Brumbies vs Blues



  • Match Brumbies v Blues @ GIO Stadium, Canberra
    Referee Damon Murphy
    AR1 Ben O'Keeffe
    AR2 Angus Gardner
    TMO Ian Smith



  • Almost certain Rieko is gonna be rested this week.

    I believe Tele'a still has one more week of suspension.

    So a back 3 of Nanai, Clarke, Duffie? Perhaps Trainor is finally back? Hopefully anyone but Collins.



  • @KiwiMurph Big drop off in the look of the back 3 without Rieko. Clarke has been quiet in the last two games and I just don't know with Duffie.

    It'd be good to get Telea back. Both he and Clarke have some rough edges, but Telea seems ahead in development.

    SBW and Gibson should be back, which is good. It'd be good to get back to the AB laden bench that had some success in the earlier rounds.

    If Mafileo is out, we should get a good look at Renata. I hope he scrums well, so he can take over Mafileo, because Mafileo just moves like slug around the park.



  • @Dice I think Gibson will be back but SBW won't be - he needed knee surgery so is still 4 or so more weeks away.



  • @KiwiMurph yea that back 3 looks about right with Aumua taking the 3rd reserve back spot. Gibson back and starts, Papalii to the bench. Parsons gets a rest 🙂 so Apisai gets a start, Ruru gets a rest so Nock to start with Pulu on the bench.



  • @KiwiMurph You're right. I got my times mixed up.





  • @Nogusta and just to f@ck with Blues fans, Nock and Apisai will have blinders.



  • @taniwharugby Apisai having a blinder.....bahahahahhahahaha



  • 1 Alex Hodgman, 2 Leni Apisai, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 4 Gerard Cowley Tuioti, 5 Josh Goodhue, 6 Tom Robinson, 7 Blake Gibson (c), 8 Akira Ioane; 9 Sam Nock, 10 Otere Black, 11 Caleb Clarke, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 13 TJ Faiane, 14 Matt Duffie, 15 Melani Nanai.

    Reserves: 16 James Parsons, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Levi Aumua


    https://blues.rugby/blues-go-back-to-the-future-for-brumbies/

    The Blues are going back to the future as they begin a challenging second half of the Investec Super Rugby season.
    
    Their success earlier in the season was built on a solid starting platform with potent power off the bench to finish strongly, and plan to return to that strategy when they cross the Tasman to take on the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.
    
    The energisers off the bench include new Blues centurion James Parsons, All Blacks Patrick Tuipulotu, Karl Tu’inukuafe and Dalton Papalii along with Marcel Renata, former captain Augustine Pulu, Harry Plummer and Levi Aumua.
    
    It means Alex Hodgman and All Black Ofa Tuungafasi combine for just the second time this season in the front row with a fit-again Leni Apisai rewarded with his first start after a notable impact off the bench against the Highlanders.
    
    Co-captain Blake Gibson makes a welcome return to lead the side after being out for two games with a significant laceration to his knee, while Akira Ioane will start his 28th straight game at No 8.
    
    All Black Rieko Ioane is spelled for his planned break which will see Caleb Clarke switch to the left wing while All Black Matt Duffie, who has recovered fully from his serious hamstring injury suffered in the Mitre-10 Cup, to make his first start of the season. The other change sees Sam Nock have his first start at halfback.
    
    “We have a number of players back from injury and others who have been performing well on the training field or with their minutes as replacements who have earned their chance. In this regard we are confident that this starting side will do the job we want,” said head coach Leon MacDonald.
    
    “At the same time we did well earlier in the season with some real ammunition off the bench to add significant energy in the final quarter of the game and we feel we have that capability with this team. 
    
    “Also some of these players have carried some big loads and this is their opportunity to provide a different role for us.
    
    “This Super Rugby competition is incredible tight, perhaps the closest in memory. There’s 10 teams within six points from third to 12thso these final seven games starting with the Brumbies are going to be a huge test and we are excited about the challenge in what is a superb competition.”
    


  • Might as well have a look at Apisai.. I don't think he's good enough to earn another contract, but it's worth giving him a start to make sure.
    Nock in a similar situation IMO

    I'll be happy if either one proves me wrong

    Good to see Renata involved. He's a better long term option than Mafileo

    Without Tuipulotu starting, Goodhue needs to be more abrasive. I think Goodhue is a better player than GCT.. this is a good chance to move up the pecking order



  • Those Hookers really do weaken the look of that side.



  • That bench actually has some impact. Good.

    Cool to see Faiane get the VC.

    Hopefully Akira is good to go

    No 8 Akira Ioane will be fitness tested at the Captain's Run to test an injured hand before he is cleared to make his 28th straight start for the franchise.
    


  • @KiwiMurph Maybe Akira could do with a rest, he gets worked to death in comparison with some of the loosies competing for AB spots in other franchises.



  • Shame we aren’t seeing much of Scrafton this year. The current locks have been solid but he needs game time and looked ready for more a month ago.



  • @KiwiMurph He's always good to go. Akira doesn't take rests.



  • @Nogusta said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    @KiwiMurph yea that back 3 looks about right with Aumua taking the 3rd reserve back spot. Gibson back and starts, Papalii to the bench. Parsons gets a rest 🙂 so Apisai gets a start, Ruru gets a rest so Nock to start with Pulu on the bench.

