Steamers v Taranaki

  • Thought I would start this tread early to just suss out how everyone thinks we are tracking ? Its almost half way through the competition and its still really anyones game as to who will win the championship. Clearly Southland and Hawkes Bay are struggling but its pretty even across the remaining teams. I still think that, if we can play our game to our potential and don't get hampered with injuries, we will be there or there abouts come playoff time. Am I being overly optimistic ?

    As a side note I see the Bay are chasing this guy :-

  • I think we can only base this season as a success, if we make the final. To do that (based on current standings), we need to be able to beat either Wellington or Northland in a semi - providing we can make it.

    This season is a little different than of the last 5, when we were very strong up front but weak in the backline. Looks to me that we are very dependent on a strong forward platform for an 8 factored backline.

    Not sure how we will line up against Naki. Maybe mix up the selection a bit.

  • 'X'factored backline!

  • The team looks like a solid top four chance this year. I agree that the final would look like success, though I'm not sure how easily we'll get past Wellington or Northland. Lack of injuries will be the key - with Delany, Karpik, & Parate in the mix I think we'd have a good chance...

  • Its interesting. We are still in the bottom half of the stats across both divisions for all the attacking stats. Our scrum rates near the bottom but surprisingly our lineout is near the top. Despite that I get the feeling BOP have never had a complete performance yet and are possibly capable of beating most teams . I think Wellington is beatable without Shields, Fifita and To'omaga Allen who are all out at the moment and don't forget we had a big lead against Northland early on.But we shouldn't forget that this is Bay of Plenty and inconsistency has always been their problem

  • I agree with you Snollygoster - we have played well below our potential and are yet to have a breakout game. AS YOU SAY, Wellington could also be beatable without their big guns.

    I'd like to see some forward dominance v Naki as a minimum towards improving our final chances.

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    There has been an update: Hugh Blake has been called in to replace Mitch Karpik on the bench due to injury.

  • Hmm? The scrum may struggle a tad (as it has most of the season) but the lineout should be okay (Taranaki has one of the worst lineouts in the comp). They will miss Blake who is one of the top tacklers in both divisions.

    The backs look okay but will miss Delany's nous and kicking skills. Taranaki has a classy backline which is a worry but with the expected rain and howling winds I'm guessing it will be a forward orientated grind which may help us.

    As is usual the TAB doesn't give us a chance and even the local Taranaki press describes The Bay as the easiest opposition Taranaki has faced this year. I can't wait !

  • Does that team selection make Isaac Te Aute effectively the reserve halfback?

  • @Donsteppa I'm guessing so. He did play most of the club season as halfback.

  • Ngatai off for a HIA. Geez, hope he's okay!

  • Shit, Ngatai failed his concussion test.

  • That was a relatively innocuous head clash too... not good long term signs for Ngatai.

    We'd be doing better with a different 9/10 combination...

  • That's going to be a card ...

  • YC for Henry Stowers (lifting tackle).

  • Haimona and Campbell clearing for touch like we're playing into a howling gale...

  • Try Declan O'Donnell. Taranaki lead 8-0 with the kick to come.

  • This post is deleted!

  • Tough 'ol battle this. Taranaki lead 8-0 at half time.

  • Hi all, typical BoP performance, mixed bag, however considering 8 changes to starting line up and they will have a closer eye on Southland next week, I think they will be happy only 8 behind Naki.

    If we stay close, spoil their ball, have a better scrum effort we could cause problems especially when our subs come on... hopefully, dreaming..go the bay! At least we can say that lol!

    Fucking try already ...

  • Try Mitchell Graham. Good passage of play from Taranaki. McKenzie converts: 15-0 Naki.

  • Liam Steel also off after a head knock. Didn't look good.

  • Liam Steel has a fractured cheek bone.

  • Clayton is finally taking the game seriously: Delany and Franklin about to come on.

  • Didn't Taranaki flanker put his foot on the line during that last try movement?

  • Great team try Sione Lea. Taranaki's blind side flanker is a pretty handy player.

  • Consolation try to Nicholas.

  • My current match report consists of the words: bloody frustrating . More coherent thoughts later! 🙂

  • I'm convinced this rotation stuff is BS at NPC level... put the best available on the park - game in, game out! It is 9 games, just smash it out.

  • I agree on the rotation - what really gets me is that in some positions, there never seems to be a first choice developed. What I want to see is the first choice 23 that plays most of the games and then rotation in and out of that when there are injuries or to nurse a player through the busy period.

    I do get that if we want to finish top 4, then playing the best team on Wednesday is critical as we never win at Taranaki and we have to beat Southland. But still, there are 4 locks in the squad and in my view there's one of them who should never start unless injuries demand it. And Delany must always start if fit.

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