Western Force v Crusaders



  • Friday, 22 June, 10.30pm NZT; live on Sky Sport 1

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    This is a game in "World Series Rugby" with those different rules.

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    BNZ Crusaders team named to play the Western Force

    The BNZ Crusaders have arrived in Perth, where they are preparing for their match against the Western Force on Friday night. 
    
    Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his match day team for the clash at NIB Stadium, which includes two players who could be set to make their BNZ Crusaders debut, and a number of returning Crusaders squad members. 
    
    Wyatt Crockett will start at loosehead prop, and Donald Brighouse moves to the bench. Mitchell Dunshea shifts from loose forward to lock for this game, and Hamish Dalzell, having made his BNZ Crusaders debut last week, takes a spot in the reserves. Further changes in the loose forwards will see Whetu Douglas start at No. 8, with Ethan Blackadder moving to the blindside, and Heiden Bedwell-Curtis will wear the No. 7 jersey in place of the injured Billy Harmon. 
    
    Fresh from his 22-point haul against the French Barbarians last week, Mitchell Hunt moves from fullback to first five-eighth for this game, while George Bridge, Seta Tamanivalu and Manasa Mataele all return to the starting side this week, on the left wing, at centre and right wing respectively. Israel Dagg will play at fullback this week, shifting from the right wing. 
    
    Mitchell Drummond will once again lead the team on Friday night alongside vice-captains Michael Alaalatoa and Israel Dagg. Hooker Brodie McAlister and loose forward Hugh Renton have both been named in the reserves, and will represent the Crusaders for the first time if called upon on Friday night.
    


  • @stargazer
    Seems to be some interest in Poihipi by the Crusaders 2nd start in the Crusaders June window



  • @chris I wonder why Havili isn't in the line-up. Can't remember him getting injured in his last game.



  • @stargazer I think it was mentioned by Robertson in the press release RE.Ba Ba's game Havilli had a niggle and thats why he was not selected in that game.





  • @tim I feel sorry for the bloke. Injured for a long time; in the mean time, he was leapfrogged by Mataele and Ennor; and now he's injured again. Played two games this season. That French Baabaas game may well have been his last for the Crusaders. He's coming off contract and I'd be surprised if they re-sign him. They inherited him from Blackadder.



  • @stargazer He will get snapped up by someone if he stays injury free during the Mitre 10 Cup. He was one of the form wingers in the comp whilst fit last season. Also went well for the Crusaders the last time he got an extended run



  • @chiefy07 His last game for the Crusaders was a very long time ago (in 2016; he didn't play a single game for them in 2017), so I can't remember how he went. Unlike Mataele, he never stood out at Super Rugby level. I hope he'll manage to get a new contract somewhere; there are a lot of new, young wingers around (incl NZU20s players) who will be competing for the few remaining SR spots.



  • Interesting backrow with Blackadder, Beidewell Curtis as openside flanker and Whetu Douglas.



  • This will be a fucking thrashing.

    The sand gropers are all hard over how Twiggy is showing Rugby Australia how to fucking do things... By letting their half-arsed second sung give side beat up on fourth string Pacific Islander teams before the rebels sent their reserves to towel them up.

    Crusaders will wonder why they flew 6 hours for a training run.



  • @nta Could well be a flogging, Nick. There's been a few in cross-tasman games. Doesn't mean Twiggy is on the wrong track, though. Your much esteemed Rugby Australia need to be doing things. We don't want to see a hole in their bucket because they might need to do more bailing, and soon.



  • Team looks a fair bit stronger than the one that beat the Barbarians.

    Aside from people who are known to be gone for the season, I think the only guys in our top 23 who are under injury clouds are Havili, Taufua and Read - and with two weeks before our next game hopefully Havili and Taufua will be good to go.

    Will be interesting to see who evolves as the top back three in the coming weeks, with Havili, Dagg, Bridge, Tamanivalu and Mataele all contending. I'd tend to go with Havili, Bridge and Tamanivalu, but I am not Razor!



  • As expected, a convincing win from the Crusaders (44 - 8). Good hit-out for the players to bridge the June break and a good opportunity for some new fellas to play with the team. It was great to see Mataele back on the field; a few mistakes, but generally really good. Tamanivalu, Hunt, Drummond and Bridge also good in the backs. In the pack, Blackadder stood out again. Strange also good. Douglas is getting there; still getting used to the higher SH pace.

    Now, what about these changed rules?
    The power try: it was noticeable that the Crusaders really tried to score them and they were close several times, esp Mataele. But was it really such an innovation? No, not really. I don't think it changes that much to the way NZ teams generally play the game. Apparently, Mitch Drummond's try in the 5th minute was the first power try in the series, so teams seem to find it difficult to score them.

    Faster line-outs and one-minute scrums are supposed to make the game faster. The players, who were interviewed during the break and after the game said that the pace was faster. It did look faster. But there were also quite a few handling errors and turnovers. There still were several scrum re-sets. Scrums just didn't last that long, which is a good thing.

    A nice experiment, but way overhyped by the Force and the promoters of the series.
    Btw, the way the game was commentated was horrendous. These commentators just wouldn't shut up. There were multiple interviews during the game and they kept on repeating how fantastic these series are, how awesome the force are, how wonderful the show. Everything was great. .... except the way the Force played, but that wasn't mentioned of course. As I said, overhyped. I guess these commentators are also on Forrester's pay-roll?



  • @stargazer yeah agree on the hype that was bullshit
    Also thought Dunshea was strong Poihipi was impressive solid on the tackle and made good decisions for a 19 year old
    Ex NZ Schoolboy hooker Brodie McAlister also looked promising of the bench another 19 year old
    Crusaders developing some good depth for the future


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