    Nailed it



  • @African-Monkey said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    @KiwiMurph He's always good to go. Akira doesn't take rests.

    Except on defence and when it’s time to hit a ruck 😉



  • @SammyC said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    @African-Monkey said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    @KiwiMurph He's always good to go. Akira doesn't take rests.

    Except on defence and when it’s time to hit a ruck 😉

    What's Vaea Fifita got to do with this thread?



  • @SammyC Who even are you 😄



  • @SammyC said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    @African-Monkey said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    @KiwiMurph He's always good to go. Akira doesn't take rests.

    Except on defence and when it’s time to hit a ruck 😉

    rancid bait matey 😛



  • A few key players missing from Brumbies

    Brumbies Team

    1. James Slipper
    2. Folau Fainga’a
    3. Allan Alaalatoa
    4. Rory Arnold
    5. Sam Carter
    6. Tom Cusack
    7. Jahrome Brown
    8. Pete Samu
    9. Joe Powell
    10. Christian Lealiifano (c)
    11. Toni Pulu
    12. Irae Simone
    13. Len Ikitau
    14. Henry Speight
    15. Tom Banks

    REPLACEMENTS
    16. Connal McInerney
    17. Scott Sio
    18. Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin
    19. Darcy Swain
    20. Murray Douglas
    21. Ryan Lonergan
    22. Tom Wright
    23. Andy Muirhead





  • @Duluth that’s fair enough. Given the opportunity to play for his spot.

    If he can’t regain form then we should look for other options. Feels like they are doing the same with hooker in this game.



  • I'm glad it is Duffie being given a shot and not Collins.



  • @KiwiMurph said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    I'm glad it is Duffie being given a shot and not Collins.

    Fuck yes.



  • Must win game for the Blues.

    Possibly their easiest remaining fixture and given they've got a run of derby games after this, you could see the wheels coming off their season if they don't pick up some winning momentum here.



  • My concern is the number of injuries and how many games he's missed. Is it just a bit of bad luck, or is he falling apart?

    If his body is up to it I would give him another contract. Even if he isn't in the best 23.
    He's good injury cover and a professional off the field. Good cover outside the starting xv is what the Blues need

    I would like to see him play a few more games at fullback for NH to prove he can cover that position though



  • @Chris-B I think we'll need to win at least 4 of our remaining 7 games to get into the playoffs. Realistically, the targets should be the 3 non-derby games, then probably the Chiefs game at Eden Park.



  • @Dice I'm interested to watch the Blues play the Canes, because I've got a theory that the Canes dodgy tight five might be a better match-up for the Blues than e.g. the Chiefs.

    However, the Canes seem to find ways to win against most opposition.



  • @Chris-B I wouldn't rule us out in that Canes game next week, but it's unlikely we'll win.

    Outside of the game against the Brumbies and the game against Chiefs last week, the Canes have been pretty unconvincing, but like you said, they just find a way to win games against most opposition.



  • @Duluth I think Duffie, Trainor and Collins are all off contract after this season, then Nanai is off too, so I can see Duffie getting one of those 4 open outside back spots.

    Considering he turns 30 next year, he might be only able to get a one year contract.



  • @Duluth He spent most of his career at the Storm injured. He had a heap of knee and shoulder reconstructions (can't remember the exact number). He's done well to still be playing tbh.



  • Well, I'm excited and looking forward to tonight. Our season has already been a reasonable success - we're credible, and making teams play very well to beat us. If we get the Chiefs side that plays teh highlanders, we win that game.

    Also wanted to talk about the squad selection piece that some are banging on about. There are few (if any) quality players available -- but what you get with good coaching and selecting, is getting players you can get the best out of. Nanai is a good example - wasn't much chop under Tana, but has lookd very very good with Leon. You need to have the raw talent though, and not just be a good communicator. We should also be able to identify talent coming through the ranks and help people succeed.

    We're still building, but we are building. THat's way more than we could say for some time. I don't expect us to get a playoff this year, but I'm happy if we play well and push sides.



  • @nzzp said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    Also wanted to talk about the squad selection piece that some are banging on about.

    The starting xv is competitive when fresh. The vast majority of them are back next year and there is still plenty of improvement thats going to come from this group.

    To me, the squad selection isn't about chasing some super stars, it's about getting more depth that the coaches trust. We don't rotate and too often we are an injury or two away from disaster.



  • Classic. Nick mcardle just said that Ma'a Nonu debuted for the Blues in 2003, the last time they won the comp, showing what influence he can have.

    So close Nick, and yet so far.



  • @mariner4life said in Brumbies vs Blues:

    Classic. Nick mcardle just said that Ma'a Nonu debuted for the Blues in 2003, the last time they won the comp, showing what influence he can have.

    So close Nick, and yet so far.

    What's 650 km?



  • Why do we keep mauling? We aren’t good at it.



  • Why the fuck do the Blues persist with rolling mauls.



  • "Typical Canberra evening, cool but not too windy" Ahahaha WTF? Look at the crowd, it's fucking cold and it's always windy.


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