Crusaders v Blues



  • Blues named
     
    1 - Ofa T
    2 - Quentin Macdonald
    3 - Sione Mafileo
    4 - Patrick Tuipulotu
    5 - Josh Bekhuis
    6 - Jerome Kaino (c)
    7 - Blake Gibson
    8 - Steven Luatua
    9 - Billy Guyton
    10 - Matt Mcgahan
    11 - Tevita Li
    12 - George Moala
    13 - Rene Ranger
    14 - Melani Nanai/Rieko Ioane
    15 - Matt Duffie/Lolagi Visinia
     
    Reserves
    Parsons, Prattley, Faumuina, Ioane, Pryor, Hall, West, Sau.
     
    Visinia must be injured. Didn't see the halves swapping and hooker swapping coming - seems Tana is big on having impact on the bench.



  • I'm loving Tana's work so far.



  • Sam Prattley. Hmm ...
     
    Did not see McGahan starting!



  • Somebody said on the other thread that Ioane and Faumauina were going to start.
     
    Very happy from a crusaders point of view that they are not.
     
     
    Also happy with that front row, MacDonald is not a great scrummager. We can attack there at least



  • Looks like T made a promise to a few players that they would get a chance to stake a claim on a position.



  • So is giving them a shot against a sure thing?  🙂
     
    Fair dues, Crusaders look a bit hopeless.



  • Just like last week, if this game is close after the 1st half, we've got a great chance to close it out with that bench.

    Somebody said on the other thread that Ioane and Faumauina were going to start.

    Feeney is a troll. :mad1:



  • Sounds like Visinia's injury is more of a niggle than anything serious.
     
    Interestingly - on the newshub article it has Visinia bracketed with Duffie and Rieko Ioane bracketed with Nanai.

    Coach Tana Umaga also named former Melbourne Storm player Matt Duffie to make his debut at fullback with Lolagi Visinia under an injury cloud.
     
    "We are going to need the entire squad throughout the year so it is important they get a taste of Super Rugby from the start," Umaga said.
    "There's real competition for places as well. Pre-season is one thing, but we need to test some different players and different combinations.
    "Also we do not want to get to the situation where we are forced to put players in to roles without them first experiencing it for their sakes and for us as coaches to evaluate their performance."



  • Sounds like Visinia's injury is more of a niggle than anything serious.
     
    Interestingly - on the newshub article it has Visinia bracketed with Duffie and Rieko Ioane bracketed with Nanai.

    That's because they are bracketed in the official Blues announcement: http://theblues.co.nz/blues-team-to-play-crusaders/



  • That's because they are bracketed in the official Blues announcement: http://theblues.co.nz/blues-team-to-play-crusaders/

    Sorry yes - Blues have started a new thing on their FB where they run through the team via video portraits but don't include bracketed players.



  • Sorry yes - Blues have started a new thing on their FB where they run through the team via video portraits but don't include bracketed players.

    Yes, must be a NZRU or Sky thing, because I noticed it on other FB pages, too (I think I saw it on the Crusaders page). The annoying result is also that the team namings don't appear on Twitter anymore, or not until much later.



  • Some interesting selections there. I think us winning last week has taken a bit of pressure off Tana and allowed him to experiment somewhat.



  • Possibly, although you'd think there are a few positions he is still not sure who his 1st pick is, plus looking for the right balance.



  • Not picking West was a surprise to me. As others have said, he obviously wants to give different players a chance.



  • Yep McGahan is a bit of a surprise, though I thought West was good last week without being outstanding, same as Hall. I think maybe I would want a look at a few players early too.



  • Crusaders

    1. Joe Moody  2. Codie Taylor  3. Owen Franks  4. Scott Barrett  5. Samuel Whitelock (c)  6. Jordan Taufua  7. Tim Boys  8. Kieran Read
    2. Andy Ellis  10. Richie Mo'unga  11. Nemani Nadolo  12. Kieron Fonotia  13. Sean Wainui  14. Jone Macilai  15. David Havili
       
      Reserves
    3. Ben Funnell  17. Wyatt Crockett  18. Mike Alaalatoa  19. Jimmy Tupou   20. Pete Samu  21. Leon Fukofuka  22. Ben Volavola  23. Johnny McNicholl


  • I thought that the Blues scrum struggled a little last week once Parsons went off, so I'm a bit surprised to see MacDonald getting a start in this game, when they might have already been under pressure.



  • Not sure what to think with changing the halves , 
     
    I know tana is his own man and has his reasons , but it feels a little Kirwan like



  • Don't mention the K word in a Blues thread, you will bring ill upon the team.



  • Yep McGahan is a bit of a surprise, though I thought West was good last week without being outstanding, same as Hall. I think maybe I would want a look at a few players early too.
    I think West was much better than Hall, West had to tidy up a lot of passes from behind and toes



  • I'm not too concerned if we don't get up tomorrow.We never win in Chch for starters and I personally would be targetting the next two games against the Hurricanes and Reds before the bye. I didn't originally think the changes were a good idea but the more I think about it, I think it's a good time to do it.



  • Not sure what to think with changing the halves , 
     
    I know tana is his own man and has his reasons , but it feels a little Kirwan like

    Pat Lam liked to rotate his halves too  :whistle:
     
    Kees Meeuws on the breakdown last night reckoned that Tana is saving his best teams for the home games.
     
    Sees getting the crowds back at Eden park a priority. I quite like that attitude, it's what Wayne Smith and Robbie Deans did at canterbury and crusaders when they took over.



  • I don't think that the Blues target is to win the comp this year. As long as the players are on board with that then fine.
     
