2016 Mitre10 Cup



  • The 2016 Mitre10 Cup draw has been released.
     
    Magpies games:

    Full draw (pdf): http://files.allblacks.com/NZRU_Media_Releases/2016/2016_MITRE_10_Cup_Draw_FINAL.pdf
     
    Media release:   
    Let's hope Waikato keep the Shield until 8 October. Like 2015, we get Wellington, Auckland and BOP at home and have to travel to Chirstchurch and Invercargill.



  • I'm picking either Manwatu or North Harbour will be having two cracks at the Shield this year.



  • I'm picking either Manwatu or North Harbour will be having two cracks at the Shield this year.

    Yes, unfortunately Waikato plays Taranaki & Canterbury at home first, before they play the Magpies. And then the Magpies have already played those two teams. Even if Waikato would lose to Manawatu, Canterbury would have a crack at it before the Magpies. Our chances of a Shield challenge will be slim in 2016, unless Waikato has a really good year.



  • How much did Canterbury bribe the draw makers? It is like they get two options at a possible shield challenge in one round.



  • Not really related to this thread, but great to see my favorite player of all time, MJ, is still going strong
     



  • In relation to the first post the draw  contains an asterix against the Waikato fixture. At the bottom it indicates the asterix is for possible Ranfirly Shield games. Why then is the Bay of Plenty fixture being played at McLean Park the next Saurday (October 15)
    not similalry accorded an asterix? Hell do the fishheads at the HBRFU have no confidence that the Shield might be resident in Napier by then?????????????? Maybe Hugh Renton and Geoffrey Cridge might be available for selection in this latter game?



  • In relation to the first post the draw  contains an asterix against the Waikato fixture. At the bottom it indicates the asterix is for possible Ranfirly Shield games. Why then is the Bay of Plenty fixture being played at McLean Park the next Saurday (October 15)
    not similalry accorded an asterix? Hell do the fishheads at the HBRFU have no confidence that the Shield might be resident in Napier by then?????????????? Maybe Hugh Renton and Geoffrey Cridge might be available for selection in this latter game?

    Hmm, I think it has more to do with the fact that all Waikato home games have been marked as possible RS games by the NZRU in the complete list of fixtures because they are the current holders - and no other games, because there are just too many, otherwise? Geez, have you ever seen those graphics Sumo put on Twitter with all possible shield games in a season if you include more than the current holders? To me, a game is only a possible RS game if you hold the shield. Considering that we most likely won't get a shield challenge, I agree with not marking the Magpies-BOP game as a possible RS game.



  • Magpies have signed Ross Filipo and Ben May.



  • Finally some good news - those are tow decent signings, although a couple of years younger would have been better. 
     
    I wonder if we'll be picking up a few backs or if we're just going to unleash the young fellas every game?



  • Magpies have signed Ross Filipo and Ben May.

    Not bad. I assume both have been brought in to cover for Allardice and Edmonds and only signed for one year?



  • Hardly inspiring, one a virtual Super Gold Card Holder and the other was not even given a contract with the Championship Level Wellington Lions team last season. How Ben May keeps getting selected is one of lifes mysteries. Perhaps he is related to Chris Eaton? I suppose it could have been marginally worse considering Jamie MacIntosh is also out there looking for someone to pick him up after he could not make the Southland team.
     
    Mr. Philpott rates Bendon Edmonds and Ben May on the same level talent (and experience) wise. Well I'm afraid I don't see it that way.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/82403272/hawkes-bay-magpies-sign-ross-filipo-and-ben-may-for-2016-provincial-season



  • Hardly inspiring, one a virtual Super Gold Card Holder and the other was not even given a contract with the Championship Level Wellington Lions team last season. How Ben May keeps getting selected is one of lifes mysteries. Perhaps he is related to Chris Eaton? I suppose it could have been marginally worse considering Jamie MacIntosh is also out there looking for someone to pick him up after he could not make the Southland team.
     
