The Cane vs Savea Debate



  • This gets pretty heated at times. There was a thread not long ago which evolved (descended?) largely into a Cane v Savea Debate.

    I'm 100% a Savea fan at 7.Chiefs fans love to dismiss this as nothing more than anti-Chiefery, but it certainly isn't. I think now that we have an option at 8 in Sotutu and others at 6 in Frizzel and Ioane, there is more heat on Cane as Savea may not need to be the fix-all elsewhere in the trio.

    Foster's boy may not be skipper for long as this side evolves, I reckon.

    Mark Hinton makes the point this morning:

    The loose trio
    This is where it gets really interesting. Is there anyone who doesn’t think Ardie Savea is the best No 7 in New Zealand? Yet Sam Cane is the captain and will play, presumably, at openside.



  • Oh any why am I of this opinion?

    Savea does it all. Cane does most of it, but not all, and he also has hands like feet.



  • Depends on what you are after. Ardie has better ball skills and running skills but Cane is a more dominant tackler.
    By most accounts they want harder more dominant tacklers in the loose. This will be why Cane has been considered a 'certainty "



  • I prefer Cane at test level tbh. There's not as much space and things are a lot tighter at test level (obviously), hence why I feel that Cane's harder edge is more suited to the test arena. Savea's style is more suited to the more open domestic scene where he has more room to express himself and show off his skills more than Cane.

    I prefer Savea as a bench option and hope we don't try and play both of the going forward. It's as if Hansen was too scared to hurt people's feelings in the public by trying to fit everyone in when it wasn't the best thing to do for the side. Hopefully this new coaching team do not make the same mistakes.



  • Cane is one of those undemonstrative players you notice most when he's not playing. He adds a hardness to the AB loose trio and his tackling and breakdown work is up there with the best there is. He's also bloody good when things aren't going well and seems to have a cool head in a crisis.

    I want Ardie in the squad though and it's a hard pick between the two. Not too sure how Sam would go at 6 or 8 but would like to see Foster try and find a place for both of them in the starting lineup.



  • I didn't think that Savea played like at 7 in the North-South game.

    I'm not saying he isn't a good openside but his game seems more suited to playing in the wide channels now, or using his speed off the scrum, rather than getting in those dark places at the breakdown. Savea did get that turnover near the NI line at the end of the game but that was more about desperate defending on the goal line.



  • Tbh, I'm not convinced by either of them at 7; it's more that - at the moment - we're lacking a better option.



  • @Stargazer said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    Tbh, I'm not convinced by either of them at 7; it's more that - at the moment - we're lacking a better option.

    I think there are some decent options there that would do well. Not enough to force their way in if Sam and Ardie are fit but if our hand was forced I wouldn’t hesitate in giving Boshier a crack.



  • @Crucial With "better option", I basically mean a McCaw level option. I haven't seen him, yet.

    But yeah, for the future, I'd currently also look at Boshier, Papali'i and possibly Kirifi.



  • @Stargazer said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @Crucial With "better option", I basically mean a McCaw level option. I haven't seen him, yet.

    But yeah, for the future, I'd currently also look at Boshier, Papali'i and possibly Kirifi.

    They don't turn up all that often.



  • It's always a funny debate. I like them both. Savea runs hard and has pace, Cane is a bit more technical and is better defensively.

    I think people who watch rugby a bit more casually see Ardie run hard and think he's automatically better. I see people making the argument on Facebook all the time and if anyone disagrees they spam clown emojis and think they won the argument.

    I don't think Cane has ever not played well in the black jersey, same with Ardie.

    However, one thing Cane has over Ardie is his defensive work. We lack the physical presence when he isn't on the field e.g. RWC semi final.



  • @Yeetyaah Just as you claim that Cane is better on defence, you can claim Ardie is better on attack. We only lacked a certain physicality in the backrow when Ardie was playing at 7 instead of Cane, because we didn't have a hard-hitting 6. We won't miss it as much if all the promise of someone like Cullen Grace comes to fruition. Add a good no. 8, and it won't matter much.

    Fingers crossed our options increase over the next few years.



  • @shark starting an anti Chiefs player thread ... who could have imagined this?

    The first 20 minutes of the England semi is why Cane is Fosters captain.

    TBH, I don't think Ardie was nearly as good this year as he was in the previous two years (and Cane took a while to get back up to speed) but I'd definitely include him as the impact loosie to come on and cause havoc. Essentially back to his role he performed before his form got awesome and Cane was out through head/injury.



  • Has anyone seen Ardie play well at openside this year? Can't even nail down the spot for the Hurricanes.



  • @antipodean He probably played at 8 because Evans was injured.



  • So all the support for Cane is based on how we can't be without his dominant defence. Is this first and foremost how we select our openside flankers now? Not their ability to win turnovers, their link play, and hell, their ability to simply catch a rugby ball?



