Blues v Sharks



  • Blues named
     
    1 - Prattley
    2 - Parsons
    3 - Faumuina
    4 - Matenga
    5 - Bekhuis
    6 - Kaino
    7 - Latimer
    8 - Luatua
    9 - Hall
    10 - West
    11 - Li
    12 - Francis
    13 - Ranger
    14 - Rieko Ioane
    15 - Visinia
     
    Bench
    16 - MacDonald
    17 - Waa
    18 - Ofa T
    19 - Kara Pryor
    20 - Akira Ioane
    21 - Guyton
    22 - McGahan
    23 - Moala
     
     
    Bit tough on Melani Nanai. 
     
    Tanerau Latimer has to pass a fitness test.
     
    Black armbands to be worn and a minute's silence for Kurtis Haiu
     
    20 years since the first Super Rugby final so there will be a few Blues legends present and Joeli Vidiri will deliver the match ball.



  • great that Latimer is back and all, and the Blues back row looks pretty good, but why the reluctance to start Akira? I know he makes an impact off the bench, but why not start him as he is a genuine threat for the blues, gets them good go forward and will attract defenders allowing more space elsewhere



  • 20 years since the first Super Rugby final so there will be a few Blues legends present and Joeli Vidiri will deliver the match ball.

    The final was played in April?
    Jeepers, that's early, what ever did we used to do with so little rugby to watch?



  • I'm also surprised that, again, Moala is on the bench instead of getting a start.



  • Farking tough on Nanai, unless he's injured.



  • I'm also surprised that, again, Moala is on the bench instead of getting a start.

    Yep, a waste. Should be on the wing at the very least.
     
    Moala > Li



  • Yeah, pretty tough on Nanai - I would have kept Nanai at fullback and put Visinia at wing for Li. I would have also started Akira at 8 and moved Luatua to lock for Matenga.
     
    We seem to always lose to the Sharks, but I'm not too worried about it. I don't think we have a mental block against these guys, it just sort of ended up like this.



  • Blues had a mental block at North Harbour too and overcame that so I'm confident they can do that again.
     
    Blues website stating Visinia for Nanai was a selection call - with Visinia's boot getting him the nod.



  • Nanai the best back on the park last week for the Blues. A positive that the same midfield combo starts another game together.



  • great that Latimer is back and all, and the Blues back row looks pretty good, but why the reluctance to start Akira? I know he makes an impact off the bench, but why not start him as he is a genuine threat for the blues, gets them good go forward and will attract defenders allowing more space elsewhere

    The Ioane bro's and Ardie have only got three games left before they rejoin the Sevens squad, right? Could be the reason.



  • The Ioane bro's and Ardie have only got three games left before they rejoin the Sevens squad, right? Could be the reason.

    Seems like a good reason to use him while you can, if you ask me.



  • No one else thinks Akira is a bit loose? Seems to get his hands in the ruck on the wrong side a bit much and doesn't mind giving away a few penalties.
    From what I have seen he runs like Sione Lauaki, just hope he stays fit and plays smart rugby.
    Agree he's probs being held back because of his 7s commitments but his brother is still getting extended playing time..
    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk



  • My sense is that Tana really values impact off the bench and Akira has constantly delivered in this aspect and it suits his game (ball running against tired opposition in 2nd half etc) so he will continue with what works. He's basically getting a full half anyway so it's not like he isn't being used.



  • No one else thinks Akira is a bit loose? Seems to get his hands in the ruck on the wrong side a bit much and doesn't mind giving away a few penalties.
    From what I have seen he runs like Sione Lauaki, just hope he stays fit and plays smart rugby.
    Agree he's probs being held back because of his 7s commitments but his brother is still getting extended playing time..
    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk

    The opposite actually, he's a real force with his tackling close to the ruck. 
     
    Most physical 20 year old I've seen in years



  • I didn't say he was a defensive liability. You can tackle like a demon and be penalised for silly plays.
    Ill be clear too. I think his ball in hand is destructive like Lauaki. Thats it. Im not saying he is the new Lauaki.
    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk



  • My sense is that Tana really values impact off the bench and Akira has constantly delivered in this aspect and it suits his game (ball running against tired opposition in 2nd half etc) so he will continue with what works. He's basically getting a full half anyway so it's not like he isn't being used.

    I guess you could argue the win/loss ratio thus far, that things aren't quite right yet...but I'd of still given him a crack starting, he just brings so much to the field, I'd be keener to utilize it early, rather than late when the Blues could be chasing the game.
     
    Playing more may also help iron out his tough guy kinks he seems to have in his game.



  • I didn't say he was a defensive liability. You can tackle like a demon and be penalised for silly plays.
    Ill be clear too. I think his ball in hand is destructive like Lauaki. Thats it. Im not saying he is the new Lauaki.
    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk

    Sorry if I misunderstood
     
    You said he plays loose, then I said he does a lot of tackling close to the ruck. 
     