    Mr. Philpott rates Bendon Edmonds and Ben May on the same level talent (and experience) wise. Well I'm afraid I don't see it that way.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/82403272/hawkes-bay-magpies-sign-ross-filipo-and-ben-may-for-2016-provincial-season

    That's incorrect. May was in the 2015 Lions squad but wasn't available for personal reasons initially, and then out injured (knee). He played a couple of games for them last season.
     
    I assume there were no better, experienced players available (like Dominic Bird) who were willing to move to the Bay. I think Filippo in particular can add a lot of value due to his experience.



  • I'm okay with the two signings - they are just for one year only.
     
    Andrew Horrell, Brendon Edmonds, Richard Buckman, Michael Allardice, Robbie Fruean (probably), Sanaila Waqa (shoulder injury), are all out for the year. The first five of them all had starting positions last year.
     
    2016, rather eerily, was starting to look a bit like 2012 where, in our first year after promotion, we were lost a lot of front line players, struggled, and got relegated.
     
    Even with Filipo and May, when I look at the announced 2016 squads for Auckland and Taranaki, I get a feeling of inferiority which would be more so if Filipo and May weren't there.
     
    Our first choice starting lineup would be (excluding Dagg and Retallick) what?
     
    15 McNicol
     
    14 Tongia
    11 Chase
     
    13 Marshall?
    12 Ropiha
     
    10 West
    9 Weber
     
    8 Evans
    7 Renton?
    6 Boswell-Wakefield
     
    5 Cridge
    4 Abbott
     
    3 May
    2 Dixon
    1 Fahamokioa



  • I'm okay with the two signings - they are just for one year only.
     
    Andrew Horrell, Brendon Edmonds, Richard Buckman, Michael Allardice, Robbie Fruean (probably), Sanaila Waqa (shoulder injury), are all out for the year. The first five of them all had starting positions last year.
     
    2016, rather eerily, was starting to look a bit like 2012 where, in our first year after promotion, we were lost a lot of front line players, struggled, and got relegated.
     
    Even with Filipo and May, when I look at the announced 2016 squads for Auckland and Taranaki, I get a feeling of inferiority which would be more so if Filipo and May weren't there.
     
    Our first choice starting lineup would be (excluding Dagg and Retallick) what?
     
    15 McNicol
     
    14 Tongia
    11 Chase
     
    13 Marshall?
    12 Ropiha
     
    10 West
    9 Weber
     
    8 Evans
    7 Renton?
    6 Boswell-Wakefield
     
    5 Cridge
    4 Abbott
     
    3 May
    2 Dixon
    1 Fahamokioa

    I'd put Lamborn at 7 and maybe Emerson at 11. Despite Chase having slightly more experience at NPC level, I think Emerson is better.
    At 12, either Marshall or Lowe.
     
    I have the same reaction as you after seeing other teams. I'm worried we'll go straight back to the Championship if they're not hiring a few more experienced backs.



  • Boswell-Wakefield at 6? You do remember Philpott is the coach right?



  • I cannot see what you guys see in Ben May. I have watched him a few times in club rugby over these last two seasons (he has not played much at all) and apart from one game when he played against lowly Avalon about five weeks back I have seen nothing to suggest he is he is a solution to any teams propping problems at ITM Cup level much  less at super XV level. I can't comment on his play in tonights super rugby quarter final as I was otherwise engaged but is he was any good some other team would have signed him up adminst much fanfare way before now. Ross Filipo off the pace when he last turned out for Wellington two years ago and I seriously doubt he has found any new lease of live since then. I do have a fond memory as in his last appeqarance for Wellington (against North Harbour possibly from memory) he did knock over a couple of conversions one from wide out on the right hand side of the field so maybe he has been acquired for that skill.



  • Andrew Horrell, Brendon Edmonds, Richard Buckman, Michael Allardice, Robbie Fruean (probably), Sanaila Waqa (shoulder injury), are all out for the year. The first five of them all had starting positions last year.

