Blues 2019



  • One thing I have heard about the Redman part of the Administration is that for home games they budgeted for "20,000" spectators. Dumb administration to budget for numbers like that. He has been told to drop the budgeted numbers but won't listen.

    If you ever hear expected crowd numbers or crowd attendance, always take a few thousand off that to get the real number. The guy at the Warriors/Mt Smart always jacks up the numbers.



  • The other interesting factor it seeing the young crop of Auckland talent that is coming through - a lot of who were part of the dominant Auckland U19s who won the national title last year, were involved in the Blues preseason this year, are in the NZU20 setup/frame and should get serious Mitre 10 Cup gametime later in 2018.

    I'm talking about the following players (and there's probably a couple more I have missed)

    Ezekiel Lindenmuth (prop), Riedlinger-Kapa (lock), Sotutu (6/8), Havili (loosie) Plummer (10/12) Tele'a (midfielder)



  • @hooroo said in Blues 2019:

    @pukunui I hear you regarding the player issue but a great coaching team ban make good with average plays and turn them into good players.

    Blues coaching staff seem to be the only staff that can't do this OR they have been so unlucky that everyone is so poke that they would never end up any good.

    Yeah i totally agree that there are massive issues apart from the players in the squad. However one of the biggest criticisms of Tana in particular is that his recruitment and selections have been poor.
    That can only be fixed by doing some good recruitment and selection.

    Another commonly made point is that a new coach would have a cleanout of deadwood or trouble makers. These players might be harder to spot from outside the organisation but their potential replacements should be a bit easier to identify.

    At the very least it might put to bed the notion that there is an untapped source of player out there the Blues are missing out on.



  • A few answers:

    @pukunui said in Blues 2019:

    Kaino and Moala are leaving. Is Pat T confirmed too?

    I'm quite sure, it's just a rumour at this stage.

    Leadership:
    This seems to be seriously lacking this year. Guys like Parsons, Kaino, Pulu, SBW, Tupou and Pat T haven't been able to lift the team or build a winning culture. Are there any guys within NZ that could be poached to help in this area? Would someone like Ash Dixon be a good target? Is he signed long term to the Highlanders? He could help with the next issue too. Who else is there?

    Ash Dixon is signed to the Highlanders until the end of the 2019 SR season.

    Hooker: Since Mealamu started winding down his career Hooker has been an issue. Parsons is probably only a squadie at best. Apisai seems to have been a flop. Is Moulds a realistic option long term? Should the Blues look to poach someone here? Dixon/Coltman? Ricitelli? Funnel? There seems to be a bit of depth in NZ rugby here, just not at the Blues and possibly all locked into contracts.

    Dixon signed until 2019
    Coltman signed until 2019
    Riccitelli signed until 2021
    Funnell signed until 2019
    Andrew Makalio's contract might expire this year (not sure)



  • So where's this Pat Tuipulotu rumours coming from? I though he was signed through to the end of next year? Would be strange if he did leave but unsuprising at the same time.



  • @pukunui MOulds hasnt reached the standard I expect he should with his size and skills, but by the same token, Parsons seems undroppable and often Moulds (and whoever else sat on the bench) did just that, sit on the bench.



  • @taniwharugby said in Blues 2019:

    @pukunui MOulds hasnt reached the standard I expect he should with his size and skills, but by the same token, Parsons seems undroppable and often Moulds (and whoever else sat on the bench) did just that, sit on the bench.

    I don't think the development of Moulds has been that great. He is/was a converted flanker and probably needed more live game time for experience. A diet of 10 minute cameos is not going to do much.



  • @crucial yeah I think in his 2nd season, I think he sat on the bench 3 games in a row and got a total of about 10 minutes.
    Granted his lineout throwing has had its issues, but he isnt gonna do much form the bench.



  • If Tuipulotu is heading offshore,one player I would be chasing is Mitchell Dunshea ,former NZ under 20 lock in 2015,he is currently in the Crusaders squad,but gets very little game time because Whitelock ,Romano,Barrett and Quinn’s Strange are all ahead in the pecking order.

    Dunshea is a machine,has a huge workrate and a massive engine,was outstanding for Canterbury in the 2015 ITM Cup ,in fact probably their best player during that season,sat out all 2016 & 2017 with a serious foot injury,stands at 6,5 and has good bulk,plays for Lincoln University

    Not overly experienced,but one that could develop into a permanent fixture.
    I do believe the Blues are well versed with some good young locks in Scott Scrafton,Gerad Tuioti Mariner and Josh Goodhue,and if Tuipulotu is part of the plan,it would still be great to have another quality lock in the stable..Not entirely convinced about Ben NeeNee..

    ,



  • @stargazer said in Blues 2019:

    A few answers:

    @pukunui said in Blues 2019:

    Kaino and Moala are leaving. Is Pat T confirmed too?