    He's a big force at the breakdown, so no, I don't think he plays too loose.



  • I think his point was more around silly penalties and niggly stuff, which won't fly in the AB environment (unless your surname is Franks).
     
    It's easy to forget how bloody young he is. This side of his game will mature especially once he gets in the AB environment. Future star for sure.



  • I think his point was more around silly penalties and niggly stuff, which won't fly in the AB environment (unless your surname is Franks).

    Fair enough, I see your point.
     
    He's one of my fav players at the moment, really excited about his future.



  • Yeah, pretty tough on Nanai - I would have kept Nanai at fullback and put Visinia at wing for Li. I would have also started Akira at 8 and moved Luatua to lock for Matenga.
     
    We seem to always lose to the Sharks, but I'm not too worried about it. I don't think we have a mental block against these guys, it just sort of ended up like this.

    You didn't lose to them back in the day when you had the services of Jonah and Joeli.
     
    Just saying.



  • I think his point was more around silly penalties and niggly stuff, which won't fly in the AB environment (unless your surname is Franks).
     
    It's easy to forget how bloody young he is. This side of his game will mature especially once he gets in the AB environment. Future star for sure.

    guess that's the thing though, he needs more time in the middle to hone his niggling and boundary pushing skills, granted he is young and a immensely huge prospect it seems odd you have such a weapon and he is only playing 30mins or so each week.



  • Sorry if I misunderstood
    You said he plays loose, then I said he does a lot of tackling close to the ruck.
    He's a big force at the breakdown, so no, I don't think he plays too loose.
    I suppose loose is too broad a term. But I have watched since last year times where he goes for the niggle when he needed to just tackle. Last week he had his hand all over the ball on his own line on the wrong side of the ruck. If they hadn't scored he would've have been binned.
    I am a huge fan. Honestly. I pay special attention to him as, for a start, i am not a Blues fan. So I guess i can train spot a little easier than if its the canes playing.
    He is a ball player and a future AB but IMO he likes the dark arts maybe a little too much.
    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk



  • Akira has appeared to have toned down the niggle/silly stuff over the past few weeks. Often when he comes on the Blues need him to be a force and provide immediate impact, and he has down that on both sides of the ball IMO.
     
    I actually don't mind how they've used him as a bench player. Whether that's related to the 7s or not, I think it's been one of the few things Tana has got spot on.



  • Yeah I don't think Akira will fully start ironing out his kinks as a fifteens player until he is done with his sevens commitment and gets back into ITM Cup and then very possibly a run on the end of year tour (touch wood for no injuries) at the end of the year. There's too much back and forth with 7s in the first part of this year.



  • A bit of consistency in selection which is nice.



  • Sharks

    1. Tendai Mtawarira (c)  2. Franco Marais  3. Lourens Adriaanse  4. Etienne Oosthuizen  5. Stephan Lewies  6. Daniel du Preez  7. Jean-Luc du Preez  8. Philip van der Walt
    2. Cobus Reinach  10. Joe Pietersen  11. Lwazi Mvovo  12. Andre Esterhuizen  13. Paul Jordaan  14. JP Pietersen  15. Willie le Roux
       
      Reserves :
    3. Kyle Cooper  17. Thomas du Toit  18. Coenie Oosthuizen  19. Hyron Andrews  20. Keegan Daniel  21. Michael Claassens  22. Garth April  23. Odwa Ndungane


  • We seem to always lose to the Sharks, but I'm not too worried about it. I don't think we have a mental block against these guys, it just sort of ended up like this.

    We should win. But the record against the Sharks is a disgrace. 
     
    The worst run between any two teams? 10 wins in a streak that goes back 11 years
     
    Blues v Sharks 23-29 Albany 2014
    Blues v Sharks 20-22 Durban 2013
    Blues v Sharks 23-29 Auckland 2012
    Blues v Sharks 12-26 Durban 2011
    Blues v Sharks 10-23 Durban 2010
    Blues v Sharks 31-35 Auckland 2009
    Blues v Sharks 17-22 Durban 2008
    Blues v Sharks 18-34 Durban 2007
    Blues v Sharks 25-32 Albany 2007 
    Blues v Sharks 15-32 Durban 2006
    Blues v Sharks 36-13 Auckland 2005 :good1:
     
    Overall record is 14 loses out of 18 against this team
     
     
    Here's is that 2005 team that last beat the Sharks:

    Mils Muliaina, Doug Howlett, Ben Atiga, Luke McAlister, Joe Rokocoko, Tasesa Lavea, Steve Devine, Xavier Rush (c), Daniel Braid, Jerome Kaino, Bradley Mika, Chresten Davis, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock
    Reserves: Derren Witcombe or Roger Dustow, Saimnone Taumoepeau, Nick Williams, Justin Collins, Ben Meyer, Carlos Spencer, Isa Nacewa.



