v Auckland

  • So, first time in over 10 years Auckland pay a visit to Okara Park, hopefully we can make them not want to come back in a hurry!

    While an unchanged line up wouldnt surprise, I think Matich to start and maybe even give Kitto a shot.

    Weather looking good, hopefully be a good walk up crowd!

  • @taniwharugby said in v Auckland:

    Matich to start

    Definitely added some directness to your attack.

  • @taniwharugby was keen to head up to it, but it's the day after the Test. Not great timing unfortunately

  • @nzzp the later afternon k/o isnt that ideal either IMO, but on test weekend thats what you get.

    I'll be there!

  • Can't wait - perfect first home game in 3 years for me!

    For me - Rinakama to come in at tighthead and Matich at 8. Rest stays the same. Not sure we need Jacobsen on the bench, after Steves write up I wonder if McNamara is an option?

  • Rinakama & Matich come in to start as Straker and Matiu drop to the bench.

    Northland Team to face Auckland:

    1 Ross Wright, 2 Matt Moulds, 3 Ropate Rinakama, 4 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 6 Murray Douglas, 7 Kara Pryor, 8 Matt Matich, 9 Sam Nock, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 11 Rene Ranger, 12 Blake Hohaia, 13 Tamati Tua, 14 Jordan Hyland, 15 Matty Wright
    Reserves: 16 Jordan Olsen, 17 Isileli Tu'ungafasi, 18 Jack Straker, 19 Kane Jacobson, 20 Jaycob Matiu, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Myles Throughgood, 23 Scott Gregory

  • Pretty much as expected, although I’d have like to of seen Kitto get a start. Would like to see him get at least half a game this time.

    Got a funny feeling about this match...not going to say much more for danger of jinxing the shit out of it!

  • @j77 of course we can win. We shouldn’t be backward about it. Lets back ourselves. Be smart, play tough and stay in the fight. A weakness last week was exits so with another week of training we should be lot better e.g. running at outside shoulder of first five.

  • @kev love your confidence, that’s exactly what I wanted to say, but you said it for me!

    This is our best shot in 10 years of beating Auckland, no better time than now to scratch a rare W in the column against these guys.

    If we can negate their strong loose trio, we’re most of the way there. Just got to be smart at breakdowns, get numbers there quickly and make the clean outs effective. Can’t let the Blues one man band Akira have his usual field day!

    Looking forward to it, should be a cracker. Hope the crowd piles into Okara Park. Gutted I can’t be there.

  • @j77 same. Like you, I think there loose forward trio looks good on paper but we can negate their game.

  • I think the forwards look even on paper. Auckland might have a slight edge in the loosies but I think we have an edge in the tight five. Should be a good competitive game.

  • mild and overcast, might get the odd light shower (assuming it is doing the same in town as it is here)

  • Very disappointing 2nd 40. Weren't up to much, Auckland were much better though.

    Ref made a lot of odd calls, Auckland were a good metre off side all night, not that that made a huge difference in the end but still frustrating.

    Need to involve Ranger much more, either with the ball or as a decoy, he was integral to both our 1st half tries, barely used him in the 2nd spell when we did get the ball.

    We also need to be smarter, after defending staunchly on our line in the 1st half, we try to run it out and then knock on; Matt Wright trying to run it out from the 22 when he was back by himself, was very silly.

    So 2 good 40s and 2 poor ones and now 0/2 (2/35 v Auckland) and a much improved performance form Taranaki making us look squarely down the barrell...

  • Well that was shit.

    Didn’t like our tactics at all, they were squeezing from the outside and easily shutting us down. Should have changed it up and attacked closed to the ruck with pick and goes.

    Should have done more with the wealth of possession and territory we seemed to have in the first 40.

    Second half, well bugger me we didn’t even turn up.

    Really disappointed!

  • Ranger was impressive, maybe more valuable at centre for you?

  • @kirwan absolutely. Disappointed with Tua tonight. He was a bit of a turnstile surprisingly. Would maybe like to see him and Ranger swap positions.

