Sunwolves v Blues



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  • How many games in a row has Tana messed with the midfield? Pick and stick and let them develop a combination.

    Neenee was pretty uninspiring for the Development team - I wonder if he has taken Scrafton's spot.

    Good to see Hyland get a crack - Duffie on the other hand is lucky the Blues have so many wingers out injured - his form is woeful.



  • So the Ioanes are going to play 80mins again? Nice player management Tana.



  • Leger has talent but he makes a lot of errors.

    Surprising that he is at 13 and Ioane at 12. Leger has spent time at flyhalf in at least two Blues Dev matches. Surely he is more suited to play as a second five and Ioane would be more useful getting the outside break at 13



  • @kiwimurph although they do have the best winger in the world at 12, where he doesn't look very comfortable.



  • Any word on why Cowley-Tuioti has been left out?



  • Ioane at 12 again. Can lightning strike twice for the Sunwolves?



  • http://theblues.co.nz/tuipulotu-celebrates-50th-for-the-blues/

    All Black Patrick Tuipulotu will play his 50thgame for the Blues when they take on the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.
    
    Tuipulotu, who made his debut in 2014, has played in all six games for the Blues this season, while fullback Michael Collins will play his 20thand blazer game for the Blues.
    
    The added toll to the injury list, with Jerome Kaino (hamstring) and George Moala (chest) out after injuries in last week’s game against the Chiefs, has forced some changes.
    
    It will see the debuts for New Zealand under-20s representative Orbyn leger, who will play alongside Rieko Ioane in the midfield.
    
    Big Northland wing Jordan Hyland gets his start on the right wing, after some impressive performances in the Blues Development team, which means that All Black Matt Duffie moves to the left wing.
    
    “Most of our pack are reasonably settled and we will be looking for an improved performance from them this week,” said head coach Tana Umaga. “We need to get a go-forward platform and win the collision this week, while we must show more discipline and lot allow them into the game.
    
    “We also need to cherish our ball more and show patience.”
    
    “With George Moala out, we have adjusted our backline. Orbyn has trained with us all season and has impressed us with his attitude and his skillset. He deserves his chance.
    
    “Jordan is a big and fast winger. If we can do our work upfront then we want to utilise his strength and speed to get us going forward.”
    
    The Blues have also brought in young Auckland lock Ben Neenee to the reserves, after also playing well for the Blues Development.
    
    Umaga said the team has settled well in Tokyo and looking forward to the game in considerably cooler conditions to last year’s clash.
    
    Players not considered because of injury: Otere Black (knee – season), Blake Gibson (shoulder), Glenn Preston (calf), Sonny Bill Williams (hand), Augustine Pulu (foot), Alex Hodgman (arm), Scott Scrafton (leg – season), Daniel Kirkpatrick (ribs), Melani Nanai (ankle), Jordan Trainor (hand), Matt Johnson (season), Jerome Kaino (hamstring), George Moala (chest).
    


  • @duluth haha, Jordan Hyland plays to his strengths, but speed isn't one!



  • Yeah, Leger is a 10/12 not a centre.

    @Kirwan
    Desperation as the Blues need a win.

    So it should Rieko vs Little in the midfield.



  • A midday kickoff in Tokyo. Thankfully it won't be 40 degrees - in fact it looks like it will be quite cool and potentially even wet.



  • I really don't like Rieko at 12. Not saying he can't go well in the midfield, later in his career I can see him being outstanding in that position.

    But right now and for the next 4-5 years while he still has his explosive pace, leave him on the wing and let him score 100s of tries. He's an absolute game breaker when given half a yard of space - I reckon other teams would love having him in close where they can mark up more easily.



  • @no-quarter I can see the thinking of playing Rieko at 13 right now cos the Blues do not have many other options. But 12? A waste.



  • Umaga still trying Rieko at 12. He might give him a gig at 10 soon at this rate.

    Is Jordan Hyland the guy who wears the headgear for Northland? If it's the guy I'm thinking of then fuck we really are short of options out wide. Anyone's batter than Trainor I suppose.



  • At least 12 is only one number of his best position! Tana's selection policy is very scientific

    alt text Throw it in and see where it sticks!



  • @african-monkey said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    Umaga still trying Rieko at 12. He might give him a gig at 10 soon at this rate.

    Is Jordan Hyland the guy who wears the headgear for Northland? If it's the guy I'm thinking of then fuck we really are short of options out wide. Anyone's batter than Trainor I suppose.

