Semi v Wellington



  • 735pm Friday.

    We've had a recent look at Welly and what they can do in short periods, so we'll be well accustomed to their approach.

    These guys are beatable, and they have a tendency to not like finals footy much either. Could make it interesting.

    A betting man would go Wellington on form alone, but this is finals rugby where anything can happen.

    Play smart and we'll be a shot. Fall to sleep in periods and Wellington will punish.



  • yeah Wellington don't have a good track record in finals, and I guess neither do we, but more as we don't often make them.

    I think one of the things with this team is knowing how to win, close out a match when you are in a position to win it.

    I still think there is a bit of a hangover of years gone by where it is a bit of self doubt and belief.

    But be great for Ranger to bow out in a high, woulda been a shame that last Thursday was probably his last outing in his beloved Cambridge blue!

    Onwards and upwards, we can win this, but will need to play for 80 minutes, and get a bit of luck (fucking bouncing of the crossbar)

    Blue!



  • Tactically speaking would love to see Alaimalo take the line kicks on Friday, he's got a massive punt on him. That way Hawkins and Breen can focus on getting points and running the cutter..

    We need to gain as much distance as possible to keep Wellington pinned down. We haven't been seeing that this year. No disrespect to our 10's, they make it up in other areas, but the kicking from hand has been average at times.



  • @j77 yes, our line kicking has been average...no distance at all. We get a penalty kick inside our half and we are throwing it in on their 10m...,push it another 10-15 and it is now a genuine attacking lineout that they will likely not contest vs the one just in their half.

    Even some we have had in their half, our kickers are very conservative in their approach that they end up putting it out ion the 22, which is frustrating when you see other teams from the half way bang it in on the 5m line, adds so much more pressure to the defending team.



  • All the best for this game, would be great to have a BOP v Northland final after our struggles in recent years.



  • We have to play a lot smarter to beat Wellington so agree with comments. I thought our intensity was good but we looked disorganised with one off runners and mistakes when we had opportunities. We had them at scrum time, a bit weaker without Bond ( presume Douglas and Ram in and Faleafa to bench ) but that still could be an opportunity. The lineout needs work and would like to see them throw to the front early or mix it up and build confidence. Definitely look for more yards with kicking game. I would like to see Tua start and Ranger given the roving role which he plays anyway. Also keen to seen Matiu added to mix because of his intensity. I have always loved Kara Pryor but this year he hasn't had the game time with early injury, has not been effective in contact and has given away penalties when he has come on. However, he still a big part of our squad and probably a game away from a big one?

    Might be last game for Ranger and I have loved his focus this year. Given it heaps and played for the team. Hope he gets another.

    Plus two stalwarts in Jack Ram and Ross Wright have had seasons to remember. They all deserve this game.



  • @taniwharugby said in Semi v Wellington:

    @j77 yes, our line kicking has been average...no distance at all. We get a penalty kick inside our half and we are throwing it in on their 10m...,push it another 10-15 and it is now a genuine attacking lineout that they will likely not contest vs the one just in their half.

    Even some we have had in their half, our kickers are very conservative in their approach that they end up putting it out ion the 22, which is frustrating when you see other teams from the half way bang it in on the 5m line, adds so much more pressure to the defending team.

    Funny that the coaches haven't spotted that. Maybe they have used their resources to concentrate on the things you are now doing well. Can't always cover everything.
    Sounds like a skills issue where the kickers need to do some homework with an experienced kicking skills coach or ex player to work on technique for confidence.
    I doubt very much it is tactical instruction. Way more likely to be a confidence one and playing safe.
    It was only a season or so ago that a certain AB number 10 had appalling distance on clearing kicks but must have done a lot of work on it because there is now a noticeable difference.



  • @crucial It isn't a new issue, so maybe it is as much a player limitation as a skill that can be developed?