    I don't think Waqa is injured because he played club rugby yesterday ... unless Hastings have another S Waqa in their squad (who scored a try).
     
    http://www.sporty.co.nz/asset/downloadasset?id=e51d21e7-9f2c-4ae4-9b9e-6aa6eebe031d



  • I don't think Waqa is injured because he played club rugby yesterday ... unless Hastings have another S Waqa in their squad (who scored a try).
     
    http://www.sporty.co.nz/asset/downloadasset?id=e51d21e7-9f2c-4ae4-9b9e-6aa6eebe031d

    Hmmm, got that about Waqa being out for the season from Shane Hurndell's writeup in yesterday's HB Today.
     



  • Hmmm, got that about Waqa being out for the season from Shane Hurndell's writeup in yesterday's HB Today.
     

    I guess the line-up for next weekend's preseason game will give us a clue ...



  • This afternoon, Manawatu Evergreens defeated HB Saracens 54-17.
     
    Saracens used 27 players.
     
    The only players that played the whole 80 minutes were Trent Boswell-Wakefield, Mason Emerson and Jonah Lowe (at centre).
     
    Mystery man Hugh Renton played the whole second half, as did Robbie Fruean (on the right wing).
     
    NZ Under 20 number eight Marino Mikaele-Tu'u is quite a big boy and I thought played well when he came on in the second half.
     
    Gareth Evans was a spectator and had quite an impressive looking brace on his left knee and was on crutches.
     
    Fruean was the only Super Rugby player that HB Saracens fielded.
     
    Played under the new laws, the first three tries in the match (two Evergreens and one Saracens) all came from forward drives off lineouts five metres from the line. Neither side took a penalty kick at goal.



  • Filipo. Go Eskview!



  • My mate and I are travelling over to Hawera to watch the game - coming back Sunday - so I'll write a review when I get back.



  • Hugh Renton is absent. Has he been dropped?



  • Sorry guys.
     
    My mate and I did not travel.
     
    Crap weather on each coast.



  • Hugh Renton is absent. Has he been dropped?

    I assume all the Canes full squad members will be in Wellington supporting the team?



  • A couple of interesting rumors doing the rounds.Fruean is not wanted by Philpott and Lee but the ceo wants to sign him for this season and Shannon Chase was given the rounds of the kitchen by his club coach due to poor form recently.



  • Hmm, usually the CEO and coach are of one mind when it comes to jettisoning players (with the assistant thinking differently).
     
    As we have a pretty weak squad this year I wonder if Trinity Spooner-Neera will return from the Naki after not making the squad. It would be funny if him and Timu finally lived up to their potential in an inexperienced backline.



  • This title from HBT says it all:

    Saracens beaten again
     
    By Shane Hurndell
     
    3:33 PM Saturday Aug 6, 2016
     
    The Hawke's Bay Saracens were beaten 19-3 by Taranaki in a pre-season rugby fixture in Hawera today.
     
    The Saracens led 3-0 at halftime after a Tiaan Falcon penalty. Hawke's Bay Magpies head coach Craig Philppott said his troops displayed vast improvement on the previous week's 54-17 loss to the Manawatu Eveergreens.
     
    Two pushover tries proved to be the difference between the two teams. Strong winds and poor ground conditions made attack difficult for both teams. Prop Jason Long, hooker Jorian Tangaere and flanker Ben Hamelink produced strong performances for the Saracens.
     
    ...

     
    Some additional info from the Taranaki Daily News:

    Taranaki slop through the mud to beat Hawke's Bay
     
    GLENN MCLEAN
     
    Last updated 11:29, August 7 2016
     
    Taranaki showed improvement across the park in their second pre-season rugby match to beat Hawke's Bay 19-3 in the mud at Hawera on Saturday.
     
    It was conditions neither team would have wanted and it will bring up the question of whether or not it's worth playing on grounds that are not sand based given it's a requirement for the national provincial championship.
     
    The players would have given a collective sigh when they pulled up to the ground and saw more mud than grass.
     
    Nevertheless, they at least tried to play positive rugby, even if their boots were repeatedly getting stuck in the ground.
     
    While Taranaki got two pushover tries to replacement No 8 Mitchell Brown, the winning margin fairly reflected the overall performance of the two sides.
     
    Taranaki dominated the first half into a stiff wind but failed to put points on the board.
     
    Their biggest problem was pushing a pass when it might have been better to hold the ball and show a bit more patience.
     