  • No one else thinks Akira is a bit loose? Seems to get his hands in the ruck on the wrong side a bit much and doesn't mind giving away a few penalties.
    From what I have seen he runs like Sione Lauaki, just hope he stays fit and plays smart rugby.
    Agree he's probs being held back because of his 7s commitments but his brother is still getting extended playing time..
    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk

    Lauaki was more of a bruiser though, Ioane strikes me as more a wide ranging runner.



  • Good to see you, Duluth.



  • Lauaki was more of a bruiser though, Ioane strikes me as more a wide ranging runner.

    He does seem that way, particularly knowing what he could do in sevens, but what I've really been surprised about is how much ground he makes up the middle in traffic.



  • He does seem that way, particularly knowing what he could do in sevens, but what I've really been surprised about is how much ground he makes up the middle in traffic.

    Yea, it isn't often he bowls someone over, but he tends to drive the tacklers back a bit.



  • Akira has appeared to have toned down the niggle/silly stuff over the past few weeks. Often when he comes on the Blues need him to be a force and provide immediate impact, and he has down that on both sides of the ball IMO.
     
    I actually don't mind how they've used him as a bench player. Whether that's related to the 7s or not, I think it's been one of the few things Tana has got spot on.

    I don't mind how they are using him, I just think the way he has played would have warranted a start (even before now)



  • This is Akira's 2nd to last game before going back to 7s anyway so they are going to have to get used to playing without him, which I think factors in to Tana's decision to leave him on the bench.
     
    But yes his power/drive in contact is very impressive.
     
    I see the Blues invited a number of the 96 team (e.g. Vidiri, Tonu'u) along to today's Captain's Run to present the jerseys to the team - and even busted out the original Super 12 trophy - very cool.



  • They didn't even give me a call about it on the hotline!
     
    Hopefully they played the original DB Auckland Rugby song on loop.



  • We should win. But the record against the Sharks is a disgrace. 
     
    The worst run between any two teams? 10 wins in a streak that goes back 11 years
     
    Blues v Sharks 23-29 Albany 2014
    Blues v Sharks 20-22 Durban 2013
    Blues v Sharks 23-29 Auckland 2012
    Blues v Sharks 12-26 Durban 2011
    Blues v Sharks 10-23 Durban 2010
    Blues v Sharks 31-35 Auckland 2009
    Blues v Sharks 17-22 Durban 2008
    Blues v Sharks 18-34 Durban 2007
    Blues v Sharks 25-32 Albany 2007 
    Blues v Sharks 15-32 Durban 2006
    Blues v Sharks 36-13 Auckland 2005 :good1:
     
    Overall record is 14 loses out of 18 against this team
     
     
    Here's is that 2005 team that last beat the Sharks:

    Mils Muliaina, Doug Howlett, Ben Atiga, Luke McAlister, Joe Rokocoko, Tasesa Lavea, Steve Devine, Xavier Rush (c), Daniel Braid, Jerome Kaino, Bradley Mika, Chresten Davis, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock
    Reserves: Derren Witcombe or Roger Dustow, Saimnone Taumoepeau, Nick Williams, Justin Collins, Ben Meyer, Carlos Spencer, Isa Nacewa.

    And some would ask how on earth did you win that with Lavea at 1st 5 and Atiga at centre 🙂 
     
    Seriously though, that was a very good side, AB front and back row. AB backline bar Lavea with quality on the bench.



  • Here's is that 2005 team that last beat the Sharks:

    Mils Muliaina, Doug Howlett, Ben Atiga, Luke McAlister, Joe Rokocoko, Tasesa Lavea, Steve Devine, Xavier Rush (c), Daniel Braid, Jerome Kaino, Bradley Mika, Chresten Davis, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock
    Reserves: Derren Witcombe or Roger Dustow, Saimnone Taumoepeau, Nick Williams, Justin Collins, Ben Meyer, Carlos Spencer, Isa Nacewa.

    From the WTF Files! But, that's a seriously good 'on paper' team.
     
    I'm surprised Chresten Davis was still going in 2005 - he was almost the Brodie Retallick of the 90s.



  • I'm surprised Chresten Davis was still going in 2005 - he was almost the Brodie Retallick of the 90s.
     
    wut?



  • wut?

    Big fella who burst on the scene as a young fella in his first year of Super rugby (which happened to be the actual first year if Super rugby), made the ABs ... but then got injured and that was all she wrote.



  • Big fella who burst on the scene as a young fella in his first year of Super rugby (which happened to be the actual first year if Super rugby), made the ABs ... but then got injured and that was all she wrote.

    Ignoring the fact that Brodie is tough as nails, and Davis played like a winger in a locks body.



  • Ignoring the fact that Brodie is tough as nails, and Davis played like a winger in a locks body.

    The Isaac Ross before Isaac Ross?


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