  • @shark said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:
    Is there anyone who doesn’t think Ardie Savea is the best No 7 in New Zealand?

    Funny thing, Ardie Savea always seems to be the best 7 in NZ at Super rugby level, tests, not so much.



  • @Stargazer said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @Yeetyaah Just as you claim that Cane is better on defence, you can claim Ardie is better on attack. We only lacked a certain physicality in the backrow when Ardie was playing at 7 instead of Cane, because we didn't have a hard-hitting 6. We won't miss it as much if all the promise of someone like Cullen Grace comes to fruition. Add a good no. 8, and it won't matter much.

    Fingers crossed our options increase over the next few years.

    Not dissing Grace, but we already have Frizell who is looking like Shag made the right selection, just a year too early.



  • @Crucial I was more thinking of the next few years. Grace is only 20 and already a hard hitter; with time, he will - hopefully - get better and even stronger. I think Frizell has been playing very well this year, so good to have them both and Grace showing a lot of promise.



  • I'm happy enough to have the extra bits savea provides if the 6 and 8 are bash brothers.

    When your 6 and 8 are a journeyman lock and a guy 2 years past it, then savea becomes a luxury you can't afford.

    Top level test rugby is trench warfare now. If you aren't winning collisions you are losing games. And that's both sides of the ball.

    I will say that is impossible to express just how much I don't want to play both of them at the same time.



  • Also shark i get your point, but you are massively underselling cane to make it.

    He's still very good on the ground, makes really fucking great reads on defence, and hits like a truck. That definitely makes a more than handy test loose forward.



  • @Stargazer said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @antipodean He probably played at 8 because Evans was injured.

    So was Kirifi going to sit on the bench? Savea is categorically not a blindside flanker.



  • @antipodean said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @Stargazer said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @antipodean He probably played at 8 because Evans was injured.

    So was Kirifi going to sit on the bench? Savea is categorically not a blindside flanker.

    Yes, that seemed to be the go to line-up before. When Evans got injured and Savea returned from his injury, Savea was named at no. 8, Kirifi took his chances and did so very well. So well, that when Evans returned, they kept things as they were and Evans was named on the bench.



  • @shark said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    So all the support for Cane is based on how we can't be without his dominant defence. Is this first and foremost how we select our openside flankers now? Not their ability to win turnovers, their link play, and hell, their ability to simply catch a rugby ball?

    Yeah pretend Cane can't run in support, score tries, get turnovers etc. If that's the level your argument has to descend to to make a favourable one for Ardie, you don't have one.



  • @shark said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    So all the support for Cane is based on how we can't be without his dominant defence. Is this first and foremost how we select our openside flankers now? Not their ability to win turnovers, their link play, and hell, their ability to simply catch a rugby ball?

    The guy with everything you list last existed with Michael Jones, even our GOAT AB didn't have all those abilities (but he worked hard on overcoming the stuff he wasn't so great at).

    I don't think Ardie's brilliant attacking play added with all the other stuff not at the same level is a better package than Cane with his dominant defence and all the other stuff not at the same level.



  • @Frank me. Cane is.



  • @Nepia said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @shark said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    So all the support for Cane is based on how we can't be without his dominant defence. Is this first and foremost how we select our openside flankers now? Not their ability to win turnovers, their link play, and hell, their ability to simply catch a rugby ball?

    The guy with everything you list last existed with Michael Jones, even our GOAT AB didn't have all those abilities (but he worked hard on overcoming the stuff he wasn't so great at).

    I don't think Ardie's brilliant attacking play added with all the other stuff not at the same level is a better package than Cane with his dominant defence and all the other stuff not at the same level.

    I always admired and really noticed how MJ ran with the ball not really his work over the ball.

    Whereas McCaw it was his work over the ball that stood out to me.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @Nepia said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @shark said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    So all the support for Cane is based on how we can't be without his dominant defence. Is this first and foremost how we select our openside flankers now? Not their ability to win turnovers, their link play, and hell, their ability to simply catch a rugby ball?

    The guy with everything you list last existed with Michael Jones, even our GOAT AB didn't have all those abilities (but he worked hard on overcoming the stuff he wasn't so great at).

    I don't think Ardie's brilliant attacking play added with all the other stuff not at the same level is a better package than Cane with his dominant defence and all the other stuff not at the same level.

    I always admired and really noticed how MJ ran with the ball not really his work over the ball.

    Whereas McCaw it was his work over the ball that stood out to me.

    He was really good over the ball when playing as 6.



  • I think the “best” 7 for the ABs between Cane and Ardie depends entirely on who is in the 6 and 8 jersey.

    If you have two guys who can carry and tackle hard then Cane becomes less important and Ardie’s mobility is a good thing to have.
    But if you have guys who are more mobile but less physical then Cane’s defence becomes more important and Ardie is less appealing.