    Watching Hyland play for Sydenham down here for a couple of years I always thought he should be playing prop with his physique.

    He did play bloody well for Northland last year though



  • The Sunwolves are pretty good with ball in hand, but quite poor on defense, so the plan should be to keep kicking to a minimum and run almost everything.

    It's so important for us to starve the Sunwolves of ball, because if they do get a decent amount of ball, I can see our defense really struggling with their fast paced style of play.



  • @kiwimurph said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    A midday kickoff in Tokyo. Thankfully it won't be 40 degrees - in fact it looks like it will be quite cool and potentially even wet.

    Forecast is for rain coming in the afternoon, so they might have fine weather, but it’ll rain at some point, is my guess.

    25 degrees today, so should be about 18-22 on Saturday. Nothing like last time for the weather, at least...



  • Fortunately for us, Hosea Saumaki has been dropped, which is a pretty interesting decision by JJ. Duffie would've had a hard time defending him.



  • @rocky-rockbottom I'm planning to watch this afternoon. Honestly, this feels like an abusive relationship at this stage. I keep coming back for more, and I know they're not going to change.



  • @nzzp said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    @rocky-rockbottom I'm planning to watch this afternoon. Honestly, this feels like an abusive relationship at this stage. I keep coming back for more, and I know they're not going to change.

    I’ve moved to hate watching. If we lose today then Tana has to quit.

    Even if it’s a close result he should go, but he already shown that lack of class after shipping 63point on Eden Park.

    But hilariously he’s picked the strongest side he can for the Sunwolves to protect his job. Fuck squad management, right?



  • @kirwan

    I don’t want to stand up for Tana, but, when 2nd to last plays last (away), it’s usually a good idea to pick a strong side, especially when they cleaned you up last year.

    I don’t take any joy out of pointing this out btw.



  • @gt12 said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    @kirwan

    I don’t want to stand up for Tana, but, when 2nd to last plays last (away), it’s usually a good idea to pick a strong side, especially when they cleaned you up last year.

    I don’t take any joy out of pointing this out btw.

    Yep, makes sense.

    And if you have driven a mediocre team into the ground, to such a degree that they are scared of losing (again) to the Sunwolves, then perhaps you should quit?

    Or at least be fired by a competent board.



  • @kirwan

    I think he should be fired. But, if I were him, I'd aim to win as many games against non NZ opposition and hope for the best.

    My conspiracy theory is that he's already been re-appointed (secretly) so needs a few wins to justify the stupidity of the board's early decision.

    And, from an AB perspective, I'd be happy if he puts out weak teams (i.e., no Ioanes) against NZ oppo, so they aren't beaten up before international duty. I think Akira will be needed this year.



  • Have put $100 on the Sunwolves.

    Tony brown to school the celebrity coach in how to prepare an intelligent gameplan. Michael Little to have a blinder.



  • The most likely result is a comfortable Blues victory. If this happens, look for the nzherald to publish puff pieces about “turning the corner” etc.
    Also, Umaga will take it as vindication that the Ioane to 12 move was correct.



  • @sammyc said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    Have put $100 on the Sunwolves.

    Tony brown to school the celebrity coach in how to prepare an intelligent gameplan. Michael Little to have a blinder.

    Is that just one celebrity coach being better than another?



  • @sammyc said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    Have put $100 on the Sunwolves.

    Tony brown to school the celebrity coach in how to prepare an intelligent gameplan. Michael Little to have a blinder.

    Very brave, I don’t think I could put $5 on either team! 🙂



  • @sammyc

    I'm with you Sammy, I've got $150 on the Sunwolves by 12 and under @9.0.

    TAB have the Blues at 1.09 to win, seems crazy.



  • Who did Spencer say is off to Bristol?



  • @tim said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    Who did Spencer say is off to Bristol?

    The man in the bin Patty T.



  • @nepia said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    @tim said in Sunwolves v Blues:

    Who did Spencer say is off to Bristol?

    The man in the bin Patty T.

    SLightly late and no arms. Stupid.



  • @nepia Fuck. Another one gone.



  • What a muppet.



  • Awful error by Duffie too. He has been woeful this year.



  • @kiwimurph

    Was he ever that good, beyond amazing skills in the air?



  • @tim question has to be asked, would he have stayed if the Blues were in a better space or was he always looking at heading off?



  • Tuipulotu is such a waste of time



  • Little looking pretty sharp already. Tackle turnover and a line break.



  • Early signs are not great from a Blues piece.


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