    Their scrum was certainly working well, the outside backs, especially wing Manasa Mataele, were beating defenders, their loose forwards were defending well while some of the tight forwards, namely prop Reuben O'Neill carried well.
     
    There was also some nice work from first five-eighth Stephen Perofeta, the midfield performed better than it did against Counties Manukau, while fullback Beaudein Waaka was authoritive in most of his work.
     
    The concerns were around their option taking at times and the number of penalties they conceded.
     
    Still, they enjoyed the fact Hawke's Bay provided less of a physical threat than Counties Manukau while the improvement in their attack was obvious.
     
    "We had another week to improve and I suppose we did," Taranaki captain Berny Hall said.
     
    "The first half [into the wind] was all about trying to hold them out and we were unlucky not to capitalise when we were in their 22. They defended really well, though, so we will have to change up the way we attack a bit.
     
    "The scrum went really well in the second half and the backs probably got a bit cold out there."
     
    Hall agreed that their finishing lacked a bit of polish but he thought they were in a good space as they head towards their last pre-season match against Waikato at Inglewood on Friday.
     
    ...
     
    At a glance
     
    Taranaki 19 (Mitchell Brown 2, Cody Whittaker tries; Beaudein Waaka 2 cons) Hawke's Bay 3 (Tiaan Falcon pen). HT: 0-3             
     
     - Stuff

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/sport/82893205/taranaki-slop-through-the-mud-to-beat-hawkes-bay



  • After Manawatu trashed the Magpies twice, they now lost to Wellington 33-26.
     
    Relevant info from the media report of this game:

    Wellington prove too much to handle for Manawatu in preseason
     SHAUN EADELast updated 18:34, August 7 2016
     A physical Wellington side dealt Manawatu their first loss in four preseason matches 33-26 in Feilding on Sunday.
     Wellington's big forward pack put Manawatu under the pump with some strong carries in tight.
     The men from the capital did a good job adapting to the trial breakdown rules
     They picked their battles well, slowing down Manawatu ball when they committed to the breakdown and hanging off ruck when the ball was lost. 
     It was a contrast to what Manawatu had seen from Hawke's Bay who tore into everything and gave away a swag of penalties in the process.
     ...

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/82910612/wellington-prove-too-much-to-handle-for-manawatu-in-preseason
     
    I'm more and more convinced that the HBRU's decision not to play under the new breakdown rules in HB club rugby was a bad decision. They played under the new rules in Manawatu and Taranaki (don't know about Wellington) and they seem to have a big advantage.



  • I suspect that Wellington played under the old rules during the club season. A little hard to be more definitive given the varying interpretations and rulings witnessed on too many occsaions (mostly against the teams I'm supporting) so that must be taken with a grain of salt!



  • Whilst on the topic of the NPC it's time to give some thought to putting together our team for the Mitre10 Cup Tipping Contest run by KP. Last year the lineup was Higgins, Nepia, Stoli, Stockcar86, Hurrycanes, and PAJ but sadly we had a bit of an offseason (anything other than winning the title is considered an offseason)  culminating in getting done over big time in the final by the damned Wairarapa-Bush mob. All going well we hope to rectify that anomaly this season.
     
    Some of the tippers are virtual life members of the squad but we are always open to annyone interested making themselves available for selection. Hopefully Stargazer who did so well in the Super Rugby season will be one to put his hand up to help us field a full squad again this coming season. Others like Number10 and Gibbit might also be tempted to come out of their semi-retirement as well.
     
    Anyway give it some serious thought as kick off is in a little more than two weeks so not much time left to get things organised.



  • A couple of interesting rumors doing the rounds.Fruean is not wanted by Philpott and Lee but the ceo wants to sign him for this season and Shannon Chase was given the rounds of the kitchen by his club coach due to poor form recently.

    I must make a serious effort in locating the squad lists of the Canterbury B and Colts teams from last year to see who we have missed out on then. Oh and their Presidents Grade as well to see who Ross Filipo and Ben May beat out of obtaining a contract.
     
