Crusaders 2018



  • The 2018 Super Rugby draw for the Crusaders is:

    0_1505977033060_a0ba0729-234f-4f2f-a656-f7db51aa5d36-image.png

    You can find it here (pdf)



  • @stargazer said in Crusaders 2018:

    The 2018 Super Rugby draw for the Crusaders is:

    0_1505977033060_a0ba0729-234f-4f2f-a656-f7db51aa5d36-image.png

    You can find it here (pdf)

    Pretty happy with that draw..

    Chiefs at home is a great first up game.

    Lions then Jags away followed by the bye works well too, will be good to beat the Lions away 2 years in a row.



  • @sammyc Yeah, too bad that those early games will be played without Moody, Franks and possibly Dagg though. Will be tough.



  • @stargazer said in Crusaders 2018:

    @sammyc Yeah, too bad that those early games will be played without Moody, Franks and possibly Dagg though. Will be tough.

    We've managed without Dagg for most of the past couple of seasons.

    Moody and Franks are big losses, but I've got a lot of confidence in Crockzilla and the backups after this season, Alaalatoa really stepped up and played some big minutes at tighthead in our run to the title.



  • So we don't play the Sharks or the Reds. That's about average - I guess.

    Having to play the Jaguares in BA is probably the fixture you don't want from a travel side of things, but someone has to do it. Getting the bye directly after is helpful.

    Seems like it is a "somewhat fairer" competition than the past couple of seasons.

    Has anyone got a link to how the play-offs are structured?



  • @chris-b I haven't seen any further info than this:

    The three conference winners will automatically qualify for the playoffs as well as the next five best performing teams (with the most points) regardless of conference.

    See the last bullet point in this article:
    http://superrugby.co.nz/News/30606/new-zealand-rugby-welcomes-investec-super-rugby-revamp



  • @stargazer You'd imagine the finishing order and home advantage will work the same as this year i.e. advantage conference winners.



  • @chris-b Yes, I think so, too. I assume they're not going to change anything else. In that case, the finals schedule will be:

    • seeding according to points total (after the round robin) of the conference winners: 1-3
    • seeding according to points total (after the round robin) of the five wild cards: 4-8

    Quarter-finals (first named team plays at home):
    QF 1: 1 v 8
    QF 2: 2 v 7
    QF 3: 3 v 6
    ​QF 4: 4 v 5

    Semi-Finals (highest ranked winners from the respective quarter-finals play at home):
    SF 1: Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 4
    SF 2: Winner QF 2 v Winner QF 3

    Final:
    Winner SF1 v Winner SF2



  • @chris-b said in Crusaders 2018:

    So we don't play the Sharks or the Reds. That's about average - I guess.

    Having to play the Jaguares in BA is probably the fixture you don't want from a travel side of things, but someone has to do it. Getting the bye directly after is helpful.

    Seems like it is a "somewhat fairer" competition than the past couple of seasons.

    Has anyone got a link to how the play-offs are structured?

    Come on Chris, some might start (incorrectly of course) thinking us Crusader fans are arrogant, already talking about finals



  • @act-crusader Far from it!!!

    Since they'll doubtless list the conference tables in alphabetical order, we're currently struggling in third place behind the Blues and the Chiefs and need to buck up our ideas.

    Far be it from me to suggest that the supporters of the leading teams should enjoy it while they can! 🙂



  • Given over half the teams in the comp will make the finals you would be pretty pissed off if your team missed out.



  • I see that Oli Jaeger has signed a new contract with Crusaders until 2020. What's people's view of him? Good prospects? Middling?



  • @pot-hale Yeah - he's very promising. He's not had much super rugby time yet, but he's got good size for the position and he'll be well coached and learning from Owen Franks.

    Just not sure who he's a good prospect for!



  • Crusaders backs looking good with Crotty, Jordan, Ennor, Havili, Seta, Dagg, Bridge and Goodhue.



  • @frye Digby Ioane was useful when he played and also signed. As is Macilai.

    Like Stargazer, I'd snap up Tim Bateman and, assuming we get Jordan, that would be a pretty decent complement of outside backs - with room for probably one more (Mataele?).



  • @frye said in Tasman (feat. Robbie Malneek) vs Southland:

    Crusaders backs looking good with Crotty, Jordan, Ennor, Havili, Seta, Dagg, Bridge and Goodhue.

    @chris-b said in Tasman (feat. Robbie Malneek) vs Southland:

    @frye Digby Ioane was useful when he played and also signed. As is Macilai.

    Like Stargazer, I'd snap up Tim Bateman and, assuming we get Jordan, that would be a pretty decent complement of outside backs - with room for probably one more (Mataele?).

    So much better than the Blackadder era already. Fonotia, McNiccol, Tuitavaki are already distant memories.

