v Southland



  • Magpies team:

    1. Mark Braidwood

    2. Ash Dixon (capt)

    3. Joe Apikitoa * (Wellington rep 2017)

    4. Tom Parsons

    5. Michael Allardice

    6. Marino Mikaele-Tu'u

    7. Josh Kaifa * (Auckland rep 2017)

    8. Gareth Evans

    9. Brad Weber

    10. Tiaan Falcon

    11. Mason Emerson

    12. Sasa Tofilau * (playing professionally in Europe since 2015)

    13. Stacy Ili * (Auck rep 2016 and playing professionally in Europe since)

    14. Jonah Lowe

    15. JJ Taulagi * (played Super Rugby 2014-2017)

    16. Ben Power *

    17. Ben May

    18. Pouri Rakete-Stones

    19. Sam Ulufonua * (Auck rep 2017)

    20. Devan Flanders * (NZ U20 this year)

    21. Folau Fakatava *

    22. Pasqualle Dunn

    23. Michael Buckley *

    Magpies debut *

    Interesting they have shifted Ben May to loosehead.



  • @number-10 In one of the preseason games, they tried Pouri R-S at LH. Maybe that didn't work out? I'd rather see Ben May starting at TH though, but I also expected Jason Long to start at LH. Injured?

    Locks, backrow, 9 - 11 and 14 as I expected. Surprised to see Tofilau named at 12; thought he was a centre. Also no first five-eighth on the bench. As there are only two in the squad, I guess McClutchie is either injured or they don't think he's ready. Who'll replace Tiaan if he can't play the full 80? Can Dunn play first five-eighth? Or Ili?

    I'm glad we're starting against Southland. If the Magpies struggle this weekend, it will be a looooooong season. If they go well, I'll be reasonably hopefull we'll have a slightly better season than last year. That is, if the injury curse is lifted.



  • By the way, I'm pretty excited Mitre 10 Cup is back! Also very keen to find out how Flanders and Fakatava go; playing with and against men. This is a big step up from schoolboy rugby. It will also be interesting to see the impact of a SR season on players like Mikaele-Tu'u, Falcon and Lowe, who are really also still fledgelings (and so is PR-S).

    And we'll finally get a better look at the other newbies as well. I have no idea how they'll handle this level, considering I've never seen them play (except the one PS game I went to). Only exception is Taulagi, who looks handy if he can control his temper.



  • Southland squad. Odd way of presenting the team.

    alt text



  • I'm happy that there is a good smattering of HB talent in there with the imports scattered around. I would prefer to see Lowe in the midfield though. Seem weird having two imports in there ... damn we'll miss Buckman.

    Anyone know anything about Michael Buckley?



  • @nepia He scored heaps of tries for MSP in 2017 and think he was also in the Wellington Lions squad that year but probably did not get too much game time. They (Wgtn Lions) are not my team so don't really pay that much attention to them, accept for when they lose of course.



  • IIRC, Buckley also scored a lot of tries for NOBM this year.



  • Something like in the mid twenties it HB Today reports can be relied on. With NOB-M usually running up over 50 in most games (except for the Maddison Trophy final) that would not be a surprise.



  • @higgins said in v Southland:

    Something like in the mid twenties it HB Today reports can be relied on. With NOB-M usually running up over 50 in most games (except for the Maddison Trophy final) that would not be a surprise.

    He only scored 35 tries .... have no idea if that is the HB record.



  • Just this minute walked in the door after getting back from the Otago v Wellington match and the first thing I see is Mark Braidwood in for the try to take the Magpies out to 7 - 0 after the Tiaan Falcon conversion after about 13 minutes of play



  • And that increases to 14 - 00 after the Magpies openside rumbles over in the left hand corner for another converted try after about 22 minutes. Didn't catch it first hand as I was exploring the fridge for some refreshments, finally settling on a Monteiths Black



  • Halftime has just come up, but not before captain Ash Dixon rubles over for yet another converted try making the scoreboard read Southland 10 - 21 as the oranges are handed out.



  • We're not as far ahead as I'd hoped, but good to get that third try just before half time.

    Not sure what to think of the game yet. Evans has been excellent, Dixon too. Falcon also good with the boot.
    Lowe isn't getting any ball; Taulagi same. Hope we run riot in the 2nd half.



  • The Magpies with two players in the Sin Bin at the moment and surprisingly neither of them are five times binned player this season JJ Taulagi. Its squeaky bum time!
    Current score Southland 10 - 28 with about fifteen minutes remining



  • A wins a win I suppose ,a good forward effort.I don't think Southland's much good though and we will need to get the backs more involved if we are to compete against better teams.



  • Quite happy with the bonus point win. Some things were very good: the scrum, the line-out and following maul (although less so at the end of the game); Falcon made all his kicks, even the difficult ones.

    The ill-discipline is a concern though, although it should be said that Nutbrown is a shit ref who got it wrong several times.

    Our defence has definitely improved from last year, but I'm not so sure it will be good enough against better teams. That also applies to our scrum and line-out.

    Lowe really should play centre; he simply doesn't get enough ball on the wing; our midfield didn't impress and may be partially to blame for him not getting opportunities. Tofilau should not try to go himself all the time and pass more. Not even sure Ili got much ball either; have hardly noticed him.

    That chip kick from Lowe was awesome though. If he and Falcon had had more support, it would have resulted in a try, but I guess they were just too fast. Seeing Lowe and then Emerson in the scrum was hilarious, when we were down 2 men. Glad those cards didn't cost us points.

    Great tries from Dixon; he was really, really good. My MOTM.

    Next week: Otago (on Friday at an inconvenient time: 5.45pm)



  • @higgins said in v Southland:

    Halftime has just come up, but not before captain Ash Dixon rubles over for yet another converted try making the scoreboard read Southland 10 - 21 as the oranges are handed out.

    Vlad P is a Hawkes Bay fan?



  • Good to get a win to start the season.

    Nutbrown is such an inconsistent ref, he changed his interpretation for the release multiple times. I'm still unsure how HB got penalised when Weber caught Wilson before the clearance.

    Good to see Fakatava come on and look the business.

    I'd like to see us score some non push over tries but 7 points is 7 points.

    Agree with @Stargazer that Lowe is so wasted on the wing. Taulagi is annoying with his one handed ball carrying.

    Happy that Lamborn was playing for Southland today ... or was he? 😉

    Just good to see the black and white hoops again though.



  • While out midfield attack was nothing, a huge increase on our midfield defense which was nothing but a turnstile last year. Different players or different coaching make the difference?



  • @stockcar86

    Spot on, Stockcar.

    There was an interesting comment made by Ash Dixon before the match (in the HB Today I think?) that he was unsure of re-signing for Hawke's Bay in 2018 after last year's season. That, I think, sums up the Magpies performance in 2017.


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