    We have taken some embarrassing poundings in the warm up matches so far. Is might be too soon to be pusing the panic buttons but in all honnesty if thats the best we can do with our non super rugby players then things are looking far from rosy.



  • I must make a serious effort in locating the squad lists of the Canterbury B and Colts teams from last year to see who we have missed out on then. Oh and their Presidents Grade as well to see who Ross Filipo and Ben May beat out of obtaining a contract.
     
    We have taken some embarrassing poundings in the warm up matches so far. Is might be too soon to be pusing the panic buttons but in all honnesty if thats the best we can do with our non super rugby players then things are looking far from rosy.

    I'm not usually pessimistic, but I think we will struggle to stay in the Premiership. It's 2012 all over again, with so many players leaving/unavailable in the season after promotion.
    I have only seen the preseason game in Napier and I was less than impressed. The pack didn't look very strong; completely overpowered by Manawatu. Huge error rate & penalty count, leaky defence. If we have to rely on a lot of club players, it could prove to be a loooooong season.
     
    Prop (Edmonds unavailable due to injury):
    May is not even close to the level of Edmonds, and Fahamokioa is the only other prop that I rate from last year's squad. So to me, this is a problem area.
     
    Hooker: no worries, if Tangaere is our 3rd.
     
    Lock (Retallick with ABs/ Allardice unavailable due to injury):
    If Waqa is out for the season, then Cridge will be our 3rd and only back-up lock (assuming Abbott and Filipo are 1 & 2), who hasn't convinced me yet; need to see more of him.  I wish we could 'lock' in Bird. We need a 4th lock, but who?
     
    Loosies (O'Connor, Stanley gone/ Evans unavailable due to injury):
    With TBW, Lamborn & Mikaele Tu'u, we may have a good first choice squad, but we don't have much depth. Renton: same as Cridge, haven't seen him play enough to convince me he's the real deal. Who else? Where's Karl Lowe? He won't play for Provence Rugby now that they have been relegated.
     
    Halfback:
    Not sure who will be the 3rd after Weber and Wilson, but if Weber is called into the ABs (if one of the other 3 gets injured) or one of these two gets injured, we may have a problem on the bench. Is Eaton still playing? Does Mathewson have a job (same as Karl Lowe)? Ruru is now in the Otago squad. Paewai?
     
    1st five (Elkington-MacDonald gone):
    Don't think we have a big problem here, if Falcon is the new back-up for West. But didn't find Snee convincing in the one game I've seen him play, so not convinced we've got a good back-up for the back-up. Horrell fulfilled that role the last few seasons.
     
    Midfield (Horrelll & Buckman gone):
    I am not aware of any midfield signing, so no Super Rugby experience if they don't sign Fruean. I like Lowe and Ropiha, but who else? Not a fan of Marshall but I guess it will be him.
     
    Outside backs (Dagg with ABs/ Guildford gone):
    I assume McNicol will be our first choice fullback, but in our outside back stocks we only have one other Super Rugby player (Tongia) who has hardly played.
    Emerson has plenty of talent, but no SR experience and only a few games last year, although instrumental in the most important one.
    Depth and experience are clearly lacking. As I said, I'm not a fan of Marshall. Timu didn't convince me a couple of years ago, bit of a (failed) journey man; is he really that much better this year?
     
    I guess we'll find out the 9th when they will name the team.
     
    Edit: apparently, the team naming is now tomorrow!



  • Longer article about last Saturday's PS game:

    Magpies' cup hopefuls shine in wet conditions
     By Shane Hurndell
     4:42 AM Monday Aug 8, 2016
     It was the last throw of the dice for Hawke's Bay Saracens rugby players hoping to crack the Magpies Mitre 10 Cup squad on Saturday.
     It was also a massive assignment for the Saracens taking on a more experienced and more physical team.
     However, three fringe players, prop Jason Long, hooker Jorian Tangaere and flanker Ben Hamelink, boosted their chances of selection with strong performances.
     "They certainly didn't do their chances any harm," Magpies head coach Craig Philpott said after the Saracens were beaten 19-3 in muddy conditions at Hawera.
     Philpott had to be careful how he relayed the news because, while the players have been told who has made the squad, it won't be publicly released until tomorrow. Equally pleasing for Philpott as the form of this trio was the improvement the Saracens displayed on the previous week's 54-17 loss to the Manawatu Evergreens in Napier.
     "There was good improvement in all areas from last week. It was a pretty even game in which two pushover tries proved to be the difference," Philpott said.
     The Saracens led 3-0 at halftime after a penalty from first five-eighth Tiaan Falcon. Philpott was pleased they held the hosts out until the 65th minute.
     Taranaki's scrum gained the upper hand in the second half after changes were made to the Saracens' starting eight. Taranaki No8 Mitchell Brown scored two pushover tries.
     There were 32 scrums in the game and 21 lineouts. Philpott said the lineout tussle was even.
     Taranaki winger Manasa Mataele made the most of his limited opportunities on attack. His backline was well served by New Zealand under-20s rep Stephen Perofeta and midfielders Isaia Tuifua and Johnny Fa'auli combined well.
     With Super midfielders Sean Wainui and Seta Tamanivalu still to return, Philpott believed the Naki's midfield will be one of their strengths this season. Former Magpies lock Leighton Price started for the hosts while former Magpies utility back Trinity Spooner-Neera got the final five minutes off the pine.
     Price has been selected in Taranaki's Mitre 10 Cup squad but Spooner-Neera missed out.
     Taranaki 19 (Mitchell Brown 2, Cody Whittaker tries; Beaudein Waaka 2 cons) Hawke's Bay Saracens 3 (Tiaan Falcon pen). Halftime: HB 3-0.
     - Hawkes Bay Today



  • I'm not usually pessimistic, but I think we will struggle to stay in the Premiership. It's 2012 all over again, with so many players leaving/unavailable in the season after promotion.
    I have only seen the preseason game in Napier and I was less than impressed. The pack didn't look very strong; completely overpowered by Manawatu. Huge error rate & penalty count, leaky defence. If we have to rely on a lot of club players, it could prove to be a loooooong season.
     
    Prop (Edmonds unavailable due to injury):
    May is not even close to the level of Edmonds, and Fahamokioa is the only other prop that I rate from last year's squad. So to me, this is a problem area.
     
    Hooker: no worries, if Tangaere is our 3rd.
     
    Lock (Retallick with ABs/ Allardice unavailable due to injury):
    If Waqa is out for the season, then Cridge will be our 3rd and only back-up lock (assuming Abbott and Filipo are 1 & 2), who hasn't convinced me yet; need to see more of him.  I wish we could 'lock' in Bird. We need a 4th lock, but who?
     
    Loosies (O'Connor, Stanley gone/ Evans unavailable due to injury):
    With TBW, Lamborn & Mikaele Tu'u, we may have a good first choice squad, but we don't have much depth. Renton: same as Cridge, haven't seen him play enough to convince me he's the real deal. Who else? Where's Karl Lowe? He won't play for Provence Rugby now that they have been relegated.
     
    Halfback:
    Not sure who will be the 3rd after Weber and Wilson, but if Weber is called into the ABs (if one of the other 3 gets injured) or one of these two gets injured, we may have a problem on the bench. Is Eaton still playing? Does Mathewson have a job (same as Karl Lowe)? Ruru is now in the Otago squad. Paewai?
     
    1st five (Elkington-MacDonald gone):
    Don't think we have a big problem here, if Falcon is the new back-up for West. But didn't find Snee convincing in the one game I've seen him play, so not convinced we've got a good back-up for the back-up. Horrell fulfilled that role the last few seasons.
     
    Midfield (Horrelll & Buckman gone):
    I am not aware of any midfield signing, so no Super Rugby experience if they don't sign Fruean. I like Lowe and Ropiha, but who else? Not a fan of Marshall but I guess it will be him.
     
    Outside backs (Dagg with ABs/ Guildford gone):
    I assume McNicol will be our first choice fullback, but in our outside back stocks we only have one other Super Rugby player (Tongia) who has hardly played.
    Emerson has plenty of talent, but no SR experience and only a few games last year, although instrumental in the most important one.
    Depth and experience are clearly lacking. As I said, I'm not a fan of Marshall. Timu didn't convince me a couple of years ago, bit of a (failed) journey man; is he really that much better this year?
     