    Assume Marty Mackenzie wont be re-signed. Spent the whole season being useless for the University club.

    So room for 2 more? I'd take 2 of Cameron/Macckay/Mataele.



  • @pot-hale said in Crusaders 2018:

    I see that Oli Jaeger has signed a new contract with Crusaders until 2020. What's people's view of him? Good prospects? Middling?

    Very promising, glad he's stayed as I'm sure Irish clubs would have been interested.



  • Just to bring this conversation on the team across...

    Contracted Crusaders:
    Codie Taylor (until 2021), Sam Whitelock, Oli Jager, Mitchell Drummond (2020); Kieran Read, Owen Franks, Israel Dagg, Joe Moody, Ben Funnell, Tim Perry, Mitchell Hunt, George Bridge, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, Richie Mo'unga, Tom Sanders, Braydon Ennor (2019); Matt Todd, Ryan Crotty, Seta Tamanivalu, Wyatt Crockett, Jordan Taufua, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano, Mike Alaalatoa, Jone Macilai, Leon Fukofuka, Pete Samu, Digby Ioane, Bryn Hall (2018).

    So eight slots remaining - plus presumably injury cover for Moody and Franks.

    Not yet signed from last year's squad:
    Jed Brown
    Quentin Strange
    Andrew Makalio
    Heiden Bedwell Curtis
    Mitchell Dunshea
    Tim Bateman
    Manasa Makaele
    Marty McKenzie
    Sione Fifita
    Sean Wainui

    New signings:
    Tom Sanders
    Braydon Ennor



  • @sammyc I think there's four unfilled spots if we have the same number of backs as last year.

    I'm suggesting Bateman and Jordan take two of them. I'm still suggesting that we sign Enari (or Stratton) and just carry Fukofuka as a fourth halfback in the squad (if we can't get him signed elsewhere).

    I reckon Bateman can be the third first five if we want (thanks for your efforts, Marty) and plays 2nd five and centre. Seta, Ennor, Havili and Digby Ioane can also play in the midfield behind the top two if necessary.

    Dagg and Seta are probably the top wings - with Ennor, Macilai and Bridge as cover.

    And Havili, Jordan, Dagg and Bridge can play fullback.

    So one more spot - a specialist first five (Cameron), a specialist midfielder (given a few of those I've named as cover are slightly ropey - Wainui?), or a power winger (Mataele) - or McKay (I struggle to see where he'd get a game).

    We (well a mod) could shift this discussion to the Crusaders thread.

    Edit: Thanks Duluth!



  • @chris-b said in Tasman (feat. Robbie Malneek) vs Southland:

    @sammyc I think there's four unfilled spots if we have the same number of backs as last year.

    I'm suggesting Bateman and Jordan take two of them. I'm still suggesting that we sign Enari (or Stratton) and just carry Fukofuka as a fourth halfback in the squad (if we can't get him signed elsewhere).

    I reckon Bateman can be the third first five if we want (thanks for your efforts, Marty) and plays 2nd five and centre. Seta, Ennor, Havili and Digby Ioane can also play in the midfield behind the top two if necessary.

    Dagg and Seta are probably the top wings - with Ennor, Macilai and Bridge as cover.

    And Havili, Jordan, Dagg and Bridge can play fullback.

    So one more spot - a specialist first five (Cameron), a specialist midfielder (given a few of those I've named as cover are slightly ropey (Wainui?), or a power winger (Mataele) - or McKay (I struggle to see where he'd get a game).

    We (well a mod) could shift this discussion to the Crusaders thread.

    Good post Chris.

    I think it's an absolute certainty that we pick Bateman, he's an excellent team man and a great back up at 12/13 and probably 10 also.

    I mentioned Mackay based on potential, but I'm still not sold on him either to be fair. Have seen him play 14/15 for lincoln a few times and he doesn't have the "wow" factor of their more high profile backs (J Barrett and Goodhue).

    Matele is probably a good signing. I know he's very close to Seta Tamanivalu so probably a good thing for squad moral. And Mataele played damn well in limited minutes this year.

    I hope Wainui is gone.... he's a skinny version of Fonotia as I see it. Lacks the pace to cut it at the next level

    Sorry @Duluth one more post to move (just to be a pain in the arse 🙂 )



  • How does Oli Jager go at club level in Christchurch? Because I have to admit I'm not sold on him at all as a SR level prop. I guess given our strength at prop we can't afford to spend much on our fringe props, but I wouldn't be comfortable if we had to rely on Jager to play significant minutes in 2018. I can barely remember him taking the field for us this year, although I assume he must have played some minutes?



