Blues vs Jags



  • I am not sure why Tana is rotating and resting players straight after a bye. Surely the Blues need to start their best XV week in and week out to get their confidence up. I feel Tana needs to stick to his best side and only make changes when injuries occur. They don't have the luxury to rotate as often as teams like the Chiefs because to be frank they don't have the depth of all the other N.Z sides, ironic considering they have the biggest catchment area.

    1. Nic Mayhew
    2. James Parson (c)
    3. Charlie Faumuina
    4. Patrick Tuipolotu
    5. Josh Bekhuis
    6. Joe Edwards
    7. Blake Gibson
    8. Steven Luatua
    9. Bryn Hall
    10. Ihaia West
    11. Tevita Li
    12. Piers Francis
    13. Rene Ranger
    14. Rieko Ioane
    15. Lolagi Visinia
       
      Reserves:
    16. Quentin MacDonald
    17. Sam Prattley
    18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi
    19. Hoani Matenga
    20. Akira Ioane
    21. Billy Guyton
    22. Matt McGahan
    23. George Moala


  • http://theblues.co.nz/francis-makes-super-rugby-debut/
     
    English-born back Piers Francis will make his first Super Rugby appearance when the Blues host the Jaguares at North Harbour on Saturday.
    The 25 year old, sidelined with a foot injury since pre-season, will play in the midfield alongside Rene Ranger who makes his return.
    Francis played for Saracens for four years before moving to Auckland and then to Waikato and the Chiefs Wider Training Group. He then returned to the UK to play for Edinburgh and Doncaster, before flying south again last year to play for Counties Manukau and is renowned as an excellent defender and one of the fittest in the team.
    The rest of the backline are the same players who travelled to the Reds last week.
    Upfront James Parsons assumes the captaincy in the absence of the injured Jerome Kaino, with North Harbour prop Nick Mayhew given his first start to bolster up a scrum that will be tested against the Jaguares.
    Joe Edwards starts in the place of Kaino on the side of the scrum with Akira Ioane to provide thrust off the bench.
    After starting in each of the first four games, prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi and midfielder George Moala will come off the bench.
    The team is:
    Forwards: Nic Mayhew, James Parsons ©, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Josh Bekhuis, Joe Edwards, Blake Gibson, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, Rene Ranger, Rieko Ioane, Lolagi Visinia.
    Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Sam Prattley, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Hoani Matenga, Akira Ioane, Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan, George Moala.



  • Mahew was good off the bench v the Reds - good to see him get a start. The midfield combo hasn't been working so I can see why they have changed it up - no Sau is a bonus - not sure Francis is the answer though.
     
    The back 3 get another crack - lucky after the Reds effort - hopefully they have spent the bye week on handling skills.



  • Unless Little is injured, I'm a wee bit surprised he isn't starting there ahead of Francis, who seems to have largely played 10. Even McGahan has probably played a bit more at 12.



  • The Francis call certainly seems odd from outside of the camp but you'd have to think that Tana has an inkling that he needs to try out, although you'd also think the Moala is a first team starter most of the time. Searching for the magic formula perhaps?
    At first reading I thought Francis was replacing West.



  • How has Matenga gone this season from the bench?



  • you'd like to think Tana knows what his best side is, and coming off a bye is when you should play it, Shirley?
     
    I guess Tana has a very long piece of rope this season and probably next with probably very low KPI's, so is looking at blooding players and building experience this year...only issue is if it is losing experience, its a tough habit to break.



  • How has Matenga gone this season from the bench?

    Had very limited opportunities so far - my lasting memory is during the Reds game on attack he stood over/guarded a breakdown, only for the Reds player to reach over and steal the ball anyhow, as he was too low in his body position and had gone too far past the ball, so the ball was sitting 'out'. At this stage i'd much rather have Seu or Fatialofa - thought on the other hand Mariner and Scrafton have yet to be sighted.



  • Was hoping that Scrafton would get some time, he was good in the ITM Cup.



  • I'm beginning to question Tana a little bit.
     
    Surely you play your best side in this game, and I reckon that includes A Ioane and Moala.
     
     
    I see the Jags have left 10 players at home to rest, so maybe that's the reason.



  • Why wouldn't you start Akira!? You only have him until Week 10!
     
    #frustratedfantasyrugbyplayer



  • Attending this game with a few mates. Should be entertaining with both teams desperate for a win.



  • England-born Piers Francis will make his Super Rugby debut against the Jaguares as the Blues seek to improve their backline communication.
     
    "We're looking for some of the skills he has in terms of communication and second pivot, and to give some assistance to Ihaia in there," Umaga said.
     
    Ranger came into the Super Rugby season after a long lay-off because of neck surgery and Umaga said he was still working his way back.
     
    "There is still a lot of rehab he has to do, but we do need some of the flair he brings to the game," Umaga said.
     
    "We want to give him as much opportunity to showcase that."

    Some explanation there as to why Francis is at 12 instead of Little/Moala.
     
    http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=223866



  • Some explanation there as to why Francis is at 12 instead of Little/Moala.
     
    http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=223866

    So if the communication goes well and is better than previous weeks, what happens next round? Does Tana continue to select Francis above Moala? Or will Moala be moved to 13 and Ranger a wing/bench option again?



  • Mahew was good off the bench v the Reds - good to see him get a start.

    I think this may be the best Blues starting front row. Ofa off the bench is a good option.



  • So if the communication goes well and is better than previous weeks, what happens next round? Does Tana continue to select Francis above Moala? Or will Moala be moved to 13 and Ranger a wing/bench option again?

    My inkling would be that if this midfield shows promise, Moala will come back on the wing.



  • Some explanation there as to why Francis is at 12 instead of Little/Moala.
     
    http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=223866

    can't be farked reading it. but presume it says 'cause tanas a retard'?
     
    seriously Piers was so ar$e he got dropped from the waikato npc side.  Now he's the saviour of the blues midfield.
     
    The sht thing is it's reducing the fun of putting the boot into blues supporters.  It's a bit like telling Americans they're sht at rugby. Zero enjoyment.



  • Yeah from what I saw I thought Piers was very poor in the ITM Cup for Counties last year - thought he was very lucky to pick up a contract - however that was at 10 not 12 - midfield hasn't been working so I don't mind the taking of a risk - if you are going to try someone else other than Moala at 12 then so be it - can see the thinking behind picking a 2nd pivot.



  • The sht thing is it's reducing the fun of putting the boot into blues supporters. It's a bit like telling Americans they're sht at rugby. Zero enjoyment.

    I've quite enjoyed winding up tana fans though. At this stage he's just a new version of Kirwan



  • I wonder if Tana's plan for the Blues is looking beyond 2016, however it would appear he is trying to develop players instead of trying to win games.
     
    Be interesting to see which players have started each game and how many different players have started compared to the other NZ teams.


Log in to reply