    I'm quite sure, it's just a rumour at this stage.

    Leadership:
    This seems to be seriously lacking this year. Guys like Parsons, Kaino, Pulu, SBW, Tupou and Pat T haven't been able to lift the team or build a winning culture. Are there any guys within NZ that could be poached to help in this area? Would someone like Ash Dixon be a good target? Is he signed long term to the Highlanders? He could help with the next issue too. Who else is there?

    Ash Dixon is signed to the Highlanders until the end of the 2019 SR season.

    Hooker: Since Mealamu started winding down his career Hooker has been an issue. Parsons is probably only a squadie at best. Apisai seems to have been a flop. Is Moulds a realistic option long term? Should the Blues look to poach someone here? Dixon/Coltman? Ricitelli? Funnel? There seems to be a bit of depth in NZ rugby here, just not at the Blues and possibly all locked into contracts.

    Dixon signed until 2019
    Coltman signed until 2019
    Riccitelli signed until 2021
    Funnell signed until 2019
    Andrew Makalio's contract might expire this year (not sure)

    Good to know the Pat T thing could just be a rumour. I don't think he has reached his potential after some bad injuries and the drug test mess.

    Looks like the decent non ABs hookers are all locked in. They need to do something here. Parsons peaked last year and that peak was only just good enough to be Super rugby standard.



  • At hooker they could do worse than give Kurt Eklund a go - he was probably Auckland's most improved player last year. Definitely has shown more than Leni Apisigh.



  • @steven-harris To be fair to Nee Nee he's only there due to injuries. He's barely mitre 10 cup standard and only ever got a run there due to injuries as well.



  • My feeling is they need to try the house down to get some rugged, experienced guys who could create a backbone and gel nicely with their stars.

    A loose trio of Whitelock, Ioane and Papalii springs to mind as a good start. Maybe a Proctor type for the midfield. That kind of thing...



  • @african-monkey fair call,it was probably more around the point,if we have injuries,it’s best to have quality cover,glad to be proved wrong on NeeNee.



  • A guy like Wes Goosen might be worth targetting too. He has shown he is uo to it but is stuck in a long line of players at the Canes.



  • @steven-harris Pretty sure Dunshea played No. 8 for the Barbarians vs the Lions and made a good fist of it. I'd have liked to have seen him get time either there or at blindside flanker for the Crusaders. He would be an excellent pick-up, but I hope we can keep him - despite being an injury magnet. He's still only 22.

    One of Jack Stratton or Ere Enari is likely to be available. Similarly Billy Harmon or Jed Brown. Bidwell-Curtis or Ethan Blackadder. All useful if they're required.



  • Posted on fb by an ex ferner.
    https://thaicastle.co/2018/04/30/justin-marshall-named-as-blues-head-coach/

    “I’m going to put the BOOMFA back in Blues! Oh me oh my you are gonna enjoy this yes boy!”



  • It depresses me that every season I have to start looking at optimistic options for next season, before the cricket finishes.

    Also, we're stuffed unless we get

    • a good coach
    • a good board
    • a good 8/9/10 axis

    😞



  • @nzzp that's a lot to ask for bro 😉

    Be lucky if you even get 1/3!!



  • @nzzp said in Blues 2019:

    It depresses me that every season I have to start looking at optimistic options for next season, before the cricket finishes.

    Also, we're stuffed unless we get

    • a good coach
    • a good board
    • a good 8/9/10 axis

    😞

    We're unlikely to have a change at coach, because it's almost certain they'll be no change at board level. Fuck.

    So about that 8/9/10 axis..

    We know who the 8 is. He's still developing and hopefully he gets some good instruction at AB level because he isn't getting it at SR level.

    At 10, I don't have much hope Gatland will improve.
    Perhaps Plummer(currently on a dev contract), Black or Perofeta grows into the role (listed in order of how likely that is IMO).

    The biggest immediate concern is probably 9.
    Nock has gone backwards this year, which is an achievement considering where he started. I'm fine with Pulu as an impact sub, but that is all.
    Letting Nock go and signing Enari might be the best option. Enari has strong links to the region which should still be a factor.



  • @duluth heard through good source,they were going to announce Umagas extension after the Jaguaries game,but they were hoping to announce it on a victory to soften the blow..I think we can safely assume the announcement might be put on hold for a while..which is just madness..announce him already and at least you can start planning for 2019..



  • @steven-harris

    I wonder what they will do if there are no more wins??

    Not surprising. About the best that can be hoped for is a clean out of the assistants. Someone like Coventry can be the real coach and Umaga is just a figurehead.
    Perhaps they can wheel out the pirate ship and Umaga can dress up as Bluebeard if he gets bored.



  • @duluth give him a 'Director of Rugby' type title and let someone else loose on the actual coaching.