  • @sammyc Yeah - I'm a bit the same with McKay. If he's a fullback I don't see him as being as bright a prospect as Jordan and if he's a wing He's more in the Dagg/Bridge mould - and I think we're pretty well covered there. I'd rather we had another blockbuster - like Mataele.

    Wainui hasn't impressed me, but after Bateman and Seta - we would be a bit light on cover, though Havili has certainly played a lot of second-five and isn't an awful option (despite some poor games there).

    A real wildcard would be to pick Levi Aumua. There's quite a lot to be said for having another 108kg centre in your team. They don't just grow on trees. Pity about the banning, because otherwise the evidence for picking him is slim - but, Leon will have a fair idea!



  • A bit spoilt for backs now, what a change from a few years ago.

    If there's room, I'd be keen to keep Mataele.



  • @cantab79 Jager got a handful of appearances (4?) for the Crusaders - mainly against the lesser teams, I think - Reds and Sunwolves were two - but, I think there was at least one biggish game Owen Franks didn't feature in and I think the forwards stood up pretty well.

    Seems like Tokalahi has got more of the starts for Canterbury this year. I haven't really been watching for Jager.

    Seems like decent tightheads are scarce on the ground, so I'm not surprised they've snapped Franks, Alaalatoa and Jager up again. Presumably Jager is going to have to feature in the first half of next season, but we'll also need to sign some cover.

    We could probably do worse than this Isaac Salmon who's come into the Makos. I've been pleasantly surprised with how he's stood up in the absence of Halanukonuka.



  • @cantab79 said in Crusaders 2018:

    How does Oli Jager go at club level in Christchurch? Because I have to admit I'm not sold on him at all as a SR level prop. I guess given our strength at prop we can't afford to spend much on our fringe props, but I wouldn't be comfortable if we had to rely on Jager to play significant minutes in 2018. I can barely remember him taking the field for us this year, although I assume he must have played some minutes?

    Haven't watched him at club level, didnt get to watch Brighton this year.

    He's been very good for such a young bloke at NPC level. And has Chris mentioned he's been very solid in limited minutes for the Crusaders. Pretty impressive for a 21 year old.

    Anyway....If Jason Ryan rates him as highly as he does that's good enough for me.

    Some great props have come through the Sydenham front row factory. A very smart move by Robertson to bring Ryan in as an assistant.



  • Oli Jager used to dominate at club level from what I saw of him last season. In most games the Brighton front row would get the upper hand over their oppsing scrums.



  • @african-monkey said in Crusaders 2018:

    Oli Jager used to dominate at club level from what I saw of him last season. In most games the Brighton front row would get the upper hand over their oppsing scrums.

    Great, but why are the Saders developing a future Irish player? He's on record as saying he sees himself as Irish and wants to play for them.

    (Assumes trump voice) "Send him home!"



  • @gt12 said in Crusaders 2018:

    @african-monkey said in Crusaders 2018:

    Oli Jager used to dominate at club level from what I saw of him last season. In most games the Brighton front row would get the upper hand over their oppsing scrums.

    Great, but why are the Saders developing a future Irish player? He's on record as saying he sees himself as Irish and wants to play for them.

    (Assumes trump voice) "Send him home!"

    He hasn't played for Ireland yet. Maybe complain about the Chiefs picking Michael Leitch or that useless Japanese prop instead.

    Anyway........there's plenty of local talent being developed also. There's a few talented local props that I'm very excited about who will be ready in a few years.

    As a crusaders supporter I want us to pick the best team possible, not suck up to hansen/tew .... that's what Blackadder did.



  • Jager will be needed during the first weeks of the campaign as Franks won't be available.
    He did very well in terms of pure scrummaging for the NZ Barbarians against the BIL.



  • @sammyc

    I know he hasn't played for them, but he intends too. And, I equally had the same problem with the Chiefs using that useless friggin JP prop.

    My point remains that NZ rugby shouldn't be paying this guy's salary - which is my understanding if he is getting super contract. If he committed to black, I'm 100% happy to have resources put into him, but otherwise, doesn't this seem like a bad investment?



  • @gt12 said in Crusaders 2018:

    @sammyc

    I know he hasn't played for them, but he intends too. And, I equally had the same problem with the Chiefs using that useless friggin JP prop.

    My point remains that NZ rugby shouldn't be paying this guy's salary - which is my understanding if he is getting super contract. If he committed to black, I'm 100% happy to have resources put into him, but otherwise, doesn't this seem like a bad investment?

    Yep i agree. We have had way too many non NZ players in NZ teams over the last few years. Especially props.



  • @gt12 said in Crusaders 2018:

    @sammyc

    I know he hasn't played for them, but he intends too. And, I equally had the same problem with the Chiefs using that useless friggin JP prop.