  • @j77 or even put Gregory on the wing, he looks to have something about him.

    Really expected tua to start carving up at this level if he wants to be looked at seriously for super rugby, but definitely underwhelming so far, both sides of the ball.

    Obviously you hear things about people (some might be bs some might be true) and the bits I've heard about Tua (that I hope are wrong) lead me to think being dropped and made to work his way back might be good for him.

  • @taniwharugby agree with the comments about Tua defensively. But he is young and we need to keep developing him. I thought when Ranger went into centre we tried too much and made mistakes. I like him in his roving role.

    Can’t express how disappointing this was. Missed chances in first half. Fell away from a game plan in the second. Imagine the guys will be disappointed as well.

    But I thought the effort was huge - and we have the players. Better game plan, better execution, better decision making will turn it around.

  • @kev not suggesting we can him, but he has had a pretty rapid rise to where he is, and some handle things differently.

    Maybe a spell on the bench might focus him, he is a much better player than we have seen thus far, he almost looks a little disinterested.

    We were chasing the game by the time Ranger went to 13 so always expect things to change.

  • Maybe it’s time to give Gregory a shot. He’s a talent that guy, and looks to be keen and willing to learn.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Roberts-Te Nana given a jam on the wing. By all accounts he went well for the B’s.

    I think a spot on the bench would benefit Tua, might be the rocket up his ass he needs. He’s a highly skilled player with stacks of potential, but seriously, to miss that many tackles at this level is not good enough.

    Hopefully we pull finger for Taranaki this week, getting into must win territory now....

  • Many of the guys that have been given an opportunity by way of a contract,but have got to take their opportunity..
    Mac Sykes playing for the Dev team in the last 2 weeks has been superb,along with Sam MacNamara and Boyd Wiggins..also a good performance from Renata Roberts Tenana has just reminded the head coaches why he has been signed..

    The big Fijian from Waipu Temo needs to get a bit more involved,Blundell has been ok but butchered an opportunity for the Dev Team to put the game away,but kicked and lost possession which CM ran back and created the winning score.
    Faiane at his best looks a much better player,his took breaks were classy..
    I would have taken Gadeisuva ahead of Levi Clark,Gadeisuva is a very physical player,is inclined to fall off the odd tackle,but seems to have real game awareness.

    Clark’s attempted tackle on the big CM winger Sione Fifita was abysmal,went high on a big man,and got pushed off like he was’nt there ,and that was the winning try..not what I expected from a contracted winger,especially when you had the pace to nail him..

    Which brings me to Tamati Tua,sure the kid is young,but it’s time for him to stand up..6 missed tackles is not good enough..personally I would Scott Gregory a run at centre,and send Tua back to either the bench or the Dev squad

  • @j77 yeah we have had 2 good halves of rugby so far, and 2 poor ones, hopefully we can put together 2 good halves in a single game, as naki look to have been stung into action form the loss to BOP, although they fell off the last 20 v Manawatu so are def beatable, especially as they have Counties tomorrow and look to have named a full strength team for them, maybe looking at resting a few for us, but we will need to be on top of our game.

    I dont see many, if any changes for us, as much as I think Tua needs a shake up, we need to remember it is only game 2 and he has spent most of the year injured.

    Our scrum looked rock solid throughout, even after the subs came on, which is good, so my pick is, assuming no injuries, we will have the same 23 again, probably same starting line up.

    One thing that is frustrating, is we sub our captain off early as we did last weekend, ideally you want your captain playing 70+ minutes, and for me it just doesnt sit well subbing your captain off around 55-60mins.

  • I dont see many, if any changes for us, as much as I think Tua needs a shake up, we need to remember it is only game 2 and he has spent most of the year injured.

    Which leads me to how he got injured! If what I hear is correct thats part of his problem I think... needs to pull his head in.

  • @j77 I think we all agree that Tua needs a shakeup. He should get some support re tackling, and a clear indication that he will get dragged and not play if the effort is not there. Gregory is really young so coaches would best know if he is ready. I like Ranger on the wing. So for me Hyland would be next cab off the rank in midfield.

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