    What they are possibly trying to do is target specific games and set their KPIs by that. Home games are an obvious target.



  • I don't think that the Blues target is to win the comp this year. As long as the players are on board with that then fine.
     
    What they are possibly trying to do is target specific games and set their KPIs by that. Home games are an obvious target.

    And I think getting the fans behind the team is a big priority also. I don't follow the blues as closely as others, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's got the players more involved in community work etc too.



  • And I think getting the fans behind the team is a big priority also. I don't follow the blues as closely as others, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's got the players more involved in community work etc too.

    They've always done that as well. It is the fickle Auckland crowds that they need to play up to.
    Get some home wins, gets the crowds in (no one likes to go to games when their team loses) and you have a better chance of capturing/ retaining the good players.
    I'm not saying that the guys tasked each week won't be aiming for a win, just that there will likely be some longer term strategies playing out as well.
    It could also simply be a case of the coaches identifying a greater need for squad competition to push the top layer higher. If that meant a promise of giving players a shot in the early rounds then it is a means to an end.



  • Yes I agree Blues have made a genuine effort to connect with their fans. Speaking of the Blues and the community they ran their first "Blues in the 'Burbs" night last night at Takapuna

    How often do kids get to try out their skills with their Blues heroes? 
     
    Well this month they have their chance, with players from the Super Rugby franchise fraternising with the public at Blues in the 'Burbs events across the city.
    Blues coach Tana Umaga says the team wants to reach out more to its communities.
     
    "In the busy times for our club in the Super Rugby Championship, it is sometimes challenging to find time to spend with our fans," Umaga says.
     
    "Our team has been working so hard in pre-season and will continue to work really hard every day. But at the same time we want to spend time in our communities, the places we live, and at the rugby clubs that helped us in this game."
     
    March 9 – College Rifles Rugby Football Club, 33 Haast St, Remuera.
    March 15 – Papatoetoe Rugby Football Club, Sutton Crescent, Papatoetoe.
    March 29 – Waitakere Rugby Club, under The Trusts Arena, Henderson.



  • Great back row for the Blues (Kaino, Gibson, Luatua) against a very average Crusaders' one : Reid is clearly not in form, Boys is a journeyman and Taufua just not big enough for a Nr.6.



  • Great back row for the Blues (Kaino, Gibson, Luatua) against a very average Crusaders' one : Reid is clearly not in form, Boys is a journeyman and Taufua just not big enough for a Nr.6.

    Clearly after 1 game? Surely players should get a couple of weeks to actually show something before having their form judged.
     
    Interesting the changes to the Blues, Particularly 9/10. Hopefully this is 'giving the guys a crack' and not the start of the chopping and changing that has been an issue at the Blues for years.



  • Clearly after 1 game? Surely players should get a couple of weeks to actually show something before having their form judged.
    Interesting the changes to the Blues, Particularly 9/10. Hopefully this is 'giving the guys a crack' and not the start of the chopping and changing that has been an issue at the Blues for years.

    It's all good, Kaino was anonymous last week so is also out of form.....



  • Pat Lam liked to rotate his halves too  :whistle:
     
    Kees Meeuws on the breakdown last night reckoned that Tana is saving his best teams for the home games.
     
    Sees getting the crowds back at Eden park a priority. I quite like that attitude, it's what Wayne Smith and Robbie Deans did at canterbury and crusaders when they took over.

    While all that is fair enough , 
     
    I thought there was possibly the best opportunity  to do what no Blues team has done for a long time , and beat the Crusaders away , 
     
    That would have got people talking and helped the crowds for when they return , 
     
    The Crusaders do look more vulnerable than we are used to , but im going to stop short of writing them off , we have been here before and they prove you wrong time and time again



  • The Crusaders do look more vulnerable than we are used to , but im going to stop short of writing them off , we have been here before and they prove you wrong time and time again

    Considering that they regularly lose their opening game, last week was no big surprise.



  • While all that is fair enough , 
     
    I thought there was possibly the best opportunity  to do what no Blues team has done for a long time , and beat the Crusaders away , 
     
    That would have got people talking and helped the crowds for when they return , 
     
    The Crusaders do look more vulnerable than we are used to , but im going to stop short of writing them off , we have been here before and they prove you wrong time and time again

    Agree 100%. If I was Umaga I'd have Faumauina and Ioane starting for sure. Plus the 9 and 10 from last week.
     
    I think the crusaders are there for the taking



  • Agree 100%. If I was Umaga I'd have Faumauina and Ioane starting for sure. Plus the 9 and 10 from last week.
    I think the crusaders are there for the taking

    Given the loosies are JK, Gibson and Luatua starting Ioane from the bench is understandable.



  • Given the loosies are JK, Gibson and Luatua starting Ioane from the bench is understandable.

    I would start him ahead of Luatua.
     
    I don't think he would have missed that tackle close to the line last week.



  • I would start him ahead of Luatua.

    Me too.
     
    Seems like the hottest prospect in NZ rugby, right now.



  • One win and Tana is desperate to show that he is master tactician with all the changes.



  • You should read the thread for the reason



  • I think Ioane off the bench for now is best. He's still transitioning back from 7s and I think his body shape is currently more for 7s than 15s. Hopefully he looks even better off the bench this week.



  • The Blues have the makings of a decent team but the coaches have been a big hinderence and it looks like another guy is on an ego trip. Why change a winning team?



  • The Blues have the makings of a decent team but the coaches have been a big hinderence and it looks like another guy is on an ego trip. Why change a winning team?

    WHy don't you read the thread to find out?


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