head. Defensively he was exposed against the Lions, which isn't an issue with Mala.

    I'd pick him to start, but Fekitoa is a player prone to occasional headless chook moments too...

    Laumape was also less prone to defensive... issues than say, Sonny Banned Williams.



  • I have rocks in my head....

    I don't want to say he was thrown in the deep end....test against the Lions? Its all the deep end.

    But this was not an easy game to make your debut in. 15 players on the field he'll more settled nerves, less uncertainty and hopefully better direction. ALB is only new himself remember so not a lot of tried an true back line organisation there.



  • while he was exposed, I think you need to take into account that for a lot of when he was there it was 14 v 15, meaning everyone had to work that little bit harder all that time, and our much vaunted fitness probably kept us ticking over for longer, at the end, particularly the final 5 or 10 mins it seemed we were struggling.

    Yes while they may plan for situations like Billy Son Williams RC, it is probably tough to actually replicate this in a game situation.



  • ALB/Ioane. If these are the two players you have the most conviction in (past selections indicate this is the case ), then select them.

    Opens up bringing Savea back on the wing if he seems like a mighty pissed of bulldozer who has been idling in the shed for the past 2 weeks.

    Laumape on the bench.

    Goodhue is designated to pray for Crotty's health.



  • I voted ALB / Fekitoa - although choosing that combination would be some kind of admission that they got things a bit wrong with the selection of the squad - and specifically selection of initial replacements. I'd have Laumape on the bench.

    I think they'll select Laumape/ALB with Fekitoa on the bench. They should too, because those starters are players chosen in the initial squad, and neither has performed badly. Goodhue was selected as injury cover though, so that makes his non-selection a bit tricky. If he is ready, they could give him a test.

    Overall, I think they went a bit to inexperienced with these selections. They couldn't have predicted SBW meltdown, but Crotty getting injured was selected for. I think they should have imagines what they would do if SBW were injured, and flying Fekitoa in and starting him doesn't sound like they were picking an AB team, but a development team.



  • Not sure I agree they got things wrong, yes you expect injuries (and suspensions) but to lose essentially your starting 12 & 13 (1st test pair anyway) on consecutive weeks will always throw a spanner into the works...you can normally deal with losing 1, and would think it probable to lose 1, and had we only lost Crotty to injury or BSW to suspension, woulda been easily accounted for, but losing both is a pretty unlikely scenario and tough to plan for.

    Obviously some pointed to the 2011 RWC showing how unprepared we were for DC to go down...but how do you prepare for DC, Slade & Cruden?



  • @taniwharugby said in What midfield do you want?:

    Not sure I agree they got things wrong, yes you expect injuries (and suspensions) but to lose essentially your starting 12 & 13 (1st test pair anyway) on consecutive weeks will always throw a spanner into the works...you can normally deal with losing 1, and would think it probable to lose 1, and had we only lost Crotty to injury or BSW to suspension, woulda been easily accounted for, but losing both is a pretty unlikely scenario and tough to plan for.

    Obviously some pointed to the 2011 RWC showing how unprepared we were for DC to go down...but how do you prepare for DC, Slade & Cruden?

    Which I agree with except for them naming Goodhue as Crotty's injury stand by was part of the original squad. So, in other words, they were betting on SBW not getting injured or suspended. I think that's a bit risky. I'm happy with it, but I'm wondering whether they'll follow it through and name ALB/Goodhue (probably our future) with Laumape on the bench. In some ways, I think they should, inasmuch as those guys shouldn't have been selected unless they were ready.



  • With a heavy heart I chose experience. I'll need counselling though if the series is remembered for Fekitoa blowing a 4 on 1 overlap in the 80th minute with NZ 4 points behind on the scoreboard.