    I guess we'll find out the 9th when they will name the team.
     
    Edit: apparently, the team naming is now tomorrow!

    That looks awful TBH, especially combined with our poor form so far. How on earth can we go up to 1st Division yet lose most of our decent players that same year?
     
    Hopefully Philpott has a plan and this pre-season bumbling is part of that plan. As it stands I think we're going to lose to Bay of Plenty this year. And I can't frikkin handle that.



  • The 2016 Magpies Mitre 10 Cup squad is
     
    Front Row
     
    Ash DIXON
    Brendon EDMONDS (injured)
    Tolu FAHAMOKIOA
    Mason KEAN
    Jason LONG
    Ben MAY
    Ricky RICCITELLI
    Jorian TANGAERE
     
    Locks
     
    Mark ABBOTT
    Michael ALLARDICE (injured)
    Geoff CRIDGE
    Ross FILIPO*
    Brodie RETALLICK
    Sanaila WAQA (injured)
     
    Loose Forwards
     
    Trent BOSWELL-WAKEFIELD
    Gareth EVANS (injured)
    Ben HAMELINK*
    Tony LAMBORN
    Marino MIKAELE TU'U*
    Hugh RENTON*
    Fa'alemiga SELESELE*
     
    Inside Backs
     
    Chris EATON
    Tiaan FALCON*
    Brad WEBER*
    Ihaia WEST
    Ellery WILSON
     
    Midfield Backs
     
    Robbie FRUEAN
    Matt GARLAND*
    Jonah LOWE
    Lewis MARSHALL
    Billy ROPIHA
     
    Outside Backs
     
    Shannan CHASE
    Israel DAGG
    Mason EMERSON
    Sam MCNICOL*
    Ryan TONGIA
     
    http://www.sporty.co.nz/magpies/newsarticle/37852



  • Interesting to see that both Jarvy Aoake and Mark Braidwood have not made the team and are now named in the 2016 Saracens squad. Another player from last year's squad is Joseph Penitito, who seemed so promising in the Shield defences against the Heartland teams and then got injured, and he's also in the Saracens squad. Other former Magpies who didn't make it are Isaac Paewai, Mikey Vuicakau and Star Timu.

    A few comments/questions on the Magpies squad:
     
    Props: with May replacing Edmonds, I assume Kean is a TH? Both Aoake and Braidwood have been dropped, but replaced by only one player? I hope May and Fahamokioa can stay fit and play the house down.
     
    Locks: only three named who will actually play, I expected four. Waqa must have a contract to be named despite his injury?
     
    Loosies: Hamelink and Selesele? I recognise the name Hamelink from club rugby (can't remember seeing him play), but who's the other guy? Only saw him give away many penalties in the preseason game v Manawatu.
     
    Backs: Fruean made it, but despite that we're losing so much experience behind the halves. I hope McNicol, Tongia and Fruean stay healthy and have a huge season, and that Emerson and Lowe will be able to step up.
     
    I don't know why I secretly hoped for a surprise signing of a great player ....



  • The forwards look good when you include everyone who isn't going to be playing.
     
    I wonder if Philpott will finally give TBW some starts now that he's the most senior loose forward on the team?
     
    I see the Canterbury connection finally seems to have dried up, Philpott must have been out of the loop too long now. 
     
    At least we're not going into this season with high expectations.



  • I wonder if Philpott will finally give TBW some starts now that he's the most senior loose forward on the team?

    Hasn't TBW been captain for some of the warm-up Saracen games? Surely the captaincy and vice captaincy must be between him and Dixon now that O'Connor has left



  • Hasn't TBW been captain for some of the warm-up Saracen games? Surely the captaincy and vice captaincy must be between him and Dixon now that O'Connor has left

    I'd be surprised if Philpott would give him the captaincy as he's always been reluctant to select him in the starting lineup. Abbott or Weber might be in the frame along with Dixon?


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