My Nz team of round 4



  • 15.Ben Smith
    14.Cory Jane
    13.Malakai Fekitoa
    12.Charlie Ngatai
    11.James Lowes
    10.Lima Sopoaga
    9.TJ Perenara
    8.Jimmy Tupou
    7.Ardie Savea
    6.Elliott Dixon
    5.Sam Whitelock
    4.Tom Franklin
    3.Owen Franks
    2.Dane Coles
    1.Chris Eves
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    1. Siosiua Halanukonuka (the Landers tighthead, had to google his name...)
    2. Sam Cane
    3. Aaron Smith
    4. Sam McNicol (best of a pretty weak bunch IMO but he wins out thanks to that first Chiefs try)


  • Hard to select a Crusaders player as the opposition was so weak ! So I would go for Halanukonuka too who was rock solid in the set scrums and tackled without conceding ground the giant forwards who were running at him all match long.
    Liam Squire deserves a mention too despite losing a ball in a maul which cost his team a try. He was uncompromising in defence and showed great speed for his try.
    I wouldn't go with Aaron Smith this time. His passing was not as accurate as usual. TJP and Weber were very good this week end.



  • I wouldn't go with Aaron Smith this time. His passing was not as accurate as usual. TJP and Weber were very good this week end.

    Saying Smith was inaccurate and then plumping for Perenara seems rather odd to me....



    1. Siosiua Halanukonuka (the Landers tighthead, had to google his name...)
    2. Sam Cane
    3. Aaron Smith
    4. Sam McNicol (best of a pretty weak bunch IMO but he wins out thanks to that first Chiefs try)
      Halanukinuka is Tongan international though so did not pick him
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  • Even though he got yellow carded I thought TKB was better than Weber. But Aaron Smith was very good again.



  • Saying Smith was inaccurate and then plumping for Perenara seems rather odd to me....

    Got to agree with this ~ I think he must have got Smith and Parenara confused ~ because one thing I noticed watching the landers after the Canes was how much better a backline can attack when the first receiver is not taking the ball above his head, at his feet, behind him etc.
     
    Sopoaga must be front runner for the 10 spot ~ added bonus is his drop goal ability ~ he used it pretty effectively last year as well.



  • Saying Smith was inaccurate and then plumping for Perenara seems rather odd to me....

    Ooops, I meant TKB and not TJP.



  • Big Weber fan here.
     
    I think the biggest loser in the last 18 months or so has been TJP - not sure he'll see black again this season. Smith, TKB and Weber would be my picks.
     
    Also, if McKenzie keeps his attacking prowess up, I wouldn't necessarily be surprised to see Smith moved to wing.  Even BB must have a few concerns about his impact bench spot.
     
    Nothing like a good midget to warm the soul.



  • Weber has some good traits that would be useful in Test rugby however at present he is nowhere near sharp enough in his core duty of clearing quickly with a fast accurate pass. He is good but only TJP good in that aspect.
    The reason Rennie often prefers TKB is because if you want to play a fast style you also need a strong halfback that isn't going to get bullied when he has less protection around the ruck.
    Weber is brilliant when he gets clean ball on the go forward but average otherwise.
    Aaron Smith has shown that you don't need to be a big halfback so there is no reason that Weber can't improve in those areas but at present TKB edges him on all round usefullness IMO.



  • No mention of Blade Thomson?  I was impressed with him vs the Force and think he could be useful in the ABs as a bench utility (lock, 6, 8).  Dixon is a great prospect too but doesn't cover as many positions.



  • No mention of Blade Thomson? I was impressed with him vs the Force and think he could be useful in the ABs as a bench utility (lock, 6, 8). Dixon is a great prospect too but doesn't cover as many positions.

    That raises an interesting point. Without God in the 7 jersey we need a very versatile loose forward reserve and a specialist lock or a 6/lock plus a specialist 7 with a 6/8 playing.



  • Big Weber fan here.
    I think the biggest loser in the last 18 months or so has been TJP - not sure he'll see black again this season. Smith, TKB and Weber would be my picks.

    TJP is the best running halfback in NZ I reckon. His support play is world class for a 9. There are a number of other deficiencies in his game but I can see why the AB coaches like him as a replacement.



  • That raises an interesting point. Without God in the 7 jersey we need a very versatile loose forward reserve and a specialist lock or a 6/lock plus a specialist 7 with a 6/8 playing.

    Nah, there's no need to reinvent the wheel, Crucial.
     
    When Graham Mourie was God, the AB's continued winning afterwards.
    When Michael Jones was God, the AB's continued winning afterwards
    When Josh Kronfeld was God, the AB's continued winning afterwards
    After Richie. the AB's will continue to win afterwards.



  • Nah, there's no need to reinvent the wheel, Crucial.
     
    When Graham Mourie was God, the AB's continued winning afterwards.
    When Michael Jones was God, the AB's continued winning afterwards
    When Josh Kronfeld was God, the AB's continued winning afterwards
    After Richie. the AB's will continue to win afterwards.

    Didn't say we would start losing. Just pointing out that with McCaw being a starter the bench mix could take into account his ability to play in all three back row positions if required. Cane doesn't offer that cover and nor does Reado.
    Does that mean we need a certain lock/6 (plus a 7) on the bench with a 6/8 starting?



  • TJP is the best running halfback in NZ I reckon. His support play is world class for a 9. There are a number of other deficiencies in his game but I can see why the AB coaches like him as a replacement.

    Except TJP isn't their reserve halfback anymore judging by RWC selection.  I don't think TJP is best suited to being an AB reserve due to his temperament.  He has a tendency to try too hard when he comes on the field, often making basic mistakes.  That's not to say he won't improve but he needs to relax more.
     
    I agree that TJP is the best running halfback - that's his strength.  The good thing is that all three offer something a little different.  Four if you include Weber in the mix.



  • Didn't say we would start losing. Just pointing out that with McCaw being a starter the bench mix could take into account his ability to play in all three back row positions if required. Cane doesn't offer that cover and nor does Reado.
    Does that mean we need a certain lock/6 (plus a 7) on the bench with a 6/8 starting?

    not to mention he only didn't finish an AB test only 26 times out of his 148 tests (this includes tests he didn't start but obviously finished)



  • Except TJP isn't their reserve halfback anymore judging by RWC selection. I don't think TJP is best suited to being an AB reserve due to his temperament. He has a tendency to try too hard when he comes on the field, often making basic mistakes. That's not to say he won't improve but he needs to relax more.
    I agree that TJP is the best running halfback - that's his strength. The good thing is that all three offer something a little different. Four if you include Weber in the mix.

    I don't disagree that he's a clear bench replacement for Aaron Smith, but World Cups are a bit of an anomaly when it comes to selections.
    He's right there in the mix and depending on opposition and conditions will largely determine if he's in or out.


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