    Still think Cane at 7 and Ardie at 8 could work if they have someone smashing people Kaino style at 6. Grave of Frizzell could be that sort of 6.
    Hopefully Sotutu goes so well at 8 that this is only a backup option though.



  • @mariner4life said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    Also shark i get your point, but you are massively underselling cane to make it.

    He's still very good on the ground, makes really fucking great reads on defence, and hits like a truck. That definitely makes a more than handy test loose forward.

    Yep, so predominantly defense. Which as you say we hopefully won't need as much.



  • Everyone is ignoring Cane's horrific hands. I reckon if he was playing catch in the backyard with a four year old the kid would catch more passes.



  • @shark McCaw had a period where he has hands like feet, but he sorted that.

    I still dont know why they dont play Cane at 6 given his defence is Kaino-like, and Ardie to play 7...instead, we played them the other way round.

    I realise number doesnt always mean much, but I think it'd be easier to have Cane playing more as a 6, which seems closer to his natural game as opposed to putting Ardie there, where I think that is further away from his natural game.



  • @taniwharugby said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    @shark McCaw had a period where he has hands like feet, but he sorted that.

    I still dont know why they dont play Cane at 6 given his defence is Kaino-like, and Ardie to play 7...instead, we played them the other way round.

    I realise number doesnt always mean much, but I think it'd be easier to have Cane playing more as a 6, which seems closer to his natural game as opposed to putting Ardie there, where I think that is further away from his natural game.

    It'd be like having Rueben Thorne with more dynamic hits......or alternatively Jerry Collins with less dynamic hair.

    I think it could work.



  • Cane's no nonsense attitude, exceptional workrate and high ratio of dominant tackles make him the first name on the AB team sheet IMHO.



  • @sparky said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    Cane's no nonsense attitude, exceptional workrate and high ratio of dominant tackles make him the first name on the AB team sheet IMHO.

    Fozzie has joined the conversation....



  • @ACT-Crusader Ha!

    If only Shag had listened to Fozzie before that game in Yokohama.....



  • For the record I think Cane is a very, very good openside flanker. Probably world class. But so is Savea, and I much prefer what Savea brings to the table in terms of skillset.

    An argument I've always found highly distasteful is that for the selection of a player predominantly for a skill which others in the team should have covered. And this is a huge part of the argument put forward for Cane: his dominant tackling. He shouldn't be there for that, but it's a bonus if it's part of a package which first and foremost includes winning turnovers and - for mine anyway - link play. But people argue for Cane because they believe we need his tackling which supposedly won't come from the 6 and 8. But it's 2020, not 2019. We don't have the new incarnation of Blair Larsen on the other flank and a number 8 who bucked NZ tradition and couldn't be usurped when past his best, due to lack of depth. Any combination of Sotutu, Grace and Frizzel should provide that grunt, and then the door is open for an openside who can provide the icing rather than providing the eggs to the batter.



  • @pukunui said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    I think the “best” 7 for the ABs between Cane and Ardie depends entirely on who is in the 6 and 8 jersey.

    If you have two guys who can carry and tackle hard then Cane becomes less important and Ardie’s mobility is a good thing to have.
    But if you have guys who are more mobile but less physical then Cane’s defence becomes more important and Ardie is less appealing.

    Still think Cane at 7 and Ardie at 8 could work if they have someone smashing people Kaino style at 6. Grave of Frizzell could be that sort of 6.
    Hopefully Sotutu goes so well at 8 that this is only a backup option though.

    Sounds spooky



  • @shark said in The Cane vs Savea Debate:

    For the record I think Cane is a very, very good openside flanker. Probably world class. But so is Savea, and I much prefer what Savea brings to the table in terms of skillset.

    An argument I've always found highly distasteful is that for the selection of a player predominantly for a skill which others in the team should have covered. And this is a huge part of the argument put forward for Cane: his dominant tackling. He shouldn't be there for that, but it's a bonus if it's part of a package which first and foremost includes winning turnovers and - for mine anyway - link play. But people argue for Cane because they believe we need his tackling which supposedly won't come from the 6 and 8. But it's 2020, not 2019. We don't have the new incarnation of Blair Larsen on the other flank and a number 8 who bucked NZ tradition and couldn't be usurped when past his best, due to lack of depth. Any combination of Sotutu, Grace and Frizzel should provide that grunt, and then the door is open for an openside who can provide the icing rather than providing the eggs to the batter.

    Dare I mention Ioane?



  • @booboo Umm well I've resisted talking about this for four whole days, but on Thursday night I was privy to the actual Canterbury / Crusaders analysis of Akira Ioane and the stats don't paint the picture that he can offer that particular skill. And his character was called into question, to boot.

    But for mine, he's impressed me in a handful of games this season. It's a small sample but let's hope the stats aren't the be all and end all, and the single opinion expressed was also just that, and incorrect.


Log in to reply