  • team named:

    Wright, Moulds, Rinakama
    Douglas, Josh G
    Pryor, Matich, Pryor
    Nock, Hawkins
    Jack G, Ranger
    Macilai, Alaimalo, Hyland
    Olsen, Kite, Apoua, Faleafa, Ram, Pittman, Breen, Tua

    Only surprise there for me is Kara starting, lets hope he pulls out a huge one!

    Aside from losing our starting props early on (although an argument that these 2 have done better than they would have...) we have had a pretty settled team with only minor disruptions along the way, time for some of those passes to stick and a bit of luck to fall our way!

    Gonna be a HUGE ask to beat this Wellington team, but if we play well, we can win!



  • @taniwharugby very surprised Kara and Dan H starting. Maybe I've been seeing different to others but think that when Ram has started he has been awesome and thought Breem would control the cutter better with his boot in the initial stages of the game but either way Hawkins and Breen need to play flatter to the line. I know hyland has had his best year but his lack of pace was evident last week and could be exposed this weekend. I cannot see the back 3 for wellington playing as poorly as they did 2 weeks in a row, their enthusiasm and urgency was lacking big time but great for Northland if they do.
    for those who are travelling to the game safe travels and good luck to the Taniwha.



  • @njacoby yeah they have chopped and changed Breen & Hawkins all season, while I think Breen has a much higher ceiling, I don't think he has been near his best this year.

    Yeah Ram has been one of our best this season, while Kara has been far form his best, so he needs a huge one to repay the faith in him.

    As to our depth, yep, a number of games it was evident when we had passed it 2-3 times we were 10m behind the gainline and their defence in our backline.

    Looking at the stats, we need to get the ball in the hands of Macilai, Alaimalo & Ranger:
    Carries - Alaimalo is 4th, Ranger 10th
    Clean Breaks - Macilai is 8th
    Defenders Beaten - Alaimalo 2nd, Macilai 7th
    Running Metres - Alaimalo 4th, Macilai 9th
    Offloads - Ranger 4th, Alaimalo 5th



  • Having Ram on the bench isn’t all bad.
    We’ve been pretty poor in the back end of games, which would indicate the subs have largely missed the mark. Having Ram come on in the second half might be the coaches way of adding some much needed experience late in the game.
    Only got to look as far as the ABs, they don’t always select the best or higher ranked player to start - Hames is the 3rd ranked LHP, but he starts ahead of Crockett who is ranked 2nd.

    Or I could be talking crap the coaches just rate K Pryor over Ram.



  • @gunner nah is a fair point, although you do run the risk of by the time you bring on that player the game is gone...



  • @njacoby hit on very salient point. First fives that play flat, take it to the line open up spaces elsewhere. The best example of that was Aaron Cruden / SBW combination for Chiefs.



  • @taniwharugby suggests a running game maybe...



  • Wellington:

    15 Trent Renata, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Wes Goosen, 12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 11 Ben Lam (Tawa), 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Sheridan Rangihuna;
    8 Galu Taufale, 7 Mateaki Kafatolu, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 James Blackwell, 4 Sam Lousi, 3 Alex Fidow, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Tolu Fahamokioa (Tawa)

    Reserves:
    16 Sitiveni Paongo, 17 Vince Sakaria, 18 Joe Apikotoa, 19 Will Mangos, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, 22 Regan Verney, 23 Malo Tuitama (Oriental-Rongotai)

    http://www.wellingtonlions.co.nz/news/settled-lions-team-named-for-semi-finalo/



  • From what I've read Wellington are expecting a similar plan as to what we had last week. Here's hoping we've got a few extra tricks up our sleeve to surprise them with.

    They are fully expecting the usual rigour at scrums and breakdowns, so they'll be a bit sharper in that department I'm guessing. I'm hoping we move the ball quickly from set piece and rucks and employ a smart kicking game to keep them turning around.. That way we can apply some real pressure..



  • @j77 hopefully we don't have the same lineout meltdown as last week, as that was very costly in field position and confidence at an important period of the game.

    Our lineout has been wobbly, been very good but also very bad.





  • Errors early on