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.


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