    My point remains that NZ rugby shouldn't be paying this guy's salary - which is my understanding if he is getting super contract. If he committed to black, I'm 100% happy to have resources put into him, but otherwise, doesn't this seem like a bad investment?

    No doubt he's on the IQ team's radar but if he thought there was an opportunity to get a black jersey, I suspect he'd stay. Presumably, he has, or is about to qualify on residency grounds this year. And he's contracted to end of 2020 season. Of course, he may not be good enough, in which case, it's moot.



  • @pot-hale

    Perhaps, but I don't want to invest in him unless he says he wants a black jersey and is prepared for fight for it.

    I should mention that I'm only going by what he has said:

    And as for the suggestion that he might have a choice to make somewhere down the line, all going well, Jager says he still feels like an Irishman.

    “I grew up in Ireland, I’m Irish, so it’s an ambition to play for them. But you never know what happens in the future.”



  • @gt12 said in Crusaders 2018:

    @pot-hale

    Perhaps, but I don't want to invest in him unless he says he wants a black jersey and is prepared for fight for it.

    I should mention that I'm only going by what he has said:

    And as for the suggestion that he might have a choice to make somewhere down the line, all going well, Jager says he still feels like an Irishman.

    “I grew up in Ireland, I’m Irish, so it’s an ambition to play for them. But you never know what happens in the future.”

    Context. He's being interviewed by an Irish journalist doing a tour of NZ about rugby and talking to Irish players based there. His audience is largely Irish. He's not going to say - nah I'm not interested in Ireland, I'm here now. Nor is he going to say - nah I'm going to be an All Black. So he punts down the middle.



  • @pot-hale said in Crusaders 2018:

    @gt12 said in Crusaders 2018:

    @pot-hale

    Perhaps, but I don't want to invest in him unless he says he wants a black jersey and is prepared for fight for it.

    I should mention that I'm only going by what he has said:

    And as for the suggestion that he might have a choice to make somewhere down the line, all going well, Jager says he still feels like an Irishman.

    “I grew up in Ireland, I’m Irish, so it’s an ambition to play for them. But you never know what happens in the future.”

    Context. He's being interviewed by an Irish journalist doing a tour of NZ about rugby and talking to Irish players based there. His audience is largely Irish. He's not going to say - nah I'm not interested in Ireland, I'm here now. Nor is he going to say - nah I'm going to be an All Black. So he punts down the middle.

    He's Irish, he should play for Ireland.



  • @nepia I pretty much agree and I've written before about the number of especially foreign tightheads being employed around the franchises.

    Slowly improving - the Japanese one is gone from the Chiefs as are Geldenhuys and now Halanukonuka from the Highlanders.



  • @chris-b said in Crusaders 2018:

    @nepia I pretty much agree and I've written before about the number of especially foreign tightheads being employed around the franchises.

    Slowly improving - the Japanese one is gone from the Chiefs as are Geldenhuys and now Halanukonuka from the Highlanders.

    I'm not anti foreigners completely, I don't mind PIs and Japanese, any tier 2 players having the odd spot (prefer them not all in the same position), in our Super squads, but we shouldn't have tier 1 players (not Irish and especially not Australians). Didn't we use to have a two PIs rule for each squad, getting back to that would be a plan.



  • @nepia said in Crusaders 2018:

    @pot-hale said in Crusaders 2018:

    @gt12 said in Crusaders 2018:

    @pot-hale

    Perhaps, but I don't want to invest in him unless he says he wants a black jersey and is prepared for fight for it.

    I should mention that I'm only going by what he has said:

    And as for the suggestion that he might have a choice to make somewhere down the line, all going well, Jager says he still feels like an Irishman.

    “I grew up in Ireland, I’m Irish, so it’s an ambition to play for them. But you never know what happens in the future.”

    Context. He's being interviewed by an Irish journalist doing a tour of NZ about rugby and talking to Irish players based there. His audience is largely Irish. He's not going to say - nah I'm not interested in Ireland, I'm here now. Nor is he going to say - nah I'm going to be an All Black. So he punts down the middle.

    He's Irish, he should play for Ireland.

    Well to be accurate, he was born in England to an Irish mother and Dutch father, grew up in Ireland and moved to NZ at 18/19. He's three years this year, so that gives him 4 countries in theory. 🙂



  • Just looked up his stats, 192cm and 120kg. That's massive for a 22 year old. I didn't realise he was quite such a large young lad. The CRFU and Crusaders have a good eye for young props, so I will trust their judgement on this one. I hope he repays their faith in 2018, with Franks missing much of the season they will need Jager and Ala'alatoa to be firing.



  • I chatted to him briefly on the sideline at a club game. He didn’t play much club rugby due to a broken bone in his hand which he got when he came on as a sub in one of the Crusaders games. A very pleasant young man he was too.


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