    If they were going to announce it, you assume the paperwork is all signed, but maybe there is a clause in there about performance over the rest of the season and the blip (actually, continuation of norm) of the Jaguares has made them think about invoking said clause, so delaying any announcement for fear of even more egg on face?



  • @taniwharugby said in Blues 2019:

    give him a 'Director of Rugby' type title and let someone else loose on the actual coaching.

    ..and selecting.

    @taniwharugby said in Blues 2019:

    but maybe there is a clause in there about performance over the rest of the season

    Damn you. Don't give me hope.



  • @duluth gotta look for the positives, however hopeful....



  • @duluth I am pissing myself with laughter..I”m sure they could find some sort of cheerleader role for J.K. As well



  • @duluth said in Blues 2019:

    @nzzp said in Blues 2019:

    It depresses me that every season I have to start looking at optimistic options for next season, before the cricket finishes.

    Also, we're stuffed unless we get

    • a good coach
    • a good board
    • a good 8/9/10 axis

    😞

    We're unlikely to have a change at coach, because it's almost certain they'll be no change at board level. Fuck.

    So about that 8/9/10 axis..

    We know who the 8 is. He's still developing and hopefully he gets some good instruction at AB level because he isn't getting it at SR level.

    At 10, I don't have much hope Gatland will improve.
    Perhaps Plummer(currently on a dev contract), Black or Perofeta grows into the role (listed in order of how likely that is IMO).

    The biggest immediate concern is probably 9.
    Nock has gone backwards this year, which is an achievement considering where he started. I'm fine with Pulu as an impact sub, but that is all.
    Letting Nock go and signing Enari might be the best option. Enari has strong links to the region which should still be a factor.

    The Board is the most important component, and the least likely to change. A good Board appoints a good coach and ensures a good environment. After that, wati three years and we start to populate the team with talent.

    The counter-argument is take a top franchise, add an arrogant and out of touch board, wait 15 years and then mop up the tears.



  • Looks like SBW and Nanai are back:



  • @tim plenty of smiles all around. We won last week boys, nothing to worry about....



  • @kiwimurph said in Blues 2019:

    @tim plenty of smiles all around. We won last week boys, nothing to worry about....

    Winning papers over a lot of cracks. It's also a habit.

    Our weaknesses were there, but beating the Aus conference leaders away from home should be smile time



  • @tim Let's hope they're indeed still around in 2019 🤔



  • @nzzp said in Blues 2019:

    @kiwimurph said in Blues 2019:

    @tim plenty of smiles all around. We won last week boys, nothing to worry about....

    Winning papers over a lot of cracks. It's also a habit.

    Our weaknesses were there, but beating the Aus conference leaders away from home should be smile time

    If beating Aussie teams meant anything these days then sure.

    I'm not of the mind set that we should accept mediocrity, or being the joke team of the NZ conference, just because the Blues board and coaches do.



  • @kirwan said in Blues 2019:

    @nzzp said in Blues 2019:

    @kiwimurph said in Blues 2019:

    @tim plenty of smiles all around. We won last week boys, nothing to worry about....

    Winning papers over a lot of cracks. It's also a habit.

    Our weaknesses were there, but beating the Aus conference leaders away from home should be smile time

    If beating Aussie teams meant anything these days then sure.

    I'm not of the mind set that we should accept mediocrity, or being the joke team of the NZ conference, just because the Blues board and coaches do.

    I don't disagree, but in our current state, a win is a win. We have beaten both conference leaders away from home, with injuries. We suck, but it's a small highlight in a dire season.



  • I just can’t see why it would be “smile time” for win number 3, especially when we limp over the finish line and other teams are smashing these guys.



  • @kirwan small victories...

    In a season like this why wouldnt you celebrate a win?

    Otherwise you mope about lamenting how shit you are even if only papering over cracks for a week.

    Not saying they have made any steps forward, but if you can't be happy after a win...



  • According to Scotty Stevenson, a lot of former Blues players want to be involved in mentoring etc now. These include Jason Chandler, Justin Collins, and Ofisa Tonu'u.



  • @tim said in Blues 2019:

    According to Scotty Stevenson, a lot of former Blues players want to be involved in mentoring etc now. These include Jason Chandler, Justin Collins, and Ofisa Tonu'u.

    Why is Collins in bold?



  • @kirwan Because he's one of the best and hardest working players in Blues' history.



  • @tim said in Blues 2019:

    @kirwan Because he's one of the best and hardest working players in Blues' history.

    Couldn’t agree more.



  • I still love the part he played in the Spencer try against the Crusaders where he marched it to the corner flag and then kicked the conversion. Collins did that one handed pass to Spencer as he ran into the gap. Was awesome. Sadly, that's all mitigated by the fact he played for Northland. 😉


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